On Eating More Plants


Since our inception, one of our main goals as a company has been to encourage people – our customers and community – to eat more plants.

We want this for the people around us because we believe eating plants is healthy, and that it’s nearly impossible to eat too many vegetables.  We want this for for our community because we believe supporting local farmers is a social good, and the world could always use a little more good.  And we want this for the environment, because global warming is real and animal agriculture is a major contributor to the problem.

The primary way that we encourage people to eat plants is by serving exclusively plant-based food and drink.  But we also know that you can’t eat every meal at Thirst!

The period that runs from Thanksgiving (or Halloween, for many with a serious sweet tooth) to New Year’s can be one of the most challenging times to eat healthfully – and many people eat fewer vegetables during that time than they would like to.

To help you stay healthy this holiday season, we’ve put together a downloadable guide of 25 Simple Ways To Eat More Veggies.  Eating plants doesn’t have to be challenging – but sometimes in the chaos of the holiday season, it feels that way.  That’s where this guide comes in.  Print it out and stick it to your refrigerator for easy reference for days when eating vegetables feels like a chore.

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Behind The Brand: Organic Living Superfoods

If you have been in to Thirst recently, then you have probably noticed the new nuts and snacks we have in the store. Organic Living Superfoods is the name of the company that produces these delicious, healthy snacks. Founder Heather Stevenson and I recently got the chance to visit Bruce Namenson, co-founder of OLS, at his office in Walpole, MA and get a tour of his facility as well as ask him some questions about his company (and walk away with some samples too!).

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Organic Living Superfoods started in 2012 when Bruce Namenson and Craig Singer came together to create a company that makes and distributes plant based and organic nuts, dried fruits, seeds, powders, and more. Bruce had previously been a part owner of Prana Cafe in Newton, MA where his passion for creating healthy food finally led him to start his own company. OLS’s original office was in a 200 square foot room in Bruce’s house. Bruce and his partner later took over space from an old yoga studio inside a building in Walpole. They had one small, plastic dehydrator. Now, five years later, they have expanded into other spaces in the building and have a facility that is about 15,000 square feet.

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Though OLS now has a variety of different products, it all began with nuts. A cinnamon pecan flavor came first, and then Bruce started experimenting with more unusual flavors. Potato chip flavors like salt and vinegar and buffalo ranch inspired Bruce, and he thought, why not try these on nuts? So he did, and the product was a healthy snack that tastes like a delicious treat. When asked about what makes Organic Living Superfoods unique, Bruce said that a lot of people think when you have something healthy, it cannot taste good, or that a tasty product cannot be healthy. By combining health AND taste, Bruce created a mission for his company: motivated by health, inspired by taste. Bruce believes that it is important to give everyone access to clean, healthy foods, so he sells his products to a wide variety of vendors. From restaurants and grocery stores to gas stations and convenience stores, OLS is dedicated to bringing healthy snacking everywhere.

Another component that distinguishes Organic Living Superfoods from other companies is their focus on quality. Bruce personally tests every ingredient that comes through his doors and every batch of food before it is packaged to make sure that it tastes perfect. He confirms with the embassies in countries where he sources his ingredients that farmers aren’t employing underage kids, and he has developed a certification for sprouting so that all of the nuts meet a certain requirement. He develops recipes with detailed instructions in order to ensure that everything is made properly. The bottom line at OLS is all about quality. If a recipe or a batch is not 100% perfect, it will not be sold.

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Looking towards the future, Bruce mentioned expanding OLS’s relationship with Tom Brady’s company TB12. Alex Guerrero, Brady’s personal trainer, came to Bruce because he loved OLS’s products. Currently, OLS makes power bars and other special snacks for the quarterback that are only sold online. He hopes to eventually be able to sell a TB12 product line in stores and gyms. Another future partnership Bruce mentioned is with a well-known, luxury hotel brand. OLS will soon have their products in every room in the hotel chain, which will be great exposure for OLS.

