You may have noticed “juicing” becoming more and more popular these days, from doing cleanses to grabbing a bottle at the supermarket or juicing at home, it’s a great way to grab nutrition in a bottle. Clover is the first cold-pressed juice bar and eatery in Los Angeles and besides offering raw, cold-pressed juices, their seasonally-based menu includes smoothies, wellness shots, kombucha (on tap!) and even Stumptown coffee. They also carry freshly-made sandwiches, salads, along with vegan and gluten-free baked goods. Owner Cassandra Troy Walker is very passionate about health, wellness and juicing, so we asked her to share her “juicy” thoughts with us.
Juicing seems to be very popular right now. What are your thoughts on the “juice craze?”
The “juice craze” isn’t just a craze, it’s a shift in awareness that I believe is going to last. With environmental impurities and today’s busy lifestyle it’s difficult to fuel our bodies with the necessary amount of nutrients, which is why we’ve created a way to pack all the nutritional benefits of three pounds of produce into each bottle of cold-pressed juice. The vitamins, minerals and enzymes absorb instantly, so people feel the benefits of increased energy, overall wellness, and boosted immune systems.
What are the benefits of cold pressed versus traditional at-home juicing?
Cold-pressed juice keeps the integrity of the produce completely intact, enabling your body to absorb the nutrients in their purest form. By cold-pressing (instead of juicing with a heated motor) the vital nutrients, minerals and enzymes don’t oxidize, which means they end up in your body. When heat is involved, you’re automatically killing the enzymes.
How can you find the best produce at your local farmer’s market?
The easiest way to find out is to simply ask the farmers. This can make all the difference between getting a dry, mealy peach, as opposed to one that’s sweet and bursting with juice. Farmers are a wealth of knowledge. You can also ask them about recipes and creative ways to incorporate their beautiful produce into your daily meals. Supporting our local growers means supporting a network of small, sustainably-run family farms, which helps protect our health and the health of our communities. Also, you can expect a better tasting product and a better conscience.
What’s the best way to incorporate juicing into your daily meals?
Incorporating cold-pressed juice into your daily routine is easy. I always suggest having a bottle for a between-meal snack. But beware, three pounds of produce in each bottle is no joke. If I were to drink a full bottle of Go Big (a Clover juice) in one sitting, I’d be bouncing off the walls! In that case, listen to your body and drink half the bottle at a time. Keep your cold-pressed juice bottle cold at all times, so either bring it to work and store it in the fridge, or pack it in a cooler with tons of ice.
Tell us about doing a juice cleanse and incorporating meals back into your diet after?
Doing a juice cleanse is a great way to press the reset button. You flush out toxins, absorb essential nutrients and build a healthier immune system with a detoxifying combination of raw cold-pressed juices. At Clover we do things a little differently by incorporating a chia seed juice that helps provide essential fiber, protein, electrolytes and omega fats. After a few days of cleansing you feel energized, restored and replenished.
After a cleanse, try to incorporate as many unprocessed, whole foods into your diet as possible. Typically we find that most people feel so energetic and renewed afterwards that the idea of processed foods is beyond comprehension. Aim to have as many color-rich vegetables on your plate as possible. We also suggest keeping Clover Juice as part of your regular routine. Even one green juice a day is enough to help keep an alkaline environment within your body while incorporating solid foods back into your diet.
What kind of home juicer do you recommend?
I recommend the Omega 350, which is a masticating juicer and has no heat involved. It turns out incredible juice and is the least expensive juicer for the quality you’re getting. It’s an investment, but one that will last years. As long as you have fresh produce in your house, throw it in the juicer and make your own blends. We also feed the leftover pulp to our dog and incorporate it into his dog food.
What are some of the benefits of juicing for your skin, health and energy level?
The benefits of cold-pressed juice for your skin are amazing. You’ll experience healthy, dewy skin with a more even complexion, and fewer breakouts. Also, I don’t sleep as much as I should, so having juice in my life has been a lifesaver. I wake up energized and feel healthier than ever. All it really takes is one juice a day to feel the immediate benefits.
Can you provide tips to staying healthy in the colder months?
Lucky for us, our local farmers are pumping out nutrient-rich produce in the upcoming months, especially all the root vegetables. Cook them at home, or add them to a juice. They taste great, and are known to strengthen your lungs. Cut back on sugar; it’s is known to deplete immune function. Drink lots of water to help flush toxins out of your system. Add ginger to your cold-pressed juice, this will help to ward off almost any ailment. Lastly, I wear lots of layers in the colder months. I may be Canadian, but I swear my blood has thinned!
Clover Juice Bar is located on 342 S. La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. Look for the opening of the Clover Café on Vermont Street in Spring 2014 – a dream come true for Cassandra.
Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on Liz Laing.