Recap! The past 21 days were my second time to participate in the Sugar Detox by Balanced Bites. For those of you that have no idea what I'm referencing, simply put, the goal of the detox is to regulate blood sugar.
Why? Well, there is a ton of research out there to supplement the fact that there are major health implications from the amount of sugar we intake. Lots of the sugar we consume is driven by cravings, due to fluctuating blood sugar... aka: riding the insulin roller coaster. Enter: the importance of regulating your blood sugar, so you're not eating sugary-rich carbohydrates to pick yourself up after your blood sugar has plummeted. I really want to encourage you to look into it for yourself. If you're having trouble finding sources you might want to start here, here, or here. Or invest in the 21DSD PDF and read all of the incredibly helpful information Diane Sanfillippo has put together!
Like I said, this was my second time to participate in this detox. Prior to my first go-round I ate pretty well, but I hadn't taken the plunge to eliminate all gluten and legumes. After detox number one I felt much better and I was able to detect certain foods that don't sit well with me, like peanuts and beans. In addition, I had the preconceived notion that most "clean" recipes required obscure ingredients that cost an arm and a leg. But after cooking sugar-free, gluten-free meals for 21 days I realized that eating clean could happen affordably with a little bit of effort. Oh, and the meals were delicious! Since that time I read "It Starts with Food," by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig [recommended] and started doing lots of my own nutritional research. I was sold on striving to prepare good, real food, for husband + me, using meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts and seeds. For simplicity's sake, I will call this Paleo. [Check out the link if you're thinking what the heck is Paleo?]
That bit of background catches us up to where I was at pre-detox this go-round. I was eating "Paleo" while indulging in some Paleolithic sweets, like ice cream & sweet potato brownies. I say indulging because it was exactly that, since last month was my birthday month. I also had a bit of a love affair with nut butters, specifically sunflower seed butter. To be honest, I felt pretty good before detoxing, but I knew I needed to regain a little moderation in my life.
The special thing about doing the detox this time was the fact that I had 17 incredible women doing it alongside me. When I made the decision to detox again I posted a photo on Instagram and Facebook asking if anyone wanted to participate. We formed an accountability group via email and we've been sharing our experiences, recipes, research and advice with one another for the past three weeks! I continue to learn more about the power of doing life together, even when you're separate in proximity. These women served as an invaluable source of accountability for me throughout the duration of the detox and I'm really going to miss our email chain! I would have cheated much more than I did if it weren't for their encouragement!
Speaking of cheats, I had my fair share of them. Check them out:
[Note: you might need to familiarize yourself with the detox regulations in order to find this information helpful]
-A green apple and a banana on the same day. That happened as I was incorporating the banana in a coconut milk smoothie or making the banana/cocoa/avocado pudding. (3x)
-Balsamic vinaigrette that probably had sugar [restaurants]. (2x)
-Cashews in moderation throughout the entire detox. (1,000x... jk!)
-A few pieces of some kind of fried onion in a spinach salad I ordered at Panera. [ordering fail!]
Now, on the last day of the detox, I feel excellent. In all honesty, I cannot remember the last time I had a sugar craving. I slept like a rock throughout the detox and my digestive function has been top notch. Whoop! Mission accomplished. As a final recap, I know from my experience and personal research that eating sugary-rich carbs, though they look delicious and taste good, will not make me feel better. I have very little desire to indulge after getting off the detox. However, I am looking forward to incorporating berries, red apples, other fruits and the occasional Paleo dessert back into my personal nutrition, in moderation of course.
If you're interested in detoxing, check out the Balanced Bites facebook page. You'll find others starting the detox pretty frequently + other helpful information.