The Deep with Belmonte Raw

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Those who know me, know that I’m not the biggest fan of cleanses but when I found out that Belmonte Raw was offering a 1-day cleanse called The Deep for active individuals, I figured I would give it a shot. Now that I’m a lot more active on a weekly basis, I’ve always wondered if juicing would be something that I could handle or wanted to do. I work out four to five times a week so good nutrition has also become a super important part of my life.

I thoroughly enjoy Belmonte Raw’s different juices, elixirs, smoothies and milks. I think they’re all original and bring some different flavors to the table that other local juice companies haven’t thought of. I also like that they offer more than just a simple green juice. So I was willing to try a lot of these for the first time and see how my body would react.

Here’s how it went down.

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The kind folks at Belmonte Raw, deliver the juices right to your doorstep as early as 5am on the day you start your cleanse. It’s kind of hard not to immediately fall in love with the juices because of their beautiful colors and packaging.

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I started my day with a 45 minute dynamic workout and a delicious Antiox Smoothie, which consisted in blueberries, almond, oats, vanilla bean, chia and acai berry. It was sustainable enough to replace breakfast, something that I never skip in the morning.

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The goal of the cleanse is to have these juices approximately two hours apart from each other. The juices are delivered in the morning with a little guide book, which will help you plan out your day.

My second juice of the day was the Refresh juice, which consisted in carrot, apple, beet, lemon, ginger, flavors that I’m very familiar with as this is sometimes what I make myself at home.

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I followed that up by a Chlorophyll Elixir, which is apparently a potent blood cleanser. I can’t say I was a fan of the taste, but luckily it was the size of a gulp.

Just a little after lunch time, I had a Vanilla Cashew Milk, which was a very tasty treat. It is made up of cashews, filtered water, vanilla and dates.

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The Revive juice was next on the list. It is a blend of lemon, filtered water, cayenne and agave, another combination that I am familiar with. For a little while, I was doing hot lemon and cayenne pepper every morning before I had breakfast or did anything.

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My afternoon felt a little rougher than my morning. I felt a lot of energy in the morning after my workout and with the smoothie and then the milk not too far apart. My head started hurting, my brain felt a little foggy and I was having a hard time focusing at work. I also noticed my mood started changing a little from extremely happy to a little moodier.

Clarity gave me another energy boost later on in the day, when I really needed it. It’s a simple combination of carrot, lemon and ginger. I love ginger in juices, I think it’s one of my favorite things to add. I’ve found that since I started juicing, making them at home or purchasing cold-pressed juices wherever I go, I’ve been feeling a lot healthier and have been a lot less prone to getting a cold or sick during the year.

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My day ended with the Uplift juice, made up of lot’s of yummy greens that tasted the perfect combination of bitter and sweet – spinach, cucumber, apple, lemon, parsley and ginger. I also had their Liver Detox Tea to finish off my evening.

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Here’s the thing, I would be lying if I said that the juice cleanse wasn’t hard. It would be a lie if I said that I didn’t feel hungry throughout the day. That said, what Belmonte Raw does better than all the other juice cleanses I’ve been on thus far, is that they provide us with more than just juices and enough variety that if you are going to take the longer route and spend a few days juicing, you won’t get sick of the juices. They’ve definitely put thought into the types of products they offer people and go above and beyond just providing green juice.

But is it enough for someone that is really active? I guess everyone will have varying opinions. I had four back to back workouts last week and did this 1-day cleanse near the end of the week but I’m not sure if I would have done it longer or on a day where I have double workouts, I would have felt ok. Don’t get me wrong, their juices were ALL excellent, tasty and nutritious but working out so much, I do need a bit of solid food in my body to help my muscles recuperate and get ready for the next workout. Hence why I think, this 1-day cleanse was the only option for me.

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All in all, I would recommend doing the Belmonte Raw cleanse, if you’re looking for a cleanse that will fill you up more than just drinking a series of juices. Their cleverly thought out choice of liquids (smoothies, milks, juices & elixirs), will be a lot more satisfying than other pure juice-only cleanses. That said, if you do want to go for the green juice only option, they do have that option available called The Deepest. I like that they offer a varying scale of options for first time juicers or avid cleansers.

This may sound a bit backwards, but I really want to try their raw food & juice combination The Starter next. Eating a mix of super clean food & juices, sounds pretty stellar!

To find out more about the different cleanses Belmonte Raw offers, go here.

 

 

Cleanse Day 4

Yesterday was Day 4 of my cleanse and my 2nd day of juicing. I woke up feeling really hungry, my muscles aching and my head hurting but it totally makes sense when you’re just feeding your body with liquids I guess. I spent the whole day in training at work and I realized that I really wasn’t focused, I also had a hard time really concentrating. I felt like my brain wasn’t functioning 100% or as it should. That said, I continued with the juicing but started really doubting if this cleanse was really going to cut it for me.

