Even though I’m a big fan of juicing (borderline obsessive), when it comes to detoxes and cleanses, I have always been a little bit sceptical. As someone who promotes regular eating habits and not depriving yourself, the thought of going without food for 3 days seemed totally extreme, way too restrictive and, to be frank, scared the crap out of me.
With that said, I’m a ‘don’t knock it before you try it’ kind of girl, so I really wanted to experience a juice detox first hand, especially after several of my clients asked for my opinion.
I decided to test out a company called Punch Detox based on a recommendation from a friend who had recently done the cleanse herself and loved it. Punch Detox is Hong Kong’s first cold-pressed Juice Cleanse program and they recently set up in Singapore. I chose the introductory 3-day program and within the next few days they delivered the 18 juices I needed straight to my door.
This is what my life looked like over the 3 days..
9.30am: CITRUS PUNCH (Lemon, Ginger, Cayenne Pepper, Agave and Water)
11.30am: GREEN PUNCH (Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Bitter Melon, Parsley, Spirulina, Green Apple)
1.30pm: RED PUNCH (Beetroot, Carrot, Ginger, Orange, Goji Berry, Red Apple)
I chose to start the detox on a Tuesday as my boyfriend was travelling and he thought it would be best if he didn’t have to witness any hunger rages (he choose wisely). I also made sure that on the day before I kept my meals light so I could ease into the detox. This meant avoiding the all-you-can eat buffet for soups and salads instead.
I woke up with a mix of excitement and nerves, but before I could talk myself out of it, I grabbed my first juice, the Citrus Punch, and started sipping away in bed. Luckily it was a day off from work for me. The lemons and cayenne pepper really fired up my metabolism. I’m usually starving in the morning, but the following Green Punch juice was so jam-packed with fruit and veggies that I really didn’t feel hungry. They also tasted fantastic. A lot of cold-pressed juices can really miss the mark if they don’t get the right balance of greens vs. fruit, but these blends really nailed it.
By late afternoon, I was feeling really calm and chillaxed, so I decided to flake on the couch with The Kardashians. No energy needed there! The detoxifying effects started to kick in late afternoon, which made me pee constantly (one of the annoying side effect of juicing). To pass time for the rest of the evening, I decided to go for a full body massage, which helps boost blood circulation and enhance the detoxing effects. Unsurprisingly, by the time the massage was over I was ready to roll into bed.
Everyone says that Day 2 is the hardest, when you feel the worst and you want to give up. So when I woke up energetic after sleeping like a baby I was pretty stoked. I had a slight headache, but after drinking a couple of glasses of water I felt fine again. By the early afternoon I started to feel really light. Not light-headed, but very alert and aware of everything around me. I had an afternoon full of meetings ahead of me, and I was a bit worried I would come across as totally ‘away with the fairies’. So I grabbed my Red Punch, which contains beetroot (increase blood flow to the brain) and it made me feel much more focused, clear minded and grounded.
Despite feeling really good, I noticed that by late afternoon I was literally dreaming of food. I got onto Pinterest and started drooling over food porn photos and started to really question why I was doing this. Even though I was not physically hungry, I started having serious food cravings like rich Italian pastas (even though I rarely eat pasta) and hearty curries. The next juice, the Gaspuncho tomato soup, came at the perfect time as I was allowed to heat it up and eat it out of a bowl. Yay for a bowl and spoon! Dinner could have been a challenge, as I met a friend after work and had to watch her eat a full meal. Surprisingly though, I wasn’t phased. I just kept sippin’ on my juice.
By now the detox effects were in full force. I had a rough night’s sleep and woke up at least 4 times from totally weird and lucid nightmares- the kind where you can’t find a toilet in a crowded mall or you are trying to scream and nothing comes out. I was a bit freaked out in the morning so decided to listen to my body and have ½ an avocado and drink the Nut Punch which is really creamy and comforting. Punch Detox recommends this as an option if you feel a bit out of sorts or like you really need something to eat. I felt so much better and went back to sleep for an hour. When I woke up and went to the bathroom (relieved to find it) I also noticed that my skin was looking a lot clearer and brighter. Bonus!
After my little set back I was back on the ‘mean greens’ once again. Throughout the day, I had random bouts of crankiness, but I knew this was part of the process and didn’t let it get to me too much. Punch Detox also sends you daily encouragement emails to help you stay on track, which was really helpful. As the day wore on I felt less and less hungry and actually couldn’t get through all of the juices.
When my last juice for the day came around I was both proud and actually a little sad! I kind of didn’t want it to end and honestly wish I had more juices to keep going. I felt like I was just getting the hang of things and then it ended. This sadness didn’t last long though as I was already back on Pinterest planning my celebratory weekend meal.
After the cleanse, I gradually re-introduced solid foods so I didn’t shock my system. My stomach had definitely shrunk so I wanted to keep things as raw as possible for a day. I made myself a banana & blueberry smoothie for breakfast, snacked on fruit during the day and for dinner whipped up my favourite spicy lentil soup. Over the course of the next couple days I started to slowly introduce cooked foods, grains and meat in very small quantities.
Overall, my experience was really eye-opening because 1) I now know I can do it and 2) I could really feel myself getting the detoxing and cleansing benefits. My energy was way better, I was waking up before my alarm, my skin was much clearer and my tummy dramatically flatter. I also realised that a lot of my feelings towards food were coming from an emotional need rather than a physical hunger which was really interesting.
Have I changed my mindset about cleanses now? Definitely. But when it comes to recommending them to my clients I would make sure they set the right intentions before doing so and most importantly check with their Dr. before hand.
YOU SHOULD NOT CLEANSE IF:
You are looking for quick fix weight loss. The purpose of a cleanse is to detox the body of toxins not to drop pounds quickly for an event. Rome wasn’t built in a day sorry guys. Slow and steady is best for weightloss.
You don’t do it through a reputable company, Make sure they use the highest quality (preferably organic) produce so you are getting the best nutrition possible.
You are pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or unwell. Always chat with your Dr before doing any type of cleanse or detox.
You are under 18 or over 75. These age brackets generally need more daily calories at this age.
Done a juice cleanse? Share you detox story with me as I would love to hear about your experience!
And if you are wanting to do one then Punch Detox are actually offering a 10% discount on their 3-day cleanses. For more info visit www.punchdetox.com.sg or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.