How To Workout At Home While Juice Cleansing

ELXR Home Workout

So you’ve ordered your juice cleanse, prepped your body and rid your kitchen of any tempting treats, but what about your workout routine? Besides asking whether surviving off only juice for a few days is tough, “Can I work out?” is the second most common question I get about juicing.  The answer to the latter is yes, but done in a smart and safe way. Getting in a good sweat actually helps the detoxifying process but it’s imperative that you listen to your body. Light workouts not only stimulate lymphatic flow, respiration, and blood circulation but they also improve liver, lung and kidney function. This all helps process and eliminate the toxins being released from your body while cleansing.

ELXR Home Workout

As someone who is used to frequent and intense workouts, I know how difficult it can be to scale back on your physical activity, but trust me you will thank me later. Through my own trial and error, research and speaking with health professionals, I’ve discovered that the best routines are the ones that increase your heart rate slightly and help you break a bit of a sweat.  My go-to for a short to moderate length juice cleanse is ELXR Juice Lab. Providing eight juices and two tonics, the brand’s detox packages provides adequate nutrients, hydration, energy and calories to not only keep hunger at bay but also gives your body what it needs to sustain light exercise. In case you missed my thoughts on my first experience with ELXR, you can check it out here.

My recommendations are to get in a yoga workout first thing in the morning before your first juice or an hour afterwards. If midday workouts are best for your schedule, some light cross-training or rebounding would work well after consuming ELXR’s “Deep Breath” blend as it’s re-energize the body in the middle of the day and keeps you hydrated. I find that mediation is great either first thing in the morning to help you set up for your day or can also be effective at night to help you unwind and de-stress. The latter works well after drinking the final juice for the day – the “Smooth Operator”.

ELXR Home Workout

Because you’re taking in less calories than normal and you’re body is in a bit of a shock to a new way of functioning for a few days, during this time it’s best to remember the “less is more” mantra. Whether you’re just resting your digestive system for a day or cleansing for five, here are a few detoxifying workouts you can do from the comfort of your home…

ELXR Home Workout

YOGA: I think we can all agree that there is no exercise routine more detoxifying than yoga. Whether you are doing a grounded Moksha style flow or practicing jivamukti, ashtanga or bikram, the poses in your chosen flow are meant to help build smaller muscles that don’t get as much attention, give some much needed love to the muscles that are generally over worked while stretching and twisting the body which helps in the process of eliminating toxins.

The “At Home, How-To”: There are tons of amazing videos online but what could be better than having your own personal Nike Master Trainer leading you through a series of awakening flows perfect to start off your day? Traci Copeland’s “Reach and Recharge” yoga workout on the Nike Training Club (NTC) App is an amazing 30 minute power building flow to develop strength and improve flexibility. The app is free and can be downloaded here. You can find Traci’s yoga workout under the “Get Focused” section within the app.

ELXR Home Workout

REBOUNDING/BELLICON: If traditional workouts aren’t really your jam but you still want to get in some low-impact cardio, this is going to be your jam. I have become obsessed with doing these workouts regardless whether I’m on a juice cleanse or not. The low impact bouncing stimulates the lymphatic system, improves cardiovascular health, bone density, circulation and is said to also reduce cellulite.

The “At-Home, How-To”: There are loads of instructional rebounding videos that can be found online. Some of them better than others. I went through about 30 that made me laugh so uncontrollably because of the funny looking exercises, I was not able to even make it through the workout, but this 20 minute JustBounce Bellicon video is effective (if you can get past this guy’s hilarious accent!)

The “At-Home, How-To”:  PopSugar is a site I go to sometimes for quick instructional, out of the box workout videos and this fun “Becoming Beyonce” 10 minute workout video will have you breaking a light sweat in no time.

MEDITATION: Ok, so meditation is not really considered a typical form of exercise but it’s definitely a mental one. When your mind is cluttered and not focused, it can slow down the body. In theory, meditation sounds like a rather simple task but if you have never tried it before, sit down for a few minutes and try to think about nothing but your breath. With our fast pace life with everyone having a to-do list every day with at least 30 things on it, you will be surprised how challenging it is to calm the mind. Mediation gives your brain some much needed exercise and your body some much needed rejuvenation by making you focus on your breath which helps ease anxiety and any pent up emotions that have a tendency to stand in the way between us and our goals.

