We spoke with Carol Belmonte, owner and Executive Chef at Belmonte Raw (we can’t wait for her new website to launch!). Famous for her organic juice cleanses, and raw chocolate thimbles, Carol has created a menu of outstandingly delicious organic raw food and juices for her Leslieville boutique that would impress any palette. We found out why not all cleanses are the same, the optimal month to do a juice cleanse, and which “junk food” is actually considered medicine.
There are so many juice cleanses on the market today. Why should people choose yours?
Our Juice Cleanses are very different from others because we use only the freshest, local, and organic ingredients (never drink juices that aren’t organic – they are super concentrated, and are full the toxins used in the growing process!). We are in the healing business! Every one of our juice’s formulations has been created to boost the immune system to fight off new infections, and to heal from the diseases that are so prevalent in our culture today. We change the menu of juices daily to ensure our Clients receive the freshest and most nutrient dense products that keep the body from becoming accustomed to a repetitive menu. We also focus on making the smallest eco-footprint possible and deliver all of our juices in reusable glass bottles (which don’t leach those nasty plastic chemicals you’re trying to detox from back into your juice). We really care about our Clients, our suppliers, and their health.
We try to eat clean, real food all of the time, so do we still need to cleanse? If so, how often?
Juicing has been prescribed for thousands of years as a great way to rest your digestive system. Most of our bodies’ energy is used for digestion. By not over-loading it with heavy processed foods, this will allow your body to catch up on stagnant digestion and to focus on other tasks such as healing, cellular repair, and detoxification of built-up chemicals and toxins. As a result, you will feel full of energy, have bright skin and clear eyes, clarity of mind and will lose weight.
We recommend that everyone does a Cleanse 4 times a year – between seasons is optimal. Your longest and deepest Cleanse of the year should be in May, as you want to start to move out the stagnant winter energy and prepare your body and mind for the coming warmer months. (We do them once or twice a year around here – but we enjoy Belmonte Juices daily, and so do our clients).
At Belmonte, we follow the teachings of Ayurveda that recommends that we all fast one day a week. A juice day is perfect for that!
How long is the average cleanse?
There really is no “average” length of Cleanse. Each of our Clients have very different goals, and it is those goals that will help to dictate the length of their Cleanse. If you are looking for a total body reset, then you would consider doing a One-Month Cleanse that is a combination of Raw, Transition and Juice. We will slowly bring you into a deeper Cleanse then bring you back out again. If you are looking to break some bad habits, addictions and associations with food, then you would want to do a 10 day Cleanse. We usually recommend a minimum of 5 days as the toxins don’t actually start to leave your body until the end of day 2 and beginning of day 3 – it’s not until day 4 that you start to really see and feel the benefits.
What is the longest cleanse you’ve done? Tell us about it.
The longest Cleanse I have done has been 21 days on a Juice Cleanse. It truly is an incredible journey and one that I feel is necessary for my mind, body and spirit. During my Cleanse, I usually do much more yoga and meditation and it allows me to be centred again. My creativity goes through the roof and my concentration is very acute. It’s a great time to make up new recipes as all of my senses are also heightened. Usually by the end of the first week I start to feel like a superhero who can run a marathon every morning! My skin has a glow that people stop me on the street and tell about it and my eyes become really, really white.
It’s great because I don’t have to think about food, or what I am going to make, or find time to buy and prepare my meals and clean up after myself. I find that I have so much more time for all the things that I really want to do. A bonus to all of the great side-effects already mentioned is that weight is lost and I fit beautifully in to my clothes!!
The reason why I started this business is because I want to share with my community the incredible feelings that Juicing can provide. It keeps me from getting sick and allows me to be fully energized from morning to night…even on super long days.
It’s not all juices at Belmonte Raw. Will my friend who eats a “conventional” diet enjoy your lunches?
Absolutely! It’s funny how people are always surprised after eating a meal with us – they always assume the worst about “healthy” food. Our focus is on local, raw, organic food and juices that not only taste good, but that leaves you feeling incredible and full of energy. We have a small but very focused Chalkboard menu which include such items as nachos and cheese, burritos, tabouleh, fries, chocolate, and too many other meals to name off! Your friends will most certainly enjoy their lunch here!
Do you consider chocolate to be “junk food”?
Definitely not! Chocolate, when prepared and combined properly is actually a medicine (Best. News. Ever.). It is all the processed sugar and dairy that has caused chocolate to have a bad rap! Made with raw cacao, carob, agave, vanilla, and Himalayan salt, our chocolates have a luscious and rich texture that is well worth the indulgence. We truly believe that our chocolates are to die for! (We totally agree!)
Other than your Leslieville boutique, where else can we find Belmonte Raw goodies?
We deliver our customized Cleanses, Juices, Chocolate, and Raw Food throughout the GTA – making it easy to find our products right at your front door!! But if you need a quick fix on the run, we’ve recently partnered with The Detox Market at 367 King St W (King and Blue Jays Way) – where you can find our Juices, cashew mylks, and very shortly, our food. (And now available at the Holt Renfrew Cafe as well).
What’s the best entry level drink for a newbie?
Our “Refresh” juice is an excellent introduction into the Belmonte Raw family of juices. It is a blissful combination of organic carrots, apples, beets, lemon, and ginger. This red juice is the perfect combination of sweet, tangy, and savory flavours, making for great taste that young and old both enjoy. Plus, the vibrant colour of the juice always draws people in! It is fantastic for increasing blood circulation within the body and It will leave you feeling “refreshed” and ready to take on the day!