Winter Revival: Perk Up Your Winter Spirits with Fresh Juice

Fit Yoga, December 2004

During the times of my life passed in colder climates, I could definitely feel my body slow down as the days became short and crisp. To prevent that common winter sluggishness and keep a healthy glow in my family’s cheeks, I had a simple solution: I’d keep the juicer on the countertop the whole season through … and I’d use it more than ever.

Whether it was December, January, February, or March, I found that the most effective, natural, and delicious way to maintain my health and the health of those I love was with the vital nutrients of fresh juice. If you don’t have a juicer, the winter holiday season is the perfect time to bring one home for you and your family. You may even want to consider a juice cleanse after indulging over the holidays. A cleanse—a time of light eating and lots of juicing—is a revitalizing way to start the new year. It helps you feel light, refreshed, and full of energy at a time when we tend to feel heavier and a bit dull. Fresh juice is full of vital nutrients like enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants—all in a form that’s easy for your body to absorb and use. These nutrients boost your immune function, brighten your eyes and skin, and improve your digestion and elimination.

It’s easy to tailor juice recipes to the winter season. There’s always an abundance of pears and apples, collected from the autumn harvest. Sustaining root vegetables like carrot, beet, and parsnip can be found in every market. You can add fresh and dried herbs to enhance the healing and cleansing properties of your favorite juices. Warm your juice on the stovetop and add some wintery spices (I juice gingerroot with just about everything). You can also combine fruits and vegetables (e.g., apple-cucumber or pineapple-carrot with a pinch of cardamom or nutmeg) and add different supplements, such as good-quality green powder, spirulina, bee pollen, protein powder, or apple cider vinegar. After the winter holidays, when your body needs a bit of a boost, don’t wait until spring to go on a health kick. Treat your body right all year round … and make it a genuine pleasure with fresh juice.

Warm Apple Cobbler

Not long ago when we were shooting in the snowy mountains of New Zealand, this recipe was our cold-weather favorite. It’s a warm, nurturing drink that would often end up in a thermos, packed along with mittens, scarves, and the toboggan. Because ginger and cinnamon improve circulation and generate heat in your body, they help keep you warm all day long.

Ingredients

  • 2 apples (preferably firm and tart)
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 banana 3 dates, soaked and pitted
  • 1 pinch pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • ½ cup water or milk/soymilk

Directions

  1. Juice the apple and ginger, then blend the juice with the remaining ingredients.
  2. Pour into a small saucepan and gently heat until just under a boil. Remove from the heat and serve.
  3. If you like it tangy, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Makes 1 generous serving.

Benefits

Well-known energizers like apple, date, and banana make this a good drink to start your day. Dynamic spices like ginger and cinnamon stimulate your digestive fire and metabolism. This combination is also a tasty way to strengthen your immune system and keep yourself regular. Purchase Wai Lana's fabulous Juice Book for more fresh juice, smoothie, and dessert recipes.

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