Category Archives: Water

Start Fresh This New Year

Here we come to the close of 2016.  A new year is coming.  A fresh start to set news goals, overcome different obstacles and make a better ‘you’.  Undoubtedly everyone has the similar goal of improving myself.  This can be anything from creating less stress at work to simply working out more frequently.  It is clear we will all welcome 2017 with open arms and minds.

You may be one of the people that will mob to the gym and partake in the battle of equipment.  Maybe you’ll hire a nutritionist to better improve your diet.  Or you might start doing your own home remedies to lose some weight.  


One habit to consider this new year is consuming detoxifying drinks.  Detox drinks combine ingredients like fruits, vegetables and herbs and infuses them with water.  These bring major health benefits and reduce the toxicity in our bodies.  What better way to bring in the New year than to give your body a fresh cleaning.  These drinks are full of flavor and have zero calories, making for a great tool to shed some extra pounds.

Water infused drinks also come with other benefits to the body:

  • Reduction in inflammation: When your liver is cleansed, your digestive system gets a break, which helps reduce any swelling within the body.
  • Energy Boost: Toxins from the environment, pesticides, chemicals and other daily pollutants we encounter are stored in our cells. Detoxifying these toxins will free the body up, making it run more efficient.  This leaves less feelings of exhaustion and more for alertness.

 

  • Digestion and weight loss support: The ingredients used in water infused drinks will boost your metabolism.  Many fruits like grapefruit, contain special enzymes that boost metabolic functions by utilizing sugar.  This will leave your body feeling fresh and light
  • Promotes healthy skin:  Chemicals and pollutants can build up in our pores, causing wrinkles and dry skin.  By consuming fruits and vegetables, we can strengthen the metabolic mechanisms of our skin to give it a youthful glow.  Since Vitamin C is prevalent in many detoxifying foods, this will help to slow aging and heal wounds.

What this all translates to is a stronger immune system and faster functions.  By drinking infused water we can reduce muscle fatigue, recuperate faster and release fat cells more naturally.  

There are dozens of recipes with multiple ingredients you can use when making your detox drink.  Here are some of the more popular ones to choose from:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Mint
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Dandelion
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Aloe Vera gel

So give these drinks a try.  Set new goals for the year and hit the ground running.  Be afraid to fail and try until you succeed.

Some Detox Recipes To Try At Home

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A Powered-Up Moon and A Tide With A Crown

Did you catch Sundays historic Supermoon?  This phenomena occurs when the moon is closets to the earth, radiates a sight that is true beauty.   Many people around the world enjoyed differing shades of red, while looking at a larger-than-life moon.

While most people were enjoying this event that won’t return till 2034, others were feeling it’s after effects.  The after effects I’m talking about are king tides.

A king tide (perigee tide) is a yearly occurrence when the high tide is at it’s highest point during the months of November-February.  While it is common and only happens 1-2 times a year, there are growing concerns for the overall increasing level of the tides.

  Because the gravitational pull is a lot stronger from the Supermoon this year, the King Tide was especially high.  In areas like Miami Beach, the rising water levels has caused  flooding to road ways and other infrastructure.  Reports of sea levels 2 feet higher than normal have flooded Boston this week.  Coastal flooding has become the new norm, as evidence has shown a rise of 6-8 inches since the 1960’s.

“A year ago, we were having to close the road twice a day because the water was about a foot taller than the ground,” said Coley. “If we have to close this road, that affects our police, our fire, our ambulance service.” — Ray Coley, Miami Beach Infrastructure director

Places close to the coast can’t afford an increase in sea levels.  If nothing is done, coastal areas can be inundated with floodwaters in as little as 15 years.  Geographical changes like this will force radical transformations to entire cities.

The rising sea level issue is undoubtedly a consequence of climate change.  However, this is only one caveat of the slew of issues we face in the battle for our environmental future.  

This U.S just recorded it’s third-warmest October on record and Canada is seeing an unprecedented 30 degrees warmer than normal temperatures.  In central Africa, climate change has made it unsustainable for small-scale farming, causing mass migrations to Europe .  Places like California is seeing its fifth straight year of severe drought, which has put considerable stress on crops and water use. 

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All of these alarming signs point to a warming planet.  That’s why it is so imperative we act now to prevent an impending calamity.  However, with the new president elect Donald Trump, we may be moving in the other direction.  Trump appointed a climate denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency and wants to back out of the Paris Accords; a plan to have 190 countries reduce their emissions of the carbon dioxide pollutants that warm the planet. 

These changes might cause catastrophic set-backs to an already ticking time bomb.  No one knows how much longer we have to take action before things are to late.  While we can lobby to fight against the changes the Trump administrations wants to implement, there are steps we can take ourselves.

With advances to technology, solar, wind, battery, and LED lighting costs have significantly dropped since 2008.  This is a great incentive for businesses to convert to a clean energy source. Things like carpooling, insulating homes, energy reduction, recycling and gardening are adjustments anyone can make to their everyday lives to fight climate change.

