Before I set out on a jet plan to New York City, I embarked on a Nutrition Nut exploration by way of trying a mini version of The 21-Day Sugar Detox.
Coincidentally, the book was released today! The 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally is available to order on Amazon… and the cookbook will be released in December.
- My roommate had done the full 21-day detox once before, and was doing it for a second time. Her testimonials about how good it made her feel gave me encouragement to take a break from the sweet stuff.
- I was going on vacation and knew indulgent eating would be involved, so I claimed it a pre-trip cleanse.
- I started the detox at the end of September, when most of the sweet and juicy summer fruits weren’t at their prime; since fruit isn’t allowed during the cleanse*, I thought the time – seasonally – seemed ideal.
- I don’t eat nearly as much processed sugar as I once did (hello, 3:00pm mocha and fat cookie), but I won’t deny that I still have a sweet tooth and can minimize the sugar I consume.
*You are allowed one green apple or one green-tipped banana per day.
What I Ate
I followed the Level 1 Plan and took the athlete and vegetarian modifications into consideration. As soon as I got home from a weekend in San Fran – enjoying garlic fries and tequila mojitos – I headed to Trader Joe’s to stock up my fridge with clean eats.
Tip >> I put my put all of my chocolate, honey, pasta, pancake mix, etc. on the very top shelf of my cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind.
A sampling of what I ate:
- breakfast: plain Greek yogurt / canned pumpkin / chopped apple / raw walnuts, pecans or pepitas / chia seeds / cinnamon
- celery + almond butter
- hard-boiled eggs
- small Granny Smith apples + sharp white cheddar
- carrots + homemade sunflower seed butter
- salads with salmon or beans and veggies (olive oil + vinegar)
- roasted Brussels and sweet potatoes
- loaded sweet potatoes (beans, salsa, avocado, etc.)
- curried lentil soup
- almond butter banana pancakes: 1 banana / 1 heaping tablespoon almond butter / 1 egg / cinnamon & vanilla… with butter
- oat-free oatmeal – could hardly stomach it even with a mountain of AB and unsweetened coconut
What I Missed/How I Cheated
- hot, creamy oatmeal
- peanut butter — it’s a legume and has more carbohydrates than almond butter
- I ate a small piece (~1 oz.) of 85% dark chocolate every evening to satisfy said sweet tooth.
- Some days, I ate both an apple and a banana; the banana wasn’t necessarily green-tipped either.
- I didn’t measure the amount of sweet potato I ate and allowed myself to eat it even if it was not a day that I exercised.
- By the end of the short detox, I was pretty tired of yogurt, celery, and – gasp! – almond butter.
Where I Went Wrong
I was really proud of myself for sticking to the detox, and “cheating” minimally for 10 days. I was not hard on myself for eating a banana or a sweet potato because I was, nevertheless, detoxing my body from added sugar. I never intended to do the strict plan in the first place.
That said, Day 10 was the day I departed for NYC; come Day 11 — what detox? It is recommended that you gradually reintroduce fruits and whole grains into your diet after the three-week detox. I enjoyed my vacation and #ALLthecarbs to the fullest; in other words, I felt like I negated my detoxing efforts almost entirely. #lessonlearned
How I Felt
- Overall, really good!
- I – surprisingly – didn’t have any devastating cravings for sugar. Days 3 and 4, I “crashed” slightly in the afternoon; I think my body was finally reacting to the decreased intake of carbohydrates/glucose.
- Luckily, I was able to still have coffee (with half & half or unsweetened almond milk); I didn’t experience any headaches or dramatic fatigue.
- I did feel somewhat hungry the first few days as my body was adjusting… almond butter to the rescue!
- My weight stayed the same, yet my stomach “flattened up.”
- I am more aware of the added sugar and amount of carbohydrates I eat.
- I did not, by any means, turn into an anti-sugar, gluten-free, Paleo princess.
- My body feels a lot better eating a low-gluten diet, lightly sprinkled with sugar and whole grains.
- I will probably try the detox again in the future – maybe for 14 days; if and when I do so, I would like to be more creative with recipes and do more meal preparation.
- For now, it’s all about the Fall baking!
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Have you done a detox of any sort?
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I simply want to share my experience.