Sunday, September 2, 2012

Health Benefits of Ginger & How to make Ginger juice

Some Common (or not so common) benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a rich source of antioxidants such as gingerols, shogaols and zingerones.
Relieve menstrual cramps and symptoms
Help with weight loss
Relieve flu and cold symptoms and sore throats, stomaches, upset stomach,colic, diarreah, flatulence, post-surgery pains, bronchitis, upper respiratory tract infections, chemotherapy induced nausea
In some cultures it's believed to be an aphrodisiac.
Morning sickness relief
Motion sickness prevention or relief.
Rheumatoid arthritis
Cancer prevention, ovarian and prostate cancer prevention or stop cancerous cells from growing.
PMS symptoms. Ease menstrual cramps. Ginger tea or drink would do or a topical compress. Dip a towel in a hot Ginger tea or juice and gently apply pressure on the area.
Topically it can also be used to treat thermal burns and as an analgesic.

What you will need.
A small strainer with tiny holes or a cheesecloth
2 larges recipients
1 blender

Ginger roots and water. The amount of Ginger roots truly depends on how much you plan on making and how strong you want it to be.

Optional: Sugar of choice
                Pineapple juice
                Fresh mint leaves
                Lemon juice

Selection and storage:
Ginger can be found fresh, pickled, dried, or in powedered form.
Choose fresh ginger that is free from bruises, and light brown to cream in color.
Fresh Ginger should be kept at room temperature.

#1 Pick some Ginger roots from the grocery store or an Indian Market. I only needed one big root because I wanted to flavor my smoothies with Ginger.

#2 Rinse out, pat it dry and gently scrape the skin off before or after cutting. Easier to do it before cutting.

#3 Cut in small pieces, add a portion to your blender filled with water and start blending.

#4 Separate the pulp from the water by using a strainer with tiny holes or a cheesecloth.
I personally put the pulp back in the blender instead of wasting it. Add some fresh ginger and blend another batch then strain again. You will repeat the process until you run out of fresh roots.

(Once I am done straining my last batch I will squeeze all the pulp over my strainer because the pulp still have some juice in it.)

#4 I will strain the liquid one more time to make sure that I removed any extra pulp. So prepare another recipient and if needed ask for assistance as you strain the first batch of juice or get a cup or something that would allow you to pour a little bit at a time from your first to your second container.


#5 This is when you have fun doing whatever  you want. What you add to your juice is a personal choice.
You can sweeten it with sugar of choices, brown sugar would be my own personal choice. In my culture we always sweeten it with sugar before chilling and using it as a refreshing beverage.

You can flavor your juice with lemon and pineapple juice. The pineapple juice mice in Ginger juice was my grandmother's speciality. It made it easier for children to enjoy it and added a great tropical taste to it.

I love to mix some Ginger juice to my punch when I made some for a fun gathering. It gives the drink a special flavor and dimension!

You can add fresh leaves like Mint or Lemon balm or be creative till you come up with something to your liking.

How you use your juice is up to you. Either you use it as a beverage or a health remedy, adding Ginger to your life is a smart and healthy juice.

I combine my juice to my smoothies for its added benefits and it's great flavor.
I freeze some in ice cube trays to cool and flavor my hot teas. I make tea everyday and one way to cool my tea faster is to add some frozen ginger juice or frozen leftover teas.
I use the rest of the juice and enjoy as a beverage. In West Africa where I grow up, people consume fresh Ginger juice like people in the USA consume sodas. Unlike sodas that are unhealthy, we rely on Ginger juice to appease sore throats, cough or flu symptoms.

Always shake or stir your Ginger before drinking it. It's normal to see a white powdery texture settle in the bottom of your container. Refrigerate and enjoy as a refreshing beverage or as a natural home remedy.

To make Ginger tea as opposed to the juice, simply slice your Ginger root and boiled it, the skin doesn't have to be removed.

5 ways to start your New You by the New Year transformation. Part 1

Hello you all!
We are officially in September! Amazing how this year flew by, isn't it?  Most of you know that I recently had my fourth child. I am now 7 months postpatum, and I am getting more dedicated to getting back in shape by the end of the year.

This month of September I am joining an online community in a "New You by the New Year challenge". As I prepare myself to commit the last months of 2012 to some physical changes, I am much too aware that losing weight is only one facet of my life. One facet that greatly impact other areas. So I am making plans for my new me by making some adjustments in my surroundings. I want the best for my body from the inside out and my environment to me is just as important to my well being as the food I eat and the workouts I do to lose weight.

I was going through my day making a mental note of more things I need to get from the grocery store and as I started cleaning my drawers and closet from clothes that I would no longer need, it occured to me that some of the things on my mind are worth sharing with others.

I have to make this Part 1 because I still have to finish some chores and get a workout in. Part 2 will be available at the sometimes next week so if you like what you read, make sure to come back soon!

5 ways to start your weight loss and life transformation by Goodhealthdiva All rights reserved 2012.

This post will be updated with pictures so check in for updates.

