{ WELL BEING }

JUICING IT UP

The skinny on the latest nutrition trend

BY Christina Orlovsky

In health-conscious San Diego, we would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t follow some sort of wellness formula. Whether they’re adhering to a healthy eating plan or committing to a regular exercise routine, San Diegans strive to stay fit.

One of the latest wellness trends that’s getting a lot of attention is cold-press juicing, the food-preparation technique involving the use of a hydraulic press to extract juices from fruits and vegetables. In contrast to centrifugal juicing, which produces a drink intended to be consumed immediately to obtain maximum nutritional outcomes, cold-press juices maintain their health benefits longer.

“People like the cold-press technique because there’s no heat involved, which does away with the benefits of juicing after about an hour,” explains Randy Gruber, owner of Elixir Juice & Food, an organic juice and food bar in Del Mar Village. “Cold-press juices can be bottled and maintain their benefits for about five days, so they’re perfect for people doing a juice cleanse or looking for a specific health benefit of juicing.”

What that exact benefit is depends on the fruits and vegetables in the juice. Some are used to aid in digestion; others to increase libido. Some, like celery juice, a current popular choice, simply offer the benefit of hydration.

For Gruber, the goal of juicing is two-fold: to feel good and to taste good. “If I have a lot of juice, I find that I also have a lot of energy,” he says. “But no matter the reason for juicing, the juice should taste good and fresh—it shouldn’t be something you have to hold your nose to drink,” he says.

With a variety of options on Elixir’s menu, from The Magician, a mix of lemon, ginger, agave, aloe, coconut charcoal, cayenne, and water—said to “work magic” to detox and hydrate—to Easy Greens, a “daily go-to” of apple, kale, spinach, and celery, to a selection of “mylk” drinks made with an almond “mylk” base, there is something for everyone interested in juicing. Elixir also offers one-, three-, and five-day cleanses designed to improve both body and mind, as well as a wide selection of additional healthy food, drink, and dessert options.

“We make a lot of things and they’re all made with love,” Gruber says. “We really care about our customers and try to make people happy.”

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MANDY SCHAFFER
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JUICE BARS ABOUT TOWN

ELIXIR JUICE & FOOD
This cozy organic eatery, located just off the corner of 15th and Camino Del Mar in Del Mar Village, has a long cold-pressed juice menu.

NEKTER JUICE BAR
In Liberty Station, Nekter features several “grab-and-go” bottled juices, including hydrating celery detox and superfood protein drinks.

PRESSED JUICERY
With several locations throughout the county, including Westfield UTC, Fashion Valley, and Scripps Ranch, this popular chain offers cleanses and a membership program.

VITALITY TAP
Located in a vitamin shop in downtown San Diego, as well as in Carmel Valley, this juicing hotspot prides itself on its commitment to juices and cleanses made from fresh, raw, locally sourced organic produce.