It was less than a decade ago that Amanda Chantal Bacon opened the doors to Moon Juice, her holistic jewel box of a shop in Venice, California. “I remember thinking, ‘I hope this $9 unsweetened green juice sells!’” she recalls. It did—and her cosmic wellness empire soon grew to include healing plant-based supplements, nourishing snacks, and adaptogenic skincare. These days, Moon Juicing is a verb and the company’s “change your food, change your life” ethos is a full-blown lifestyle.
For Gucci, who stockpiles the company's nutrient-rich “dusts” and pantry goods (activated slow-dried walnuts, savory flax seed crackers, raw chile & lime dried mango slices), it has become a kitchen staple—offering stabilizing fuel and steady feel-good energy in place of a sugar high. Here, she sits down with Chantal Bacon to talk about how the right herbs and superfoods can expand your body’s capacity to handle mental and physical stress, why eating well can be radically simple, and the sleep rule that changed everything.
GUCCI: Hi Amanda! Thank you for making time to chat—you’ve just had a baby! Congrats! Guess what? I’m sitting here in my kitchen with Moon Juice mango slices and almonds and the flax crackers. We have all of your snacks. I take your Beauty Shroom almost every day and my kids have it in their shakes. It’s so hard to keep them from detecting when something’s healthy but in this case, they have no idea!
AMANDA: Hello! And yes, I know about the kids thing. (Laughs.) What do you put in your shake with it in the morning?
G: I always add your Tocos and Probiotic into my favorite Strawberry Hemp Milk smoothie. On other days, I have a WelleCo green supplement that I mix in with your Probiotic, a little bit of almond butter, plus your Tocos and Beauty Shroom. A little bit of avocado. Frozen blueberries. Frozen bananas.
A: Avocado—that’s interesting!
G: I'm such a true Moon Juice fan. I remember going to your Venice shop for the first time years ago after a Vogue shoot that finished nearby. Back then you didn’t have the supplements, just the store. You could feel how much integrity was behind it. Since then, the ‘change your food, change your life’ ethos of the brand has struck such a chord. I’m really curious— where did it all begin for you?
A: You know, since I was a kid, I’ve always had some systemic issue, whether it was chronic bronchitis or something else. Allopathic medicine didn’t work. So I wound up with an Ayurvedic doctor who recommended some things that did work. In hindsight, I can look back and think ‘Huh, if you put somebody on that many rounds of antibiotics, of course you’re going to ruin their gut health and when you don’t have that microbiome working, it’s going to effect your immune system, your allergies, your mood.’ Then in my early 20s on birth control and eating food that I now know I’m allergic to, which causes inflammation, you wake up and your endocrine system is off, you have to rebalance your hormones, your thyroid doesn’t work.
Things got so clear for me about 15 years ago. I was working in fine dining at the time, which gave me great technical skill about how to get things to taste a certain way. I applied all that to something that was more in line with what I’m passionate about. I remember thinking, ‘I hope this $9 unsweetened green juice sells!’ Back then, people didn’t know what almond milk was. You can now get almond milk at any corner. Everything has changed so much.
G: I had such a similar experience. We moved to Sweden when I was young. My digestive system wasn’t functioning. My mom was into Eastern philosophy—we had been living on a Kundalini ashram in California—and she took me to an Ayurvedic doctor. We took a boat and a train and a bus. It was a whole thing. But he completely changed everything. I brought a lot of that into my life and later into my own makeup brand in the sense of questioning ingredients and trying to heal skin rather than cover it up. I also stopped having dairy around then. I’ve read that you don’t consume dairy either—is that true?
A: When I was pregnant, I ate butter and raw goat’s milk kefir because I was craving it. But otherwise my husband and I both avoid eating dairy on a regular basis. I have to be really careful about inflammation. We also don’t buy grain—we’re living in this miracle time where there are so many good grain-free options!—and we don’t buy anything with sugar in it.
G: So let me ask you—you’re the founder of a successful business, you’re a mother, you’re busy. How do you making eating well a consistent part of your life, rather than just one more thing you have to figure out how to get done in a week?
A: When I see people meal planning or following recipes, I think that’s when, outside of a special occasion, you can get overwhelmed. I keep simple things in the house. I always have sweet potatoes that I can throw in the oven and roast with ghee and salt—it’s a great snack anytime. Avocados, or whatever fruit is in season. I have a really high fat, low sugar diet, mostly plant based. I make quinoa and I pressure cook beans which is a good way to get protein in while pregnant. Pressure cooking makes them easier on the system. And I love raw soups. My fridge is filled with healthy cold foods. Sprouted hummus! Having those things on hand, then it becomes easy.
G: I’m obsessed with your Deep Chocolate Adaptogenic Protein, the Beauty Shroom Vegan Collagen Protection, and the Super You Stress Protection. There’s such a stress epidemic these days! What are the practices you’ve built into your life to counter it?
