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Embody Natural Health offers organic and vegan juices, smoothies

| Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, 9:30 p.m.
Inside Embody Natural Health in Lawrenceville Friday, August 31, 2012. Heidi Murrin Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The trendy practice of juicing takes more effort than simply squeezing an orange or grapefruit. You can throw entire fruits and vegetables into a more sophisticated juicer, and it removes the pulp and fiber as it extracts the juice.

This way, people can drink a ton of vitamins and minerals that digest and absorb more rapidly than they do coming from whole fruits and vegetables, Aimee Woods says. The Lawrenceville resident became fascinated by juicing after watching the 2008 documentary “The Beautiful Truth,” about a doctor who said that juicing could cure cancer, and, otherwise, nourish the body.

“I got very interested ... in the fact that people are healing disease by drinking juice” says Woods, 30. “I feel that there is a need in this area. It's very, very healthy.”

The result of Woods' exploration of juicing, Embody Natural Health, opened in April along Butler Street in Lawrenceville. The store includes a bar for juices and smoothies, and a yoga studio. Woods also offers health-coaching sessions at Embody Natural Health, which, she says, is the first stand-alone organic juice bar in Pittsburgh.

Everything served at the bar is organic and vegan, and a lot of the produce is grown locally, Woods says.

Yoga classes are scheduled throughout the week. Artist David Kravitz, an interior designer from the Strip District, designed the bar, and built and decorated it with ceiling tins and reclaimed wood. Some paintings from Woods' artist mother, Cindy Woods of New Orleans, hang on the walls.

The most popular of Woods' eight smoothies, which all cost $6, is the Immune Endurance, with blueberries, maca, oats, apple-cider vinegar and chocolate-plant protein. Other smoothies include the Orange Jewel with oranges, chia seeds and vanilla-plant protein; Red Chocolate with beets and chocolate-plant protein; and Breakfast Dessert with apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, oats and vanilla-plant protein. The most popular of the five juices, which also cost $6, is the Living Green, with celery, kale, lime, cucumber and dandelion. Other juices include the Energizer with carrot, lemon and celery; Digest with apple, cabbage, ginger and carrot; and Bright Skin with cucumber, celery and kale.

Customers can add boosts (immune, detox and energy) to their drinks for an extra $1. Shots of apple-cider vinegar, wheatgrass, and E3 Live cost $3.

Woods also serves organic garden salads for $5, and might offer sandwiches and other foods in the future.

Embody Natural Health has attracted many hard-core juicers who also juice at home, along with customers new to juicing who come to try the store's concoctions, Woods says.

She makes take-home juice fasts for people, at a cost of $45 to $70 per day.

Health-coaching sessions cost $49 each, and yoga prices range from $14 for one class to $99 for unlimited yoga for a month.

Embody Natural Health, 5400 Butler St., Lawrenceville, is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Details: 412-600-3088 or www.embodynaturalhealth.com

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com or 412-320-7824.

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