It's January and therefore that time of year when you decide to go on a diet, fitness regime, healthy eating plan or detox. I am currently doing just that with my own diet & fitness regime and after weighing myself today, I've lost 4 pounds this week - hurrah! Back in September, after one too many boozy music festivals during the summer, I decided I needed a detox and when I was offered to trial The Detox Kitchen for two days, I took them up on their offer.
You may have heard about The Detox Kitchen, which is a company used regularly by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle Macpherson, that designs your daily menu, prepares your food and delivers it to your door all before 7am. It says it celebrates what you can have and not what you can't and misses out the things that make you feel bloated or blotchy (wheat, caffeine, red meat, sugar, alcohol and dairy). I thought it sounded a brilliant way to try my first detox since I wouldn't have to think about anything and would have all my meals and snacks for the day provided, so I signed up for a two day trial of the Protein Package on a Monday and Tuesday.
I was excited when I woke up on my first day of detox and rushed downstairs to find my Detox Kitchen parcel on my front step. Packaged in a reusable The Detox Kitchen hessian bag, inside was a big white cardboard box which contained my meals for the day. Here is what I received on day 1 -
Breakfast: Granola with flaked coconut & pecans
Juice: Carrot, ginger, apple, celery & lemon
Snack: A little pot of nuts
Lunch: Pearl barley with butternut squash & rosemary
Snack: Avocado salad
Dinner: King prawns & vegetables with ginger & coriander
You also received a Wheatgrass shot, Biocare Acidophilus (containing probiotic bacteria) and Psyllium Husk (to keep your colon clean and keep you 'regular') all to be taken with breakfast. Mint, ginger or lemon tea was also allowed throughout the day and on day 1 I received a little pot of fresh mint for my tea.
I must admit, at first I was pleasantly surprised by the contents of the bag and with breakfast especially. The granola was delicious despite the watery almond milk I received with it, and the juice was a normal sized juice and filling. The wheatgrass was an unusual taste but I felt it was something I could probably get used to but the Psyllium Husk, which was stirred into a glass of warm water, was not very pleasant at all.
I left the house for work feeling fine after breakfast and that this detox may be a lot easier than I thought. One thing I did miss was my morning cup of English Breakfast tea and throughout the day, that became one of the biggest struggles for me and my body really didn't like the fact I was having no caffeine. I don't drink much coffee but I do love a cup of tea and I did miss this.
Now I love food and I look forward to lunch time and am pretty good at making healthy lunches, such as salads or soups, and taking them to work with me. So when I opened my cardboard lunch box to find a few spoons of barley with about four pieces of butternut squash in, I must admit I was disappointed. It was a lot tastier than it looked, and the rosemary gave it a lovely flavour, but there just wasn't enough of it for me. So much so that I didn't save my avocado salad as a snack and ate it as a 'side' to my lunch.
I was given 'a little pot of nuts' as a snack, which was literally FOUR hazelnuts, and I saved these up for as long as I could and then gave in and ate them at about 3pm.
By the time I left work, I had a headache which I think was largely from the lack of caffeine, which was still more of a struggle than the lack of food for me.
For dinner it was king prawns and vegetables with ginger and coriander, which sounded tasty and I was really looking forward to it. I was again, rather disappointed with the portion which consisted of 4 large king prawns and some grated beetroot and carrot, and it wasn't a lot to come home to after a whole day at work. It was tasty but I'd be lying if I said, even after my half a kiwi pudding, I didn't want more. I went to bed, with my headache, not looking forward to day two.
I woke up feeling a lot better and wandered downstairs to pick up my box of food for the day. On Day 2 I received -
Breakfast: Bircher muesli with raspberry, lime, apple juice & coconut
Juice: Beetroot, celery & apple
Snack: A little pot of nuts
Lunch: Quinoa with mixed peppers & spring onions
Snack: Green bean salad
Dinner: Grilled lemon chicken with carrot tagine
Pudding: Poached pear
I was more excited by the contents of the bag on Day 2 and I inspected the boxes to see how much food I was able to look forward to. Dinner made me especially happy as I was given a whole chicken breast - and a big one at that! - so I knew already that Day 2 wasn't going to be as bad.
Breakfast was a little pot of bitcher muesli which was tasty and filling and the beetroot juice was really refreshing. Again, I didn't enjoy my Psyllium Husk and the Wheatgrass Shot was okay.
Lunch today was Quinoa (which I am a big fan of) with mixed peppers and spring onions which was really tasty and delicious. And because of the my lunch misery the day before, I decided to add some lettuce leaves, cucumber and sugarsnap peas on the side which I didn't think would alter my detox much but made me feel like I was having more of a lunch. I ate my little snack of nuts not long after, which again consisted of just four nuts.
The lack of caffeine had also become easier to deal with and my headache had gone. I still missed my cups of tea but there wasn't the withdrawal I had felt the day before.
Having looked at my dinner box at the start of the day, I was REALLY looking forward to dinner and I was right to as it was both filing and delicious. Dinner was grilled lemon chicken with carrot tagine and the chicken was moist and tasty and the tagine was a really good sized portion containing almond, apricots and big chunks of carrot with some wilted spinach on the side. It felt like a normal size dinner and I felt content afterwards and forgot I still had my poached pear to look forward to! That came in a little pot with flaked almonds and raspberries and it was sweet and delicious.
Despite a difficult Day 1, I felt like I could have continued on the detox after Day 2 especially after scanning the rest of the weeks menu with dinners to include Baked ginger salmon with thai curry and Cajun chicken breast with sweetcorn & bean salad. I won't lie and say that it was easy because it wasn't and even with the extra food on day 2, it was still less than I would normally eat but of course, that's the point of a detox.
It was great to not have to think about what I should eat and have it all delivered and prepared for me but at a daily cost of £35.99, I can't see how the average person like me is able to afford to do this regularly and I do think the service is overpriced for what you get. The ingredients were clearly not cheap and the quality of the food was very good but with the delivery service before 7am every day, I think that's what you're largely paying for.
I felt like I learnt some good tips from The Detox Kitchen and I have definitely tried to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in my diet, largely having these for breakfast and eating slow release carbs like quinoa for lunch. I have also tried to drink decaf tea when I can as it made me realise I was perhaps drinking too much caffeinated tea in my diet after the withdrawals I had on day one. It does give you some food for thought about what you eat and when and also portion control so if you can afford it, a trial of The Detox Kitchen may be a good start for you for a better healthy eating plan.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of The Detox Kitchen.
For more information visit www.detoxkitchen.co.uk.