I think I briefly mentioned in an earlier post that I was doing a 21 day sugar detox.
Now that it is over (as of Monday), I thought I would blog about what my
First and foremost I want to send a big shout out to Dawn Ireland our fearless
leader and guide through this journey. She was an excellent source of inspiration,
education and motivation throughout the past 3 weeks.
Before I talk about the past 21 days I want to tell you why I chose to participate in
this challenge. I typically have pretty good eating habits. I don’t eat a ton of
processed food, and although I do love my desserts I try to keep it in check. It’s all
about balance and I’m used to lots of fruit and veggies, lean meats (if I eat meat at
all), “good” fats, beans, oats, etc..etc… I am by no means perfect and certainly
take enjoyment in the less healthy meals but I’ve always held myself to the 20/80
rule…maybe sometimes 30/70, but you get the point.
Until the end of last year. It all got out of whack. I ate a lot of crap. Hubby and I
ate out for just about every meal, I participated heavily in every pot luck and
holiday celebration that I could. If there was a sweet nearby it ended up in my
mouth. It was very out of balance and I could see how easy it was to slip into this
pattern of poor nutrition choices in even a short amount of time. A pattern that I
was afraid would be very difficult to break if I didn’t get things under control. I
needed something drastic.
Hence the 21 day sugar detox.
The basics of the plan were pretty much VERY little sugar, refined or natural.
Meals should consist mostly of proteins, fats, non-sweet veggies and there were
like 3 allowable fruits you could eat.
So let’s get the important thing out of the way first. I totally went off plan a few
times throughout the 21 days. I won’t offer excuses but will give you my reasons.
The day I found out Sue passed of a heart attack…ice cream was needed. The day
one of my best friends needed company after her breast cancer surgery…fried
chicken and wine were needed. The day I forgot food and was in a time crunch for
lunch…fast food was needed. I also peppered in fruit and some naturally
occurring sugars throughout the 21 days.
In spite of the times I veered off the plan I consider my participation a complete
success. The point was to regain balance and control of my eating and I did just
that. When I “cheated” I was mindful about why and completely OK with the
decision. I was not doing it just because or cramming poor choices in mouth to
satisfy hunger, there was a point to why I was eating what I was eating.
I come to the end of the 21 days learning some very important things about myself:
- The first is that I seek sweet food as a way to feel better. When I wanted sugary
food the most was when I was in a bad mood, stressed out or tired. I use it as a
quick fix to whatever unpleasant emotion I may be feeling.
- The second is that my digestion greatly improved; less bloating, less gas, more
comfort and just an overall sense of wellness that I cannot put my finger on
- I don’t really care much about bread and pasta. I never found myself missing these
things, however I LOVE sweets and missed my decadent desserts very much even
when I wasn’t experiencing an unpleasant event.
- Finally the better I prepared ahead of time so that I do not have to think about
making food choices, the more successful I am. When the good choice was there
waiting in the fridge for me, I was not tempted go off plan, it was when I had to
figure what to eat that I allowed myself the temptations to slip in.
- A few other interesting notes on the past 21 days…while many participants experienced positive changes in sleep patterns, energy levels, skin clarity, allergy symptoms and overall wellness, I honestly, feel pretty much the same as I always do. My skin is still icky, I’ve always slept pretty well and my energy level is about the same. I did lose some weight which was definitely NOT my goal. I dreamed more or at least remembered my dreams more often.
So there you have it, all in all a good experience, a learning experience and I’m back where I want to be.