I’ve been getting the same question over and over again lately. “Why on earth would you do a 21 day sugar detox?” It is almost immediately followed up by “you don’t need to lose weight”. Well, jee, thanks… I’m so glad you think so.
I will say, more than anything, I did it because I was curious. I wanted to understand how much sugar I was putting into my body without knowing it (I’m lookin’ at you ketchup). I wanted to be more aware of my body; what it needs, how it feels and how it functions when I’m putting the best food I can into it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I was eating very well before this whole thing started, lots of veggies, fruit, whole grains, etc. But, there was also marshmallow fluff, cookies, cake and anything else I could get my hands on when I needed a quick sugar kick. So, I made the decision to do the detox, enlisted the help of my mother and we set out to complete the 21 days together.
Full disclosure, I lasted 10 days without wine, 15 without caffeine and 16 without carbs. I was just fine without the dairy or the sweets, but the caffeine and wine about killed me. I missed the routine of coffee in the morning and drinking wine while cooking dinner. But, every day it got a little bit easier.
Today, on the last day of the detox, I’ve got a few things to share. I learned quite a bit about how I function best.. as it turns out, I need significantly fewer carbs, more protein, less fruit and absolutely no dairy. Just to have learned that much, I would do it again.
So, you’re thinking about doing a 21 day sugar detox? Here’s the quick and dirty pros and cons list.
Downsides: Now, when I drink a glass of wine, I have a headache in the morning. No seriously, one glass = headache in the morning. It’s a bummer, but the reality is that I could stand to drink a little less wine. My pants are lose, this is on both lists, get over it. My favorite pair of jeans are now lose to the point of having to hold them up when I walk. One cup of coffee, and my hands are close to shaking. Apparently, I have to ween myself back ONTO coffee, go figure.
Upsides: I no longer crave sweets. I can pass a cake at work without needing a slice of it. My pants are lose, which for me means my stomach is flatter, since that’s where I carry my “extra” weight. My skin is significantly clearer. The most noticeable changes of all you ask? My joints feel better, and I swear it’s easier to think. It sounds like a lie, right? It’s not.
I would recommend doing this detox to anyone, but I would highly recommend buying a cookbook of some kind to accomplish it. Sometimes, you do get a little paralyzed by the list of things you cannot eat and you need somewhere to start. Enter… sweet potato and sausage skillet. See what I did there?
Sweet Potato and Sausage Skillet
yield: 4-6 SERVINGS
prep time: 10 MINUTES
cook time: 20 MINUTES
total time: 30 MINUTES
2 large sweet potatoes, grated
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, minced
2 jalapenos, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 lb. hot ground sausage
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Cilantro, for garnish
1. Mince, chop and grade all of your ingredients and set them aside.
2. Melt your coconut oil in a large (oven safe) skillet. Add in your red pepper, orange pepper, jalapeno, red onion and garlic. Saute until the peppers are just soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the pound of sausage and cook until it starts to brown.
3. Drain the grease out of the pan (without losing the good stuff). Then add in the sweet potatoes and cook until they are just soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Move an oven rack to the very top, and turn your broiler on low. Create 5 wells around the skillet, crack an egg into each one. Place the skillet in the oven, and cook for 5-8 minutes. The egg whites should be cooked through, the yolks should be runny. Remove from the oven, serve immediately.