Spring is coming! So while you’re spring cleaning your home, why not spring clean your body?
I sat down with [RE]Fresh Juice Co., the new local juice shop in my hometown Guelph, Ontario to find out more about what the deal’s with juicing. What are the benefits of juicing and how can we make feasible changes in our lives to become healthier? Here’s what owner, Whitney Douglas, had to say:
For those who might not be familiar with juicing and raw shots, what are the benefits?
Simply put, 95% of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes your body needs to function optimally are found in Fruits and Vegetables. Plants also contain a very special set of compounds call Phytonutrients, which are the naturally occurring chemicals in plants that account for their bright colours, think orange –beta carotene, purple – resveratol, green – lutein. These are protective compounds for our bodies. While eating plants is great, most of us lead very busy lives and have a hard time getting that 9 servings/day. Juice is allows you to consume a large amount of plant nutrition in a convenient way. Each 500ml juice contains up to 4 pounds of organic produce, or the equivalent of 7 salads. As the fiber has been removed, highly concentrated nutrition rapidly enters the bloodstream and it gives your digestive system a much-needed rest.
How did [RE]Fresh Juice Co. get started?
We founded [RE]Fresh Juice Co. on the belief that you should not have to choose between convenience and health. We know what it’s like to juggle demanding work and home lives and still make time for yourself, all while balancing responsibilities to your community and the planet. Our goal is to help you “have it all” and stay healthy, too. And as life-long friends, we’ve always bonded over our shared passions for cooking and health, and our drive to share the value of healthy eating with our families.
So what’s the difference between cold pressed juice and regular juice?
Centerfuge juicers (think breville and jack lelane juicers) use high speed blades to separate the juice from the pulp, this inevitably creates heat, due to the speed and friction. Although fast, the downside of this method is that the cells are broken and oxidation begins immediately so the vitamin and mineral content is compromised and the nutritional benefits are lost. Cold Pressing juice instead applies hydraulic pressure to the produce, extracting its vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients with minimal exposure to oxygen and heat. The juice is raw and unprocessed, avoiding high-pressure pasteurization (HPP), which changes the juice’s flavour. Then we bottle them up to be refrigerated for up to 4 days without losing potency.
How do you come up with new flavours and recipes? Where do you get inspiration?
Our juice alchemy started out with a line of 6 vegetable focused juices that created a rainbow of colour and nutrition, because that’s how we believe you should eat. From that original line up, we have continued to create products in keeping with that goal. Living in Ontario, we have some of the best agriculture in Canada and are connected to many local, organic farms and markets that bring inspiration to our process. We are both avid cooks, so in the same way we get inspired to cook and create with the seasons in our homes, we do the same with our juices. Now that we have opened the store, our customers also play a big roll in our process. People are always asking us for certain ingredients and now we can make it happen.
What advice would you have for someone trying to make a healthier lifestyle change?
Change is a process and you shouldn’t try and overhaul your life all at once. Making small changes can have a huge impact on your health and by adding things slowly, you will have greater success and more sustainable results. I have a pretty back to basics approach to health – get outside and move around, sleep 7-8 hours a night and eat a clean diet, mostly plants.
Is juicing something you should incorporate into your life as a daily, weekly or once in a while sort of thing?
From a health perspective, drinking vegetable juice daily will offer nothing but benefits to your life. We have many many customers that have 6 or 12 juices delivered to their homes every week so that its on hand and available to them daily. That said, not everyone can or will and that’s okay. If you have a huge salad 4 days a week and drink juice the other 3 that’s amazing, if you have 1 juice a week that’s also great. Its food, so get it in, when you can.
There’s often a lot of social controversy surrounding healthy food and healthy eating such as what foods are actually beneficial for you and the idea that healthy food doesn’t taste good. How do you respond to healthy food negativity?
I completely acknowledge that there is a lot of garbage being sold to consumers as “natural” and “healthy” and it makes understanding what to buy very challenging for people. These are unregulated words and the darlings of the food marketing industry. In my personal life, I shop on the perimeter of the grocery store, where all the fresh food is. I cook from scratch everyday and avoid processed and packaged food to the best of my ability. I love the author Michael Pollen and his philosophy, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Its simplicity makes choosing what to eat very easy. When it comes to taste, that’s a pretty subjective thing. My family loves the way healthy food tastes and would take veggies and hummus over cheese whiz any day. Palette plays a huge role in that. The more you eat good quality healthy food, the better it will taste and you won’t care for much else.
We bloggers love morning routines! So what’s yours?
I have 3 children so the first 2 hours of my life are spent cooking breakfast, making lunch, signing homework and ensuring that socks match. Now that the sun is rising earlier, I try to get up before everyone to take a walk or meditate. After they hop on the bus, I set my intentions for the day, grab a juice and head to work.
What’s your favourite juice?
Picking one is tough, but I drink either a Savoury Greens or Red Radical every day and this winter I have taken a ginger shot at least 5 days a week.
Have you ever tried juicing? How do you plan to get healthier this spring? Let me know in the comments below or send me a Tweet!