Can you take the punch?

Follow Louise Choi as she tries to detox on a juice liquid fast for six days…

Punch Detox is a company that helps people detox their bodies in just three to six days. It makes juices that are full to the brim with goodies and vitamins. You just drink six bottles of juice each day and nothing else. Cut out alcohol, nicotine and caffeine – and just let your body relax for a while. Release those toxins. (I hope I won’t have to include the words ‘faecal matter’ in this diary/blog…)

Day One: Ground Zero
The difficulty of the task I had set myself only really hit me when I saw those three packs of juices, neatly lined up inside perfectly cube-shaped ice coolers. This week is going to be tough.

Things I have to quit (essentials of every hedonistic journalist):
1. Caffeine. That means most tea, soft drinks, coffee. If I want to function in the day I need to get good rest every night. Time to be good…
2. Sugar. Self explanatory.
3. Alcohol. In the excitement of my upcoming challenge I’d forgotten I’d managed to grab Lady Gaga tickets. Damn. Goodbye to plans of getting hammered while dancing to the Monster Mother!
4. Nicotine.
5. Solid foods. I can do that. ….right?
Anyway, as I know that my self-discipline isn’t as cast iron as I’d like it to be, I have back up smokes, and dark chocolate to just give me a boost. Already someone with erratic eating habits, Punch Detox recommends a three day pre-cleanse weaning off the stuff that I’m going to be missing: ie all of the above. This is hell already! But kudos – Punch Detox has been really great at sending information to me way ahead of time, so I was well briefed for this mammoth task. Also, the ice coolers to make the juices easy to transport and the instructions on which drink you down, and in what order, have been second to none. The company has basically made it as easy as possible for me. And it’s up to me to deal with the discipline. I’m happy that Punch is really informative and useful when the ’rounds’ of detox begins, they detail what I’m going to be drinking and what ingredients are in each juice.
So this is it. Six days, 36 bottles of juice, and one hedonistic, sarcastic and immoral journalist to deal with.

Suck it.

Day Two
I re-read the info sheet:
Common symptoms may include caffeine withdrawal headaches, lethargy, a runny nose, cravings, gas and nausea. For caffeine drinkers: we strongly recommend you to start switching your coffee to decaf and then to green tea eventually. This will decrease the caffeine withdrawal headaches dramatically.
Oh. Did I sign up for that? Anyway, the juices are in the fridge and I’ve had my first one, Citrus Punch, which includes ingredients that sound good and wakes my body up. It’s interesting because I encounter each new juice with apprehension and am often surprised at how refreshing nice they are, and how you can taste the hints of each ingredient they’ve outlined. Things are going well, though people have been eating around me and the smells are oddly overpowering… I’m getting lethargic and headaches, and seeing that was expected in the symptoms, I just… rolled on with the punches…

Day Three
Three days into it and I’m sort of getting used to… not chewing. It’s sort of liberating in a way, in that I don’t have to fret about what I’ll eat next. I am coming down with a horrible flu, and Ann and Angela from Punch Detox have assured me that sometimes this is a side effect. Having said that, Punch Detox has been absolutely fabulous during my juice journey, answering all my questions almost immediately via email. Every day they send a message of encouragement including tips and support. It’s so sweet! I had gone through the juices pretty quickly but my body really shut down. I needed a break, so I had a tiny nap… that lasted FOUR hours. Scrambling back to the office, sneezing and snotting all the way, I finished the day off but was still left hungry. I had skipped the GazPUNCHo, so I had that to back up on. This time round I heated it (yes, not in a microwave) and while it still wasn’t fully satisfying, at least it did the job and filled me up a bit more.

Day Four
Do you know what annoys me? Needing to pee, all the time. Seriously, all the time. Everything I consume is liquid – the juices, water, tea, the juices diluted (recommended)…I’m probably losing weight just by walking back and forth. Also – I CHEATED! I ATE A BLUEBERRY PIE CHOCOLATE. IT WAS SO GOOD. NOW I MUST DIE FOR SINNING. Well, sure it’s not the end of the world – the Punch Detox team recommends ‘healthy cheating’ instead of falling off the bandwagon in general. I should have had a cucumber or tomato to cheat with but instead I had chocolate and that wasn’t a good thing. I went for a jog in the evening and was surprised at how refreshing it was. While I took it easy because I had had no solid food (except for that bite of chocolate) for about four days, I felt really good afterwards.

