Vegan Juice Jam Ends Mass Fast at Choices Cafe (Video)
|Raw vegan Marie Jorgensen and Amanda Resto, the raw vegan chef at T.H.R.I.V.E. on Miami Beach, get goofy on juice.|
This product was the center of celebration at the communal space above the soon-to-be-open Choices Vegan Cafe (379 SW 15th St.) Saturday night. Juice bartenders worked up a sweat as they chopped and fed pound after pound of organic produce into various juicing machines and blenders. Vegans, raw foodists, animal rights activists, open-mined laypeople, and eccentrics congregated to toast the fruits (or the juice of the fruits) of nature's genius, guzzling organic wheatgrass, sweet potato, carrot, strawberry, ginger, sunflower greens, celery, kale, beet, jalapeno, lemon, orange, and many other juices. All told, the juicesters cranked out at least 25 pitchers of unique juice cocktails throughout the night, while raw vegan DJ Golden Del (AKA Jordan Franchini-Wolfe) spun smooth house music he likes to call "organic beats." Watch this video produced by Aiden Dillard for a vivid look at the shindig:
The party was hosted by Alex Cuevas, vegan activist and founder of the forthcoming Choices Cafe. It marks the end of a mass 5- or 7-day juice fast led by Cuevas via Facebook, which involved upwards of 50 people. Fasters and non-fasters were equally welcomed, so long as they paid the entrace fee: a bag of organic produce.
|Bringing a bushel of carrots is the equivalent of bringing the keg at a juice party. Jorge Cuevas, Choices co-founder, gladly accepts this guest's offering.|
He said he plans to initiate shorter group juice fasts in the future, and provide more education and guidance throughout the fasts to keep participants motivated. "I think that the juice fast plus the juice party is an excellent combination. It's a great learning experience for me, because I saw that I had 54 people or so join the fast, and about a fifth to a third actually succeed in it. So that tells me that there's great promise for it. I just think there's a bit more handling that needs to happen, and tying this event in at the end of the fast is a great way to celebrate."
As seen in the award-winning documentary, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead (about an overweight and chronically ill guy who loses 60 pounds and completely cures himself of disease simply by juicing) the first few days of the fast are the hardest, and Cuevas' experience was no different. "It took me a little while to get over the hump of being really hungry and irritated and loopy, and after about the third, fourth, fifth day, I was kinda cruising," he said. "You don't know how good food is until you stop eating it for a little while, then you can really appreciate it. When I broke the fast tonight, my stomach shrank, so what you could usually eat, let's say four units of volume, I was only able to eat about a one and a half. And I felt satiated and I appreciated the food a lot more, so that's one of the things you get from fasting, the spirituality and the resetting of the metabolism, and resetting your appetite as well."
|Alex Cuevas (right) takes a break and lets a guest try one of his $2,000 juicers.|
|DJ Golden Del spins "organic beats" to fuel the juice fest.|
The next meetup Cuevas is hosting at the cafe (which will have a "soft" opening in the coming weeks) is a Vinyasa yoga class taught by Lori Zito, followed by a green juice cocktail mixer, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday July 17th. R.S.V.P. via Facebook.
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