Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2015 Contents | PROFILES |
March 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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. She became the family health guru. "People
were calling me with health problems. It was
an overwhelming feeling when I gave some-
one a natural remedy, with just things in
their kitchen, and it worked."
When her contract with her employer ended,
it was the opening of a new door. "I was nine
months pregnant with my second child." She
went home, had her baby, and shouldered
her duties as a stay-at-home mom --- but
not for long. "I was bored out of my mind. I
couldn't fold another piece of clothing." She
enrolled in a class at the Institute of Integra-
tive Nutrition, and got the paperwork to
back up her knowledge. A year later she
graduated as a health coach.
"I started getting one or two clients ... I didn't
go fishing for a particular type of client, but a
lot of busy businessmen came out to me.
They needed to eat healthy on the go."
Smoothies, she decided, was the answer.
"It's easier to carry than a salad, and doesn't
take forever to eat. Plus, you can get filled on
the smoothie -- it's not a starvation diet."
"Illnesses started to be reversed. Skin issues
started clearing up; people started coming
off their medication. People started to lose
weight. You can't eat well and gain weight."
As her clientele grew, she decided that,
rather than go to them, she would have a
physical space where they could come to
her. "That's how the Juice Bar came about."
Apart from her juices, she also offers healthy
meal plans and cleanses. They even do deliv-
eries. Even kids are getting in on it. "The
feedback I got from moms was that it keeps
them filled and gives them energy, so I knew
I was on to something. And they have the
assurance that the virus won't get them for
a few hours."
At $30--$40 a pop, her juices may seem
pricey, but Talma-Xavier says her clientele
recognises the value. "It takes a lot of fruit
and vegetables to fill a glass. We don't put
ice in, no water, no sugar, no gimmicks. You
could spend $30 on a glass of my juice, or
you can spend $5 on a soda. But which do
you think will cost you more in the long run?
Would you prefer to pay for the juice -- or a
doctor? And, furthermore, if healthy food is
expensive, haven't you questioned why bad
food is cheaper?"
Her excitement over her product is palpable.
"It's thrilling when I see people walking down
the road with my smoothies. People are ex-
cited about us being here. Because I'm a
health coach, they like the fact that they can
come in and talk about their aches and pains.
Our mission is to get people to feel better."
The Juice Bar can be found on Facebook and
Instagram at JuiceBarTT, or on 221-4876.
By Roslyn Carrington
Photography by Richard Cook
Makeup by Reya Gosine
"I CALLED IT The Juice Bar, because that's ex-
actly what it is," says Kristen Talma-Xavier, a
response that is as cool and simple as her
fresh-squeezed offerings. As we sit in her
new establishment on the corner of Bengal
and Patna Streets, I take in the sparkling
white walls and almost surgically sterile coun-
tertops and wonder sheepishly if my kitchen
would ever look that clean. "I put 'TT' at the
end just to give it a local vibe."
It's not just the name that feels local. The juice
menu, posted on the wall in attractive script,
features local fruit and vegetables, including
mangoes, watermelon, coconut water, and
limes. "We try to give back to our local farm-
ers," she explains. "Plus I believe we were
bred to eat them, so it comes natural to us.
What's better than coconut water and paw-
As a concession to foreign clients and those
who have lived abroad, however, and in recog-
nition of the many health benefits, she in-
cludes certain imported ingredients as well. "If
we find a request is common, we put it on the
board." To the unaccustomed eye, though,
some of her ingredients may not exactly be
what we'd expect to chug back in a glass of
juice. Tumeric? Garlic? Charcoal? Hemp pow-
She explains that her recipes are tried and
true, and she doesn't alter her potions to suit
individual tastes. "We don't mix to order. A
customer might ask me to cut back on the
turmeric in this..." she gestures at the bottle
she is sipping from, which is labelled Youth
Fountain, "but if I did that, you wouldn't get all
the benefits you're entitled to."
And by the way, the drink she offered me was
called Rocket Fuel, a blend of watermelon, co-
conut water, coconut sugar, lime, and salt.
Just go ahead and drown me in a bucketful of
Talma-Xavier is the picture of radiance, with
bright, sparkling eyes and the kind of com-
plexion you can't buy in a store. She got into
health a few years ago when her first daugh-
ter began exhibiting asthmatic symptoms.
"She was just a few weeks old. We had late-
night trips to the hospital. They were unbear-
able, tear-filled. And not from the baby, from
me! I read up, and did what I could see was
logical. I cut out dairy from my diet. I could
see that natural remedies worked. I became
obsessed with them."
Working in the oil industry at the time, she
remembers hurrying down her work just so
she could have more time to do her research
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