#1 Make some changes in your kitchen. Healthy habits and a transformed body starts in in kitchen.
  • Deep clean and declutter your kitchen.
  • Get rid of broken, chipped and unused items.
  • Deep clean your kitchen with the best smelling natural products you can afford. I love to make my own GREEN and chemical free products with white vinegar, lemon and baking soda. Adding some drops of essential oil to my white vinegar and lemon cleaning spray is an inexpensive and refreshing alternative to costly products. Make sure to clean your fridge, your pantry and your cabinets even your trash can.
  • If necessary, replace your set of silverware and your dinning plates and cups ( if they have  chips). I personally can't stand seeing non matching sets and I love to have a nice set of dishes to eat in everyday.  The HomeGoods Store is my go to place for 'classy' inexpensive items. I am actually planning a trip there this afternoon.
  • Polish you kitchen cabinets. A mixture of Olive oil and lemon juice and a clean cloth will give your cabinets a nice shine.
  • Your glass doors and windows and your floors will shine with a solution of white vinegar and water. Don't use this mixture on marble surfaces.
  • Get rid of your old cleaning sponges, towels and dishcloths. Toss anything raggedy and stained. Replace them with new towels, sponges and dishcloths that you will make a habit of replacing every 2-3 months if needs be.
  • Get your nice napkins, glassware and dinnerware out, clean them out and get ready to use them or
  • Go shopping for a new tablecloth, napkins etc

  • Make dinner time quality/romantic time even if it's just you. When I was in college I would have friends over for dinner, some time just one friend, but will always set my table nicely and play some nice music. I would do that even on days when I ate alone. Why? Why not? I deserve it! You deserve it. You pay for the groceries, you work for them you cook, them, don't you deserve to enjoy them in the nicest things you can afford and the nicest setting you can create? Having a pleasant time doesn't mean eating in a fancy restaurant. I can fancy things up at home and be just as happy and you can too!
  • Learn to eat with the TV off, play some relaxing music and teach your family and yourself that it's alright to appreciate the experience. I am from a French culture, the rumor about French people or most European really enjoying their meal time is TRUE (smiles)!
  • Learn to always cook in a clean and neat environment. People are different but I like things to "flow" I can't think straight with too much stuff around me. If you are used to a lot of things around you put some away and see how you feel.

  • Learn to always dine in style even from the comfort of your home. All it takes are some simple touches and some creativity. One small touch for me is having fresh flowers. If you pay the bills or manage the home you deserve to nurture your body and your senses. Your meals should be healthy to your body, your meal time should nourish your soul and your spirit as well.
  • Value your relationship with food. When you slow down to eat you are more aware of what you it and how much you eat. The experience nurtures your soul and spirit in some ways. You will leave the table satisfied and without cravings because the whole you would have been nourished. That's a simple way to battle emotional eating and reduce cravings. Love the moments when you sit down and truly enjoy your meals.
  • Enjoy the time you spend cooking your healthy meals. Using nice ustensils and cookware play a (sensory)role believe me.
  • Play some of you favorite songs if needs be when you are cleaning and cooking. You will soon associate those moments to the fun and lovely music you listen to and will be more likely to recreate them.
  • Weither you are religious or not, take a moment to thank God or your higher power for food and for your home. Don't take for granted what you are blessed with even if it's not what you would have preferred. The more grateful you get the more good things will come to you. You can see your life change for the best as you remember to say Thank You for what you have.

#2 Make some changes in your bedroom.
 Good sleep is important and if you are going to workout diligently to lose or manage your weight your bedroom need to be your refuge.
  • Get rid of any old (and nasty) pillows you might have been sleeping on. No offenses but some people have the grossest pillows...Seriously, replace your pillows and do it often. You don't have to purchase designer pillows but some fresh pillows would be great and pillows do not cost that much! Aren't you worth it?
  • Declutter and deep clean your room. Move furniture and clean behind them. Clean your baseboards. Deep clean your windowsills. Again a mixture of vinegar and water will do.
  • Take down your curtains and wash them. When you put them back you can spray some Linen spray on them for a fresh scent.
  • Replace your sheets and pillowcases if they are too old and get yourself a new set of sheets.

  • Get some Lavender or Chamomile Linen spray and spray some on your sheets and pillow cases. I actually do this daily just minutes before bed time or before a nap.
  • Make your bedtime a pampering ritual. Take a little bit of time to massage your hands and your feet thanking God for them and because they have served you well during the day. Your favorite oil or lotion would do the trick. Slip your feet in some clean ( spa) socks you will be surprised how good they look and feel in the morning.
  • Vacuum and mop your floors. Spray some baking soda on your carpets and rugs as deodorizer and vacuum half an hour later. Unless you have marble flooring, white vinegar and water are excellent for cleaning your floors.
  • Burn your favorite candles often, making sure of course, to practice good fire prevention safety.
  • Start and end your days with a prayer of gratitude. You might not live in a mansion or have a luxurious bedroom but you are alive and as long as you are here, you are blessed and things can get better. Things always get better with more gratitude.

