Wheeze the Juice
Tucked in amongst the shipping containers of Deep Deuce District is a little smoothie and juice bar by the name of Wheeze the Juice, often referred to simply as “Wheeze.” Upon entering, customers immediately take notice of the nostalgic ’90s vibe complete with brightly colored walls, VHS tapes playing on an old TV, tiny alien figurines, and an old-school boom box. Freshly-bottled juices, a luscious herb garden, and the sweet smell of fresh fruits and veggies add to the vibrant energy. Co-owners Avery Cannon and Eric Massey believe this environment makes people instantly comfortable by triggering a relaxed nostalgia in which new pleasures can be experienced.
Smoothies and fresh juice are often a novel experience for inhabitants of OKC. In 2015, Oklahoma ranked second lowest in the nation for consumption of fruit, with 51% of adults consuming less than one serving per day. As a dietitian, this pains and alarms me, since fruits and veggies are the staple for a healthy and balanced diet. While many factors play into this startling percentage, the most significant contributors are poor access and incomplete nutrition education. Thankfully, Wheeze is on the road to changing that.
Wheeze’s name is taken from the 1992 film Encino Man in which the main character is teaching a newly thawed-out caveman the main food groups of the modern age, instructing him to “wheeze the juice” by drinking straight from the Icee machine. While Icees are full of artificial ingredients and sugar, you can rest assured that this is not the case at Wheeze. All of their smoothies and juices are made from whole fruits and veggies with no surprise or hidden ingredients. In fact, many ingredients are sourced locally, organically, or from Wheeze’s own garden. Collaborations abound with local farmers providing ingredients to Wheeze and with Wheeze providing local businesses with fresh juices and nut milks. For instance, you can find Wheeze’s homemade almond milk served at Leaf + Bean!
Avery explains that his journey with juicing started about three years ago when Wheeze’s co-owner, Eric, introduced him to freshly squeezed vegetable juice. Since, Avery’s life has changed in the best possible ways. Avery and Eric say they created Wheeze to provide OKC with a health-centered place to eat well and engage with others. Their goal is to artfully create delicious recipes that make fruits and veggies more palatable while also engaging with their customers to spread awareness of healthful nutrition.
On the menu, you can find smoothies, smoothie bowls, fresh juices, juice and herbal shots, ready-to-drink bottled juices, and even energy balls! Must-try items include the “Macarena” (a smoothie bowl packed with banana, mango, maca, almond milk, and enough leafy greens to fulfill all of your servings for the entire day), the “Be Kind Rewind” (smoothie with blueberry, banana, spinach, orange juice, and the superfood algae, spirulina), the “Matcha Flotcha Flame” (an aptly named coconut cinnamon matcha milk), and the carrot cake energy balls. Smoothies are made to order with the option for superfood addons such as acai, maca, chia, flax, vegan protein powder, and cacao. You can also find unique items on the menu such as aloe and turmeric shots and activated charcoal lemonade.
Eric explains that living a healthy life is all about balance and treating your body well. By filling your diet with raw fruits and vegetables, you are giving your body the nourishment it requires to function at its best. The research is clear that by providing your body with whole, plant-based foods, your organs are able to work at their optimal capacity and can then prevent, treat, and potentially reverse many diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many types of cancer. And who doesn’t want that?
“We can live a long healthy life by consuming the right foods.” Avery laughs, “We’ve just got to live long enough to see when the aliens come. That’s what this place is really about.”
> Wheeze the Juice, 30 NE 2nd Street, Oklahoma City