One week before April 4, 2016 (i.e. March 28, 2016) I started documenting my experience with the detox. I hadn’t started the blog yet so instead, I’ll just paste below what I had written.
Monday, March 28, 2016 (1 week before 21DSD)
I’m going to do it. It’s decided. One week from today I will start the 21 Day Sugar Detox (DSD). I’ve been contemplating this for a while, a few months anyway. It’s something I have to do. I would hear people talk about, in person, on social media, everywhere, and I would feel so angry. What is wrong with these people? A little sugar isn’t so bad. How can you not eat sugar or carbs? No carbs?! That’s insane. What the f@!# do you eat?
The fact that I got so angry was a sign to me that this was probably something I knew deep down I needed to do. I just really really didn’t want to.
My first step was to get the book 21 DSD out of the library. I read through the plan and looked at the recipes. It didn’t sound sooo bad.
There are three different levels of detox. You take a short quiz to determine which level you should do. If you’ve never done the detox before and you aren’t already on a paleo type diet you are likely going to be doing level one.
Here are the basic rules with level one.
- No bread, pasta, or any gluten grains
- No sugar or any sweeteners
- Only fruit allowed is green apples, green tipped bananas or grapefruit. Only one fruit per day
- Most veggies are allowed with the exception of some starchy ones, beets, squash etc.
- All dairy is allowed, full fat only
- All meat is allowed, even bacon and other cured meats (weird, I always thought these were unhealthy?)
- ½ cup per day gluten free grains or beans (whoo hoo!)
- No alcohol (big sad face!)
- No juice (no problem)
There are some people who may require more carbohydrates, and luckily I’m one of them! I’m currently breastfeeding my nine month old daughter so I’m allowed 1 cup (instead of ½) of gluten free whole grains/legumes as well as some additional starchy vegetables including sweet potato! I think I can make it through this as long as I can eat sweet potato. Under the normal plan sweet potato is not allowed.
Level three is the Paleo diet, so no dairy or grains of any kind (sounds like my version of hell!). Level two is somewhere in the middle I guess.
The thing that was most interesting to me was the crash course in nutrient density and nutrition. There are 3 types of macro nutrients, fat, carbs and protein. Basically anything that’s not fat or protein is a carbohydrate. There are lots of micro nutrients which include vitamins and minerals. Micro nutrients are needed to digest macro nutrients and turn them into energy. Whole, unrefined, nutrient dense carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables have lots of micronutrients built in so when you eat them they turn themselves into energy. When you eat low nutrient dense foods like sugar and white bread your body uses its store of micronutrients to digest them. This is why you often feel tired after eating sugar and have a ‘sugar crash.’ This also explains why you soon feel hungry again after eating sugar. Your body wants more food, but not more sugar, it wants to be replenished with nutrient dense food! I think I may take a nutrition course at some point to learn more about this.
In the meantime, I love love love carbs. My favourite meal is penne alla vodka with Caesar salad, bread and red wine. Although, to be honest, I don’t actually eat pasta that often anymore. It’s too fattening and too many ‘points’. About 6 or 7 years ago I had an epiphany similar to this one; I had to lose some weight. I knew it was something I was going to have to do eventually. I was eating too much and I seemed to be getting fatter and fatter. But I didn’t want to stop eating all my favourite foods and become one of those annoying people who ordered salads at restaurants. I ate peanut butter toast, with butter too, and chocolate milk for breakfast on a regular basis. On weekends when I had time I ate perogies baked with cheese and a glass of chocolate milk for breakfast. I decided I would join the gym but I still wasn’t willing to start eating healthier. (I actually really like exercising, but that’s unfortunately such a small part of losing weight.)
Then one day, I was trying on pants at H&M and the size 16 was a little tight. That was the biggest size they had and I thought, if I can’t fit into these clothes where am I going to get my clothes? Addition Elle? No thank you. And the next day I signed up for weight watchers. I was just over 200 pounds when I started and I lost 60 pounds. I maintained that weight of around 145 for a couple of years but now it has crept up to more like 165. I’m ok with it. Anyway, the point of this story is that, I do eat much healthier than I used to, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
One of the things I always disliked about WW was that there were a lot of things that were really healthy for you, like nuts and avocados, but they didn’t seem worth eating because they were so many points. And things like laughing cow cheese and the weight watchers cookies, which have next to no nutritional value, were a much better option points wise.
I find it interesting that there are so many different ‘healthy diets’. Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo. Vegetarians maintain that all that animal fat clogs your arteries and reduces your life. Paleo says you are eating what cave men ate so it’s the way we are meant to eat. They can’t both be right, can they? My theory is that it really depends on the person. And I believe that it’s fine to eat all of these things, but some just have to be in moderation.
I really don’t think that the detox is a sustainable way for me to eat, nor do I want it to be. I love eating and I get a lot of joy out of it.
On the other hand, it’s possible to eat healthy and still be happy. I know because I did it. I don’t have any memories of being deprived and miserable when I was following WW properly and maintaining that healthy weight.
My hope is that I will do the detox and once it’s done my sugar levels will be lower and I will have less cravings for sugar.
