Monday, March 31, 2014

I Made it 21 Days Without Sugar!

I don't have a sweet tooth, I have a sweet fang. I love sweets way too much and for years I've struggled with trying to restrain myself. I know sugar is bad for me but that doesn't stop me. 

Last year I discovered Diane Sanfilippo's blog Balanced Bites and I read all about her 21 day sugar detox program. It sounded just awful and awesome at the same time. The thought of actually not having anything remotely sweet for 21 days sounded akin to torture and far beyond any sort of discipline I possessed. It also sounded like just what I needed to reset my carb and sugar cravings.

I stewed and considered and finally put the book on hold at my library. When I held the actual book in my hands I still thought I'd get out of actually putting in any effort. Then I read The 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally and it moved me to action.

Here's a brief description of the book: Use the easy-to-follow meal plans and more than 90 simple recipes in this book to bust a lifetime of sugar and carb cravings in just three weeks. Three levels of the program make it approachable for anyone, whether you're starting from scratch or from a gluten-free, grain-free, and/or Paleo/primal lifestyle. 

At the beginning of January I started my 21 days and I gotta say the first week was HARD. No afternoon chocolate? No berry smoothie? No sweetener in my morning cuppa tea? All of these things were SUPER hard for me the first week. My way of compensating was to eat, eat, eat. This isn't a calorie/portion restriction diet so I ate a lot of delicious food. The first big change I noticed toward the end of the first week was that food tasted better and things that normally aren't sweet enough tasted amazing. For example, I usually need some stevia or sugar on my grapefruit because it's just too sour but after having nothing sweet for a week it tasted perfectly sweet with nothing on it. I usually don't care for bananas either but they started tasting better too.

I'm an all or nothing kinda gal so having clear cut rules to follow for 21 days worked for me.

The book is full of some delicious recipes that I cooked for our family dinners. Joe's favorite was the Double Pork Tenderloin which is a tenderloin rubbed in spices and wrapped in bacon. Our other favorite recipes from the book: Beef Jerky, Apple Streusel Egg Muffins, Lemon Chicken, Asian Style Meatballs, Healthy Homemade Mayonnaise and Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (now my very favorite salad dressing).

It was the most difficult to stick just to the approved whole foods when I was eating outside our house. When I met a friend at Chipotle for lunch I ordered a salad with all the allowed toppings and brought my salad dressing. That worked fine but when we spent a weekend with the in-laws it was a little trickier. I brought along my own food and was as careful as I could be without being weird.

I highly recommend giving this 21 day program a try. I felt so good physically and mentally at the end of the 21 days. I even lost 5 pounds and never felt hungry. I'm already thinking ahead to when I'll do another 21 day detox...maybe in the summer. For now I am back on chocolate and it does taste so good.

I received nothing for this review, not even a free book. Sigh.

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