When I first started the 21 Day Sugar Detox (21 DSD) I was nervous, 21 days is a long time, right?! Going into week 3 I realized that 21 days is not a long time at all. It is amazing what can be done in 21 days and how much can change in those 21 days, especially when you put in the effort. When I decided to do the 21 DSD, I knew that if I was going to do it I was going to be all-in with no slip ups. This meant no added sugar, no extra fruit and no alcohol. I really wanted to give it 100% and see what could happen.
I decided to follow level 3, which is the most limited level, in terms of food choices. Level 3 eliminates all grains and all dairy. I also followed the energy modification on days where I had harder workouts. The energy modification allows for adding in 30 to 50 grams of starchy carbohydrate vegetables such as, sweet potato or plantain. There are three different levels to choose from and several different modifications, which is one of the many reasons I love this program. This program is for everyone.
Week one was the most challenging, which is not surprising. During week one, I realized how strong my sugar addiction had become. During week one I decided to keep it simple, I stocked the refrigerator and pantry with 21 DSD foods and was fully prepared. I anticipated that I would want something sweet and I was correct with this assumption, I turned to coconut butter. Also during week one, I enjoyed an afternoon protein shake using collagen peptides. The shakes were an unsweetened version of my normal afternoon shakes that had become a habit not a necessity. I also was still enjoying a non-sweet treat after dinner, such as a green tipped banana with coconut butter or a keto cup. As the week neared an end, I started to realize that I was eating out of habit and not out of hunger. I set a goal for week two to assess if I was hungry or not before I turned to my afternoon and evening snack. The weekend was a challenge, I ended up with a terrible migraine. I believe the cause was tri-fold; hormones, weather and a detox effect. I survived the migraine and stayed strong fighting off cravings as I fought off the migraine. Staying busy and not focusing on food and drinks made for a successful end to week one of the detox.
Week two brought on many “ah-ha” moments. I realized that I was not nearly as hungry as I normally was and that I didn’t always need to eat between lunch and dinner, with a few exceptions, usually when my lunch was not as satisfying. I discovered that I eat out of habit, not hunger, more than I would like. I noticed my energy levels were up from week one, my mind felt clearer and I was able to focus better. I continued to keep my meals simple without sacrificing any flavor. I also noticed that my sleep was improving. I was waking up less during the night and usually was awake a few minutes before my 5 am alarm went off. The weekend, again, brought challenges mainly because I previously had enjoyed relaxing with a cocktail after putting the kids to bed. I felt satisfied with my 8 oz. of kombucha and/or a sparkling water and loved waking up feeling great.
Week three honestly felt like a breeze. New habits were starting to form and cravings were non-existent. My skin was looking brighter with less blemishes, my clothes were fitting a little better, which I would attribute to less inflammation not so much weight loss, although I did lose a couple of pounds. One of the main reasons that I wanted to do The 21 DSD was to resolve some digestive issues that I had been struggling with recently. I am happy to report that my digestion improved and is better than it has been in a long time.
Not only did my skin and digestion improve, I also noticed several other notable improvements in my health from The 21 DSD. Frequently, when I wake up or get up from sitting or lying down for a long time my feet ache and hurt for the first few steps, that pain is gone. My energy has increased, my workouts have improved, I am able to wake up easier in the morning and my mind is clearer.
Where do I go from here? Now that The 21 DSD is over I do not plan on diving into a big bowl of sugar or any of the foods that I have cut out for the past 21 days. I know a sugar bender will just make me feel worse than I felt when I started the 21 days. My plan is to continue eating mostly 21 DSD approved foods, continue with eliminating dairy and grains. I intend to slowly reintroduce foods when I am ready. I want to see how my body reacts specifically dairy and gluten free grains. I will continue to assess if I am eating out of hunger or habit. I learned a lot from my experience with The 21 DSD and am amazed with what I took away in just 21 days. I would recommend everyone do the 21 DSD at least once. My plan is to do the detox once per year to give my body rest and a reset. If after reading about my experience you are intrigued, I will be coaching groups through the 21 Day Sugar Detox on a monthly basis. I can also lead individuals through the program. If you are interested in The 21 Day Sugar Detox and want accountability contact me.
Jamey Floreck, NTP, CPT
Do you follow me on Instagram? See what I ate while on the 21 Day Sugar Detox. #21DSDwithJamey