I have always been grateful for the lesson a personal trainer friend of mine taught me about the concept of virtuousness. She encourages her clients and friends to work out first thing in the morning, as this creates a great sense of accomplishment, goodness, integrity, and purity that is carried throughout the day. This feeling of virtuousness positively impacts your daily decisions, particularly in regard to your health. I think this same feeling can be found through morning tonics. Starting your day with a healthy drink can set the tone psychologically and physically, as these morning beverages have a wealth of benefits. So drink up!
Lemon Water + Baking Soda
Squeezing half a lemon into warm water and sipping it is an easy way to flush the system and a great start to any day. Lemons have antioxidant properties that can help protect cells from damage. They are loaded with beneficial vitamin C and contain high amounts of citrate that may help reduce the risk of kidney stones. Adding a teaspoon of baking soda helps balance the pH levels of the body, but remember baking soda is high in sodium, so consider the FDA recommended daily sodium intake. Another important thing to remember is that the lemon’s acid can damage tooth enamel, so it’s best to sip this tonic through a straw and brush your teeth again one hour after drinking your lemon water.
Lemon + Cayenne + Maple Syrup
This trio creates a beverage that many people drink during a Master Cleanse, but you don’t have to go to the extreme and fast for 10 days. You can still reap its benefits by starting your day with this tasty warm beverage. The lemon helps flush the system. The cayenne, a natural detoxifer, boosts the metabolism. The Grade B maple syrup, a natural sweetener, is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, another antioxidant.
Ginger + Lime + Sea Salt
Ayurvedic medicine believes that digestive issues can be the source of disease and myriad health issues. Symptoms like tongue coat, bad breath, fogginess, bloating and more can indicate the body has too much ama, or undigested waste and toxins. One way to help clear the body of ama is to chop up an inch of ginger and let it soak in the juice of half a lime with a pinch of sea salt. Drinking this gut-flusher fires up the digestive system to help the body eliminate wastes. Ginger, an excellent stomach soother, can help relieve nausea, indigestion and bloating, as well.
You can load up on vitamins and minerals with a mean-and-lean green drink in the morning, but the key is to avoid high sugar content by adding too much fruit. Stick with veggies like kale, celery, cucumber, parsley and ginger, and then add green apples for a little sweetness.
Chlorophyll + Mint
Chlorophyll, a plant-powered superfood, is a natural source of antioxidants that helps protect cells from free radical damage.* Swisse Chlorophyll is an alkaline liquid tonic that supports the body’s pH levels and helps support a healthy detox program.* Try it in both mixed berry or spearmint flavors.** Add 1 to 3 teaspoons to water or your morning juice. I like to add fresh mint. If its flavor is too intense, you can add the chlorophyll to this delish superfood smoothie.
Kick off your day with one of these cleansing and healthy tonics,* and discover the power of feeling virtuous.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
**If you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medication or have a medical condition, please consult your doctor before use.
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Journalist Ann Wycoff has written about wellness, fitness, longevity, travel, spas, food and wine for the past 20 years for magazines like Shape, Fitness, Spa, Outside, Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, Redbook, Modern Luxury, San Diego Magazine, Redbook, Marin Magazine and more. She lives in Encinitas, California.
Image credit: Moni Boyd