It’s been twenty years since Ruth Tal founded the juice bar that became the hugely popular Fresh vegetarian boutique chain of restaurants.  Ruth blazed a trail for vegetarians and vegans with juices and smoothies, presenting a whole new range of possibilities for eating. Food to to satisfy, to replenish and to help you live lightly on the planet. After traveling the world extensively for seven years, Ruth Tal returned to Toronto intending to attend university. Instead, after being inspired by the growing trend of juice bars and healthy eating south of the border, Ruth created Juice for Life. She dreamed of opening a vegetarian food and juice bar where people would feel accepted and satisfied no matter what their lifestyle or eating preferences. In keeping with Ruth’s philosophy to share her knowledge and encourage people to eat this way at home she has published four national best-selling cookbooks based on the recipes from her Fresh restaurants

These days Ruth divides her time between Toronto and travelling. In addition to co-owning Fresh with her two partners, she now helps others around the world, most recently in Moscow and Mexico City, to achieve their own dreams to feed local hungry patrons looking for healthy options by consulting with them and drawing on her 20 plus years of experience in the natural food, juice and vegan vegetarian restaurant industry.


1.  What is your favourite Sweets from the Earth product? And why?
My first vegan dessert love was the Double Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake. It’s a beautiful slice of cake! The always perfect moistness and texture of the cake, the beyond incredible dark chocolate icing and the just-the-right-amount of sweetness make it always satisfying and never regretful!

2.  When do you indulge and eat your Sweets – Morning/Afternoon/Night?
It’s usually my mid-afternoon pickup w a cup of organic green tea

3.  Do you follow any special diets?
It’s different every day….I call it the “listen to my body” diet

4.  If you could be doing any other job right now, what would it be?
A Foreign Correspondent

5.  If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
Sneakers, Sunscreen & my iPad

6.  What type of satisfactions do you get out of your work?
Humility Wonder & Amazement

7.  What do you normally think about right before falling asleep?
All that I am grateful for.

8.  Name the last thing that really inspired you?
A 100 year old Indian marathoner who outlived his wife and daughter and started running when he was in his nineties.

9.  If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Khalil Gibran. Thank you for your poetry, your insight and your wise words of love & life.

What I often explain to my clients when they tell me that there is “so much to learn”, is … many small changes add up over time. This is how I transitioned from a health-degrading diet and lifestyle to a health-enhancing one. And I’m still making changes!

Diet plays a crucial role in the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases. This has been proven over and over again in various journals and publications. In fact, the Surgeon General published a formal report in 1986 stating that, “substantial scientific research over the past few decades indicates that diet can play an important role in prevention of [heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes]”. Wait, wasn’t that over 20 years ago? Then why are we still eating foods we know are harmful?

I think that many people continue eating health-degrading foods because they simply don’t know what to replace them with.

What most of my clients don’t realize is that there is a healthy alternative to (almost) everything.

The 4 white devils

  • White sugar
  • White salt (table salt)
  • White flour
  • White oil (oil that’s been processed and usually found in clear, plastic bottles)

Some of you are thinking, “what else can I eat? I love my bagel and double-double coffee.”

Don’t worry, I would never leave you hanging.

The Alternatives

  • Whole sugars: AKA Sucanut or evaporated cane juice. Sweets from the Earth( make a great variety of desserts that use whole ingredients and no preservatives.
  • Celtic sea salt: should be slightly dark and cake a little bit.
  • Whole grains: The label must say “whole grain”.
  • Extra-virgin cold-pressed oil in dark glass bottles.

These 4 easy changes could make a world of difference. Life doesn’t have to be so complicated. One thing at a time…


Josh Gitalis Ba(H), CNP, RNCP/ROHP ( is a recognized expert in the fields of clinical detoxification and therapeutic supplementation. He runs a private practice based in Downtown Toronto and teaches Clinical Nutrition at the Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine and the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. As a leader in his field, Josh consults with clients worldwide and is a noted expert for various media outlets including CTV News and CityTV. 


Do you have a peanut allergy? Because I do.  Did you know that peanuts are in the top ten list of allergies? I cannot eat a lot of foods and trust me, I mean a lot of foods. I wasn’t allowed to eat cookies and cakes, but now I can because Sweets from the Earth makes them so I can have their version.  Some bakeries have peanuts and nuts, but Sweets from the Earth is peanut and nut free.  They have cupcakes, cookies and more that are peanut free. I love their carrot cake. It’s my favorite cake, and it’s good for you. All their cakes are yummy in my tummy. I eat Sweets from the Earth because it is safe. I love Sweets from the Earth and you should too. I challenge you guys – if you have the guts to do it – do not eat peanuts or nuts or foods with traces of them for a whole week!


