Hey there juice friends!
Exciting news to report that we made it into The Denver Post last week!!! The food editor, Doug Brown, had done our cleanse a couple months ago and wrote a pretty awesome piece about his experience during the 3-days and also our expanding business here in Denver. Interestingly enough, I also wanted to bring light to an issue from the article. As you will notice, we are parked in front of a fire hydrant. I have had many people contact me regarding this faux pas and I thought it was important to address this issue. We do not park in front of fire hydrants and for the sake of the pic and getting the right lighting/shot, we had to move the truck very briefly. Once the shot was over, we moved it out of the way. :)
Thank you for all your support in the past 2 months as the juice truck gets more comfortable being on the road. Look forward to meeting many more of you in the months to come.
In health and happiness,
Cold-pressed juices are booming in Colorado, including Whole Foods
Juice bars, juice menus, $8 single-serving bottles of kale-and-fruit juice at Whole Foods, juice “cleanses,” even a juice truck. Upscale juice (not a glass of OJ, but elixirs made with things like dandelion, ginger, beet, chard, carrot, cucumber, mint, and much more) has been ascendant in Denver and Boulder for nearly a year, and along with the flood of beverages has come a good bit of talk about their benefits.
We will get into those alleged juicing benefits in a bit, but first, my experiment. I worked with Jill Latham, a registered dietitian who owns Vibrant Earth Juices, a Denver juicery and juice truck, to go on a three-day juice fast.
Latham’s juices, like most of the nouveau concoctions, are “cold-pressed,” meaning a hydraulic press squeezes juice from the vegetables and fruits. The method extracts more liquid, and because the machine does not have whirling blades, like most home juicers, the stuff being juiced does not heat up and thus “cook.” Most people selling cold-pressed juices also trumpet that they are raw, or uncooked.
Either way, I wanted to see if I could get by on juices alone for a few days, if I indeed would feel more energetic, more “clear-headed,” as juicing-fans say.
So on a recent Tuesday morning I gulped 16 ounces of kale, romaine lettuce, dandelion, parsley, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon and flax oil, and launched into my busy day at work.
The hours would be divided into six juices. Day one was the toughest. The juices filled me up adequately, but I craved chewing and the taste of food. By the time I got home in the evening, to a plate piled with my daughter’s homemade macaroons, my desire to chew had grown powerful; I inhaled those macaroons before returning to my blend of kale, beets, carrot, apple, cucumber, ginger, flax oil and strawberry.
The juice was no macaroon, but it was good, as were the others, which had things like almond milk, pear, pineapple, cranberry, flax oil, flax meal — all of them were packed with organic ingredients and designed to carry me through the day, with different combinations of fat, fiber and protein (from nut milk) as well as the nutrients.
Drinking nothing but nutritional juices for a short period of time doesn’t carry many health concerns, said local dietitians. Fasting might not bring with it a lot of scientifically proven benefits, but things like kale, dandelion, beet and ginger offer important nutrients to a diet; if they come in juice form, it’s better than not having them at all.
Juicing is “gaining in popularity, and it helps clients get their five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables,” said Jessica Crandall, a dietitian at Denver Wellness and Nutrition and a spokesewoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietitics. “Make sure you don’t do it long-term, though. And also make sure the juices aren’t just fruit-based, that they have protein, essential fatty acids, as well as vegetables. If it’s just fruit, it’s an excessive amount of calories. You might as well be eating the blueberry pie instead of the juice.”
Suzanne Farrell, owner of Cherry Creek Nutrition, said short-term cleanses are fine but not really necessary. To her, a proper cleanse is an overall diet that is free from most processed foods, and has a good balance of protein, fiber (which is eliminated in cold-pressed juices) and nutrient-dense plants and vegetables.
“I think it makes sense to put the effort forth to introduce healthy foods like kale and beets to the diet, getting more of the foods that decrease things like heart disease and cancer,” she said. “But to only do them? The research doesn’t show cleanses are beneficial.”
Both dietitians are more fond of using juices as diet supplements rather than meal replacements.
The occasional juice, rather than the six-a-day route, certainly is more affordable. One of Latham’s juices costs $10. A three-day fast, complete with juice deliveries, nutrition consultations and pre- and post-fast menu ideas, costs $195.
The cost reflects the amount of produce that goes into a juice; think about the volume of juice that gets pressed from a bunch of kale, versus an orange. It’s much less, and the high-end juices are packed with ingredients that aren’t necessarily swollen with liquid. In addition, in many cases the produce is organic, which comes at a premium.
The cold-pressed juices at Whole Foods, which were first introduced in the region about six months ago, are “booming and growing by leaps and bounds” said Dave Kauder, grocery manager for the Rocky Mountain Region. The region carries three brands of cold-pressed juices, and more are on the way. Regional managers wondered if the high price might turn the category into a dud, but that hasn’t happened, and Rocky Mountain-area stores are considering adding their own cold press machines in a month or so.
Despite the dietitians’ reservations about fasting, I did find the experience helpful. I appreciated how I learned to put aside cravings. When all you are having for meals is juice, you save a lot of time previously spent shopping, cooking, eating and cleaning-up. By the time it was over, I felt healthier, and never did I feel like I was starving myself.
I don’t see it happening again anytime soon, in part because of the cost. But the occasional liquid lunch? (And I’m not talking martinis.) Absolutely.