A: If I feel tension in my body, I’ll do Spirit Dust with hot water and almond milk. Outside of that, sleeping 8 hours a night has been a game changer. Often when I’m really cranky, that just signals to me that I’ve fallen off on taking care of myself and it becomes easy to feel that stress chemistry in my body. And then I automatically start assigning a story to the stress—it’s my job, or it’s this person, or it’s this thing that happened. And that may be true….but if I’ve slept, I can deal with it from a non reactive place. That and walking. Walking is really the form of exercise that works for my body and doesn’t stress me out. I spent years doing exercise that was raising my cortisol levels and I wasn’t recovering properly. Walking outside, sleeping 8 hours, doing a pretty simple daily meditation and supplementing with adaptogens usually keeps me on track. And then acupuncture really works for me when I need a little more help.
G: And a shot of tequila!
A: Yeah right! (Laughs.)
G: I tend to have this 80/20 approach. Eighty percent of the time I try to live really clean and then the other twenty percent, I like to be more flexible. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t beat myself up if I couldn’t exercise one week or if I didn’t eat the best on vacation, because I want to create memories and be part of the present moment. With my brand, I took the same approach—we use as many plant-based ingredients as possible but occasionally, we use a safe synthetic because it has to work. The definition of “clean” is such topic of conversation right now, whether it’s skincare or supplements. What does it mean to you?
A: Well, a big part of it is—as clean becomes such a big part of all things, everyone has a different definition. Retailers and brands have to declare what clean means to them. As consumers, we have to decide what it means for us personally, where it’s important in our lives. I think it really is about finding that balance. I was talking to someone yesterday who has completely overhauled her diet and lifestyle and is trying to get her husband on board with it and trying to get pregnant. And she was like ‘But I really still love my [synthetic] mascara and I’m not giving it up.”
I look at it as a point system within our own bodies. Once you tune into that, you choose how you want to use those points. For me, I know that not sleeping enough, too much airplane travel, environmental toxins, those are things that deplete my adaptive energy. It’s choosing how you want to spend that energy. For some people, it may be tequila. For other people, it may be that mascara. For me, it’s ice cream. I just want ice cream with white sugar and I know it’ll take a toll but if I keep everything else in the realm of healthy, I’m not going to go out of balance. People tend to want a prescriptive system but it’s not really how it is for me.
G: When I saw you at the Wall Street Journal festival, I thought ‘wow,’ she has such beautiful skin.’ What is your routine?
A: Thank you! It’s pretty minimal. Being in my mid-thirties has forced me to pay a little bit more attention. In the mornings, I just splash with water. We started making skincare last year. I’ve been working on a Moon Juice cleanser that’s out in August and I'll use that at night only. I use our Exfoliating Acid Potion before bed. It’s like a completely clean version of Biologique Recherché’s P50 that also has reishi in it. It doesn’t leave you irritated and it’s super hydrating. Before I was pregnant, I used it every night. And I didn’t have a pore on my face.
G: Well I need that ASAP (laughs).
A: Yes! I can’t put a bunch of endocrine disruptors on my face. The two areas where I still haven’t been able to find something clean are both in the realm of makeup actually: A tinted brow gel—I haven’t found anything out there that’s clean and works—and a good mascara.
G: Some of the ingredients in the best selling mascaras are shocking—endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and so on. We’re actually making a completely clean mascara! It’s 96% natural and has this really nice beeswax that nurtures the lashes. It’s out next month!
A: That's amazing! I can’t wait.
G: So Amanda, you’ve just welcomed your second child! That’s so exciting. When I was expecting my son, Dash, I took this Ayurvedic supplement in a paste every day that contained a form of ash because a holistic practitioner told me it was good for brain function. It tasted terrible…but I did it. Did you change up your daily supplements or your exercise to support your pregnancy?
A: Yes, I took a gross supplement every day. (Laughs.) I’m really good with herbs. I love my acupuncturist. For the month leading up to trying to get pregnant, I was drinking the foulest Chinese tea that I’d brew every morning to help with egg quality. Second trimester, I let it go but then I went back on the herbs to help with labor to be sure it started on time.
G: As women, we’re quite connected to our bodies—they’re a vessel for so many things, including birth. We also tend to suffer more from digestive issues and bloating. And you know, perhaps not surprisingly, women are really driving the wellness and clean beauty movements forward. Are there any female founders that you’re inspired by at the moment?
A: We’re in tune with our bodies and we’re in an age of not apologizing for that and seeing the leadership in that and coming out of the dark ages of women being called crazy and sensitive for that. We’re stepping into the power of our intuition. So yes it completely makes sense to me why women are changing the wellness industry but I also look at a lot of industries and think women are taking over those too. It’s a global movement—and whether it's food or politics or tech, it's time.
(Baby Cheeks Blush in Dou Dou, Moon Juice Beauty Dust, Beauty Shroom Plumping Jelly Serum, Super You, Probiotics, Vital Skin Foundation- Atelier IV)