A longtime athlete, Robby Larkin has always been focused on nutrition. And as the owner of Daily Juice, he's grown a passion for health into an Austin institution.
When Larkin moved to Austin, his eyes were opened to the power of fresh juices and a plant-based diet. He transformed his traditional athlete diet — revolving around carbohydrates and protein — into one that uses juicing for cleansing and to build an overall healthy body, including maintaining an ideal weight.
As summertime heats up, Larkin discussed with CultureMap his passion for juicing and thoughts on how to be healthy this summer — and year-round.
According to Larkin, the key to achieving a healthy weight is not limiting carbohydrates or cutting calories, although those things play a part. He explained the key to losing unhealthy fat is avoiding processed products and ingesting alkalizing foods.
Instead of diets that focus on immediate changes and rapid weight loss, Larkin says a better solution is adding green foods to your daily regimen.
"One of the biggest reasons our bodies tend to accumulate trunk fat is to try and insulate our organs from an acidic environment," he said. Certain things we eat raise the acidity level in our bodies: meat, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and sugar are some of the biggest culprits.
The acidity in our bodies is dangerous to our organs, and when our systems react by building fat around them for protection, that fat traps things we can't process, like toxins. Our bodies want to hold onto that fat until they feel safe to let it go; doing so requires a lot of energy for healing and toxin-release.
Instead of diets that focus on immediate changes and rapid weight loss, Larkin says a better solution is adding green foods to your daily regimen. "Things that are green in color tend to be more alkaline," explained Larkin. "Green juice can help balance some of that acidity in the diet. Even a standard diet with added green juice can lower acidity. It is one of the easiest ways to help the body shed some of that unwanted fat."
His own diet focuses on consuming organic vegetables and fruits and free-range, hormone-free unprocessed meats with, of course, lots of green juice.
Larkin starts every morning with a half-gallon of cucumber, celery, kale and cilantro juice at home, then often drinks another half-gallon made with various fruits and vegetables throughout the day. "It's a great way to get your nutrients for the day," Larkin said. "The color of juice is driven by minerals and micronutrients. I try to drink a spectrum of colors throughout the day; that way I know I am getting a good, broad range of nutrients."
He hopes Daily Juice will inspire customers to add more juice to their day, and also start juicing at home. "Seventy-five percent of our customers have their own juicer! They say they don't use it because the cleaning is too hard," he said.
Daily Juice currently has two locations in Austin (after a split from Juiceland): downtown at 205 W. Third St. and in Westlake at 3300 Bee Cave Road. The brand plans to expand its "healthy juicing" presence through franchising. Currently, Daily Juice is screening potential franchise partners, examining their ties to local food and farmers and ensuring new owners are in-tune with the Daily Juice ideals.
As for being fit this summer, Larkin said if your eyes are on bikini season, now is not the time to make big changes. His advice is to start adding juices to your normal diet and enjoy the summer, eating with friends and being relaxed. Your diet should be minimally stressing so you can save your energy for the right priorities in your life. Then, continue building good habits over the year, so you can be in a healthier place and healthier body next summer. It's a lifestyle change.