As Bruce showed us around his office and production facility, the attention and care he puts into every aspect of the company was obvious. Perhaps this is one of the reasons OLS has grown so rapidly in only a small number of years. With Bruce and Craig’s continued dedication to making OLS the best it can possibly be, they are very well set up for even more success in the future.

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Next time you’re at Thirst, grab an OLS snack! Or to purchase Organic Living Superfood products online, you can visit their website at  http://organiclivingsuperfoods.com

Thanks again to Bruce for making healthy, delicious snacks that we all can enjoy!

This post was authored by Emily Saperstone, Thirst Team Member and Social Media and Branding Intern.

Top Wellness Experts’ Tips for a Healthy Summer

With July Fourth behind us, summer is in full swing.  It’s the time of year many New Englanders live for.  The sun is bright, the days are long, and weekends mean time spent outdoors with friends and family, eating, playing, and generally enjoying each others’ company.  Summer is a really great time to feel great.  So we asked a few of the top Boston based wellness experts for their favorite summer health and wellness tips to keep you feeling your best all season long.

Kerri Axelrod

Photo Credit: Patrick Sporleder Photography

Photo Credit: Patrick Sporleder Photography

Who She Is:

Kerri Axelrod (www.KerriAxelrod.com) is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in helping women live healthy, passionate and purpose-driven lives. Kerri is an established authority in the health and wellness industry and frequently provides expert commentary for national and local media publications, speaks regularly at events and partners with top consumer brands.

Her Top Tip:

My number one wellness tip for summer is to get in tune with nature and eat as seasonally as possible. This tip is really something that I recommend to my clients all year long, as each season produces the unique harvest our bodies need, but it’s typically easiest to synch your eating patterns with nature during the summers. For example, in the summer months, fruits such as watermelon, vegetables such as cucumbers and herbs such as mint are abundant. All are naturally refreshing and help keep you cool. Fruit is also is high in certain vitamins like vitamin C, and minerals like magnesium, which strengthen your immune system and help your body to cope with the heat of summer. It’s typically also more cost effective to eat seasonally  so skip the supermarket and visit your local farmer’s market while you can!

Where to Find Her:

Aileen Axtmayer

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Who She Is:

Ten years of career coaching thousands of people has lead Aileen to believe that happiness in our careers can make us healthier and that being healthier can enable us to thrive at our jobs and in our lives. As a result, she completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and became a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach to supplement her master’s in counseling. Aileen brings these skills and her passion to her holistic wellness practice which has three main offerings: career counseling, health coaching, and yoga workshops combining the two.

Her Top Tip:

Other than opting for non-toxic sunscreen and adding in hydrating foods, my favorite summer wellness tip is a bit bigger in picture. New Englanders wait all year for summer and when it finally arrives, we tend to cram our schedules full to the brim without taking much time to rest and restore our bodies and minds.

Before we know it, summer is over and our energy is depleted before the busy fall season (then you blink and it’s the holidays!). If we don’t take the time to re-charge, our best laid plans to get that new job, or to start that new workout routine, often lose priority. I encourage people to use the change in routine that comes with this season to think about their intentions and opt for plans that align with them. If life gets in the way of that, setting goals to include little daily de-stressing activities can make a world of a difference in restoring energy levels before fall sneaks up on us!

Where to Find Her:

Gianne Doherty

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Who She Is:

Gianne is founder of The W.E.L.L. Summit and Organic Bath Co. and is a wellness thought leader, national speaker, and clean beauty expert. Named Boston’s Best Wellness Guru, and a woman changing the face of wellness, she is a passionate advocate for living WELL.

Her Top Tip:

Get outside as much as possible! New England Summers are fleeting especially so I try to rearrange my routine to be outside and extend the feeling of summer. I choose to walk more places, eat outside, picnics in the park, meetings and phone calls on the patio. I do whatever I can to make summer feel as long as possible.  Take advantage of all of the free outdoor fitness classes! A lot of these classes are typically valued at $20 or more so you are saving money, getting a great workout in and enjoying the sun on your face.   Additionally,  Summer is a much easier time of year to eat locally and seasonally. I take advantage of all the fresh produce available at the farmers markets, grill a ton and experiment with plant heavy recipes.

