Category Archives: Detox

Fire Cider

big jar
Steeping Fire Cider
Fire Cider is a potent tonic
Fire Cider is an all-natural, organic herbal remedy for cold and flu but also for so much more. Although it can speed up the healing process of a cold or flu, I use it as preventative medicine to keep me and my gut healthy all winter long. Fire Cider boosts immune function, increases blood flow and oxygen delivery, breaks up mucous, and helps the body to remove wastes from tissues. As the colder months creep in and our immune systems all grow a little weaker, this powerful potion gives our gut a little kick start and warms it up so it can function at a higher level and fight against colds and flu. The word “fire” refers to the many warming ingredients in the cider that help our digestions function properly.
A healthy gut is the key to overall health
Why? All the good microbes are, for the most part, hanging out in our guts and their job is to support our immune system, protect us from diseases, and detoxify the body. This good bacteria is so important for our bodies, which is why taking antibiotics weakens our defense system. Yes, antibiotics take out the bad bacteria- which play a role in inflammation and chronic disease- but they also wipe out our good bacteria, which is vital for optimum health! Bacteria (good bacteria) is our body’s best friend, which is why I like to consume komucha, kefir, miso, and other products that contain probiotics. Don’t worry though, friends, if you drink a shot of this fire cider once or twice daily (preferably in the morning when your digestion is its clearest), you won’t need any antibiotics because you will be so incredibly healthy and feeling stellar all winter long!
So what’s in this magical stuff?
I could write for days about the beneficial properties of all the ingredients in the cider so I will just list a few of their powers. The ingredients in this cider are all warming, so essentially, they give our digestion a big bear hug when it gets cold out.

Horseradish root: pungent, deeply heating, has long been used as a diuretic, antibacterial and antiviral, aids digestion and stimulates the release of enzymes to help break down food.

Apple cider vinegar: helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level, increases energy, fights infection, detoxifies the body and liver, stimulates cardiovascular circulation, breaks up mucous throughout the body, cleanses the lymph nodes and reduces congestion.

Ginger: traditional stomach soother, relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract, immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory.

Turmeric: anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the major cause of aging, many diseases, cancer, and arthritis. Increasing the amount of anti-inflammatory ingredients in your diet (like turmeric, ginger, and omega-3 fatty acids) will help you stay young, vibrant, fresh, and active!

Raw honey: an antimicrobial agent and antioxidant. Keeps things (i.e. infections) from growing in the body. It is important to buy raw honey because it has not been heated or processed and, therefore, still contains all of its sweet minerals, phytonutrients, and antibacterial powers.

Oranges & lemons: antioxidant, antibiotic, contains vitamin C, helps absorb iron into the blood.

shotMorning shots anyone?

Fire Cider

1 quart apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s brand)

1/2 cup fresh horseradish root, grated

5-6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup of onion, chopped

1/2 cup of fresh ginger root, grated

1/4 cup of fresh turmeric root, grated (if this is hard to find just omit and use turmeric powder in your other dishes)

juice of two oranges

juice of two lemons

1/4 cup of raw honey, dissolved in warm water

Place all ingredients except apple cider vinegar in a large glass jar (or separate evenly into several smaller glass jars). Mix with a wooden spoon to incorporate all ingredients. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the ingredients, give it a stir, and seal the glass jar(s) tightly. Place in the fridge, let steep for 4-6 weeks, and enjoy a shot or two daily!

firecider2

The brand of fire cider I used to buy before making my own. Great stuff but it gets pricey!

*4-6 weeks seems to be the ample amount of time to let the cider steep in order to get the most benefits and flavor from it, however, you can make a big batch and start taking it right away. The good news is, it will get even better and more potent with each day you take it!

*I like to take a neat shot of fire cider in the morning after my tea and before I’ve had my coffee. I don’t mind the strong flavor but it can be a little offensive to some so try adding more honey or maple syrup to your shot. I take 1-2 shots in the morning as preventative medicine.

*Fire cider is also great in marinades, dressings, Bloody Marys, or to add some zest to a big glass of lemon honey water.

Cheers to your health and keeping every piece of you warm these winter months,

)O( Sarah

manda shotMy sister taking her morning shot

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Ginger me up

IMG_3773Sometimes a girl needs a break from bread. And bread. And more bread. Needless to say, I have been eating a lot of bread while in Italy. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a slice [or two] of warm, soft baguette. I even joked to my boyfriend that I am turning into a loaf of pane. But sometimes, white just ain’t right.

