Why Ginger Is a Juicing Superfood

Health Benefits of Ginger (plus tips for juicing it)If you’re into juicing or even have just sipped on the occasional green beverage, you’ve probably noticed that ginger is a common ingredient. It’s one of those foods (like kale, lemon juice and blueberries, to name a few) that you frequently see paired with the word “superfood” or included in top ten lists of miraculous foods you just must be eating right this second. But why?

A lot of people go along with health trends without really knowing why they’re doing so (see: THIS hilarious clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live of gluten-free people not knowing what gluten is)—and I’m guilty of it myself! (Guilty of blindly going along with trends, that is—I know what gluten is haha.) I was talking my friend’s ear off about juice the other day and was asked why I frequently put ginger in mine. I replied that ginger is a natural digestion aid and nausea-soother, but was a little embarrassed that I didn’t really know much beyond that. Don’t you hate that?? You’re talking all passionately about something and then get swiftly reduced from Expert to Queen Bullshitter—the worst. But happens to the best of us, right?…maybe?…humor me? :)

Anyway, to add to my limited knowledge of its ability to cure nausea and stomach aches, I did a little research and thought I’d share some fun facts about ginger. It really is a wonderful addition to juice (and regular meals, of course) and packed with health benefits.

Some Health Benefits of Ginger

  • It’s a remedy for nausea, upset stomachs and cramps. Stomach aches, period cramps, nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, flu symptoms—if it involves your gut feeling lousy, ginger has you covered. It does this by neutralizing stomach acid and absorbing gastrointestinal toxins and hormones.
  • It’s a digestion rockstar. Ginger increases the secretion of digestive enzymes in the stomach, improving the absorption of nutrients.
  • It’s an anti-inflammatory. Ginger inhibits two enzymes that are associated with chronic inflammation (COX and LOX). This applies to all sorts of inflammation—arthritis all the way to inflammation of the colon, which can be a precursor to colon cancer.
  • It can help lower blood pressure. The gingerol in fresh ginger cause a widening of the blood vessel walls. This can help improve circulation and lower blood pressure. I had read before that rubbing ginger on my fingers when I’m having a Raynaud’s episode can help get the blood flowing again to those restricted blood vessels—now I know why!
  • It can help with muscle pain. There was a study showing that taking ginger daily helped reduce exercise-induced muscle pain. In addition to ingestion, you can apply it topically, rubbing it into sore muscles or even arthritic joints (if you have ginger in essential oil form, this would be a great use!).
  • It’s great if you have a head cold or congestion. The gingerol in ginger is similar to capsaisin in chili peppers and spicy foods in that it has that hot, ok-now-I’m-awake effect when crossed with your respiratory airways. It will break up congestion and open up those sinuses. Ginger is also a good immune system booster, activating T cells (those are the white blood cells responsible for killing off cells carrying viruses) and containing antimicrobial compounds that will help ward off the growth of bad bacteria.

Tips for Juicing Ginger

A little goes a long way when it comes to juicing ginger. It doesn’t yield a lot of juice (you probably won’t even see any drip out the juicer if you run it through on its own), but you’ll definitely taste it. I don’t use more than ½-1” of ginger root in a single juice.

I’ve read that you should remove the skin from the chunk of ginger you’re going to put through your juicer, and if it’s non-organic, I would agree with that. Being the lazy person that I am, however, I usually just cut off a small chunk from the root, quickly scrub it under some running water, and then pop it in the juicer, outer skin and all.

Ginger is a great addition to just about any green juice combination you can think up, and also wonderful with carrots (carrots + an orange + ginger = delicious!). Here are a few juice recipes I’ve posted in the past using ginger to get your started:

Do you add ginger to your juices?

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Resources: Kimberly Snyder‘s website and books are always favorite resources when it comes to understanding what certain foods can do to benefit your body. I also found this site helpful. Reboot with Joe is another go-to of mine for juicing info!

Disclosure: The link to ginger essential oil is an affiliate link. I LOVE Mountain Rose Herbs and used them for all my essential oils long before I joined their affiliate program.

Ritual Wellness Juice Cleanse (Review)

Ritual Wellness 3-Day Juice Cleanse (Review)I know—another juice cleanse. I’m spoiled. When I get the chance to review juice cleanses for the blog, it’s like being eight years old and opening up an American Girl Doll on Christmas morning (Samantha or Felicity, to be exact—I would not be that excited about Molly). As you all have I’m sure noticed by now, I love juicing. If I had the budget (or patience to make my own at home), I would absolutely do a three-day juice cleanse every month because I’ve never finished one without feeling amazing. This Ritual Wellness cleanse was no exception!

