Now that the holiday season is in the rearview mirror, people everywhere are entering the New Year with high hopes, resolutions and a renewed sense of willpower. Perhaps we may have indulged a bit over the past month, but now we are determined to make this year the best yet. We want to succeed, we want to eat right, we want to feel better. Maybe join a gym, lose that extra weight that has been bothering us for the last little while. Most of all, we want to start the year off on the right foot. But what is our first step? It seems to me that before hitting the gym, or starting a yoga class, we should get our house in order.
For many, a cleanse may be just the ticket. A real Cleanse, with a capital C; one from the inside out. Celebrities from Doctor Oz to Beyonce to Gwyneth Paltrow are all advocates of a detoxifying Cleanse, often in the form of an organic juice diet coupled with fresh, raw foods, that can lead to weight loss, the elimination of stored toxins, and an increase in overall energy as well as boosting the efficacy of your immune system. A Cleanse diet can be short term, or take the form of a longer commitment that will lead to a change in lifestyle and an increase of overall health, and quality of life.
There is a lot of literature out there, so sometimes it can be a little intimidating knowing just where to start. Luckily in Toronto we have people like Carol Belmonte, whose company Belmonte Raw provides an assortment of Cleanses based on individual needs. Carol provides advice on Cleansing and nutrition and helps determine the right Cleanse for the individual, even delivering the food to the client’s door. Belmont Raw offers healthy cooking classes and runs a boutique in Leslieville, and just to show that Cleansing can have a sweet side too, after all, we want this to be as pleasant as possible, Belmont Raw also offers wonderful and decadent chocolate desserts. Gluten free, dairy free and guilt free, but delicious nonetheless. What better way to help firm up your resolve-and your mid-section!
We contacted Carol to get the “skinny” on Cleansing.
How long of a Cleanse does the average person partake in?
Since I don’t believe that there is such thing as an average person, there is not really an average Cleanse. Our most popular Cleanse-the one we get the most enthusiastic feedback from- is our Signature Five day juice Cleanse. It allows our clients, all with different goals, to really see and feel the difference – not just in their decreased weight and increased energy levels, but in their overall sense of well-being, better sleeping and glowing skin and clear eyes. There are many people that do one and two days Cleanses, and they are great, but built-up toxins don’t actually start to leave your body until the end of day two and beginning of day three – it’s not until day four that you start to really see and feel the benefits. We are thrilled that an increasing amount of clients are realizing the benefit of a total body reset, and have been partaking in our One Month Cleanse that is a combination of Raw Food and Juice. We deliver all food and juices daily, and slowly bring clients into a deep Cleanse then bring you back out again.
Are one day cleanses effective or no?
Absolutely they are!! They are great in so many ways, and will make you feel incredible. If you are doing a One-day Cleanse, your body will recognize it more as an infusion of nutrients rather than a “Cleanse” that will rid your body of toxins. Our bodies use an immense amount of energy daily on digestion; by doing a Cleanse, we free up all of that energy. Your body deserves the break and can therefore work on repairing and strengthening your system rather than simply digesting your meals.
What are the benefits of doing a cleanse?
Amongst many other benefits, our Cleanses will help you to break bad habits, negative associations, and any addictions you may have to certain foods that leave you feeling terrible! You will also feel more energy and stamina, have clarity of mind, will sleep better, your skin will begin to glow, stomach flattens and weight is lost. Your blood pressure will decrease, blood-sugar levels will balance out, you will have better circulation, all aches and pains decrease. These are just a few of the positive side effects. There are many more depending on the person.
How often do you recommend doing it?
There are different reasons to recommend Cleanses. As we like to follow many protocols outlined by Ayurvedic medicine, we understand that resting your system one day each week with a Juice Cleanse or Raw Food Day can have wonderful results. But, we strongly recommend that a Cleanse be done four per year at the change in seasons. Your longest Cleanse should be in the spring as you are then able to rid your body of the stagnant winter energy and bring in the lighter and more dynamic energy of the spring and summer.
Is this something that a whole family can do? Is it safe for kids?
I definitely recommend that families practice healthy eating habits and talk about where their food comes from. We have many families that eat our food, drink our juices, and indulge in our chocolates together, even daily. However, we do not recommend that children participate in our formal Cleanses.
Read more about Belmonte Raw here.