Against All Odds, Tom Loves Moon Juice

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I wasn't what you would call a "healthy kid" growing up. I wanted Pop-Tarts for breakfast, Fruit Roll-Ups for a snack, pizza for lunch, McDonalds for dinner, all that junk. My parents weren't even that restrictive looking back, and I don't resent them for it. Freedom is good, and now that I'm an adult, I revel in the fact that I get to make my own educated or not educated decisions about what I put in my body. (I can choose to deal with the consequences myself.) I still eat McDonalds sometimes, and trick the rest of the ITG team into eating it, too. I think that's alright—everything in moderation. But at the same time I do like to think I'm being as healthy as I can.

So, I find myself in California this week, and I want to take advantage of all the mythical California-y things. Things like surfing, sleeping in, smoking weed legally, fresh kale, juices with fruit from your backyard, etc. It's me in a parallel universe.

The headquarters for this lifestyle are called Moon Juice, the very healthy, "activated" apothecary-meets-snack-shop founded by Amanda Chantal Bacon. I was spending the day in Venice Beach and popped by her original location (now there are three) to grab provisions for the day. When I arrived, there was a line out the door—a mix of skater dudes, businessmen, ladies in a rush... No peasant tops and Birkenstocks to be seen, actually. (Moon Juice isn't as niche as I thought it was.) Everyone knew what they wanted except me. So I asked around, and what I landed on was a Mint Chip shake (made with ashwagandha, tocos, spirit powder, maca, spirulina, mint oil, and mesquite). And can I tell you? It tasted incredible. So much so I felt the urge to linger and just keep thanking the girl who made it. They'll make you anything you want, the combinations are endless. There's a potion there for almost any ailment or discomfort. It certainly felt better after a travel diet of Shake Shack and room service. On my way out, I also grabbed some super yummy seed crisps and these little raw donut things and took them on a walk alongside the coast. After a few hours, my Venice dream had to end and I was off to a shoot. But I spent the rest of the day feeling like I found my nook in Cali, and a little high on life.

—Tom Newton