An all-round plant geek who’s hacking holistic wellness
We recently caught up with our mate Artur, the pro-juicer behind Soho House’s House Press which are famous for innovative cold press processes and their use of unusual and mood-boosting ingredients. Artur is also super knowledgeable about medicinal mushrooms, adaptogens and nutrition so we took some time to find out how he’s keeping chipper during lockdown!
How did you start in the cold-press juice game and what were you doing before working with Soho House group?
Before I joined the cold-pressed juice business I was already working for Soho House as a bartender and stock controller. However, my true passion was always to figure out how to improve my health and wellbeing, what I can do to hack my body, boost my brain, performance and mood. I was juicing, brewing, mixing, trialling various diets and supplements. At some point, a new opportunity showed up on the horizon and I joined in straight away.
What is cold-press juicing and what are the main benefits of cold pressing?
The cold-pressed juice trend took off in California and made it’s way to the UK around 2012. Cold-pressing uses gentle, slow pressure and zero heat to extract juice from otherwise fibrous plants. The absence of heat ensures all the micro-nutrients, enzymes and amino acids from the plants are preserved, so for all the juice purists out there, cold-press is the top of the tree in terms of nutrition! Standard centrifugal or single auger juicers can destroy certain nutrients, with vitamin C being particularly delicate.
It’s worth noting that cold-pressing removes all fibre from juice, so whilst this is great for veg, it’s usually not great for fruits which are very high in fructose and which need fibre to maximise their nutritional value. So drink your veg and eat your fruit basically!
One challenge with cold-press juice is its short shelf life. This can be overcome through high-pressure pasteurisation, where 60 atmospheres of cold pressure is applied to freshly pressed juice, which kills microbes without damaging nutritional value. Win-win!
Tell us more about House Press.
House Press was the only cold-pressed juice brand that used high quality and innovative ingredients. We juiced plants that others didn't like pomegranate, mango, lemongrass, kiwi or Thai basil, we also used powerful botanical extracts like reishi, maca, cacao and morning.
Favourite plant? Go!
All sorts of mushrooms - from medicinal mushrooms like chaga, lion's mane, maitake, cordyceps, shitake - all of them work great as adaptogens and can boost your brain, mood, immune system and improve your overall performance. I also microdose psilocybin mushrooms - which are unfortunately illegal at the moment - and I have found them extremely beneficial for boosting my mood and igniting my creativity. There are ongoing studies in the UK & US about psilocybin to show how helpful it can be to fight depression, so hopefully, in the future, their power will be accessible to all.
What are your top tips for keeping a healthy body and mind during these stressful times?
I won't be very original on this but the most important thing to do is to sleep well! I recommend reading "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker to understand all the science behind sleep. Good sleep is a foundation of your health so my routine is focused around getting as much good quality sleep as I can. A big part of that is avoiding alcohol and limiting my caffeine intake. I also do my best to limit the news and screen time in general - especially in the hours before bed. And getting enough exercise, personally I walk in the park or lift weights, but there’s a lot you can do at home.
Aside from sleep, my top tips would be eating well - good fats, quality protein, avoid processed food and sugar. Eat good quality meat and fish - don't overcook it - and use good fats like olive oil or ghee. Make your own meal as often as you can - it's easier than you think!
Tell us about your daily routine. What are your tips for waking up and winding down the right way?
Typically I wake up naturally between 6:30-7:30 and try to get up and out of bed as soon as I can. I use a fit bit called Oura which tells me how I slept and this lets me know how much I can push myself - or not - throughout the day. I start the day by walking the dog - you can’t beat fresh air and sunshine to kickstart your mood. Then shower - starting with cold water and finishing off with warm - which is great for immunity and focus (something Wim Hof talks a lot about). Then its breakfast time with my little family and my super mood-boosting smoothie!
In the evening, I do my best to avoid screen time (although pretty hard at the moment!) and instead, take a warm bath or shower and head straight to bed at 10/10:30pm. It’s important to get the body into a routine so I try to keep it the same time each day. When I am in bed, I wind down by reading a fictional book and doing some breathing exercises before I’m ready to switch out the lights.
Got any tips for boosting immunity or recovery remedies?
Apart from getting a good night’s sleep, making sure you’re getting enough vitamin D is vital. You can supplement this with vitamin tablets/liquids but just getting out into the sunshine will make a big difference to how you feel. Vitamin C is great too, and cold-press juice is my go-to for this, or you can try my super smoothie!
I also take liposomal glutathione which is a very strong antioxidant; good for liver, heart, brain and helps the body to heal. Propolis - which is produced by bees - is another supplement that I swear by and has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. It can also be used topically for healing too.
How do you like your Three Spirit?
I am a big fan of Nightcap on ice, it’s a great alternative to whisky as I’m avoiding alcohol as much as possible right now. Social Elixir is brilliant with coffee as espresso martini if I need something a little stronger to kick-start my evening.
Finally, we need the recipe for your super mood-boosting smoothie, please?!
It’s easy peasy, delicious, nutritious and mood-boosting! Put banana and frozen blueberries with good quality milk (I make my own oat milk) into a blender with cacao nibs, a scoop of unflavoured protein, chaga and maca powder, schisandra berry liquid extract, panax ginseng, ginger and blitz. Serve with some extra blueberries on top to be fancy!
The medicinal mushroom chaga and adaptogenic maca gives clarity and focus whereas the schisandra, ginseng and ginger are energising and stimulating (that’s why we included all three in Three Spirit Livener) and have great flavour too. You got to try it!
Thanks Artur, great to hang out again... wishing you luck with your new endeavours and keep mixing up these wonderful creations!