Project Juice Co-Founder Marra St. Clair Q & A!

Have you ever wondered the difference between juicing and smoothies? Which is healthier and why? Or, perhaps you’re wanting to start a juice cleanse but you’re not so sure if it’s healthy for you? Today I am chatting all things liquid fruit thanks to this special one on one with Marra St. Clair, the co-founder of Project Juice!

Before we start this Q & A, here’s a little info on Project Juice. I first discovered Project Juice online a few months back when I was in serious need of a juice cleanse. After just one online order of fresh Organic juice and nut milk, I was hooked, they have so many awesome flavors I really could not wait to be back for more. Not only is Project Juice 100% Organic, their juices are always cold-pressed, delivered fresh to your door.

While they do make it easy to order online, they also have a handful of stores around Northern and Southern California, think an all Organic Jamba Juice, only better! Their stores are stocked full of the yummiest foods, smoothies, and juices, I really would eat here every single day if I could.

Now that you know a bit more on the brand and what they carry, here are the questions I had for them, perhaps to make the juice/cleanse process a bit easier to understand, and to shed a bit more light on this awesome company I have grown to love, let’s chat!

What is the biggest difference between your juices and all of the other’s on the market? Why do you think you stand out!?  

Project Juice presses USDA Organic juice, which is very rare for a company that sells juice directly to it’s customers. Most juice companies take advantage of consumers blind trust that pressed juice is intrinsically healthy. The reality is that if you are drinking juice that does not say “Organic” on the label itself, odds are very, very high that your juice is also served with a potent does of harmful pesticides that include neuro-toxins and hormone- disruptors.

Here at Project Juice, we choose to support the Organic seal because we fundamentally disagree with the idea of drinking juice that is pressed from produce that could contain harmful pesticides and herbicides. The USDA Organic seal is our way of stamping our commitment to quality on the outside of our cold-pressed juice bottles. Be wary and ask questions of juice companies that claim Organic, without sporting a certification on the label.

In addition to our Organic standards, we also offer a variety of nutrient-packed green juices, blends, shakes and wellness shots, all delivering powerful nutrition that most other companies do not try to match, due to cost constraints. For example, if you drink our Turmeric Lemonade, Potion 10, Turmeric Mylk or Beta Bomb, you are getting what would be considered a full dose of Turmeric for the day. Project Juice’s cold-pressed lineup includes key ingredients in the quantities necessary to deliver their touted benefits. No shortcuts taken.

Project Juice also chooses to focus on selling directly to you, rather than to a broker who sells through a distributor to ultimately land juices on a supermarket shelf. This allows us to get the juices into your hands quickly after being pressed and enables us to sell top quality formulations, made with the very best ingredients.

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Once juices are shipped, how long do their nutrients last? 

With absolute confidence in their flavor, quality, and nutritional integrity, we guarantee cold-pressed juice perfection for five days after receiving your juices. While the true “shelf-life” is longer, all living food is slowly dying. So, the reality is that the sooner you can drink your juices after purchasing, the better!

To help you understand, I will try to explain a bit more. At Project Juice, we rely on pressure (also known as HPP) to kill harmful bacteria, yeast, and mold, which are the main culprits in the rapidly diminishing nutritional content of juiced produce. Bacteria, yeast, and mold are present on all raw living produce. You have probably seen the rate at which a tomato or head of lettuce can spoil in the right conditions in your fridge – this spoilage is a result of the rapid growth of the naturally present bacteria, yeast and mold on the produce.

As soon as the juice is bottled, the rate of growth of these organisms is exponential. However, pressure stops this spoilage process in its tracks, while allowing vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes to thrive! Lab testing has shown us that pressurized juice on day 14 of its life has MORE vitamins and more enzyme activity than juice that was pressed and bottled within 12 hours (but not pressurized). This is due to the rapid rate at which bacteria, yeast, and mold multiplies after the juice is bottled. To deliver you a safe and nutrient-rich juice, immediately after bottling and capping, we drop our juices into a cold-pressure chamber.

