REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
I decided to do the 21 day sugar detox based on Diane Sanfilippo’s book, The 21 Day Sugar Detox. Why does someone who already eats a very whole-foods based diet choose to do a 21 day sugar detox, you might ask. Well, I started noticing that maple syrup, honey, molasses, and dates were creeping into so much of what I was eating. The average American, still consumes far more sugar than I was, but who wants to be compared to the average American? Let’s face it, with obesity, diabetes, and hypertension (to name a few) on the rise, the average American is not doing so hot. I mean, check out your local grocery store. Grocery stores cater to the average American. Soda has an aisle. So does cereal. Candy and chips do, too. Yep, nope. Not for me. So, while I was still doing better than that, I knew I could be better.
I started reading The 21 Day Sugar Detox. It talked about how reducing sugar can actually help reduce inflammation. While I believe most people could benefit from a diet that reduces inflammation as stress causes inflammation, I especially felt that it would be good for me. I’m newly diagnosed with celiac. I found out only 4 months ago. No doubt I have quite a bit of inflammation surrounding my digestive tract from all of the years I was not eating appropriately for someone with celiac. The book also talked about how it can help balance hormone levels. While I don’t have a problem with my hormone levels that I know of, hormone’s control so much of what goes on in our bodies. No doubt, with all of the crazy things the food industry does to our meat, a little hormonal balancing could be very beneficial.
The first day on the 21 DSD was actually not too rough. I would normally start my day with paleo pancakes or muffins, but I instead chose to have an egg stuffed green pepper. It was delicious. From there I headed off to my first kickboxing class. If you follow my blog, you know I workout regularly, and even box from time to time. However, this workout is still a little different from what I’m used to. Anytime you mix it up, it’s good for your body, and it gets you out of your comfort zone. It challenges your body. I got through my workout just fine, but I was pretty sore after, and I did notice it took longer for my body to recover. I didn’t miss the sweets, though. My usual green smoothie I make for lunch consists of coconut milk, pineapple, pineapple juice, 1/2 banana, and a cup of spinach. I recreated it, omitting the pineapple, and reducing the banana, following the 21 DSD parameters. You can check that out here. That night, I made this delicious chocolate banana freezer fudge. I felt like I was going to be able to do this.
On day 4 of my detox, I was feeling good, but when I worked out, I noticed my energy wasn’t as good. I noticed my strength wasn’t what I could normally expect it to be. I reached out to someone in the 21 DSD Facebook community. I was advised to add 1/2 cup of sweet potatoes or plantains back into my diet. Normally, during the detox you don’t eat them, but they’re a part of a modification for those who are active. I did that, and my energy quickly returned.
The next few days were fine. I was getting into my groove. I was finding ways to make this detox work for me in a way that I could carry on and feel good about. Then, on day 6 of my detox, I got panicky. Having a history of disordered eating (there were days I ate nothing but rice cakes in an effort to be thin, read more here), I started panicking about the restrictions and my true motivation. I questioned whether I was really motivated by reduced inflammation and hormonal balance. I am very aware of orthorexia, and have always tried to be very self-aware with my passion for healthy living so as to not take things to unhealthy extremes. It really started to stress me out as to whether or not this sugar detox was healthy venture for both my mind and body. I reached out to a friend I trust. She reminded me that in the long run, addressing my sweet tooth will benefit my overall health. It was just what I needed. Of course I’m still mindful of my mental health. I try to maintain a positive, healthy relationship with my food. I felt so much better with the supportive reinforcement from my friend.
The sugar detox is getting easier. Adding just 1/4 of a green banana makes it sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. Sugar snap peas and mini sweet peppers are tasting very sweet! Carrots are sweet. It’s neat exploring the natural sweetness of vegetables. There are still moments of temptation and struggle. I find the hardest thing is making treats for my kids. I’m ok being around it, and smelling it. What is tough is handling it. That is hard. Overall, though, my stomach, and my digestion feel amazing!
Throughout the week I cam up with a few more sugar detox approved recipes if you’d like to check them out: