Wellness Weekly’s 5 Wonderous Facts You Don’t Know About Watermelon

Happy long weekend readers!

 As Mark Twain once said,

“When one has tasted [watermelon], he knows what the angels eat,”

and I could not agree more. With extreme heat this week, we can be extremely thankful for fresh, hydrating fruits that satisfy both our hunger and thirst in one juicy bite.

This summer I’ve eaten my weight in melons but the past month I attribute full responsibility to my family gatherings and yoga classes for indulging my addiction. Sweet, refreshing and so juicy that our counter top looks as though I’ve murdered a rain cloud, the watermelon is a seasonal family favourite.

 

fruit

A quick Holistic Life Hack for these hot summer days;

  • Refrain from concentrated starches and an excess of heavy animal proteins. Why? Both of these lack natural water content and therefore, use more water to metabolize than is being replenished leaving you feeling thirsty after your meal. This is troublesome considering our goal to refrain from drinking until 40-60 minutes after eating for optimal digestion.
  • The perfect fix: Stick predominantly to fruits and veggies naturally high in water to hydrate you while you eat! This being yet another bonus of a plant-based diet!

 

Of course we know that watermelon is 92% water after this blog; https://lifeofeden.com/2014/08/27/holistic-life-hack-7-in-season-foods-to-eat-yourself-hydrated/ , and we all know it’s an “eat alone or leave alone” after this one; https://lifeofeden.com/2013/10/06/when-fruit-becomes-toxic-the-one-time-to-never-eat-fruit/ , but to have a little fun this morning, these are five wonderous facts you DIDN’T know about this seasonal summer melon.

1) It’s not a fruit! 

  • Not 100% anyway. In fact, watermelons are both fruit and vegetable; a natural, non-GMO hybrid of sorts. It’s related to cucumber, pumpkin and squash of the Cucurbitaceae family which all grow in much the same way. You can observe this in my grandparent’s garden as their fall pumpkin patch makes way for small but flavourful melons come summer.

2) You can skip the composter

  • Both black watermelon seeds and rind are edible! Everyone laughs at the way I strategically eat melon. Much like you do your dinner plate, always saving the best for last, the middle of the melon is by far the most flavourful and so I craftily work my way backwards: from white rind up! Not only are you saving yourself the trip to your composter, you’re also reaping all the nutritional benefits possible!
melon slice

3) Beyond a post yoga bribe

  • After a hot and sweaty class, with sore thighs from warrior two and a steady yoga flow in the backyard, watermelon has played a vital role in refreshing my students after class in a bribe to keep them coming back 😉 But the benefits extend beyond the bribe!
  • Watermelon is a natural cleanser and diuretic to keep excess bloating and summer swelling at bay when the heat causes us to retain water. The fibre will also help bind to toxins to excrete it from the body along with the water that flushes toxins from our system. The ultimate yogic detoxifier!

4) Has more lycopene than raw tomatoes!

  • While most associated with vibrant, red tomatoes, watermelon is a more concentrated source of this antioxidant. It is known for its ability to protect you against free radicals, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and DNA damage. It is also lycopene we have to thank for the bright pink and red colourings of many of our fruits and vegetables.

5) Reduced muscle pains

  • L-citrulline, an amino acid present in watermelon, has been shown to protect against muscle pain. The effects have been studied by juicing the melon, but I do not generally recommend this as stripping the fibre will rapidly spike your blood sugar from the high fructose content. Instead? Enjoy these benefits from consuming watermelon in its whole, natural state as nature intended.
This Wellness Weekly, take a cue from the return of our summer heat and make watermelon your ultimate companion this long weekend. Indulging in this quick, refreshing and extremely hydrating summer melon is all the Monday motivation we need to run off to our local patch and grab a juicy one!
Taking a refreshing slice of our long weekend,
Suzanne Eden

Ancient Ayurvedic Secret of the Lymphatic System

There’s an ancient Ayurvedic principle to strive for every day:
~ move your body well
~ move your blood well

beach

The greatest part is that this can be accomplished with one piece of advice: GET MOVING! By doing so, you will be activating a powerful system in your body to detoxify and rejuvenate.

