Melissa Mc Kenna


Apparently spring is the time when we are supposed to let our body emerge from winter hibernation. And Melissa, yoga teacher, health advocate and founder of Juice by Melissa, an organic cold pressed juice cleanse and super-food café located in Beijing, has a very clear idea about to make this happen.

春天,万物生发,人的身体机能从沉静的冬天模式切换到苏醒模式。作为一名瑜伽老师, Melissa是健康绿色生活的先行者,也是“Melissa果汁”店的创办人。这家位于北京的小店,专职于有机冷压排毒果蔬汁的供应,同时给大众提供健康小食等。要问如何唤醒沉睡的身体,问Melissa就对了。


She believes the key-factor is having a balanced life or  – to say this in her own words – a juice life. Key practices of the juice life should entail a nutritious diet, self-motivation and detoxification through juicing.



In her small cafe there is all of it: yummy and healthy vegan and dairy-free dishes, smiling staff and encouragement words written on the wall (Oh kale yeah!)  and plenty of cold pressed juices. I met up with her to know more about the lifestyle she is promoting with so much passion and motivation.


Black and White Space

How did this juice adventure started?

It started as a small company selling juices online. I was drinking home-made juices all the times, and people would ask me where to buy them – from me, I would answer, and started producing and selling them! What began as give-aways at my yoga studio quickly turned into a high demand delivery company; orders were flowing and customers were flocking. At a certain point I realised people wanted more than just juices – there was an actual need of a new and healthier lifestyle. So the juice concept evolved and we opened the shop: here people can find food, coffee and a nice environment where to spend time with friends and by themselves.




Do you think people understand your efforts in promoting a healthier lifestyle?

I think so! My mission is to educate people and to let them understand why it’s so important to be active, healthy and aware of the food we eat. To spread my message I aim to provide an educational environment that focuses on teaching the ways of the juice life through workshops, seminars, and private consultations. Also, we want the juice life to build within our juice store, serving as an inspirational health hub to all. Through positive motivation and by following our recommended daily practices we can all live an healthier life.




Is juice cleanse really good for your body?

Anytime you fast, or anytime your eating habits are different from what people would expect from you, questions are going to be brought up. General opinion perceives it as something stressful for the body – but in fact with 6 juices/day you get all the nutrients you need and at the same time your digestive system gets to rest as there are no fibres. I see it as a resting time for your body to heal. It changed my life, it helped me having an healthier relationship with food. I want to share this with as many people as possible and yes – juice cleanse is extremely good for your body.




When you juice cleanse, how does your day look like?

I normally do a juice cleanse once a month. I wake up early and do a gentle yoga routine for around 20 minutes, I take a shower with apple cider vinegar to alkalize my body and then I drink the first juice of the day. Then I drink another one every two hours. I also like to get lymphatic drainage massage to improve my body circulation and to take a hot bath. To ensure proper digestion I make sure to drink the last juice of the day 2 hours before I go to bed, and I am normally  in bed already at 9. I take my juice cleansing day as a spa day for my soul and my body.




Where does the inspiration for what you do come from?

When I was living in NY before moving to Beijing at a certain point of my career I felt a huge void as I no longer had time for sports. I knew I needed all natural energy to keep me inspired throughout the days so I turned to an up-and-coming fad that people were raving about – organic cold pressed juicing. And I was inspired by this new concept which helped me so much to balance different aspects of my life – and when I moved to Beijing I decided I wanted to recreate the same healthy and inspiring environment!




Do you think it would have been easier to start the same company in the US rather than in China?

Of course it would have! For a foreigner, even preparing the paperwork to set up a new company is painful and stressing. But what kept me going was that people were so warm and we got amazing feedback about what we were doing. And I’m sure part of it was because mine is actually the first cold pressed juices company to open in Beijing and also because of the extremely toxic environment we live in in China. People crave things that make their life healthier – here much more than anywhere else!




We just ate this fantastic lotus-wrapped tofu. What can you tell me about this recipe?

We sampled our Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps: smoked tofu, mushroom, water chestnuts, ginger, garlic and our special spicy soy dipping sauce wrapped up in crisp iceberg lettuce. I love eating lettuce wraps in the summer as they are so refreshing and lite. They are also packed with protein and low in simple carbohydrates aka the bad carbs. And I love them – so good!


我们刚才尝试的是“辣豆腐生菜卷”:将熏干、蘑菇、马蹄、姜、蒜用我们的特制辣酱油蘸酱拌匀,用脆脆的生菜包卷。我喜欢夏天吃生菜卷,爽口又爽心。生菜卷富含蛋白质,同时单一的碳水化合物(对身体不好)含量低。 噢,我喜欢死这个生菜卷了!


After this lovely chat with Melissa, I was under her spell. And I decided I would try one of the juices cleanses for one day. I definitely wanted to know what this fuss was about. So this morning at 8 o’clock I got 6 beautifully packed juices and started my detox day. The program is called ‘purification cleanse’ and is made of 6 juices (500 ml each) – and is designed for beginners. Lean Greens, Slim-o-nade, Cashew Mylk, Pineapple Glow and Beet Booster kept me company all day. Now I’ve just finished my sixth juice, my favourite ever – the fantastic cashew milk, with cashew, cinnamon, himalayan pink salt, honey and vanilla – and I am about to go to bed. I’m not hungry – I feel good and light, my mind is extremely sharp and I’ve had a good day. The juices were very good and somehow it felt like a treat to have all these greens and fruit ready to drink. Even if I look forward to having an healthy breakfast tomorrow morning, I’m happy I tried the ‘purification cleanse’ – it feels good to focus on your body only once in a while!



Melissa, originaria di New York, a Pechino ha fondato una società, Juice by Melissa, che produce succhi di frutta e verdura freschi utilizzando prodotti bio e consegnando direttamente a casa. Il concept e’ di istruire circa i propositi della juice life, organizzando seminari, conferenza e altri eventi social per i suoi clienti. Accanita sostenitrice del bisogno per il corpo di depurarsi attraverso dei percorsi cleans, mi ha convinto a provare per un giorno intero. Sei succhi, molta acqua, una lezione di yoga e un massaggio drenante. Mi sento meglio, più leggera, ho la mente fresca ma… non vedo l’ora di fare colazione domani!


For the chat at Juice by Melissa I was delighted to wear:


Striped tee 条纹T恤: Cos

Jeans 牛仔裤: Uniqlo

Sneakers 运动鞋: Converse

Sunglasses 太阳镜: Fendi

Watch 腕表: Casio


The picture at Juice by Melissa was taken with my Sony NEX-5T.

在Juice by Melissa的照片由我的索尼NEX-5T拍摄。

For all the other pictures, special thanks to Melissa.



Translation by Jasmine Wang.




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