Sugar and I have had a long love affair. And, as we approach one of the most sticky sweet days of the entire year (you know the one I mean) I felt it appropos to tell you what I’ve been up to lately. As some of you may know, I’ve long had a sweet tooth that has lead me to spend countless hours in search of that sweet little somethin’. I’ve joined health clubs and spent grueling hours doing high intensity training, pilates and yoga. I’ve walked until the bottoms of my feet hurt. I’ve done elimination diets (where you eliminate foods that usually cause sensitivities like gluten and dairy). I’ve done cleanses and gone to health spas. But, never before have I completely, 100% broken up with sugar. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day – and all of you who will be receiving boxes of chocolate – I dedicate this post to you.
Here’s a little throwback to that popular Archie’s song, “Sugar, Sugar” to get you in the mood.
Recently, my health club offered a 21 Day Sugar Detox. I did some research and watched a short video about the program.
I did a gut check and asked myself if I could really go cold turkey – without sugar – for 21 days. And, something deep inside (probably my liver), told me this was something I absolutely had to do. I bought the 21 Day Sugar Detox book:
I started reading about how the author was much like myself. From a young age, she craved candy and sweets, and this would follow her into adulthood. I looked over the recipes and decided that most of them sounded pretty darn good and that they didn’t look too complicated.
Life On A Sugar Detox
And, so my journey began. It was Day One of the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Fortunately, I have the backing of Sugar Detox Coach, Jenifer Mann, who is awesome! I started to get in touch with what a sugar fiend I’ve been. But, I also learned a very important point – that sugar lurks in practically everything.
Here is a list of just some of the sugars that may be hiding in your food:
Cane juice crystals
Fruit juice concentrate
When I mentioned to a friend that I was embarking on a 21 Day Sugar Detox, she said that her room-mates were also quitting sugar and she suggested I watch “That Sugar Film” by Australian documentary film maker Damon Gameau. I did. And, I was stunned. I knew I was absolutely on the right track. Here’s a little snippet you can watch, too:
I spent a fair amount of time cleaning out the fridge, the freezer and the pantry of any items that had hidden sugars. Then, I thinned out all the “healthy” processed foods I thought I was eating, like frozen waffles with flaxseed. I completely wiped out my chocolate drawer and emptied its contents into the trash. (sigh) And, then I did a marathon grocery shopping and replaced the tossed items with whole foods, like vegetables, proteins and healthy starches like sweet potatoes. I was determined.
I tried to avoid places that could trigger me into wanting sugar – like the candy aisle at the store.
So, I’m on Day 12 now – pretty much halfway through – and I’m not going to lie to you. It’s been really hard. Not so much the actually quitting of the sugar part, but the detoxing, itself. I’ve had headaches, been nauseous and felt like I had the flu. But, all this confirms what I already intuitively knew – that sugar was really making me sick. The other difficulty with eating truly healthy is that it takes a fair amount of planning and preparation. You have to shop alot. And, you have to cook. And, then you have to cook some more. And, since the last two are not in my top 100 favorites, it’s definitely been pushing me out of my comfort zone.
But, I’ve been getting better at menu planning. And, I’ve discovered some spices (vanilla bean pods to be exact) and ingredients that I had never used in cooking before, and I’m really loving it. And, best of all, the worst of my symptoms appear to be subsdiding now, and my sweet husband said that my face looked different and had more definition. My pants are fitting better and my belly fat seems to be melting away like magic. And, this is only after 12 days!
I’m telling you all this because if I, a life-long sugar junkie, can break up with sugar – then you can do it, too! Give the 21 Day Sugar Detox a whirl. What have you got to lose (except for a pant size or two, poor health, and some inflammation)?!
You can thank me later, Valentines…
Happy Thrifting (and healthy eating),