Where to Find Her:

Sarah Dussault

Who She Is:

Sarah Dussault (Sarah Fit) is one of YouTube’s most viewed fitness gurus of all time, with over 26 million views and 220K subscribers to date. Through her online workouts, healthy recipes, parenting journey and honest weight loss advice, Dussault built a community that has followed her since she began in 2008. Her inspirational videos and blog posts have made her YouTube’s most relatable fitness guru, or as SELF magazine editors claimed, “the perfect friend.” Dussault is a published author, ACSM certified personal trainer, holistic health coach and mom. She currently lives in the South End with her family.

Her Top Tip:

As a city girl, I love my studios but in the summer I don’t have any near  my family’s beach house so I create my own workouts that I can do outside with just a set of dumbbells. I either go for runs with my son in his jogging stroller first thing in the morning or I do HIIT workouts during nap time. In addition to creating my own (you can get them by following my Instagram stories SarahFit), I also love trying other trainers programs like the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. As a former personal trainer and current group exercise instructor, I really love trying other trainer’s programs to learn new moves, get out of my comfort zone and keep from getting bored! I find that 30 minutes of HIIT workouts help me feel confident in a bathing suit while indulging in ice cream and lobster rolls. I try to get in 2 runs and 3 strength based workouts a week to balance my summer “diet.”

Where to Find Her:

Youtube: @sarahfit
Instagram: @sarahfit

Jenny Hanway

Who She Is:

Jenny is a Holistic Nutritionist, Level 2 Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer.  Having worked in the wellness arena for over 11 years, she has worked at the celebrity favorite retreat, Amansala’s Bikini Bootcamp in Tulum, Mexico, was part of the founding team and Master Trainer at London’s first barre studio (barrecore) and has worked as a personal trainer to the British Royal family and the Hollywood A List.  Jenny has proven track record in transforming the health and physiques of her clients using her four key elements of wellness: Nutrition, Training, Lifestyle and Self-Care. She currently works with clients both in person in Back Bay, Boston and international online, and is an established speaker and workshop leader in the wellness industry.

Her Top Tip:

Supplement with sunshine. In the summer months I recommend my clients slim down their supplement regime – a great multi vitamin and a probiotic is really all that is needed if they are eating seasonally.  My one caveat to this is to get outside and get some sunshine! Vitamin D is one of our most important micronutrients (it actually works more like a hormone in the body), and at this time of year it is wonderful for both our physical and mental health to get it straight from the source!  Adequate levels of Vitamin D are vital for bone density, muscle mass, lean muscle development, blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity, and mental health and happiness.  Additionally, it might just be me, but I have a way more active social life in the summer! In the midst of winter (especially a Boston winter) I like to be snuggled up at home as much as possible, but in the summer you will find me joining my friends and family for dinner, drinks, hiking, and even SUP! Connecting with loved ones releases the hormone oxytocin, which decreases the stress hormone cortisol, and has amazing positive effects on our mental health and general wellbeing.

Where to Find Her:

Instagram: @jenniferhanway

Rachel Kaczynski

Rachel Kaczynski

Who She Is:

Rachel Kaczynski is a MA-based Certified Health Coach, freelance writer, and creator of “Spark Your Bliss” Affirmation Card Deck. She’s the founder of Healthy Chicks (www.healthy-chicks.com), a wellness blog inspiring women to live happier, healthier, more vibrant lives (without dieting).  When Rachel’s not writing you can find her in search of the perfect cup of coffee, sipping on a green smoothie, teaching wellness workshops or taking a moment to herself on the yoga mat.

