INTERVIEW WITH TRACEY LESTER
THE "HEALTHY PARTY ANIMAL"
& FOUNDER OF SUPERFLUID
I’ve read your bio and have heard you’re called the Healthy Party Animal. How did you get this name!?
I have been called the “healthy party animal” for about 20 years by my close friends, colleagues, industry peers, fashion and art world crew who often come to me at one of my bars or parties to ask if they can call me during the week for health advice. Often I find they can relate to me and take the first steps towards change (often after a few drinks they feel less inhibited to discuss their problems).
For the last 20 years I have owned bars, pubs and clubs. You don’t get into this industry and stay in it this long unless you love to socialise, to be out having fun, you know how to put on a good party or be on the dance floor till all hours of the morning. But you also don’t get to stay in this industry this long without putting some measures in place to maintain your health and well-being, and have the energy to work day and night and be happy, social, engaging and uplifting to people (and your 100+ staff) all the time and still be on the ball to attend to a work drama or crisis that may arise at 3, 4 or 6 am.
So, JUICE! There’s so many juice companies out there, tell us why Superfluid is different and why we should be paying attention!
Yes juice! From fermented hops juice (aka beer), grape juice (wine) and now organic cold pressed veggie and fruit juice and nut mylks as the Thais would say - same same but different. BUT yes we are DIFFERENT.
Superfluid is not just juice, it’s a more an all-encompassing lifestyle and philosophy to make you look and feel great (and younger) inside and out, with all the flow on effects from this: making positive effects on your overall well-being. We are about making food and drinks that are functional: to help you adapt and become “superfluid” so you can dodge and move through life and all the challenges it throws at you with minimum effort or friction.
Superfluid is plant-based food and drinks - initially phase one will be a grab and go cafe on the ground floor of The Carlton Club and the rear of The Gertrude Hotel, which will evolve into phase two: a “pub style” Superfluid. The pub style will primarily be 80 % plant based, and 20% organic meat and sustainable line caught seafood (we aim to be inclusive; we are aware that you can’t convert meat eaters or encourage them to eat less meat if you make environments that are intimidating for them or exclude their needs as well). Phase three will be incorporating a plant-based restaurant.
The juice is our base line entry point and a “tool” that is relatable, that we can use to start a conversation about health with our customers. It’s an easy way to get people feeling the instant effects and to start making small changes to their diet and lifestyle. It’s our “tool” to get them in the door.
SO many people these days are having digestive/gut/microbiome/food allergy problems, which means the food they are eating and all the nutrients they are consuming aren’t being digested or processed, or they are “leaking” from their body, so drinking a cold pressed organic juice is the best, guaranteed way to delivery essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and enzymes straight into your blood stream.
Superfluid is different because we are one of the few 100% organic cold pressed juices out there - we are NOT HPP treated (which kills the goodness in the juice in order to prolong the shelf life) AND we are made in house (many cold pressed juices are made by the same out source external company), AND packaged in glass, so there is no nasty plastic-related illness down the track. The glass bottles and jars are really being recycled (not just sitting in landfill) - Mark Douglass Designs will be melting the glass down in his kilns in Kensington to reuse it for design projects (aka it might be a juice bottle one day, and a fancy light in a high-end restaurant or building foyer the next).
Superfluid is different because, for me, this is not a business that I have jumped on in the last few years with the rise of the wellness industry, it’s a lifestyle that I have been leading for over 25 years. It’s something I am passionate about, but I don’t believe anyone is doing it “well” (pun intended) in Melbourne.
It’s also different because myself and Tristan Newman (the chef behind Superfluid) are serious hospitality people. We have a serious understanding of taste, flavours, flavour profiles and how to deliver products. In the past these juice/wellness businesses have been driven by naturopaths, dieticians, yoga teachers etc whose intention is to create something healthy, yet they have limited knowledge of hospitality, design or how to make food that is actually tasty and balanced, and not just health and bland.