Some days I feel like I can’t wait to start the detox. It’s weird, but it’s like I need permission to not eat sugar. Sometimes I don’t even want a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate but then for some reason I talk myself into having it anyway. The wine is already open, if I don’t drink it now it will go bad, plus it will be nice to have a glass of wine while I watch tv. I guess this is what they call addictive behaviour?
I know I will feed differently once I start the detox. I’ll be dying for a glass of wine or piece of bread.
I’m going to put my diet for the week before the detox so I can get a sense of what I’m cutting out and changing.
- 7:30 am – fibre one chocolate oats granola bar, black tea
- 9:00 am – steel cut oats with cheese, 1.5 slices of bacon, tomatoes and fried egg
- 11:00 am – black tea and 2 bites of hot cross but (it was stale so didn’t eat it)
- 12:00 pm – brown rice (about ¾ cup), homemade yellow chicken curry, veggies with oyster sauce
- 2:00 pm – small latte
- 5:00 pm – banana
- 7:00 pm – Korean glass noodles with beef, veggies, soy beans and seaweed. A glass of white wine.
- 9:00 pm – herbal tea
I also drink lots of water throughout the day and with meals. I’m not going to note that every day.
One of the things I will miss most is having a granola bar or some sort of little chocolate with my first morning tea before baby gets up. I will probably just have the tea on it’s own but it won’t be as enjoyable.
- 7:00 am – fibre one chocolate oats granola bar, black tea, small (and I mean small) glass of oj
- 8:00 am – steal cut oats with cheese, 3 thin slices of salami, tomatoes and fried egg
- 11:30 am – brown rice with curry and veggies and some noodles with beef, veggies and soy beans
- 3:30 am – rest of the lunch I didn’t finish, apple, half a banana (left over from baby)
- 4:30 am – sweet potato crackers and hummus
- 8:00 am – kale salad with almonds and chickpeas. ¾ of a pizza. Glass of red wine
- 8:00 – fibre one chocolate granola bar, black tea, left over pizza
- 10:00 – herbal tea with honey
- 11:30 – smoothie with yogurt, banana, strawberries, mango and coconut water
- 1:30 – salmon, quinoa salad, perogies, herbal tea, chocolate croissant
- 7:30 – sea bream, boxed risotto, salad with avocado, tomatoes, goat cheese, walnuts, goji berries and hemp seeds. Olive oil for dressing. White wine
- 9:00 – herbal tea and a piece of chocolate
- 8:00 am – protein bar, black tea with milk
- 11:30 am – pita pizza with pesto, tomatoes, olives, proscuiotto, cheese
- 4:00 am – some sort of vegan protein bar
- 5:30 am – homemade thai curry with veggies and rice, herbal tea
- 8:00 pm – skinny cow chocolate thing, herbal tea
- 10:00 pm – sweet potato crackers with hummus, cheese and salami
Today I made chicken stock from chicken bones. For some reason, packaged chicken stock has sugar in it. Crazy. I have beef bones that I bought at the butcher so I may make beef stock as well. Not sure what I need it for. Actually, apparently you can drink it as a snack.
- 8:00 am – protein bar, black tea with milk
- 9:30 am – steel cut oats with cheese, salami, egg and tomatoes
- 11:30 am – protein bar
- 2:30 pm – rainbow trout, salad with beets, avocado, tomatoes, walnuts, gogi berries, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, goat cheese and olive oil, some quinoa salad
- 3:30 pm – black tea with milk
- 8:00 pm – Caesar salad, cheese ravioli with homemade rose sauce, 3 pieces of baguette with butter, half a bottle of red wine.
- 10:00 pm – a scoop of vanilla ice cream with caramel and chocolate sauce
I’ve joined the 21daysugardetox facebook page but I don’t see any thing from them showing up in my feed. Hmm. I also signed up for emails but haven’t received any yet.
I bought a bunch of ingredients that I’ll need for making some of the recipes for the detox. It’s a lot of coconut stuff. Coconut butter, coconut milk, coconut oil and shredded coconut. There is also something called coconut aminos which I haven’t found yet. It’s a substitute for soy sauce. I’ve also bought almond flour, which is really expensive, and some nuts. I’m going to go shopping this weekend and get almond milk and other perishables.
It’s been tough trying to menu plan. I normally do a pretty good job of planning out our meals for the week but for some reason I’m struggling with this. I keep looking at the book for recipe ideas and thinking, that sounds good, I’ll make that later. Or, that’s just meat, I can make that, I don’t need a recipe.
We used to live at Queen and Bathurst, 2 minutes from a Loblaws, and since we moved to East York in the summer I still haven’t gotten used to the idea of buying all my groceries for the week in one day. I’m used to buying what I need as I need it.
I guess I could just follow the exact meal plan from the book, but that would feel too restricting for me. Plus, the recipes in the book are all for level 3 so they don’t include ay dairy. But I know I have to have meals planned out or it will be too easy to just give in and eat carbs. I have planned out a few things to eat, like chicken curry with my 1/2 cup of rice, and veggies. I’m going to make the shepherds pie from the book. I’m also planning to eat a lot of meat and salad.
I made some coconut cinnamon cookies from the 21 DSD cookbook. I’m hoping I can have those with my tea in the morning. And maybe for a snack with tea in the afternoon. I haven’t tried them yet. Hopefully they are not gross.