Let’s be honest — living in Hong Kong takes its toll on the body. There’s the bad air, the high level of stress, and of course, the insane amount of deliciously bad-for-us foods out there (read: barbecue pork, pizza, foie gras lollipops etc.). If there’s any city that needs a cleanse, it’s Hong Kong.
So, it should come as no surprise that juice cleanses are popping up all over the city, each of them offering a similar regime — six 500-ml juices a day for two to six days, sometimes longer by request. By only drinking fresh-pressed juices from fruits and vegetables, your body gets all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs, while giving your digestion system a break from having to process large meals.
Out of the three major Hong Kong juice cleanse companies today (the others being Genie Concept and newcomer Be-Juiced), Punch Detox is the only one that uses all-organic fruits and vegetables, sourced from Providence Family Farm. Here’s our day-by-day review of their Level Two cleanse (more veggies, less fruit) for intermediate cleansers.
The juices arrived the night before in three grey cooler bags, which we immediately placed in the fridge to keep fresh. Note: they take up a lot of space, so make sure you clear out your fridge beforehand!
Upon waking, we had a cup of warm water with lemon to wake our digestive systems before sipping on our first juice — the Citrus Punch. More of a flavoured water than a juice, it’s Punch Detox’s version of the Master Cleanse with lemon, ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and filtered water.
After lugging the other five juices to work, which were heavier than we thought, it was time for our next juice — the Green Punch (the juices should be drank every two hours, with a glass of water or tea in between). A mix of celery, kale, cucumber, bitter melon, parsley, green apple and spirulina, don’t let its deep green colour throw you off. Tthe veggie-flavoured juice was watery and actually quite easy to drink, with each green balancing the other out.
The third juice, Red Punch, was a mix of beet, ginger, orange, goji berry, red apple and carrots. A super-sweet combination, we loved the taste and slightly thicker texture of this juice, but it does tend to leave red splotches on your upper lip (so be sure to wipe your mouth in between sips)! Those who wear crisp white shirts should also beware…
Juice number four is usually taken around 3pm, and for us it’s the Salad Punch — Punch Detox’s most alkaline detoxifier (only available on Level 2). Made of romaine, spinach, choi sum, pear, cucumber and green radish, it’s got a more watery consistency than the Green Punch and is also quite pleasant to drink. It’s hard to taste the pear in the mix, as the flavour leans more towards lettuce.
By 5pm, we’re feeling a little deprived, not to mention hungry for something a little more solid. Enter juice number five — the GazPUNCHo. This savoury juice tastes more like a salsa with tomato, cucumber, cilantro, garlic, sea salt, cider vinegar, olive oil and cayenne pepper in the mix. The chunks of tomato finally give us something to chew on, which made us feel like we’re cheating a bit (but we’re not).
We end up not having the last juice of the day until about 8pm, and at that point, we were absolutely ravenous. Unfortunately for Level 2 cleansers, the Coco Punch is a simple mix of coconut water with acai berry, and while it is sweet, doesn’t do much to fill us up. We went to bed hungry and dreaming of plump dim sums and cheesy pizzas.
They say the first two days of a juice cleanse are always the hardest, and they’re right. Day two was filled with thoughts of food — tacos, grilled chunks of miso cod, fresh baked bread — the list goes on and on. It didn’t help that we had restaurant reviews to write and high-res pictures of food porn to pore over at work either.
The juices were exactly the same as in Day 1, except we didn’t drink them every two hours as we are supposed to. Meetings got in the way, and we ended up spacing them about three hours apart. This meant that we were incredibly hungry in between each juice, and while tasty and refreshing, they just weren’t satisfying.
We tried to compensate by drinking mugs of hot green tea in between, which felt amazing and forbidden even though it wasn’t, and that helped soothe our stomach into submission once again.
Mentally, we felt more alert and focused, and if our vivid imaginations of food were of any indication, our minds were extremely clear. We also had more energy than we thought we would on a cleanse, and even managed to squeeze in a lunchtime workout (30-minute jog on the treadmill).
Day three rolls around and we finally see the light. The juices have now become part of a routine, and it felt good to not have to plan out our every meal.
Meanwhile, we’ve been getting a lot of support from the ladies behind Punch Detox, who’ve been emailing us at least once a day to tell us what to expect before the cleanse, what exactly we’re drinking and how to ease off the cleanse once it ends (despite our intentions to binge eat right after).
Thoughts-wise, we’re still thinking of food — specifically what we were going to eat in less than 24 hours (yay!). Surprisingly though, we weren’t as hungry as we were on the first two days, and we had plenty of energy to get through the day. Finally, the day came to an end and we tucked into bed early in anticipation of a solid breakfast.
There’s no doubt that doing a juice cleanse has its benefits — weight loss, glowing skin, more energy, and reduced cravings, just to name a few. We experienced all that and more, but what we liked most was how it forced us to take a timeout from our regular eat-whatever-pleases-us attitude and get our healthy habits back on track.
Junk food is addictive, and the more you eat it, the more you crave it. After the cleanse, we were much more aware of what we put in our bodies (even worried, you could say), and continued to watch what we ate (if not only to preserve our new weight of two kilograms less and the flatness of our bellies).
Overall, we enjoyed our cleanse with Punch Detox despite some of the juices being somewhat simple and easy to make at home (like the Citrus Punch and Coco Punch). But, unless you have your own slow juicer and plenty of time to plan your juices, buy produce and spend hours juicing in the kitchen, we highly recommend going on a commercial juice cleanse to make sure you’re getting the optimal amount of vitamins and nutrients for each day.
And, since organic produce is not so easy to come by, we highly recommend Punch Detox due to the fact that all of their juices are organic by default, unlike the other Hong Kong juice cleanse companies.
For more information about Punch Detox, visit www.punchdetox.com.
Source: Life Style Asia