Ritual Wellness 3-Day Juice Cleanse: The Deets

Ritual Wellness 3-Day Juice Cleanse (Review)I did the Seasonal Reset 3-Day Cleanse, which consists of six juices per day: three green juices, a seasonal watermelon berry juice, a spicy lemonade, and a “dessert” nut-based juice to end the day feeling full and satisfied. They’re 100% organic and cold-pressed. In addition to the six juices in the Reset, I opted to add in Shred, two extra juices each day to be consumed before and after workouts. I’ll go into details on that a little later. With Shred each day, the 3-day cleanse would be $270 ($216 without). Ritual Wellness is California-based, but ships nationwide.

I loved all the juices! The “dessert” juice was thicker than ones I’ve tried in the past so you really end the day feeling satisfied. The first day, I was almost too full after drinking it (but couldn’t stop, it’s too flippin’ tasty). Here’s what you drink each day (not including Shred):

  • GREEN LEMON | Kale, romaine, spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple, lemon
  • WATERMELON BERRY | Watermelon, coconut, apple, strawberry, lime
  • GREEN GINGER | Kale, romaine, spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple, ginger
  • SPICY LEMONADE | Lemon, cayenne, raw agave
  • SWEET GREENS | Kale, romaine, spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple
  • CASHEW CRUNCH | Cashew, filtered water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, raw agave

What Makes This Cleanse Different: Shred

Ritual Wellness 3-Day Juice Cleanse (Review)As I mentioned before, with Ritual Wellness, you have the option to add their Shred component to any cleanse. Shred is two extra juices, one to drink pre-workout and one post. I always workout during cleanses without an issue, but I was a little nervous this time around because I now teach spin, which requires a ton of energy for me. Taking spin classes is fine while juicing because you can just kinda sit in the back and pretend to turn up the resistance on your wheel if you’re tired (you know what I’m talking about, slackers!), but teaching is a whole other story. I felt a lot better about doing a cleanse knowing I’d have those extra juices each day.

PRE SHRED | The pre-workout Red Energy juice is beet, carrot, pear, apple and celery. If you like root veggies and beets, you’ll love it.

POST SHRED | The post-workout Almond Mylk juice is similar to the “dessert” juice in that it’s nut-based. Almonds, cinnamon, vanilla and raw agave—it’s heavenly. At 370 calories, it’s the most caloric of the juices, and really gives you that post-workout protein fuel you need.

My Experience

Ritual Wellness 3-Day Juice Cleanse (Review)I actually didn’t end up drinking all 8 juices on any of the three days. Without the Shred juices, the cleanse comes out to 900 calories a day which is, of course, less than what’d I consume if normally eating. With Shred, it’s 1,470 calories a day, which is probably right around what I’d normally eat, depending on the day*. It actually worked out great because I had some leftover juices and was able to turn my 3-day cleanse into a 3 ½ day cleanse! You might be thinking why would you want to torture yourself like that, but honestly, when you finish a cleanse, all you want is more juice! It sounds crazy, but you’ve reset your eating habits and your body craves more of the good stuff.

*Just to clarify since I’ve gotten a few comments/questions about that calorie intake: I just mean that a 1,500(ish)-calorie day is not abnormal for me if eating regularly, unlike a 900-calorie day, which would never happen outside of a juice cleanse. Some days, especially super active days, I definitely eat more than that (2,000 cal range if I had to estimate–I never count). 

DAY 1 | The first day, I just drank the 6 core juices (no Shred). I never feel a lack of energy on day one, so even though I took a class at Btone, I knew I’d be fine without the pre and post-workout juices. 

DAY 2 | On the second day, my boyfriend and I did a lunch break Barry’s Bootcamp class. I had just drank juice 3 (Green Ginger), so I didn’t feel the need to have the Pre-Shred, but I brought the Post-Shred with me in my cooler bag and was pumped to drink it after the workout—I needed it.

DAY 3 | The last day was what I was nervous about: teaching spin on day 3 of a liquid diet. Eeek. I drank the Pre Shred half an hour before class as well as about 1/3 of the Post Shred just to be safe, and class went great! I did feel a little lightheaded afterwards, but I just drank the rest of my Post Shred, sat on the couch for a bit, and then was fine. Because I had added the Shred juices into the day, I ended up not drinking one of the green juices.

POST-CLEANSE | Because I had a green juice, two beet juices and a nut milk leftover, I extended the cleanse into the next day, drinking the juices and then in the afternoon adding in some fruit and a couple salads. It was the perfect ease back into normal eating!

As has been my experience with cleanses in the past, afterwards my skin was clearer (tons of nutrients + tons of water = radiant skin) and I had no cravings for junky and sugary foods—not even cake pops from Starbucks, to which I am literally addicted. In general, drinking enough water is something I really need to be better about, and the cleanse definitely got me on track with that (you drink water between each of your juices).

