"I grew up in downtown New York, but I’ve been in LA for seven years, since I came to work in food, first with chef Suzanne Goin. Suzanne’s mentor was Alice Waters, so I got an education in farm-to-table food, spending time with Alice, cooking for her and with her. It was incredible. After that I worked with the Los Angeles Times magazine as the assistant food and wine editor, which was a dream come true. I learned so many culinary secrets and stories, but when it came down to it, I just needed to get my hands back on food.
I'd always been juicing, especially when I was working in a kitchen where there’s so much wine, salt, and fat. It was definitely not cool to drink juice in the kitchen, so I did it secretly to keep me going. [Laughs] I made them myself, because at the time, there weren’t cold-pressed juice places. And I could make sure they were all organic, so I wasn’t taking in GMOs, pesticides, or toxins. Green juice changed my life. You can have one green juice a day and keep drinking caffeine, keep smoking cigarettes, keep eating hamburgers, but that one juice will feel so good in your body that eventually you’ll be like, ‘Mm, I kind of feel like two green juices a day.’ You’ll accidentally maybe stop drinking so much coffee, and maybe the cigarettes will go. It’s a snowball effect. When your body gets those live enzymes and minerals, it just turns something on, and then being healthy becomes effortless. I drink juice all day long, and I wanted to share how good it made me feel with other people.
I opened Moon Juice [in Venice, CA] in January of 2012 by God’s grace. I signed the lease on the place knowing it was crazy, but I did it anyway, with the hope that someone would drink juice with me. [Laughs] And then, four days later, I found out I was pregnant! I didn’t know what was going on! Everything was homespun, and I’d say that most of it involved sitting on the ground in my underwear, in tears, looking at my phone’s calculator. [Laughs] But I’m still there, day and night, because it’s a passion project. That’s a kind of success. I love it so much, which I think inspires good people to work with me, and they have great ideas and can carry out the dream with me, because at this point, it’s beyond me. We just opened up another shop in Silver Lake, and we have raw snacks coming out, too.
You're going to think it sounds silly, but I rely on green juice for beauty. It’s great for staying calm, staying sane, and for getting glowing skin. Among other things, green juice alkalizes your body and gets your intestines working properly... You get great skin because your liver and your guts are working properly, and you stay slim because all of your bodily functions are in line, and your hormones are balanced—your skin is a direct reflection of what's happening in your guts. When you clog them with dairy, for example, it can be terrible for your skin. But if you flush out the mucus and get rid of dairy, the whites of your eyes will sparkle more. And with juices, the neurotic, anxious chitter-chatter in your mind will start to mellow out. One juice a day and then watch what happens.
That’s usually enough for me—I don’t wear makeup, and honestly, don’t really know how to do my own makeup. I have friends who are musicians, models, and actresses, and they always have to do their makeup for things. So when I have something to go to that requires me to wear it, I have a lot of people within a five-mile radius that I can reach out to who will just do it for me.
My routine basically involves using natural products to take care of my skin. I wash my face with this really gentle Dead Sea Mineral Warehouse Soap for Combination Skin. It’s made with minerals from the Dead Sea and clay. And once or twice a week, I’ll use Earth Tu Face Face Wash, which smells like roses. I also travel with the Earth Tu Face, because traveling with bar soap is a pain in the ass. [Laughs] To exfoliate, I like the Dead Sea Warehouse Amazing Minerals Mud Mask. It only takes three minutes, so I’ll put that one while I’m getting into the shower. I love being in my shower—the water is oxygenated, re-mineralized, pH-balanced water, and all of the tiles were made by Heath Ceramics to make it feel really grounded, like you’re in earth. It's intense. [Laughs]
To moisturize my face, I found an Ayurvedic, organic face cream called EcoBotanica Damask Rose Creme. This woman sources everything from India, makes products in super small batches in a traditional, Ayurvedic way, and even chants mantras into them. When I don’t use that, I like to put raw organic coconut oil all over my face and body. Sometimes I’ll even put it in my hair before I get in the shower.
I don’t have anything special for my hair—I buy everything at the co-op. John Masters Evening Primrose Shampoo for Dry Hair is great and so is Home Health Oliva Conditioner, even though it has some of the worst and creepiest packaging in the world. When I take showers at a friend’s place and they have some salon product, I’m like, ‘Cool. This is my secret moment where I’ll throw some fancy stuff in my hair to get that super shiny, lustrous Pantene hair,’ and it doesn’t really work for me. My hair just gets dry the next day. I think something’s happened to it after using weirdo health store stuff for so many years. I have my own natural oils in my hair, and it's not used to being stripped down.
I usually wash my body with a loofah, but I use a dry brush when I’m juice cleansing. It feels weird, like it’s not doing anything, but it actually activates your lymphatic system. As you're brushing everything up toward your heart, it gives your body a jump-start for the detox.
When I have a muscle ache, I moisturize with Olive Gold Skin Care Lotion. The scent of it is just olive oil that's been oxygenated, which smells amazing, like you can smell the ions or something. I use Weleda deodorant, and the one non-natural thing I use is my fragrance. I wear a men’s cologne—Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet—but it makes me feel so clean. It’s my signature scent.
Here’s my dirty little secret—living in Southern California, I’m in the sun everyday and I don’t wear sunscreen. I don’t know why I don’t wear it, It’s not like I’m unaware of the dangers; I’m a fanatic about my son wearing it. But it just feels so good to be in the sun. And it’s supposedly actually good to have fifteen minutes of sun for vitamin D. I don’t know. Hey, I hope by the time I’m 52 I’m surrounded by people that will love me and my weird wrinkly face.
That being said, since I've been drinking green juice, I haven’t been sick. I haven’t even had a need for over-the-counter pills. There was a time when I always had a headache, or a pain, or really bad cramps, and I needed an Advil. I've found if you just start cleaning up your act in a very true, honest way, the rest will follow. Every time I feel tired or worn out, I remind myself that this is my dream coming true, and it always puts a smile back on my face. I’m a total believer that if you have enough focus and clarity, you can have anything you want."
—as told to ITG
Amanda Chantal Bacon photographed by Emily Weiss in Venice, CA on July 5, 2013.