“Juice is such a life changer,” says holistic health counselor Susan Cabana.
A diet trend for some and a weight loss aid for others, juicing has become a passion and purpose for Cabana, who now builds her lifestyle and livelihood around it.
On June 9, the vivacious 45-year-old entrepreneur opened her shop, Nourish Your Soul, in West Medford, Mass. The business features fresh juices, smoothies and cleanses, and emerged in the wake of what Cabana refers to as “life challenges.”
In November 2004, her husband, Christopher, died unexpectedly at the age of 37. Cabana was suddenly a widow and single mother of three girls, then aged 5, 3 and 1. Less than five years later, in February 2009, she was laid off from her long-term financial job at Putnam Investments. “I was in a dark place for a while,” Cabana recalls. “It was like losing Chris all over again.”
She eventually began to make positive changes for herself and her family. Cabana, a longtime resident of Winchester, Mass., started to run more regularly, practice yoga daily and make healthier food choices. “I kind of woke up and decided to live,” she says. “Chris would want me to.”
While working in finance, convenience influenced many of her decisions. Relying on “whatever got me through the day” meals often consisted of quick, easy and processed foods. Those habits changed after she lost her job and examined her life more closely.
With the help of yoga, Cabana took more time for introspection. She eventually saw the layoff as an opportunity to take her life in a different direction. “I never thought it would happen, but it was truly a gift,” she says. “I’m not sure I would have been able to leave something so stable.”
Cabana enrolled in Natalia Rose’s Intensive Teacher Training program as well as the holistic Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She also completed the Prana teacher-training program and became a certified yoga instructor.
Since going into business for herself, she has not looked back. As a holistic consultant, Cabana has attracted several clients, many of whom joined friends and family as juicing experimenters. “My clients often made excuses about why they wouldn’t juice,” Cabana says. “But they told me that if I made the juice, they would drink it.”
Less than four months old, Nourish Your Soul has already attracted regular customers and local press, including a nod from Stuff Magazine’s Top 100 list in July. Relying on word-of-mouth advertising thus far, Cabana has not promoted the business in more traditional ways. “There is no need to advertise just yet!” she says with a chuckle.
The next step for Nourish Your Soul is to add more edible treats to the liquid menu. Cabana also hopes to expand to more locations and add a delivery service in the near future. “I want to provide a healthy alternative to what is out there,” she says. “The standard American diet is lacking on so many levels.”
A believer in balance, Cabana says that deprivation is not sustainable. One to indulge on occasion—especially in dark chocolate—she views juicing as a lifestyle, not a diet. “Yoga is about combining the mind, body and soul,” says the holistic health consultant. “Juice does the same thing.”
Still juicing everyday, Cabana also recommends her favorite elixirs to loved ones. “My kids all love something different,” she says of her daughters, now 13, 11 and 9. Her 20-month-old son, George, from a recent relationship that was short-lived, regularly drinks a version of her green lemonade. “The sippy-cup age is a good time to start incorporating juice into the diet,” Cabana explains. “It isn’t too taxing because there is no fiber to digest.”
Her mother has also integrated fresh juice into her diet after battling two bouts of cancer. According to Cabana, the nutrients have helped boost her mother’s immune system. “Juicing has helped with the healing process,” she says. “And sharing it with others helps me heal, too.”
Nourish Your Soul’s juice and smoothie produce comes from Russo’s market in Watertown, Mass. Cabana opts for local and organic ingredients when she can, emphasizing the need for large quantities.
Focusing more on seasonal options, she introduced Watermelon Mint juice in the summer and plans to add a carrot and root vegetable-based juice/soup for autumn. To view the entire Nourish Your Soul menu, visit nourishyoursoul.com.