What’s hot pink, “naked” and raw-nchy? Why, the new bricks-and-mortar Brooklyn location of juice mecca The Squeeze, of course. The food-truck enterprise is now cold-pressing a veritable cornucopia of fresh produce at 195 Graham Ave in Williamsburg, and packaging the pure nectar with labels like “Get your juices flowing,” “I have a heart-on,” and “the jeans I wore in high school.” What with the suggestive monikers, the trademark screaming pink, and the nubile juice-covered flesh on display on The Squeeze’s website, the last thing browsers might expect to hear is the voice of God.
And yet, that is precisely what the questing juicer will find under the “Truth Bombs” section of their webpage, alongside obesity stats and anti-dairy osteoporosis theories. “God wants you to fast,” we are told. “The Bible says, ‘WHEN you fast!’ not ‘IF you fast,’ and not ‘Maybe fasting would be a good idea now and then.’… The Garden of Eden, God’s perfect world, was a raw fruitopia God gave our first parents, the food that humans should eat. There was to be no death in Eden. Fasting, God said, facilitates this Divine freedom. ‘Your light will break forth like morning…’ and your ‘healing shall spring forth speedily.’”
Finally, it has arrived, I thought: the Creationist version of the Paleo diet. “What Would Jesus Drink?” The ramifications and possibilities were wonderful and endless, yet the religious material sat at odds with The Squeeze’s provocative image (and, indeed, the image right next to the biblical text: of a ripe cantaloupe being squeezed mercilessly between the beautiful glutes of two Amazonian models). So I turned to founder Karliin Brooks for guidance.
“I don’t follow any religion,” Brooks says, quickly. “I have my own custom belief system.” Having been vegan for many years, Brooks wanted to educate herself about the health benefits of raw veganism and juicing, so she hit the books. “I found that there was so much compelling information from so many different religions and cultures and philosophies,” she says, asserting the effectiveness of fasting for facilitating a profound mind-body-spirit connection. “For example, Socrates—before he would go on a vision quest—would fast for 40 days.”
The bible does indeed mention that Moses and Jesus fasted for 40 days, while—as Brooks points out—fasting and dietary restrictions make up an integral element of Hinduism, Buddhism, Classical Philosophy, Islam, Judaism and more.
Brooks also references the practice of fasting in American Indian and Central/South American peyote or ayahuasca ceremonies respectively, in preparation for which restricted diets are followed in order to achieve the maximum sensitivity and clarity for the spiritual journey. “Transcending cellular memory,” says Brooks, “can be liberating and transformative.”
This was certainly the approach of the happy campers I heard about on my travels through India, who had fasted for three days (consuming only coconut water) before an acid trip. But perhaps this isn’t quite in the spirit of The Squeeze—where “trying to figure out what was done in the past to create vibrancy and health is our mantra.”
If juicing were a religion (a conclusion one might begin to draw in this heyday of Liquiterias and Juice Generations and Organic Avenues) it might be more of a matriarchal cult, anyway. “Mother nature is responsible for making really great juice,” says Brooks. “I want to be clear about that. I’m not taking credit.”
And, while keeping it light and lusty (one of her juices reportedly boosts the libido) she hopes that The Squeeze can do more than pulverize produce. A percentage of the proceeds go to environmental and animal causes, and Brooks tries to source locally where possible. “We’re trying to promote not only the wellness of our customers but also the whole planet,” she says. “What better way to do that than a loud flashy juice bar and a provocative message?”
Jesus would be pleased (I guess). And, for all you carb- and cooked-food lovers, here’s a gem from faster-of-note Socrates: “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” Less fries, more fruit. Amen.
The Squeeze can be found, suggestively squeezing, at 196 Graham Ave., between Scholes and Meserole.