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Do your part. Stay educated and informed.  Change habits and educate others to do the same.  Lead by example and maybe the rest of the world will follow suit.

The Water Protectors: The Dakota Access Pipeline

Is climate change something you believe in?  Are environmental issues a cause for concern?  Would you care if you no longer had access to clean water?

These questions are becoming a harsh reality for a Native American tribe called the Standing Rock Sioux.  The reality of the Dakota Access pipeline project directly endangering the tribe’s way of life.

The Dakota Access pipeline project aims to build a 1,172 mile long pipeline that would connect North Dakota to Illinois, in which to transport crude oil to refineries on the Gulf Coast or East Coast.  Supporters of this project see the potential to increase the region’s surrounding economy, while decreasing the need for imported oil.  However, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe see things differently.

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The pipeline would cross directly cross under the Missouri River at a place called Lake Oahe, which is only half a mile away from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.  This lake is used as the primary drink water for the reservation and is an integral part of their economy.

Although builders of the pipeline insist they’ve taken all necessary measures to protect against disasters, history shows leaks are almost inevitable.  The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has reported more than 3,300 incidents of leaks and ruptures at oil and gas pipelines since 2010.  The smallest crack will have detrimental impacts to the surrounding water supply.   Even with all these risks for contamination, the Energy Transfer company was able to find loopholes to pull the proper permits for construction.

Additionally environmentalists argue the pipeline would only fuel man-made climate changes by increasing the country’s oil infrastructure.  For these reasons we are seeing a vast majority of protestors on site at Standing Rock, physically halting the pipeline’s construction.

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Various groups of people from all different backgrounds have come together to stand alongside the Sioux Tribe (including a huge social media presence).  Even after controversial reports of brutal treatment (guard dogs, rubber bullets, sound devices) from police authorities, activists are still standing their ground.  Camps filled with tents and tipis will continue to occupy the space throughout the winter.  All united together to enforce the one message of “Water is Life”.

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How do you perceive this situation?  Do you believe nature should be protected at all costs?  Does water actually equal life?

If you believe in this cause you can sign the petition to stop this construction.

A Healthy Diet to Combat Lead Exposure

Doctors in Flint, Michigan are pushing residents to consume a health diet in order to counteract lead exposure.  With the recent devastation that has occurred to Flint’s tap water, lead exposure can be very high in some residents. 

This is why doctors recommend consuming foods high in iron, calcium or vitamin C to mitigate the effects of lead exposure.  This healthy diet will help limit the exposure of lead in your body, as well as promote its excretion.

By consuming vitamin C, you enhance your body’s ability to absorb iron.  When you combine citrus juices, or other foods rich in vitamin C, at the same time as high-iron foods, your body will efficiently absorb the iron. 

Here are some examples of the foods you should be sticking to:

VitaminC

Vitamin C: bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi fruit, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and papayas.

calcium-food

Calcium: dark leafy greens, cheese, low fat milk and yogurt, bok choy, fortified tofu, okra, broccoli, green beans, almonds, and fish canned with their bones.

Iron-rich foods, including eggs, spinach, peas, beans, red meat,
Iron-rich foods, including eggs, spinach, peas, beans, red meat, liver, and raisins. Isolated on white.

Iron: red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach), dried fruit (raisins and apricots), iron-fortified cereals, breads, pastas, peas.

 These foods still have many benefits to your body,even if you don’t have a high exposure to lead.  Vitamin C is essential for developing and maintaining scar tissues, blood vessels and cartilage.  Calcium is required in order to grow and strong bones, teeth, nerve signaling, muscle contraction and secretion of certain hormones and enzymes.  While iron is a necessary mineral for the body and often time leads to anemia if deficient.

Gain Weight Through This Ayurvedic Diet

Drink Lots of Water:  

The typical saying for this is to drink 6-8 glasses a day.  In Ayurveda, the practice is to drink as many glasses as there are hours a day.  So if you are awake for 12 hours, you should drink 12 glasses of water.  You also want to avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee because they will dehydrate you.

Consume Dense Foods:

You want a diet consisting of 70% protein.  Foods that are heavy like meats or wheat, generally hold more substance.  You want to avoid a vegetarian like diet.  If you are vegetarian, make sure to consume plenty of milk, yogurt, cheese and other sources of vegetarian protein.

Use Foods That Increase Lubrication:

Foods like yogurt, nuts and oils are great for building up the Kapha dosha, as your muscle is made up of 70% water.  Stay away from foods that are dry, rough, light or hard.

Consume Vegetables Whole:

It is better to eat vegetables in larger chunks, than diced up and finely chopped.

Stick to Flavorful foods

Foods that are sweet, salty and sour can increase the earth, water and fire elements in your body.  Stick to the real flavors, not the artificial kinds.

Make a Routine:

Have a daily schedule for your food intake, making sure to leave plenty of time between meals.  It should look a little something like this:

6-8 am: The first meal of the day and should be a smaller one.

