Sunday 10 August 2014

Summer nostalgia: Cucumber zinger juice

Apparently, this is what summer looks like. I could handle last weekend's weather while being sick but this is not what I had in mind for the weekend. I do my best to be honest in my blog posts. I don't pretend to be an upbeat, effervescent, yoga guru nutritionist that never has a bad day and is ready and willing to change your diet and transform your life. This blog is about real food, real opinions and real feelings. I like it that way.

As a result, I write about how I'm really feeling and what is going on in my life as well as writing and photographing a recipe I am proud of and think will make others happy, healthy and full. Part of being real is stating when life sucks. As an English teacher, there are a variety of adjectives I could use to replace 'sucks' but sometimes it's the best use of an adjective to describe times in life that are falling flat on their face.

The last few days, emotions have been running high and the weather's grey skies and freak showers have only served to exacerbate that reality. Today did not cooperate. Today didn't even begin. Summer is drawing to a close and the reality of that realization is unsettling. I don't handle dark evenings, heavy rain and gloom well. Today's weather was a warning about the looming autumn and winter. As part of a strategy I've been working on for the last year, no matter what the upsetting or worrying situation is, I recognize it and then focus on a positive outlook about the situation at the end. How do you create a positive spin on weather that is only going to get colder, wetter and more miserable? It can't be a good idea to hold onto past summer day memories; clinging onto the feeling of sun on shoulders, reflective patterns on water, warm nights cycling home in a dress, the refreshing sensation of diving into the salty sea to cool down from the day's heat.

Reminiscing is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. I was stuck until I resurrected a mantra I had used for months: "be where you are". This meant creatively changing the gloomy day into something that was of value to me. If I missed the sunshine, the stark bright colors of plants and murals and water, highlighted by the sun's rays, I would have to create my own color amidst the gloom.

That's where this juice came from. As bright and refreshing and energetic as the lush greens of summer growth, this juice saved my day. The cucumber's refreshing juice mingled with mint reminded me of summer time beer garden cocktails. The ginger warmed my belly and my soul and the energized, illuminated green color of the juice itself brightened up my day. It was a simple idea but one which helped me find the brightness in the day. From now on, juicing is going to be an integral part of my diet and my everyday joy. I found the silver lining and realized that there will be days like this one.

So when you are feeling overwhelmed, upset, dragged down, tired, lazy or uninspired, feel those feelings in your gut, acknowledge those uncomfortable feelings by sitting with them. Then go do something to change the circumstances. Kick start a new phase. It's worth it every time.

1 cucumber
1 lemon
1 large chunk of ginger
1 handful of mint
Ice to serve

Wash all fruit/vegetables. Using your juicer, put in mint, ginger and lemon first, then follow with the cucumber. Stir well with a few cubes of ice and enjoy. (Don't forget to compost all that great juice pulp!)

This post was inspired by the super moon that is calling us all to attention tonight. The moon drags me around like a rag doll sometimes but in the end, always has wisdom to share. If you are interested in the meanings of the moon and how it can affect our emotions and life, have a look here

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