Juice It Up

Wake Up!

I have been doing more juicing lately.  Not only have I been craving juice, it just seems like a great idea with the changing of the seasons.  Spring and Summer just seem to scream for juices.  Light and refreshing.  Energizing.  Nutrient rich.  Sometimes it’s great to drink your fruits and vegetables rather than chew them one by one.

That said, I always have my juice as part of a meal and not as the meal or snack itself.  You lose a lot of fiber from the produce.  The fiber in your meal/snack helps keep the sugars in the juice from going straight to your bloodstream.  Generally, I like my juice with breakfast.  It helps me load up on the natural vitamins I need for my day.  The right combination can help you wake up better than caffeine.  Carrot Apple Juice anyone?

I have 3 juice recipes to share with you.  One that I love for helping me wake up, another that is just completely refreshing and reminiscent of Summer, and the last will help boost your iron levels.

Wake Up Juice

3 apples (I use any type of red apples)

2 carrots

2 cups of grapes.

Place produce in the feeding tube and juice.

Summertime

Summer Lovin’ Juice

1/2 cucumber

2 – 3 cups honeydew melon

Place produce in the feeding tube and juice

Berry Beet-O-Full Juice

4-5 strawberries

1/2 cup black berries

1/2 cup raspberries

1/4 cup blueberries

1 small beet

2 oranges

Berry Beet-O-Full

Place produce in the feeding tube and juice.  This juice is a bit thicker than the others.  The Vitamin C in the oranges helps the body absorb the iron from the beets.  The berries also add some Vitamin C, but tons of antioxidants, as well.

Add a slice of two of ginger with the fruits and veggies for an added zing!

Zinger!

Fresh Ginger Root

I loved Zingers.  The ones with raspberry.  I could eat almost a whole box in one sitting.  That sugar just drove me to eat “just one more.”  Same thing with Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.  Chaz used to tease me about having a stash.  Well, if I left them in the pantry they’d be gone before I could get one or two.  Residual habit from living with my parents, brother, and sisters.  Junk food would be gone in minutes before I had a chance to get any of it so I didn’t eat much junk food unless I was out with friends.

I’m sure I could concoct some kind of gluten-free Zinger taste-a-like.  Honestly though, I’m not interested in even trying.  The zinger that I’m most interested in these days is ginger.

I love ginger.  The more the better.  I love that it has natural healing properties.  It’s great for nausea, gastrointestinal problems, and sore throats.  Ginger is one of my go-to foods when I’m sick.  I’ll boil it in water to use to make tea.  I’ll boil it with a little meat to make Voo Doo Soup, an ex-roommate’s concoction which does help you feel better.  I have some ginger candy that I use when my throat hurts.  It’s good for the heart and has some anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

Zinger Juice

I love to add it when I’m juicing.  It gives me that zing in the morning that perks me right up.  It also adds a little spice to the veggie and fruit mix, especially if I wind up a little too heavy on the veggies.  I tend to us a lot of ginger if I use it in juicing so it is potent.  If you aren’t that big of a ginger fan, use less if you try this out.

Zinger Juice

1 beet with stems and leaves

2 carrots

1 thumb length piece of ginger

1 apple

1 orange, peeled

2-3 cups black grapes

Wash the beet, carrots, ginger and grapes well.  Do not peel the beets or carrots.  If your beet, apple, and peeled orange are too big for your juicer’s tube, quarter them before juicing.  Place ingredients into the tube and juice.  It took 3 fillings of the tube to get everything juiced.  This yielded slightly more than 16 ounces.  You can vary the fruits and veggies.  I will sometimes add berries when I have fresh berries.

Down With The Sickness

Ginger Root

It started last week Wednesday while I was at work.  That tickle in the back of my throat.  Then, the sudden migraine.  Not normal.  Usually migraines build up when I get them, not hit me suddenly with such force that I feel like someone is ripping into my head.  I took it easy when I got home and I was feeling somewhat better by the time I went to bed.

The next day was a different story.  The cloud entered my head.  The pre-feverish delirium descended.  The coughing fits took over.   I somehow managed to make it through the night at work.  I’m pretty sure I was a lunatic by the end of the night because things my co-workers were saying weren’t really processing and my responses didn’t make sense even to me.  The only thing that rang through was the call through the walkie, “Let’s go home.”  Thank God!

I spent my Friday off doing nothing but watching action movies and sleeping while laid out on the sofa.  The sad part of all that is texting Chaz to tell him that going out for sushi wouldn’t be a good idea for me that night after feeling the feverishness settle in.  I was looking forward to sushi, but there was no way I felt up to going out.

 

Ginger Water

 

Chaz was planning on going Louisville to his sister’s reception on Saturday and then see his grandfather.  He asked if I was going to call in to work the next day.  I said it would depend on how I feel.  He then asked if I wanted to go with him if I called in.  I imagine I gave him quite the incredulous look.  I said plainly, “If I don’t feel good enough to go to work, I won’t feel good enough to go anywhere.”

