Tag Archives: Calm drink

Five ways I’m improving my well being

I am a sucker right now for any simple health tips, preferably those that I can easily add to my daily routine. Part of the reason may be the fact that I’ve been ill since New Year’s Eve and I’m desperate for normalcy. But I think the bigger factor is that I’m starting to feel like a roughed up and ragged 43 year old man.

It takes me so much longer to recover after a run.

I get a pinched nerve in my neck just from making a turn while in my car.

When I look in the mirror each morning after waking up (I’m a glutton for punishment), I whelp in shock.

And don’t ask me to recall any name and expect an answer without proper lead time.

It is now time to do something about this funk.

Within the last few weeks, I’ve come up with 5 new additions/changes to my daily routine that I’m hoping will make even the smallest of impacts. Nothing groundbreaking and I’m sure many of you have been following some of these for weeks/months/years now.

I’m a little slow to change/adapt so please bare with me.

Hopefully this list will double/triple as I gobble up more info all in the name of getting my mojo back. Please add your own in the comments section and I will blindly and willingly follow whatever you suggest. Think of me as your test case; I’ll even publish the very scientific results here.

Without further ado, 5 ways I’m improving my well being


Drink water with lemon immediately after waking up.  

My wife has been touting this for months now and I finally took the plunge this week.

We all wake up dehydrated because well, we’ve been sleeping for the past 6 to 10 hours. And as I’ve learned through research a Google search, dehydration destroys fat loss because your metabolism slows down in order to conserve fluids. A 16 ounce glass of water boosts your metabolism by 25% and consuming water first thing in the morning is a very effective healing routine since it creates a stimulating environment inside the body for eliminating numerous diseases.

For an even more detailed write-up on the benefits of morning H2O, check out Wellness Mama’s blog where she outlines the benefits of lemon water in the morning.

Good stuff and it apparently even improves the condition of the eyes as well. Me hopes that includes eliminating the carousel of bags that currently reside under both of my eyes.

And did I mention that I have become a master grower of Meyer lemons? No excuses with this one.

meyer lemon 3


Get more sleep.

Remember when you were a child and hated going to bed on a Sunday night because you had to go to school the next day? That has been me 5 days a week for decades running now. I kid you not, I force myself to stay awake at night watching TV or toiling aimlessly on the laptop all in the name of denying to myself that I have to go to work the next day. Very mature.

On top of that, as I’ve mentioned many times in the past, I’ve also drank caffeinated coffee each and every night for the past decade. It aided in the “stay up all night mentality” and it was a reward for … well I don’t know for what. I managed to rationalize the benefits of coffee as an antioxidant outweighed the lack of sleep.

Just this past week I was reminded, yet again, that the #1 key to one’s health is sleep, specifically, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. More important than exercise. More important than what we eat.

Wake up call acknowledged.

It has been at least three weeks since I’ve had coffee after 3:00 PM and my wife and I have managed to officially retire for the night by 10:00 during that same timeframe. To the shock of no one, I’m sleeping deeper and longer than I have in years. Now I just need to get my deviated septum fixed so I can actually breathe and we may really be on to something here.


Drinking one Natural Vitality “Calm” before bed each night.

This has replaced the evening coffee. I tried to compile a paragraph that covers why this drink is so beneficial but my simple brain couldn’t dumb it down enough so here it is directly from their website:       

Magnesium and calcium are fundamental nutrients that need to be in balance with each other in order for you to fully experience good health. Their importance on a cellular level is critical. Calcium and magnesium are like opposite sides of a coin. Calcium excites nerves, while magnesium calms them down. Calcium makes muscles contract. Magnesium is necessary for muscles to relax. Calcium is needed for blood clotting, but magnesium keeps the blood flowing freely.

There are two reasons for this: the amount of magnesium required by the body is greater than people think and some forms of magnesium are poorly absorbed by the body.

improving my well being

Since I’ve been sick since I started this nightly routine, I can’t yet judge its impact with my sleep and overall vitality. All I know is I need a higher intake of calcium and magnesium (long story but click here if you are interested) and daily supplemental calcium pills are not the answer.


Drive a different way to work and home each day

I’ll preface this with the fact that I’m a huge Howard Stern fan. Before you judge, I appreciate his honesty and lack of giving a crap about what he says. And he has softened tremendously over the years and now conducts the best interviews in the business, bar none.

One of Stern’s favorite people is Dr David Agus, doctor to the stars and author of many bestselling books. In fact, I just started reading Agus’s latest, “The Lucky Years” based on Stern’s recommendation. So far, so awesome.

Dr. Agus was recently interviewed on the Stern Show and one item stuck with me more than any other. He talked about the benefits of driving and its impact on fighting off dementia. That is a sensitive spot for me as I watched my grandmother suffer through years of Alzheimer’s disease and I’m admittedly paranoid of it being genetic. I play word games solely as a means to keep my brain fresh.