In short, unless you can cold-press your produce and drink IMMEDIATELY, pressurized juice is the safer and most nutrient dense option for getting in your daily green juice fix.
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When you say cold pressed, what exactly does that mean and what are the benefits? What is the difference between cold pressed and cold pressured, as other brands claim they are? 

Cold-pressed refers to a specific type of juicing method while cold-pressured is the safety and nutrient preservation process that happens after the juice is pressed and bottled. Cold-pressed is hands-down the most beneficial type of juice you can drink. The difference between cold-pressed juice and centrifugal juice is substantial.

Juice bars, where juice is made-to-order on-site, typically use a centrifugal juicer. During the centrifugal juicing process, heat and oxygen are sucked into the juicer and end up destroying enzymes. The foam and the pulp in centrifugal juice contains air, exposing your juice to even more oxygen and nutritional loss. Also, the centrifugal juicing process only allows for produce to pass through the juicer once. As a result, a centrifugal juice has a very high water content, but leaves vital nutrients behind that are trapped in the pulp and fibers remaining in the juicer.  In order to receive any real benefit from this type of juice, it needs to be consumed immediately – 15 minutes or less.

Project Juice uses a cold-pressed juicing method that is proven to yield 3-5 times more nutrients than other methods. Cold-pressing is a multi-step method of juice extraction, which is much slower than centrifugal juicing. The extra time is worth it – because the end result is phenomenal juice! The slower extraction of cold-pressing eliminates heat and minimizes oxygen, allowing for significantly higher enzyme retention, more robust flavor, and superior liquid nutrition.

Cold-pressed juicing is a multi-step process.

  • STEP 1: In preparation for extraction, the produce is ground into pulp. This grinding process breaks down the primary cell walls of the fruits and vegetables just enough to free the nutrients for extraction.
  • STEP 2: Applying thousands of pounds of hydraulic pressure, the pulp is pressed repeatedly. Part of the magic that is cold-pressed juice happens during the second, third and sometimes fourth round of pressing.  While most of the water is extracted from the cell walls of the plants during the initial press, the juice that is extracted from the later rounds of pressing is most nutrient rich.

Smoothies or Juicing, which is better and why? 

Smoothies and juice both have well-deserved positions in a healthy diet. Cold-pressed juices shine because they deliver mega nutrition in an easily absorbable form. In the absence of fiber slowing down transit time and adding bulk, juices quickly deliver a super-potent dose of vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants that are derived from whole produce.

In contrast, smoothies rise to the spotlight at times when you are looking to consume a filling, liquid meal that is full of fiber to keep you satiated for a long time. Smoothies also allow you the opportunity to add superfoods and healthy fats to your diet. We love both, it really depends on what the consumer is looking for each time.

Why are cleanses important to our health?

Your body is well equipped with detoxifying organs like your liver and kidneys. However, the burden of exposure to toxins is massive and odds are high that your body is overloaded. Your systems of digestion and detoxification are likely working in overdrive to simply keep up environmental toxins and toxins in our food and beauty care products. As a result, you are left lacking luster! If your energy is low, your skin is dull, your digestion is sluggish or weight-loss seems like an impossible feat, you could likely benefit from a cleanse.

Are cleanses dangerous? Many say they are, what are your thoughts on the whole cleansing process?

Done properly, with a careful ear listening to the signals your body gives you, cleansing is not dangerous for healthy people. However, if there are special medical concerns like diabetes or medications being taken, you should work closely with your doctor in making the decision whether or not a juice cleanse is the right choice for you.

In my opinion, for the vast majority of people, Organic juice cleanses are amazing! An Organic cold-pressed juice cleanse stops the influx of toxins (from processed foods, conventionally grown produce, food additives, chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics) and feeds your body with vital nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants. You will consume more powerful nutrition in a single day of a juice cleanse than you typically would in a week or month for some!

