Happy Friday LYL followers!

If you have been following LYL for the past 3 months you’ve heard me talk about our LYL Detox Expert Coach Rachel Hogan.

Since Rachel joined LYL she has taken the lead on our 14 Day Fresh Start (Detox) program, she has contributed weekly to our Whip It Up Wednesdays with some delicious clean eating, 100% whole food recipes, she has introduced our clients to the amazing benefits of yoga, and has been contributing to the revisions of my cookbook in preparation for a re-launch this June.

Rachel’s passion and extensive knowledge about holistic living has added tremendous value to all LYL programs, and has helped us offer a more complete wellness experience to our clients as followers.

Rachel continues to amaze and excite me with her knowledge, and I appreciate all that she has already taught me about holistic living. I feel very passionately that what she has to share will also excite and motivate you to embrace living a more holistic lifestyle.

So I have invited Rachel to be a regular weekly contributor to our LYL Blog with her own Holistic Living segment every Thursday.  She will cover topics such as whole food cooking tips, nutrition and recipes, vegetable gardening & composting, share ways that for us to better respect our planet and environment and how committing to a yoga practice will enhance the quality of your life.

To help launch this exciting new addition to our team of contributing experts, today Rachel shares with us her Spring Cleansing MUST HAVE and a delicious recipe for homemade Ginger Ale.

Take it away Rachel! 🙂

Spring Cleansing & My Love of Ginger

Currently I am in the midst of my Springtime Cleanse, not to be confused with “Spring Cleaning”, which has yet to take place at my house!  I usually try and complete a cleanse, or detox, three or four times a year, as I find it a great way to assist with my sugar cravings.  I am a believer in moderation, but for someone who enjoys baking, and all things sweet, moderation can quickly be derailed with, say, a delicious cream cheese iced, carrot birthday cake!  Who’s really going to stop a birthday girl from taking her specially made cake home, and consuming it throughout her birthday week?  My family wouldn’t dare! Needless to say, this type of behaviour occurs a few times a year, so I choose to cleanse, as a way to get my eating habits back on track.

For some, cleansing may be difficult, but for me, getting back to basic, whole food cooking is quite revitalizing, especially when you get to the place where your palate is void of over salted, over processed, high fructose corn syrup laden junk, and each morsel of clean food you consume sends your taste buds into overdrive.  Honestly, a piece of perfectly ripe fruit will never taste so good until you eat it after giving yourself break from all that bad stuff.

For me, cleansing is also a way to experiment in the kitchen, coming up with new seasonings, marinades, and salad dressings that stay within the detox guidelines.  One of my all time favourite go-to ingredients during a cleanse, is ginger.  In fact, I use ginger on a regular basis regardless.  Not only is it a fantastically flavoured herb, it also has many wonderful health benefits, and that is why it fits so well within a cleansing regiment.

Here are some of the most prominent healing qualities of ginger;

  • Helps with nausea
  • Stimulates circulation and sweating
  • Anti-inflammatory (thus, great for post workout joint and muscle pain)
  • Helps to prevent cold and flues
  • Helps relieve cold and flu symptoms, especially congestion

During my cleanse I consume most of my ginger in the form of tea.  Not, the dried, tea bag variety, but the freshly grated kind.   Using a teapot, affixed with a loose tea canister, I steep about 1-2 tablespoons, or 1 & 1/2 inch piece, of fresh ginger with about 500ml of boiling water.  Some people leave the skin of the ginger intact, but I prefer to peel it.  I do so by scraping the rough exterior of the root with the edge of a common teaspoon, in a downward motion.  I find this method best, as it preserves more of the yellow flesh.  To grate the ginger, simply use the smallest gauged side of a cheese grater, and do so over the teapot if possible, as you want to get as much of the juice from the root into the tea.   Let sit for 3 or 4 minutes before consuming.  Feel free to sweeten with honey, add the juice from a wedge of lemon to the tea, or both!

Another fantastic ginger recipe is homemade Ginger Ale which I will be saving for after my cleanse.  This lightly sweetened tonic will be sure to quench one’s thirst on a hot sunny day, but is also a great way to remedy a child’s upset belly.  So mommies take note!

Ginger Ale


1 cup of fresh grated ginger

Zest from half a lemon

½ cup of raw unpasteurized honey (I get mine from the Bulk Barn)

2 cups of water

1 ½ Litres of soda water

Ice cubes


Place ginger, lemon zest, and 2 cups of water in a heavy bottom sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, and reduce heat.  Simmer on low, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.  Add honey, stirring constantly and continue to boil until it reduces to about 1 ½ cups of liquid.

Remove from heat and strain ginger syrup through a fine wire strainer.  Discard the solids.

Cool the syrup and pour into a mason jar, seal tightly and refrigerate until cold.

Mix ¼ cup ginger syrup with 1 cup soda water, and serve over ice.

Trust me; being creative with ginger is easy.   It is a staple in so many different cuisines, and a key ingredient in many of our favourite international dishes, like teriyaki, curry, and pad Thai.  Try it in soups, stews, and stir fries and you won’t be disappointed.

Happy Holistic Health 🙂