Words by Blanka Priddle
As we enter the Winter season with less daylight, less sunshine and people sneezing left right and centre all around us, it is time to upgrade, yet again, our immune system, our body’s resiliency to the onslaught of germs and infection that spreads so easily in the city, in the public transport, schools and bars and everywhere else. As we also enter the party season, we tax our bodies a little bit more at night, and so if we can upgrade what we do in the morning, it will help our body to regain its balance more easily. That way we will have more energy to enjoy all the fun that this season brings with it.
I have been writing for this column over the past few months with suggestions of simple, mostly morning rituals that will help you to feel fantastic every day. All in all, some might say that the best morning ritual is to stay extra few minutes in bed, and to be honest with you, if you have been burning the candle at both ends, as it is so easy to do if you live in this busy vibrant city, it may be just what your body mind and soul actually need – in which case go for it, have a lie in, and cheat a bit with all the other stuff. Or, try to switch off a little earlier then usual for a few nights and catch up on your sleep that way, to have time to make my Turmeric Morning Elixir.
Homemade is better
These days, you can of course buy a version of it at your local café or a juice bar, but sadly they are almost always sold in plastic. Once you juice turmeric, you will see the almost instant interaction of turmeric with everything, which makes me feel uncomfortable getting this drink after it has been sitting in a plastic bottle for hours, or even days. It is possibly better to get the bought version rather than not partaking in this healing drink at all, but still, when you make your own, you will taste and feel the difference. Drunk as a shot if you are brave, or sipped slowly if you like to take things easy, as soon as juiced first thing in the morning, it will make your energy sing as the whole of your being feels the zing.
To make the juice, if you do not have a juicer but would love to give it a go, you can start with a cheap centrifugal juicer at first. Once you know that you love this and maybe even get more into juicing, you will want to invest in a better quality masticating or hydraulic press juicer, but while you are testing this new juicy morning habit, there is no need to spend hundreds of pounds on a fancy machine.
So, what goes into this magic bullet drink? It is actually very simple non-recipe recipe with only four ingredients. I choose all of them to be organic, as apples have been on the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen list for many years in the row, being heavily sprayed with pesticides as they are, and as lemons are generally waxed and I like to juice them with their skin, it is best to choose organic and unwaxed for your juice.
Good morning Turmeric Elixir
To make enough for 2 people, you will need:
1 whole apple (just remove the stalk, otherwise juice everything)
1 lemon (peel included as long as it is not waxed and not sprayed)
Big thumb of ginger
A finger of fresh turmeric root
Simply push everything with your juicer, putting the turmeric somewhere in the middle and saving a part of the lemon to follow it (this helps to push most of the turmeric juice and pulp through the juicer and makes it easier to clean). And that is it. You may choose to skim off the foam that settles on top, then pour into your favourite shot glasses, and enjoy!
The quantities in this recipe is what I have been making for a few years now, but if you are new to ginger and turmeric juice, or if you know that your digestive system is sensitive, you may want to start with a milder version – more apple, less turmeric and less ginger. It is a juice, which makes it super easy to play with the ‘recipe’, nothing can really go wrong. And if you still find this too strong, you can try to soften the juice with a little bit of almond milk for a creamier elixir that is as good for you, but will be gentler on your lips, mouth, and on your stomach.
This elixir is a great one for winter. The ginger supports and boosts your immune system and digestion, and may even help you fight the ‘morning-after’ feeling in the festive season. The apple is soothing and gentle on digestive system; it also supports immune system and is loaded full of nutrients; as you probably heard, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Lemon is super alkalising, helping the body to regulate its pH in our over-acidic world, packed full of vitamin C; it helps to detoxify the body and may help alleviate nausea; it also refreshes your mind, making you feel awake and ready for your day.
And why is the addition of turmeric such a big deal? You will most definitely be supporting your immune system, digestion and internal heating system if you leave the turmeric out, of course. But the benefits of turmeric are huge, and as it is currently one of the most widely studied herbs you may want to do a little research on what this superpower root can do for you. It is great for our immune system, supports digestion, may lower inflammation, does wonders for our brain health, but it is wonderful for our skin (applied inside or outside), supports healthy joins and a lot more. One of my favourite sites to learn about the healing power of natural foods and herbs is Green Med Info, just type “turmeric” into the search box and get ready to be amazed.
A little word of warning – turmeric is a wild creature that stains everything – and I mean everything! – bright orange. You will want to wash your juicer immediately, by which I mean before you even drink your juice, as otherwise you may find it very difficult to clean it. If your juice is being squeezed into a plastic container (that is usually the way with juicers) this will get also stained. It will wash easily off glasses and over time the stains will soften everywhere else, but be mindful of its strong pigments and use gloves for all the washing up, as otherwise you may be sporting orange palms for a couple of days, encouraging quizzical looks and possibly weird questions about what you have been up to!
Now – raise your glasses full of this sunshine looking elixir, and stay well the whole winter!
Blanka has been passionately learning about all things natural and alternative since her teens and has been on this exploring journey for almost three decades now. She discoved essential oils back in the 90s, fell in love with raw living foods in the noughties, and played with many other things in between. She is a Kundalini as well as Hatha yoga teacher, enjoys cooking, makes her own beauty products, and is always on a quest to find the best coffee in town.
Originally from the Czech Republic, she now lives with her Husband and a cat called Chloupek in SE London, where she teaches from her cosy yoga studio.
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