The Starter with Belmonte Raw

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Sometimes in life, you just have to press the reset button. A few weeks ago, I was fell off the wagon. After eating healthy consistently for the past couple of months, I had a seriously terrible week with food. I made bad decisions and ended up eating things that made me feel super crappy. This also coincided with some serious changes at work that made me feel not so stellar. Instead of going further down the rabbit hole, I knew I had to make a change quickly in order to get back on track. Since I’ve been working out so much, it is totally counterproductive to eat unhealthy.

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I immediately got in touch with Belmonte Raw and got set up for a 2-day reset cold-pressed juice and raw food diet. Having learned from previous experiences, I didn’t want to do a juice-only cleanse, as I wanted to make sure I had proper nutrition and energy to keep me going throughout the days and my workouts. What is great about Belmonte Raw’s different meal and juice programs is that they have something for everyone. I was particularly drawn to The Starter because it included 1 smoothie, 2 raw meals, 3 cold-pressed juices, 1 elixir and 1 tea. Another plus is that the meals they offer change daily, so you’re not eating the same thing day in and day out.

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As with all Belmonte Raw programs, all the juices and meals were delivered straight to my door the first morning of my cleanse. For the first day, I had a Hummus Wrap for lunch and a Veggie Lo Mein for dinner. On the second day, my meals consisted in the Madras Curry & Kale for lunch and the Dreams of Lebanon for dinner. The meals were all portioned well and also very tasty.

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With the delivery you also receive a little guide book with your daily food and juice schedule to make sure you space everything out properly. All of their juices are made with 100% organic ingredients. All of their meals are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and free of all animal products.

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After the 2-day reset, I felt a lot better about myself. I felt confident to keep eating healthy and stay on track. Sometimes just a little change in your diet or routine can make a huge difference in how you feel.

For more info on Belmonte Raw, 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! 🙂

Cleanse Day 2

So yesterday was Day 2 of my cleanse – another day of raw foods. I was feeling ok after breakfast but as the day went on my stomach really started hurting and I was feeling really hungry. Though I’ve only been eating raw food for over a day, my taste buds were already telling me that they were over all of these raw snacks, the seasoning and whatever I was eating. Props to people who do these cleanses often or who only have raw diets. I don’t think I could ever do it! Even questioning ever doing a cleanse again…

After work, Offner and I took a trip to Whole Foods to buy all of our juices for the next three days. Unfortunately, a lot of their juices were out of stock. Though the juice brand Live recommends drinking 5 different types of juices a day, two of them were sold out. So we made due with what they had and also got ourselves a ton of raw food items for our last supper 😉

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MEAL 1

Freshly pressed unpasteurized orange juice

Peanut Butter Lärabar

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MEAL 2

Homemade salad with sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, hemp seeds,

Grapes, strawberries and shakaroons

MEAL 3

Live raw lasagna italiano, Live raw kale caraway bread and fresh pesto

Live raw organic walnut brownie, pineapple and an orange

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I was feeling really anxious yesterday at the thought of starting the juice cleanse. Here’s hoping not too many food pictures pop up on my twitter and instagram feed in the next few days. Though I’m really motivated, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle three days of juicing… To be continued!

 

Cleanse?!

After having spent almost three weeks in the land of juicing and cleanses, otherwise known as LA, I’ve decided to try it out for myself. I’ve seen many of my friends try juicing and go on cleanses for the last little while but I’ve never really thought of giving it a shot myself. After spending a few days with my friend Lisa Ning from This Beautiful Day, she convinced me that I should give it a shot after my vacation. After having done a handful of juicing cleanses herself, she suggested I start my cleanse with two days of raw food instead of right away going into the cleanse itself, in order to start detoxing my body slowly.

With Offner‘s motivation and having decided to do it together, we stocked up on a ton of raw food snacks from Whole Foods before leaving LA to get us through the first two days.

Because juicing isn’t as popular in Toronto as it is in LA, there are a lot less companies who can provide you with already made juices. If I were to juice in LA, I would without a doubt try Pressed Juicery. I had a few of their juices while on vacation as a snack and they were delicious and filling. Though I initially wanted to go with Belmonte Raw, we opted for the cheapest route and will be going to try the Whole Foods juices.

So for this cleanse, I will be doing 2 days of raw, followed by 3 days of juicing followed by 2 additional days of raw to transition back into regular food.

I’m already at Day 2 of raw foods and let me tell you I’m feeling pretty hungry and already miss cheese, butter and bread!

For Day 1 yesterday, I stocked up on tons of fruits and vegetables from the grocery store and stopped by the West End Food Coop in Toronto to get some freshly made pesto, salsa as well as raw cookies.

Because I flew back from LA overnight, I slept in pretty late yesterday and only had two meals. Here’s what I ate:

MEAL 1 –

Homemade raw salad with cucumbers, sprouts, almonds, strawberries, lemon juice

Crackers and homemade fresh salsa and pesto

Raw rolled oats cookie with cinnamon and fresh fruit bowl

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MEAL 2 – 

Ranch kale chips

Avocado, fresh salsa, hemp hearts, tomatoes and fresh basil

Fresh fruit melon bowl with bananas, kiwi, apples and cinnamon. Accompanied by dried rasberries, mangos, almonds and a shakaroon bite

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After Day 1 of eating raw food, I felt the same, somewhat hungry at the end of the day but not too bad.

To be continued…