I spent about an hour yesterday typing up a lovely post about the 21 Day Sugar Detox and my experiences so far on it.
And then WordPress ate not only the post, but all of the saved drafts.
Let’s try it again.
I knew – after a Thanksgiving weekend that left me looking like I was in my third trimester of pregnancy and my failed attempt at “clean eating”. I did do a mini Whole30 in November, but it wasn’t enough.
I remembered the 21 Day Sugar Detox ebook I’ve had sitting on my computer for probably a year and a half now.
I pulled it up, read it through and decided to go for it.
I’m so glad I did.
I’ve done three Whole30′s. It’s an incredible program that serves it’s purpose so very well. If you’re looking for something to really shake you up and help you figure out food sensitivies, it’s absolutely 100% the way to go.
But here’s why I’m really liking the 21 DSD so far:
- There are different levels.
A newbie to eating well? Level 1 is the least restrictive and a good starting point. Already solid with your nutrition but need a jump start or detox? Level 3. Somewhere in between? Level 2. And you can easily repeat the 21 days, moving up a level each time or as you’re ready.
And that all makes it much less intimidating than many of the paleo/anti-inflammatory ways of eating.
- It’s a little less restrictive.
At level 3, there’s no grains, no sugar, no dairy and no fruits other than green apples or green tipped bananas. That’s tough, but unlike the Whole30, I can bake or cook anything I want within the parameters of the challenge.
For me, that’s a big deal.
We had a big holiday gathering this past weekend and I was able to enjoy macaroons sweetened with green apples. It felt like a treat and that I wasn’t miss out. That’s important.
And while my meals are generally pretty simple, I can make 21 DSD pancakes if I want them.
Usually around this time on a Whole30, I’m bored with food in general. On the 21 DSD, that hasn’t been the case at all.
- It’s less guilt and more grace.
I slipped up a little last weekend. I had some whole cream in my coffee and sushi at a family luncheon.
Both times, my body let me know rather quickly that it had been a bad idea.
But I didn’t feel like I had to start over or that I had ruined everything. I just moved on and was happy to see that beyond the immediate stomach issues, I had no crazy carb cravings like I normally would.
- It’s enjoyable.
Again, I know the Whole30 has a specific purpose and it serves it well.
But it sort of turns into an exercise in self-flagellation for me. By day 10, I’m counting down to the end in spite of good I feel and my life has become food focused. By day 15, I’m planning what my first non-Whole30 meal will be. By day 25, it’s a contest of wills with myself and all I can think about is what I’m going to eat next and how long until I can eat what I want.
And I struggle immensely afterward to turn the way I know I need to eat into something sustainable.
Right now…this…it’s sustainable. I’m not dreading food, but I’m also not consumed by it. Emotionally, it’s a much better place to be. Because it allows for more freedom in the kitchen (though I do miss fruit and would probably find it more difficult in summer when peaches and apricots abound), I can already see how it will be more sustainable in the long run.
How do I know this 21 Day Sugar Detox is doing what it’s supposed to? I’ve made three big batches of sugar cookies in the past few days for different events, and I haven’t been tempted in the least. That’s impressive.
And – for me – unheard of!
My 21 days ends just before Christmas. I’m going to give myself a little extra grace as we travel and celebrate time with family, but I’m planning to start another one on January second (there’s also going to be a big group through the official Facebook page starting on the sixth…I think). I’d like to lose about 10 more pounds from where I am now and I think the rest of this one plus another round will get me there.
After that, there are a few modifications I’ll make for the long term. More fruit variety will be the first thing I do (though I don’t miss it nearly as much as I thought I would), and a bit of unrefined sugars like raw honey, pure maple syrup and palm sugar for baking.
Want to join me in January? There’s a new 21 Day Sugar Detox book in print, along with a companion cookbook. I haven’t gotten my hands on either yet, but they’re on my Christmas list and I know anything by Diane Sanfilippo is top notch.