Sponsored: Juices add Zest to life

Pineapple is one of the main ingredients in one of Zest’s most popular drinks, “Hula Hooch,” which has anti-inflammatoryproperties and improves cognitive functions. 

Emma Napier knows firsthand the effects that the college lifestyle can have on the body. After gaining 45 pounds as a student at WKU, she knew it was time to make a change and start caring about the way she treated her body. 

When Napier was a competitive athlete in high school, working out was easy — she didn’t have to go out of her way. But when she went to the gym on her own in college, she didn’t know what to do or where to start with her workout. She started taking classes at The Spot in downtown Bowling Green and discovered her love for juice at the neighboring Zest. 

Napier took ownership of Zest in June, and she said part of her focus is to help college students who are going through the same struggles she did.

“It’s important to me to be a source of nutrition for students because I’ve been there; I know what it’s like to be at a low point in your health,” she said.

After losing 40 pounds in a year, Napier found that while working out is an important component of fitness, your body will not change if your diet doesn’t. Incorporating juice into her diet gave her more energy and made her feel lighter.

The juices are made from all-natural ingredients, with no added preservatives or sugar. The ingredients listed on the lid of the bottle are the only ingredients in the juice. For example, one of their most popular juices, “Hula Hooch,” contains pineapple, apple and mint. A more filling juice would be one with a vegetable base, like “Kale Yeah!” This juice contains kale, romaine lettuce, apples, ginger and limes. 

While some people might be hesitant about the high level of natural sugars from the fruit in the juice, Napier said a body needs sugar and carbs to provide energy. She explained that low-carb diets result in weight loss by causing the body to burn fat as energy, rather than relying on carb intake for energy. A bottle of juice contains the servings of nutrients needed to remain balanced and healthy.

Because cutting out artificial sugar is key to a healthy diet, Zest offers juice cleanses to detox. A mini-cleanse is three days, including four juices per day and allowing for one heavy, nutritious meal. Week-long cleanses consist of drinking six juices per day. Napier said people who have done the cleanse notice results such as higher energy, zero bloat, and a 3-5 pound weight loss. The cleanses are planned out with suggested juices for each customer’s specific needs. Green juices — although an acquired taste — are recommended for meal replacements because they are more filling. 

Napier struggled with poor body image which resulted in low self-esteem throughout college. She wants to help students in similar positions by providing healthy meal and snack alternatives in the form of juice and proving that change is possible.

“It’s worth it — I promise.” Napier said, “Yes, eating healthy can be expensive, but it is an investment in your health.”

Napier believes that when you love your body, you will respect it. Being intentional about what you consume and remembering that everything adds up is important, she said.

“There is not one single natural thing in a Pop-Tart,” she said. “What is that doing for you?” 

Napier believes when you love your body, you will respect it. When you start to invest in your body, you start to notice changes that result in looking and feeling better. Juicing has become a trend, but Napier said it’s for good reasons, and she considers Bowling Green very fortunate to have a part in it.