If you received a Just Add Cooking box yesterday, you also got a fun surprise: a bottle of a brand new smoothie called Sam Lives! Sam Lives! describes itself as a wicked nutritious, delicious meal in a bottle. Here at Just Add Cooking, we’re always looking for local companies that are delivering on similar missions to ours: delivering fresh, real foods and making it easy to stay healthy. So we jumped at the chance to give you all a taste of Sam Lives!
We also had the chance to chat with Samantha Levin, the young, energetic founder of the company. She’s got a fun background that many of you New England locals may recognize (we’ll let her tell you about that) and lots of great initiative in bringing fresh juices full of both micro- and macronutrients to the masses. You can check out her smoothies at select Whole Foods in the Boston area. Take it away, Sam!
JAC: Give us your background/how you came up with SamLives?
Sam: In 1992, when I was two years old, my family named their juice business, Fresh Samantha, after me. What started as a small family operation in my grandparents’ basement in Maine, grew into a juice sensation! Now, I’m all grown up, and fresher than ever with my own blends – hence the name, Sam Lives! :) However, unlike Fresh Samantha and other standard smoothies and juices, Sam Lives! has all the macronutrients of a complete meal. And while most meal replacement shakes are made from artificial powders, Sam Lives! is made from fresh, real foods!
The idea to create a delicious and healthy meal for on the go came to me in college. I always found myself writing papers through lunch and running out the door without breakfast. As a major foodie and health nut, microwavable meals and ramen just didn’t cut it! In this fast-paced age, I knew I wasn’t alone in this dilemma, so I decided (with juice already in my blood!) to make smoothies that would actually fill you up and provide you with all the vital nutrients of a full meal.
JAC: Tell us a bit about your philosophy behind the smoothies?
Sam: Unlike most juices, cleanses, and smoothies that only have micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and living enzymes), we make sure our superfood smoothies have these nutrients along with all of the macronutrients necessary for a complete meal:
- Plant-based proteins from shelled organic hemp seeds, not powder or soy. I make sure there’s a spoonful of whole organic hemp seeds in each bottle so you always get 6-8g of protein – more than a whole egg!
- Good fats from organic extra virgin olive oil and organic hulled hemp seeds. These are actually known to help the body burn fat and better absorb vitamins and minerals!
- Complex & unrefined carbs from fresh fruits and veggies – these give your body the energy to thrive!
We blend the fresh fruits, veggies, olive oil and seeds whole to hold onto essential nutrients, like fiber, that are lost when juicing. We also focus on keeping the organic hemp seeds in each bottle whole, so that you have to chew them. This simple act promotes healthy digestion and releases enzymes that help your body absorb more nutrients! We use cold pressure, instead of heat, to crush pathogens but keep vitamins, minerals and enzymes alive!
For more detailed information on our health-conscious philosophy and process, check out our FAQ.
JAC: How do you come up with your recipes?
Sam: By creating a giant mess in my kitchen! In the chaos, I eventually find a combination of fresh fruits, veggies and seeds that make for a complete meal and delicious smoothie all in one!
My ultimate goal with each recipe is to help improve the American diet. I know (from personal experience!) that people don’t always have time to make themselves a meal during the work or school day. Rather than reaching for processed microwavable meals, fast food, or artificial meal replacement protein shakes, I hope they’ll pick up my wicked delicious, super nutritious meals in a bottle instead!