What I do think is dangerous (or useless at a minimum,) is participating in a juice cleanse with conventionally-grown (Non-Organic) produce. Flooding your body with up to twenty pounds per day of conventional fruits and vegetables that are sprayed with toxic chemicals and grown in soil void from all essential minerals is pointless, and potentially quite harmful.

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Do you encourage cleansing for weight loss? 

Weight-loss is a common and happy side effect of a great Organic juice cleanse. In my expert opinion, it is not sustainable to rely on cleansing as an on-going weight-loss tool. However, juice cleansing is effective at resetting your body to set yourself up for healthy eating, which will result in long-term weight-loss! If you fail at diets due to cravings, feeling too hungry or lacking the energy or will power to stick with a program, juice cleansing can help you get over these hurdles and set you back up for success.

How often can juice cleanses be done safely?

Our juice cleanse is derived from Organic, whole foods, and our juices are super nutritious, providing healthy fats, plant protein, and carbohydrates. With this in mind, it is healthy and safe to cleanse as frequently as you wish. The caveat to this would be if you know you are depending upon a juice cleanse to consistently undo unhealthy habits. If that is the case, I would say you need to look at your overall approach to healthy eating rather than seeking a quick fix for squeezing into your skinny jeans again and again. Juice cleansing, when done so with Organic produce, is an awesome tool with real and tangible benefits if used with sound intentions!

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So, there you have it! All of your juice and cleanse questions revealed! I personally learned a lot and hope you did too! If you found this information as helpful as I did, and would like to try out some of the Project Juices now, head on over to their website where code organicbunny will save you at checkout! <SHOP>

About Marra St. Clair-

Marra St. Clair is a board Certified Nutritional Consultant and a seasoned Holistic Health Coach, who specializes in cleansing, plant-based nutrition, and the mind-body connection. In early 2010, Marra co-founded Ritual Wellness, Southern California’s original purveyor of USDA organic cold-pressed juices, with business partner Lori Kenyon Farley. In 2013, the pair co-authored “The Juice Cleanse Reset Diet” and until early 2015 delivered their products and services to help people achieve optimal health through Ritual Wellness. In March 2015, Kenyon and St. Clair merged their company with Northern California-based, Project Juice, to serve a wider audience, creating the West Coast’s leading certified USDA Organic retail juicery.

Marra St. Clair

During her college years at Loyola Marymount University, Marra was diagnosed with celiac disease, which sparked her enthrallment with living a healthier lifestyle, focusing on nutrition, fitness, and well-being. Because she believes there is no universal nutrition philosophy that is right for everyone, Marra has studied a variety of dietary theories, from Macrobiotics and Raw Food to Paleo and the Primal Blueprint Diet. Marra is also certified in Pilates, Personal Training, Reiki, and Gyrotonic. She has been featured in several media outlets, including Organic Spa, Pilates Style, Natural Health, Mind Body Green, Fitness RX and more.

Credentials-

  • Certified Nutritional Consultant
  • Certified Holistic Health Coach
  • Drugless Practitioners, Institute of Integrative Nutrition
  • Level 2 Reiki Practitioner
  • Published health & wellness author of The Juice Cleanse Reset Diet published by Ten Speed Press.
  • Certified Pilates Instructor – Long Beach Dance Conditioning
  • Certified Personal Trainer – Academy of Sports Medicine
  • Certified Gyrotonic © Instructor

1 thought on “Project Juice Co-Founder Marra St. Clair Q & A!

  1. My only worry when buying bottled juice from a company like Project Juice, vs juicing at home, is that for the juice to taste good to their customers, they add so much fruit and you’re taking in a TON of sugar at once. Granted, it’s good sugars and not processed sugars, but still. I was happy to notice that Project Juice had about four or so juice options with under 10g of sugar. So do you only drink those and avoid the ones high in sugar? Thoughts?

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