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Q&A with Holistic Nutritionist Gabby of Village Juicery

Today we're discussing health, wellness and juice cleansing with Retail Manager and Holistic Nutritionist Gabby Ouimet of Toronto based juice company Village Juicery.

Gabby has a background in Kinesiology (BScH) from Queen’s University and a certificate from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Applied Holistic Nutrition. Most currently, she just completed her Masters of Public Health! You can find Gabby in store ready to help you choose the perfect juice, developing reset programs and consulting with customers on personalized detox goals.

Gabby has worked with the company for about a year and a half now. She first fell in love with VJ when they opened up their first location in Little Italy, just a short walk from her home. She admired everything from their flavourful beverages to their guiding principles on nutrition, and proclaimed the company a perfect fit for her career needs. Gabby always felt very strongly that she was meant to help people, and when she started dabbling in nutrition as a hobby, she soon realized it was a true passion and calling of hers.

We're thrilled to have Gabby answer questions on behalf of VJ and share her wisdom with us!

Explain Village Juicery's 3 core principles:

1. You are what you eat: we live in a world where eating healthy is a conscious choice and not always an easy one! It can be difficult to find healthy options in a world where convenience takes precedence. Thus, we at VJ believe that to increasing access to raw, plant-based to nutrition is important to improving the health of our community.
2. Knowledge is power: It is critical to us to help our community stay informed. This is why we always have nutritionist in our stores so you know what’s in your food, why we choose to work with certain ingredients and what benefits they have.
3. Be a Villager: Village Juicery is Toronto. We strive to be a positive force in our communities by supporting and working with local partners and charities.

Why is it important to choose 100% Organic ingredients?
It’s so important to know what’s in your food, and organic ingredients ensure that you are avoiding pesticides and other chemicals and GMOs. Choosing organic also helps support environmental sustainability and studies show that organic produce can actually be more nutrient-dense!

What does HPP'd mean, and why should we avoid it?
High pressure processing (HPP) is a method of extending shelf life that uses pressure by killing all vegetable flora in the juice, this extending the shelf life by 10x. However it requires a lot of compromises! It kills all the good bacteria which is important for digestion. It requires you to make product compromises- we couldn’t have some of our juices like Be Clean because of their lack of acidity and it would require plastic bottles. Finally, we aim to have our juices be as close to nature and as nutrition as possible. They shouldn’t be sitting on a shelf for 8 or more days!

What is the significance of choosing glass packaging?
Glass is a more sustainable option that allows us to reuse our bottles and we aren’t a fan of the harmful and unknown chemicals in plastic.

Where does VJ source their produce?
We source our produce from a variety of places, emphasizing local ingredients when possible. We are committed to only using high quality, organic produce.

What are the main benefits of juice cleansing?
Cleansing is a great way to reset your digestive system, gently detoxify your body and reset healthy habits.

What sets VJ apart from all the other juice cleansing companies in Toronto?
Village Juicery offers nutritionist-designed and nutritionist-supported cleanses, that are personalized according to each individual’s current lifestyles and goals. Each person is different and hence, each cleanse should be different to ensure the best possible experience! We have holistic nutritionists who conduct consults with each client and we then tailor or programs to meet their needs. We are also available for contact at any time throughout their program should they have any questions. Cleansing should be a positive experience and this type of support and personalization is so important!

Your juice cleanses consists of 3 phases: Prep, Elimination and Reset. Explain what each phase entails.
1. Prepare: In this phase you are gradually weaning your body off of solid foods and focusing on nutrient dense, raw, plant-based foods. It is supported with juice and booster shots and we can provide the food if desired.
2. Eliminate: In this phase, only juices, nut milk and booster shots are consumed. This phase allows you to rest your digestive system and detoxes toxins from your body.
3. Reset: In this phase you gradually re-introduce foods to allow your body to gently readapt to solid foods. It emphasizes plant-based food and helps to establish lasting healthy habits. This phase is also supported with juice and booster shots and we can provide the food if desired.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to juice cleanse for the first time?
It is very important to prepare in advance of beginning a cleanse. Going from your normal life to a cleanse can be a shock to your system, so it’s important to begin to gradually shift to a cleaner, plant-based diet before even beginning. If you are doing a cleanse and don’t feel right, listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. It’s also important to start slow and listen to your body. If you’ve never cleansed before, try a shorter cleanse or one that includes food.

When is the best time to do a juice cleanse?
It is best to cleanse during transitions from one season to another. These are times when your body naturally wants to let things go.

How do VJ juice cleansing programs differ from at-home, self administered juice cleanses?
Our juices are cold-pressed which is a gentle juicing process that does not expose the produce to heat or friction, better allowing the nutrients in the juice to remain in tact. You are fully supported and guided through the program by a nutritionist. We also do all the work! All you have to do is pick up your juices or wait for your delivery- we do all the planning and pressing!

How often should someone do a juice cleanse?
It depends on each person and their own needs! However, most people can benefit from cleansing at least twice a year, in the spring and fall.

Thanks to Gabby and Village Juicery for being so lovely, informative and passionate! We are fortunate to have folks like you so close to home.

Stay tuned for an upcoming review as I embark on a 3-day juice cleanse while transitioning into the autumn season. With Gabby's expertise and VJ's delicious juices, it's sure to be a great experience!

xx Cassandra

*click on the images to view their sources; all photos gathered from Pinterest

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