Day Five
Punch Detox continues to email with tips and encouragement, which I really appreciate. By now I’m used to my routine and know the order of the juices off by heart. It’s finally the weekend so I use it to let my body finally relax a bit. This eases my flu symptoms and my cravings sort of diminish. Wherever I go I carry my little pack of juices, so I constantly have sustenance. I’m also used to being around friends and them accidentally offering me food. It doesn’t make me annoyed any more – I just simply shrug and remind them that I can’t eat! In general I’ve been feeling pretty Zen I think, and the extra time that I had on my hands from my simple diet helped lend time for extra thought.

Day Six
It’s passed both fast and slow. It seemed like I would never be able to eat again but here I am and it’s day six already. I had a little cheat last night – I had a bite of someone’s fro-yo. I couldn’t resist! But overall in terms of lasting I’m surprised I didn’t go on a rampage and eat everything in my sight. It’s a slow sort of inspiration – and now that I’m at the finish line I’m really content with my juices, enjoying each one for the last time. I ended the night sipping sparkling water on a balcony in Central with friends, and while they all agreed that I looked a teensy pale and weak, I felt like once I get back into my normal life I will feel a lot better…

I feel no immediate urge to bounce back into all my old routines. I’m smoking a lot less and have stopped constantly drinking coffee. I’m supposed to wean myself back on to the food, slowly, and I’m content with that prospect. I’m so used to having everything forbidden that I’m surprised when I’m allowed to eat something. I started today with a yoghurt and appreciate it more than usual – and lunch/dinner will be light, as Punch Detox has recommended. I woke up this morning feeling very refreshed and alive, and I’ve also lost about one kilo and a bit, which isn’t very much but that wasn’t the point of the detox anyway. It’s a surprise because I thought I’d want to go and inhale all the food in the world – but I’m sort of used to the hunger and not eating, that I’m almost forgetting to eat!

The main characters…
#1 Citrus Punch
Includes ingredients of lemon, ginger, cayenne pepper and agave nectar, and is designed to wake up your digestive system and get your metabolism going. The lemon provides vitamin C and also helps dissolve the toxins in your body. Sounds good! It’s light and fresh on your taste-buds and quite a nice way to start the day.

#2 Green Punch
This punch doesn’t look as inviting as the other glowing friendly ones – it’s seaweed green and reading the ingredients also isn’t reassuring – bitter melon, parsley, celery, bitter gourd, spirulina, kale, green apple!? Oh dear. However, these vegetables provide essential vitamins for cleansing the liver and kidney. These ingredients also counter the damage done by acidic products like sugar, dairy, meat. Upon first taste, it actually isn’t bad – the green apple sweetness overpowers any unpleasantness the bitter melon would have contributed.

#3 Red Punch
This juice is absolutely delicious! The color is a plump magenta, and it slides smooth on your tongue, sweet without being overpowering and has the slightest hint of ginger in the aftertaste. Containing Beetroot, carrot, red apples, ginger, goji berries and orange, these ingredients will pump you full of antioxidants. Be careful though, it’s called Red Punch for a reason, and easily stains any fingers, tables and fabrics with scarlet.

#4 Fruit Punch
The ingredients are yum – so it certainly tastes so! Watermelon, Pineapple, Acai Berry, Lime… it aims to be a thirst quencher, and there are all sorts of ingredients that aid indigestion and provide antioxidants. Watermenlon will flush out your toxins with it’s alkaline content, and the acai berry is an especial ‘super food’ with omega fatty acids and protein to fortify your body.

#5 GazPUNCHo
It’s a ‘soup juice’ called GazPUNCHo. Tomato, Cucumber, Cilantro, apple cider vinegar… these ingredients fire up your metabolism, helps lower cholesterol and aids the production of zinc that helps build collagen. Well that all sounds rather fancy and well, but …bleeruughh. This one confuses my taste buds. The vegetables are definitely detectable with there is a chewy texture instead of a smooth one like the others. You’re allowed to heat it up if you’re really looking for a soupy experience.

#6 Nut Punch
Nice for the last punch as it’s sort of like a dessert, with a soy almond milky taste. There’s raw cashews and almonds, agave nectar and sea salt, and it’s creamy without being sickly sweet. The nuts are high in vitamin E, Cashews are rich in Zinc, and Almonds helps lower blood pressure. It’s like having milk before bed, just nuttier.

Source: TimeOut Hong Kong

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