Winter Beetroot Wonder-Juice: Refreshing, Nutritious, Simple

img_2479This was a leftover juice in the sense that there were bits of veggies left over just before shopping day and they were put together to produce this very refreshing juice, full of nutrients to help you withstand the Winter bugs.

Together these ingredients have antioxidants, are anti-inflammatory and are good for your blood and circulation; they contain minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron, protein, soluble fibre, they are hydrating and their combined juice tastes good too.

If you’d like to read more about the many health benefits of turmeric, click here or for beetroot, read Make Beetroot Your New Veg Friend! (Juice Recipe Included)

I have kept the fruit to a minimum as I’ve been working on achieving the optimum balance of 80% veggies to 20% fruit to maintain good digestion and blood sugar regulation – the carrot and beetroot are sweet, however if you require it to be a little sweeter, add another apple.

Ingredients

(organic, washed, peel left on, quantities approximate)

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1 Apple

1 good-sized Carrot

1 1/2 Sticks of Celery

Small Beetroot

2″ Cucumber

3″ Broccoli stem

Small piece of Turmeric

Handful of Spinach

Method

 Begin with apple and end with apple, squash the spinach leaves up and put through the juicer followed quickly by other ingredients to get the most out of them so they don’t just go straight into the pulp container.

Juice the turmeric with another ingredient for the same reason

If you want a more substantial juice, blend with a quarter of avocado which will give you extra protein, healthy fats and lots of extra vitamins and minerals. It will also keep you fuller for longer. I didn’t this time, I just wanted juice.

For more information on how to fight winter bugs, read Juicing My Way Through The Cold Wars – Update + Golden Milk Recipe

Since I’m publishing this on America’s Thanksgiving Day, I’d like to thank you all for reading and supporting my blog; I love reading your comments and questions, thank you for keeping me out of mischief!

Cheers, stay healthy!

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Juicing My Way Through The Cold Wars + Golden Milk Recipe

When I wrote Preparing to be SuperJuiced Part 2 at the beginning of January this year, I mused about whether I would be able to avoid succumbing to any of the winter viruses while living on juice only for a fortnight (which actually turned into nearly 3 weeks).

Before I began juicing almost 3 (now 4) years ago, I would suffer untold pain and discomfort from a heavy cold, sinusitis and chest infection in January or February every year. This would last up to 8 weeks, make my asthma worse and occasionally crack a rib and strain a stomach muscle from the effort of coughing. It was exhausting, I was unable to sleep or breathe properly and nothing gave any relief. I would go through a jar of Vicks, use honey and lemon and copious amounts of cough sweets to try to ease the symptoms. I probably used a forest of tissues!

After my first year of juicing, I almost got away with it. Everyone else in the family had fallen like flies but I was still standing, until my husband became ill and probably for the first time since I’ve known him had to take to his bed for a few days. It really knocked him for six. This placed me under a lot of stress and almost inevitably I got it too. BUT: it didn’t turn into a chest infection and I didn’t have to use an inhaler, nor did it last nearly as long and I wasn’t as ill as my husband.

So this January, having turned vegan and been on a mainly raw diet for a year, I was interested to see how my body would react this time around. I was also doing the 14 day juice cleanse and having a series of intense dental treatments. And if that wasn’t enough of a stress test, I don’t know what is!

I have felt a dry throat once and a few sneezes once, but each time I thought a cold was coming on I drank a lot of fresh ginger, turmeric and lemon tea as well as regularly sipping ginger and turmeric juices – see Juicy Winter Warmers in Juice Recipes – I also gargled with a couple of drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil in warm water for the dry throat. Tastes horrible but is very effective! I eat a lot of garlic too, a natural antiviral, antibiotic, decongestant. Within hours, all symptoms were gone.

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My Medicine Chest

This despite being hugged and kissed by younger family members in the full throws of colds and chest infections with weepy eyes and ears and undergoing the aforementioned intensive and painful dental work. I am allergic to adrenaline and when I had a local anaesthetic my whole body convulsed for 20 minutes. On two occasions, a twenty minute appointment turned into an hour and a half.

