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Juice bars, cleanses, raw food EVERYWHERE! How do you choose?

May 9th, 2013 1 Comment

Green Juice from dtox juice bar atlanta

When I was living in The South – aka the part of the country that is always 5 years behind – I was hard pressed to find fresh pressed juice (terrible joke intended).  Coffee culture is infiltrating quite nicely, but juice not so much.  Whole Foods finally capitulated and started selling an unpasteurized** juice with a green tint, but it’s mostly derived from apples.

Since I’ve moved back to LA (and NYC for a New York minute – I can’t help myself), I see now there is a juice bar on EVERY corner. Literally, there are so many I don’t have time to try them all!

So that leaves us with several questions:

  • How do you determine which hot spot  serves “the best” juice?
  • What do I do if I don’t like all of the ingredients?
  • How much is too much to spend on juice?
  • Do I NEED to do a cleanse?
  • Which cleanse is right for me?

Thankfully I think I have come up with an easy answer for you.  My solution is actually in sync with most answers in the food industry: GO LOCAL!

The BluePrint Cleanse was a pioneer in the juice biz and for that we paid good money and still give mad respect to Erica and Zoe. But you have so many other options now, take them.

Mary Rambin and Shannon from dtox juice

This lesson was driven home for me in Atlanta when I discovered Shannon Sliger’s dtox juice bar tucked away off Roswell Road in Buckhead.  After all of the cleanse brands I’ve tried, hers has been my favorite thus far.  I got to customize the ingredients (no ginger please!) and quantity of each kind of juice (I added a cranberry grapefruit).  Plus, the fresh pressed juice over a cold pressed juice is so much more flavorful and satisfying.  She also includes a wheat grass shot and an aloe elixer (to help with digestion).  On the menu there is also a 7 day liver cleanse people rave about and my favorite coffee substitute, the Puerh Latte with fresh frothed almond milk.

Did you hear what I said: ENJOY the juice!

There are so many things you have to tolerate or “do for your own good.”  Green juice is delicious once you get over the stigma of it. And if you don’t like, try another brand or shop.  All green juices are not created equal.  You don’t want to be paying upwards of $8 for something you’re sucking down.

Just beware of the added sugar please.  There is usually something in green juice that makes it sweet and “tolerable” like green apple.  You want to make sure the juice isn’t all apple and only a little green.  The only thing that will do for you is send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.  Consider adding beets or carrots to your juice to make it sweeter instead of apples or citrus.  Both are high in vitamins!

I digress, but you know I don’t go on rants often, so this must be important.

REASONS TO BUY JUICE/CLEANSES FROM LOCAL PRODUCERS:

1.  There is no doubt it’s fresh.  They make it to sell out daily.
2.  They don’t have to cold press the juice to last for days so you get more bang for your buck.
3.  Cold pressed juice is great for keeping in your fridge and a cooler in your car.
3.  Often you can customize the juice’s ingredients (I like extra greens) AND your cleanse.
4.  It’s cheaper in general and no shipping costs!
5.  Locals compete so they’re more creative with their recipes.
6.  You can get an education from the owner about what their recipes and what your body needs.
7.  Whole Foods fresh juice bars suck. They don’t care about the “recipe.”
8.  Juice is good for you.  It allows your body to absorb all of the nutrients of veggies without having to work too hard.  Feel free to drink it with nuts, eggs, or chicken so you’re digestive system has time to absorb all the goodness and your tummy is full.

You know I travel a lot, and I’ve been able to find a fresh juice bar and raw food restaurant in EVERY city I’ve been to. NO EXCUSES. One of my readers/followers actually called the juice bar I posted on Instagram in El Paso to say hello! (Made my day :)  The El Paso guy was surprisingly legit with his recipes.

Bottom line: Vegetable Juice – UNPASTEURIZED** juice (read the label) – is good for you.  Drink it alongside eating a protein and a little fat like a “does-a-body-good” meal.  Cleanse for 3-5 days as a way to hit your sugar-addict reset button.

**When fresh fructose is pasteurized it’s properties change to be like that of sugar like you see in a bag in the grocery store.  Put the Tropicana down (even for your kids) and pay the money for the real, fresh deal.  Your body will thank you.

If you’re considering a cleanse, click here for a post that includes links to all of my tips and cleanse reviews.

(Full disclosure: 3 day dtox cleanse was provided for free in exchange for a review.  However, I don’t want to check my bank statement to see how much money I spent there while in Atlanta.  Obsessed with her green smoothie and kale salad is an understatement!)

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