The “At-Home, How-To”: I would be telling a little white lie if I said that meditating was easy to do. It takes some people months, scratch that, years to learn how to do it effectively. Attempting on my own became frustrating because my mind frequently wandered to all the other things I could have been doing with my time instead of focusing on breathing and clearing my mind. Thankfully, there is an app for everything and I recently stumbled on a great one that helps teach the basics of mindfulness meditation. It takes you through a guided mediation lasting about 10 minutes and allows you to choose the background noise, think rain falling on leaves or crashing waves on the shoreline, to help get you centred. It’s called “Calm” and can be downloaded for free on iTunes.

ELXR Home Workout

ELXR Home Workout

LIGHT BODY CONDITIONING WORKOUT: No gym? No problem! There are tons of workouts I do in the comfort of my home or hotel room while traveling that is safe enough to do while on a cleanse and use only your body weight. 5-10 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time but you would be surprised at the type of workout you can get in during that timeframe. The goal here is to break a light sweat, get your heart rate up a bit and your muscles engaged.

The “At-Home, How-To”: I like create unique workouts based on moves I have learned from Canadian Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath and the NTC app and keep rotating them to avoid boredom. Below you will find a sample workout that I love to do when I am in a pinch for time – and because of it’s low impact, it’s great to do when detoxing:

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – FLUTTER KICKS (click here for instructional video)

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE


20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – STEP UP’S WITH KNEE DRIVE CHANGING SIDES AFTER 20 SECONDS (shown in photo above)

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – OPPOSITE ARM AND LEG EXTENSION (click here for instructional video)

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – TRICEP PUSH-UP TO FROGGER (click here for instructional video)

Finish off this workout with holding a plank for 3 minutes. I know that duration sounds like an eternity…to help me get through I find a song approximately that length of time and work on holding myself in position until the track is over. If you want a bit of a challenge, try alternating your legs off the ground for more stability and core work

ELXR Home Workout Photography by Daneille Reynolds for ELXR Juice Lab. Apparel courtesy of Nike Canada

For more information on ELXR Juice Lab’s remedies and juice cleanses, head to ELXRJuiceLab.com and enjoy 15% off your online purchase when you use the promo code “SO SASHA“. ELXR juices can also currently be purchased at Bolt Fresh Bar on Queen Street West and Maman Toronto located on the mezzanine level inside First Canadian Place.

My Juicing Guide For Runners With Cedar Juice

Juicing For Runners with Cedar Juice

There are so many opinions these days on the topic of juicing but I will always stand behind it because of all the benefits I’ve enjoyed while doing it over the last few years. It is the perfect way to detox and reset your body while bringing your digestive system back into balance. Each quarter I do a 3-5 day juice cleanse, that is inline with the change of the seasons and throughout this period, I usually defer from physical activity with the exception of perhaps restorative yoga and deep stretching sessions. In preparation for the Nike Women’s 15k race in June, I have been doing some research on juice cleansing and fresh pressed juices for runners, to see if there is any major benefits or areas of concern for those who are training for a race. While juicing has amazing benefits and is a great way to reset your system, runners need to choose a program that can be safely executed during their training. There seems to be only a few studies that have looked at the effects of cleanses on athletes and much of this research comes from studying Muslim athletes during Ramadan…when they are expected to fast from sunrise to sundown. These findings suggest that runners can train safely during this time, but may need to reduce the length and intensity of workouts.


I recently tested this out a few weeks ago with the assistance of Cedar Juice. I have happily cleansed with the brand before and has been the most enjoyable and effective program I have used to date. You can check out my previous juicing experience with them here). I was in the midst of a fibromyalgia flareup at the beginning of the month and desperately needed to remove inflammatory foods from my diet and clean my system. However, I was a bit anxious to be honest as I was not awarded the luxury of not running during the cleanse due to my training program for the 15k. I discovered a three day juice cleanse doesn’t really interrupt training (especially if you do it over a weekend and take advantage of Sunday being a rest day) because it’s so short. These cleanses encourage a higher intake of nutrients from fruits and veggies, which can boost the immune system and have an overall positive effect on both the mind and the body. If done properly, meaning intaking an adequate amount of water to help flush out the excess of toxins faster, you should actually experience a boost of energy by the end of day two. I started my three day cleanse on a Saturday consuming only hot water and lemon followed by Cedar’s “Kale Me Good” juice an hour and a half before my long run. I played it safe that morning, listened to my body and significantly reduced by long run down to 9 km.  On the Sunday I rested the entire day and made sure to significantly increase my water and green tea intake.  On the Monday, I had a raw salad filled with good fats like avocados and did a light 6km run in the evening. I really felt that I needed that one meal that day to give me the energy for my team run.