Her Top Tip:

My top summertime tip is to be a little easier on yourself, and take time to indulge in life’s simple pleasures. After all, summer is a season of buzzing energy, self-expression and having fun! Often times we think about the things that nourish and fuel or body, but we ignore the things that fuel our soul. This may mean quitting your diet that’s making you miserable, hosting a seasonal dinner party with your best friends featuring vibrant produce from the Farmers Market, hoola-hooping or taking a mini vacation. I think we take ourselves too seriously far too often, so summer is the perfect time to let loose and do the things that make you feel juicy inside. To get started, ask yourself this question: “What makes me feel nourished, free and alive?” and then think about how you can incorporate these things into the beautiful season ahead.   Oh and by the way, you already DO have a “Bikini Body,” whatever that means any way. Rock it!

Where to Find Her:

Twitter: @healthy_chicks
Instagram: @healthychicks

Amanda Nurse

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Who She Is:

Amanda is a Boston-based elite marathoner runner, fitness coach and yoga instructor. She ran in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials with a personal best of 2:40. With her multiple New England race victories she is one of Boston’s most visible runners. In 2016, Amanda made a career change into the fitness world; she opened Boston’s first Yoga for Athletes Studio at Wellness in Motion Boston and also teaches at Coolidge Corner Yoga. She is the co-captain of Boston’s well-known running club, The Heartbreakers and coaches runners at Heartbreak Hill Running Company’s treadmill studio and as a personal coach. She loves to inspire her athletes to find their best session after session. Outside of the studio, you’ll find Amanda working on her newest endeavor, RunBabyRun.co, a fit pregnancy blog (because, yes, she is expecting her first child in October!), creating healthy meals, or training for her next race!

Her Top Tip:

As an endurance athlete, lover of the outdoors, and also being 6 months pregnant, staying hydrated is KEY. Drinking water throughout the day is important, but there are others ways to ensure you’re staying hydrated while you eat, as well! My favorite hydrating foods are: watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, salad greens and, surprisingly, yogurt (regular plain yogurt is comprised of 85-88% water! I love greek yogurt brands like as Fage or Chobani). Then, to mix it up, I love to drink coconut water post-workout. It gives me the potassium, vitamin B, electrolytes and good sugars I need to keep me going throughout the day!

Where to Find Her:

Instagram: @amandarunsboston

Cara Scinto
Cara
Who She Is:

Cara Scinto is a certified online personal trainer nutritionist. She is passionate about spreading joy and enthusiasm for better health and well being, for everybody and her positive vibe is contagious!  Cara offers individualized health coaching to those in need of mindfulness, balanced eating, and maintaining physical fitness.

Her Top Tip:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Summer months are hot and we need even more water than cooler months. Drinking plenty of water will help you feel your best! If you’re bored of plain old water, add variety with fresh herbs like mint and fruit such as lemon.

Where to Find Her:

 

Behind the Brand: Bola Granola

Two summers ago, as we prepared to open Thirst’s first location, we tried a lot of different granola.  We knew that whatever granola we selected had to be vegan and gluten-free, and we wanted it to contain limited added sugar.  We also preferred to purchase granola from a local company, though we tried granola from all over the United States.  When we tried Bola, which is made with all organic grains in small batches in the Berkshires, we immediately knew we had a winner.  All Bola granola is vegan, and they sell a delicious gluten-free line that we use at Thirst on all of our acai and smoothie bowls.  When we added the option to our menu for “extra granola,” it quickly became one of our most popular “boosts”.

Recently, I talked to the founder Michele about what makes Bola so special (other than the obvious fact that it tastes amazing!). Some of the highlights of our conversation are below.

Acai Bowl with Bola Granola

Photo Credit: Stephanie de Bourmont

The Beginning of Bola

I asked Michele about the start of Bola granola, and she explained that creating a granola company was not always in her plans.   She spent years running restaurants, but it wasn’t until after she’d left the restaurant industry that the idea of starting a granola company occurred to her.  Michele had left the food business to “follow [her] dream” of “being an artist,” and had no plans of returning to the food industry.

