The Herald Life & Style team road test health and fitness trends so you don't have to.

Up until now, I've managed to evade this sort of thing: signing up to trial odd stuff then writing about it.

I frequently pass on invitations to fitness and health based events and once dodged a Hitchcock horror trip to a bird aviary for a story because the publication it was intended for folded.

This time though, it's really my own fault that I find myself here: "Let's run a series trialling different diets and detoxes over summer." Fool.

Others happily got on board, juice cleansing and Bikini Body Guiding their way to healthier beings. But I wasn't so enthusiastic about my nomination to eat only meals made in a Nutribullet. Even for one measly day.


Just deciding on which day proved problematic as I realised diets and socialising don't really mix. At least not for someone like me who has little willpower when it comes to food.

Between summer barbecues, movie events where popcorn is half the reason I'm there, and a weekend at my parents', there just didn't seem to be a spare day in our designated detox week to get this diet in.

But despite my procrastination, I've done it. Did I enjoy it? Was I converted to the wonders of detoxing? Not exactly. Here's how it went:

The menu:




6AM: Breakfast battles

On weekdays I don't eat breakfast. I know, I'm surely headed for all sorts of toast-skipping related atrocities.

This morning, however, I leave the house armed with an Inner Glow smoothie. What a virtuous way to start the day!

Before I'd hit blend the night before it looked like a pretty layered salad jar fit for Pinterest circa 2012. Post blend, it was the colour of poo. But it tasted great, right? Wrong. It turns out cacao is a powerful little substance. If the recipe calls for two tablespoons, don't decide you'll "treat yourself" with three.

As I drink my bitter mix - I'd made a full litre of the stuff - I picture my mid-afternoon self ambling about the office with a pendulous gut full of nothing but liquid.

1PM: Turning down sushi is tough

At 1pm, a colleague asks me if I'd like some sushi. I explain the self inflicted hell I'm in then wonder if I could be permitted a plastic fish of soy sauce - just a little sodium hit.

I decide against it and turn to my midday smoothie.

This was the one I'd been most looking forward to when I made it the night before. As it turned out, therein lay the problem. Over the course of the last 18 hours it's become a fibrous, banana slime mix. After a few sorry sips I give up on the smoothie, sink into my chair, and think about soy sauce.

3PM: No hunger pains, just nausea

For the rest of the afternoon I feel not so much hungry as I do a bit sick. And completely depleted of energy. To add insult to injury, the bus I catch home has no air con. My liquid gut and I wonder if I might pass out, or vomit, or both.

5.30PM Soup, in this heat?

The nausea from the bus ride has subsided and hunger is well and truly setting in. But I've chosen a soup for dinner, haven't I? In this heat. I resolve I can drink it cold. Like a gazpacho. But not just yet. Otherwise I'll have another five hours to spend thinking about soy sauce.

Instead I decide to watch something gory in an attempt to deter my appetite. Making a Murderer, take two.

7.30PM: There's salt in this!

My final concoction has the welcome addition of salt. The first savoury "meal" of the day, it's actually really good. And filling. I do think about how good some doughy, buttery bread would be with it. By the time I go to bed I'm still sufficiently full, and promising myself a trip to the bakery tomorrow.

Final thoughts from an apprehensive detoxer

• Despite my ordeal, which I'd consider an extreme approach, I am a fan of the Nutribullet. It really is a great way to get lots of fruit and vegetables into your diet.

• Don't make your smoothies the night before. Depending on the recipe, it's likely best consumed fresh. So unless you can stow away to a quiet kitchen, smoothies for a work lunch aren't ideal.

• I admire the dedication of juice detox converts, but believe I'd benefit more from making incremental changes to my diet over time.

• I've never thought about salt so much in a day. Perhaps I need to ease up on my intake?