Detox and rebuild with the rich nutrition of produce in a cup
By Tilly Dillehay
Photos by Jana Pastors (Kindred Moments Photography)
Beet red. Technicolor orange. Kelly green.
These aren’t paint colors we’re talking about. These are the bright shades you get out of nature, in a glass, when you juice produce.
People have long been aware of the benefits of juicing. It’s a way of injecting a pure shot of nutrition into our bodies: you can get the nutritive value of several pounds of power-packed vegetables into a single glass. Juice lovers talk about the vitality, energy, weight loss, and immunity benefits that come in these glasses. But if you talk about juicing at any length, you’ll also learn about the time investment. Buying vegetables in bulk, washing, dicing, and running them through a machine—not to mention the initial investment that comes with purchasing a juicer—and many people find that it’s just more of a hassle than they’re willing to commit to.
Historic Mt. Juliet can now help you with that. As of February 1, Mt. Juliet residents can swing by a new neighborhood spot to pick up their veggies freshly juiced and ready to go.
Sitting in the I Love Juice Bar on Mt. Juliet Road, looking around the clean, woodsy interior and sipping on their “Sweet Greens” concoction, I watched the glass doors swing open again and again. A steady stream of health conscious locals were lining up for the smoothies, salads, vegan baked goods, and juice blends.
There are two main categories on the juice menu: ‘Greens’ and ‘Roots’. The green options include ingredients like kale, celery, spinach, cucumber, and ginger, and the root options include ingredients like beet, carrot, garlic, and apple. You can mix your own combinations, too. The juice can be purchased in two standard sizes, or you can bring in your own container—jar, growler, whatever—and they’ll fill it up. You’ll pay by the ounce.
Then there’s a menu of smoothies, with another lineup of fresh ingredients in flavorful combinations. The baked goods are purchased from a local small business, and in a display case there is a boxed kale/quinoa salad, a vegan wrap, and a whole raw coconut that can be cracked open in front of you by staff on request.
Keith and Heather Harned opened I Love Juice Bar after becoming fans of the franchise during a chance trip to one of the Nashville area locations. Heather had actually been a McDonald’s franchisee for six years, selling her store in 2006 and serving with a nonprofit until she met and married her best friend and moved to Tennessee. With all of their children grown and out of the home, she and Keith decided it was time to think about a new business opportunity for Heather, and they started looking around.
“So we’d been eating clean for a while already, and really had changed our lifestyle habits,” said Heather. She’s an energetic, positive woman who had to tell me twice that she was 43 before I could believe it. “And I walked into this juice bar, and had an amazing, really exceptional experience. I told Keith about it, came back a few days later and had the same great experience. So I asked he guy behind the counter—‘do you own this place?’ and he said ‘No, but we’re empowered to treat it like we do.’…So we got online, we read about them, we read about their history.”
They began conversations with the founders of the company, John and Vui Hunt, also of Nashville. The franchise began locally in Brentwood, but is now in 13 states. The Hunts recommended that they watch the documentary that inspired them—Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead—about the ways that Americans mistreat their bodies. The documentary also extolled the value of juice cleansing.
Heather and Keith spent a lot of time praying, and entered into several lease negotiations before finding their current fabulous spot on Mt. Juliet Road. They now have 18 employees, not counting their two industrial juicers, which have been dubbed “Ruby” and “Nancy.” One is a Ruby brand and the other is a Nutrifaster, and they both are used for specific ingredients, based on their individual strengths.
Juicing and juice cleanses are the cornerstone of what I Love Juice Bar offers to customers.
There are three main juice cleanse options: The “Essential Cleanse” includes six jars of green and root juices—one “Orange You Glad,” two “Sweet Greens,” one “We Got the Beet,” one “Ginger Greens,” and one “Fresh Greens”. For the length of the cleanse (1-3 days is most normal), cleanse participants drink a full glass of liquid every hour—alternating between the juices provided, and water. The “Juice to Dinner” includes many of the same juices as the Essential, and involves the same liquids regimen throughout the day, but a kale/quinoa salad is provided to finish the day on. The “Core Cleanse” is perhaps the most advanced option of the three—heavy on greener juice with less fruit juice to sweeten things up, and a coconut/hemp/probiotics drink to finish the day on.
“We do a really good job of making every juice consistent,” says Heather. “It’s a team effort; every time we finish a juice, two or three people have to taste it. Because what I taste strong may not be what you taste strong, and vice versa. So our people almost become juice sommeliers, like a wine sommelier. We get every level of flavor. So the ginger isn’t too hot, so it’s not too earthy with the beets, or it’s not too strong with the kale or spinach… we really want to know that every time a customer comes in for the Sweet Green, they’re getting the same juice. And that is such a good team building opportunity… That’s why everyone in here seems so engaged; it’s because they’re really taking ownership of the product we put out.”
Readers are invited to come and do a juice tour at the bar, where they’ll get to sample the top four juices and get information about the ingredients. I Love Juice Bar is located at 2726 N. Mount Juliet Road. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Cleanse 101 With Heather Harned
The goal of cleansing is to flood your body with nutrients. Nutrients allow your blood, liver, and organs to clean themselves. It allows them to rest and rejuvenate. It will also aid in any nutrient deficiencies and ease the constant craving for the “next food” you are going to feed it. This craving is usually exaggerated by a trigger food like sugar, gluten, soy, salt, etc. Eliminating those triggers during a cleanse helps take the cravings away. It also helps your digestive tract in that it does not have to work so hard yet still gets nourishment.
How Often Should I Cleanse?
This is very much dependent on the individual. If someone is super toxic with eating a primarily processed food diet, perhaps once per month, according to Sarah Moore, I Love Juice Bar nutrition specialist. Some people do cleanses once a quarter, once a year, or just when they are ready for an overall feeling of wellness. It is common for folks to do a one to three day cleanse, with some doing seven or more days. It is all about a person’s own journey, and what they are attempting to treat or uncover during the process.
Every person is different. Depending on the length of the cleanse, clients have reported increased alertness, higher levels of energy, “rested” feelings, increased clarity of thought, and sensations of overall well-being.
What Types of Cleanses are Available?
We have three cleanses available: Juice To Dinner, Essential Cleanse, and The Core Cleanse. See more information at www.ilovejuicebar.com.