Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Power-Up Cubes

When I was growing up, I had a friend who was really into video games. I think he was the best Pac-Man player in our town. I, myself, didn't really see the point in getting all worked up about controlling the movements of blinking lights on a screen, but, to each his own, right? I did pick up a few nuggets of information about video games just from being around him. One of them was the concept of "power-ups", which were objects in the game that gave instant power or heightened abilities to the character that obtained them. Years later, I still remember this, which just goes to show how deep-seated and influential our early life experiences can be. 

And now I see that power-ups are actually things that exist in real life, too. For example, taking a shot of fresh green juice or eating a yummy salad made with dark leafy greens can instantly make you feel more awake and energized. You can also get power-ups from experiences. Have you ever shared an unexpected smile with a stranger? And did you feel instantly happier because of it? How about when one of your children wraps their little arms around you and says, "I love you, mama." Every time this happens to me, I feel like I'm queen of the universe. 

We have the power to create lots of power-ups for ourselves and everyone we come into contact with. Smile, use encouraging words, give hugs where appropriate, prepare and eat energizing foods, listen to uplifting music - the opportunities are endless.

Here's a recipe for an easy and very effective power-up. It contains just three ingredients.

Well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, the components of turmeric have been shown to have positive effects on such conditions as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cystic Fibrosis, cardiovascular disease and more. Turmeric has also shown properties of prevention of many types of cancer as well as neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. In short, you need lots of turmeric in your life.

Another excellent anti-inflammatory food, ginger has long been used as a digestive aid and to relieve gastrointestinal distress, including nausea and vomiting.

Bursting with Vitamin C, lemons have incredible anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune boosting powers.  Add to this lemon's liver cleansing and digestive health properties, and you have a gem of a healing aid, all wrapped up in a soft yellow skin.

I make these power up cubes and store them in my freezer to add to hot water for a delicious tea or cold water for a refreshing drink any time. You can freeze in individual little cups, for taking them on the go, or pour directly into an ice cube tray for more eco-friendly, at-home use.

Power-Up Cubes

Turmeric Root 
Ginger Root

Run each ingredient through a juicer and mix equal parts of each in a pitcher. If you can't find turmeric root, turmeric powder will work as well. Turmeric powder has a strong flavor profile, so you will need to experiment to find just the right amount that will work to your taste. I suggest starting with about 1/4 teaspoon, stirring it in, taste and adjust from there.

Pour the mixture into small containers of your choice, like individual plastic cups with lids, an ice cube tray, or any other container that works for you. Put in the freezer and allow to harden. Use as desired in teas, juices, smoothies and sauces.

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