Q&A with Alex Jay, Health Coach and Nutrition Expert, Juice Press
NYC-based Juice Press is known for their wide selection of juices and smoothies, always made from all organic produce, in stores all over the city. All their bottles have fun labels with attitude, names like Mother F*#%in Fireball, Rocket Fuel, and OMG! My Favorite Juice. But they’ve also taken some flak for how expensive their juices are, a fact that Juice Press consistently stands behind based on the authenticity and quality of their juices. Nutrition expert Alex Jay talks with us about the pushback, organic fruits and veggies, and everything Juice Press.
How should juice be incorporated into our daily nutrition? Do you lean more towards juice cleansing, or supplementing individual juices into a healthy, clean diet?
Juices and smoothies are a great addition to your daily routine. I see juicing more as a lifestyle, and believe in incorporating it into your daily diet. However, cleanses are great to do every so often to allow your body to rest, and to reset physically and mentally.
Why should someone do a juice cleanse, and what should it be about?
A juice cleanse is essentially a liquid fast that allows your digestive system to have a break and rid itself of toxins — but the benefits of a juice cleanse are countless and could easily fill an entire book. Juice is full of living enzymes, so you aren't depriving your body of nutrition on a juice cleanse. And during a juice cleanse, you have all the calories and nutrients your body needs. It’s all about eliminating the processed foods and drinks.
What can juices be used for other than cleansing?
Juices are an easy and fast source of easily absorbable nutrients. Starting your morning first thing with a smoothie or a juice is great thing; it will give you energy and you may even notice a change in your mood at work. When juices/smoothies are a part of your daily routine, many will notice a change in skin, nails, and hair. If you know you’re going to eat a not-so-healthy meal, have a green juice before. I love that juices and smoothies help you get down veggies/superfoods you may not normally eat!
What is the difference between juices and blends, and why is juice the better option?
Juice contains no fiber and requires no digestion, so the nutrients in juice go right into your bloodstream. Smoothies/blends contain the whole fruit (fiber/skin). Juice is not necessarily better than smoothies, and vice versa — just depends what you are looking for. If you are looking for meal replacement, I would suggest a smoothie and cater it your taste and needs. Post-workout is another instance where you might want to go for a smoothie; if you just exercised I would suggest adding a plant-based protein powder or a nut butter to your smoothie (two great options at Juice Press are Fountain of Youth and Clean Green Protein). Juice is a great way to get a lot of concentrated nutrients, and typically you tend to get more greens in a juice than a smoothie. Since it requires no digestion you will quickly get an energy boost. If I am feeling under the weather I will want more juices, especially ones like Ginger Fireball (ginger, orange, cayenne, oil of oregano), to allow my immune system to rest and support healing.
Why cold-pressed? What makes Juice Press different from other juiceries available in NYC?
We have a VERY wide variety of products, over 60 juice flavors alone, and a varied selection of smoothies and food items. Juice Press has something for everyone — whether you are a novice or veteran juice drinker. For me, being 100% organic is the most important part, and Juice Press is USDA organic while a lot of other juiceries are not. We go as far as making our own almond and hemp milk in each store for the smoothie bar, providing our customer absolutely the freshest product that is never processed. Also, Juice Press, unlike many other juiceries out there, does NOT high pressure pasteurize (hpp) its juice. Therefore, you are drinking juice in its most raw and nutritious state. Juice Press has always been very transparent about the product, there are no shortcuts here!
How should someone who is new to juicing navigate the Juice Press store? With so many offerings, this is even relevant for long-time juice drinkers.
We organize our fridges according to our products’ properties. For example, our green juices are organized from sweetest to least sweet, our immune boosters are grouped in a specific area, smoothies and blended drinks in another. We train our staff so they are knowledgeable about the products and they can help our customers find the right juice, smoothie, or food for them.
Juice Press has been criticized for high prices on its juices. Why is it so expensive, and what are people paying for?
We sell a premium, fresh, USDA certified organic, non-processed product. Other companies use HPP, high-pressure pasteurization, which destroys some vital nutrients in the juice and allows their product to last on a shelf for up to 30 days. Our juices only last the natural cycle of the fruits and vegetables, which is 3-4 days. Other companies get away with using non-organic produce or store bought nut milks and charge similar prices. There is nothing more important to invest in than one’s health, and we think we are giving customers access to the most delicious and high integrity products.
What do you see for the future of the juicing industry?
It is just the beginning for the juicing and health industry. Every day there is more and more information on the negative effects of processed food and the positive effects of fresh organic produce. As people are becoming increasingly educated on this matter, I believe we will be seeing juice and unprocessed foods become more accessible in cities, airports, and more — around the country.
Any final words or advice for readers?
Changing your diet and lifestyle is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t get discouraged. Start out by slowly eliminating one processed item at a time. I suggest starting with dairy products, then gluten and so on. Replace what you eliminate with non-processed foods and drinks, and you will inevitably see results in how you feel!
Alex Jay is a Health Coach and Nutrition Expert for Juice Press, and also the Director of Corporate Sales. Alex’s love for a healthy lifestyle started accidentally when she moved to Los Angeles from the East Coast for modeling in her late teens. There, she fell in love with the healthy lifestyle, partaking in activities ranging from yoga and hiking to surfing, and was introduced to new concepts of diet and nutrition. After securing a job at Planet Raw, an organic, raw, vegan restaurant in Santa Monica, Alex became completely immersed in the lifestyle, turning what was simply an interest into a true passion.
Often backstage at shoots, Alex would help fellow models who had questions about eating raw and clean food. Realizing that this was her calling she enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and shortly thereafter started her own health coaching program with her motto "we are what we eat." The program catered primarily to models on a six month program designed to better their overall health and well-being.
After a move to New York City in 2012, Alex visited Juice Press in the East Village as a customer and decided she had to be involved. She loved the edgy marketing, the non “granola” experience, and most importantly, the quality and uniqueness of the formulas Juice Press carries. Alex was immediately hooked after trying Juice Press’s raw oatmeal (and is now addicted) and was impressed by their use of e3live (a potent lake algae from Oregon packed with nutrients) in juice formulas. She knew she wanted to help make Juice Press a National brand.
Alex began working in the West Village store and became increasingly more involved with the Marketing team and assisting in the opening of new stores. She would hold tastings for companies and explain the benefits of juicing and living a healthy lifestyle, which led her naturally to the role: Director of Corporate Sales. In addition, Alex works within stores and helps with training and sales. Juice Press is USDA Certified Organic, and has maintained its strict integrity and transparency since it was only 5 stores strong. Working with the brand as a Health Coach and Nutrition Expert, Alex shares her passion with her Fashion Industry contacts and preaches clean eating with style.