Even after she stopped running restaurants, however, Michele regularly made granola at home, and her husband was a big fan.  When she reached a point in her life where she was looking for ways to increase her income beyond what she was making as an artist, her granola provided the answer.  She thought about making the granola that would eventually be named “Bola” granola into a business and decided that she “just had to jump in and do it.”

Explaining the early days of Bola, Michele told me, “it was all I did.  It’s basically all I do.  It’s taking care of the baby.” She acknowledged thankfully that these days, “it’s working out very well.”

The Growth of Bola Granola

Starting from a small production facility in the Berkshires, Michele has grown her granola company into a household name in New England.  You can find it on the shelves at Whole Foods and many local markets, at grocery stores nationwide, and Bola ships directly to consumers, too.  I asked Michele about how she was able to grow her company and she explained some of what’s made Bola the huge success that it is today.

It is clearly a business driven by passion.  Michele told me that “I used to think when I taste this and I’m not excited anymore, that’s when I have to stop.  But I still have it every morning for breakfast.”

It’s not only Michele who is excited about Bola – her employees play an integral part too.  Part of Michele’s role is “making sure everybody’s happy here at the bakery.”  She explained, “I’m very grateful.  I’ve had a lot of good luck, a lot of great support, a lot of great employees.”

Customers, of course, are what keeps a business open.  “I love that it means so much to people.  We get really wonderful letters, some of them very emotionally connected with their parents who are gone, or a special occasion or trip.”

She is thankful for the journey so far.  “If I hadn’t had to earn money again, I would not have gone back into business,” she told me.  “But as it turned out, it’s been an amazing ride.  Meeting all kinds of great people.”

Part of what Michele has focused on with Bola is keeping it healthy, and she tries to get her employees to eat better too.  Bola has limited added sugar and comes in a less sweet variety.  When I asked her what’s next for her and for Bola, she told me Bola would keep expanding and that she might go back to school in order to gain more of a scientific background on nutrition.  We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Finding MORE Bola granola outside of Thirst

For those of you who want more Bola granola than you get on your acai bowls, on the Bola granola website, there’s an updated list of all the stores that Bola supplies (available here, and including local favorites like American Provisions and Formaggio) .  And Bola also does a tremendous amount of mail order.

Thanks to Michele for her time and for making sure amazing granola!

To read more about Bola or to place an order, you can visit their website: https://bolagranola.com/.  You can also keep up with Bola happenings by following them on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bolagranola/.

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Treats

Whether you’re celebrating love for yourself, your friends, family, or a romantic partner, Valentine’s Day is a day to feel good and help those around you to do the same.  And while we love chocolate as much as anyone, we don’t relish the post-box of truffles stomach ache, confused skin, and sugar hangover.

This year, for the first time, we’re introducing a special Valentine’s Day cashew mylk to help you or your loved ones celebrate healthfully.  Meet our new Pink Mylk.

Pink Mylk ($9.25 for 16 oz.)

Pink Mylk ($9.25 for 16 oz.)

Made with organic cashews, organic maca, raw strawberries, organic vanilla, medjool dates, filtered water, and just a hint of beet juice (for that vibrant pink color), it’s a Valentine’s Day drink that will help you feel your best.  Cashews are rich in protein, strawberries are a good source of antioxidants, and maca is a natural energy and libido booster.

Valentine's Gift Bag ($35 each)

Valentine’s Gift Bag ($35 each)

Valentine’s Day Gift Bags ($35 each)

We’re also offering special Valentine’s Day gift bags – the perfect healthful treat for you or a loved one.  The gift bags, reusable cooler bags, come filled with one package of Superfood Bites, one Pink Mylk, a 4 oz. mason jar of Bola Granola, and a $10 gift card for your Valentine to use later.

