Juicing, smoothies, and anything açai were the talk of the nutrition world this summer. With juice bars, like The Good Press and several others popping up in all the major Canadian cities, we were only hoping that something of equal excitement would invade the Kingston scene. Fuel has done just that. Sitting at Clergy and Princess, the new nutritious hotspot has everything to satisfy your liquid needs as well as an array of health food options and nutritional supplements. With a very Californian feel, Fuel Kingston has a medley of healthy and delicious smoothies that you need to try. I caught up with John, the co-owner and creator of Fuel, and got to hear his take on smoothies, the “juice cleanse” health craze, and how to create the perfect smoothie or juice that’s right for you.
MUSE: Hi John! We are so excited to be talking to you about Fuel Kingston, your new juicing and smoothie bar. My first question is: why did you decide to bring Fuel to Kingston?
J: Kingston has such an active and vibrant population, and I saw a need for a place like Fuel. I wanted to provide healthy and delicious options for active and health-conscious individuals. I wanted to create a fun and relaxing environment, a meeting place where people could feel comfortable to sit and converse, take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, work on assignments, engage with the staff, and get questions answered about fitness, nutrition, and health.
M: I’m sure you know all about the different diets and cleanses that are associated with juicing and smoothies. How do you think that affects people’s dieting habits?
J: The market for cleanses, cold-pressed juices and smoothies is growing rapidly. I think both fresh juices and smoothies are a delicious and healthy way to fuel your mind and body. Both are packed with nutrients we need to live an active and healthy life. A smoothie can be a good source of protein, fibre, and healthy carbs, while satisfying a craving for something delicious.
M: Are there any particular supplements/boosters that you believe work health wonders? Chlorophyll? Algae? Wheatgrass?
J: Wheatgrass is the king of super-foods. A shot of wheatgrass contains 96 of the 115 elements of the periodic table, more than any other food on this planet. It helps increase your red blood cell count, which bolsters your immunity and your body’s capacity to fight disease. Drinking 2 ounces of freshly juiced wheatgrass is equivalent to eating five pounds of organic green vegetables.
As for the others, fish oil contains essential fatty acids (EFAs) and omega 3 fatty acids which provides a wide variety of health benefits, such as reduced joint pain, enhance mood, boost brainpower, and memory, even impact your body’s ability to burn fat. Kale provides many essential vitamins and minerals to keep your body regulated and energized. To learn more about Kale, check out 17 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Kale.
M: There is such an array of protein powders on the market today: Whey, Soy, Hemp, Vegan. How do you choose the right one for your body and workout routine?
J: Protein powders have become popular for good reason. They are convenient and have substantially less fat than other high protein foods. There are several options when it comes to choosing your protein powder and many people have difficulty sorting through all the information and choosing the right one.
One of the most common concerns I hear is allergies to the ingredients (i.e. egg, lactose, casein and soy). Protein powder can be broken down into two categories, animal sourced and vegetable sourced protein. When it comes to nutrition and taste animal proteins are superior. Vegetable based proteins are a good option for people who choose to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Whey, the most popular type of protein used is derived from milk. It is the best tasting, most economical, and has the highest percentage of protein. Another benefit of whey protein is that it enhances your immune system in several ways.
We have a good selection of protein powders at Fuel including vegan and different types of whey protein. We can answer any questions and help you find the protein powder that is right for you. The difficult part will be choosing your favorite flavor.
M: I know that many people put energy-boosting ingredients like bananas, peanut butter and Greek yogurt in their smoothies — but should we be worrying about the high calorie and sugar content in fruit-heavy juices?
J: Yes. You should always be concerned with the sugar content in anything you are consuming. Fruit juices can contain high amounts of natural and added sugar. Frozen yogurt is also loaded with sugar.
Consuming fruit whole is always a healthier option. When we consume whole fruit, the digestion process is slower due to the higher intake of fibre. Using ingredients like natural Greek yogurt, peanut butter, chia seeds, or kale will also slow down the rate sugars are absorbed.
At Fuel, we build our smoothies using real fruits and vegetables, all-natural peanut butter, and Greek yogurt. We do not use any artificial flavours or added sugar. As a result our smoothies taste clean, refreshing, and vibrant, the way nature intended.
For example, the “Kalefornia Dreaming” smoothie is packed with essential nutrients, from kale, sprouts, fresh fruits, and mint; it is incredibly delicious.
M: For all the health buffs out there — is it better to have a nutritious smoothie pre or post workout?
J: Everyone should consume an easily digestible protein before and immediately after working out. The options for pre and post workout smoothies are unlimited. What smoothie is right for you depends on activity, personal preference and fitness goals.
For pre-workout I personally would choose a smoothie with ingredients like kale, greens, or beets to increase blood flow and provide the nutrients to optimize my workout. Post workout, you need at least 70 grams of carbohydrates and 25 to 50 grams of protein. Of course this varies between gender and workout routine.
At Fuel, we have a “Build Your Own Smoothie” option, where customers can choose from a variety of liquids, such as milk, almond milk, coconut milk, juice, and water. You can even choose the type of protein, such as vegan or whey, in chocolate or vanilla flavours.
M: The definition of the “perfect” smoothie differs depending on who you’re asking, for example, I would prefer a smoothie that’s easy to prepare, while my flu-prone housemate would want something immune boosting. All of your smoothies look delicious, but what constitutes your idea of the “perfect” smoothie?
J: Trying to define the perfect smoothie is like trying to define the perfect glass of wine. It all depends on your personal taste. If I am working out I like a smoothie with beets or kale and at other times I want something that allows me to remain healthy but still satisfy my sugar craving, such as our “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup” or “Pina Colada” smoothies.
M: What’s next for Fuel? Would you ever consider venturing out of the smoothie zone… perhaps into takeaway food? A salad bar? Vegan wraps?
J: We offer healthy snacks including salads, energy bars, and real food crackers and we are always developing new recipe ideas.
Nicole Richie, Online Contributor
Photography: Enoch Ncube