With the beginning of the year and the over abundance of sugar over the holidays I decided to try Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox. Diane Sanfilippo | New York Times bestselling author of “Practical Paleo” and “The 21-Day Sugar Detox” | Home of the Balanced Bites Podcast I have been following Diane’s blog Balance Bites for a couple of years and have most of her cookbooks. Her books are thorough, well researched and very concise. She is also very blunt which is helpful when learning about food. Don’t sugar coat it!
I wasn’t really motivated to do it until she offered a program to become certified to coach for the 21DSD. Obviously, a requirement would be to do the full program yourself, so I signed up, received the books, and picked a day. One of the nice things about this program is all the additional support. Daily emails arrive with recipes, blogs of other folks doing it, as well as a Facebook page with other detox’ers doing the program in a given month.
Each Saturday before the coming week I spent about an hour planning each and every meal. Then another 2 hours shopping for all the food. Then the cooking began. A lot of cooking. The prep work for the first week included making kale chips, beef jerky, pizza soup (a recipe from one of 21DSD emails), breakfast sausage, and lemon melt aways. Needless to say, I cooked a lot. Thankfully, my kids and husband were happy to just ignore the massive amount of commotion happening in the kitchen. This first week went really well and often a new recipe would result in something that was strangely satisfying. Yes, on the first day I had a horrible headache, but I often have headaches and migraines. However, after that, it cleared up and I felt really well.
For me this was a 19 day sugar detox. What happened and I think what would probably happen for a lot of folks are two things. The first being I was not as well prepared for the 3rd week. I did not prep enough food and made a couple things that were just not satisfying. Variety is important to be successful.
Secondly, I could not sleep for most of the 19th days. I was exhausted from waking up 3 to 5 times night. Oftentimes, I could not get fully back to sleep. This is one instance where the support avenues came in handy. It turns out many people on the Facebook page were discussing this same issue. Reading through the posts one gal recommended listening to this podcast: #308 – The Adrenal Reset Diet | Underground Wellness. I love Shaun and his work, his website is full of great info! Sadly, it took me until the 3rd week to finally listen to this podcast. Thankfully, I did because I realized I was not eating enough carbohydrates and was most likely eating them at the wrong time of day. I tried to get more in but by the 19th day, extremely exhausted, I caved. I told my husband get a GF pizza, I think he was tired of his cranky lack of sleep wife so he happily obliged. That night I slept like a baby.
Let’s be clear. Diane does have a sheet outlining how many carbs you should be getting depending on your activity level (Mine is extremely high). In the future, when I do this I will record my food in something like Myfitnesspal to make sure I am eating the appropriate amount of carbs. I’ll also pay attention to the timing of the carbs. I’ll be looking more into the info presented in the podcast….
I learned a lot from these 19 days. A lot about my body, my mind and food.
Here in a nutshell is a couple of nuggets….
- I just don’t miss plain old sugar, never really missed sugar and still don’t miss it. What I missed was pizza. From the start of the second week all I wanted was pizza. Probably because I needed some massive carbs to sleep!
- Protein for breakfast: For me drinking a morning smoothie just does not cut it. I also don’t do well with eggs in the morning. So making breakfast sausages or eating other things not considered breakfast food(ie steak, chicken etc) is a the key for me having a good energy throughout the day. I usually ate 1/2 of a banana or green apple with the protein.
- Bulletproof coffee: AKA Fat Coffee. Found this after a couple of days without sugar in my coffee. Absolutely love it and will continue adding this to my daily diet. I’ll write more about it next month but for more info now go here: Bulletproof | Reach the State of High Performance
- Fat Bombs: I need to research this more but I guess they are used with the Ketone diet. I made the lemon vanilla melt aways Diane Sanfilippo | New York Times bestselling author of “Practical Paleo” and “The 21-Day Sugar Detox” | Home of the Balanced Bites Podcast. A lot of folks on the FB page mentioned these helped with sugar cravings. I had two sugar cravings the first week and I ate a melt away and I didn’t want any sugar. They were strangely satisfying.
- Variety of food: There are so many ways to make great food. The creativity with some of these recipes were amazing. I’m thinking of her cabbage-wrapped dumplings.. or the chicken pot pie. Not terribly hard to do or time consuming.
- My husband can cook: The secret is out and I think he is wishing he messed up on a couple of those dinners. However he was a great supporter and without his help I wouldn’t have made it more than just a couple of days. My favorite recipe he made was the Chicken Pot pie from the 21DSD cookbook. It was delicious!
- Food prep: I love having my food prepped for the week. I love knowing that I don’t have to stop on the way home to pick something up or worrying about what to eat. It’s decided and done by Sunday for the week.
- Fat and I are friends. This diet is all about fat. Lots of fat and the reality is my body does really well on lots of fat. I don’t think that is true for all folks. I know several of my clients would not do well but for me I felt full, had better energy through out the day and did not crave more coffee by noon.
- Sugar may have been creating a lot of my headaches. I truly believe my daily coffee with sugar was causing headaches by about 9 am in the morning. Since doing this detox I don’t have even a glimmer of a headache and if I get nothing out of this but learning this then it was totally worth it.
- I don’t eat enough veggies. Since I did level 2 all grains were out which forced me to eat a lot more veggies. The fun thing is I realized I love sweet potatoes, rutabegas, parsnips and kale chips. Never thought I would say that!
Whew! A lot to share. For those wanting to adventure into trying this here is my biggest advice. Be mindful of the time involved. Having the time to prep and make food is the only way to succeed. Obviously I did not succeed in the full 21 days so I’m not going to get certified to coach it just yet. I want to be able to do the program fully and have a couple of my clients do the program successfully before taking that next step.
Next week I’ll write more about what I’m doing after my 19DSD:)