After four months of putting up with piercing cold winds, ice blanket slip n’ slides and enough snowfall to make me never want to leave my house again, I am beginning to fear that the inevitable cold, flu and/or throat infection is about to hit. Although I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to be bed-ridden for 3 days munching Ferrer Rocher and watching Planet Earth, there just isn’t the time for such glorious festivities. I have no choice BUT to keep myself fuelled, and some days overdosing on Advil just doesn’t cut it.
Now, staying healthy isn’t a superstitious, finger- crossed, make a wish on 11:11 kind of a thing. You have to treat your body like the golden throne that it is, and one of my favourite remedies fit for a Queen comes in the form of GINGER. Yes, you read that correctly. Ginger is the Tylenol of the Tropics. The Nyquil of North America. The Flu shot of Mother Nature. It is a natural treatment for colds and the flu. It helps sooth stomach aches and ease digestion pain. It has anti- inflammatory properties, is a heartburn remedy and is a natural painkiller. WTF? Have we just found the all-in-one hangover cure!?
Yes it looks like foot fungus and has a somewhat unsettling texture, but this sassy lump of spicy goodness has the potential to detox even the most degenerate of weekend warriors, myself included. So, since misery loves company, I have decided to share with you five of my fav. ways to incorporate ginger into your daily routines. Try just one of these suggestions and you’re doing better things for your body than you have all winter. Promise.
1. GINGER TEA
The best thing you will put in your mouth all week. Nevermind overpaying at David’s Tea or the mindblowingly expensive Teavana, just DIY. Ginger tea is so easy to make on your own and is my fav. way to boost my immune system in the Winter. Plus I love that spicy taste.
Just Boil some water, slice and grate some large chunks of Ginger, and squeeze in a dabble or a dollop of honey, agave, maple syrup or any kind of sweetener that gets you going. You will need to muddle the ginger for extra flavour, or try grating it and putting it in a tea bag. Better yet, if you can find frozen ginger cubes at your grocery store these work really well too. I actually can’t get enough of the stuff.
2. INFUSED HONEY
To make the above recipe even easier, you can infuse your honey ahead of time to be added to tea, coffee, or squeezed directly into your mouth (gross). Just grate fresh ginger root into honey and wait until the juice from the ginger turns the concoction more syrupy. Make enough to fit into a jar and voila, you now hold an all natural insta- cure for congestion, sore throat and for boosting immune systems.
3. SOUP CITY
It’s Winter time, so I expect nothing less than for you to be making your own homemade soup at least once a week. An easy way to incorporate ginger into your life is to slice it up thin and add it to your onion/ garlic base when you sauté. If you aren’t starting your soup with a quick sauté of onion and garlic, then you’re not making soup. FIO. Not only does it give a wonderful yet subtle flavour, its an easy way to boost your immune system without really knowing.
4. PLAYING FOOTSIES: Mustard- Ginger Foot Bath
Foot baths are an awesome way to relax while watching your fav. weeknight TV shows. Foot baths + ginger are even better. The ginger helps to increase circulation while the aromatherapy and relaxation helps get you ready for bed. A Mustard- Ginger foot bath helps detoxify and is traditionally known to remedy aches, chills and anything else the common cold can throw at you. Just mix together 1.5 tbsp of Mustard Powder and 2 tsp of freshly grated ginger. Add this to your foot bath and relax. Heaven.
5. HOMEMADE PICKLED GINGER
Yes the idea of pickling our own food sends the pioneer in all of us running for the hills, but for the sushi lovers out there this could be a fun activity to attempt. Slice your washed and peeled ginger very thin Salt the slices and let them sit for about an hour. Meanwhile, mix together 1 cup of rice vinegar, 5-7 tbsp of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a pan and bring to a boil. Place your ginger slices in a jar and pour the hot mixture over top. Once cooled, place your jar in the fridge and you’ll have sushi ginger in less than a week. This stuff lasts about a month.
You can either add grated ginger to your favourite homemade sugar or salt scrub (half sugar, half oil), or you can literally just add it to your bath. I like to take a hot bath with a mass amount of epsom salt and throw in a cup of grated ginger as well. Yes it sounds f*cking weird but this shit detoxes you from the outside in just as effectively as a one hour yoga class. It basically cleanses all your organs and purifies your body, and all you have to do is sit there. Mmm.
Hope these little tips help. Stay healthy Toronto, Winter time has nothing on us!