The invitation to test the Essential Teatox 14-day detox couldn't have landed in my inbox at a better time: a few days before my eventful trip to India.
To me, this was a green light to scrap the beach yoga and instead indulge in all the calorific curries and Kingfisher beers my little pot-belly could handle, safe in the knowledge that immediately upon my return I could flip the kettle on and brew up some evil-tasting concoction that would magically melt away the evidence of my gluttony.
Now I'm not overweight - my BMI is 22 - and at almost 6ft tall I have a lot of body to fill, BUT - having turned the big (whisper it!) 4-0 this year, I've decided to take a bit more care of myself. Let's face it, the only place a muffin top looks good is on a muffin. And I'd been no stranger to the M&S bakery...
So I ditched the cigs and am eating my veggies like a good girl. Unfortunately 'smoke-free' is not synonymous with 'sugar-free': my taste buds - suddenly reawakened - start twerking furiously at the prospect of a cinnamon bun. I'm no GI (Glycaemic Index) Jane; I'm more familiar with Kettle Chips than kettle bells, admittedly. But I'm getting there. Kinda. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love a prosecco (or 3), and I'm still partial to the odd Big Mac, but Rome wasn't built in a day (and neither was Gisele's body).
So I was sitting on the beach in Goa, eyeing my physique appraisingly. Hmmm, hardly the stone cold fox I'd envisaged. More an urban fox. You know the ones: weathered; mangy-looking; furiously tearing open rubbish bags with their teeth in search of scraps; existing on a diet of old tea bags, sandwich crusts and discarded bacon rind...and perhaps the occasional small child if they can squeeze through an unlocked suburban cat-flap.
"You're in shape, darling," soothed Andy, in an attempt to rebuild my flagging body confidence. "Oh yeah," I replied, resignedly....."the shape of a barrel," vowing to take action upon my return...
As soon as I squeezed (sideways) through the door when I arrived home, I tore at the packaging with my teeth (see, fox?) and scrutinised the contents. Hmmm. The teabags themselves are aesthetically pleasing: silky little pyramids; high quality. It was the contents that I was more dubious about: bits of bark and plant material. Well, it certainly looks organic, I thought. A few minutes later I took a tentative sip of my new brew.....and was pleasantly surprised. I expected rank-tasting swamp water....but it's actually....very nice. No involuntary screwface. The licorice sweetens it nicely, and there's no bitter aftertaste. Result!
In the evening, I steel my tastebuds for the PM blend. Again, to my surprise, it tastes fresh and sweet. The detox is simplicity itself: a tea each morning and a different blend every other evening. I made the decision not to adjust my diet or exercise regime at all for 2 reasons:
1. I don't diet or have an exercise regime, and
2. I wanted to ensure any results were 100% down to the tea.
Over the coming days, I find myself looking forward to my Teatox. I know people are always sceptical about these things, and I was too, but I swear I saw an uplift in my energy, and my mood, within a few days. Even if this was partly the placebo effect, caused by me feeling all virtuous and thus projecting a smugly satisfied glowing aura, then surely even that's a good thing?
The list of ingredients is impressive, all renowned for their energising and slimming properties, so I'm convinced there's a bit more at work than my imaginary shiny halo. Judge for yourself:
The programme costs £19.99, so 95p per cup: a third of the price of my usual coffee-shop skinny hot choc with chocolate sprinkles (and yes, I'm fully aware that there's really no such thing as a skinny hot chocolate thank-you-very-much), and leaves me feeling far more energised than the over-priced Starbucks sugar-rush that's soon followed by a crash. The only place I lose weight with my regular beverage is my purse, as I empty all my hard-earned coins onto the counter.
As the tea tastes so good, I leave the teabag in whilst drinking to make it as strong as possible, and even find myself topping up the hot water a further few times to really get the most out of each bag. This is not in the guidelines, but I figure you may as well get maximum benefit and value from the detox, right?
A week in, and I'm feeling great. On a night out with my girlfriends I feel confident and happy in my silky dress and get a few cheesy compliments from some randoms in the pub. I'm not in the market for a new fella, but it's nice to be appreciated nonetheless, hey?
Working in retail at Christmas time is flat-out busy, and I often resort to double-dropping Pro Plus in a desperate attempt to pep up my flagging energy levels with caffeine (since I hate coffee and you need arms like Popeye's for the mammoth stock deliveries), but during the detox I find I'm awake before the alarm and don't feel tired during the day at all. My sleep is better too: although I still wake up super-early, I'm not waking as much during the night.
At the end of the 2 weeks, I'm sad to see my tea supplies come to an end. I haven't lost weight (unsurprising, considering I've had fast food a few times, boozy nights out with the girls and my usual sneaky snacks), yet I definitely feel less bloated, more energised, and happier overall with my figure.
Would I use Essential Teatox again? Yes - particularly before a holiday or a special occasion. Who knows, next time I may even combine it with a healthier diet and some exercise to get the maximum slink-factor. Stranger things have happened (erm, it begins with T and ends in 'rump').
Oh, and did I mention I'm also a Victoria's Secret model now? Best keep schtum for the time being - it's such a secret that even Victoria doesn't know...
Seriously though, I'm bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and feeling fierce. So you wanna be a Stone Cold Fox? Get Teatox ;-)
Use code TEATOX10 for 10% off when placing your order.
For a chance to try the 14-day Teatox for FREE, enter my competition here.*
UPDATE: This competition is now closed and the winner has been chosen at random. Congratulations to Kirsten Hyde - your Teatox is winging it's way to you!
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- the competition will run from Monday 5th December until 11.59pm on 30th December GMT.
- entrants must be UK residents aged 18 and over.
- all entries to be completed using the Rafflecopter link above.
- all entries will be checked and verified.
- the winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
- the winner will be announced by the 5th Jan (emailed as well as via social media and as a blog update).
- the winner will have 72hrs to respond with their details, otherwise a new winner will be picked following the same procedure.
Thanks for entering - good luck!
Fancy reading my back-story before you go any further? You can find my other blogs at: