Meet our Customer Service Guru Ali and her son JJ (Side note: Can you believe the hair on this kid?!?). One of my favorite things about Ali is that she is the personification of RAW- totally unfiltered and unapologetic. With two young kids, a demanding job, and another baby due in October, Ali has A LOT on her plate.
I sat down with Ali (and JJ, of course) to discuss her own experiences drinking Raw Generation juices every day as an expecting mother. As Ali has encountered, this is a controversial topic, so we also wanted to break down the truth about nutrition, maternity, and juicing.
You should NOT do a full-blown raw juice cleanse while pregnant. It is important not to restrict your calorie intake during this time. However, we think adding in fresh raw juices to your daily diet can be a wonderful thing! All of our juices are made up of fruits and vegetables only and are great to incorporate into your diet as a snack when pregnant and breastfeeding. Before we go any further, let’s be explicitly clear:
Results will always vary for individuals, depending on the individual's physical condition, lifestyle, and diet. Testimonials and results may not be an implication of future results. Always consult your physician before making any dietary changes or starting any nutrition, health control or exercise program. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.
Ali Gets Real About Raw Juice
Nicole: Okay, Ali. Tell our readers a little about yourself.
Ali: So I’m 27 years old, I manage customer service for Raw Generation, and I have two kids, Emma who’s eight and JJ who’s six months. And I am ALWAYS on the go.
N: What does your average day look like?
A: I try to wake up before five, give JJ a bottle, go to the gym-
N: [WAY too impressed by early risers] Hold up- before five? What time do you go to sleep at night?!?
A: I’m in bed early. I lay in bed around eight thirty, but it’s rare that I’m lucky enough to fall asleep right away or get an uninterrupted night's sleep.
N: How do you make the time to do things for yourself?
A: I don’t! I take care of two kids! [laughing] ... and run around like a lunatic…and every day Emma has some combination of softball, after-school activities, and tutoring… but anyway, I try to get to the gym between four thirty and five thirty in the morning, I come home, jump in the shower, try and get ready before Emma and JJ wake up, get the kids ready, hop in the car, get to work, respond to customers all day, go home, take Emma here and there, make dinner, feed the family, clean up dinner… and then I get the kids and myself ready for bed.
N: So in what ways does Raw Generation juice make your life easier as a mom?
A: You grab it and go. You’re getting a ton of vegetables and you don’t have to slave over a stove. You don’t have to meal-prep. You don’t have to do anything but buy them and put them in the freezer. The afternoon before you’re going to drink them, you put them in the fridge, and boom you’re done. Simple as that.
JJ: [perfectly timed squeal of excitement. JJ knows what’s good.]
N: How much of our juice did you drink during your pregnancy with JJ?
A: My last pregnancy I drank about 3 bottles of raw juice a day, mostly because I couldn’t stand vegetables.
N: How did your pregnancy with JJ differ from your first pregnancy?
A: My second pregnancy was a breeze! Literally, I walked in the hospital at five o'clock pm and I had him at eight thirty pm - it was really fast. He came out almost nine pounds and I got no stitches. My first pregnancy was eight years ago, and I was in labor for thirty hours. Back then, I ate like crap, didn’t ever drink any cold-pressed juice, and didn’t eat any fruit and vegetables. With my first pregnancy, I gained ninety pounds. It was SO hard to lose, so I was really conscious of that during my second pregnancy. With JJ, I got a lot more nutrition and only gained thirty-five pounds. And when they went to cut the umbilical cord, the OB-GYN couldn’t cut it the first time. She even said, “Wow, did you drink a lot of juice?” because the cord was the “juiciest cord” she’s ever seen!
A: [Lol] It was kind of crazy, right J?
JJ: [baby noises]
N: Were there any juice flavors you found yourself craving above the rest while pregnant?
A: You know what, I drank the Energy & Endurance raw juice more when I was pregnant with JJ just because it had a lot more vegetables in it, but towards the end actually, I drank SO MUCH beet- the Slim & Strong juice. I just loved the way it tastes.
N: That’s fascinating! Come to think of it, beets are a really rich source of folic acid and iron which are two of the primary things in prenatal vitamins… **
A: Oh my god! I loved it! I drank the spinach and kale juice just to get the vegetables, but the beet I drank because it tasted really good! When Raw Generation was started a few years ago, my mom was like, “Bill Geier opened up this company… You drink this juice for three days and you lose five pounds or more…”. I was NOT healthy at all, was young, ate like shit and still didn’t gain weight … so I’m like, whatever, but let me just try this beet one. That beet one- I remember it like it was yesterday- I was outside Bertucci’s in the parking lot, and I barfed my brains out. I was like, how do people freaking drink stuff like this?
N: Oh, wow...
A: So a lot of the time when customers call and say they don’t like that juice, eighty percent of the time it’s because they’re not healthy at all. They’re not used to drinking anything healthy. If we have truly healthy people who drink the juice, they usually love it.
N: True story. I can relate to that. I never was into beets until I started eating a 100% plant-based diet. So what are the most common misunderstandings about pregnancy, motherhood, and juicing that you get from customers?