Carly K is an 8 year old student living with severe anaphylactic peanut & nut allergies. She is always singing, laughing and having a great time. Her favorite activities are art, gymnastics and reading.

Meghan Telpner is the most fun healthy living has ever seen.  Meghan, a certified nutritionist, runs a cooking school in downtown Toronto.  This is the home of the messes she makes creating inspired, simple, healthy, creative and awesomely delicious recipes for cooking school guests   and her well loved blog, Making Love In The Kitchen .   Meghan spends the colder months in sunny locales leading the most  inspiring retreats  ever. Most recently, Meghan founded Canada’s first Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert Program and has just launched a vibrant living line of signature products .  With her realistic and humourous approach, along with her contagious enthusiasm for all things made from scratch, Meghan has quickly become a sought after food, nutrition, and lifestyle expert for major media outlets. Her book, UnDiet (McClelland and Stewart) will hit stores at the end of 2012. Discover the goodness she’s cooking up at

1.       What is your favourite Sweets from the Earth product? And why?

Carrot cake!  After being cake free for three years- dealing with my own serious health issues this was the first cake I took a bite of. It was on my 28th birthday and I’ve been hooked ever since! I love that it’s available in single servings too at so many health food stores. I’ve even attempted to create my own version. Nothing beats it- so much so that I’ve decided the SFTE carrot cake will be my wedding cake this summer.   Love it!

2. Do you follow any special diets?

I follow the UnDiet!  I eat to fuel my life and do so as simply, wholly and deliciously as possible. I keep my gluten-low or none at all, ditch the dairy fully and avoid any food that took a trip through a factory or chemistry lab. The more seasonal the better and if I can put a face to the person who grew the goodness, well then I am just back-flipping through my kitchen- the only place my food ever gets processed.

3. What is important to you when choosing to support a company?

Trust. If I am buying a food that has been cooked or baked, grilled and or steamed by someone other than me, I need to trust that they are putting in what they say they are putting in. I want to know the ingredients are coming from great sources and ultimately that I am getting the best of the best. I LOVE that Sweets From The Earth is so strict with their guidelines ensuring foods labeled nut or gluten-free are fully safe from those substances.

I also love when I can actually get to know the owners of a company- that they show up to events, respond to questions and put themselves out there to support their brands. When it comes to SFTE- I especially love that they are so wonderfully supportive of the community in which they work- sponsoring events and giveaways.

Even before I had the business that I had, way back in 2007, that first carrot cake I had for my birthday, was delivered to our door by Ilana herself. That is serious customer service!

 4. How do you motivate people, who aren’t close to you, to see your vision?

I live my vision the very best that I can. I will never defend the choices I make or why I do things a certain way. If people are down with it- and want to know more, I am happy to share. My intention is never to try and convert anyone to live or eat the way I do. I aim to offer education, do so in a very fun, uplifting, motivating way, and let people decide to take what works, leave what doesn’t and simply give it a try.  It seems to be working.

 5. When do you indulge and eat your Sweets – Morning/Afternoon/Night? Why?

I’ve been known to sneak a cashew cookie with my afternoon tea- but usually, it’s an after dinner treat with my family in the spirit of celebration. Why? Because the only thing better than a piece of cake, a cupcake, a flourless brownie or a cookie is sharing it with company that’s as sweet as the treat itself.

6. If you could be any superhero, who would it be and why?

I would be the Super Nutritionista who wears mismatched outfits, and rides around on a bicycle covered in flowers, visiting farmer’s markets and converting the farm fresh produce into the most amazing meals people have ever had. Hey… wait a second… Okay. I’d also be able to fly.

 7. You have $10.00 to buy lunch, where do you go?

To the store!  Fresh lettuce, hummus, avocado, tomato, cucumber sprouts and wraps. Best lunch ever. Then for the next three days, I would save up my $10 (because I’d have enough leftovers) to buy a Sweets from the Earth mini carrot cake for the people I love the most. 

8. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you?

Assuming my dessert island is ripe with cacaco trees and coconut palms, I’d bring Josh Gitalis (Clinical Nutritionist) to help me make potions with the wild herbs, my own  All Purpose Edible Body Butter (great lip balm and moisturizer which I’ll need for all that sun),  and  my sleep mask– those stars will be bright and I need my beauty sleep.