I was talking with Shane from JuicingRadio.com and mentioned I was heading to Amsterdam on a business trip. Shane said “check out Jay’s Juices”. Shane is based in New York, but it seems people across the globe are familiar with this long standing juice bar.
I first visited Jay’s Juices a couple of years ago, when I was in Amsterdam on another business trip and since then I am always sure to pop in when in the city.
About Jay Garrido, the man behind Jay’s Juices
Aruban-born Jay Garrido, opened his juice bar back in 2000. He was rebuilding his life after 20 years in drugs and crime.
Jay was born in 1957, a lineal descendant of the Indian tribe the Arawak. He says on his website that as soon as he got his passport, he flew to the Netherlands. His wild nature made the boring jobs impossible for him, and soon he got involved in drugs, alcohol and crime. A path he walked for more than 20 years.
At his lowest ebb, weighing 130 kg and totally hooked, Jay says he received a vision in which his deceased grandmother appeared. She brought him to her world and showed him a white feather. In the days that followed he went looking for that white feather. After three days non-stop searching, almost crazy, he found it. It came from a big white rooster. Standing eye to eye with the rooster, he saw as in a mirror his infinite inner power. From that moment on his life transformed.
After kicking the habit and detoxing with juices, he decided to make the juices his lifework.
He told me that when he first started putting wheatgrass outside the shop and people knew he was juicing leafy greens like spinach they thought he was crazy, but a lot has changed in the last 14 years.
Neil Martin: How did you get into juicing? I know you’ve been doing it for a really long time, but how did you start?
Jay Garrido: I had been abusing drugs and alcohol and and I couldn’t get up out of it. After my divorce I decided now it is time to turn the clock around and come back to myself. The only thing I had to do, was juicing. Once I started juicing, and chewing wheatgrass, I didn’t have a machine, I didn’t have nothing. I was chewing it and go for half mile or whatever, like a half an hour just walking or jogging and that became my lifestyle. Just juicing every day, every morning and then go!
Neil Martin: When did you start juicing?
Jay Garrido: I started in 1999 and I opened my shop 3 months after. I found myself. I found my happiness. I found my green heart. It’s right above my head everyday [a big green coloured heart hangs from the ceiling of Jay’s shop] and that why I’m the master of myself, again.
Neil Martin: When you first started, what was the reaction of everybody around you?
Jay Garrido: Oh wow, they didn’t know what I was doing. They didn’t know what was going on. They thought I’d flipped! They thought I’d become crazy because I had a dry cleaning and I was throwing things away. I don’t want this, I don’t want to see my friends anymore, sorry, sorry. No bars, no nothing. I became alone and myself. But, inside of me I was growing and growing and growing and then… It’s fifteen years later and BOOM! And I lost 35 kilos (77 pounds) and I am doing, everyday, yoga. Before, I’d never done yoga in my life, but look at me today. Bo! Bo! Bo!
[At this point Jay had a huge smile. The kind only a person who is truly happy can present]
Neil Martin: In the last few years have you seen an increased interest in juicing?
Jay Garrido: Before all of the people coming to my shop was having banana, orange and strawberry. Now they all come for green, green, green, beetroot, ginger.
[At this point one of Jay’s regulars came in for his daily beetroot and ginger juice]
It’s a whole new world for everybody. I’m sorry, but I have to throw fruits away because it is not selling. For 2 days I will make them nice and cut them and you can see they are getting dark because everybody is on the veggies! Yes! Very good!
“I’ve lived on juice since 1999. Twice a week I have a (proper) meal”
Neil Martin: You mentioned to me before that you only eat solid food about twice a week and the for example last night you had some chicken?
Jay Garrido: Yes. Twice a week I have a meal, a proper meal with my children. I make time for my kids and I put something in the oven, a nice roast and everything. I eat a little bit and if anything is left, if I have friends by me? Doggy bags! Out, I don’t see it.
Neil Martin: And the rest of the week just juicing?
Jay Garrido: Just juicing, yes. From the beginning of the morning I start with a fresh coconut, a shot of wheatgrass, a shot of ginger and the vegetables. All vegetables. Left over vegetables don’t go to waste. I will enjoy them. I blend avocado to juices. I add chilli pepper to juices. I add lime. What else can you want? That’s it! I drink 2 litres per day, for sure, easy and 3 wheatgrass shots.
[At this point Jay drank some of the left over from the juice he had just made for me]
“Follow your heart”
Neil Martin: If someone reading this is thinking about starting juicing and you could give them one piece of advice, what would it be?
Jay Garrido: Follow your heart. Just be sure what you want, visualise and then do it! For you are the only person that can do it my friend. If you don’t do it, don’t go like “oh I must do this” because then you do nothing. Zen yourself, become yourself, belly in chest up and get it done!
Next time you are in Amsterdam please be sure to check out Jay’s Juices the menu is massive so you might be spoilt for choice! You can find Jay’s Juices at Haarlemmerstraat 14, 1013 ER Amsterdam.
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