ANGELES ó A year ago, trendistas were snuggling up to juice
bars all over L.A. to cleanse, reset, detox and glow a little.
Today, things are only busier in the world of juice ó and I
donít mean Minute Maid. Juicing just wonít go away.
concept has settled into being just part of a healthy life,
rather than a thing," says Andrew Freeman of the
AF&Co. restaurant consulting firm in San Francisco.
"thing" it remains. Juice bars have opened in such
L.A. hot spots as the Ace Hotel downtown and in Highland Park,
adding to the dozens of places where people are paying in the
double digits (yes, you can pay $12 for a drink thatís not
spiked with vodka) for a bottle of juice, albeit cold-pressed
and organic in a range of pretty colors. Cold-pressed juice is
even for sale in airports and at Trader Joeís.
amazing, itís amazing," Dave Otto says one morning
outside his pristine, tiny shop on Beverly Boulevard in Los
Angeles. His business began in 1975 as the Beverly Hills Juice
Club, an extension of his "quest for a perfect
diet." These days, he does 10 to 15 times the business he
did then, he says.
cold-pressed juice market is estimated at $100 million a year.
way, itís the moral equivalent of an Egg McMuffin ó fast
and convenient ó although the juice client would never
venture into a fast-food shop.
juice ó cold-pressed between plates, meaning no heat is used
ó is a great answer for busy people, says Alexis Schulze,
co-founder and chief visionary officer of the Costa Mesa-based
Nekter Juice Bar chain of 49 shops. "Itís accessible
for people who try to get their fruits and vegetables in but
who say, ĎI just donít have time to sit down and eat a
salad,í" she said over a glass of Toxin Flush, made
with apple, ginger, lemon, parsley and spinach.
really that busy? Apparently so.
also yearning, Otto says: "People are sick and tired of
being sick and tired."
Chantal Bacon, founder of Moon Juice, which has shops in
Venice and Silver Lake, Calif., says people are taking their
health into their own hands because they feel disappointed by
conventional food and medicine.
have invested so much time and energy and hope in fat-free
foods like SnackWells and $200 eye creams and pills to make
you happy in your marriage. We gave it a really good
effort," she says, explaining that she became a juicer to
guard her own health.
names for concoctions like Glow, Purity or Goodness Greens,
who wouldnít want to drink up? There are seasonal flavors,
such as pumpkin spice and cranberry-cinnamon, and more exotic
ones. Juice Served Here, which has a handful of stores in the
L.A. area, offers charcoal lemonade; Moon Juice sells Silver
Strawberry with Mezotrace silver.
the possibility of greater energy, glowing skin, a clearer
mind, a detoxified gut and more, who could refuse? Most people
eat so little plant food, says Joe Cross, author of "The
Reboot With Joe Juice Diet, "is it any wonder that when
they add these supercharged flood of nutrients that they feel
hard to prove that glowing skin, clearer thinking or resetting
is the result of juicing. And thereís plenty of disagreement
about the value of a 16-ounce juice, even one made from up to
2 pounds of produce, compared with the food itself.
Sussman writes in her book "Cold Press Juice Bible"
that the "jury is still out on whether your body can
absorb the nutrients more easily in liquid form or if thereís
any advantage in giving your digestive system a break from
working on fiber."
Hunnes, a senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical
Center, says sheís asked often about juicing. "I think
itís healthier to eat the food and get the fiber and other
things," though she says thereís likely no harm in
jump-starting an effort to eat healthfully with a one-day
many juices contain kale or spinach and other vegetables and
herbs, they often also contain apples and other sweeter
produce. And that can mean a fair amount of sugar.
counter that, Sussman suggests juicing four servings of leafy
or cruciferous vegetables for every one of fruit. (Of course,
juicing at home takes a commitment ranging from $100 to $2,500
for the juicer.)
long-term juicers learn to liquefy greens and vegetables on a
daily basis and to juice sweet-tasting fruits and the sweetest
root vegetables ... in moderation," Eric Helms writes in
"The Juice Generation," which is also the name of
his New York company.
organic cold-pressed juices are healthful depends in part on
the context, says Tricia Psota, a nutritionist at the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
is an addition to your diet, the calories can add up (a
16-ounce bottle typically has about 200 calories). So can the
dollars. On the other hand, if a juice replaces your usual
midmorning doughnut, itís hard to argue against it.
fans are not flinching, Freeman says. "Theyíre willing
to pay for quality, to be in the know. Weíve come a long way