Hydration Essentials for Optimal Health & Vitality
Learn essential tips on how to stay properly hydrated from the inside out.
hydration, lymphatic system, inner water, vitality masterclass, immunity, health and vitality, proper hydration, optimizing lymphatic system
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Hydration Essentials for Optimal Health & Vitality

By Mary Sheila Gonnella NC, BCHN

Lessons From the Rain

Here in California, we’re still getting pummeled with rain.

Of course we need the rain, and hopefully one day we’ll figure out how to store the abundant rainfall during years like these to replenish the groundwater, which would be really smart!

It’s such a balancing act. The rain, the floods, the high winds, followed by crispy dry years that lead to wildfire.

And this reminds me of the metaphor of our human body.

Just like our planet earth, WE ARE 70% WATER, and all the elements live in our bodies.


I love that this is true! If we lean into this metaphor, we can learn to honor our inner waters and flow like a healthy river toward the sea!


Essential Tips for Optimizing Your Lymphatic System & Getting Properly Hydrated

Lesson One: Are you dry, like the Sahara?

Ever notice the first rain of the fall, the earth is so dry, that the water just runs right off it, rather than absorbing and saturating into the earth?

Or like your garden in mid-summer, if you don’t fluff up the soil every once in a while, and make sure there’s a springy layer of compost or topsoil to help absorb the water, it will just run right off?

When I work with clients, I often ask them, “When you drink water, do you feel like it runs right through you, or do you absorb the water pretty well?”

Basically, I’m asking if they feel like the dry parched earth, struggling with hydration.

If that’s the case, we can target their hydration with things like electrolytes, and hot water, versus cold beverages and dehydrating drinks like coffee and tea that are counterproductive. Additionally, we can use mucilaginous herbs and spices, and foods that support hydration from the inside out.


Lesson Number Two: Then there’s flooding.

The rivers, lakes, and levies can overflow and flood into nearby areas, potentially causing a disaster, depending on where it happens.

I see this too if people have a lot of allergies leading to lymph build up, looking puffy or inflamed. Or maybe they’re eating too much salt, eating processed foods high in sodium. This shows up as edema or the visible bloat in the ankles that swell at the end of the day.

Hydration is critical for these people too, to help move their inner waters in the right direction, and not flood their tissues. And remember, water follows minerals, so there is a need for mineral-rich foods that we often call electrolytes.

There are many ways to stay properly hydrated from the inside out, and the outside in. I’ve made it a mission to learn more about tending to our inner waters.


Lesson Number 3 – The Lymph and Liver

When I was in Nutrition school, I took an interest in the liver.

At the time we had a few friends who were recently diagnosed with hepatitis C. It was being called “The Baby Boomers Disease” and my friends were scared and thought of it as a death sentence.

So I took a deep dive into the liver so I could help them.

When I got out of school, I picked up a book by Ann Louise Gittleman, still one of my favorite, most beloved, nutrition mentors,

In her book, she gave a lot of attention to the lymphatic system. She refers to the lymphatic system as the garbage disposal, because waste products travel through the lymph to the liver for detoxification and elimination.

However, I like to think of the lymphatic system, as I learned in Ayurveda, as your inner river. In Ayurveda, the lymph is called Rasa, or “river of life.”

You actually have three times as much lymphatic fluid as you have blood, and it makes its way to the liver for detoxification. Like a river running to the ocean, I like to call the liver, “your own inner ocean”.

I guess the metaphors of rivers and oceans help me to honor these amazing systems, and remind me that we are a mere reflection of the larger ecosystem that we are a part of.

The lymphatic system is not just for debris to travel through, but it’s also the route our immune system travels. We have three times as much lymphatic fluid in the body as we have blood.

We are 70% water, and we have three times as much lymphatic fluid in the body as we do blood! (I know, I had to say it twice!)

This is why hydration, and knowing how to care for your lymphatic system is so important for vitality and longevity.


Unlocking the Secret Powers of Hydration for Health & Immunity

Getting properly hydrated and optimizing your lymphatic system are essential for optimal health and vitality.

Through the metaphors of rivers and oceans, we can learn to honor our own inner ocean and keep it flowing with proper hydration practices.

You can learn more about what I have to say when it comes to optimal hydration, plus a few simple, easy-to-implement skills that keep you hydrated so your body hums with immunity and energy flow, in this free video.


To your vital life,

Mary Sheila Gonnella NC, BCHN

Founder, Occidental Nutrition

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