Oh, and in February I tried to make a hole in the ceiling over the stairs – with my head! As you do. Don’t ask. You know those cartoons where the character hits something hard and sits there cross-eyed with a circle of stars around his head? That was me. It literally and metaphorically knocked me sideways. I was feeling the vibration of it throughout my body for days afterwards and it placed untold stress on my spine for months afterwards.

After all that, I was sure I would now fall prey to the next virus passing.

Then my husband had surgery. And my mum was ill.

But here I am, October, and as I write still cold-free. My body has been through untold pain, stress and worry over the last 9 months, a sure sign to any lingering germs that my immune system is being seriously stretched and giving the green light for an immediate full-on attack. But so far, so juicy gingery good!

Update: Haha – the blogging gods are laughing at me now! I post-dated the publication of this post, it is now November 2016 and I am still vegan, still juicing, but after 3 visits in 5 days recently from family members with their horrible coughs and colds and waving goodbye in a horrible chilly wind, I succumbed to a dry throat and tickly cough.

I didn’t fall ill though, I bombarded it with ginger, turmeric, lemon and black pepper as tea and in juices, in between drinking my Spicy Watermelon & Grapefruit Juice – another nutrient-filled anti-inflammatory juice – and avoided the stuffed up head cold and the usually inevitable chest infection.

I’ve also added Golden Milk to my natural treatment armoury and it works a treat at aiding sleep when you’re under the weather. It is so warming: just add a few slices of ginger and turmeric with a twist of black pepper and if necessary, a teaspoon of maple syrup, to a cupful of warm almond milk, (making sure you stir well while warming in the pan to stop it catching at the bottom, it will thicken slightly). Let it steep for 5 minutes, then strain and drink.

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Toothache Tip: My daughter-in-law visited recently and was suffering terribly with an inflamed wisdom tooth. Nothing was helping: she tried clove oil, gargling with salt water, Nurofen (which helped a little for a short while), then we hit on the idea of ginger tea and between sips she held one of the slices of ginger from the tea against her gum and – done regularly – it seemed to provide some longer relief.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Hot, Hot, Hot Anti-Inflammatory Beetroot & Ginger Juice!

This is one of my favourites. I love ginger and have become so used to it I can stand quite a lot of it in juicies. It is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-fungal and when used regularly it’s great for helping ward off colds and viruses, treating Candida, nausea and relieving inflammatory pain.

Inflammation has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.

If you’re not used to it, begin with a thin slice of ginger root and gradually increase it.

Beetroot is well-known for its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, it dilates blood vessels which improves circulation – athletes, professional cyclists and gym enthusiasts are known to employ fresh beetroot juice in their training and preparation. It’s a good source of potassium.

Freshly extracted beetroot juice has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol when drunk regularly.

Celery, apple and lemon provide electrolytes, so altogether this is a good juice to have when exercising.

All ingredients are organic and therefore they are just washed and the peel left on. If using waxed lemon, thinly pare the peel leaving plenty of pith, it’s where the healthy micro-nutrients are.

Ingredients

Small Beetroot

2 Carrots

2 Apples

1 Stick of Celery, chopped into 3″ pieces

Thick Slice of Lemon with peel on

Thick knob of Ginger – about 2cms x 2 cms

Juice all the items, placing the lemon and ginger between the apples and putting the celery in last to avoid it clogging up the juicer.

(The picture in the background is entitled Moths and Butterflies by Sophie Whiting).

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Preparing to be SuperJuiced Part 2

It’s Sunday evening and I have just had my final meal on a plate (as opposed to meal in a glass) before beginning Jason Vale’s Big January Juice Challenge tomorrow.*

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I’ve been tapering down all week after the – for me – slight excesses of the Christmas/New Year period. I was still basically clean-eating and had at least 1 juice a day, but I did have vegan mince pies, a glass of vegan sparkling wine and larger portions more often than normal. I managed to put on 3lbs! I think it was my son’s heavenly gift of raw chocolate avocado mousse that did it – I couldn’t bring myself to share it and had it for breakfast, afternoon snack and dessert! Or maybe I am just in denial about what I actually did eat all the other times!

Anyway, I enjoyed our family Christmas and that mattered more to me than 3 extra pounds.

I have been eating normally again this last week and have already waved goodbye to half of them.

However, this is not about putting on weight and having to lose it again. Quite the opposite in fact. Other than the extra I acquired over Christmas, I don’t want or need to lose weight.