Cedar Juice

If you’re interested in trying out a juice cleanse this season and still would like to run or train, I highly suggest you first consult with a physician or nutritionist plus consider adding one raw meal a day to your plan. Especially on the days you plan to exercise. You do not need to to avoid hitting the pavement, but you do need to listen to your body and perhaps run fewer km’s during this time. If you’re in the midst of training for a specific race and are within a month of race day, I would not recommend a “juice only” cleanse as it tends to slow down your times, you can try incorporating 1-2 raw meals a day to supplement the juicing program. However adding fresh pressed juices to your regular diet while training for a race can also be extremely beneficial. Many runners swear by “beet doping” in other words consuming beet based juices before race day or long runs. A series of small but mostly well designed studies have associated beet juice consumption with improved exercise performance because it allows your muscles to perform the same amount of work while using less oxygen – somehow making your body’s energy production more efficient. Cedar Juice’s “Skip To The Beet” concoction also contains carrot, apple, lemon and ginger to give this juice a bit of a kick. When I am not juice cleansing, I still love this blend before my Saturday long runs. Kale based juice is also considered to be an excellent addition for a runner. Kale is one of the most detoxifying foods on the planet. It also helps fight inflammation due to it’s high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be a huge benefit while training and for those who suffer from chronic pain issues like myself, rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders. More importantly, constant pounding while running apparently affects your body’s red blood cells, according to Nutritionist Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health. Kale based juice is high in iron. Without iron, your body cannot produce red blood cells and these are responsible for transporting food you eat but also the oxygen you breathe. The last to round off my juice for runners trifecta is the brand’s refreshing “Pineapple Head” juice which contains pineapples, pear and mint. Pineapples, both in food and juice form, contain enzymes that help digest protein and also offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Rich in Bromelain (the natural digestive enzyme & natural anti-inflammatory agent), vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium, making it a perfect compliment to your existing training diet.

For more information on Cedar Juice’s cleanses and delivery options, head to CedarJuice.com. Interested in trying out a Cedar Juice cleanse or implementing some of the juices into your existing diet during your training? I have teamed up with Canada’s “Best Cold Pressed Juice” company to offer my readers a 15% discount at the time of purchase by using the code “SoSashaSpring”. Make sure to follow Cedar Juice on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on other special discounts, news and offers.

Detoxing & Metabolism Boosting with Cedar Juice

Cedar Juice

There are many opinions on the topic of juice cleanses but as an avid juicer I find it odd how people can ignore the direct benefits associated with juicing and cold pressed juice. Sure, you can’t guarantee the amount of weight loss to expect, which really shouldn’t be a primary reason to do one, or event the rate of detoxification each time, but the truth of the matter is there are several other proven benefits and I am living proof of the results.

Just to give you a little history as to how juicing got introduced into my life. After being diagnosed with a rare kidney ailment and subsequently fibromyalgia, I suffered for years in pain and my body became increasingly toxic from all the pain, sleep, and depression meds I was putting into my system. My Naturopathic Doctor started to make changes to my diet and soon after suggested that I try a 3 day cleanse. The results…astounding.  I had felt fatigued for as long as I could remember and by the morning of the last day my energy was through the roof. I was getting the best sleep I had gotten in months, skin irritations caused from stress started to clear up (and colour had started to return to my face), my bowel movements were more regular, not to mention a very considerable decrease in body and joint pain. Turns out, this thing called juicing also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory based on some of the concoctions included in the most programs. And just like that, I was a believer and have been religiously doing them quarterly ever since.

