Friday, September 11, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: GREENHEART ORGANIC

Relocating back home to Washington, D.C. this summer arose a mélange of emotions for me. In addition to the dance that post-graduation lead me into—cha-cha's amidst wrong steps—I felt dazed swinging into a place lacking in the community I had been nurtured in. Home was missing the home of my heart—a nest woven through the wellness community of social media + the family of Uncommon Women I had been amidst for the past three years at Mount Holyoke. Where were the conscious creators, the farmers, the women pioneers, the spiritual smackers of D.C.? My stomach dropped into a pit of my hunger for finding community here.

Then I was met by an outpour of not only creatives—always fan-girling over you + your work, Morgan—but women entrepreneurs dedicated to wellness, from Chaia and Hälsa to Alexandra and Alex to Becky. These women are forces directly fueling the conscious community that's igniting in D.C. that I had been craving.

Yet, there's always a thirst accompanying hunger, and that was quenched by Greenheart Organic. I had the honour of meeting the incredibly humble hearted duo behind the line recently and imbibing in their concoctions. Deep velvety hues of greens, silky nut mylk, + vibrant beet shot straight into my cells. Infusing their creative spark into their blends, the Greenheart juices are heavy on alkalising greens + untraditional ingredients such as burdock [hello, pearlescent skin!], watercress, + fennel. They cold-press organic produce with loving intentions + pour the juices into glass bottles. Clear bottles, clear ingredients, clear love! Meet the ladies behind + read the musings of Greenheart Organic . . .


A L I C I A  + D I A N A  ,  G R E E N H E A R T   O R G A N I C  |   w a s h i n g t o n ,  d . c . 


Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create Greenheart Organic?
A | I developed an interest in holistic living at a young age. I was lucky enough to have a mother who took me to a holistic doctor and his continued presence, however sporadic, created a solid foundation I’ve always been able to come back to. At a particularly difficult time when I was super unhappy in my public accounting career, working long hours and struggling to make good choices for myself overall, my then-boyfriend was killed in Afghanistan. His death was a huge wake up call that our time here on earth is incredibly limited and I didn’t want to waste the time I did have doing something I didn’t love and feeling like crap while doing it. I quit my job a month a later and applied to go back to school for a journalism program at Northwestern. I used the downtime in between to focus on my health and healing and to learn more about myself in general. I started seeing a therapist, got serious about a regular yoga practice, and found myself spending lots of time in the kitchen figuring out how to nourish my body with clean foods that made me feel light, energized and, most of all, alive. Naturally, when we develop tools and insights and lessons that we feel may help others, we want to share and make them more accessible. I started Greenheart with the intention of doing just that -- helping others savor life, not suffer through it.


Q: Why juice cold-pressed, organic, the glass bottles, +love?
A | For better or worse, (most of the time for the better) my dad instilled in my sister and I the idea that good enough never is -- if you’re going to do something, you do it right. So, as a consumer, I have always appreciated good, honest, quality products created by people committed to doing things the “right” way. It was important for me to do the same with Greenheart. I chose to craft cold-pressed juice made with organic produce (+ lots and lots of love) bottled in glass because, in short, it’s what’s best for our health and our environment. Not to mention that I wanted to make something that I, as a consumer, would actually want to consume.

Before venturing into juicing professionally, I had been doing it personally for a few years. I started on a basic centrifugal juicer and then the word “cold-pressed” starting popping up everywhere. I asked around at the local juiceries I frequented in Chicago and did a lot of research on my own. After finding studies that showed cold-pressed juice had up to five times the amount of nutrients than juices made on a centrifugal or masticating juicer, I thought it was something worth exploring. I stopped making juice and started buying from a place called Earth’s Healing Cafe. The quality was on a whole other level than what I was making at home or picking up from Whole Foods -- the juice was more dense, had a fuller flavor and was incredibly fresh. Not only could I feel that the juice had more nutrients, but I could immediately taste it.
Many people don’t realize that to make each bottle of cold-pressed juice it takes about  two to five pounds of produce. So, juice is a concentrated form of nutrients. This is wonderful -- it’s why we feel so clear and light and energized after we drink it. It’s also why using organic produce is so important to us, not just some of the time, but all of the time. Because when you consume juice made with conventional produce, you’re not only getting a concentrated form of nutrients, but you’re getting a concentrated form of the pesticide residue present on that produce. Higher level of pesticides and chemicals in the body have been linked to higher instances of illness and disease, which negates many of the reasons why we juice -- for clarity and for health and for freedom from dis-ease.

Using organic produce and glass bottles and investing in a cold-pressed juicer weren’t the easiest or most cost-effective routes to take, but for us they were all no-brainers.
Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?

A |  My two go-to’s lately are neem oil and ashwagandha. We’ve had a lot of long days and late nights in the kitchen and the lack of sleep starts to show up  in the body in a variety of ways. My skin doesn’t deal well with stress and is unfortunately one of the first places it becomes apparent. Neem oil is a wonderful remedy for redness, dryness, inflammation and acne and I’ve been incorporating it into my daily skin regimen.


Ashwaghanda is an herb used frequently in ayurveda. It’s an adaptogen and helps build your body’s ability to cope with and respond to stress. We use it in our chocolate almond milk for Greenheart, but I’ll also put it in my smoothie in the morning, or have it with a warm cup of vanilla almond milk in the evening before bed.  

D | I’m a big fan of baths, and I enjoy mixing different oils such as patchouli, rose oil or lavender in a hot bath along with raw honey.  It’s very soothing for the skin and the senses.  

Q: What would be your last meal on Mama Earth?

D | My grandfather’s hand-cut, fried plantains. Watching the way he gently slices the plantains and serves the plate with love is so sincere that it’s hard not to fall in love with the dish.

A | Honestly? A decadent piece of dark chocolate cake. I made this one for my birthday last year and it would do just fine:  My New Roots Chocolate Banana Birthday Cake.

Q: What is your next big vision for Greenheart Organic?
The vision for Greenheart from inception has always been to have a physical space we could call our own and create a sense of community around health, healing and growth. In addition to our cold-pressed juice, we plan to have smoothies made with in-house-made nut butters and nut milks, raw salads and plant-based dishes as well as raw desserts and warm soups during the winter. With a cozy-cafe-coffee shop type feel, we hope to create a space where like-minded people can come to connect, catch up over nourishing, clean food and have support while working through life’s most pressing issues or celebrating life’s greatest successes. We’re in the process of figuring out how to make this dream a reality and plan on having a kickstarter campaign this fall to help with funding. We hope people will follow our journey on social media and through our blog Heart & Table.