The story of my international affair with a citrus fruit.
When I first began hearing random celebs (I see you, Gwyneth) claim they started each day with hot lemon water, all I’d think was oh great, another tchotchke in your gauche cabinet, thanks yet again for creating a practice that separates the celestial beings who write GOOP (again, I see you Gwyneth) from the commoners like us, the people whose mornings are consumed by burnt toast and desperate searches for tights without runs.
But then this happened:
It was early one morning in Penang (a trendy island off the western coast of Malaysia, naturally) when I found myself with the headache to end all headaches in the middle of a 9 AM yoga class. The culprit was last night’s sangria, which had seemed like a great idea at the wine bar with the rad cover band (if you’re in Penang, it’s this wine bar. Please go.) But now the cover band was gone, except it was not gone because it had taken up residence in my brain, pounding out weird-ass melodies on these tiny, stupid drums. I recall watching bitterly as a class full of spry elderly people hopped like juiced-up toads onto the fronts of their mats, leaping again and again while I struggled to form a coherent brainwave.
By some miracle of God, I survived the class. In what I now believe to be a moment of pure pity, induced by the sight of my pale body collapsed limply on a table towards the back of his studio, the class instructor (a cheerful, jolly-elf-meets-REI-ad type character) offered some words of advice:
“Your body is weak,” he explained. “Try lemons. With ginger.”
He advised that I down two glasses of hot water with lemon and ginger, then proceed to imbibe an entire lemon. The lemon, he explained, would clear out my kidneys, rendering me a new woman within the hour.
I had no clue if what he’d said was accurate, but hey, what the hell. I left the class and found a coffee shop willing to make me this lemon tonic situation.
Drinking the water was fine, but eating the lemon was a little weird. I tried to pretend I was French as I did it, because I remembered a stylish French friend had once told me French women consumed lemons on the regular. I am not a blotchy hot mess spitting out lemon seeds into a napkin, I told myself. I am a chic French lady casually ingesting un citron.
Within ten minutes of finishing the water and the lemon, the percussion suite in my head had subsided. Within the hour, I was showered and ready to go for the day.
Since then, I’ve been drinking lemon water every day (not just the hungover ones), and trying to eat half a lemon daily. I have to say it’s made a significant difference in my clarity and energy level, almost like this ugly cloud is lifting itself up and out of my brain each time the lemon consumption occurs. An added bonus is that as DIY-home-health-ish stuff goes, lemons are supremely cheap, which means more money for wine which means hangovers which means even more lemons, all of which means the symbiosis of lemons and alcohol is alive and well in my kitchen.
So. Moral of the story? If a sage elven yoga instructor tells you to try something, do it. Also? Lemons.
That’s all for now, beautiful people. I thought I’d close by welcoming everyone to The Tonic. This is the first post I’ve written for our blog and I couldn’t be more stoked.
ps: Pro tip: Put lemons in the bottom of a water bottle. Refill with water as needed throughout your day. Enjoy the newfound glamour of your hydration experience.
pps: Gwyneth, I still see you.