Ginja Ninja!

I’ve acquired a new habit.

It’s a good one, I swear!  For the past few weeks, I’ve been taking a daily swig of ginger+lemon+garlic juice at my favorite bar…juice bar, that is.  A little goes a long way with ginger and garlic as far as I’m concerned–one shot in and I’m set.

I’m only after this little concoction for its health benefits, and the taste has turned into a wake-up call my body clock craves.

Consider ginger and garlic your body’s resident ninjas, ready and able to bust out their darts, sparks, knives, daggers, and swords to any unwelcome cold as it creeps up unsolicited from behind. Here are some of their benefits:

  • Ginger (raw)*: reduces pain and inflammation, relieves heartburn, reduces symptoms of morning sickness (nausea, vomiting and cold-sweating), eliminates gastrointestinal distress, boosts immune system…
  • Garlic (raw)*: has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-cancerous properties, promotes lower blood pressure and a healthy cardiovascular system, reduces inflammation, improves metabolism of iron…

* Less is more! Over-consuming either ginger or garlic in its raw form can backfire and have detrimental effects. These are highly medicinal foods, so be smart and don’t overdo it!

Yes, my friends, ginger and garlic will make you glow! Just go easy on the garlic, eh? When it comes to garlic, there truly is a fine line between glowing the glowiest of glows and, well, smelling like a 12 hr flight out of India.

And while no chaser is necessary, the shot stings a bit going down and the garlic leaves the subtlest of aftertastes, so I usually follow the shot with a simple green juice.

I’m a regular at The Juice Press in NYC. It’s located on 1st and Houston and has perhaps the best pressed juices in the city.   Scratch that–it definitely has the best pressed juices in the city. Everything is made on site and the friendly staff uses the Norwalk press, which retains the juice’s enzymatic and nutritional integrity that is usually compromised by your everyday juicer. Today I got “H” which is called the “simple green”.

This was the first time I had this flavor. If you can’t read it, the ingredients are cucumber, celery, kale, aloe, lemon, blue green algae, and 1/10 tablespoon mineral rich sea salt. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I like my green juices to have a bit more depth and roundness–this one was light and neutral and I could definitely taste the aloe and sea salt. I probably wouldn’t get it again for $8 if seeking to tantalize my taste buds.  The blue green aloe, kale and aloe are ingredients that do the glow some good, so in the name of all things glow-worthy, I’d reconsider. I wish it had a bit more character, though.

My favorite juice from The Juice Press is “The Meal”, which is made with spinach, cucumber, celery, carrot, apple, and spirulina.

Ah, spirulina. I personally consider “superfoods” shrug-worthy. One, I find them all just too complicated to sort through; two, they seem to always come in dried form–if we can agree a fresh apple is intuitively healthier than a dried apple, wouldn’t this same rule apply to a fresh goji berry and its dried counterpart?; and three, I like to keep things simple, and adding powders, dried berries, and concentrated liquids to my food is something for which I frankly have neither time nor care. If my workout routine were a bit more rigorous, though, I’d probably explore some protein-rich options in the realm of superfoods (I admit, a part of me is tempted to jump on the bandwagon and construct a massive superfood smoothie thicker than Ben & Jerry’s Triple Caramel Chunk ice cream, but I’ll pass…for now).

So even though I’m not a spirulina connoisseur, I can sense it is what makes “The Meal” so damn delicious. There’s an earthiness to it that plays well with the hint of sweetness from the apple. They say spirulina is full of omegas and phytonutrients, but again, I’m not countin’. All I can say is “KAPOW!!”


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