Every spring I feel the need/urge to do some type of detox. I usually lighten up my diet and cut out all carbs and sugar if I can and focus on simple, clean eating to cleanse my body. So at the beginning of May I took on a 21 Day Sugar Detox, and today is day 14 for me. With only one week to go I feel pretty good about how it’s going so I thought I’d share.
My goal in taking on this detox was to nix my sugar cravings and learn to live daily without caving to my emotional cravings for something sweet. I find that things can really snowball easily for me when I eat sugar every day, it makes it harder to avoid it. I also have symptoms that I don’t particularly love. Prior to this detox I had weaned myself to about 2 tablespoons or less of sugar per day, however there would be a rare few days a month that I could down a whole chocolate bar or homemade batch of ice cream. This put stress on my gut internally and externally. An issue I am dying to be rid of, I felt this detox was much warranted.
So how am I doing with it? Well so far so good. I can’t say that I haven’t had a lick of sugar at all, but overall I have not had heavy cravings for sugar. I have had an emotional craving or two, but was able to replace the desire with something else. For the most part I have only had a taste of sugar here and there, in some ketchup, in the pudding I made for my kids that I had to taste to make sure it was palatable, on Mother’s Day at brunch when dessert was included and shared so it was only like 4 small bites. I also had some potatoes a few times and yesterday made some amazing sweet potato fries. I am not trying to exclude every single carb, but know that the lower I go with them means less glucose in my bloodstream. I am happy overall because I can get through my days without thinking about sugar or chocolate and I feel better for that. I dare say I even lost a pound or two, though that was not at all a goal of mine. However my waist line has trimmed up a bit which is always nice. My hope for when this is done, is that I will find it much easier to limit my sugar intake to special occasions and weekend fun. I certainly do not want to be a slave to sugar anymore. At this point for me it is simply a choice, because I now know that I do not have blood sugar issues of any kind. (though that is not the case for most people.) The biggest hurdle daily for me will be the emotional challenge and the nostalgia from past that will tempt me to indulge too much.Believe me, sugar is everywhere and it can add up fast in a given day if you are not mindful. I have appreciated this detox time to help me be more mindful of what I put in my mouth.
A note for anyone considering this type of detox; if you are highly addicted to sugar this could be difficult for you. My thoughts would be to slowly wean yourself from heavy carbs and sugars in your diet over time. Get to the point where you only allow yourself no more than 2 tablespoons of added sugar per day and very minimal starches. Pay attention to the sugar in everything you consume, including fresh fruit, condiments and beverages. Make the starches you consume more like a garnish to your meals instead of the main deal. (like a small handful of sweet potato fries, or a slice of coconut bread, or a small side of quinoa.) This will help you work your way towards less insulin dependence while increasing your healthy fat intake. If you are new to consuming healthy good fats then go slow. If you are coming from a low fat diet, start with coconut oil and butter every day until you can tolerate as much as you like. Begin to add other fats, like full fat yogurt, sour cream, cream, coconut milk, whole eggs, lard, tallow and fattier cuts of meat from grass fed animals. Your gall bladder will need time to readjust to working as it should, so go easy on it. Fats are key to satiety and regulating blood sugar.
All that said, I think I could stand to do a mindful detox like this a few times a year and maybe even seasonally. If you are interested in taking on a detox like this and want some guidance, be sure to check out Diane Sanfillippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox Guide.
Also check out my post, ‘5 Tips To Curb Sugar Cravings‘ for a more thorough read on just how to work your way towards lowering sugar consumption in a healthy way!