So weeks 1 & 2 of the great 21 Day Sugar Detox are complete! As the title suggests we had some success, a little failure, a few cravings and strengthened resolve.
WEEK 1 RECAP
Unfortunately my sister had a TON of homework coming off spring break the last week of February and she wasn’t able to get all of her grocery shopping and food prep complete. This set her up for a rough start to week 1 and resulted in only 1 day of successful meals. Womp, womp. Because she’s either watching our toddlers, in class or working on homework during the week, she just wasn’t able to get back on track. Her son’s 2nd birthday was also this past Saturday so of course she was stressed and knee deep in planning and prep for the party. So for now I’m continuing on the sugar-free lifestyle by myself.
I also struggled with the meal prep portion of the plan simply because Andre worked last Sunday and we didn’t make it to the grocery store until MUCH later in the evening. But I was determined to kick things off on Monday so I improvised my meals a bit and made it work. Instead of the buffalo chicken egg muffins planned for breakfast, I simply made some plain scrambled eggs and tossed in some fresh spinach which wilted nicely. I typically don’t eat until I get to my office so I wrapped the container in aluminum foil and my food was nice and warm when I arrived at work. I also hadn’t had time to prep out my lunch, so I had leftover taco ground beef with a little rice on a bed of butter lettuce topped with avocado. It was perfect. We got back on track with the meal plan for dinner on Monday night and the mexi-meatloaf was delicious. I will definitely be making it again.
I found myself improvising a bit more during the week when we couldn’t get a couple of ingredients for some of the Asian dishes (meatballs and pad thai) and it actually worked out pretty well.
In terms of cravings, I was feeling really good with no serious cravings until Friday – day 5. I really wanted something starchy, carby and sugary on Friday. Then with my nephews birthday party on Saturday I was this close to giving in and having the mac-n-cheese, fried chicken, cornbread and birthday cake. BUT, I didn’t cave. Instead I had leftover chicken with spicy almond sauce, a little rice and broccoli. It was not the same but I felt a renewed sense of determination and pride after the party.
WEEK 2 RECAP
Week 2 was much the same in terms of failing to prep enough in advance. Story of my life. Andre worked again on Sunday and my sister and I took the little boys on a quick road trip to see our 92 year old grandmother. She lives in an assisted living facility in the town where our dad grew up and we hadn’t been to see her since December because of all the sicknesses everyone had been passing around. I had a good breakfast and packed some nuts to snack on. We stopped for a late lunch at a koney island place and I had a “taco salad” that consisted of chopped romaine lettuce, ground beef, tomatoes and cheese. LOL. It wasn’t terrible and it did tide me over until we got home for dinner but it definitely reminded me to be more prepared for going out.
After super random eating on Sunday and Monday, I made it to the grocery store on Tuesday evening and picked up several meals for the week. My sister inspired me to make a homemade paleo version of hamburger helper which actually wasn’t too bad. Just ground beef, spices, a little cheddar cheese, almond flour and milk for the sauce and then I made a batch of rice and mixed it together. It wasn’t stellar but it was great for reheating on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday I tried my hand at an almond flour pizza crust because I was seriously craving pizza – which Andre ordered on Tuesday night and proceeded to eat the rest of the week. My homemade version was pretty “meh.” The crust wasn’t bad and I added a bunch of seasonings to the basic recipe I found online (almond flour, ghee, and an egg) which helped a bit. But I think I made the dough a little too thick so the ratio of crust to sauce to cheese was off. I did make a pretty tasty sauce though. I combined tomato paste, water, garlic, onion, oregano and pinch of salt and then let it simmer while I waited for the crust to prebake. I ended up saving the leftover sauce and I’ve been using it to make English muffin pizzas for Owen this weekend.
Saturday night I loosely followed a Whole30 recipe for a chicken, apple, brussel sprouts, sweet potato, and bacon skillet dish. Since I can’t eat sweet potatoes on the 21DSD, I substituted some butternut squash which got real mushy (duh, I should have thought of that!). I also omitted pretty much all of the herbs and spices the recipe called for because I wanted to taste the flavors of the veggies and of course the bacon. My mother-in-law came up for the weekend and she said she enjoyed the dish but she could have just been polite. But I thought it tasted good and had it again for lunch today and I’ll definitely make it again since it was so easy.
The meals for the rest of the week are:
Sunday – coconut curry turkey meatballs & rice
Monday – cauliflower shepherd’s pie
Tuesday – leftovers
Wednesday – pork egg roll bowl
Thursday – mexi-meatloaf
Friday – leftovers
I also wanted to take a minute to talk about what I’ve learned so far in the two weeks I’ve been sugar and refined grain free.
- I feel AMAZING. Seriously, my stomach feels a million times better and I am significantly less bloated than I was. I also think I’ve lost weight but it’s hard to know exactly how much because our scale doesn’t have batteries! However, based on the way my clothes are fitting and the smaller belly pooch when I sit down, I’m definitely dropping lbs.
- I have more energy. Yep, once I got through the initial slump and withdrawl, I feel less brain fog and more clearheaded energy.
- I still crave sweet things. I’m a little concerned about this one because I know how much I struggle with self-control. Even though I’ve been able to stop myself from eating all of the candy and sweet treats that have been tempting me, I still have that craving.
- I need to make this a permanent lifestyle change. I’ve decided that after the initial 21 days are up, I’m going to move to an 80/20 lifestyle. For me this will mean that 80% of my meals will be grain-free and mostly sugar-free (essentially paleo+dairy). I’m going to allow myself to have a “cheat day” where I can eat whatever I want – in moderation of course. I’m also going to incorporate a few natural-sugar (honey & maple syrup) treats into my week to avoid the temptation to eat the really bad stuff on my cheat day.
I think in general this detox has shown me how much happier my body is when it doesn’t get any refined sugar. The stuff is really the root cause of so many health problems and I just don’t need it.