By Guest Blogger Debbie Wilkins
There is a magical food out there that is easy to miss. It’s like a superhero of the produce department. And this amazing food item can change your body in amazing ways. What is it? What is it? It’s the mighty lemon. There are so many benefits to incorporating lemon into your daily nutrition.
Now, for The Power of the Lemon (and unsolicited sarcasm):
- Contains zero calories. Can’t say that about donuts!
- Cleans your digestive system. God’s Activia.
- Contains minerals and vitamins and nutrients. C, B, calcium, fiber, magnesium, proteins, copper, iron, potassium, antioxidants. All but the partridge in the pear tree.
- Freshens breath and relieves tooth pain. Open wide.
- Provides radiant skin and clears blemishes. Maybe she’s born with it.
- Boosts your immune system. No doctor’s office waiting rooms.
- Purifies your urinary tract and is a natural diuretic. Cranberry’s partner in crime.
- Aids in weight loss by fighting hunger and cravings. Take that, KitKat.
- Purifies your liver. Detox party!
- Restores your body’s pH. And I feel fine.
- Is effective for eye and brain disorders. Stop at every lemonade stand.
- Lowers blood sugar levels. Boom.
- Relieves nausea and heartburn. Go get pregnant.
- Prevents leaky gut syndrome. Inner healing.
- Reduces bloating and belching. Be a lady.
- Helps dissolve gallstones. Because childbirth is all the pain we need.
- Has anti-aging effects. Fountain of youth.
- Controls blood pressure. No pill popping.
- Prevents dehydration and adrenal fatigue. Play on the playground longer.
- Reduces fever. Inner ice pack.
- Purifies blood. That’s probably important.
- Relieves respiratory problems. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
- Increases concentration. Wax on, wax off.
- Helps asthma. Save panting and heavy breathing for, umm, later.
- Improves bone health. 206 applauses.
- Relieves hiccups. Put the sugar jar away.
- Treats arthritis. The old gray mare IS what she used to be.
- Helps you kick caffeine. Withdrawal not necessary.
Now that you know lemons aren’t just for margaritas, how can you incorporate them into your daily lives?
- Lemon oil.
- Gargle it.
- Make frozen lemon “ice cubes” for drinks.
- Instead of salad dressing.
- As a marinade.
- Lemon water.
- Cold or hot lemon tea.
- Instead of condiments or sauces.
Lemon Tea Without Honey (from www.about.com)
4 tea bags
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp lemon juice
4 cups boiling water
Boil water. Add lemon peel, lemon juice, tea bags. Steep 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Lemon Iced Tea (MODIFIED from www.cookingforengineers.com)
¾ cup swerve or stevia
2 oz lemon juice
2 bags black tea
Boil 2 quarts water. Drop 2 tea bags into water. Remove from heat. Cover for 1 hour. Remove tea bags. Add sweetener and lemon juice. Stir well. Pour into pitcher and add ice cubes (or lemon cubes) until volume has returned to 2 quarts. Refrigerate 4+ hours.
Lemon Bars (from www.foodiefiasco.com)
¼ cup white whole wheat flour or chickpea flour (Debbie says coconut flour or almond flour)
1 tbsp applesauce
¼ tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp almond milk (Debbie says unsweetened)
1 ½ tbsp. stevia
4 beaten eggs
1 c swerve or stevia
2/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon zest
½ tbsp. tapioca starch
2/3 c almond meal
12 oz greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp turmeric (for color)
Oven 350. Spray 8×8 dish. In medium bowl, combine crust ingredients; stir well. Spread evenly in 8×8 dish. Cook 18 minutes, or until firm with crispy edges. Set aside. In food processor, combine filling ingredients and pulse until smooth. Pour onto cooked and slightly cooled crust. Bake 25 minutes or until firm. Stick it in the fridge then cut into bars and devour.
Homemade Lemon Larabars (from www.athriftymom.com)
4 c pitted dates
½ c raw almonds
1 ¼ c raw cashews
1 small lemon—reserve juice & about 1 tsp grated rind
2 tsp pure lemon extract
In food processor, combine dates, almonds, cashews, juice of 1 lemon and grated rind. Pulse until sticky paste. Stir in between pulsing for evenness. Remove mix and put into medium bowl. Add lemon extract. Spray hands or heavy duty spoon with nonstick cooking spray. Use hands/spoon to mix in lemon extract. Line 2.2 qt dish with plastic wrap. Press mixture evenly into dish. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into bars.
Lemon Water with fresh mint (from www.eatyourselfskinny.com)
2 quarts water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 lemons, thinly sliced
Ice (Debbie says frozen lemon cubes)
A few sprigs of mint
Combine all ingredients and place in fridge for a bit to allow flavors to infuse. Once chilled, serve and enjoy.
Lemon chicken with Thyme (from www.eatyourselfskinny.com)
4 chicken breasts
Juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, micned
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp pepper
Oven 375. Whisk lemon juice, zest, garlic, thyme, pepper. Set aside. Place chicken in baking dish. Pour mixture on top, coating completely. Bake 40 minutes, until juices run clear.
Olive oil and lemon salad dressing (from ww.sparkrecipes.com)
8 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt (Debbie says 1 tsp)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Mix all ingredients into a container with a secure lid. Tighten lid. Shake vigorously 1 minute. Spread over salad.
Coach Debbie’s Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad
8 oz sugar snap peas
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp + ¼ cup olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 (6 oz) jar artichoke heart quarters, drained
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Place peas and ¼ cup water into microwave 2 ½ minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water and set aside. Rub chicken with 1 tbsp of lemon pepper seasoning. Put 2 tbsp olive oil in medium saucepan; cook chicken 8 minutes, or until juices run clear, turning once. Remove from pan; set aside and keep warm. For dressing, juice lemon to measure 2 tbsp. Combine juice, remaining lemon pepper seasoning and garlic. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly; set aside. Thinly slice chicken. In a large bowl, combine peas, chicken, bell pepper, onion, artichokes and parsley. Mix well. Add dressing; toss lightly. Serve warm.
Knowledge is power. Now head to the store and report back on what you make!
Debbie Wilkins is part of the Momsanity Team, which is a community of Moms striving to achieve balance through physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. You can read more about this amazing program here, and also get information about the Momsanity Sisterhood here. The Sisterhood is a closed group with nutrition guidelines, workouts designed for fat loss and strength building, daily spiritual guidance, and more!