In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we asked breast cancer survivor Shauna R. Martin ten questions to get to know her and her business a little better. Shauna is not only surviving but thriving as founder and CEO of Daily Greens, which is distributed in more than 2,000 outlets including Whole Foods, Kroger’s, Safeway, and Costco.
VT:What inspired you to begin juicing?
Shauna: I vividly recall sitting on the floor of my shower with water and tears streaming down my face trying to figure it all out. I could not stop thinking . . . why me? What did I do wrong? On July 28, 2005, my son’s first birthday, I had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty-three.
My life was flashing before my eyes, as I struggled with the question of whether I was ready to die. It did not take me long to conclude that I was in fact not ready to die--I had a young child and a husband to live for! I had to muster the strength to get out of the shower and take care of my family, but 9 months of chemotherapy and a year of surgeries to first remove my breasts and then reconstruct them had left me weak, bald, and hopeless. After all that I had been through, my doctors told me I still had an up to 40% chance of a recurrence. I wondered how that could that possibly be, after everything I had done to fight my cancer over the past two years? One thing I knew for sure: I had to stay alive for my son and husband, so I resolved to get up off the shower floor and do something about it.
I had heard that food could have powerful healing attributes, so I decided to investigate. I read everything I could get my hands on, and my journey lead me to understand that a plant-based diet, filled with raw vegetables, could not only help detox my body from all the toxins from my breast cancer treatment, but it could also potentially prevent a recurrence of my breast cancer. I was so excited to finally find something that would be under my control, so I went for it.
I read that the most efficient way to consume raw veggies was to juice them, so I ordered my first juicer and started making a green juice every day. I immediately started to regain my energy and my former stamina. My hair grew back quickly, my skin and eyes started to glow. I was blown away, so I studied further and determined that the right thing for me was to move to a fully plant-based diet. This took several years of slowly eliminating animal protein from my diet, but when I finally got there, the result was amazing.
I still eat a fully vegan and plant-based diet 10 years later, and I now know the answer to the why? I was meant to go on my breast cancer journey and struggle so that I could help bring a message of health and hope to America!
VT: What’s the process for making these juices?
Shauna: All of our juices start with a base of dark leafy greens because greens are the most nutrient dense plants on the planet. We source raw, organic whole greens, veggies, and fruits from farmers we know. We then cold-press them in our state-of-the-art juicing facility. We make them safe for our customers by then putting our finished bottles in our high pressure machine which kills harmful bacteria, while preserving all the nutrients.
VT: Tell us about the flavors.
Shauna: Our core line of green juices consists of six wonderful flavors using a variety of dark greens, juicy veggies, and fruits. They are all low in calories and sugars, with no added water. We use a large variety of dark greens, ranging from spinach and kale to watercress and dandelion greens, with names like, Renew, Elevate, and Harmony.
The very first flavor that I juiced and took to the farmers' market was Vitality, which I developed after attending a BBQ with my friends and family in Texas. I knew if I was going to get folks in my home town of Austin, Texas to drink a dense green juice it needed to have that familiar sweet and salty taste of BBQ with a kick of heat. Vitality has pineapple juiced with the kale, pink Himalayan salt, and a touch of jalapeno.
We also have a line of plant-based hemp protein drinks infused with super greens and other fabulous ingredients like matcha green tea. Our line of hemp milks are a convenient and natural source of plant-based protein, iron, and calcium.
We launched the first nationwide line of kid-friendly raw, organic green, and fruit smoothieskmade from whole fruits and greens, making raw, organic, ready-to-drink green smoothies available for the whole family.
Finally, our core line of green juices is available in a cleanse kit which contains an excerpt from my Daily Greens 4-Daycleanse book with instructions for completing a 4-day juice and raw food cleanse.
VT: What’s your personal favorite flavor?
Shauna: Purity, which is the original juice that I started making 10 years ago to help heal myself. Purity is wonderfully simple blend of just greens and veggies. Lately however, I have really been loving Rejuvenate, a blend of carrot and collard greens with a touch of turmeric.
VT: What’s the best compliment you’ve received from someone trying a delicious green juice?
Shauna: I was hosting a book signing one day at Whole Foods and a woman came rushing in and said she had just completed my 4-Day juice and raw food cleanse using Daily Greens juices and my vegan raw food recipes. She said: “I have felt so terrible for so many years, and after drinking your juices and eating your raw vegan recipes I have more energy and feel better than I have in my entire life. Please tell me how I can continue to feel this way forever!” I explained that all she had to do was continue her habit of drinking a green juice every day in combination with a plant-based diet.
VT: What are the benefits of a cleanse?
Shauna: Periodically giving your intestines a break from digesting will help cleanse your cells of toxins and detox both your body and your mind. This can be accomplished by doing a juice and raw fruit fast during the day and then consuming a raw vegetable dinner, high in fiber, to help move toxins out of the body. It is important to include green juice in any cleanse to continually infuse the body with nutrients and electrolytes as well as lots of high fiber salads and raw vegetable dishes to help move the intestines on a regular basis.
VT: What’s your favorite recipe on Vegetarian Times’ website?
I love this Orange-Sunflower-Slaw recipe. It is very similar to a slaw I make on a regular basis in the summer, but with the addition of orange and sunflower seeds. So fun and yummy!
VT: Which breast cancer organizations does Daily Greens benefit?
Shauna: Daily Greens has partnered with and donates a portion of its top line sales to the Young Survival Coalition. This is the only national organization specifically focused on the needs of young women battling breast cancer. Having gone through breast cancer at such a young age, I understand the huge need for resources for women under the age of 40 facing breast cancer, and the YSC provides those resources on a national basis.
VT: What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about these juices?
Shauna: Folks are usually really surprised at how good our Daily Greens juices are. They are also usually surprised at how different all of them taste, given that they are all very similar in color.
VT: What is one thing people should know about the juices?
Shauna: I really believe so much in the healing power of drinking a green juice every day, so I encourage folks to try all of our Daily Greens flavors until they find the one that they crave. If folks don’t have access to Daily Greens ready-to-drink juices then I encourage making them at home. Whatever it takes, my mission and vision is that everyone gets a green juice in their life each and every day.