Food & Dining
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Juices and smoothies from Vitality Smoothies. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

I am not one to follow food trends or buy juices in cartons because they are high in sugar; truthfully, I have an affinity for freshly homemade ones. Consequently, I remained indifferent to the rise of expensive juice and smoothie shops. However, I have had somewhat of a change of attitude lately. Last year, for many reasons, my body felt sluggish, and after coming across a myriad of articles about the benefits of juicing, I decided to try it. I spent hours shopping, washing, chopping, juicing, and bottling for a three-day cleanse supply. I went in skeptical and came out hungry, a couple of pounds lighter, less bloated, and with zero desire to ever do this again. 

Juices and smoothies from Vitality Smoothies. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

When Vitality Smoothie (28901 S. Western Ave.) first opened, the owners invited me for a complimentary tasting and played a role in my change of attitude. Early on, the bottled press juices and wellness shots menu caught my eye. In light of my juicing adventures, I was drawn to the anti-inflammatory options. Initially, I thought it was my imagination, but I feel the difference with their juices. In particular, I have noticed that when I drink their Anti-Inflammatory Pressed Juice (made with pineapple, green apple, spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger) and Turmeric Ginger Bang shot (made with carrot, lemon, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne) in the days leading up to a flight, I don’t experience swelling. I also find that my body responds well to the Classic Beet Juice (made with red beet, orange, kale, and cucumber) because it is anti-inflammatory, and beets are excellent for your health. Their juices’ consistency is like water as they are pulpless. They taste really good, even though the combination of the ingredients may sound clashing. 

Chile Mango refresher from Under Pressure Nutrition. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

I had no idea what refreshers were until I visited the family-owned Under Pressure Nutrition (111 N. Pacific Ave.) after seeing their Instagram posts. Co-owner Christian Ibarra, who runs the front counter, has a wealth of knowledge and helps you select the right drink for your needs. Refreshers are flavored black or green tea-based drinks, but here they are served with a splash of aloe vera and a B12 tablet. The various low caloric flavor options have health benefits because they are rich in antioxidants and boost energy, digestion, and brain function. I can attest that I feel the increase in energy and mental stamina after drinking them. I particularly like the Mango Tango and Chile Mango flavors. For added nutrients, there are collagen, probiotics, immunity, etc., and a variety of wellness shots. The flavored protein drinks are tasty and ideal for a post-workout boost or meal replacement. 

Beet It smoothie from Rock’n Juice. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

In preparation for this article, I visited Rock’n Juice (2470 S. Western Ave.). I like that the menu lists the health benefits for each juice, smoothie, and shot option, which include energizing, pain relief, muscle pain relief, inflammation, detox, and more. Juices are made upon ordering, and their consistency is different. Although the pulp is pulverized, their juices have a bit of body, making them filling. During my visit, I opted for Beet It (made with beet, spinach, parsley, green apple, pear, carrot, lemon, and ginger), which is anti-inflammatory and detoxing. I also tried the Twist’N’Shot (made with pineapple, turmeric, and cinnamon), which is good for inflammation. It’s cinnamon forward and grainy; it definitively wakes the senses. My friend Lauren Ramos, who came along for the tasting adventure, selected the Lem Zep (made with grapefruit, orange, apple, carrot, lemon, and ginger), which has immunity and fat-burning benefits. 

Sunshine Shower smoothie from NUDA Juice & Wellness. (photo: Sanam Lamborn)

Another place for bottled pressed juices is NUDA Juice & Wellness Shop (407 W. 6th St.). My usual go-to here is the Sunshine Shower made with pineapple, apple, kale, lemon, ginger, and mint. I have also had the individual fresh ginger and turmeric shots for immunity boost benefits. Sometimes the bottles don’t enlist the type of juice, but a few are available in the display fridge under the register. spt




Sanam Lamborn

Sanam Lamborn created the Eat in San Pedro Facebook group and Instagram account in April 2020 to entice people to patronize San Pedro’s eateries.