Green juice, leg warmers, and vertical farming

Posted by Aljosa Numic on

To juice or not to juice? Over the years, there have been many recommendations and opinions from health experts, fitness fanatics and dieticians on whether or not to juice fruits and vegetables. The question is generally targeted around whether the nutrient density and fiber content is equal to that of which you would gain through eating the fruit or vegetable whole instead. Like so many other trends, the court of public opinion has swayed substantially over the years on this topic. The same stands for nutrition, exercise and wellness overall. 

I started my wellness obsession in the late 80s. Several times per week, I woke to my flip clock alarm at 6:00 a.m. before high school and participated in an aerobics class taught on the local public television station. At the time, I was searching for a part-time job when a brand new health club opened 15 miles from my house called the Holiday Spa. I took my scrunchie, leotard and, yes, my leg warmers to beg for the opportunity to join their group fitness team teaching aerobics. It was state of the art, a one-of-a-kind in those days including a bar and restaurant in the middle of the indoor pool packed with cigarette-smoking, martini-drinking lunch goers. They hired me for the 5:30 a.m. class that no one else wanted. 

The music, energy, team-based workout and endorphins had me at the first grapevine. There was thick, red, shag carpet and flashing lights with fully mirrored walls capturing our every move. With my “Madonna mic” securely in place, I taught every fitness class offered from step to slide aerobics and the quintessential bouncy aerobics with the “pony” always featured prominently throughout each stanza of the late 80s and early 90s hip-hop music scene. 

At the time, the “no fat” diet fad, which would eventually catapult our nation into a sugar addiction, was in full swing. You could eat as much as you wanted, as long as there was no or low fat content indicated on the label. The processed food market exploded with high-sugar, low-fat snacks that you could overindulge in and still be on your “diet”. 

Over the years, I have succumbed to many fad diets, from the questionable “Cabbage Soup Diet”, the “Hollywood Diet”, and the “All-Fruit-Before-Noon Diet”, which stipulates you can juice or eat as much fruit as you want, from kumquats to watermelon, but never mix with vegetables or dairy products. Today, my biggest takeaway after all this back-and-forth as to what constitutes a healthy diet? I think Michael Pollen put it best: “Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 

For the past 25 years, I’ve worked in the software industry in various management roles within sales and marketing. My passion is being part of start-up mode, forging through unexplored markets with disruptive technology and building driven teams and partnerships hyperfocused on a common mission. My love of fitness and wellness also continued through various certifications and part-time fitness leadership roles including Johnny G Spin Certification, Yoga Teacher Certification and many fitness conferences over the years since pulling on my first pair of leg warmers. 

In 2019, I attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, a holistic health and nutrition school in New York, graduating as a Health Coach. I built a small boutique practice focusing on corporate health and wellness which led me to my life’s work here at OnePointOne. My journey began as Vice President of Strategy & Operations for our D2C (direct-to-consumer) brand, Willo Farm, and I recently moved into my current role as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for OnePointOne. I approach every day with gratitude and respect for the impact that we are making on the planet and people’s health through our advanced vertical farming technology and incredible produce.  

As for my “diet” and exercise, I listen to my body, meditate daily, exercise regularly, practice lots of self care and eat mostly plant-based. I am remiss if I don’t have my morning smoothie blended with as many nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables that I can stuff in my Vitamix, which is my all-time favorite kitchen tool. Willo Farm greens are always on the ingredient list, from basil to savanna.

Try my favorite smoothie recipe below:

Sam’s Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

  • 1 scoop of coconut water powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp of chia seeds, plus a sprinkle for the top
  • 1 tbsp of organic cacao powder
  • 2 organic Medjool dates 
  • 1 handful of Willo Savanna or Baby Kale
  • 1-2 drops of pure organic peppermint oil
  • 1 tbsp of nut butter (I like NuttZo Power Fuel)
  • 1 tbsp of organic shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 organic frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon of organic cacao nibs
  • Approximately 1.5 cups filtered cold water (less for a thicker smoothie)
  • Ice cubes (use more for a thicker and colder smoothie)

Optional topping:

Add all ingredients to your high-powered blender, with the exception of the cacao nibs and optional dried white mulberries. Blend until you have reached your preferred consistency, adding additional water as needed. Pause and add the cacao nibs for 10 seconds to only slightly incorporate for a slight crunch. Top with a handful of white mulberries and a sprinkle of chia seeds. Enjoy!

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