By Karen Stokes
There are some positive changes taking place on North Avenue.
The Juice Kitchen, 1617 W. North Ave., which has been opened less than a month, offers fresh juices, smoothies, shots and spring rolls on their menu. Milwaukee residents now have healthier options in their community.
Maanaan Sabir along with his wife, JoAnne Johnson-Sabir are the owners of the Juice Kitchen.
Sabir shared how his healthy lifestyle was born from his family.
“Being a second generation martial artist, I was always involved in health,” said Sabir.
The idea for the Juice Kitchen began with the need to heal a child.
When Sabir’s son, Taj, was five-years-old, he struggled with ectodermal dysplasia, a condition that affects the development or function of the hair, teeth, and prevents sweating.
The sweat can inhabit the lungs or different organs.
“Taj rejected every medicine we gave him, so we bought a juicer,” Sabir said. “He got very sick one day and I knew that watermelon was a natural diuretic for the body so I juiced watermelon and apples.”
Sabir recalled that the juice helped release the toxins from Taj’s body.
After drinking the juice, Taj threw up, felt better, and from that point he improved.
Sabir and his wife learned as much about juicing as possible through seminars.
From there, Sabir started juicing everyday and delivered juice to his personal training clients.
“When we were searching for a name for the restaurant, my wife and I asked Taj what we should call the restaurant and my son looked up and said, call it The Juice Kitchen,” Sabir said.
The Juice Kitchen is in the new Innovation and Wellness Commons, located in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood.
The Innovation and Wellness Commons, a project directed by Walnut Way Conservation Corp., is focused on the health and wellness of the people in the community.
Other tenants of the Commons include Outpost Natural Foods, Fondy Food Center offices, and Milwaukee Center for Independence commercial kitchen.
An area that was once was the center of a food drought is now plentiful with healthy food choices.
There’s a line of customers anxiously waiting to order their healthy beverages only to realize that juicing is new to them and they’re not sure what to try.
There’s a colorful column in the middle of the restaurant with a menu of the many juices, shots, and smoothies including the ingredients and benefits of each concoction.
With some help from the employees, the customers carefully make their choices and seem delighted with their decision.
Angela WIlliams, RN and unit director of the Neuroscience ICU at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, said, “Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables is essential for good health and wellness. Juicing, using whole fruits and vegetables, is best because you can retain 100 percent of the nutrients which includes healthy fiber.”
The different blends of fruits and vegetables have a variety of properties that can aid in stamina, energy, or even weight loss.
Ameera Apple Pie for weight loss is made with apple, honey and nutmeg. C Walk is an anti-inflammatory drink made with ginger, orange, lemon, and turmeric.
And Purple Haze for stamina is a delicious option made with beets and sweet potato.
There is even a juice to help cure that Saturday morning hangover and yet another chock full of greens, named after our beloved basketball team, The Real Bucks. And that’s not even the entire list.
Charlotte Booker, 44, was one of many customers gathered at the Juice Kitchen.
“I’m just here to get a healthy drink. I’d like to live long and like to treat my body right,” Booker said. “Purple Haze is my favorite drink.
I juice to feel better, sleep better, get more energy, and for weight loss.”
For anyone looking to lose weight, juicing could be the key.
Randy Dillon, owner and trainer at Strictly Fitness, said, “My philosophy is that eating (juicing) can play a major role in fueling an exercise program geared toward improved fitness which could result in “fat loss”.
“I come here because I want to be healthy,” said Erica Heisdorf-Bisquerra, 32.
“When I eat healthy I feel better. It’s easy to make bad choices and The Juice Kitchen makes it easy to make healthy ones.
The juice helps me because I’m eating whole foods and nutrients that helps my body.”
The Juice Kitchen is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.