FABULOUS SANTA BARBARA SPOT – JUICEWELL

The Story: We’ve all heard the benefits of juicing: weight-loss, clearer skin, more energy, and the ability to efficiently detox from alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. In addition to these compelling reasons to try juicing, there is one more: food is the most powerful medicine that we have. Though it may be impossible to eat pounds of leafy greens and fruits everyday, it is quite simple (and delicious) to drink them. I’ve been juicing for my general health for about a year and a half now. When I heard that a new cold-pressed juicery had opened locally called JuiceWell, I was curious. After seeing that their tagline is “Fresh Pressed Remedies,” I knew that I had to check it out.

The Owners: Talk about a girl crush. The women that run JuiceWell are the kind of women that deserve admiration. In addition to their striking physical beauty, they are accomplished, educated, passionate, focused, and kind. I got to meet with Sharon Egan, one of the two women who own JuiceWell, at their juicery in Carpinteria, California and I was immediately struck by her dedication and vision.

Sharon ventured into the world of juicing while she was caring for her ailing father. A side-effect of the prescription medication that he was taking was appetite loss. Sharon found that he was able to drink juice and so she began to make him daily juices for health and wellness. She believes that it greatly improved and extended his quality of life before he passed.

This experience caused Sharon to turn juicing into her full-time passion. Sharon let me in on her philosophy when she said, “Health is a continuous chain of conscious choices. It’s everybody’s responsibilty to make those choices.” Sharon’s goal is to reduce our dependency on prescription medication (which she refers to as “sick care”) and to focus on food as health care.

Sharon’s passion drove her to research juicing companies across the country and, through this research, she formed a connection with Manya Williams. Sharon contacted Manya and flew out to New York City to meet her. The rest is JuiceWell history.

As far as expertise goes, these women really know their stuff. Manya has spent the last 10 years studying Food Therapy, Holistic Nutrition, Ayurveda, Macrobiotics, and Herbal Medicine to “create a well rounded cleansing plan and nutrition road map.” (wejuicewell.com). She is a certified holistic nutirion counselor and completed Food Therapy and Master Chefs Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Insitute for Holistic Health and Culinary Arts in NYC. She is also trained in Green Herbal Medicine and has completed the Rose Program Intensive Teachers Training (detoxing and cleansing through optimal nutrition). As if that isn’t impressive enough, Manya is also a yoga instructor, wife, and mother. Manya’s palate (which Sharon describes as “exceptional”) is responsible for a lot of the flavor combinations found in JuiceWell’s line.

Sharon has worked in the natural foods industry for the past 20 years. In addition to years of experience, Sharon continues to educate herself in all things involving the healing properties of food and is currently enrolled in the Heritage & Healing Herbal Studies Program. Sharon also has two grown daughters.

The Process: I was tremendously impressed by JuiceWell’s dedication to the integrity of their process. 85% of their produce is locally sourced. This helps support the local economy and they know exactly where their fruits and vegetables are coming from. They also wash all of the produce by hand and then press the juice using a two-step process. Step one grinds the produce to release the nutrients from the fiber. Step two uses pressure to get the maximum amount of juice and nutrients from the plant. The entire two-step process occurs in a HEPA filtered positive air pressure room because the juice is unpasturized, so it’s essential to maintain a clean environment. The reason the juice is unpastuerized is that pasteurization kills important nutrients.

The Juices: Each juice is crafted as “a remedy for different life situations and needs.” The flavor combinations are unexpected and fantastic.  I even loved their version of a green juice (Green Clean) when that’s normally a juice that I dread.  My two favorite JuiceWell juices are Manna (cucumber, kale, swiss chard, celery, parsley, apple, lemon, ginger, lime, and cinammon) and Fire Starter (carrot, pineapple, cayenne, and coriander). It’s hard for me to pick favorites because the juices are so delicious.

The Cleanse: I like doing cleanses for the health benefits, the feeling of clarity I experience after a cleanse, and the surge of energy and focus that accompany a good juice cleanse. I had the opportunity to try JuiceWell’s 3-Day Change Your Habits Cleanse (I was not compensated for doing this cleanse and my review of the cleanse is only my personal experience). Each day included 4 juices, 1 smoothie, and 1 nut milk. The juices are numbered and designed to be consumed every 2 hours. Juice cleanses I had done in the past often left me feeling hungry and a bit disoriented. This did not happen while I did the JuiceWell cleanse. I found myself looking forward to all of the different flavor combinations (there is such a large variety included in the cleanse package that it felt like I was always trying something new). Additionally, having a nut milk at the end of the day felt like “cheating” (because the nut milks are so unbelievably delicious… they totally eradicate any dessert cravings you might be fighting).

Overall, JuiceWell’s cleanse delivered on all accounts… and it was unbelievably delicious. I had no problem completing the three-day cleanse… by the end, my skin had cleared up (and continued to clear up for days after I had completed the cleanse), I had greatly reduced sugar cravings, I was sleeping through the night without interruption, and my energy was surging. I also lost a few pounds in the process (though weight-loss was not my personal goal, it’s likely a welcome side-effect of cleansing for many women). With juice cleanses I have tried in the past, I would gulp down the final juice with hot anticipation of my upcoming meal the next morning… not with this cleanse. I felt so good by the end of the cleanse that I was a bit sad that it was over. In fact, I intend on doing another JuiceWell cleanse soon! Bottom line: I highly recommend this cleanse.

The Details: JuiceWell has three locations in California (Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Carpinteria) and two locations on the East Coast (one in New York and one in New Jersey). You can find out more about JuiceWell at wejuicewell.com. The juices are $8.50 and the nut milks and smoothies are $10. JuiceWell also offers infused coconut waters (my personal favorite and an easy addition to anyone’s lifestyle). JuiceWell offers a 1 Day Kickstarter Cleanse ($60), a 3-Day Change Your Habits Cleanse ($170), and a 5-Day Lighten and Enlighten Cleanse ($265). If you are located near one of the JuiceWell locations, you can swing by to pick up a juice or you can order a cleanse (online or in person, for delivery or pick up). Santa Barbara’s JuiceWell location is in the Santa Barbara Public Market (38 W. Victoria Street). You can contact JuiceWell’s Santa Barbara location by calling 805.962.1188 or just stopping by their shop in the Public Market. Mention “Blonder Ambitions” and receive 10% off their 3 or 5 day cleanse!