Interview: Jennifer Pansa of Juice Lab

 

Jennifer Pansa is the co-owner and co-founder of Key Biscayne's upcoming Juice Lab at 38 Crandon Blvd. When I heard about Juice Lab's new spot I thought "A Juice Bar in Key Biscayne from a Yogi Enthusiast?! It’s like Christmas." No seriously. Living in LA grabbing a juice in NBD. In fact, people are just as likely to show up to any occasion with a fresh pressed juice in their hand as coffee. But in Miami, well we just aren't there yet. I couldn't wait to hear more about her yoga and juicing adventures and pick her pretty mind. I think you are all going to really enjoy this!

Hi Jennifer!

I'm so excited. Let's start from the top...

    What brought you all the way from Colorado to Miami, FL?

Well, I got cold! I was previously living in the mountains of Vail Colorado, and the winters were fun with all of the outdoor activities but also very long. I always wanted to live in a beach town and South Beach organically became the destination of choice! I still go back to Colorado often to see my family and get my fix of snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking. My major in college was International Relations with an emphasis in Latin America, so Miami is the perfect fit for me with its tropical climate and beautiful blend of people from Europe, South America and the Caribbean- it almost feels as if you are living in a different country. 

    I love Yoga. In fact, I used to teach as well. When did you start Doing Yoga/Teaching Yoga? Tell me more about Ansa Yoga.

Good for you! Getting a 200-hour teacher training certification is something that is life changing, even if you do not pursue it full time. For me, teaching helps me to learn and grow more every day. My students are my greatest teachers.

I started doing yoga in college after getting severe tendonitis in my feet while backpacking in Patagonia. After completing physical therapy, I started doing yoga on my own, not knowing anything about it. Instantly, I knew yoga was perfect for me because of how GOOD I felt, not just from my injury, but in every aspect of my life. Right away, yoga became part of my daily routine. As my journey deepened and my practice blossomed, quickly I found my natural aptitude for teaching.

Ansa yoga is a vinyasa based practice that is a fluid combination of breath and movement. It is an inspiring and laid-back class focusing on the transitions through various postures. Intensity builds throughout the class with the breath. The focus is total body integration and functional flexibility, meaning you do not have to be a circus performer to enjoy this class. Balance is achieved through introspection and relaxation to create fuel for life. Ansa yoga is a practice for yogis and non-yogis alike.

   I just moved back to Miami after several years living in Los Angeles, and found a great juice bar difficult to find here. Was starting a juice bar just a natural progression of your lifestyle?

Yes, this has been a completely organic process. Similar to LA, Colorado is full of conscious places to eat and drink. Here in Miami I sometimes find it more challenging to find healthy food, especially something quick or on the go. I teach a lot of yoga in Key Biscayne, and was hard pressed to find a great juice bar in the area. 

In my opinion, yoga is not just a practice, but a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet. I was already bringing juices to my yoga students and the response was so great that it only made senses to open a location and spread the juice love. 

 •  With Summer in full force, so many people are looking for healthy ways to curb those junk food cravings… What juices would you recommend for this?

Junk food cravings are caused by increased levels of Candida, a form of yeast that lives in the mouth and intestines that aids with digestion. Candida can be overproduced or overgrown by consuming too many sugary or high-fat foods and this overgrowth can penetrate the bloodstream releasing toxic byproducts into the body. 

According to heath guru and author Toni Toney, it is estimated that 80 percent of Americans have or have had an candida overgrowth and are completely unaware that this is the root to failed diet and weight loss attempts. The best way to get control of your diet and control your cravings is to create balance in your body by doing a detox. Juice Lab offers a three-day detox cleanse starting at $225. Nicolas Torrent, Juice Lab’s detoxification specialist and raw food chef creates specialty concoctions to clean out the system and reset the body to crave the nutrients and vitamins it needs for optimal health. 

 •  What is the juice that you make for yourself the most?

While I do make a lot of juice and smoothies at home, I make sure to drink as much cold-pressed juice as I can. Cold pressed juice is different than at home juicing because it maintains a higher nutritional and enzymatic quality. The slow pressing process of the locally sourced produce creates juice that is alive and vital. The juice is not heated, and it does not rapidly oxidize and decay like other traditional juicing processes. For this reason, at home I make more smoothies, or I eat the whole fruit or vegetable. 

 My favorite smoothie to make is my Summer Refresher.

Blend everything until its smooth delicious perfection:

2 Whole Mangos // 1 Banana // 1 Cup Raw Coconut Water // Ice

 • What is your go to cleanse? 

My go to cleanse is the three-day detox by Juice Lab. Many juices out there are more for substance and are hard to essentially swallow or stomach due to the unbearable taste. Our juices taste fantastic thanks to the unique combinations of fresh blends Nicholas creates. 

Also, our detox is rooted in true healing powers and knowledge. Nicholas has studied with all of the top names in detox and health internationally including Dr. Morse M.D., Viktoras Kulvinskas and Toni Toney. The deep, scientific understanding of how each fresh ingredient works with the body and our clinical and culinary experience sets our detox apart from any other on the market.  

 • Alright… For our summer socialites…  Is there a hangover juice cure? 

Haha! Yes, summer parties and one too many glasses of wine can get the best of anyone. The most important way to cure a hangover is to get the toxins out and restore vital nutrients into the bloodstream. The best juice hangover cure is the Pink Lemonade - grapes, lemons, pomegranates and beets. Grapes and lemons are the ultimate restorative ingredients. The beets and pomegranate help purify the blood and serve as a tonic for the liver. This is the perfect juice to drink first thing in the morning after a long night out! 

Looks like I found the perfect place for a pre-wedding day cleanse!