Q&A with Anna in the Raw

Since Anna Harouvis was featured in our spring edition of Edible Cleveland, she has opened her second café in Tremont and continued to supply some of our favorite local athletes with fresh cold-pressed juice. We caught up with her over the holidays to plan this month’s 3-day cleanse giveaway and ask her a few questions about juice, hangovers, and how to bring a healthy balance to 2016.

Anna, you’ve been doing cold-pressed juices here in Cleveland for a number of years now, can you explain how cold-pressed juice is different than regular juice?

Cold-pressed juice is actually pressed and the motor is far enough away that is doesn’t heat to break down the integrity of the juice. This allows the juice to have a 72-hour shelf life without preservatives. We are the only place in Cleveland to have the top of the line commercial cold-press juicer which is on display downtown for anyone interested in seeing it. It can produce 160 ounces of juice an hour and has 100 pounds of pressure to provide the best juice available on the market and the lowest waste left over for the environment.

You’re known for your delicious, healthy juices that help hydrate the Cavs and the Indians, but your cafes also serve food, tell us a bit about what we’ll find on your menu. 

Actually we are going back to our roots this coming year. We were 100% gluten free and non-GMO and found it incredibly difficult to source and have a set menu. We will continue with the non-GMO and add organic options, but when I opened Good to Go in 2001 I offered more variety—I made homemade subs and specials and soups. I actually miss cooking so since we are moving into a larger space, we will offer about 50% gluten-free and 50% house-made breads and specials, and we will still have a wide variety of raw and vegan options.

Also, my meal planning program coming in 2016 is food planning for everyone. It will range $12-15 a main meal and offer “healthy fast food” which also happens to be low sugar. It’s a great alternative to meal prepping for those who have zero time or patience.

Everyone is looking for that special something to help them stay or get healthy, what one ingredient do you think is all hype? What should folks look for on their labels to stay healthy? 

I lost 20 pounds recently and you know the big secret? No sugar or low sugar and I stopped eating anything processed.

Yep, just ate proteins and veggies and had two fruit servings a day or one of my juices and that’s the secret. Actually I didn’t even work out during that time! So my best advice—stop sugar, and that means anything white, potatoes, rice, pasta and treats. Balance is also key. If you go crazy one day, drink water and just take the stairs and eat better the next day.  It’s life and we just need to do the best we can.

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

I say no! I say drinks tons of water. Lemon water first thing in the morning will give you a longer and healthier life and its the simplest and least expensive way to do that. Room temperature with lemon squeezed in and if you want to speed up your metabolism add some cayenne pepper. It gets addictive. Then just try to graze throughout the day. I think that’s why they always want you to start in the morning, so you don’t wait and binge later. I usually have my biggest meal first and smallest at the end. I just feel better and my body doesn’t take all the time I have to sleep digesting food.

Tell us a bit about the cleanses you offer and who might benefit from them.

I do the 100% all juice cleanse and I love that! I just did one after Christmas to get back on track. It’s like rebooting your computer. I also do a combo of cold-pressed juice and raw food for my clients who like a little bite in their cleanse. It does the same thing just not as much weight loss. Of course not everyone cleanses for weight so it’s nice to have options.

Everyone is not the same and your cleanse shouldn’t be the same either. We have doctors review and test our cleanses so I feel comfortable knowing the nutrition is there. To be honest I just provide the right nutritional combination at the right time so your insulin levels don’t go crazy and to provide your body enough fat/sugar/protein etc. so you don’t hurt your body or go into starvation. Our bodies are amazing and cleanse themselves! Who knew I didn’t have magical powers after all!?

You travel quite a bit for work, so what are you seeing out there in Miami and Chicago and other cities you’ve visited that you’d like to see catch on here in Cleveland? 

Look I’m going to get a lot of slack for this but I’d say healthy fast food. I’d love to see a more competitive market for healthy grab and go and good real food. I know that sounds silly, wanting more competition for what I love to do, but it’s healthy for the consumer and easier for me in the long run. We have tons of hotdogs, donuts, and breweries. I love all the people opening these places, but I find it almost impossible to just grab a healthy light bite thats affordable. Other cities have so many options I end up eating five meals a day on vacation. Cleveland’s number one food still seems to be bacon and I get it, we are the midwest, but more healthy options make your other choices even more special right? Or maybe I’m just being selfish.

What’s your favorite hangover remedy?

Man, I would like to say those days are past but come on…  I’m not just saying this…I was dating a guy and we would go out and the next morning he actually was surprised when my juice helped his hangover.  It makes sense though because usually you are dehydrated, so six pounds of organic produce will quench that better than Gatorade. High in potassium it covers the muscle cramps and mint for the tummy. I know you want grease and carbs but its really your brain wanting serotonin or happy juice.  It’s a blanket for the symptoms, not a cure. I down a juice, long shower, and top it off with a shot of activated charcoal in lemon water. It acts like a magnet and pulls out the toxins. Just be careful to not be on any medication because the body sees it as foreign and a “toxin” and it will be flushed out too.

My new line is coming out and I have a few fun flavors one is for that is called “Wake the F Up” so hopefully I won’t be offending anyone with that title The new line is “Sex, juice, and rock and roll.”  It’s my alter ego to “peace, love, and yoga.”

One last question… no one is perfect, so tell us, what’s your edible guilty pleasure?

Oh man the fat Greek kid in me lives forever!! My yiayyia would make fresh bread and feta and olives for my snack. If I really am stressed at work, I reconnect to those greek memories of her kitchen. I also have to say a great cocktail is always my guilty sugar pleasure. Spotted Owl always treats me like a rock star and Paulis at Velvet Tango—his French 75 has been getting me in all the right trouble since he opened. And if all that weren’t enough, I must admit I will always always be in love with the potato. Bad boys and the potato are the reasons for most of my bad choices in life. They are my kryptonite. If you want me to fall in love with you, make me a really good french fry. Serve me a frozen one and I will never look at you the same. Like seriously, I would have a potato bar at my wedding with different toppings. I have the whole thing planned… except the groom.