This past weekend, I had a massive wipe-out on my bike. Lost my balance starting from a dead stop on a hill, lost control, hit the (square) curb almost square on, very nearly face planted right on the edge. Sorry kiddies, I’d love to make this out to be a PSA about why you should wear your helmet (which you should), but in my case it wouldn’t have saved my face. So instead let this serve as a lesson about why you should keep your wits about you and know how to ditch from a bike properly.
In retrospect, it’s kind of cool how time slows down and you can think a dozen logical thoughts in that instant you realize how deep in the doo-doo you are. I remember thinking very clearly about Edward Norton and American History X, and how I did not want to be the poor dude on the curb. I remember the instant my tire impacted and lifted my leg so that I wouldn’t tangle in the bike as I fell, how I lifted my hands instantly, knowing that there was a good chance I was could break both wrists but figuring it was better than killing myself.
Then I hit the ground. My wrists were sprained, not broken. I scraped my left leg pretty good from knee to ankle, sprained the ankle and bruised my fingertips, but I managed to avoid hitting my face at all. I lived! I wasn’t badly injured, even. And the next day, I felt like I had put in about six hours at the gym with a trainer who lives to scream “no pain, no gain” and usually skips “leg day” in favor of shoulder presses and butterflys with 50 pound freeweights.
It was time to break out the ginger.
Ginger in Your Juice
By happy coincidence, it’s Williams-Sonoma Juice Week, and we’re sharing our favourite ingredients to spice up our drinks when we use our juicers. Personally, I like to include ginger. I find it makes makes me feel alert and clear-headed when used in a morning beverage. It’s amazing how well it goes with almost every fruit and vegetable.
And a little goes a very long way, so be cautious. Per cup of juice, you want no more than a half inch piece that’s the diameter of a dime. You may even prefer just to drop a couple of slices into your juice rather than process it through the juicer.
Ginger as an Herbal Medicine
It’s a pleasant, mildly spicy rhizome, sure. But ginger is also incredibly good for you and has a lot of health benefits. It can lower blood pressure and blood sugar. It can help you manage the nausea from chemotherapy, morning sickness, and motion sickness. It’s also a potent anti-inflammatory, and it can help reduce pain and inflammation from arthritis, menstrual cramping, weight training, and horrible bike accidents.
Without having to resort to acetaminophen or ibuprofen, I find a little ginger is good for taking the edge off aches and pains. That helps make it the perfect pick-me-up for the morning after I’ve put a little too much stress on my joints and muscles.
This said, because ginger can have some medicinal properties, if you are being treated with medications for blood pressure, diabetes or blood thinning, you should talk to your doctor before you consider ginger as anything more than a pleasant seasoning.
Ginger Peach and Mango Nectar
Ontario peaches are well in season right now. I love it when they’re so ripe and juicy that your hands get sticky. The mild spice of the ginger blends well with the mango and peach, creating an exotic drink. Even better, the pulp that’s discarded can be used in muffins, carrying the tropically sweet and zippy flavour right into your midmorning snack.
If you find that your juicer passes a lot of the pulp and it’s a little thick, another half an apple will help.
- 2 ripe peaches
- 1/2 mango
- 1 apple
- 1 small knob unpeeled ginger, approx 3/4" x 1/2"
- Prep the fruit by cutting the peaches and apple in half, discarding the peach stones. Remove one of the mango's cheeks with a sharp blade, peel the flesh away from the skin, and discard the mango peel.
- Run the mango and ginger through the juicer, followed with half of the apple to clear the blades and help push the pulp through. Then process the peaches and the other half of the apple. Stir and serve.
- The pulp left over can be used to make a delicious spicy fruit muffin.