Cool It, Man! Try Some Minty Water [RECIPE] – Hot Yoga Hydration Tips

When it is hot outside, staying hydrated is essential and requires a little mindfulness.

True, it might seem obvious (drink water or die?) and also true, we tend to be thirstier during the warmer months. Still, we can forget to drink enough water. Go figure.

Then again, even if we are paying attention to our water consumption we can become downright BORED with drinking so much water.

Here’s a healthy alternative. It is refreshing and tasty and has the added bonus of making good use of that extra mint growing (like mad) in your herb garden.

 

Mint-Infused Water

Instructions:

  • -Take a handful of freshly picked mint leaves, any variety, and wash well.
  • -Place the leaves in room temperature water, about 1 large liter-sized bottle, and allow to infuse for several hours or overnight (can also be stored in the fridge for longer).
  • -Remove or strain mint leaves from water.
  • -Add ice if desired and enjoy a refreshing, soothing summer beverage!

Feel free to experiment with the ratios of mint and water. Also, bruising or chopping the mint leaves first will make for a stronger minty flavor.

Another way to infuse your water with natural mint is to make a “sun tea.” Simply fill a bottle or jar with drinking water and fresh mint and place in a warm, sunny location. Your mint tea will be ready in about 20-40 minutes depending on the degree and intensity of the sunny spot.

Mint is so easy to grow and especially manageable if grown in a container. However, if you don’t want to make this yourself, the Metromint water sold in health food stores is an adequate substitute. It just seems a little excessive when it is so easy (and cheap!) to make your own. Another bonus: Mint has many health benefits!

Try it in Hot Yoga Class

Now, this is not for everyone, not all of the time. Sometimes it seems that anything but plain water is icky (for lack of a better adjective) when you’re intensely focused on your sweaty practice, but it is worth a try now and again. Mint is cooling in nature and is also quite soothing if you’re feeling nauseous. I like it, not all of the time, but sometimes it is simply AWESOME.

When Water Isn’t Enough

Maintaining proper hydration is important for overall health and well-being. If you happen to love Hot Yoga as much as I do, it is especially important. You lose trace minerals and overall balance when you sweat a lot and in Hot Yoga class, you sweat even MORE THAN A LOT! Here are some more ways to replenish and maintain proper hydration and mineral balance:

  • -Electrolyte supplements such as Ultima Replenisher (my fav) and sports drinks such as Gatorade.
  • -All-natural coconut water.
  • -Or you can make your own all-natural electrolyte drink (info below).

I like this recipe from Aviva Jill Romm’s “Naturally Healthy Babies and Children”:

 

Electrolyte Replacement Drink

Combine:

  • -8 ounces water (preferably warm or room temperature)
  • -1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • -A pinch of salt
  • -2 tablespoons or more of honey, sugar, or maple syrup

I recommend at least 1 serving (the above 8 oz) on days you sweat a great deal.

 

Please share your tips below!

Lots of Love,

Lindsay

 

More Resources:

You’re all dried up (yoga and water)

Yoga Students – Drink Tap Water (not bottled)

 

Recipe: Honey Lentils

Here is a recipe guaranteed to warm you up this winter.  Super easy, healthy and inexpensive too!

A very satisfying dish, my family describes this as tasting like an entire Thanksgiving Dinner all rolled into one scrumptious casserole.  Delicious served over quinoa or rice, or eaten as a dip with corn chips or pitas.*

lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp ground ginger (1 Tbsp fresh grated)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup veggie of choice, grated (carrot, daikon radish, turnip, sweet potato, eggplant are examples of some that I've used)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish.  Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours or longer depending on your thickness preference.  I have found that the longer you cook this, the thicker it becomes.

Yum!

Lindsay

*Thanks and credit to my friend Falon for sharing this recipe with me!! 

Immune Boosting Recipes

It's official.  Cold and flu season is here.

After experiencing the first wave of illness in my house this year, I was inspired to share a few recipes that I use, some things I have picked up over the years, that can help boost immunity naturally and lessen the severity of colds and flu.*

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties.  Here is a great, simple recipe.  Definitely a staple in our house.  I make one batch every year and I can confidently say, even my kids love it.

Good for a boost if you feel you are beginning to get sick or as a preemptive measure if you've been around anyone who is sick .  Adults take between 1 tsp and 1 tbsp twice a day.  Children 2-5 can take 1/2 the adult dose.  Ages 6-12 take 1 tsp twice daily.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh elderberries, or 1 cup dried (can be found at natural foods markets)
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
  • Juice of 1 lime (or lemon juice will work)
  • 1 ounce echinacea tincture (also available at natural foods market.  You can alternately use dried echinacea – about 1/2 cup)

Directions

  1. Combine berries, ginger, water (and if you're using dried echinacea) in a stainless steel pot.  Bring to a simmer.  Do not boil!
  2. Gently simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, uncovered, until reduced by half.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Strain well using cheesecloth so that you can squeeze the berries.
  4. At this point you can measure what liquid you've collected (usually about 1 1/2 cups) and combine with equal parts honey.
  5. Add the lime/lemon juice and allow to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, here is where you would add the echinicea tincture.
  7. Store in a 1 qt mason jar.  Don't forget to label with the date.  This syrup will keep for up to 1 year.

For more information on the medicinal benefits of elderberry click here.

Hot Ginger Lemonade

Great when you are in the thick of it.  This can provide relief when experiencing the fever and the body/headaches of the flu.  *Ginger is not recommended for children under 2 or pregnant and/or nursing moms.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch ground cayenne pepper

Simply combine all ingredients with 1 1/2 cups hot boiling water.  Strain and drink as a warm tea.  Amazing.

Click these links for more information on ginger root and cayenne pepper.

Garlic Lemonade

Also great when experiencing symptoms of a cold, garlic has wonderful antibacterial properties.  This can help reduce the duration and severity of colds.  It tastes like regular lemonade with the essence or smell of garlic.  Interesting, this beverage can take some getting used to.

Ingredients

  • Garlic – a handful, about 7-10 cloves
  • Juice of 3-4 lemons
  • Honey – 1/4 cup or to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (optional – can be too spicy for children)

Directions

  1. Coarsely chop garlic.
  2. Pour approx. 1 quart boiling water over garlic (and optional ginger)
  3. Cover and allow to infuse 4-8 hours or overnight.
  4. When the infusion is ready, reheat gently (do not boil) enough to get a nice steam rising.
  5. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and honey.

Can be enjoyed warm or cold.

Click here for more information on the health benefits of garlic.

Theives Spray

The last thing I will share with you is a room spray I use to decrease airborne bacteria. The spray incorporates a blend of essential oils known as the Thieves Oil Blend.  This mix of essential oils, which I also use as part of a natural yoga mat cleaner,  was reportedly used by a group of thieves who robbed the dead and dying victims of the bubonic plague.  According to the story, the robbers did not contract the infection.  As an added bonus – this room spray smells wonderful!

Click here fore more info on the Oil of the Four Thieves.

Simply combine equal parts (5 drops each) rosemary, clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and lemon essential oils with 1 tbsp food grade alcohol and 4 oz. water and keep in a spritzer bottle to spray periodically.

So, there you have it.

Here's to a happy, healthy winter and holiday season for us all!

Lots f Love,

Lindsay

*Thanks and credit to a lovely group of Asheville Mamas for inspiring this post and sharing their cold season wisdom.