1/25/2018

Interview x Summer Sanders

Summer Sanders x Ashley Neese

Last February Nic and I drove up to Sedona after the Tuscon gem show to see the red rocks and visit this epic cold pressed juice bar I kept hearing about, Local Juicery. I had been following Summer Sanders on Instagram, the creator behind this organic kitchen and juice cafe and couldn’t wait to pop in and try her creations.

Suffice it to say Local Juicery produces some of the most delicious and perfectly balanced juices and nut milks I’ve ever had. I was blown away by the beauty of the cafe, the friendliness of the staff, the quality of their drinks and the down to earth kindness of Summer herself. We had such an incredible experience there that I couldn’t wait to feature Summer here on the journal.

Summer Sanders is the owner and co-founder of Local Juicery as well as an author and mama living in Sedona Arizona. Her new book Raw and Radiant just came out this year and it is full of gorgeous photos, inspiring meals and loads of Summer’s tried and true recipes. In our interview Summer shares her keys for a loving partnership, how she navigates self care, moving through her biggest insecurity and her go-to almond milk recipe that you’re going to want to make right away.

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You have a such a beautiful, full life with a thriving business, partner, and child. How to do navigate everything on your plate?
Thank you, I feel very grateful for it all, for the opportunity to be creative in my work, to be around my husband daily and to spend time with the coolest kid I know! It is a lot to navigate and admittedly, I’m not the best planner. I’ve really had to stretch myself and learn to organize my life so I don’t waste time. When you have a child, every moment is that much more precious because you can feel the brevity of it all. So to answer, I organize and prioritize as best as I can and I try to take it easy on myself. I try to show up and do the best that I can is each moment.

What are your essential keys for a loving relationship?
Trusting my partner with my dark side. To listen without judgment no matter how hard it is. Being willing to soften in moments of tension. Noticing the message and not killing the messenger. For us, since we work together, we have to make time for play. That helps us more than anything, doing fun things together and seeing our playful sides.

Preparing nourishing, colorful meals is a huge part of your life and practice. What suggestions do you have for parents looking to incorporate more colorful foods into their children’s meals.
Start them young! Henry’s first drink beyond breast milk was green juice. If you develop their palette to appreciate the greens, they will be life long lovers. He munches greens and avocados all day long. I’m a proud mama.

If you’re just starting out, try green smoothies… banana, spinach, kale, almond butter, a clean protein powder if you wish, maybe some dates… this is a great way to get kiddos okay with the color green.

I feel like kids mostly love real colorful food, if you just give them what you want them to eat and don’t offer other options, they will eat it. They need you to hold this form for them.

Summer Sanders x Ashley Neese

Your recipes are incredible. Would you share one of your go-to nut milk recipes that can easily made at home?
Thank you! Lately I’ve been making a quick Matcha Milk at home that takes seconds. I literally drink this everyday.

12oz cold good quality water (I use spring water)
2 teaspoon Matcha (I like a lot of it!)
2 tablespoon stone ground almond butter
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
5 drops Omica vanilla stevia or 2 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean

Blend and enjoy!

You’ve lived in some of the most beautiful and nature-focused cities in the country, how has being around such beauty influenced your life and work?
I love each place that I’ve been called to spend time. I think every spot I’ve lived has taught me unique lessons. Each place has been incredibly beautiful in it’s own way, even the concrete and sometimes hard to understand streets of Hollywood.

Sedona, Arizona where I’m from and split my time in now is very intense. Intense heat, intense changes in the terrain, intense nature, intense history, intense colors… I find that living here is forcing me to soften because this place can be so sharp and it really needs softness. I’m balancing my feminine/masculine energies here and learning that you can be a woman and be soft and still run a great business.

Interview x Summer Sanders

Interview x Summer Sanders

Have you ever struggled with self care? How did you navigate that?
Yes. I’ve struggled with it a lot. I was in a battle with my self for a very long time. I had disordered eating from a young age, a skewed since of self in the mirror and in other ways… I often felt unmotivated or like a failure because I didn’t want the traditional life. I look back at my teens and 20’s and it’s like I was in some kind of fog or dark mist. I feel like I’m living a whole different life now. Thank god for those dark years though, I learned so much about who I am, what I want and what I stand for.

I came out of the “dark ages” not surprisingly by juice cleansing, embracing holistic healing on a deep level and changing my entire life routine. I did a two week juice cleanse in 2009 and lost 20 pounds of stagnant wight as well as a whole lot of unhealthy lifestyle habits. I had been living in San Francisco working in the beauty industry and my whole body was just toxic. I remember feeling SO horrible. I couldn’t lose weight, I was depressed, unmotivated and totally unhappy with who I was. I one day just decided I needed to fully cleanse and the only way I knew was a juice cleanse. That same day the book A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson found its way into my hands. That day changed my entire life course.

Share three of your favorite and most challenging aspects of parenthood thus far.
Balance: Balancing work and Henry is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I want him to see me activated, to see me doing what matters to me and what I feel serves the world. I go in and out of having guilt about late nights and not being with him the way I want to be sometimes. I think this is something every working mother must feel.

Breastfeeding: nursing was/is one of my favorite things! I think it’s the sweetest most precocious thing that we get to nurture our children in this way. We feed them on a soul level too when we breastfeed. So much potential here for deep love and blessings.

Presence: Being present is the most challenging thing and the most rewarding. When I’m not with Henry 100% he feels it and he acts out to get me back on his level and tapped in, when I’m present he feels it and our connection is amazing. He is such a teacher for me.

Interview x Summer Sanders

Biggest insecurity and how you’re moving through it.
I think it’s not measuring up to my unattainable standards for myself, and honestly, I feel insecure in admitting insecurities sometimes. Loving my body is a challenge for me. I feel like this is my final frontier in loving myself. Letting go of perfection and these crazy standard that some magazine/society brainwashed me with years ago. It’s easy to know conceptually that this is just a body and I am not my body, but when it comes down to it, It can be a challenge to put this into practice and see the lovely being that I am. This is my daily work.

Something about you that will surprise us.
Hmmm… my first job was landscaping and working on a farm. I think it set in some good work principle for me that I still hold today.

Who would you love to meet for juice?
This may be cheesy, but since it’s fantasy… I would like to meet my 15 year old self. She needed someone to give her good green juice and tell here how amazing she was, how sweet and valuable she was and have a good chat and cheers over some greens.

When are you the best version of yourself?
When I’m going to yoga, getting good doses of nature, doing my 30 min of breath work and eating what I know works for me.

What are you most grateful for?
The opportunity to work and live in a way that I feel serves my communities, my heart, and my family.

x

photos x jane in the woods, lauren j photography and alexa gray

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© ASHLEY NEESE 2018