Nekter Juice Bar in Downtown Santa Monica offers a variety of fresh-pressed smoothies and juices. (Photo courtesy Nekter Juice Bar)

Nekter Juice Bar in Downtown Santa Monica offers a variety of fresh-pressed smoothies and juices. (Photo courtesy Nekter Juice Bar)

By this time most of our New Year’s resolutions are things of the past. Visits to the gym have become less and less frequent. The Rosetta Stone continues to accumulate dust in the corner. And spools of floss remain unused. Keeping up with those nagging resolutions is just not conducive to our busy schedules.

Catholics get a second chance with Lent, the season of commemorating Jesus, chocolate bunnies, meatless Fridays and customarily giving something up (smoking, junk food, etc.). For the rest, a not-so-New Year’s resolution will have to do.

If healthy living is or was the goal, the recent opening of Nekter Juice Bar on Second Street may very well have something for you. Harnessing SoCal’s juice craze, Nekter Juice Bar has been serving up smoothies, juices and acai bowls to a health conscience contingent, and has successfully expanded from Orange County to L.A. and beyond. The Santa Monica location, strategically setup next to a yoga studio Downtown, has already seen a fare share of business from newcomers and people familiar with the Nekter brand.

A major part of the Nekter franchise is the juice cleanse. In short, the juice cleanse, ranging from one to five days, is a total liquid diet. Six 16.9-ounce bottles of Nekter’s specially designed variety pack are to be drunk through the course of the day. The fruit and veggie pressed juices flush out toxins and put the digestive tract back on track. It makes sense. Eat (or in this case drink) extremely healthy and see results; similar to the “Super Size Me” guy exclusively eating McDonald’s for a month and almost dying. That makes sense as well. It is emphasized that the cleanse is not a fast. However, the omnipresent craving for solid foods is the challenge. Cleanses are not easy, and they’re pricey (from $65 for one day, to $300 for five days), but the results can yield a drastic change in everything from fatigue, to allergies, to depression, and more.

For less extreme measures, Nekter offers a selection of juices, smoothies, specialty drinks, acai bowls and a make-your-own option as well. All 16-ounce juices and smoothies are reasonably marked under five bucks. Furthermore, the smoothie and juice menus range from nutrient-rich green drinks, to a sweeter selection of fruitier beverages. Plus you can get your chlorophyll fix with a shot of wheatgrass and ginger too.

However, the acai bowls may be one of the better options on the menu. A blend of acai, bananas, nut milk, and berries are blended and mounded on hemp seed granola, and topped with more bananas and berries for $6.50. When measuring value, taste, sustenance and nutrition, Nekter’s acai bowl is the total package.

 When measuring value, taste, sustenance and nutrition, Nekter’s acai bowl is the total package. (Michael Ryan editor@smdp.com)

When measuring value, taste, sustenance and nutrition, Nekter’s acai bowl is the total package. (Michael Ryan editor@smdp.com)

It is not advertised that Nekter sources organic produce, which may be a concern for some. Major construction across the street and limited Downtown parking may be an issue for others. But good service, a spacious interior and reasonable prices are all working in the juice bar’s favor. When I visit, I take my bike so no worries about parking for me. You should too.

It is never too late to start that New Year’s resolution. The Chinese New Year wasn’t too long ago, and I think the Canadian New Year is just around the corner. Health and vitality is just a cold press extraction away. Yes we can! Yes we can!

 

If you go 

Nekter Juice Bar

1422 Second St.

Santa Monica, Calif.

90401

(800) 385-1650

www.nekterjuicebar.com

Michael can be seen riding around town on his bike burning calories so he can eat more food, or on CityTV hosting his own show, “Tour de Feast.” To reach him visit his website at tourdefeast.net or follow him on Twitter @TourDeFeastSM.