Sure enough, I called in to work when I woke up Saturday.  My throat was on fire from all the coughing I was doing and I was losing my voice.  I still felt the feverishness going on.  My nose wouldn’t stop running and sinus pressure hit.  That’s when I knew I wasn’t dealing with a cold or flu.  Sinus pressure always indicates sinus infection for me.  I also lost my sense of taste and smell.

Chaz went off to Louisville around 1pm and I was feeling hungry.  I made myself some egg drop soup.  That’s one of the things I crave when sick.  I’m not sure why, but I really want egg drop soup.  Could be the connection to chicken noodle soup.  I spent the rest of the day falling asleep while watching movies.   I awoke later that night craving a 3 Way Potato from Skyline Chili.  I’m not sure why since I couldn’t taste or smell.  I was pretty hungry, so I dragged my sick, sorry ass out to the nearest Skyline, which happens to be a block away.  I get there and order.  They are out of potatoes.  I could have ordered a Coney Bowl or even just a bowl of chili.  No, I had to have the potato.

 

"Ginger Tea" - Green Tea made with boiled Ginger Water and raw local honey. My go to because of the anti-inflammatory properties of all the ingredients.

 

Thankfully, Chaz called and was about half an hour from home.  I told him I was trying to figure out dinner.  “Do you want me to pick something up?”  “Only if you don’t go to the Skyline by us.”  Chaz brought me a 3 Way Potato.  I love my man.

The next day was more sleeping, movies, and sofa laziness.  This time, Chaz was home all day with me.  He brought me water, made me tea, looked up gluten-free over-the-counter meds online, brought me Nyquil & Dayquil, and made homemade gluten-free chicken noodle soup.

I called in again on Monday.  I was only scheduled for 4 1/2 hours, but I was still feeling feverish.  After more sleeping, movies, and sofa laziness I felt like the fever lifted.  Only now, my right ear was blocked.  Plus, I was worrying about the infection turning respiratory.

I went to work Tuesday and made it through thanks to not having to do a lot of heavy lifting.

Wednesday was a kicker.  I had stopped to blow my nose before setting some t-shirts out on a table and while blowing, I felt and heard my right ear pop.  Then it felt and looked as if the entire world was spinning out from under me.  I remember throwing my arms out to my side, yelling something (I can’t remember what), and trying to focus on something while trying to sit on the floor before I actually keeled over from the vertigo.  Luckily, one of my co-workers was working across the aisle, heard me, and came over to check on me.  Once the spinning sensation stopped, I took a break and bought some Similisan ear drops to help unblock the ear.  It was helping within 30 minutes.

The same thing happened again when I went to bed and was blowing my nose.  I was already down in bed, so I was safe if I happened to fall.  It’s kinda hard to focus on something in the dark.  Ya know?

 

Egg Drop Soup that was whisked too hard and too much. It still felt good!

 

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in an off-kilter fog.  I wasn’t quite dizzy or light-headed.  Just off.  I probably should’ve asked to leave work early, but I toughed it out knowing I had a doctor’s appointment today.

This afternoon, I had the pleasure to meet with an integrative doctor for the first time.  The focus was whole body, mind, spirit health and not just body health.  I was having some misgivings before I got there simply because I knew I was going to be paying a lot out of pocket just for this initial visit.  I mean, what if I got there and she was a total quack?

Turns out she was rather pleasant, very easy to talk to, and smiled a lot.  What really put me at ease was when she told me some of the practitioners at the Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine studied at Bastyr.  If you haven’t heard of Bastyr, I’d say it’s like the Johns Hopkins of Natural Medicine.  In fact, if I were living in Seattle, I’d enroll there in a heartbeat.

We spent a lot of time on my medical history, work history, emotional history.  You name it, we covered it.  When she checked my systems, my kidney, spleen, and lung systems were depleted.  I wasn’t surprised as sick as I have been.  My pelvis was torqued.  Again, not a surprise for me.  She was able to get one of the chiropractors to come in and give me an adjustment and I got a little aromatherapy, as well.  As bad as my neck was messed up, the chiropractor said he was surprised I wasn’t having migraines more often that I was.  It made him feel better when I told him about having them daily about 12 years ago.  He also did a little work on my jaw for my TMJ and my ears to help clear up the blockage.

My new integrative doctor (yes, I am definitely going back) then gave me an acupuncture session to help balance my chakras, as well as help open my sinuses and relax my jaw.  She also had a blood draw done (most painless one I ever had) to check my thyroid, vitamin deficiencies and for Celiac.  Yes, we did cover the possibility that I could have Celiac and that I’m unwilling to go through any tests in which I’d need to consume gluten.  She wants me to do more yoga.  I mean how much better can it get?  No, you don’t leave with a prescription for drugs but to do YOGA.  She also wants me to work on building my energy in my abdomen.  I have a habit of holding my chin out and up.  Maybe because I’m always looking up to talk to people.  Okay, maybe not.  But, she said working on building my energy there would help my body self-correct and I’d sit with the right posture.

All in all, I spent 3 hours there and it was worth every penny.  How often do you actually leave a doctor’s office feeling better than when you walked in?