Steve Smith’s life changed for the better when he started eating more of his veggies. He also fell in love with juicing.
Juicing is the term used when natural liquids, vitamins, and minerals are pulled from raw fruits and vegetables. Vegetables commonly used in green juices include: broccoli, spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. You may be skeptical, but green juices are a good thing. As a result of going on a juicing diet, Steve Smith achieved better health.
Smith suffered from ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Diagnosed in 1995, Steve’s doctors recommended that he undergo surgery to have his colon removed. When he became unemployed his health insurance was dropped. Visits to the gastroenterologist were costing him $500 a session. Pills were draining him $500 a month out of his pocket. Pain and suffering continued–until 2010.
Smith remembers becoming anemic and being told that he needed a blood transfusion. “At that point I wanted to attack it in a different way because the medications weren’t helping,” he said.
A changed diet and a changed man
Smith said that he tried juicing many years ago, but was disappointed by the results. Smith decided to give juicing another shot and purchased an emulsifying bender, a powerful blender that grinds dry and wet ingredients in the same cup. He experimented with various fruits and vegetables and for 60 days lived on a juicing diet.
Within two weeks Smith noticed a change in his health. “I went from taking a lot of medications a month to no medication at all,” Smith said. “I haven’t been on medications since 2010.”
Eventually, Smith moved up from an emulsifying blender to a Vitamix blender, which equally, but more powerfully, blends whole fruits and vegetables while retaining all of their nutrients. Kristi King, senior clinical dietician at Texas Children’s Hospital said, “[Green juice] should be used as part of an overall, well-balanced diet.” But King warned that green juices shouldn’t be used for ‘cleanses’ or ‘detoxes’ because our kidneys and livers serve that function. Still, juicing helps you get your essential nutrients.
Taking his testimony on the road
In the summer of 2011, Smith started HealthXtensions as an avenue to share the basics of juicing. Teaching others one-on-one and in groups he weaved in his testimony. He bought his message to health stores, churches, and to various events throughout the Philadelphia area.
“Most people think that diseases are hereditary…eating habits are passed down. It’s really a lifestyle that you choose,” he said.
Smith works one-on-one with clients and develops a personalized juicing plan for them. Although Smith can’t provide medical advice, he’s able to talk to people about his own experience suffering from ulcerative colitis, anemia, and what doctors thought was fibromyalgia. “Basically it was a poor diet,” Smith said. “When I changed my diet all conditions dissipated.”
Shortly after launching HealthXtensions, Smith launched a second business:
Green Star Juice Bar. Smith said that what sets his green juices and smoothies apart from others sold in grocery stores is the quality in production. “All my products are made fresh. No preservatives or additives.” Unlike some juices and smoothies sold in grocery stores which are pasteurized to have a longer shelf life, Green Star’s juices and smoothies have a shelf life of two to four days.
His customers taste the difference
“I heard about it through a friend at work… I wanted to lose weight so I thought I might try it,” said Mark Keegan of Huntington Valley, Pa. Keegan said that he lost about 30 pounds while on the green juice diet in 2014.
Keegan, who additionally consulted with his primary care doctor before going on the green juice diet, was also able to lower his cholesterol and blood pressure. Keegan continues to drink Green Star smoothies and juices to maintain his health. “I see it as a nourishing tool”, he said.
When Keegan, 57, let his nine-year-old son, Carter, try a Green Star beverage, his son got hooked on the Very Berry and Strawberry Ade drink.
Smith works on his business full time with the assistance of his wife, Kelly, who works part-time. Smith has a website in development. Smith was unwilling to discuss his total revenue but said that his company services approximately 30 – 40 customers a week. His goal is to continue teaching and to purchase a vehicle to safely transport his products.
“It’s more important for me to get the information out there. My goal is to tell my
Green Star Juice Bar Smoothies and Juices
Available flavors: Clean and Green, Strawberry Ade, Very Berry, and Mango Madnezz
Distribution: Available in the Philadelphia area
Suggested retail price of $6 for a 16-ounce bottle, minimum five-bottle order
Delivery available but not included in the order