It’s this little thing called the lymphatic system:

  • What it does for you:
  • The lymphatic system removes waste and toxins from every cell in your body – you have more lymphatic fluid than you have blood!
  • It supports all other systems in your body for the optimal health of your  immunity, digestion, detoxification and your nervous system
  • Think of a facet as being your lymphatic system. When turned on, the water flows and any junk is flushed down the drain. Your lymph is like the drainage system of your body. But when the facet is turned off, or the lymph is stagnant, nothing can be flushed out and it can become clogged.

What happens then?

Once stagnant and clogged all sorts of things can go awry:

How your body may first speak to you:

  • Cellulite
  • Acne
  • Appetite loss
  • Swelling of hands and feet (ever felt your rings suddenly tighten on your hands? This could be a factor)
  • Muscle cramping
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fog
  • Worsened allergies and sensitivities
  • Joint pain

and the list, of course, goes on.

When you don’t listen:

  • An unhealthy lymphatic system can lead to serious infections and cancer.

It’s truly the underestimated key to youth and health of the body.

Eight keys to a happy, healthy lymph:

The trick here is to get the lymph flowing so it can do what it’s designed to do – clear out the junk!

  1. Get Moving! You should be moving in some way at least every 40 minutes. So if you’ve been stagnant watching t.v., do jumping jacks at the commercial break or run the stairs, something to get your blood pumping and your lymph flowing.  A rebounder is a great option. It’s a mini trampoline to absorb the shock to your knees and I run on it every day about 10 minutes at a time.
  2. Use a dry brush – 3-4X/week. The circular action will increase blood flow to stimulate the lymph
  3. Drink up – what good is a facet without water flowing through it?!  6-8 glasses of water/day
  4. Eat clean – Reduce the consumption of refined products, sugars and caffeine. Focus your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods.
  5. Clean your beauty regime – limit your exposure to toxic substances. The one I see most often is the use of aluminum-based antiperspirants clogging the lymph nodes below the armpit. Antiperspirants block the sweat which is how the body detoxifies. It’s as though you are purposely clogging the drain. Switch to natural deodorants and beauty care products as much as possible.
  6. Breath awareness meditations – this includes the practise of yoga or simply sitting and focusing on your breath. This will not only stimulate the breath to move the lymph but will double as relaxation to reduce your overall stress.
  7. Keep your clothes flowing to keep the lymph flowing – Clothes that are too tight will restrict the lymphatic flow. Particularly for women: never, and I mean never, wear a bra to bed at night!
  8. Examine the mental, spiritual link – lymphatic stagnation may occur when we feel stuck in a particular pattern or situation or unable to fully express ourselves. Examine the areas of your life or emotional thought patterns that feel stagnant. Remember that what happens in the mind will manifest in the body.

The above video shows one of my best friends and I headed out for an early morning bike yesterday, but there’s never an unadventurous moment with us! We went through THREE bikes and an exceptionally sweet neighbor who took pity on our rusty tire pump, to get out for our early morning bike ride, down to the beach for yoga and lunch and errand running (which we oddly LOVE to do together) and back home again.

My typical workout regime:

  •   A headstand as soon as I get out of bed (some days my head hits the floor before my feet do) 😛
  • Yoga for about 20-60mins depending on the day
  • Running on the rebounder
  • Yoga sporadically throughout the day

It’s always different. I love to hike and bike and dance but between school and work, this is what works for me. When I don’t adhere to this, I feel it! And while I’m at school, I run the stairs to the washrooms several floors down on our breaks to wake myself up and get the oxygen to my information overloaded brain 🙂

So my advice as a holistic nutritionist to you: get that miracle lymph system moving every beautiful day!

Suzanne Eden