And now, my first go-round is complete :)
Here, I'll give you a small background on it (but go to the website for all the details!), a glimpse at some of my eats during the 3 weeks, and a set of lessons learned about myself and my food--thanks to the detox program.
|Chicken and Veggies over/in Baby Spinach|
|Salmon, roasted bell peppers (SO SWEET!) |
The one sweet potato I bought before I realized it was off-limits.
BUT stayed on the 21DSD Guidelines by consuming it after a workout.
Click below to see more and read how it went and what I learned from the 21DSD:
|More eggs over greens|
|Wild Salmon and vegetables, to go!|
|Eggs, carrots, mushrooms|
|This mish-mash plus sliced, roasted yellow squash|
|Is that chicken or salmon? With carrots, bell peppers, greens....|
|A Favorite: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese and Broccoli|
Originally inspired by Practical Paleo (and Weeknight Paleo)
|OTHER vegetables! Ooh, and ACORN SQUASH - mentioned below|
|Well... you get the idea.|
That's just some of my eats. This is a lot of the same stuff I'd already been eating, actually. What was MISSING was the sugary snacks, which often consisted of chocolate and fruit. Oh, nixing cashews was also surprisingly sad. But! Look at all the deliciousness above!
Plus, if you decide to do the detox, the guides come with plenty of recipes, and you can find more on Pinterest.
I did go out a few times. I declined wine without hesitation (pat on the back, me), and made adjustments to my orders as needed. I was able to order a delicious, yellowfin tuna over salad at one meal, and a delectable salmon-vegetable plate at another. Going out to a Japanese restaurant, I ordered my sushi rolls without rice. This was simple; the waiter didn't even hesitate to say yes. And my fish tasted just as fresh and delicious.
I even did the unthinkable: I accompanied friends to my favorite frozen yogurt place and did. not. have any! WHO AM I? Anyone who knows me would be shocked to hear this act of self-control. But honestly, I didn't even feel like I was missing out. Froyo will always be available. Did I NEED it on THAT night? Nope. No problem!
So by the end of the first week, I was flying high.
|21DSD Daily Emails|
And it was. I started to feel like, Why can't I have these things? This is sort of more about my general relationship to paleo lately, and less about the sugar detox specifically. I've been in somewhat of a slump, where I sort of still want the junk, but I have to keep reminding myself WHY I make the choices I do.
Thus, somewhere between week 2 and week 3, I untangled a little. Ironically, it wasn't even me caving to temptation by others, but rather just sort of... giving in to myself for no reason. I spent a decent amount of time reflecting on each setback and making note of the negative effects I felt immediately following and the day after a poor food choice.
Week 3 was spent reflecting and carrying on. The well-feeling contrast between the first two weeks and the third week were undeniable. Those blah-gross-tummyache consequences serve as reminders for me going forward. I did return to better choices for my home stretch, but I was still feeling the effects (bloating, eczema return with vengeance, brain fog, fatigue) from my setbacks.
Still, by my trip on the 19th, I felt mostly better again. I ended the night of the 19th with a 21DSD-approved meal found at the airport! Committed.
It was a tasty salad with hard-boiled eggs. The only thing I'm unsure of is what the artichoke hearts were marinated in, but it was still better than any other options. I was pleased, and it kept me satisfied for my flight.
More on my actual trip later, but I'm glad I decided to end there. It was a short, 3-day affair, spent visiting a new city and catching up with friends. Although they completely supported my nutritional goals by stocking the kitchen with nuts, eggs, veggies, and other things they knew I eat (so thoughtful!), I was glad to enjoy a glass of wine with them.
In the end, I saw results and I saw consequences. I enjoyed, I *learned*, and so I consider it a success.
|Knowing the Difference|
- I had really come to depend on sugar. I was surprised how strange it was just to adjust my habits. I repeatedly felt myself getting up to hunt for sweets. Apparently, it was my go-to. My energy. My treat, my snack, my mindless eating. Apparently, Chocolate (and also nuts, it seems) was my standard antidote for boredom and procrastination. Not anymore! Which leads in to...
- I don't need my afternoon chocolate. After work, I'm often exhausted and looking for a quick-fix for more energy, or an edible treat for making it through a rough day. These past few weeks, I learned that it's all mental; I don't need that pick-me-up. I can carry on with the rest of my evening just fine without it!
- I feel infinitely better without starches and sugars. Holy cow. I know, I've written this before. I may be a broken record, but it's TRUE! I never cease to be amazed how much better I feel on a gluten-free or paleo diet, and the elimination of sugar just sped up and heightened the effects.
- Vegetables can be sweet, too! I did miss fruit a lot in the beginning: my blueberries, my melon, pre-workout bananas, blueberries in Greek yogurt... but without all the extra sugar, my taste buds really adjusted. I was blown away by the sweetness of the red peppers I roasted and tossed in my salads. My butternut squash had me going back for more. Ooh and acorn squash? Top it with cinnamon, and you've got dessert!
- Food will always be there. I am fortunate enough to be in a place where the treats and cheats I may be tempted by, such as the frozen yogurt mentioned above, will always be available to me. I don't need to have this froyo now, or those chocolate-covered almonds today. I don't need to dig in to the free bagel breakfast or the rice-rolled sushi at this very moment. When I want it, when I'm ready for it, it will be there waiting for me. With that in mind...
- I'm capable of saying, "No, thanks." I walked past free snacks. I turned down free wine. I entered a froyo store without having a bite. I did not buy my chocolate-covered treats. I scoured buffets for something detox-approved. I brought my own healthy addition to a potluck. This was a big one for me; I am capable of making the better choice!
Dare you to join me... next time! Check out the 21DSD Blog for FAQs, success stories, recipes, and more. New group detoxes begin every month, with Facebook support. Also follow #21DSD on twitter.