# 3. Make some changes in your closet.
Alright now, if you are serious about transforming your image some clothes will not serve you anyway weeks from now. It's time to get rid of clothes you have hang on to for too long that you don't even wear or that you shouldn't be wearing .
  •  Go through your closet and your drawers and remove anything that has a hole in it or a stain on it. I am picky and it might sound diva like but seriously you are worth more than that. If the outfit has sentimental values take a picture and put it in your scrapbook but toss it. You need 2 trash bags or boxes for this closest cleaning. 1 for clothes you are tossing 1 for clothes you will donate.
  •  Toss broken hangers, old belts and cracked leather purses etc.
  • Empty your closet, clean your floor and baseboard, dust off  your bags and shoe boxes etc.
  • Replace your hangers and shop for more if needs be. I love the velvety kind and 95% of my clothes hang on those.
  • Dust off your shoes and shoes boxes.
  • Like you did with your clothes, toss any pair of shoes that have passed its prime, donate what no longer serves you ( that's still in good condition please)!
  • Go through your socks box or socks drawer and toss any socks with holes, any socks that have lost its partner for a while( you know that the missing matching sock rarely comes back) and any socks that is extremely old or dirty. This might sound like trivial advice but you will be surprised of the condition of some people's socks.
  • Treat your feet to a socks makeover. As much time as you spend on your feet they deserve some nice and fresh socks regularly. I love socks and wear them a lot in my house so I make it a habit to replace them every 2 months if need be.
  •  Now...being more personal...ladies and gentlemen...your undergarments, boxers, panties....REPLACE & TRASH anything with holes, anything with rips, anything with...with stains ( in a whispering voice) REPLACE it!!!! Come on! And mainly for the ladies. If you are married, engaged or have a BOO serious about spending his life with you, get rid of those big ugly grannies underwear. Especially if you are not a big momma pleeease toss those things. There are some women out there who are not 'that big' but would still torture their men with the sight of big unattractive panties. Toss all thaaat! ( In a Martin Lawrence voice).  You could go shopping, preferably @ Victoria Secret that's my favorite shop for panties and night gown. Seriously, treat yourself to a panties makeover. I want you to be healthy and have long life but don't even get caught dead with nasty panties on.

  • That advice above goes for the men as well. Some men look a mess at night time or in their chilling clothes with ripped or stained boxers, nasty looking tank tops and underwear. Give yourself a boxers, tanks tops and white Tee-shirt makeover. Take yourself shopping your Boo will appreciate the gesture too.
  • Okay, I had the panties talk, time for the lingerie talk. Ladies ( and gentlemen too) ...What do you wear when you go to bed? Please, if you are in a relationship or married don't tell me 'an old stained over sized and worn out T-Shirt". Toss and stop wearing ugly things to go to bed. You might not be able to afford a $50 dollar or more night dress from Victoria Secret but you can shop at Ross or T.J. Maxx for nice sleepwear that range from $8-$20. So consider redoing your sleepwear wardrobe especially if your are serious about your weight loss. Get your sexy back, you know!!! 
  • Treat yourself to the nicest night gown you can afford. You might get it now to celebrate your new beginning or you might get it as a reward so many pounds down the road.Whatever your fancy, but please no more ugly sleepwear, repeat after me NO MORE UGLY SLEEPWEAR. You deserve to sleep like a beauty even if you might not be convinced of your beauty.
  • Ah... (taking a deep breath...) We should ideally spend 8 hours of our day sleeping. As hard as many of you out there work...I believe you deserve some "royal" acts from you to you everyday. It's not being a Diva, it's about knowing your worth and your value. All the things I suggested above, are simple things you can do for yourself. 
Well that's part 1. Got to finish getting my own closet ready for my this fresh start and finish a load of laundry. I emptied my Pandora box to wash all that was in it. My Pandora box (lol) is the box I keep all my "fancier" sleepwear in. I haven't worn some of my favorite...scratch that...some of my husband's favorite things in a while due to my recent pregnancy. Mind you, pregnant or not I did my best to wear some nice things most nights, just in a bigger size. ( Let's hope my husband doesn't come here and contradicts me, (lol).  Anyway...I am getting back in shape and it's time to get my sexy back! (Singing Ne-yo's "Tonight" in my head).

If you enjoyed this article read The Psychology of weight loss here!

 So for you all out there on a weight loss journey, let that transformation be for real. Get yourself ready for changes.Clean up, get rid of the old and make room for the new.

Please come back for part 2. In part 2 I will talk about 4# Your bathrooms, and 5# you car and your purse. I am combining the last two since you would most likely carry a purse because you are going somewhere. You might be like "What does this have to do with my makeover and my "New You by the New Year?" Well, honey I will tell you when you come back!!! So... see you soon.

Thanks for stopping by.Tell me what's on your mind, is there something in this article that speaks directly to you? What is it?

If you want to know more about the "New You by the New Year challenge" hit me up on my facebook page Healthy Can Be Done! inbox me at my latest article about the Fit4Life Sisters.

Let's stay in touch. You can become a Follower and subscribe here , you can Like the Facebook page for more frequent updates, you can even find me on YouTube and subscribe to the Goodhealthdiva channel. I am just getting started there but hey if you are curious let's see together what will be next. If you have been blessed in anyway by this blog or any of the tips here, be kind to share them with others.
~Hugs and Blessings~
Until next time, have a better and healthier life...