Most Americans fail miserably at consuming the USDA’s recommended 2 cups of fruit and 2.5-3 cups of vegetables per day. Beginning June 27, Twin Ports residents striving to meet this goal can opt for fruit and veggies in liquid form from the Juice Pharm.
Giselle Hernandez is the certified nutritionist behind the juicery, which will operate out of the Red Herring Lounge at 208 E. First St. Hernandez became interested in nutrition and eating whole foods during a hospital stay after a bad car accident. She soon tired of unhealthy, bland hospital fare and was thankful when a friend’s mother brought her supplements like coconut water and green drinks. She says these healthy options improved her energy and credits them with speeding her healing process.
When Hernandez recovered, she decided to study nutrition. She got her certification from the Natural Healing Institute in California. When she moved to Duluth three years ago, she was surprised the juice bar trend hadn’t reached the city. She says drinking juice has many benefits, one of the primary being illness prevention. She advocates juicing as a way to “get people to eat better and nourish the body with whole foods.”
She saw an opportunity in Duluth, particularly since many residents are interested in a healthy outdoor lifestyle, and started testing some juice recipes with friends. Eventually she rented a commercial kitchen and launched the Juice Pharm as a juice delivery service in October 2014. Last winter, she operated out of Endion Station Public House while the pub was closed for the season. Now she’s found a new home at the Red Herring Lounge, where she’ll operate weekdays before the bar opens (8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).
The Juice Pharm has a menu of twelve different juice blends and also offers acai bowls — a blend of acai berry (touted for its antioxidant properties) and coconut milk or juice and other fruits topped with whole fruit and granola. Single servings of juice start at $6.49 and typically include a mix of fruits and vegetables that have been juiced whole (pulp removed).
Juicing makes it easy to incorporate produce into a diet. “Normally people aren’t eating the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables each day, but you can get them all in one juice,” says Hernandez. She created each juice blend with a particular health effect in mind, from boosting immunity and energy to detoxification and hydration.
Hernandez says drinking juice allows the body a break from digestion while providing needed nutrients. She also advocates replacing juice with a meal here or there as a kickstarter for weight loss. For the more ambitious, the Juice Pharm has one to five-day cleanse regimens. Each day includes six, 16-ounce servings of juice. On the third day, nut milk and dates are included for protein and fiber. Many customers have been surprised they aren’t hungry, according to Hernandez. “If they’re starving and feeling awful, I just tell them to choose their foods wisely — to eat carrots or cucumbers, whole foods that are easy to digest. Letting people know that it’s OK to eat a little something makes them feel better,” she says.
The Juice Pharm can accommodate people with allergies or health issues like diabetes with low glycemic juices. Hernandez also offers nutritional advice and tips. Check out the Juice Pharm’s Facebook page for information and updates.
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