To reserve your Valentine’s Day gift bag or Pink Mylk, email holidayorder@thirstjuiceco.com by Sunday, February 12 at noon.  Be sure to let us know what you’re ordering, which date (2/13 or 2/14) you’ll be picking up, and from what location you’d like to pick up.  We’ll also have limited quantities of individual Pink Mylks, as well as Valentine’s Day gift bags, available in both stores for those who don’t reserve ahead of time on Monday, February 13 and Tuesday, February 14.  Ordering 5 or more gift bags or 12 or more Pink Mylks?  We can deliver to your downtown Boston office on Tuesday for free – mention in your email that you’d like to set up delivery.

 

 

Wellesley Grand Opening – 11.29.2016

Come celebrate the opening of our Wellesley location with us! All day on Tuesday, November 29, we’ll have special deals, samples, and the opportunity to win fun (and healthy) prizes at our Wellesley store.

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Join us for:

  • Samples galore! We’ll be making samples of our most popular juices and smoothies all day; plus we’ll have samples of some of our favorite food items like the Tuscan Kale Bowl and Spicy Peanut Noodles.
  • Free stuff! Receive a free Thirst. For Life. cooler bag (perfectly sized for three cold-press juices or one acai bowl) with any purchase of $35 or more.
  • Discounts! Take 20% off all shots.
  • Prizes! Snap your best photo of the opening and tag us (@thirstjuiceco) and use hashtag #thirstwellesley on your public Instagram account for a chance to win one of three gift cards, or the grand prize of a cooler bag filled with your choice of nut milk, plus your choice of cold pressed juice, plus Superfood Bites, and more.  Or join our mailing list and with any purchase to be entered in a raffle to win a $20 gift card.
  • And more!

Celebrations start at 7AM and continue until we close at 6PM!

Thirst Wellesley Construction Update #5: We’re Open!

We’re open in Wellesley!

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This past Monday, we opened our doors in the Belclare.  We could not be more grateful for the warm response that we’ve received from our new community.  To all of you who have stopped in for a smoothie (or several) or just to say “hi,” thank you! And if we haven’t met you yet – please come introduce yourselves.  We’d love to meet you!

Much of our exterior signage went up today, though some of it will have to wait for a warmer day.

Exterior Signage

We’ll celebrate our Grand Opening after Thanksgiving all day on Tuesday, November 29.   Please stop by for samples, discounts, and the chance to win great prizes! (Details to follow.)

 

Wellesley Construction – Update #4

If you follow us on Snapchat (for those of you not yet following, we’re “thirstjuiceco”), you know that we spent time at our new Wellesley store yesterday – and that it’s finally starting to look like a juice bar! The floor is in, as are the tiles, some of the cabinetry, and the wall separating the front and back of the house.

Future home of our menu board, above some beautiful new tile

Future home of our menu board, above some beautiful new tile.

We are really excited about how much bigger the back of house space is in our Wellesley store compared to Boston.  In Boston, we basically don’t have a back of house.   That means we peel every carrot, wash every leaf of kale, and cook all of soup on the counter immediately behind the register.  Thanks to the increased prep space in Wellesley, you can expect more prepared foods (think salads, grain bowls, and new snack items) and a wider variety of cold-pressed juices.

Inside Look - Unfinished back of house

Inside Look – Unfinished back of house

We still need to paint, hook up plumbing and electric, and install equipment.  And then we need to pass all of our final inspections.  But we’re close enough that we can now say we plan to open next month!

Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer.   We are also now hiring Team Members and Shift Managers for Wellesley.  If you’re interested or know someone who would be a great fit, check out the job description on Craigslist here: Job Listing and email us at jobs@thirstjuiceco.com.

Wellesley Construction – Update #3

Our rough plumbing and electric inspections are complete  – we passed! And last night, the Board of Selectman approved our restaurant license (known generally as a Common Victualler’s License; in this case a “Take Out Food License,” because we don’t have seating).

Check back next week for a longer post with pictures of the huge progress our construction team has made in the past few weeks!