Perhaps it's the increase in heat that suddenly makes you fancy a plate of spiralised courgette and turkey meatballs rather than a bowl of spag bol (something about hot, heavy food in the summer isn't so appealing), but all we knew is on the beauty desk, we felt sluggish, we felt slow and we didn't feel too lean. So, we called on The Detox Kitchen to come to our aid. Founded by Lily Simpson, who found a lot of healthy food 'boring', The Detox Kitchen offers at-home meal delivery services, as well has having outposts in London where you can sit and enjoy their food. Hard-to-please kale evangelist Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan. We booked ourselves in for a two-day trial of three different packages: Joely, our beauty writer tried vegetarian, Liz our beauty director went for vegan, and I sampled the protein package to meet my omnivorous tendancies.
DAY ONE: We all had similar dishes with a few tweaks: the 'Protein' offering was a yoghurt (normally, flapjack bars are sent but I have coeliac disease), then a beetroot, celery and apple juice with a few Brazil nuts to snack on. Pearl barley salad with broccoli, red cabbage, mange tout and edamame followed for lunch, with red pepper, butterbean and basil dip with sugar snap peas as a snack. The vegan and vegetarian packages were identical - things only changed around dinner time. I had a king prawn laksa broth with broccoli and bok choy, while Joely and Liz's had tofu instead of prawns. Pineapple bites with desiccated coconut was dessert. Our consensus was universal - the food was delicious, but the portions somewhat small. Breakfast was fine, but we all felt hungry after lunch. 'It was so yummy, but I could have gone for about 50% more", Joely said. I felt the same about dinner - broth alone (and five pieces of pineapple) does not a meal make. However, if you were looking to lose a few pounds on the plan, the portion sizes mean you almost definitely would.
DAY TWO: We all enjoyed our coconut muesli with rice milk and cucumber, celery, apple and lemon juice, and companionably nibbled our walnuts. Tomato salad with artichoke, asparagus and chickpeas was the universal lunch, which started some debate amongst us about how tailored the packages were. While you can certainly stock up on protein when eating a vegan diet, if the packages are billed as different, then the meals should be, well, different. Protein did come at dinner for me in the form of a grilled chicken salad, but other than that, I ate the same as Joely and Liz. Liz was a particular fan of the breakfasts - 'They're filling and taste fresh.", and noted how Detox Kitchen managed to make some dull-sounding salads really delicious with dressings.
VERDICT: The food was universally yummy, and tasted fresh - a feat for a meal delivery service. Everything felt clean and virtuous, but we did find ourselves wanting a few extra snacks to get us through the day. Best for those wanting to slim down before a special occasion or detox after some real indulgence, but maybe not for any hardcore gym bunnies.
Packages start at £29.99 a day