Last week, I met Amanda Chantal Bacon, the founder of Moon Juice, a raw and 100% organic juice shop in Venice. After years of working as a line-cook at Lucques and writing about food for the Los Angeles Times, Amanda took the bold step of going out on her own and chasing her dream. Opened in early 2012, Moon Juice sells medically-driven, hydraulically pressed juices that are a delicious as they are healthy. Her Golden Milk (unpasteurized almond milk, cold pressed turmeric juice, cinnamon, cardamon, raw wildflower honey), which boasts anti-inflammatory, liver cleansing, muscle & bone building, tastes rich and satisfying enough to be compared to a very light milkshake. In other words, it's delicious and addictive and best of all it makes you feel great. Open for just over a year, Moon Juice has built a loyal fan base and is scheduled to open a second location in Silver Lake this spring. Feeling all juiced up and inspired by Amanda's creativity and dedication to health (not to mention her radiant skin), I asked the Moon Juice proprietor (pictured below) a few questions about the booming business of juice, beauty and wellness.
Heather Taylor: At what moment did you know that you wanted to make the shift from a traditional chef route to being the owner of a juice shop in Venice?
Amanda Chantal Bacon: This came at a moment when a few things had fallen apart in unexpected ways. Rather than become discouraged, I took a deep breath and got to the heart of what exactly my dream come true would be: Moon Juice.
HT: What are some of the key lessons you have learned from owning your own business and being an entrepreneur?
ACB: You are only as good as the people that chose to carry out your vision day in and day out.
When time, task and impossibility are upon me, it's actually a good time to pause and let an internal shift occur rather than keep at it with the same perspective that created the problem.
HT: What are your beauty secrets?
ACB: I feel like the secret that I would be reluctant to share is the amount of money I spend on the foods, oils, juices and minerals that I eat. I do know that all of my crazy sprouted raw nut butters, wild seaweeds, tons of organic raw green juices, quinoa breads, and cultured veggies lead to beautiful alkalinity and intestinal health, which turns into healthy skin, eyes, hair, nails, breath, muscles, and bones. I don't have a trainer, I don't get facials, I don't wear makeup or use expensive products, so I see the value in investing in my super diet.
HT: What about favorite beauty products?
ACB: I have three things that have radically changed how I look and feel, they are my beauty products (it's a holistic, long-winded answer I know)! I wish I could list off three magic products, but after years of buying "miracle" tubes, pills, and jars I've never seen and felt results like these three tools have brought into my life.
1. Organic green juice every day. I drink a medicinal strength one with zero sweetener, this keeps everything flowing in my body, my cheeks rosy, my eyes clear, and a smile on my face.
2. Coconut oil. I start my day with an obscene amount of coconut oil on wheat free toast. Eating my big old daily dose of the raw oil makes such a difference with my skin that I don't need to use a moisturizer. I also use it in my hair after the shower, on my teeth, its gentle enough to use on my baby, as a lip gloss, I even put it on my vintage leather pieces that need a little love.
3. Kundalini yoga. This practice is way less about the physical than it is about meditation and subconscious clearing. Through this practice I have been able to take what seems like lifetimes of stress and unease out of my face. There is nothing more beautiful than a person that is truly calm and radiant, not that I always am, ha, believe me, but when I can get in an hour of meditation I look much better. No matter how long the lashes or sweet the perfume, angst will always be visible.
HT: What is a healthy habit that the average person can incorporate into his or her daily life?
ACB: Sneak a green juice in everyday! It doesn't have to be mine and it doesn't have to be cold pressed but it does have to be 100% organic. Just do it, once a day, for a couple of weeks, and watch your life change!
HT: The juices at Moon Juice have inspired ingredient combinations like carrot, lime and coconut. What is your inspiration for the recipes?
ACB: They are all medicinally driven but years of cooking, cookbook reading, eating abroad, and being mentored by great chefs comes creeping in!
HT: I want to ask you about turmeric, an ingredient present in some of your signature juices. Can you tell me about turmeric's power and where the average person can get the good quality stuff?
ACB: Oh my, just to name a few of turmeric's powers: major antioxidant, aids in digestion, the liver, your joints, skeletal system, blood, and cholesterol level. It promotes radiant skin, memory functions and the immune system. When incorporating it into your life you want to make sure that you are using an organic source, and for the powerful antioxidants it must be raw. Seek out the raw, organic root at your local health food store, and throb a knob into a smoothie. I like to peel the knob with a spoon. If this can't be found try a supplement form, but again pay attention to details, make sure its a 100% organic source and is raw!
Many more photos after the jump! And check back later in the week for one of Amanda's healthy recipes.