“SunLife Organics exists for three simple reasons— to love, heal and inspire. This isn't just a juice bar; it's a way of life fueled by the belief that you matter. We view each interaction as a valued opportunity to connect and make a positive impact on someone's life, however big or small because you deserve to be loved. We're committed to serving our communities the highest quality organic ingredients Mother Nature has to offer because you deserve to be healed. We never stop growing, learning, listening, and sharing because you deserve to be inspired. When you walk through our doors, you are invited to be yourself, just as you are.” – SunLife Organics Website
If you're a fan of amazing smoothies with impeccable taste and ingredients, SunLife Organics is the place to be. Come here for a healthy breakfast or a midday pick-me-up, and you won't be disappointed. I know I wasn’t.
In 2003, Khalil Rafati, the now founder and owner of SunLife organics, was 33 years old, weighed less than 110 pounds, and lived on the streets of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. During that point in his life, he was addicted to heroin and cocaine and depressed beyond belief. When he eventually decided to get sober, he still smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and ate junk food on a daily basis, on top of drinking obscene amounts of caffeine.
"I always felt completely drained and devoid of energy. Depression was a constant." – Khalil Rafati.
Eventually, a friend of Khalil's introduced him to juicing and superfoods. Khalil felt that the results were remarkable, and he started to feel not only a renewed lust for life but his anxiety was replaced by excitement. And thus, his journey with finding and consuming the best products nature had begun.
He traveled all over India, Central America, and Indonesia, learning everything he could from surf bums and gurus. He went to Ayurvedic doctors and street vendors, and when he went back to the states, he explored traditional Western medicine and what it had to offer.
“In the end, I found that the truth was not much different than what most people's grandmothers advised: 'eat your fruits and veggies. By eating a diet of whole organic foods— with the addition of some superfoods, regular exercise, a lot of love and compassion from friends and neighbors, and a daily practice of trying to do good deeds for others without getting caught— I found that I didn't need a guru or 'healer' or Western medicine to recover.” – Khalil Rafati.
In 2011, Khalil joined forces with his business partner, Haley Gorcey, and they opened the doors to the first SunLife Organics in Malibu. Their mission was simple, to love, heal, and to inspire. They wanted to provide not only an experience but to provide access to true nourishment. A place to elevate the human spirit, get away from the technology we're all glued to, and get back to the basics.
“SunLife Organics isn't just a juice bar. It's an experience fueled by the simple but profound joy of human connection and an unrelenting commitment to quality.” – Khalil Rafati
Rafati is obsessed with the healthiest food and getting it from the utmost sustainable sources. "There are 100 different types of dates, but only one 100% certified organic Medjool date. They are the Rolls-Royce of dates. Nobody would ever put those in smoothies, but we do," he says.
Rafati spends a good bulk of his time researching new ingredients and their health benefits and then mixing them with other ingredients to see what works and what doesn't.
When Rafati introduced bone broth to the menu, his loyal vegan and vegetarian following in California pushed back, "People lost their minds," he says. However, he knew that if he was drinking bone broth and seeing exponential results, he should offer it at SunLife Organics, too. "People were mad; now everyone serves bone broth," he says.
In addition to the high quality of everything, Rafati has made it a mission to be completely plastic-free. SunLife has cups and lids made from cornstarch and straws made out of corn fiber. The cups will disappear in a landfill within 24 months at the very most as opposed to plastic which doesn't break down.
The manager at Cross Creek Malibu SunLife said that it's important for SunLife to strive for greater sustainability practices. "All of our ingredients are organically grown and come from the earth, so giving back and taking care of our source of life is very important to us," she says.
"I'm looking to inspire way beyond Malibu. I'm looking to inspire companies all over the world. Yes, it's more expensive, and yes, it's very difficult and challenging, but it's the right thing to do." – Khalil Rafati.
There are 12 locations for SunLife, I went to the one in Malibu, and it was an amazing experience overall. I had just gotten done with a hike, and SunLife seemed like the perfect treat.
They have a variety of signature shakes, and the Fountain of Youth is beyond delicious. It has strawberries, bananas, açai, goji berries, resveratrol, raw coconut butter, and apple juice. I went with this one because the resveratrol caught my attention.
Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol, and it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect you against diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes. The anti-inflammatory properties also make resveratrol a good remedy for arthritis and skin inflammation.
Another smoothie that sounded delicious was the Wolverine, made with bananas, raw almond butter, Medjool dates, maca, bee pollen, raw cacao nibs, raw coconut butter, royal jelly, and almond milk. I'm a sucker for anything with almond butter.
Next time, I'm trying the Shroom, which is with bananas, raw plant chocolate protein, four Sigmatic mushroom blends, peanut butter, dates, cinnamon, pink salt, MCT oil, rocket fuel, and oat milk.
As you can probably tell, every smoothie has amazing and high-quality ingredients that will nourish you from the inside out.
You'll also find a few more simple protein/fruit smoothies on the menu that all sound fantastic as well. Additionally, there are multiple bowls that you probably won't be able to decide on which one to get as they all sound fantastic. I got the Brazilian Bowl with blended acai, banana, strawberry, blueberry, apple juice, and almond milk topped with granola, slices of banana, strawberries, and coconut shreds. The Bliss bowl also sounded incredible, and it has cashew butter and hemp milk in it with a superfood trail mix on top. That one is definitely on my "to try next" list.
If you're not an acai fan, you can try their Maui bowl, which is made with blended banana, mango, passionfruit, coconut sorbet, blue Majik, coconut water, and pineapple. It's also topped with hemp granola, which is phenomenal, by the way, strawberries, blueberries, lotus pollen, and coconut whip.
In addition to all the deliciousness I just mentioned, there are several wellness shots on the menu, including turmeric shots with black pepper, a chlorophyll aloe shot, and a few others. You'll also find coffee, their Matcha is incredible and made with Ceremonial grade matcha green tea, coconut cream, monk fruit, and oat milk, and they also have bone broth made from organic and grass-fed beef.
SunLife Organics has a great story to it. I don't think there's anything better than learning about someone who had a hard life and changed it around for the better the way Khalil did, which is why I love supporting his business and always venture into one of his shops.
There are multiple locations in California, and they recently opened up a new one in Austin. So if you're in the mood for a healthy acai bowl, or an incredible smoothie that will nourish your body and mind from the inside out, make it a priority to stop by SunLife, and I highly recommend the Malibu location so you can check out Point Dume after.
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