I made it! This morning is day 22, which means I am officially not on the 21 Day Sugar Detox any longer! What is awesome is that I haven’t planned any cheats or sweets for today… just a batch of plantain chips. I’m also looking forward to reintroducing Kombucha. You can read my experience on weeks 1 and 2 here and here.
My experience week 3:
I noticed I need the 1 cup of starchy vegetables to feel my best, but I could care less about the fruit. This was a pretty big revelation for me. I have always intuitively known that not having enough carbs caused my energy to crash, but I didn’t really know the difference between how I felt whether or not they came from vegetables or fruit. By the last week of this program, I easily went a few days without the allowed 1 piece of fruit (some days I meant to have an apple but I forgot!). I don’t think I could have done this program without the energy modifications (1 cup of starchy vegetables a day, as opposed to those foods being off limits). I chose to do the detox this way because I have experimented with ketogenic diets in the past, and it has always resulted in a BIG thyroid crash and I was not up for that this time around!
I don’t need to eat fruit any more (!!!). I know I mentioned it up above, but wow! It is amazing how in the first week of the detox, my cravings were crazy and all I wanted constantly was to be eating a piece of fruit. That is quite the contrast from the last week, where I quite literally forgot to eat my fruit for the day. This is a huge change for me, and I love it!
This week, I didn’t even have to think about not eating fruit or sugar. Since my cravings for sugar are gone, I was able to go to the grocery store without noticing all of the fruit, chocolate, and kombucha screaming at me to eat them!
My body feels good–less bloat, clearer skin, more stable energy. I have felt really great this week, and I am sure it is because I am at a good place with what I have been eating. I went through my cycle without having any hormonal acne this time around, which is a huge sign how sugar affects my hormones.
All in all I am happy with where I am at, and excited to take my trial to the next level! More about that down below.
My review of the program:
I definitely learned a lot through my experience trying the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I would recommend it to anyone who is relying heavily on carbs to fuel themselves throughout the day, especially in the form of fruit. While I don’t have a “bad diet” or anything–I eat strict AIP to manage my autoimmune conditions, and am sure to include lots of fatty fish, liver, and bone broth in my diet along with lots of vegetables. That being said, I used to be vegan, and my brain and body both remember the days when I would eat fruit only for meals. Fruit is an easy snack for me when I am busy, or when I am traveling. I thought the detox was a great reset to just remind me of the role I allow sugar to play in my diet–I want it to be an occasional treat, not an emergency meal.
For those on the Autoimmune Protocol, I think the 21 Day Sugar Detox could be quite difficult on top of an already restricted diet. I definitely would not recommend it for someone just starting out on the elimination diet, but it would be great for a person who has been eating AIP for awhile and wants to reexamine their relationship with sugar. The 21 Day Sugar Detox has three levels, but the first two are not able to be modified for AIP since they include grains and dairy. If you have been on the Autoimmune Protocol for awhile and suspect that blood sugar balance could be contributing to you not making any progress, I would consider trying the program to see if it makes a difference for you.
For those with thyroid conditions, I would also suggest using the energy modifications to the level 3 program in the book. While they are meant for those who are working out, pregnant, or nursing, I would also suggest that those with hypothyroidism should qualify too. The body needs insulin to convert the inactive thyroid hormone T4 into the active form T3, and if you go too low-carb you can actually impair your body’s ability to make that conversion. This is why a lot of us with hypothyroidism feel terrible on low-carb diets. If this is you, be aware, and don’t feel bad about making that modification if you have to.
If you are not on the Autoimmune Protocol, or even a Paleo/ancestral type of diet, I would definitely recommend trying the 21 Day Sugar Detox as a way to transition into a new way of eating. Diane has three levels in the book, depending on what way of eating you are coming from. It could be a great way to transition to Paleo, with the thought that eventually you might transition to the Autoimmune Protocol.
As far as the recipes in the book, Diane has included labels for which recipes contain nuts, eggs, nightshades, FODMAPs, or seafood. I found a couple discrepancies within the labels, so you will want to check carefully–some of the recipes labelled egg-free had eggs in them, for instance. There also wasn’t an AIP label, so some of the recipes that are easy to whittle down by using the egg, nut, and nightshades tag may have seed spices in them. I’d say there are about 25 fully compliant recipes in the book (out of 90), which isn’t a ton, but it is enough to get you started. Diane also has a 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook, which has more recipes. During the detox I made the Ginger Beef and Broccoli, Shepherd’s Pie, Rainbow Collard Wraps, Cauliflower Soup, Faux-Caccia (not AIP, has eggs), and the Lemon Vanilla Meltaways, which were all delicious. I made the collard wraps a a few times, they were so quick and yummy! I also made a double batch of the meltaways and had one every afternoon as a snack.
So, what’s next?
My experience on the 21 Day Sugar Detox has inspired me to continue my clean-eating trial with some modifications. I am really happy where I am eating fruit, and I am going to continue to only eat one piece of low-sugar fruit (green apple or grapefruit for me, I discovered I don’t do well with banana!). What I am going to change, however, is my starch intake–I am going to experiment with increasing my starches at mealtimes from foods like plantain, sweet potatoes, yam, yucca, and taro. I may even do a little resistant starch experiment (more on that later).
I still haven’t reintroduced Kombucha–I left it out during my detox because I have been consuming it regularly for a couple of years without a break. I figured it would be good to give it a rest for the few weeks while I did the detox, to see if there were any changes when I went to reintroduce it. I also didn’t eat anything fermented during my detox. I’ll keep you posted on my findings post reintroduction!
So all that to be said… this was a great learning experience, and I am happy I went through with it. If you are interested in picking up a copy of the 21 Day Sugar Detox book or the 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook click on their links and it will take you to amazon.