Cedar Juice

As you can imagine, I’ve tried just about every juice cleanse in Toronto and definitely have my opinions on each. Some I will do again happily, others I wouldn’t suggest to even my worst enemy. I decided to kick off 2015 by trying out Cedar Juice. I had tried some of their yummy juices at Equinox post workout so I was keen on giving it a go for 3 days. The entire process was a breeze from beginning to end. The website is super informative, which will be a relief to first time cleansers and clearly gives all the deets you need regarding delivery, cleanse benefits and even how to cleanse during the program. Immediately after placing my order I received an email from Cedar outlining helpful tops to help me get ready, the pre-cleanse regimen and what to do during the cleanse to get the most optimal cleansing. When my shipment arrived via FedEx to my doorstep, it was accompanied by  a little booked that provided extra advice such as; using a body brush on my skin prior to showering and having a sauna/steam room session to help with the detoxification process.

The cleanse includes 6 juices for each day and it’s recommended to drink as much water and non-caffeinated tea in between each.  Although they are all quite tasty, here are my favourites – Pineapple Head, Skip To The Beat and Cracked It:

Cedar Juice Menu

To be completely honest, the juicing experience is different for each person. Some may find it extremely easy while others will find it unbearable. It can be difficult, as your body is used to chewing food. I have found that chewing my juice helps. I know it sounds weird but it actually tricks the body into thinking that you are eating plus it helps eliminate indigestion and bloating after drinking juice all day. Getting your body ready for the cleanse is almost more important than what you do during the cleanse. It is vital that you eliminate processed foods and sugars as much as possible and stick to a clean diet a few days to a week before to avoid the unwanted “die-off” effects; fatigue, migraine, flu like symptoms, which could potentially happen on days one and two if your body is highly toxic. Although unpleasant, this actually means that that the cleanse is working. If all is done right, this 1,100 calorie a day juice program will give you the kick start you need. Our bodies are very similar to cars. We can’t just keep putting gas inside, aka food, we must reset or change our oil every season if you will, every few months to keep our bodies performing.

My friends at Cedar Juice are giving my amazing readers who want to try out this program a discount code to help you get started.  When ordering use “SoSashaJuiceCleanse” to receive 15% off your entire order.  Head to CedarJuice.com for more information, offers, and to order your cleanse. If you have any specific questions regarding my juicing experience feel free to email me – info@sosasha.com or tweet me @sashaexeter

Product Review: Cuisinart’s Life Changing Juice Extractor

Cuisinart-CJE-1000Over the past month of so I’ve been using Cuisinart’s juice extractor at home and I loved it so much that it was the focus of the second episode in the Cuisinart video series I am doing with my “Cooking With Cuisinart” crew; Garrett of Gtonge1.com and Casie of CasieStewart.com. For far too long I avoided prepping my own juices at home worrying about it being too time consuming and the thought of a difficult clean up process, but learned my fears were completely unwarranted. Although I have used both the large and compact juice extractors, turns out that the larger one better meets my juicing needs. Majority of my juices are prepared with hard fruits and veggies and the 5 speed control dial and 1000 watts of power allows for optimal extracting with ingredients such as beets, carrots, apples, and ginger – some of the ingredients I use on a regular basis. With a 3″ (7.5 cm) tube opening, the juicer can accommodate larger items without having to cut them into smaller pieces, virtually eliminating the prep time for recipes. After trying out every single recipe from the Cuisinart Juice Recipe book (which is included with the machine) within the first two days of using it, I was thrilled to discover that it has a built in foam management filter disk.

Cooking With Cuisinart

Similar to the rest of the products offered in the Cuisinart brand portfolio, the quality and sleek design is unmatched by any it’s competitors. Also setting it apart from the pack, this machine is uber quiet. I was shocked to discover that I could quietly juice early in the morning and not disturb anyone else. And the best part, the clean up is super fast and simple. I use a small compost bag  to line the 2 litre pulp container and it conveniently contains the waste, allowing for easy disposal. The locking hinge eliminates necessary spills, the entire machine breaks down so easily and is dishwasher save, making clean up ridiculously simple.

