LiveWell Louisiana

Juice for Joy

Drink to your health!
August 11th, 2014 by: Lianna Patch

A green-juice craze has been sweeping the nation for quite some time — but, as usual, New Orleans didn’t immediately jump on the healthy bandwagon. “Locals are like, ‘What is this green juice?’” says Sheena Mannina, co-
owner of Raw Republic, a Magazine Street mecca for juice and raw foods.

Mannina, a nutrition enthusiast and certified health coach, partnered with Evan Cretini to open Raw Republic in late 2013. The store is bursting with “vegan foods, smoothies, teas, tonics and elixirs,” Mannina says. You’ll also find all-natural body products and raw chocolates.

And, of course, there’s the juice. “We specialize in being a cold-press juice bar, which is a more labor-intensive, meticulous juicing process that results in a product that has 30 percent more nutrients than centrifugally juiced products,” Mannina explains. The store sources all of its produce from 100-percent organic farms. 

“If you’re drinking a juice that is not organic, your body has to do double the work just to absorb the nutrition,” Mannina says, citing pesticides as one reason for additional digestive processing.

Raw Republic offers one-, three- and five-day cleanses for those who would like to kick-start a juicing habit. Mannina says that often, a new customer will come in for a juice cleanse, and then stop by again … and again. “It becomes a lifestyle change,” she says. “The resulting energy — the change in your physical feeling — inspires you to change more and more.”

Don’t worry: Raw Republic isn’t trying to keep you away from the many bars and restaurants in its popular Uptown neighborhood. “It’s all about balance,” Mannina says. “I’ve been to Buddha Belly, and seen people mixing our juice with their cocktails!” She and other health coaches regularly conduct coaching sessions and raw-food cooking demonstrations at the store.