Meet Lydia, one who is passionate and free, full of inspiration and practical application techniques to help you live a better life. She is beautiful and confident, one to admire and follow along in her journey of providing sustainable, convenient ways of getting your body the nutrients it needs on a daily basis.
I met Lydia at the Portland State Farmer’s Market this past summer and loved the simplicity of what she offers through her company, Pure Simple Juice. Although simple and pure as her name states, her raw juice blends, seed and nut milks and beyond offer a refreshing complexity that you don’t often find in the juicing business.
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND STARTING PURE SIMPLE JUICE?
My background is in seasonally minded cocktails and small-scale agriculture. I have been researching and planning to start a juice company for over 3 years, and I’ve had a lot folks involved in getting it to where it is today. Pure Simple Juice is Portland’s first cold-pressed juice company, started in 2011 by Dulcinea Ward, and I took the helm a few months ago. I’m currently working with a team of 4 awesome people to ramp up our production and sell our seed milks and herbal elixirs in stores in 2015.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO DO WHAT YOU DO EVERYDAY?
My heart loves to empower people towards their personal health, and the health of their loved ones through drinking what is available seasonally. I’ve experienced a heightened sense of being, and have adjusted to the Northwest climate through drinking the ‘fruits’ of the weather on a regular basis, and I love sharing that experience with other people. In more personal terms, I love being up to my neck in fresh beautiful produce, and running a tidy, fun kitchen, getting to work with and serve such lovely people.
YOU’RE GOING TO SCHOOL FOR FOOD SCIENCE. CAN YOU SHARE A COUPLE OF THINGS WITH US ON WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?
Food science in a scholastic sense has almost nothing to do with nutrition or health. Every food product has a Food Scientist attached to it somewhere, and these folks receive very little training in healthy eating. For so long, Western civilization has been through fad diet after fad diet, with very mixed results. I am looking to change that by being one of those little fish in a big pond who cares deeply, and intuitively understands the healing and oh so satisfying power of nature. As for living a healthy lifestyle, there is so much ‘do this, do that’ out there, and I don’t want to add to that noise. That’s why I put my efforts where my heart lies, making what I believe to be one of the best sources for nutrition accompanied by sustainable practices, and a friendly interface. We want people to be happy, not feel bad about what they’re not doing. Come as you are and leave a little better… that’s what we’re going for.
WHAT’S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LOOK LIKE BEHIND CREATING YOUR JUICE BLENDS? THEY ARE SO INCREDIBLY WELL BALANCED NOT ONLY IN NUTRITION BUT THE LEVELS OF FLAVOR.
I could write a book on this… the ‘long dripping with detail’ kind. Nature is the superstar of our blends, and I aim to capture the true and whole essence of the produce we use. That’s why we leave the rind on our melons as an example, and use all kinds of produce and part of plants most people wouldn’t imagine using, like flowering herbs… I love incorporating flowers into my diet.
As for how we make our blends, I have been in the food service industry for many years, and our team pays close attention to palette detail. We know, and any home juicer will tell you, a difference in ratios can mean the difference between ‘blah’ to ‘oh my yum!’.
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT IN INCORPORATING JUICING INTO ONE’S EVERYDAY LIFE?
Our juices are very detoxifying, and deliver nutrients to your body within minutes of drinking. That said, not all juices are equal. Pasteurized juice is a whole different matter than the product we make, which is truly raw. Even many of the raw juices available are very apple heavy, and on the sweet side. I love apples, but considering sugar levels and balancing them with herbs and vegetables is a big part of what makes us different. In my opinion, synergistic raw juice blends that are vegetable based are one of the best ways to get plant nutrients. Using nutrient rich produce is the only way to get nutrient rich juice. So organic (whether certified or not) is the only way to go.
We’re currently designing a weekly subscription that incorporates a balanced variety of nutrients, through juices, seed milks and herbal elixirs delivered to your home or office weekly. It’s the easiest way to ‘eat’ well. By giving your body the nutrients, vitamins and minerals of fresh produce, seeds, herbs and spices you’re supporting what it does best, keep you healthy!
Currently we offer 2 versions of our 3 and 5 day cleanse, and these are like hitting the reset button for your body to refresh and renew. Most of our clients do this seasonally to feel their best and it’s something we highly recommend here at Pure Simple Juice.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INGREDIENTS ?
We source from local farms that you would see at a farmer’s market, some very small and some more established, and only from folks who use and understand the importance of organic farming techniques. I grow most of our herbs, and am working with farmer’s to grow specific varieties for next year as I have my favorites. Most of our nuts and seed are local as well, primarily keeping the entirety of our sourcing local, at about 95%.
WHERE WOULD WE FIND YOU ON YOUR DAYS OFF? ANY LOCAL RECOMMENDATIONS ?
The Columbia Gorge mostly! I love hiking, climbing, and the great outdoors. In town, I have several go-to spots, like Coava, Radar, and Oso Wine Bar. On Saturdays you’ll probably see me at the PSU Farmer’s Market, either the 1st Saturday of the month when we sell & sample, or just to shop.
The menu is set seasonally, changing mostly month-to-month, with plenty of variety and ‘limited editions”. If you have any allergies or dietary issues, you are more than welcome to let us know and we will do our best accommodate your needs.
+Grapeful Greens+ Green Grape, Kale, Rosemary
Packed with phytonutrients, this simple blend is beneficial for cognitive function, has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body as well anti-aging properties.
+Sweet Summer Sage+ Heirloom Tomato, Sweet Pepper, Carrot, Sage
This vegetable blend is blood-building and heart healthy. It contains high amounts of vitamin c, beta carotene and antioxidants.
+Orchard Refresher+ Cucumber, Peach, Golden Beet, Basil
This Indian summer blend is loaded with vitamins A, C & B. Synergistically, they supports your immune system and phase 2 detoxification of the liver for healthy and hydrated skin.
+Pumpkin Seed Milk+ Activated Pumpkin Seed, Grade B Maple Syrup, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Pink Himalayan Sea SaltAntioxidant and protein rich pumpkin seeds are paired with warming spices helping to support digestion, circulation and stabilize blood sugar.
+Calm Reviver+ Lemon Verbena, Licorice Root, Ginger, Sage, Rosemary, Black Pepper
The Calm Reviver is a blend of botanicals that support the nervous and digestive system. It acts by increasing circulation and improving digestion by creating movement and heat in the spleen.
Individual Juices Available At The Pure Simple Juice Kitchen
Wednesdays & Sundays 9am-noon
1620 Se 3rd Ave Portland, Oregon 97214
For Bulk Sizes (1/2 gallon jugs) and Special Orders email us at:[email protected]
For subscription orders, click here for more information.
Photos by Zach Shapiro of www.onehundredseconds.com.