Cuisinart Juicers

Want to learn more about this kitchen necessity? Visit Cuisinart.ca or visit the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Cooking With Cuisinart: Juicing Made Quick & Easy at Home



I’m a huge fan of juicing and for the last year and a half I’ve made a habit of doing 3 or 5 day juice cleanses, once per quarter. I have become obsessed with both the physical and psychological benefits that I went from cleansing just every three months to also juicing once a week on Sundays. Trust me when I say it’s an easy decision and simple sacrifice after experiencing the benefits first hand. Consuming fruits and veggies in juice format instead of eating them whole is great because your body absorbs the nutrients much quicker and also gives your body’s digestive system a much needed rest from breaking down processed foods. More importantly, juicing can also help reduce the risk of some cancers, boost immune systems, remove unwanted toxins from the body, reduce pain related issues due to inflammation, improve skin and sleep issues and if that’s not enough, it helps with weight loss – which is everyone’s goal after packing on winter lbs.

Cooking With Cuisinart

Cooking With Cuisinart

In the second installment of our Cooking With Cuisinart series, I shared one of my favourite juices after a yoga class with  Garrett and Casie using Cuisinart’s Full Size Juice Extractor:. Super fast and easy, it was the perfect way to recharge and rehydrate after a demanding Moksha Yoga session.

“Ginger Beet Juice Recipe”

1 medium size orange

3 kale leaves

2 medium sized Fuji apples

2 medium sized carrots

1 large beet

1 1-inch piece of peeled ginger

Ice Cubes (optional)

Click here for more delicious juice recipes you can try out at home. Get social and follow Cuisinart Canada on Facebook and Twitter
Missed our first episode of the #CookingWithCuisinart video series? Find out what we made with the Combo Steam + Convection Oven

Fuel+ | Healthy, Gluten-Free & Affordable Fuel For Your Body


I’ve fallen off the wagon recently and with an extremely hectic schedule coupled with late night events where cocktails and passed canapes flow freely, my diet is in desperate need of a makeover. As a woman on the go, it’s been a constant challenge to find healthy food choices in the city that I can grab  quickly without compromising the clean lifestyle I desperately want to maintain. For month’s I’ve passed Fuel+’s store front and remained curious as to what it was all about until last week when I finally stopped in and sampled the delish items on their fall/winter menu.

Fuel+ Spicy Ginger Chai

Fuel+ Spicy Ginger Chai

Anyone who takes eating clean seriously is well aware that doing so comes at a price – and a high one at that. Like hello…have you ever bought groceries for two at Whole Foods? I have…and was worried I would have to re-mortgage my condo to continue doing so. Finally there’s a spot in the city that is committed to providing healthy food options at an affordable price point. A year ago partners Chester Wong and Gary Taylor opened up this multifaceted space that acts as a cafe, health food store and take-out counter and have gained throngs of devoted customers, who like myself, are amazed at how tasty the vegan and vegetarian eats are while also being gluten and guilt free. I sat down with the owners over some homemade gingerale and noshed on just about every item on the menu when I discovered that neither of the gents had a past in the health and wellness industry but rather Wong opened and operated Apple stores in Canada, the U.S. and China, while Taylor was the store director at Sephora’s Toronto flagship at the Eaton Centre. After pondering about potential business ventures, they decided to use their passion for healthy food to birth this boutique wellness store that serves plant based protein shakes, smoothies, a variety of hot meal options, hot bevvies and treats including my favourite – the “I can’t believe its gluten-free brownie”!

Fuel+ Mike's Kitchen

If you feel inclined to lick your screen above…don’t worry, I am sure you won’t be the only one. Fuel+ now features Mike’s Kitchen meals and all ingredients are not only gluten free but sourced locally from Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market. The Marinated Veggie Salad, Gluten Free Pasta & Peanut Salad and Organic Gluten Free Pasta Al Forno can be purchased for only $5.99, if you can believe it!

As if the concept of Fuel+ wasn’t cool enough already, the store also plays host to running groups 3-4 nights a week and even offers community lockers in the back of the store for runners personal items while they pond the pavement for 5-10 kms.

My “Must-Have” items from the menu:

– Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Protein Shake
– Gluten-Free Brownie
– Kiwi Kale Detox
– Cranberry Fuel Balls
– Spiced Ginger Chai Latte

Where to find Fuel+: 471 Church Street. Toronto, ON M4Y 2C5. 647.352.8807. For more information head to www.fuelplus.ca

DIY | Homemade Lip Lovin’ by Michelle Pino of Skana Spa


The Winter months can cause some unappealing beauty side effects such as nasty, chapped lips. Everyone loves a new lip balm but many of the products currently on the market contain a handful of chemicals that nobody should want near their mouth. However, there is a solution, with ingredients you very well may have in your kitchen that will be both natural and cost effective.

