As five slimming teas are recalled in New Zealand, Chris Marriner reveals why he wishes he'd spilled his cup down the sink.

It's time to spill the tea and I wish that I had sooner.

I wish I had spilled it all into the sink and down the drain before I made the fateful decision to raise cup to lip and drink a now-banned Healtheries Slimmer's Tea.

That one decision to try and cheat nature had a horrifying consequence - and it's only right that my experience serves as a warning.


I had a big Christmas. Big ham. Big turkey. Big pav.

Small Scorched Almonds, but so, so many.

Molten rivers of chocolate coursed through my veins all through the festive season.

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The New Year saw me attempt a fresh start and a chance encounter with a box of tea in the work kitchen appeared to provide a golden opportunity.

It read: "Naturally Slim".

I was immediately drawn in.

I've never been a slimmer, as such, but knocking on the door of 40 and struggling to get to the gym amid screaming kids and a demanding job I thought I saw a shortcut.


A quick fix.

How wrong I was.

The first cup went down smoothly enough, perked me up a little and I went on with my day.

But it wasn't enough.

I thought I owed it to myself to pursue slimming more actively, so I poured another cup – two teabags this time.

Again, the effects weren't immediate and the only real change it made in my day was the lessening of the guilt I felt when I hit the vending machine at work.

Surely the tea would deal with the calories?

It did.

As I walked in the door at home that afternoon, my wife left for the supermarket and left me with our 5-year-old son and 8-month-old daughter.

Then it happened.

The tea, brewing all day, was ready to make an appearance.

I felt it coming so placed baby in the middle of a king-size bed and asked her brother to
keep an eye on her while I ran to the toilet, metres away.

Half an hour of unspeakable horror followed, fevered moans mixing with the nauseating sound of fluids crashing against each other, set against a baby's happy murmurs as her brother entertained her.

She had no idea – and she had a nappy on, the lucky thing.

I had no such equipment and was instead porcelain-bound, bravely trying to reassure my son that my condition wasn't fatal.

When I emerged, drenched in sweat and haunted by my experience, I had certainly lost weight.

But at what cost?

News that the tea I drank and others like it have been withdrawn from sale has given me some comfort but I don't think I'll ever be the same.

Next time I'll just go to the gym.