9-11 am: Mid morning snack, which should contain nuts and heavier fruits like bananas, avocado, mango etc.

12-2 pm: Lunch and should be the main bulk of your meals.

2-4 pm: Afternoon snack consisting of fruits and snacks.  It can also be things like oatmeal cookies, flax cookies, cheese, etc.

5-7 pm: This is your last meal of the day and should be a smaller one.

 

 

Learning Your Dosha To Fight Imbalance

One of the central teachings of Ayurveda is the theory that a healthy body exists when there is a balance between the three fundamental bodily energies, called doshas.  These three doshas, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are the body’s functions that are responsible for all physical and mental processes.

The tridosha theory in Ayurveda comes from the 5 elements that comprise our world – space, air, fire, water (Jala), and earth.  The three doshas are a combination of these elements which take form in the human body.

Vata: (Space + Air)

  •  Vata is movement, the body in motion.  It controls the respiratory system, our heartbeat, nerve impulses, and muscle contractions.  Vata circulates our blood flow, pumps air through our lungs, moves food through our digestive track, and eliminates waste.

Pitta: (Fire + Water)

  • Pitta regulates the body, controlling its metabolism.  It deals with the body in a transformative state.  Pitta handles the digestion of food, release and absorption of hormones, production of heat, and the cooling of the body.  If Vata is the energy that moves nerve impulses through the brain, Pitta is the energy that converts those impulses into thoughts.

Kapha: (Earth + Water)

  • Kapha is the structural foundation of the body in the form of lubrication.  It builds the body and forms its skeleton, muscles, organs, ligaments, tendons and skin.  Kapha ensures the smooth function of joints by lubricating the body.  It is the body at rest through strength, stability and solidity.

Everyone is made up of three doshas, but they will differ between individuals.  Primarily we will have an affinity towards one dosha.  It is important to realize what that affinity is, in order to properly balance your body.  You can take a quiz here to find out which body type you are.

When we live against our natural attributes, we begin a pattern of unhealthy life choices that cause mental and physical imbalances.  This is cured by aligning your everyday habits and diet with the natural fulfillments within your dosha. For example a Pitta may experience heartburn after eating spicy food.  This could be counteracted by eating more cooling or alkalizing foods instead.

Take the quiz, learn more about your body and how you can attain proper equilibrium.

Here are some recipes for spice-water that can help your body type’s imbalances.

Vata Balancing Water

Pitta Balancing Water

Kapha Balancing Water

 

 

 

A Highlight In A Crisis Situation

The current water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a true imbalance to its residents.  This tragedy is devastating people’s homes and endangering the future of its youth.  Due to the neglectful actions of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, the residents of Flint are dealing with lead infected tap water as the city is in a state of emergency.

This all started back in 2014 when the state made the decision to temporarily switch the city’s water supply from the Detroit water line to the Flint river.  This plan was enacted to save money, while a new supply line was being constructed to Lake Huron.  Immediately Flint residents noticed the difference, claiming their tap water looked,smelled and tasted funny.

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Tap water in a Flint hospital on Oct. 16, 2015. 9photo: Joyce Zhu /Flintwaterstudy.org

This is was the start to the problematic situation affecting Flint residents today. In the fall of 2015, researchers discovered that the amount of children with above-average levels of lead in their blood had doubled.  This brought light to the issue we are seeing now.  According to a study from Virginia Tech, the water from the Flint River is highly corrosive.  Since half of the City’s pipes are made of lead, the corrosive water caused the lead to leach into the water and into people’s homes.  The city switched back to the Detroit water system in October of 2015, but the damage had already been done.

Residents are now left with poisonous water that is deemed ‘toxic waste’.  People are forced to use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and even bathing.  Simple tasks such as laundry, have forced residents to drive up to 30 miles to utilize other towns’ laundry facilities.

This avoidable crisis occurred because The State wanted to cut corners.  They failed to add the necessary anti-corrosive chemicals needed to treat the Flint River’s water, something that would have cost them $100 a day to do.  The State even went as far as changing EPA reports of lead from a F- to an A- grade.  

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Michigan National Guard Staff Sergeant William Phillips helps unload pallets of bottled water at a Flint Fire Station, Jan. 13, 2016

It’s clear that Gov. Snyder needs to step down and that The State has some major work ahead to remediate the situation.  However, on a positive note, this crisis also highlights the continued support of the community.  Community groups, Lawmakers and residents have banded together to provide aid to those without safe water. Thousands of cases of water have been donated to school districts and numerous charities have been created to help fund costs like the long-term needs of Flint children exposed to contaminated water.  The National Guard has gone door to door to deliver water filters, cases of water and lead test kits to residents.  Even famed rappers like Meek Mills and Big Sean are showing their support through social media.

Ayurveda doesn’t just focus on an individual’s well-being.  The impact one has in their own community is also an integral part of the practice.  This is a perfect example of a community fighting to bring balance back to its homes.