I am doing the SuperJuice Challenge of 14 days’ juicing to reset my body, boost my immune system, balance my hormones, help reduce the usual January blues I suffer and generally give my body an energy lift.

Before I began juicing, every January would signal the oncoming of the most lengthy, debilitating cough, cold and sinusitis and often a cracked rib and strained muscle from the effort of it all. Last year, as last woman standing in our family – my daughter was struck with pneumonia, my husband forced to spend several days in bed for the first time in his life and everyone else coughing and spluttering and feeling at Death’s door –  I did finally succumb, but it was much less severe and shorter than normal. Plus, I didn’t have to use an inhaler.

This year, once again everyone else in the family has been snuffling and coughing, but so far I am immune. I will be interested to see if SuperJuicing will help me avoid it altogether this year.

It is not an ideal experiment: I am having dental work done twice within this period, which will place my body under some stress, but we’ll see what happens.

Note to self: Do Not Make The Same Rookie Mistake As When You First Did A Juice Challenge! (See earlier post J is For January, Juicing and Jason! http://wp.me/p6UDky-2X)

KEEP HYDRATED

UPDATE: By 3/3/16 I have managed to resist all attempts by rampant viruses to take hold! I have felt a dry throat once and a few sneezes once but each time I drank a lot of ginger and lemon tea as well as regular ginger juices – see Juicy Winter Warmers in Juice Recipes – and within hours they were gone. This despite being hugged and kissed by younger family members in the full throws of colds and chest infections as well as having some intensive dendtal treatment and falling on the stairs!

*http://www.jasonvalesbigjuicechallenge.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Juicy Winter Warmers – 5 Juices to Help Ward off Colds

With the cold season upon us I thought I would write a short post with some Warming Winter Juices that are full of antioxidants to help fight off colds and viruses.

These are of the ‘shot’ variety, not full meal replacements.

Drink one every day after your early morning glass of hot water and lemon or honey. As soon as you feel the first signs of a dry or sore throat or a cold coming on try having one three times a day or more.

You will see that ginger is the common denominator here. It is a natural antibiotic and decongestant, and is full of minerals. It is also anti-inflammatory, as are celery and pineapple.

(Do you remember that scene in The Great Escape where the American POWs are making Hooch to celebrate American Independence Day and when they taste it they each go Wow! and can hardly speak? That was me testing these for this post!)

I use organic produce where possible and leave the skin/peel on – except for the pineapple, unless you have a juicer that can cope with it.

It is best to put the ginger in the juicer between halves of an apple, or in first and then the apple or pineapple if using only those ingredients.

All the glasses in the pictures are 6fl oz. ie very small.

First up is my Morning Glory, it makes a bit more than a shot.

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1 Apple, 1 Small to Medium Carrot, Half a stick of Celery, Thick Slice of Waxfree Lemon, At least 1 cm of Ginger but as much as you can take! Optional: 1 cm of Turmeric plus a pinch of Black Pepper stirred into juice before pouring, to help with absorption of Turmeric.

Next up is Pineapple Bomb – Mark Beddoe’s* short but sweet and very spicy answer to winter sniffles:

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1″ thick round of Pineapple, Thumb of Ginger, as much as you can stand.

The Natural Juice Junkie’s Winter Slammer is a daily starter on his Winter Cleanse Programme.*

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Half an Apple, Half a Waxfree Lemon (rind on), 1 Thumb of Ginger. Optional: Pinch of Cayenne Pepper stirred in before pouring into glass.

Jason Vale’s* Ginger Shot was my first introduction to juicing ginger – as part of his 5lbs in 5 Days plan – it nearly took my head off! Of course now I don’t blink at all, the stronger the better.

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Half an Apple, 2-3cms of Ginger

Down in One!

Jason also does the Ginger Zinger – which is a larger juice – as part of the 7lbs in 7 Days plan.

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2 Carrots, 2 Apples, 1″ Slice of Waxfree lemon, 1/4″ Ginger. Juice and pour over ice.

(Sorry forgot the ice for the photo!)

Here’s to a Healthy You!

(Having tested all these in one go for the blog, I should be cold-free the whole winter!)

*@explorejuice  http://www.naturaljuicejunkie.com  http://www.juicemaster.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan