This is taking me forever to write! Life has been busy, no more than usual, but spending time on the computer is very low on the priority list at the moment. Actually for two whole days my computer was untouched. Off and unplugged!
So I participated in a 21 day sugar detox from April 1st until the 21st. It was much needed. I have seasonal allergies, and the first year we moved out to Sooke, I had such terrible asthma and was struggling to breath. Something that had never happened to me before. Last year I did a 6 month Candida Diet, which I started in January. I was very pleased when the spring came and went without a single hay fever symptom. This year when I started noticing the itchy eyes and throat, I decided to jump on the 21 day sugar detox bandwagon, and thankfully it put an end to my symptoms!
Clearly sugar is not my friend!
The day before the detox began was Easter, and I had quite the temptation:
I asked Rob to hide these away for me because the Easter Bunny brought these all the way from Germany for me, and I was determined to keep them!
Having had experience with removing sugar from my diet, finding food to eat was not too difficult, but it did not make the detox easy. I did go through a slight withdrawal, a bit of headache here and there, but more then anything it was the chocolate cravings. There is a particular time of the month when my sugar, mainly chocolate cravings are intense. I don't think I'm alone on this one. I kept thinking "I am a woman, and women need chocolate to survive! Why would anyone deprive a women of chocolate?!", but I survived this deprivation, and have lived on to tell my heroic story.
On the Candida Diet, stevia and yogurt were allowed, and that was always my go to treat. Greek yogurt with either lemon, lemon peel and stevia or vanilla and stevia. That always took care of my cravings. With the 21 DSD I had to be a bit more creative.
This not so great or delicious looking smoothie was what helped my pull through. It is a blend of green tipped banana, almond butter, coconut milk, whatever greens I had on hand, coconut water if I had it, and cocoa powder. It just took the edge off for me and helped me work my way through the cravings.
For the 21 days I pretty much stuck to the same meals because it was easiest for me to stick to. After purchasing Practical Paleo (I highly recommend this book! We love it and use it almost everyday! I could write an entire post on why this book is awesome), I discovered my love of brussel sprouts! For years I attempted to tell myself that I was a grown up and could eat brussel sprouts, but every time I would try and take a bite, it would barely make it past my lips before I spat it back out. The trick, bacon fat. Bacon fat makes everything okay!
Here is a sample of some of the food I ate during the 21 days, in no particular order:
Breakfast: Brussel sprouts, bacon, eggs, often a variety of veggie thrown in as well
Steak with asparagus and broccoli
Scrambled eggs with kale and bacon
Steak, cauliflower rice, green beans with shallots
Nut granola and almond milk. The yogurt in the background was for the kids! I swear!
Omelette with veggies, olive tapenade, bacon and kombucha. My birthday breakfast. Actually this was ill planned. For two years in a row I have not been able to have birthday cake on my birthday! What was I thinking?!
Grain free samosas. This was my birthday lunch! They are delicious!! We omitted the sweetener.
Chicken breast, salad with avocado dressing and green beans
Pork tenderloin, olive tapenade, cauli-rice, green beans with shallots, carrots and parsnips
Bacon wrapped chicken breast, carrots, parsnips green beans and caulk-rice
Oh and another special treat. Frozen green tipped banana, cocoa powder and almond butter.
So as I said, this is not all of the food I ate. I do not have a phone, well that's not true, we have a home phone, but I do not have a cell phone, so all the pictures were taken on my iPad, which was not always easy or convenient to pull out.
Also, it seems that every time I do a detox, or change my diet, I learn a little something new. Last year I learned the difference between being bloated and being full. This year I learned the importance of protein and fat. The combo of the two help me feel full for longer. On the Candida diet I was always hungry. I did get full, for about twenty minutes, and then I was starving again. I ate a lot of protein, but wasn't including fat, which is the key. During the 21 DSD I ate a combo of protein and fat and only ate 3 meals a day, with an occasional snack, but this was usually not needed.
Overall I am happy I did the cleanse, it has balanced me out, cleared my hay fever symptoms, and reminded me of why I love eating real food.
I didn't take advantage of the very helpful 21 DSD Facebook page, mainly because I'm too shy, and maybe a little lazy, to join in the discussion. I was usually on the iPad when I came across the posts for checking in, and I do not love typing on the iPad. I did however use it for inspiration. Also, there are many delicious recipes shared on Pinterest, so if you are thinking about trying it out, you will not have to go it alone. There is plenty of support and resources available.
So there you go. I hope this gives you the push you need to kick your sugar cravings to the curb, and the confidence that you can do it!