So as I did the previous day, I started my day with another Detox juice, followed by the Vanilla Cashew Glow juice and then a Clean juice. I also drank a lot of water and even a hot tea. As the day went on, I was talking a lot to my boyfriend, who’s also doing the cleanse with me right now about how he was feeling, what kind of effects he was having, etc. Unlike me, he wasn’t feeling very hungry but he’s not someone who usually gets hungry. He eats because he loves to eat but he does get low blood sugar or irritated when he doesn’t eat or eat as much. Contrary to what he had initially expected, he was also starting to feel like his brain wasn’t functionning fully, he wasn’t feeling on top of his game and had a bad headache that he couldn’t shake off.

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Throughout the cleanse and even before embarquing on it, I’ve read a lot about cleansing. I had read mostly positive things on individual blogs, bloggers that I follow, girls I had spoken to and some ok and not so positive things on newspaper websites, more health/nutrition/scientific sites. I know that everyone does it for different reasons. Like I’ve mentioned before, my main reasons were 1) just plain curiosity because so many people seem to be cleansing these days and 2) a personal challenge. In 4 days, I didn’t really lose any weight, I maybe lost 2 lbs but the reason why I think I didn’t lose any weight is because I didn’t have much to lose in the first place (if any at all!) and also because I have a pretty healthy lifestyle overall. I don’t really drink coffee, other than red wine here and there I don’t drink very much and try my best to eat fresh, homemade and organic fruits and vegetables as well good food in general.

My boyfriend who’s from France explained to me yesterday that cleansing is definitely not as popular there and hasn’t really taken like many other recent food trends such as the Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free craze we’ve been seeing in the last few years. People tend to think that people from France eat only pastries, bread and cheese and wine, a lot of them do, that’s a fact but they also eat a lot of fresh produce, meats and cheese from local farmers that they get from their city’s farmers market every week. A lot of my family lives in France and none of them are obese and all live to 80+ years and so does my boyfriend’s family. It’s apparent that cleansing is more of a American/Canadia phenomenon.

After work, we headed to the movie theatre to watch Elysium and on the way there and back we read more than a handful of articles (here’s an example: http://archives-lepost.huffingtonpost.fr/article/2010/11/05/2293630_la-detox-ou-l-intox.html) on cleansing, juicing, the effects on your body, etc. After 4 full days of cleansing, without any cheating at all and after much discussion, my boyfriend and I decided to stop our cleansing adventure. We both felt that we had reached our goal – that the process had made us think a lot about nutrition, what we put in our bodies, what kind of lifestyle we live, etc.  That said, we both didn’t stop and immediately pigged out on a ton of food, instead, we celebrated with a nice homemade salad, guacamole and organice brown rice cracker.

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We still have a bunch of juices left over because we initially had planned to do 3 days of juicing instead of 2 and also because I only ended up drinking 4 bottles a day instead of 6. So what we’ve decided to do is keep drinking those bottles as a healthy snack in between meals for the next couple of days. We’re easing back into food with raw meals and I think overall we’ll just be even more careful than we used to be with the food we eat. That said, it’s a lot harder to find a good farmers market close by or buy only organic/local/sustainable produce without dishing out a fortune here in Toronto as compared to California. We’ve made a pact to be more conscious of the food we eat and make even better choices but to also keep enjoying food in general! We’re both big foodies and both take pleasure in treating ourselves to good meals!

For those wondering, even though we did the more DIY cleanse, it was still pretty pricey. We bought over 100$ of raw food groceries at Whole Foods plus over $50 of fruits and vegetables for our 2 days of raw food cleanse plus we each paid over $200 for our juices. At $9.99 a juice bottle x 6 bottles a day, you’re looking at over $60 + a day of juices. That said, we wanted to do the full experience and wanted to do it the right way so we went all out and made sure we had everything we needed.

All in all, it was an interesting experience. Though I’m not sure I would do an actual “cleanse” again, I would definitely consider drinking these types of juices more regularly as snacks or if ever I’m on the go. I also think it’s a good exercise for people to go a week or so without alcohol or coffee, it can never hurt. It’s always a good thing to also re-evaluate your eating habits, your lifestyle, etc. As someone who travels a lot and as a vegetarian, it’s often hard to find healthy food options on the road, but this experience has taught me that maybe I should just bring some lunches if I can, or get some raw bars or juices and keep those with me while I travel. I have keep eating lot’s of fruit and veggies, eat organic and local if available and keep being active. Also, take pleasure in eating good food & most importantly ENJOY LIFE!!

PS. I know that everyone who’s cleansed before has had a different experience. I was not paid or did not receive any discounts for writing this blog during my juicing experience. It’s an adventure my boyfriend and I decided to take together independently. Everyone has different views on detoxing, juicing, raw food, etc. These were simply my own taken from my own personal experience! 🙂