Sweet scented Lemon Balm growing in my garden. A member of the mint family, Lemonbalm has a beautiful lemon scent and flavour. I like to put a few leaves in my water or tea. It's medicinal properties have a soothing effect and reduces stress and anxiety, headache, depression, and exhaustion. Researchers have found that a mixture of lemon balm and valerian is as effective as some tranquilizers, but without the side effects. It's lovely to just pick a leaf, crush it in my hands and smell it's fresh scent for hours.
This month is the beginning of a year of refocusing on my health and well being. Each month I'll be introducing one or two proactive changes and choices to benefit my health and wellness, as I move forward in life.
I mentioned in a previous post that I've already begun making a few changes in my lifestyle and surprised myself that they're still with me and fully integrated into my life. The changes so far have been:
Change #1...was made about a year and half ago when I eliminated gluten from my diet. At the time I wasn’t sure I could go through with this as bread and wheat products were my #1 comfort food. I told myself I would just do it for a month and could return to wheat if I wanted…but at the end of the month I felt so good that returning to wheat wasn't an option.
To be completely honest, I went through a mourning for wheat that lasted almost a year! Wheat products were my psychological/emotional blankie. Bored? Grab a cookie. Anxious? Let’s go out for coffee and a “goodie”. Happy? Let’s celebrate with dessert!
Those days are gone and I’ll never go back. It took a long time to come to terms with it but I did, and feel SO MUCH better! I don’t care for most “gluten free” breads or baked goods so I’m not even tempted by them (except, as I've mentioned before, Melinda's yummy GF biscotti!). If we’re having company I might make a gluten free brownie/ganashie thing which is yummy scrummy but my normal “go to” for a sweet is either fresh fruit, a few raisons, or a mushy date, rolled in crushed almonds. If you’re interested in the benefits of being gluten free or if you’re wondering whether it might benefit you, check out the Wheat Belly website or read the book Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis.
Change #2...I’ve written many times about the beginning of a regular walking schedule…about 6 kl. (4 mi.) three times a week. It’s a beginning and for me, a good one. I’ve been at it since mid October and I’m still enthused.
So what changes are up for May?
Change #3...drink more water...green water.
As Kermit the Frog said, it’s good to be green and this seems to be truer that we ever realized. My 1st change for May is to begin drinking six glasses of water a day. I know the recommended is eight but I've always found it difficult to keep that up. Anything will be an improvement, as I don’t normally drink much water and I know it’s really important for flushing toxins from the body.
I'm adding liquid chlorophyll to the water...an easy way to add additional vitamins and minerals to the body as well as an antioxidant. It has a slightly earthy taste but is easily drinkable (it also comes in a mint flavour).
The benefit’s of chlorophyll are many…
- Anti Carcinogenic
- Antioxidant & Anti-inflammatory: containing high levels of the vitamins A, C and E,
- Chelation of Heavy Metals
- Treats Bad Breath
- Rapid Delivery of Magnesium
- Contains vitamin K, C, folic acid, iron, calcium, protein
You can read more about these benefits here if you’re interested.
Change #4...adding Milk Thistle as a supplement. The active ingredient in the herb Milk Thistle is Silymarin and it improves the liver’s ability to eliminate toxins from the body. As well as it's well known properties of cleansing the liver in cases of hepatitis and cirrhosis, Milk Thistle is also known to...
- Lower cholesterol levels, which benefits the heart
- Reduce the growth of cancer cells in breast, lung, colon, prostate, cervical and renal cancers
- Function as a therapeutic agent for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease
- Improve blood sugar levels
- Contain numerous anti-aging properties
- Reduce cell damage caused by radiation and chemotherapy treatments
- Supplement sunscreen protection and may be useful against multiple types of skin disease
- Work as a free radical scavenger and powerful antioxidant
- Reduce hot flashes and other related menopausal symptoms
- Help with intestinal / indigestion issues
- Reduce the effects of deathcap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) poisoning
My cholesterol level is slightly elevated, my blood sugar levels are also slightly elevated and I've had a gallstone for years, so Milkthistle will be a beneficial addition for me!
These are my two wellness changes for May. I'll post again towards the end of the month to let you know how it went!
Happy May Day my friends!