by Vanessa Gary
No lie, I started off every morning the same way for the last seven years: I stopped by McDonald’s, ordered an Egg McMuffin with Cheese, and made sure I got my Sweet Tea (extra ice). I did not think about my health or how much grease and sugar I was taking in on a daily basis.
I wasn’t thinking. It was easy and I really didn’t care about the health problems I was creating. Several of my friends and even doctors told me that I should began to eat better, but I didn’t want to. I liked the way the food tasted and my body looked okay from the outside. Let me repeat: from the outside everything looked great. In reality, I was very sick on the inside.
On December 29, 2013, I was sent to the emergency room because I had a blood count of 5 when normally it should have been 12. The doctors were so scared; they told me that I could have gone through cardiac arrest and died right there. I was in the hospital for four long days. I was released on New Year’s Day. I decided then and there that I was going to make some changes in my life. I had to purge the things that made me feel good, but were not good for me. I purged a baby daddy that was sucking the energy from me; I purged negative folk that called themselves friends; I purged spending large amounts of money; and lastly, and gradually, I purged eating junk foods that were sapping my energy and killing me slowly.
I started small. I started a regimen of drinking lemon, lime, and ginger water every morning. I got a large jug or gallon size bottle and filled it with spring water. I cut up one or two lemons, one or two limes, and a small piece of shredded ginger. I dropped the lemon, lime, and ginger in the water and placed the jug in the refrigerator. In the morning, I would pour myself a cup of lemon, lime, and ginger water and place it into the microwave. I would drink this while I got dressed for work. As I read more and more about the benefits of the ingredients in my water, I felt good about drinking it. I would pack my lunch for the day and pour some of the water in an empty water bottle, which was between 16-32 ounces. I would drink this water while at my desk and with my lunch. This supported my daily water intake. On my ride home, again, I would drink the water. At dinner, you guessed it, drink the water. At night, just before I turned it, I would drink a hot cup of the water. It became a routine and my family started to drink it, too. As the water got lower, I would replenish it with more spring water and refrigerate.
The first week I began to see a different in the color of my urine. Next, my stomach muscles started to contract (I felt a pulling at the muscles). I was convinced that my magic water was doing positive things for my health. As for my finances, you guessed it: I saved a lot of money on breakfast which cost me $5 a day, lunch $8-$10 a day, and dinner when I didn’t cook for the family, close to $100 in a week.
This lemon, lime, and ginger process helped me understand that everything takes baby steps. You have to be consistent with your health and your money. The money that I was not using to buy breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner was dropped it into a large Crystal Springs water jug I
stole got from my job. I make it a point to do this everyday. The money that went to McDonald’s is now going into my rainy day fund.
So, this is how my lemon, lime, and ginger water is helping me get financially fit.
Vanessa Gary is a badass educational administrator, a mother, and relationship counselor at her church.