REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
September 1st, I started doing a 21 Day Sugar Detox. I don’t use white sugar, only natural sugar, like fruit, maple syrup, honey, and molasses. Still, I noticed I was using them too often. Honestly, I’m a very healthy eater. You should check out my recipes! I just wanted to improve. I’m always trying to prove. The goal is to be my best self. I want to be strong and healthy as long as I am able to. I want quality of life!
My first week of this sugar detox went rather well. It had it’s ups and downs, but was ultimately decent. You can read more about that, here. I was making it through during week 2, but I wasn’t liking my results. Yes, I’m familiar with detoxes, and am aware you typically feel worst before you feel better. I don’t really care for detoxes. I like lifestyles. I like forming better habits that I can live with forever.
Anyway, I found that I was getting moodier. I was a little depressed. I had to push myself harder to do things I didn’t normally need pushing to do. I was less driven. I didn’t want to continue down that road, waiting to see improvements. I might have kept going if I didn’t think I had a better plan, but I did.
You know when you go to the pool, there are 2 types of people. There’s the person that takes the plunge straight in. Then, there’s that person who drives everyone crazy because they get in so stinking slowly. First they sit on the side with the bottom of their legs in. Eventually, they are standing in the water. An eternity goes by before they get the top half of their body immersed in the water. When everyone’s given up on them ever swimming, they finally lift their feet off the bottom and begin swimming. I am that annoying person. Literally. I do that at the pool.
Ok, so when it comes to my diet, I’ve taken the plunge a few times. I’ve said, this is what I’m doing and I’m just going to go for it. It’s never worked for me. I can take the plunge for the short-term, but I’ve never successfully developed a habit that way.
When I began eating paleo, I did what most people refer to as 80/20. 80/20 is what they call it when a person eats paleo 80% of the time. This gave me the wiggle room I needed to ease my way in. As I became more and more comfortable with the paleo lifestyle, I ate paleo more and more of the time. It didn’t hurt that my body felt so much better when eating paleo. I finally, completed my transition to full paleo when I was diagnosed with celiac. So many people with celiac claimed to feel their best when they omitted all grains. I was already so close to being grain-free, it wasn’t a big adjustment to finally do it, myself.
So what exactly went wrong with my sugar detox? Well, a huge factor is that I did not thoroughly research it before starting out. I decided to follow Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox. I thought I could research it all online. Honestly, I thought I was just eliminating sugar, as in the sweet stuff, like molasses, maple syrup, honey, and fruit (other than 1 green tipped banana, a grapefruit, or a green apple/day). Well, on the day I started, I was advised that I really needed the book. I hurried and bought the kindle version. I read the entire thing in about 3 days. As it turns out, in addition to those sweet things, it limits several squash, cashews, tapioca, and other foods.
Like I said, I did alright on my first week, but I didn’t like who I was becoming as I kept going. Actually, in addition to my moodiness and sadness, I actually had really bad brain fog. It was a little scary. I was following the modifications for an active person, but I don’t think it was enough to keep up with my active lifestyle (you can have 1/2 cup of sweet potato or plantain each day. Otherwise sweet potatos and plantains are omitted). I could palate being on the sugar detox. I wasn’t having cravings. I would break my green tipped bananas into 1/4’s and eat them throughout the day. My problem was, I couldn’t function. I didn’t like how I felt.
So where am I at with this now? Well, I love that I figured out breaking the bananas up. That is a habit I intend to keep. In fact, I learned to make my green smoothie with 1/4 banana and 1/4 green apple, and sometimes just the 1/4 banana. I like cutting my banana into 1/4’s. If I want to sweeten something, oftentimes, I’ll just add 1/4 banana. I love that I figured out how well that works for me. I’m satisfying my snack cravings with more savory treats, full of veggies, protein, and healthy fats.
So, what’s the difference between the healthy habits I’m trying to create and the restrictions from the sugar detox? Well, if I happen to go over my 1 fruit per day, I will definitely not feel defeated. I’ve never been a fan of putting tight restrictions on fruit. I think it should be eaten with a mindfulness, but not strictly restricted. Also, if I want to bake a nice paleo dessert on the weekend, I’m ok with adding a little natural sugar to it. For the most part, my ultimate goal was to have a better mindfulness of the sugar I was eating, and I don’t feel like I need a sugar detox to do that.
Am I opposed to doing a sugar detox? Heck no! Just like there are those of us who take forever getting into the pool, there are those who are happy to take the plunge, immerse themselves in the water, and begin swimming around. I’m a slow and steady wins the race kind of girl. I do best without rules, but with an understanding of the how and the why. From there, I am able to be mindful and use my own integrity to make healthy choices.