The doctor alleges that driving stimulates the mind and if we change up our morning commute on a regular basis, it stimulates the mind even more. I was sold and have done just that this past week. And you know what, I could feel a difference. Even if it isn’t truly fighting off dementia, I enjoyed a break in my routine and such a simple change was enough to make it that much more enjoyable.


Walk 5 minutes every hour at work.

Yes, we are all obsessed with our Fitbits and counting our 10,000 steps. Seems silly that we need a device to basically tell us, “Stop being lazy you jerk off” but admittedly, it works. The thrill of getting more steps becomes a game and a competition and before you know it, you’ve walked twenty miles in a day.

I’m aware of my step count as well but my bigger focus is making sure I’m not stagnant at work. Stop the consecutive hours of sitting hunched over a computer and get up every once in a while.

I now set my alarm to get up every hour and walk around for at least 5 minutes. It does wonders for the back and from frying your eyes. I even get in some major stretches when no one is looking.


Bonus #6. Eucalyptus oil on the feet.

I hid this one down here so those who bailed early didn’t judge me. Every night my wife and daughter inhale this essential oil to aid in their breathing and overall health. I’ve joined the party whenever I have a cold and can vouch for its benefits. It’s the holistic version of Vick’s VapoRub I remember so well from my childhood.

The one ritual I swore off was putting some Eucalyptus on my feet before putting on socks when going to sleep at night. My wife has done it for years and vouches for its power to heal and for overall wellness.

Well now that I am committed to doing anything to revitalize my aging  body, count me in. I haven’t done it yet and admittedly haven’t fully researched the benefits, but if I’ve learned anything from the past 25 years with my wife, it is this: she is ALWAYS ahead of the curve with knowledge and I should just get in line and do whatever she says.

Even if that means wearing oil on my big goofy feet.



Calf cramps and phosphorous smoothies

I’ve been getting horrific calf cramps the past few nights. They typically hit while I am in full REM sleep and I wake up in temporary horror when they kick in. Once I am awake enough to comprehend what is going on, I become a bumbling idiot trying to point my toes towards me and then away from me until the pain subsides (I still don’t know which is the better option). Once they subside, I develop cramp paranoia and have trouble sleeping comfortably again. Fun.

I’ve read all I can on the cause of calf cramps. It isn’t dehydration because I drink 8- 10 glasses of water a day. It isn’t due to excessive exercise as it hits at all different times; the night after a hard run and nights after I haven’t exercised for days. I don’t take birth control pills and I’m fairly certain that I’m not pregnant.

The only explanation and one that makes a whole lot of sense is a lack of potassium and/or calcium. Here’s why:

I hate bananas – probably the best way to get the necessary potassium. Until someone creates a new breed of banana that doesn’t have that nasty texture, I’m out.

I hate milk – ever since my kindergarten classmate threw up her milk all over my shoes, I can’t stomach the stuff. That smell never left me. My parents made me drink it and I still resent them for it. It was the greatest part about leaving for college, no more forced milk. Pathetic, i know.

Knowing all this, and knowing the calf cramps are … cramping my style … it’s time to make a move. Bananas in smoothies works (no texture issues) and daily calcium pills are now on the docket. We’ll see just how much of an impact this will have.

Which brings me to my giant lemon …

Don’t get the transition? Here we go.

I talked a few weeks back about the soon to be beautifully ripe Meyer lemon I had growing on my Meyer lemon tree. You can read it here.

I finally picked it yesterday as it was time to finally enjoy it. Off it came and the first thing I needed to do was measure the giant.

meyer lemon

About 5 inches wide and 15 inches in diameter.

I had personally never seen a lemon that large and I started to wonder if just maybe I am the lemon whisperer. I could envision a future of people coming from far and wide to view my lemons. A potential book and a movie and a legacy passed on to my kids.

And then I cut into it.

Um … what

meyer lemon 2

Holy rind Batman.

Doesn’t really smell like a lemon.

And the pulp is very dry.

What a f’n colossal disappointment. Where did I go wrong?

It didn’t take very long to figure it out. After a quick Google search, it seemed to be very obvious. Two different things actually (best description here):

Too much nitrogen

Too little phosphorus 

Hmmmm. I’ve kept up with the feeding over the last few years, but nothing excessive. I’ve used a balanced citrus fertilizer but maybe it is time to switch it up. Maybe start using a better organic option like bone meal.

But then again, the fruit to follow looks normal, appearing to have that patented thin Meyer lemon rind.

meyer lemon 3

Do nothing? I can’t. Need to take action.

So in conclusion:

Me: Banana based smoothies and calcium supplements

The lemon tree: Phosphorous based smoothie and bone meal

See what I did there tying it all together? I know, impressive.