Thursday, July 23, 2015

summer juice cleanse

Well, hello again!  I know, it's been another loooooonnnnngggg gap since I last posted, but guess I was waiting for something worthwhile to post thought I would share some thoughts about how to make your body feel all clean and shiny from the INSIDE out... :)

I don't know about you, but for me, summer is the WORST season when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet.  It should be the other way around, with all that lovely, fresh, local produce out there just waiting to be consumed - but somehow for me, it's always been a license to indulge in the worst of what the season has to offer - BBQ'd burgers, sausages on a bun, creamy potato salads and coleslaws...well, I could go on, but you get the picture. I am weak, WEAK, I tell you, when it comes to summer eating - and something had to give.

Enter - the juice cleanse!  I've tried a three day cleanse in the past, and must admit, while I was in the midst of it, it wasn't the most pleasant experience I've ever had.  Oh, the juices were good, no complaints about the company I ordered from at all, they were great - I just like to chew my sustenance - and three days of "chewing my juice" (as one is encouraged to do) was more than enough for me.  The UP-side of the cleanse however, was more than worth it - after three days of liquid lunches (and breakfasts, snacks, and dinners), I felt probably the best I had in YEARS, without a word of a lie.  My everyday aches and pains had literally almost disappeared completely, I had lots of physical energy, and my brain was working at the top of its game.  So - for me, it worked!

This time around, I opted for a company that I'd heard very good things about, and who would also deliver directly to my office: Belmonte Raw.  Located in Toronto, Belmonte uses 90-100% organic ingredients, and although they cannot always use local ingredients due to Toronto's seasonal climate, they do strive to always use suppliers who provide organic, fair trade, and sustainable methods of agriculture.  Belmonte advises that ideally, one should cleanse with the change of each new season, to begin each phase of the year fresh and renewed - however, they also encourage cleansing at any time of the year as a treat for your body and mind. 

So with that in mind, and feeling the summer slugs setting in, my time had come. I opted for two days of Belmonte's "The Deeper" Cleanse: 

The Deeper
"This cleanse is for someone looking for big results!  A great way to rest your digestive system, this Cleanse boosts energy, and cellular repair.  Our mid-level Juice Cleanse is our most popular Cleanse, designed to accent your healthy lifestyle or detoxify and revitalize you from the inside out."

Um, yeah!  Exactly what I was after.  As mentioned earlier, another factor that drew me to Belmonte is their convenience - they delivered directly to my office (in the downtown Toronto core) - so no lugging a heavy cooler of juices with me to work - they were ready and waiting for me when I arrived.  Easy peasy. 

All well and good - but what about the juices themselves?  Well, I'm happy to report that each and EVERY one of Belmonte's juices (and one nut milk) were delicious, and oh-so-easy to consume - along with the juices I received a schedule that not only outlined drinking times, but listed ingredients, and the health benefits of each individual juice:

So basically, nothing left to do but be a good little girl and drink my juice! :)  

The Cons

The cons of a juice cleanse are really incidental when you weigh them against the benefits - but, there are some: 

I won't lie - for me, the first day especially was a bit rough - you really don't realize how much you enjoy solid food until you can't eat it - and by the evening of the first day I was a tad cranky and found myself staring longingly into my fridge at leftovers well past their prime for something, anything, I could chow down on.  (But I'm proud to report I did NOT cheat!)  It's not that I was even hungry - the juices were filling - but we humans must have an inherent and primal urge to CHEW...

Also, after the initial "wooohoo, I'm doing something good for myself!" honeymoon phase, it tends to wear thin REAL fast - especially when meal time rolls around and you're faced with...ANOTHER JUICE.

There may also be times during a cleanse where you actually feel pretty crappy - this didn't hit me TOO hard, but I found by lunchtime of Day 2 I felt as though I were coming down with a cold (achy, an overall general malaise).  Apparently however - this is also a PRO - because it means the cleanse is working, and those pesky toxins are heading for the hills!

Last but not least...this is 3000 ml of liquid (approximately 12 cups) you're drinking per day, in juice alone - (more if you include the Liver Cleansing Tea that is included with the package, + water) - so YOU. WILL. PEE.  A LOT. So plan your bathroom breaks accordingly.  Enough said. 

And now, for the Pros! 

As with my previous foray into juice cleansing, I can say with conviction again that YES - after two days of all liquids, all the time, all the promised benefits of a cleanse came to fruition - I have no way of measuring it, but I can assume that the cellular regeneration and detoxification brought on by a juice cleanse led me to feeling increased energy, greater mental acuity, and for me, the most important side benefit - a dissipation of aches and pains and decrease in inflammation (even my feet felt "skinny" for the first time in ages!)  Believe me, when I get home at the end of a work day, the last thing I want to do is clean the house - but that's exactly what I did last night, top to bottom - #energyburst! ;-)

Oh, and did I mention, I lost 3.6 lbs. over the course of two days??? :)  No question, a lot of it was water weight - and will likely be gained back quickly - but overall, there's nothing like seeing a dramatic drop on the scale to motivate you to keep up the good work - so a juice cleanse is a GREAT kickstart to a weight loss program.  Speaking of which...

Before and after a cleanse it is recommended that you "pre" and "post" cleanse by eating only raw, "clean" foods, preferably without meat or dairy.  Well, it just so happens that Belmonte Raw is more than just a purveyor of fine juices - they also offer Transition and Raw Food Cleanses, which include a selection of delicious and creative raw and vegan food choices. While one would think the temptation would be great to dive headfirst into a tray of nachos with a tall, frosty beer after a cleanse, the reality is that if you've just invested time and money to do your body GOOD, you're more apt to think twice about straying down the bumpy path of unconscious eating again. (I would highly recommend their Raw Burrito - delicious!!) 

So thank you, Belmonte Raw*, for helping me do what I set out to do! Oh, I'm sure before the summer is out I'll still enjoy a backyard BBQ or two, and will live to bask in the glow of many a chilled glass of vino again - but the bottom line is, the cleanse has me consciously thinking about what I'm eating again, and I'm feeling great!  Mission accomplished! :)

*Although Belmonte Raw provided me with a discount on their two day juice cleanse, my thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 


  1. and will live to bask in the glow of many a chilled glass of vino again - but the bottom line is, juice cleanse

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