As many of you know I just completed the 21 Day Sugar Detox this past Sunday. Now, I’m not going to lie to you. This was my third time attempting this program but only the first time I actually finished. Now that’s not to say I was 100% perfect (I may have had a 1 or 2 french fries when my husband and I went to In-n-Out), but I did my best and completed all 21 days.
The first couple of days I felt pretty good. I had some lingering digestive issues and bloat from some indulgences over the previous weekend (which is why Diane suggests you ease yourself into it which I did not do), but my energy levels were great. Then I hit that “no sugar slump” where I felt tired around mid morning into the afternoon and I just wanted ALL THE CHOCOLATE!!! This lasted almost a week and then I was golden; great energy (minus a day or two when I slept poorly) and minimal bloating and digestive issues, which is something that’s a constant struggle for me (minus a day or four when I went a little overboard on the sunflower seed butter). I’m not sure if I lost any weight during these three weeks (although a lot of people do) because I don’t weigh myself. But I feel better, look stronger, and my skin is clearer than it has been in a LONG time, so I’ll call that a win regardless of what the scale may say!
I learned a few things about myself during these 21 days…
- When I’m not eating sugar, I want to eat all the fat! Whenever I had a sugar craving, I’d have some sunflower seed butter, some avocado, or a spoonful of homemade mayo and the craving would go away. Pretty soon the sugar cravings turned into fat cravings. Bonus: eating more fat is great because I don’t get hungry as often either! So avocado and mayo are my new best friends! Sunflower seed butter and I are taking a break, unfortunately, but I think it’s for the best.
- My skin loves when I put fat in my face as much as when I put fat on my face! Less sugar and more fat has made my skin clearer than it has been in a long time and as someone who has suffered from skin issues as much as I have that’s a HUGE win!
- Although I don’t think it’s the best idea to include lots of “paleofied” treats in your diet (even ones with no sugar added) when you’re shooting for optimal health, sometimes it’s nice to have a little “treat” now and then. Little indulgences like my banana coconut macaroons, pea-not butter banana ice cream, and mocha frappuccino, along with lots of tasty meals, made me not feel like I was on a detox at all! Although I do still have a tendency to overdo it on treats, even “not sweet treats,” so I learned it’s best for me to make small batches and not very often.
- Super low carb does not work well for me. Limiting my carbohydrate intake, especially carbohydrates in the form of honey, maple syrup, etc., definitely helps with the sugar cravings and the blood sugar regulation; I could go longer without eating and I never got hangry. However, I do still need a small amount of carbohydrates from whole food sources like sweet potatoes and other starchy vegetables, or maybe a little fruit, in order to feel my best. Because I work out 4-6 days a week, the athlete modification of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, which Diane outlines in the books and the online program, worked really well for me.
- I need chocolate in my life. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I probably don’t actually need it. But I believe everything in life is better with a little quality dark chocolate. Or some Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips!
So what now? I’m going to continue to eat pretty close to the 21 Day Sugar Detox guidelines with a few modifications. I will include a small amount of starchy carbs like sweet potatoes, plantains, and yuca on days that I work out to help with my energy levels. I may have some local raw plain yogurt on occasion because I seem to do okay with quality fermented dairy. And I’ll probably have a treat, maybe even one sweetened with honey or maple syrup, every now and then because, let’s be real, pumpkin season is right around the corner and you know I need to get my fair share of goodies like pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes (homemade of course) and all the other delicious things fall has to offer!
I’m not aiming for perfection here because that just isn’t realistic. Life without a little chocolate or an occasional cookie just doesn’t sound like fun. But I don’t want to feel like garbage all the time either. I’m aiming for that balance between physical health and emotional/mental health. For me this means eating a nutrient dense diet so that I can be as healthy and vibrant as possible, but also splurging every once in a while so I don’t feel restricted and fall back into past disordered eating habits. I’m about sustainable health over here and that includes eating well, feeling good physically, and loving myself even if I had one too many brownies last night. There is always room for another 21 Day Sugar Detox, am I right?!?
If you’re interest in doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox, there are so many amazing resources to help you succeed in the amazing online 21 Day Sugar Detox program that Diane and her team created! There is also the guidebook and the cookbook, both of which I love and you can get them for a steal through the packages offered on the online program. And of course I’m always here to help too so let me know if you decide to do the detox and I’ll help answer any questions you have and offer plenty of moral support! The next group starts on Monday, September 1st but you can start anytime!
In vibrant health,