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Two years ago, Lianna Sugarman launched her line of organic, local blended juices, called LuliTonix (Luli is her nickname). For now, they’re only available in New York, but she’s working to expand that. In the meantime, here are Sugarman’s favorite ingredients so that you, too, can make impactful, healthy blended juices in your home.
Five years ago, after leaving her career in commercial real estate, Lianna Sugarman was searching for what to do next. At the same time, she (like everyone else) started getting into pressed juices and learning about nutrition and beneficial raw greens. “So I was drinking these juices, and I did feel good, but I wanted to find a way for them to be more than just medicine,” she says. “I felt like I was still on that same kind of toxic cycle that I think a lot of us are: We crave pizza, we eat it, it makes us feel like crap, and then we have some kind of, like, kale shot, and we’re like, 'OK, I’m doing good.'”
“Then I read this book called Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko, who is the queen of green smoothies,” says Sugarman. “I started reading about all the benefits of whole food and the fiber and the way you can make these green drinks really delicious and still keep your blood sugar in check.”
Sugarman jumped in. “I bought a Vitamix because I figured, why not spend $650 on a whim?” she jokes. “I’m definitely not the kind of person who puts bananas with my spinach, but suddenly, I was shoving all that in there, and it was the first time in my life where I had made something so healthy, and it tasted really good. The weird thing was the more I did it, the more my body started to become addicted. I also felt like I was really marrying the kind of enjoyment of food that we all want to have while divorcing it from the stupid guilt. It had a lot more impact on me than the pressed juice; it cured my digestion, and I felt a real difference in my mood.”
Two years ago, she launched her line of organic, local blended juices, called LuliTonix (Luli is her nickname). For now, they’re only available in New York, but she’s working to expand that. In the meantime, here are Sugarman’s favorite ingredients so that you, too, can make impactful, healthy blended juices in your home.
I feel really, really strongly about greens. My first product line was green smoothies. But I think what most people think of as smoothies is just a bunch of almond milk thrown together with this and that. So I just coined the term “blend” instead. I definitely go for your standard greens: kale, spinach, lettuce, herbs. Greens are the basis for everything.
I like to put in organic black Mission figs or Turkish figs, which add different layers of flavor, are alkalizing and are also just really yummy. I’ll leave some little bits in there.
I’m launching some blends with microgreens, which are tiny, young plants that have an unsurpassed density of nutrients. I’m partnering up with this amazing company called Good Water Farms, and they grow the best microgreens anywhere.
Avocado is a magic food. Its fats are so good for you, and it really helps the assimilation of nutrients. When you have a blend with avocado and greens and lemon, each of those components work to make all the different elements more accessible. They work so well together, breaking down the nutrients and making it easier for your body to digest. Avocados create an incredibly satiating drink. A lot of people are trying to limit their sugar intake and are avoiding fruit, and avocado is a handy way of creating this super-satiating, tasty blend that’s nutritionally complete, easy to take in, and they have no sugar.
I started using mint in my blends before I really fully understood all of the health benefits. I put a lot of greens in these guys, and mint is a nice way to cut the chlorophyll taste that some people don’t care for that much. And mint is just really focusing. Herbs are filled with antioxidants. Basil is a blood purifier. Parsley helps nourish your kidneys.
Ayurvedics is something I’m really interested in, and I’m studying up on it. I’ve learned through my acupuncturist and my exploration of Chinese medicine that I should always try to temper the cold and raw ingredients with some heat, which is why a lot of my blends use cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper. Even lemon juice helps to break down all of the raw produce. You want to stoke your digestive fire. I try to use elements like ginger, turmeric, lemon, cinnamon, cilantro, and things like that to kind of balance out the raw.