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Volleyball pro gets a raw deal


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Professional beach volleyball player Erin Gray spent all of 2010 eating only raw food. Besides tons of kale and juices, she ate raw eggs, meat just touched to the grill and raw fish in the guise of sushi. “My sight was better; I put on lean muscle mass; and my energy was up,” Gray says. The down side: “It’s hard to sustain a raw diet. You want something warm in your body,” she says. And it’s even harder to recruit four young children to the lifestyle.

Erin Gray

Juicing, however, was too fruitful a lifestyle to give up, so she bought a franchise. Effective April 1, Gray became the Juice It Up franchisee for the Rancho Santa Margarita, California, location. The chain specializes in fresh juices and made-to-order smoothies. “As the kids got older, traveling (to compete) was hard,” she says. Her children got into sports and “I wanted to be a fan. That’s when I started looking for a business.” Gray’s not using the professional-athlete card to sell smoothies. “I’m a mom. I’m an athlete. I use that to connect,” she says.

Playing professionally at 37 isn’t easy. “A lot of girls are a lot younger,” she says of the competition. Staying at the top revolves around how you treat your body along the way. Which is why Gray is pushing the raw juices at her store. It’s a sound business proposition, but it doesn’t hurt that she can continue juicing, and someone else cleans the blender.

 

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