Nekter Juice Bar recently introduced a healthy food collection at its location on 17th St. in Costa Mesa, so of course I knew I had to try it. I’m already a big fan of their juice cleanses but always wondered where to go after it was over and I had to start choosing my meals again.
I talked with Nekter owner Alexis Schulze to learn more about the thought behind the food, and how they made healthy taste so good.
Schulze, like many others, noticed a lack of grab-and-go items for the busy professional.
“I was always getting my juice and then having to get lunch later, and we all know most grab-and-go options for busy people are not healthy,” she told me. “I noticed people were struggling with both before and after cleanse options, so these food items offer up the perfect way to prep and ease your body in and out of a cleanse. It’s also perfect for a cleanse combined with food.” All of the food items are grain, gluten and dairy free to give your body a break from the processing those foods require.
Schulze worked closely with a professional chef to figure out which food items that would appeal to the masses as “normal” foods but that weren’t processed and helped contribute to a balanced diet while still tasting great.
After sampling some of the items, I think they hit their mark. I fell in love with the strawberry salad and the spiralized zucchini pasta served with a vegan marinara. The strawberry salad has a great ratio of strawberries to spinach (meaning extra strawberries!) and comes with almonds and a light, refreshing white balsamic vinaigrette.
They also have some great quinoa salads including Spanish quinoa with avocado, cherry tomatoes and cilantro served with a cumin lime dressing. I’ve always found quinoa can be pretty bland but the different combination of flavors Nekter uses really works for an enjoyable and filling meal.
Currently the food items are being piloted in the Costa Mesa location but the remaining stores (including the Newport location) will roll out the selections later this year.
As a person who doesn’t really get enough fruits and veggies in my diet on a daily basis, being able to mix in something more substantial like the zucchini pasta or salads with the juices is key. “It’s never about deprivation but about giving our bodies what they need,” said Schulze. I agree wholeheartedly.
Nekter introduced me into the juice cleansing world which I originally thought would be all about deprivation, but I actually learned that I was missing vital nutrients in my daily diet and drinking a juice a day benefited me immensely.
Most recently, I took the cleanse a step further and tried the Advanced Cleanse, after transitioning from eating some of Nekter’s food items and fresh fruits and veggies. I really enjoyed the lighter flavors and diversity of this cleanse which traded in two green juices for one with beets to help clean your blood and a ginger lemonade to aid in eliminating more toxins.
“Cleansing is such a personal journey and very much depends on the person. It’s a great way to reset and help our bodies function more efficiently. The bottom line is you can’t go wrong adding juice into your diet! I know for me it helps my energy level and keeps me on track,” said Schulze.
To learn more about Nekter visit nekterjuicebar.com, or visit the Newport Nekter at 2801 E. Coast Hwy. in Corona del Mar, or the Costa Mesa location at 474 E. 17th St.