This past weekend I took a trip to Sestriere, a ski village just miles from the border of France. While my host family skied I set out on a walk, which turned into a three hour trek in the snow. It was quite a workout, to say the least. But more importantly, it was a glorious adventure. I spent those hours marveling at how I could be snowshoeing on three feet of snow and at the same time sweating in a tank top. I took a cat nap in the snow, in awe of how close I was to the shining sun, how grateful I am to have seen this part of the world.  And I was savoring. Savoring the majestic mountains around me with all their pristine and profound silence.

IMG_3804My days have been filled with a language I find incredibly beautiful but still hard to understand. There have been moments of frustration, when the language barrier makes it difficult to express myself exactly how I would like. Luckily, these moments are few. Most moments involve me sitting back and happily listening to those double r’s and rolling words.

But that walk was just what I needed. Alone in the snowy mountains, 7000 feet high, I was able to connect back to a language that is so clear to me, a language that wraps me in that wonderful balance of feeling so small yet part of something so grand and divine. This language reminds me of the connection to myself, to a space where my own beauty and light are realized and celebrated. Oh, the beautiful language of silence. I am reminded in times like these, surrounded by nature and all of its mysteriousness, that silence is truly a gift.

I came back from the mountains feeling reinvigorated and inspired, which usually means my brain is dancing with yoga poses and food ideas. I also came back more in touch with my body, with its needs and its language. My body was asking me for nourishment and groundedness. I listened. The result? A luscious morning yoga practice, a walk along the lake, and a craving for ginger.

I start my mornings with ginger and lemon tea. Simply cut up some ginger and drop into a tea cup, squeeze lemon juice over it, and add boiling water. Voilà. A simple way to flush out your digestive system, stimulate the livers and kidneys, and alkalize the body. Drink before your morning coffee and breakfast for best detoxifying benefits.

IMG_4138Ginger is soothing for the stomach, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, contains anti-cancer properties, and has been found to relieve pain and muscle aches. Ginger contains loads of antioxidants, which are especially great as summer rolls around [YAY!] because they help prevent free radical damage caused by sun exposure. Plus the zesty nature of ginger will give you that ZING! you’re looking for in the morning. Feeling gingery yet?

Flavor profile: aromatic, spicy, pungent, zingy, invigorating.

IMG_3889And then lunch rolls around with a grand appearance by farro, an old Italian favorite. I love farro for its nourishing and comforting nature. Farro has been used in Italy since Roman times and is mostly grown in Lazio, Umbria, and Abruzzo. A cup of farro contains about 8 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein, vegetarians rejoice! Farro also contains magnesium, which relieves tension and menstrual cramps. It is a complex carb which means it breaks down slowly, keeping your energy levels stable. This versatile grain can be used to make a cheesy risotto, sprinkled over salads, tossed with grilled veggies, used in desserts, or made into a breakfast porridge [which is what I did with my leftover farro].

Flavor profile: slightly nutty, toothsome, earthy, undertones of oats, versatile.

And from ginger and farro was born this flavorful, hearty, nourishing lunch. Just what the doctor ordered.

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Farro with a Gingered Vegetable Medley

Ingredients:

1/2 cup farro

1 1/4 cup water

eggplant & zucchini, cut into cubes (however much you desire)

4-6 cherry tomatoes, halved

sliced avocado for topping

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup raisins

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1-2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tsp paprika

3 tbsp. olive oil for marinating

Directions:

1. Coat eggplant and zucchini in olive oil and toss with curry powder and paprika. Set in the fridge and let marinate for at least one hour.

2. Rinse farro. Combine farro and water in a pot and set on high. When it starts to boil turn to low heat, add a pinch of salt, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. If you like your farro on the chewier side, simmer for around 15 minutes. If you like it more tender, simmer for longer until you achieve your desired texture.

3. Set a pan over medium heat. Coat with 1 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil and add the marinated eggplant and zucchini. Cook until soft (mine took about 5-7 minutes) then add the tomatoes, pine nuts, raisins, garlic and ginger. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and stir occasionally so the garlic and ginger don’t burn.

4. Spoon the veggie medley over a bowl of farro and top with sliced avocado. Enjoy!

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