I am not one of life’s dieters. The mere mention of the ‘d’ word makes me want to smother myself in ice cream and dive into a vat of wine, burger in one hand and deep-fried chicken wings in the other. So when my first delivery from The Detox Kitchen arrives, I’m pleasantly surprised. This diet service sends freshly prepared food to your door and has a host of celebrity admirers, including the super-svelte Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m entranced by the dinky little pots, yummy-looking fruit and fragrant juice. Ok, I have a moment of panic when I realise that the box contains not just my breakfast but my entire food intake for the day. Clearly I have a problem with portion control.
However, I love the fact that for the next three days I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to eat; it’s all decided for me. Each day’s super-healthy menu is balanced to include lean protein, wholegrains, vegetables and pulses: as well as weight loss, the diet is aimed at promoting shiny hair, gorgeous skin and increased energy levels.
My detox days start with a wheatgrass shot. This tastes very planty and so, I feel, must be good for me, even if it is an alarming shade of green. Breakfasts of Bircher muesli and granola are appetising and filling, and the salad lunches are moreish, if a little bland – brown rice with avocado is a particular hit. At first, I view the dinner options with suspicion; there’s something about eating my evening meal from a box that makes me think of airline food. But a fragrant and delicious Thai green curry changes my mind. It’s about a quarter of the size of my usual dinner – there’s a portion-size theme developing here – but leaves me feeling perfectly satisfied.
My usual coffee hit is replaced with fresh lemon and mint tea, which gives me a raging headache and a murderous mood, both of which dissipate around day three. The real difficulty I have is with the snacks. I have a tendency to scoff anything within reach while I’m working, and having my daily treats reduced to three walnuts and some chargrilled broccoli is almost unbearable. On the third day, I reach breaking point: I’m starving. ‘What would Gwyneth do?’ I ponder. Star in a Hollywood movie; snuggle up to her rockstar husband; write another cookbook? Not options open to me, so I turn it around: what wouldn’t Gwyneth do? She wouldn’t inhale a packet of crisps, that’s for sure. I pour myself another glass of water.
I’m convinced my skin looks better: glowing and smooth, and the oily patches on my T-zone are reduced. A few days with The Detox Kitchen have definitely made me reassess my eating habits. I’ve realised that I don’t actually need to graze all day, and that I’ve been consuming rugby-player-sized portions at dinner and far too much sugar. Then again, I’m writing this with a large cupcake on my desk; baby steps.
Find out more
The Detox Kitchen has packages starting from £29.99 per day, available for delivery in the London area. For further information, visit detoxkitchen.co.uk