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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

Get On The Juice

Noelle Chorney
Published Thursday May 28, 05:45 pm
Thrive’s a bit pricey, but you get a lot of bang for your buck

137 20th St. W.

Yeah, I know: paying $10 for a 500 ml bottle of juice (as a friend of mine said, “That’s a dollar a sip!”) seems ridiculous. And I also know that the majority of people, when faced with someone doing a cleanse, say, “I could never do that!” But I’m here to tell you that you probably can. I do, as a necessary part of my current lifestyle.

I’ve started to accept that I’m going to have to call myself a “professional eater.” The first time I attended a Food & Wine Writers’ workshop, I realized I’d found my people. I also realized that if I’m going to keep up with the appetites of my newfound peeps but also stay healthy, I’m going to have to rethink the way I eat.

There are times, like when I’m judging a cooking competition, when I’m expected to eat an astonishing amount of food in a very short amount of time. (Or at least, I have to taste it — and because I’m me, if I like it I’m going to have to eat all of it.) And the older I get, the more I realize that I can’t just do that and carry on with my normal habits and expect to get away with no weight-related consequences.

So I’ve started a new habit: a yearly or semi-yearly cleanse. I eat clean for a period of time, reset my digestion, allow my stomach to shrink a little, and prove to myself that I’m not addicted to caffeine, sugar or alcohol.

Some of you might be thinking, “Oh, I could never starve myself like that!” But that’s the thing about a cleanse — you’re not starving yourself at all. In fact, you’re taking in far more nutrition than you normally do, just skipping the protein, fat and carbs.

I’m pretty gentle on myself, and I make allowances for both my substantial six-foot frame and the fact that I don’t just lie around resting while I’m on my cleanse. I continue to raise my kids, go to work, and (most annoyingly) cook regular meals for my family. So I don’t get to the point of drinking water only, or even just liquids. I always have some protein in a vegetable smoothie, and leave the vegetable pulp in there too.

The hardest part of coming off a cleanse is trying to figure out how to get as much nutrition into my body when I’m eating in regular restaurants and my kids are asking for pasta for supper. The foods that many of us eat daily, while filling, just don’t have the concentration of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, etc. that an all-vegetable (and particularly dark, leafy greens) diet can offer.

Finding restaurants in town that offer food with that same level of nutrition can be a challenge. They’re out there, but they’re fairly few and far between (or more accurately, all clustered in a couple of blocks on 20th Street and Broadway).

So last year, I was delighted to see Thrive Juice Company offer fresh cold-pressed juices from their cute little food truck. They’ve proven so popular at the Farmers’ Market and with their mobile juice service that they’ve just opened a juice and raw food bar on (you guessed it!) the corner of 20th St. W. and Ave. B.

This year’s cleanse was made much more flavourful and easy to plan for — thanks to Thrive. I made my way through several of their veggie juices, and was pleased with both the selection and the freshness.

They offer lots of pure fruit juices, like “Naked” orange and grapefruit juice, as well as a series of nut “mylks,” such as cacao nut (almond and cashew) mylk, cashew mylk, matcha tea and almond mylk, or a raw latte that sounds divine.

While I try to stay away from pure fruit juice on my cleanses (it wreaks too much havoc with blood sugar levels), I did love their “Hot Shot” juice, with apple, orange, lemon, ginger and cayenne. Spicy!

I added one or two Thrive juices to my liquid repertoire during my own cleanse, and while they were all good, my absolute favourite was the “Jugoso” for its savoury elements of fennel, celery and cilantro. “Clean Greens” is a nice standard, with a little apple for sweetness, and spinach, cucumber, parsley and lemon for a heavy hit of nutrition.

True, it’s a bit of a hit on the pocketbook to make a habit of these juices; a 500 ml glass bottle (which you can return for a refund) is $10, although some of their smoothies run a little cheaper. But keep in mind that $10 bottle contains an impressive mound of produce!

Thrive has some amazing value-added offerings as well, such as signature cleanses of one to 10 days in length ($65-$650). For anyone who hasn’t done a cleanse before, it might take a lot of the guesswork out of the experience if you just pick up a cleanse package and follow the instructions. It’s tempting, even for me.

You can also subscribe for weekly delivery, as an individual or as a company. I thought the corporate package looked like a sweet deal. Wouldn’t you love to be the boss that offers pure nutrition in a bottle to your employees? That’s a tangible perk, if you ask me.

Whether you’re considering a cleanse or just want to add some fresh-pressed juice into your diet, Thrive is a great place to be. If you haven’t been to Thrive’s permanent location, know that it’s one of the few places in town to go for raw snacks or salads, as well as their juices. And their front window opens up completely to create an amazing open-air café, which makes the most of our short but glorious summer.

Are you ready to thrive? If so, get there. 

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