Why Most Lip Balms Don’t Work

The truth is, those lip balms we buy at the drug store don’t condition lips long term. They provide temporary relief, thanks to ingredients like camphor and methol. It was once thought that these ingredients healed skin, but in fact, they actually dry it out. Before you know it, you’re in for a vicious cycle of apply-reapply. That’s how people can become “addicted” to lip balm.

The Disgusting Truth

The bad stuff doesn’t stop there. Most store bought balms contain fillers such as synthetic wax, mineral oil, and petroleum. These ingredients sit on your lips and don’t penetrate the skin surface to moisturize. The worst part, many of these ingredients are also used for industrial purposes such as drilling and engine manufacturing. Who wants that near their mouths?

The Homemade Solution

Once I learned the real story behind store bought balms, I considered the idea of making my own at home. And surprise, it’s easy and fun! For less than $15 you can have all the tools and ingredients needed to make a long lasting supply.

What You Will Need…

1 Tablespoon – Pure Cocoa or Shea Butter (available at health food stores)

1 Tablespoon – Pure Avocado, Almond or Jojoba Oil (or all three combined)

1 Teaspoon – Honey, Agave Nectar or Cocoa Powder (optional, for flavour)

Jar or tin for storing lip balm

Begin by warming cocoa or shea butter in a small, stainless steel saucepan over the lowest heat setting. This may take 20-30 minutes, depending on the initial softness of the butter. Stir until melted and remove from heat. Add honey and oil(s), stirring until thoroughly mixed. Transfer to jar or tin and let stand for 4 hours in a cool, dry place. Voila! Your very own homemade lip balm with the conditioning of all-natural ingredients

About Michelle Pino…

Michelle PinoMichelle Pino is the Spa Manager at Skana, a spa in upstate New York at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY. She enjoys DIY projects, healthy recipes, exercise and all things related to skin care. If you have any comments or questions for Michelle, feel free to contact her at michellepino@turningstone.com

My Juice Cleanse Journey With Belmonte Raw

Belmonte Raw

Spring time is the most optimal time for a detox/cleanse to rid your body of built up waste and toxins accumulated over the Winter months – hello copious amounts of comfort food consumed over the holiday season! After attending an intimate luncheon with some Toronto influencers at the Belmonte Raw boutique a month ago, I decided it was about time for me to commit to a 3 day juice cleanse to reset my body.

Juicing is one of the best ways to reset your digestive system, to hydrate and to receive a very high dose of vitamins and minerals without causing the body to overwork. I would compare it to hitting “CTRL, ALT, DELETE” on your PC, as it resets your body and helps to kick start your metabolism by putting it into overdrive. I chose to do my cleanse with Belmonte Raw because they are well known within the city for having some of the tastiest raw foods, delicious juices (which can be found at the Holt Renfrew Cafe and Detox Market) and for their raw food, juice and transitional cleanses. All the company’s raw juices are made with fresh, raw and mostly organic or local ingredients which are washed with filtered water, organic vegetable wash and colloidal silver. And the part – they deliver right to your door each morning…BONUS! The wonderful ladies at Belmonte Raw were sure to further educate me on the process and identify any possible side effects I may experience throughout cleansing; fatigue, headache, sore muscles or joints – which is completely normal apparently if you have a high level of toxins. They are called detox or “die-off” symptoms and may be a result of the body expelling unwanted toxins that have built up in the body.

Belmonte Raw

The “Refresh” and “Uplift” – Belmonte’s most popular juices

Probably one of the most important parts of doing a cleanse is “pre-cleansing” which is critical to prepare yourself for juicing. Belmonte Raw recommends 2-3 days for those that have a healthy lifestyle and obviously longer for those you haven’t been so healthy. What this does is basically allow you to fully benefit from the process and to minimize the side effects. During the pre-cleanse I was told to drink 1/2 litre of room temperature water with fresh lemon juice to awaken the liver and flush out any toxins that accumulated from the previous night. Moreover, it revs up digestion for the day. Other important pre-cleanse notes: cut back on all refined and processed foods/drinks, stay away from fried foods; caffeine, alcohol, animal protein, dairy and sugars. During this period, I made sure to stick to mostly fruits and veggies (steamed but mostly raw) and by the day prior to the cleanse, I was eating 85% raw fruit and veggies.