Superfluid is different because it combines principles of functional medicine (food as medicine) and incorporates the best elements of integrated medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic - that work on the physical body - and Australian Bush Flower Essences (ABFE) to work on the emotional and energetic bodies, creating specific mood/emotional or physiological outcomes such as stress relief, brain power, energy, joy/happiness and immunity.
We have a range of “potions” that are adpotogenic herbs which can be added to smoothies, hot beverages (Superfluid coffee, tea, hot cacaos, matcha/turmeric lattes etc) and our food to “hack” or upgrade your body for a desired effect. Our ‘Green Energy’ is pumpkin seed mylk with adaptogens and ABFE that are known to increase energy in the body. And our ‘Coffee on My Brain’ is an almond mylk with cold pressed coffee and adaptogens and ABFE which are known to increase brain power, cognitive function, alertness and memory to give you an all round brain and body pick me up!
We are also different in the fact we are well aware of food allergies and intolerances, and cater for people with FODMAP/SIBO/SIFO issues.
I love the idea that you’re getting the juices into pubs! As someone who is pretty allergic to alcohol, having an option other that sugary soft drinks or water sounds great! What made you think of pubs as a target location?
Putting our organic cold pressed juice and our non alcoholic state changers into bars, pubs and clubs is a no-brainer for me. That’s what I do - I do bars, pubs and clubs. I believe that pubs in particularly are still the focal point of Australian social life, BUT I feel that if you aren’t drinking you are often excluded, or may want to exclude yourself from these social occasions or places and opt to stay home because you are often frowned upon as a “social leper”. Or it’s just too much hard work telling/fighting with your friends about not drinking.
Socialising and face-to-face connection is becoming so much more important in this age of technology, and I also find that more and more people are drinking less or opting to not drink at all. As someone who rarely drinks I get SO bored of going out and having a mineral water with a slice of lime. I have been going out to pub and bars for over 20 years and not drinking and I’m often the last person on the dance floor at six am, powered on San Pelegrino….but I find if my friends are in a “not drinking” phase, they opt to stay home. I’m trying to bring about a shift and a change in the culture by incorporating juices and non-alcoholic state changers into pubs, because:
- Just because you’re healthy or don’t want to drink, doesn’t mean you have to stay home - aka healthy doesn’t have to be boring.
- Health and healthy lifestyle has been largely limited to day time activities and day time cafes, but who said you can’t continue on from day into night with a cold pressed juice in your hand at a bar as the sunsets into the evening?
- If you eat healthy all day and/or drink juice all day, your body is in a much better place to be able to cope with and process alcohol easily – so if you do decide to drink, there should be healthy alcoholic options out there too. Instead of a vodka with a sugary post mix dry or a gin with tonic, have a juice in it instead.
- I’m advocating balance by putting these is pubs and clubs – be healthy and stay out all night drinking juice to fire you up, mix alcohol up with juice through the night to flush your liver out, or go all out on the booze and then grab a green juice and a shot to soak up the alcohol as you leave so you wake up fresher the next day.
Some of the ingredients I’ve read that are in Superfluid juices sound amazing.
Yes you are right, there are some amazing ingredients. We will slowly be integrating and incorporating more and more adaptogens into our juices as time goes on. At this stage we don’t want to overwhelm people, so we have kept most of the adoptogens to the mylks, tonics, potions and food, with the exception of Babe juice which has Schizandra in it - this is a personal favourite and something I start and end my day with, in a glass of warm water with lemon.
Schziandra is an ancient Chinese beauty tonic reputed to give your skin a luscious radiant glow. It also detoxs the liver and kidneys, increases energy and vitality, and to top it off it is a great aphrodisiac!
Can you tell me a bit more about phenylethylamine?
I love phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is also known as "The Love Molecule” and is the same compound that is found in chocolate and thought to produce chocolate's pleasurable effects on mood. Our shots of BrainON Supreme contain approximately 50 times more PEA than chocolate. There have been numerous studies done demonstrating PEA's efficacy.
