When I came across Punch Detox earlier this year, I must admit that it was with a fair dose of skepticism towards juice cleanses in general; all of that hippy-dippy stuff I read online about mysterious “toxins” exiting from my body or some sort of a “glow” I was supposed to experience made me hesitant to commit. Toxins? Sounds made-up. A glow? I’d rather not. Nonetheless, I gave it a go with their Level 1 cleanse on the recommendation of a friend and lots of promising reviews online. That first experience was decidedly positive, and so I decided to try it once again, this time upping the ante with their new Level 3 – Olympian Cleanse, which is the topic of this review.
Even though weight loss isn’t necessarily supposed to be a primary goal of a cleanse, I must say that it was high on my priority list. Not that I’d lose much weight by following a 3-day course, but I hoped to rehabilitate my poor eating habits, and really understand what sort of intake is enough to be fulfilling, and what my body really needs to stay on top of its game.
Starting the Cleanse
As promised, the juices arrived the day before my cleanse was set to begin, and I diligently loaded them into the fridge as described, determined to follow each instruction to a T for the next three days. No cheating, no substitutions, no workarounds…if I was going to do this, I was going to do this right. My cleanse started on a Friday, and hence from Tuesday onwards I worked to cut down on caffeine, eat healthfully, and center my mind as best I could in a hectic house with a 7 month-old baby. I was excited about it; you know that feeling the day before a new job, or before taking off for an adventure? That’s what I felt, a palpable sense that something different and new was going happen tomorrow.
The Verdict: I’m not quite an Olympian.
I ALMOST finished the cleanse without cheating, but not quite…there was a late-night rendezvous with a handful of almonds, some celery, and I believe that a bit of bread may have made it past the front gate and into my digestive tract during a weak moment. That said, I’m still proud of making it most of the way. I’ll give myself a solid B for effort.
I did feel results.
I can say, with some surprise on my part, that I felt different, and in a good way—lighter, a bit more peppy, that sort of feeling– after three days on the cleanse. I have to give it to the Punch Detox team; they cram an astonishing amount of nutrients into 18 bottles, and I did feel “cleansed” of the effects of my traditionally horrid eating habits. Coming from the US, I’ll admit that I’m accustomed to large portions with minimal nutrition, and the Punch regimen was precisely the opposite of that. My entire gastrointestinal system seemed be operating better, and even a week later I notice differences (the details of which I will spare the reader).
The juices were delish.
I found most of the juices quite tasty, and something I would drink even if it they weren’t part of a cleanse. This excludes the chlorophyll water, though; as a first drink of the day, it left a lot to be desired (not to say it doesn’t serve its purpose, but I wouldn’t be opposed to make it a tad more palatable). The Green Punch and the Salad Punch were my faves as they were quite refreshing, and the Vanilla Punch is a good end to the day that kept me full overnight, except for a moment of weakness whose fault, I have to admit, was my own.
How does The Olympian compare to Punch’s other cleanses?
As mentioned, I had completed Punch’s Level 1 cleanse in the past, and must say that I sorely missed the Gazpacho (you HAVE to try it…probably the best I’ve had), but I understand it would have set the calorie count too high for this specific collection. Other than that, the obvious difference is that Level 3 is mainly vegetable-based, whereas Level 1 is a mix of fruits and vegetables. (I haven’t tried Level 2, so can’t comment on it.) As long as you don’t expect the seductive pleasures of fruit punch, Level 3 is eminently doable if you set your mind to it and I didn’t really find myself longing for a sweeter mix. All in all, I liked the juices a lot and I think their extremely fresh taste is one of Punch’s strong suits.
Would I recommend the Olympian to a friend, or to a sworn enemy?
Definitely to a friend; enemies don’t deserve such a nutrient-packed, delicious, and rewarding 3-day experience. For those just starting out with cleansing, I would definitely recommend Level 1. Even though you may want to go for the gold (Olympian, get it?) on your first try, it’s better to understand how your body reacts and gradually move through the levels offered.
Some words of advice:
Time your cleanse wisely. One of my regrets is doing it over the weekend; it was July 4th, and many of my friends were having BBQs, junk trips, or other hard-to-resist activities. For me, at least, I should have cleansed during the week when I had a more regimented schedule and could rely on the support of colleagues to keep me in line.
Follow Punch’s advice. Prepare yourself properly in the days prior; cut down caffeine, eat less and wisely, and definitely don’t gorge on food the night before, as that sort of defeats the purpose and will only make the cleanse more difficult to undertake.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Remember that you alone are the beneficiary…just see how it goes for you and don’t judge yourself too much.
Start with Level 1. If detoxing is new to you, definitely start with Level 1. It would have been nearly impossible to start at level 3 for a beginner.
All in All
You’ve won me over, Punch Detox…I’m certainly glad I did it, and could see myself making their cleanses into a monthly or bi-monthly cleansing routine. Can’t wait to see what the team has in store for the future…Level 4 – Astronaut Cleanse, anyone?
Review by Benjamin Robbins