Belmonte Raw

Belmonte Raw’s delicious “Dreams of Lebanon” salad that I lived on during my pre-cleanse

I can’t lie, although I was excited for this healthy adventure, I was super nervous at the thought of not being able to eat solid food for 3 days. Anyone who has dieted before knows all about this feeling…the minute you tell yourself you have to stay away from a particular food group or item, the more you have an undeniable craving for it. Similar to the pre-cleanse, during the 3 cleansing days I woke up and drank 1/2 litre of room temperature water with the juice of half a lemon. I made sure to stay away from vigorous exercise, got tons of sleep, did hot yoga and dry brushed my skin prior to having showers. I also drank roughly 3-4 litres of water throughout the day but NOT during the intake of any of the juices, as it actually slows down digestion. *You must wait at least 20 minutes before and after drinking the juices to drink your water.

Belmonte Raw Juice Cleanse

Day #1 of my juice cleanse which consisted of 6 juices and an elixir

In my juice package each day, I received a menu informing me on the juices and elixir that was included for the day, in addition to a recommended consumption schedule; which literally takes the thinking out of the process. Day one looked like the following:


Carrot Based Juice: (carrot, apple, beet, lemon and ginger)

Greens Based Juice: (cucumber, spinach, parsley, apple, lemon, ginger)

Cinnamon Cashew Mylk: For protein and to regulate blood sugar levels

Master Cleanser: To alkalize your body (lemon, cayenne, agave)

Elixir: Liquid Chlorophyll to cleanse the blood

Herbal Tea

The Liver Detox Tea is provided (one page per day) to drink throughout the day

Recommended Schedule

7am: Upon rising and before you brush your teeth drink 1/2 litre of water with lemon. Steep tea and put in thermos to drink all day

8:30am: Drink first bottle of carrot based juice

10:30am: Drink first bottle of greens based juice

11:15am: Take elixir as a shot…which will provide a huge boost of energy

12:30pm: Drink cashew mylk

3pm: Enjoy master cleanser juice

5pm: Drink second carrot based juice

7pm: Drink second greens based juice

Day two and three…the recommended schedule was the exact same as day one but there was a small difference in regards to the juices and elixir provided:


Carrot Based Juice: (carrot, apple, beet, lemon and ginger)

Greens Based Juice: (cucumber, spinach, parsley, apple, lemon, ginger)

Vanilla Cashew Mylk: For protein and to regulate blood sugar levels

Grapefruit Spirulina: To alkalize your body and for extra protein (lemon, cayenne, agave)

Elixir: Aloe Vera

For those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you were privy to my “Juicing Journey” as I tweeted quite frequently about my progress. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was never hungry during the day and was left very satisfied after consuming each bottle. Just a sidebar…each juice contains 6-7 lbs of fruits and veggies and they were absolutely delish, which made it a breeze. My faves were the greens based juice and the grapefruit spirulina (the latter I could have drank all damn day!) By day two, I noticed my eyes were brighter, my skin was glowing, my stomach was flatter and my energy was through the roof. I had not felt this amazing since 2008…I swear! By day three my stomach was so lean and I noticed that my sleeping patterns had improved…getting adequate sleep has long been a challenge for me. But I will be honest, I did experience some food cravings but for some reason, they came between 7-8pm and just like any other craving, it soon passed. As day three came to a close, I was actually sad that my “Juicing Journey” was over. I think I could have actually done it for 10 days. Due to the fact that these juices are specifically curated to ensure consumers receive the appropriate amount of vitamins, minerals, calories and protein, it is safe to “juice”as frequently as one wants to. I am so hooked that I will be doing another round at the end of April prior to my vacation to Bequia.

If you have yet to experience the fantastic raw foods and juices of Belmonte Raw, you should add it to your restaurant hit-list. For more information, please visit their website www.belmonteraw.com

Belmonte Raw Boutique: 1022 Queen Street East (Leslieville neighbourhood) Toronto, ON 416.340.1218

Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-3pm




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