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Thursday, November 21, 2019

In today’s culture, where kale is a superfood and green is a lifestyle, the juice bar concept is trending. The Good Neighbor, a premier juicer, recently opened and already has health and wellness junkies lining up for a daily dose of goodness. Julia and Delano Dowdie, owners of The Good Neighbor, are busy serving up smoothies, shakes, juice cleanses, cold press juices and acai bowls that are kosher, vegan and made from all-natural ingredients.

Located in the heart of Englewood on Dean Street, the Dowdies decided to open the store after their own personal success with juicing. Back in 2012, a friend of Delano shared details of his life transformation through juicing, pushing Julia and Delano to explore the concept a bit more. After gaining a better understanding of the process, they opted to give it a try and the results were astonishing. They experienced an increase in energy levels and improved autoimmune health. Julia reported a noticeably radiant glow to her skin after completing her first cleanse, and Delano, who used to suffer from severe seasonal allergies, has basically eliminated those symptoms from his life with an annual pre-spring cleanse.

According to Delano, the clinical benefits of juicing are not just physiological. The mind and body work in synergy, each thriving off the others’ well-being. Juicing serves to clear your body and your mind of unwanted toxins, he said. “After a cleanse you truly are your optimal self!”

With the Jewish new year upon us, I started to think it might be an ideal time to work toward my optimal self. I committed to try a 24-hour juice cleanse. I must admit, I was wary about skipping my morning coffee or my late-night ice cream fix, both off limits during a cleanse; still I decided to give it a go.

The juices came in a variety of colors, all packaged in user-friendly bottles. I was instructed to start with the green drink (Forest Green), which contains the highest nutritional content, packed with kale, cucumbers, celery, ginger and apple. My first sip was a bit sour, not exactly like the sweeter smoothies to which I have taken a liking. Next came the pink drink (Detox Demarest) made from carrots, apples, celery, ginger and lemons, which proved to be prettier on the eyes and tastier on the palate.

In total, I was expected to drink five different juices over the course of the day. My body quickly adjusted to the fact that I wasn’t consuming any solid food, and the drinks were nutritionally satisfying enough to keep me feeling full.

At the end of the 24 hours I can attest to feeling lighter and nourished from the inside out. I woke up earlier and experienced a surge in energy to jumpstart the day. There are various reasons one might choose to do a juice cleanse. From my personal experience, I see it as an opportune way to reset the body on a healthy track.

In addition to handcrafted juice cleanses, The Good Neighbor offers an extensive menu of organic smoothies packed with nutrients and made from the freshest fruits and vegetables available. Mackay Madness, a combination of banana, kiwi, mango and pineapple, is a customer favorite, said Julia. Other popular choices include Tireless Tenafly, Engleberry and Green Street Blast, all named after well-known streets in Englewood.

The Good Neighbor is modeled after the guiding principle of “love thy neighbor as yourself.” “We want to offer Englewood residents and the greater Bergen County community a chance to enjoy our products while at the same time help those less fortunate,” said Delano. Julia and Delano hope to put 10% of sales back into the community through charitable giving to underprivileged kids. The Dowdies believe contributing to programs that provide educational opportunities to kids who are less fortunate is a sustainable way of making a difference.

The Good Neighbor is located at 18A South Dean Street in Englewood. The store is currently under the supervision of Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman of National Kosher Supervision. For more information or to place an order please visit www.goodneighborjuicebar.com.

By Andrea Nissel