A few months back I was burning the candle at both ends and as a result, experiencing intense bouts of exhaustion. I try to be mindful of the amount of sleep I was getting (even with a 4 year old and 1 year old), but no amount seemed to be enough. I don’t think I would have felt rested even if I slept for a week straight! Because this is very unusual for me, I sought some medical advice.

I went to my regular doctor for blood work then followed up with a trip to an East/West doctor who told me that I was Yin deficient just from looking at me. In very layman’s terms, my body’s energy flow was imbalanced and it was causing excess fatigue. I needed to decrease caffeine, increase the number of hours of sleep and she suggested I start incorporating more ginger into my diet.

Since then I have been drinking 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea a day and throw this Tangy Orange & Ginger Smoothie recipe in a few times each week to mix things up. It’s helped me decrease my caffeine intake, increase my energy levels, and even help warm me warm up in unusually cold Los Angeles months!

Ginger is a naturally warming food, that creates heat and energy within your body, while increasing blood flow and improving overall body functions. It is one of the oldest medicinal foods and naturally helps our body fight infection, nausea, inflammation, improve digestion and even lower cholesterol.

By including turmeric, lemon, and oranges, this smoothie recipe packs additional health benefits. Like ginger, turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, reduce effects of gastrointestinal issues and lower cholesterol. When you pair that with the immune system booster found in the high levels of the antioxidant rich oranges and lemon, you have a powerful smoothie on your hands!

I love putting my smoothies in mason jars and storing them in the fridge for convenience. It keeps them fresh with the air tight seal and they can easily be brought with you to work or for a day out of the house. You can easily incorporate ginger into your diet by adding it to your sauces, salad dressings, both hot and iced tea, stir fry dishes, other recipes or consume it in pill form. Turmeric can also be added to many recipes, I love seasoning my tofu scrambles with turmeric! I also add it to soups, curry dishes, both hot/iced tea, and often sprinkle it on top of my avocado or cashew cheese toast!

When you understand more about the powerful benefits of food and the amazing impact they can have on our body, it really empowers you to take your health into your own hands. Literally— bottoms up!

Tangy Orange & Ginger Smoothie Recipe

1 cup water
Handful of ice (about 6-8 cubes)
1 medium hunk of fresh ginger- peeled
1 Tablespoon ground turmeric
1 lemon- juice
1 large orange- peeled ( I used a Cara Cara orange)
*Option to top with Cayenne Pepper

Place all ingredients in high powered blender and blend on the highest setting for about 60 seconds. You want to make sure the ginger is completely broken down!
*Please note: This smoothie recipe has a very bold flavor, it’s bright, sparky and refreshing, but if you’re not familiar with these ingredients, it might take a few sips to get used to!

– By Hailee Fleming of Cuckoo Kitchn

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