I had the good fortune to bump into Catherine Cuello, founder of the GreenHopping App, when I went to Project Juice a few weeks ago (recap can be found here). Funny how life works out like that, although I suppose it’s not crazy to think that two like-minded health and wellness individuals could meet in a juice shop in San Francisco 🙂
We got talking and I discovered that Catherine is the creator of this innovative and nifty app, which helps you locate green juice bars and plant-based restaurants … how cool is that?! At present, the GreenHopping App can only be used in New York but it will be launching nation-wide in the United States on June 30th and there are plans for expansion to Europe and Canada!
Catherine was kind enough to let me ask her some questions about GreenHopping and their mission, I hope you find it as interesting and informative as I did!
Hi there, Catherine! Tell us a bit about what the GreenHopping App is, and how it works.
GreenHopping is an application for mobile devices that assists consumers to locate healthy, green juice bars and plant-based restaurants. GreenHopping’s database contains over 1000 juice and vegan-friendly establishments (900 in the United States and over 100 others in Europe and Canada), with almost 370 in New York City alone. The “app” has been previewed on CBS, FOX, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan Magazine, among others.
It’s connected to your phone GPS system, so it will know exactly where you’re standing and will place green pins on the map for you to find and/or can draw a route for you to get there. You can also browse menus, view the tip of the day section, and by the end of 2014 – actually purchase your green juice or plant-based meal over the app and opt to have it delivered or picked up.
Where did the inspiration for GreenHopping come from?
The inspiration for the app is rooted in my own eating habits and lifestyle, which were a direct result of a health scare I suffered in 2012 at age 23. I lost my left ovary to a malignant germ cell tumor and opted to go “natural” and recover from surgery with a raw food diet and green juices. It’s been an amazing self-discovery journey full of a-ha! moments with lots of inspirational and beautiful people along the way.
What do you think made GreenHopping take off?
I think it’s a combination of the demand for more healthy food options and peoples awareness about the powerful connection food has on the body and mind. Once you start eating healthy and realize how much better you feel, you don’t want to stop. The app is a great tool to keep it up, feel inspired, and empowered. We want to bring the greens to the people. And since everyone is on their mobiles these days, it’s the perfect way to achieve it!!
Tell us a little bit about the brains behind GreenHopping.
I couldn’t have done ANY of it without my partner’s support (he’s also the co-founder of the company and we met 2 weeks after my transition to raw and vegan in Miami) and my mother’s encouragement, love, and faith. My high-school best friend and my dad have also been pivotal as they’re my go to people when I want to cry and complain! It has been incredible and so self-gratifying – the fact that I know this can help other people means everything to me. So yes, the “brains” are combined brains because no man is an island … and we all need some love and support to make things happen! But, I’m definitely determined and won’t stop when I put my mind to something!
What is your lifestyle like? Could you describe a day in the life of Catherine Cuello?
Raw till dinner, occasional sprouted breads when I’m in the mood for that, and juices and smoothies all day long! I love it! Dinner is usually black rice or quinoa with oven baked kale … olive oil, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and a little sea salt! When I want to “splurge” it’s usually with Ezequiel raisin bread, raw almond butter, and bananas or some oven baked potatoes with cashew cream. I stay away from all things processed including tempeh and tofu.
What’s the deal with green smoothies and green juices? Why should people take notice of them?
They are an amazing way to intake nutrients and vitamins. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes, to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. It’s powerful and great for your day-to-day energy levels and health. Plus, there are so many combinations you can make that it never gets boring. Nature is amazing!
Favourite homemade and bought green juice/smoothie drink?
Hmmmm … well on a daily basis I have a smoothie made of: blueberries, strawberries, sometimes cherries, banana, spinach, coconut water and chia seeds. Juice is always kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, ginger, mint, lemon. However, I LOVE Paleta’s strawberry “milk” shake and Pressed Juicery’s almond milk. They are incredibly good and do not have any agave or coco sugar! In New York, I am a big fan of LoveGrace’s probiotic smoothie (sooo good) and of LuliTonix’s green blends – she uses figs to sweeten her blends and it’s great!
Favorite vegan restaurant?
That’s easy… Gracias Madre! Greens in San Francisco is delicious too and One Lucky Duck and Hangawi in NYC are also pretty mind‐blowing. Oh,and the Butcher’s Daughter!
How can we help make health a priority for those who may not be interested?
That’s part of GreenHopping’s mission. We believe that an 80% plant-based diet is necessary in order to be in good health and be prepared to face the complexities of today’s way of living. GreenHopping strives to motivate consumers to think twice about what they eat and encourage them to reject packaged or processed food. Our mission is to help inspire lifestyle changes by facilitating access to healthy food and by educating consumers about the beneficial effects of eating a plant-based diet. Our goal is to create change via technology, by introducing a more ‘natural’ lifestyle in a way that’s accessible and applicable to today’s consumer habits via a mobile food locator and delivery platform. Lastly, common diseases like obesity, cancer and cardiovascular diseases are directly linked with nutrition … we all need to start paying attention sooner or later.
What health trends do you think will appear in the next few years?
A demand for organic, gluten-free and dairy-free food establishments or products! I think this trend will be evident in Europe as well. The whole world is catching on.
What can we expect from GreenHopping in the future?
A mobile payment system! Until healthy food becomes more abundant in all neighbourhoods, GreenHopping wants to be the #1 access provider for finding healthy food.
Second, GreenHopping would like to push our grassroots initiative: encouraging grocers and supermarket chains that are frequented by food stamp recipients to provide greener, healthier choices, and to gain the support of green juice companies to 1) donate products to schools and become their “sponsor”, and 2) have them expand their product distribution to areas in need.
Third, community initiatives such as farmers markers, urban farming, urban agriculture education, and mobile food vans can help fill the gap through local partnerships and collaborations.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Catherine, co-founder of GreenHopping! If you want to connect with GreenHopping, their website is www.greenhoppingapp.com and they can be found on various social media networks including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.