A big thanks to Ritual Wellness for three days of organic goodness—and a break from cooking and washing dishes! :)

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Tricking Your Kids into Eating Healthy Foods: 5 Snack Ideas

Tricking Your Kids into Eating Healthy: 5 Snack IdeasI don’t have kids—nor are they anywhere on the radar—but sometimes when I’m coming up with new recipes, I find myself thinking of ways I’ll trick my future spawn into eating healthy foods. Like telling them green juice is actually slime from Nickelodeon (as a 90’s child, this totally would have worked on me); or calling anything with pureed chickpeas in it “cookie dough”; and stirring flax and chia seeds into anything and everything. Maybe if I start the brainwashing at a young enough age, I can even convince them that raw kale tastes good. Kids, c’mon, it’s like a Snickers bar, only green, I promise…

Now I’m well aware none of these are going to work because I have the strongest picky eater karma ever coming my way (as a kid, I would eat nothing but plain pasta with butter and sugar cubes…seriously), but hey, a girl can dream. And when Nasoya asked me to write a post about back-to-school recipes, I decided to roundup some P&I snacks that have made me think “this will be awesome for tricking my future kids into eating healthy.” This post is based on 0 years of parenting experience (unless you count that one time I petsat my friend’s dog…no? Not the same thing? Ok…), so let’s have some fun with it. :)

Shhh Don’t Tell Them It’s Healthy: 5 Snack Ideas for Kids

Frozen Banana Treats

greek-yogurt-almond-frozen-bananasSo many directions to go with these! Wanna keep it easy? You can melt some semi-sweet dark chocolate chips; dip sliced banana chunks in it; and pop in the freezer for a health(ier) sweet snack/dessert. Wanna keep it easy but also win Parent of the Year? Make these Greek Yogurt & Crushed Almond Banana Popsicles. Your kids will love them, you’ll love them—it’s a win-win.

Fun Hummuses (Hummus? Hummi?)

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Chipotle Tofu Hummus using Nasoya Tofu

Neither my spellchecker nor I know what the plural of “hummus” is, and while Google says “hummuses,” I think we can all agree “hummi” sounds best. But anyway…

Do I think most kids are going to voluntarily eat plain hummus? Probably not until they’re a bit older. But there are so many flavor variations out there, you’re bound to find one your kids enjoy. Sweet Potato Hummus is a great one to try because it’s just that—sweet! It’s great to eat as a dip with carrot sticks or to spread on crackers and top with sliced grapes (trust me on that—sweet potato + grapes = $$$).

If hummus as a dip just isn’t going to work, you can use it as a healthy sandwich spread to replace that awesome creamy texture usually provided by mayonnaise and/or cheese. I’d skip the flavored varieties and use plain hummus on sandwiches if you’re trying to sneak it passed the kids. And if your child is lactose intolerant (or you’re just trying to cut out some dairy), try this Chipotle Tofu Hummus as a melted cheese replacement on burritos. Tofu is a great addition to hummus for giving it a smooth, almost cheese-like texture, and the subtle smoky chipotle taste blends well with traditional Mexican food ingredients.

Just Call It a Muffin and Don’t Say the “Q” Word Outloud…

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast CupsThese Apple Banana Quinoa Cups makes for a delicious breakfast muffin replacement or a snack any time of day. And they’ve been approved by tons of real kids, so I don’t even have to waste another sentence defending their place on this roundup. :)

Chickpea “Cookie Dough”

Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar)Between my obsession with hummus and the following recipe, it’s surprising I haven’t yet turned into a chickpea. These Chickpea “Cookie Dough” Bites are dairy-free, grain-free, and use no added sugar—yet are delicious! And they’re super filling, so your kids won’t need more than two or three in their lunchbox to make it through snacktime.

Smoothies

peanut-butter-berry-smoothie-2I asked my mom about sneaking healthy food into my and my brother’s diet as a kid, and she said smoothies were always her go-to. She’d even put powdered acidophilus in them if one of us had been on antibiotics or had any GI issues (news to me—ha!). There are COUNTLESS smoothie combos out there that will get the thumbs-up from kiddos, but if your kid loves PB&J sandwiches, you might try swapping them for this Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie—it’s a winner!

Can’t wait to hear from all the moms out there in the comments section today!

  • What are some ways you sneak healthy foods into your kids’ diets?
  • Have you had any hilarious failed attempts?

Also, feel free to crush my dreams and tell me which of these recipes would never get the green light from your little ones. :)

This post was sponsored by Nasoya. I was given full creative control over the content, and all opinions are my own…as always.

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