By Guest Blogger Joanna Barcessat
I have always prided myself on being a strong, independent, courageous woman. It was the way I was raised. Or rather, it is the direct result of practically raising myself, with parents who were too busy “surviving,” to really pay attention. Either way, my two sisters and I only know from hard work and trudging along, and have all as a result, ended up fairly well off because of it.
We all started working at a very young age. I started at the age of 11 years old, delivering The Gazette newspaper on my street and babysitting in my neighborhood. I only stopped working for a short time in my life (4 ½ years to be exact) after I got married, when my doctor put me on bed rest for my second or third pregnancy (I lost count). Unfortunately, in the first few years of my marriage, I had several pregnancies that ended in miscarriage before I was blessed enough to go full term with my miracle son Louis, who is now 8 years old. I felt so grateful everyday to have him, that I didn’t want to go back to work until he was ready for full-time preschool at age 4.
After working as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for many years, I finally found my calling. I dug up enough courage to get off the fence and take the plunge into unknown territory… business! Studying Naturopathy with my mentor Christian Limoges not only taught me the fundamentals of healthy living, but also to follow my dreams, and find the courage to make a change. I knew nothing about business, let alone how to balance a checkbook. Managing the household finances was even a challenge!
I started my organic juice business during the first semester of Naturopath school and the rest is history. I felt so inspired, I knew this was exactly what I was meant to do. I had two different partners in the first two years, but I soon decided to go on my own, because my undying passion and dedication to make my dreams a reality surpassed any logic or reasoning that either of my partners might present. I was unstoppable. At times unreasonable. The was nothing that would stop me from moving forward. To this day, no one can tell me “it’s not possible” or “it’s not worth it.” I simply know otherwise.
In the last two years, I have graduated from Naturopathy school, opened my first juice bar, and gone through a very difficult separation with my husband of 12 years, with whom I share our beautiful child Louis. I work every single day to achieve my dream, and contribute to giving my son the best life I possibly can.
Healthy eating and especially juicing has given me “life,” and as a result, an abundance of energy. I learned through my studies, and also through practice, that eating organic raw “living” food, gives your body the energy and vitality you need to get you through life’s every day challenges. I can attest to that first hand! I drink organic vegetable juice every single day, and if I miss a day, I feel horribly sluggish. I have also kicked my 5 -6 coffee a day habit as a result.
My Naturopath teacher Christian was a huge inspiration to me by indirectly encouraging me to chase my dreams, live a happy life, eliminate my fears, and get off that fence! And then two summers ago, I went to San Diego to participate in an Anthony Robbins’ seminar Unleash the Power Within. That was a HUGE life changing experience for me. The most important thing I learned on that trip is to live with PASSION– every single day. And to just go for it. Don’t be afraid to risk or take a chance on yourself.
As a result, in the past two years, I have focused on growing my business, making a quality product, and giving the best customer service possible, at any possible cost. And my dream is finally becoming a reality– in the next few weeks, I am bringing juice closer to my customer base, and opening a second location, closer to downtown. I look forward to continuing to share my passion with those around me every single day.
Today, I’d like to leave YOU with two delicious, healthy juice recipes for you to try at home:
“Super Green” Juice
2-3 leaves of Romaine Lettuce
1/2 Green Kale (about 4 leaves)
1/2 cup spinach
1 English Cucumber
1” piece of Ginger
Green Smoothie with Avocado
1/4 c. frozen (or fresh) mango
1/2 small avocado
1/2 cup spinach
1-2 leaves of Kale
1-2 leaves of Romaine lettuce
3/4 cup almond milk (oat, rice, or hemp milk are also fine)
Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend on high speed until desired consistency.
Happy juicing and blending! Thank you for reading.
About Joanna Barcessat
Joanna Barcessat, (BA, Bed, ND) studied Political Science (B.A. Concordia), Phys Ed (B.Ed McGill), and worked many years as a personal trainer, spinning and fitness instructor. Joanna went on to study at CENAB School of Naturopathy and owns and operates an organic juice business for the last three years, Rejuice Nutrition. She is opening her second location on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal (near Vendome), the first “free standing” retail outlet for Rejuice. Joanna lives in Montreal with her 8 year old son Louis. To learn more, visit RejuiceNutrition.com.
I don’t know about you, but not only am I inspired by Joanna’s entrepreneurial story, I am inspired to live even healthier and start juicing. Joanna, thank you for sharing your story so candidly. If you have any questions or comments for Jo (who is also a friend), please leave them below. She’ll be reading…