Belmonte Raw is the first juice company in Ontario and possibly in Eastern Canada. They are one of the pioneers in the space and like many passionate entrepreneurs, it all started with a hope to lead a healthier lifestyle. I had the chance to speak with Carol Belmonte the founder of Belmonte Raw and she shared how it all started from her friends loving her recipes and juices. Which soon lead to her biking around the city delivering not just juices, but also healthy alternatives to what we usually gravitate to and eat day in an day out. To help us find a more balanced, happy and healthier lifestyle.
130 King Street W
Toronto, ON M5X 2A2
Belmonte’s juices are always unpasteurized, cold pressed, and organic. As one of the pioneers in the space, Carol shared it was nice to see how much it has grown over the years. She shared not just about Belmonte’s growth, but also how it’s great to see everyone make a conscious effort to live simply healthier lives. Carol has always said that she’s truly in the ‘healing’ business to help us find what works for us. From providing seasonal drinks that provide the most nutrient-dense combinations to ensuring all their ingredients are locally sourced at every opportunity. What I also really liked about Belmonte upon arriving to their location in First Canada Place, was the number of options that were available. From not just juices, but also to healthy snacks and meal offerings. And chocolate doesn’t always have to be bad. You’ll notice with Belmonte Raw stores they have their signature chocolate thimbles which took Carol over 3 years to perfect. Variety of choices, how can you not like that?!
For my 1-day cleanse I was provided 6 bottles and 1 booster, so let’s see how it goes. Let’s hope I get the chance to sleep earlier tonight as history has shown, I’m terrible at this.
Got about 7 hours of sleep so not bad. I started the morning right by drinking 800ml of warm water with lemon juice at around 7:52am. This was first thing in the morning even before brushing my teeth (which was hard). I then moved onto Boost. It was a good start to the day where it was a more neutral drink. I found after drinking the warm water with lemon, my body wanted something a little less acidic. I found the carrot and kale helped to balance off the tartiness that normally comes with beet and lemon. Boost was smooth and went down quite easily. It’s a good start to our cleanse with Belmonte Raw.
Uplift provides a refreshing drink as the second juice of the day. Once again, I think adding cucumbers always helps to make the juice not just refreshing but provides a very ‘clean’ taste/profile to the juice. What I’m starting to notice is that Belmonte has a little bit of pulp and fibre in their drinks. I actually quite like this vs. juices without any pulp. As well, ginger has been included in both drinks I’ve had. And for anyone disliking ginger, no need to worry here. I would say unless you have a refined palate, you won’t be able to taste it.
[11:51AM-11:52AM] Chlorophyll Elixir
This was a quick booster that tasted minty and surprisingly pleasant. I’m not going to lie, I thought it would be bitter and taste a little more simpler to wheatgrass. I was wrong and like the booster. Mid-day check, my body is feeling good and don’t miss my typical coffee fix at all. However, I am starting to feel a slight headache coming. Let’s hope that trails off as the day goes on.
[1:01PM-1:33PM] Vanilla Cashew Milk
Now onto what I would call the protein drink of the day, the Vanilla Cashew Milk. With many cleanses, you get a lot of nutrient rich juices, but I always wonder how much protein will I get throughout the day. The Vanilla Cashew Milk is slightly sweetened by the vanilla, but also a little grittier than other nut-based milks I’ve tried. I once again like this. I find with any cleanses, you start to miss the sensation of chewing and this helps to make it manageable. As well, I feel with the grittier milk and protein, it’ll help to keep you full throughout the day. Another body check, I have a mild headache but I feel relatively good, not hungry.
PUNCHY! This drink with the lemon and cayenne is strong and hits you in the face. As some of you may know, I normally have a thing I call the mid-day blues where I need a jolt. I normally run for coffee and hope to finish off the day strong. This drink is exactly what you’ll need to give you that spike. The flavour profile is more acidic than the others and if you have never had cayenne, it is a bolder spice. I find the juice tarty/tangy. Overall, my mild headache is there and surprisingly no bowel movements. I’ve been eating healthier so that can be a reason for that, but a good timbit to know if you’re in a busy corporate environment and worry about going to the bathroom a lot. No problems so far (but do consider this before any cleanse, the washroom factor). =P
With the amount of greens in the detox, I once again was expecting a much harsher and bitter taste. None of that can be found with Detox. With the use of cucumber, it continues to provide a refreshing taste and the apple sweetness up the overall drink. I’m glad with the lemon it doesn’t make the juice acidic and there is no tartness to it. This is also the 3rd drink with ginger which is interesting to see. From a body perspective, I might have spoken too soon as soon after the last juice (revive), I went to the washroom. Headache has stayed at a mild which is nice to see that it hasn’t worsen. My energy levels are quite strong and no hunger pains here. So that’s really nice to see.
As the last drink of the night, I’m given a juice that consist of carrot, lemon, and ginger. So it’s a relatively simpler juice, but has a very earthy flavour and profile to it. With carrot being the main ingredient, carrots have a low glycemic index which should help to keep you a little fuller throughout the night. My headache has unfortunately gotten worse, but my overall I feel good. Even before the final juice, I feel full and well with no hunger pains. I normally associate these headaches during a cleanse to foods I ate the previous day or two. And knowing I had McDonalds for dinner Monday, I’m sure that’s hitting me harder than I expected. Let’s see how I feeling tomorrow morning. =)
Final Impression and Thoughts
The morning after, I woke up even before my alarm went off. Which is a good sign, the headache has trailed off but surprisingly has a lingering power to it. Similar to other juice cleanses, I once again did feel healthier the morning after. I got tea on my way to work and did not have that zombie like feeling heading into work. I’m normally quite zoned out in the mornings. No hunger pains and feeling well overall. I got a nice surprise where Carol sent me a post cleanse meal plan. It consist of 2 small juices (Drive & Refresh), a large Comfort Smoothie and 2 meals (Spaghetti & Neatball and a Burger Wrap). I enjoyed the Comfort Smoothie and the Spaghetti & Neatball. They were quite delicious and filling. If only all healthy options tasted like this. =P
Overall, I find that Belmonte Raw juices were a little more neutral than other juices I’ve had. I like how it’s balanced and how they also provide healthy meal choices. I would be more than happy to pick up a salad for lunch whether I’m on a cleanse or not. A big thank you to Belmonte Raw for sharing so much about how they started. I’m excited for my last juice cleanse. And to bring a recap on what all the craze is about with cold pressed juices and juice cleanses. Stay tuned.
The Damage: $70 before tax