Here is a quote from a study from Richard Clark Kaufaman, PhD that sums it up better than I could: “PEA is an endogenous stimulant of the human brain that amplifies the activity of major neurotransmitters for increased longevity, slower aging, higher performance, a sense of wellbeing, and a renewed youthful-functioning body. PEA has unique rapid uplifting effects on mood, mental activity, attention, motivation, alertness, creativity, awareness, energy, stamina, physical activity, pleasurable feelings, sexuality, and sensory perceptions. PEA (beta-phenylethylamine is a naturally occurring trace amine neurotransmitter (chemical signal messenger between nerves) and neuroregulator that is normally synthesized in the brain from the amino acid phenylalanine. PEA amplifies the signal strength and effectiveness of the major neurotransmitters in the human brain to improve your life.
“PEA increases the actions of dopamine (for wellbeing and feeling pleasure), norepinephrine (the brain's stimulant for wakefulness and higher performance), acetylcholine (for improving memory and mental activity), and serotonin (for better mood emotion and impulse control). PEA is a highly-concentrated neurotransmitter in the limbic system (the brain's emotional center) that increases motivation, physical drive, feelings, and social activity.”
What other ingredients you’ve got in Superfluid juices do you think we need to be incorporating into our lives more and why?
Adaptogens, adpotogens, adaptogens and MINERALS (fulvic via shilijat resin and marine via Quinton shots). One can never have enough green in their diet, and turmeric and C-Phycocyanin to combat inflammation of any sort, because inflammation in its various guises is the root cause of all illness and disease.
I’m a HUGE fan of adaptogens - I can not sing their praises enough.
Adaptogens are herbs that can perform a variety of functions in the body - they adapt and priortise their function to your individual needs in order to remove the greatest stresses from the body, whether it’s physical, chemical, biological or emotional, with the intention of bringing the body back to a state of homeostasis or balance (eg. you and your friend may have the same adaptogen, but it will do completely different things in the body depending on whether the individual is tired, run down, stressed, nervous, not thinking clearly, needs more energy and vitality, is suffering insomnia etc). Adaptogens all include immune modulating activities too, since when the immune system is strengthened overall, vitality is increased.
I have many favourite adaptogens that I take regularly, so I try to rotate then around a bit. I’m currently adding Pine Pollen into everything, but my top three that I take every day are Shilijat Resin, Rhodiola and Schizandra.
Shilijat resin gives me an instant lift, pick me up, brain buzz, burst of energy and helps me with mental focus and attention……and it’s a great aphrodisiac. It’s full of fulvic minerals - one of the things that we are seriously lacking in our diets due to poor soil quality.
I take Rhodiola for brain power, mood lifting, energy, stamina, immunity, to enhance my memory and my ability to exercise and to strengthen my nervous system.
The other thing that we are selling at Superfluid that I am obsessed with taking is Qintessential vials. Quinton is raw unheated sea minerals, or marine plasma. It is the closest thing to our own blood plasma and full of minerals and trace elements – a shot or two of the 3.3 is an instant caffeine free energy hit and will keep you going all day and all night.
Okay - so I will be back in Sydney soon - any plans to have the juices in Sydney?
Sydney is on my radar, but when I’m not in Melbourne I spend a lot of time in London, LA/NY and many months in Ibiza (mainly on a small island off it –Formentera). I almost opened a bar some years ago in NY - but for various reasons I had to stay close to home at that time, so Superfluid LA or Ibiza or NY may happen before Superfluid Sydney.
For our lucky Melbourne pals, where can we get your juices, and when?
In Melbourne you can buy juices and food in store on the ground floor of the Carlton Club, and the rear of the Gertrude Hotel in a couple of weeks. As of this week juices and some food will be available online for delivery, with cleanse packs available as of next week. We are planning to open two more stores further southside and further northside in soon.