SUMMER SANDERS is one of those women you can't help but immediately admire.
First and foremost - a doting mother to her beautiful son Henry, she somehow also manages to find time to be a successful business owner, entrepreneur, blogger, chef, author, cleanse consultant, active and inspirational social media influencer, oh, and did we mention she's also gorgeous both inside and out? Yes, this girl is on fire - and she's got the glow to prove it.
We sat down with Summer recently to ask her some questions we were dying to know about her thriving business Local Juicery (now with two locations!), where she finds inspiration, and how she juggles her busy life with grace.
Firstly, thank you Summer for taking the time to do this interview! First and foremost, we'd love to know what your main inspiration was for starting Local Juicery?
Thank you so much for connecting with me! I'm a huge fan of Raw Guru and all the cool people who are behind it. Thank you for the opportunity to share.
I would say looking back on it all that the main inspiration behind Local was connection. I was working mainly online and looking for my groove, I missed people, I missed the kitchen, the action, the process of creating tangible things. I wanted to connect and be connected with, and open opportunities for others to connect.
What lead you to a healthy lifestyle? Were you raised around healthy, plant-based eating?
My mom. She was a total 100% back to the earth medicine woman. I mean it, like no electricity, no hot water, home birther, raw foodie, Waldorf teacher who was living in the woods on a big organic farm with my godfather in the 1980's. So I was raised very unconventionally.
In my teens I tried to get conventional, but it backfired as it should have. I struggled with disordered eating from 15-23ish but actually found lots of healing and self-discovery though that "disorder". I really think we are given our hardships for a reason, they crack you open and plant your right where you need to be if you are willing.
Thank you, I love this part of the business...Maybe it was the Waldorf education, it's all about the art!
How long have you been a wellness blogger? How did you get started and what is your favorite aspect of running your blog?
I started in 2010, so 8 years! I have weaved in and out of the blogging world. I started to share my journey into raw food and since then it's morphed. I'd say my favorite part is the creation... the food, the styling, the photos!
What are the benefits of daily juicing? Why is cold-pressed juice so important?
Juicing is the super drug that everyone's looking for. It energizes your body, beautifies your skin, helps you fight off disease and is an anti-aging powerhouse. That' just the start of the benefits...life promotes life!
Cold-pressed juice is pressed with 2,000-30,000 pound of pressure. Fruits and vegetables hold their nutrients next to the fiber of the plant, when you press with this intense amount of weight, the nutrients are unlocked. When you use a standard juice technique like you find at Whole Foods or other standard juice bars, you're predominantly getting the hydration, the water from the plant. The nutrients are still locked in the fiber.
What is your current favorite recipe on the Local menu? Anything new for spring/summer your especially excited about?
We make raw tacos every Thursday, I love those. We also have the best pitaya bowl, really it's ridiculous. For Spring and Summer I'm excited about spring rolls!
We all want to know - what do you eat to keep your energy levels up and keep your glow?
Right now I'm eating a mostly raw diet. I change my diet up a lot, but I'm always leaning heavy on the plant-based vegan side. When I travel I'll have a little of my favorite treats or eat at my favorite spots, but mostly I eat pretty clean.
Morning - The morning I have a smoothie that consists of a whole head of cilantro, pineapple, blueberries, dates, green juice, spirulina and barley powder. Sometime's I'll have a shot of wheat or barley grass too.
Mid Morning - is usually more fruit or celery with dates or avocado and a juice from Local
Lunch - A huge salad the two time the size of my head. I make dressing with avocado, lime or orange, date and celtic salt, maybe a touch of garlic or lemon.
Dinner - I usually do a raw blended soup, a baked yam with avocado, maybe some nut butter, and a salad. Simple but so good.
Dessert - usually some dates and apples
Your son Henry is now 4 years old! We're also dying to know - what does your fitness routine look like? Any tips for mamas trying to get back into tip-top shape?
I jump on a rebounder, do yoga outside when it's warm enough, hike at least once a week and sometimes go to the gym. Right now I'm not in a crazy workout stage, my body is sensitive and I always hurt myself in classes or at the gym so I've toned it down. I actually feel better than I have in a long time.
I think for mamas there needs to be a shift in the conversation on fitness. It shouldn't be about getting back into shape, it should be about getting comfortable in the shape that you are now. Your body changes with birth and that's okay. It's been four years since I had my boy and my lower abs still aren't back. But I gave birth to a human! It's okay to accept your body, often when we make peace and love our body, it will naturally let go of weight and we will make better choices based off of this caring...
What was the number one challenge that you had to overcome as you planned and prepared to open Local Juicery?
Balancing time as a mother and a business owner has been the number one challenge for my heart. Henry was only one year old when we opened and my husband was still living in California because he was in the military. He would drive back on weekends to help. I was still breastfeeding, trying to open Local with zero experience, working 15 plus hours a day. It was so hard! And I'm so glad I went through it.
What do you love most about Sedona?
I love the feeling of being in a valley surrounded by majestic rocks. It feels safe to me.
You're the mother of a busy and spirited little one - when life feels like its too full or overwhelming, how do you rebalance/reground yourself?
I turn off my phone and hide out in my house for a day. I love being cozy, reading or taking a bath. Just being alone in my house is one of my favorite, most nourishing things.
What's the vision for your business and brand moving forward? What are you most excited about in your future?
We opened our second location up in Flagstaff, Arizona about 8 months ago. I can't believe it's been that long. We have a couple other concepts in the works, but nothing solid right now. I'm focusing on being a mama, writing my second book and just enjoying where we are at right now.
I'm most excited about traveling with my family and getting some good beach time.