A: I get a lot of questions like, “Can I drink raw juice while pregnant or nursing?”. The juice is unpasteurized, so I would contact your doctor first. But I always say that I drank raw juice my whole pregnancy and after because I know that it’s from a reliable source. It is the same as eating raw fruit and vegetables, but some doctors and OB-GYNs are really against it because of the potential bacteria that could be in the juice. It’s easier for me to say that it’s fine because I physically see and know the workers back there. I KNOW how incredibly strict Maria is [Raw Generation’s production manager]. I see it first-hand. I actually WOULD NOT go and buy a pack of juice from any other unpasteurized juice company just because… well, it’s not pasteurized, and I don’t know their workers. I don’t know if they’re washing their hands. I don’t know if they’re diligent about what they do. I don’t know! What I do know is the people at Raw Generation are BEYOND STRICT about adhering to food safety regulations.
N: Not to mention, the raw juice is immediately flash frozen after it’s made.
A: Right, exactly. Honestly, juicing at home is great. I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell don’t have time for that. Because of how quickly we freeze our raw juice after it’s made, this is just like juicing at home… but you know what? It’s cheaper! By the time you buy all the spinach and kale and apples and oranges and beets and all that jazz from the grocery store… and take the time to make it… It’s like, you might as well just save yourself the hassle and buy a six pack of juice for twenty dollars and have it shipped to you!
N: What’s your favorite thing about working for Raw Generation?
A: My favorite thing about working for Raw Generation would probably be... that we’re not selling a BS product. You know what I mean?
N: That I do! It’s easy to get behind our raw juices.
A: Yeah! And I’ve actually BEEN behind our raw juices, even before I was an employee. Like, I went from somebody who didn’t eat, drink, or do anything healthy to somebody who actually used juice to get healthy… It’s not like, oh, take some pills and lose fifty pounds… You can’t get anything healthier or more real than just raw JUICE.
N: Anything else you want our readers to know?
A: Listen, to all the busy parents out there who are constantly on the go, running from school to sporting activities to tutoring to social activities and whatever else, and as a result, end up eating from the McDonald’s drive thru… this is for you. Do something to better yourself. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. And seriously, it’s convenient as can be.
Prenatal Beet Juice Benefits**
Beets are especially beneficial for pregnant women. They are extremely rich in nutrients that promote prenatal health and prevent birth defects.
- Rich source of folic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin E which promotes healthy fetal development and prevents birth defects
- Boosts stamina which is helpful during delivery
- An amazing source of iron; prevents the risk of anemia
- Calcium and silica prevent osteoporosis (which is especially prevalent in pregnant women)
- Full of powerful immune-boosting antioxidants. Pregnant women require strong immune systems to avoid infections.
- Purifies the blood and reduces the risk of infection to the baby
- Contains a powerful anti-inflammatory agent which prevents joint pain and swelling
- Helps control blood sugar levels
(I should note, there is a shocking absence of correlational studies between pregnancy food cravings and nutritional needs. However, it seems to us like no coincidence that Ali disliked beet juice until she was pregnant, and then she just couldn’t get enough...)
What you need to know about pregnancy, breastfeeding, and raw cold-pressed juice:
As Ali testified, she drank about 3 bottles of Raw Generation raw juice daily while pregnant, had an extraordinarily smooth delivery, and gave birth to a healthy, happy baby (with an amazing head of hair, I might add... again).
Unpasteurized cold-pressed raw juices are safe for pregnant women to drink IF AND ONLY IF they are produced with the utmost adherence to food safety regulations. When food safety regulations are properly upheld, fresh unpasteurized raw juice is, in essence, no less safe than eating fresh fruit and vegetables.
All perishable food that is not naturally or artificially preserved has a much shorter shelf life, and that includes cold-pressed juice. Most juice companies use techniques like High Pressure Processing and pasteurization to preserve their products and extend shelf life. However, these methods also end up damaging or destroying the nutrient content of the juice, diminishing its health benefits.
Product safety is our absolute highest priority. That's why our raw juices are flash frozen immediately following production. Flash freezing ensures freshness for up to 6 months when juices are stored in the freezer. This method also preserves the nutritional integrity of the juice. Unless the juice is frozen right away, there is no way to control the natural process of bacterial growth that occurs with all perishable foods.
Why do you need to be cautious where your juice comes from?
Unfortunately, there's also no way to guarantee that all other cold-pressed raw juice production facilities are adhering strictly to the appropriate food safety procedures- let's say for example, your local trendy juice bar.
I (Nicole) had an eyebrow-raising experience a few months ago at a popular juice bar near my house, and haven't been back since. I was in a rush that day, so I hastily snatched a pre-bottled unpasteurized green juice from the cooler and handed it to the cashier. She smiled sweetly and commended my wise choice. Lucky me, my juice selection was on sale today. It wasn't until several swigs of juice later, stopped in my car at a red light, that I saw the little expiration sticker on the bottle. It had expired 2 days earlier. Shady.
You already know this, but let's just be redundant for a second: Always use your best judgement and make educated decisions about what you put into your body. If you're not sure you're ready to jump on the raw juice train right now, we'll still be here when you're ready to turn your attention to working on the ultimate post-baby comeback body.... Hit us up, Ma. ;)
Written by Nicole Neuhaus