All hopped up: kicking that sugar addiction

A few days ago I posted Samantha’s experience with her juice cleanse. I don’t think I’d do anything where I really couldn’t eat real food for consecutive days (Yom Kippur is hard enough!), but it did actually push me to do what I’ve been thinking about for a while now: a sugar detox.

Let me give you some backstory. I have, and have always had, an insatiable sweet tooth. I don’t like cake, but I was that kid who would eat the FROSTING straight off the cupcake at birthday parties. And I LOVED it. Cookies? I could easily eat a sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mints in a sitting. I grew up on ice cream; if there were fewer than 4 pints in our freezer growing up, we were running low. I am a candy-eating champion and, actually, Valentine’s Day this year is what finally pushed me over the edge. After buying a disgusting amount of half-off candy on Feb. 15, I proceeded to eat all of it within a week. I knew I should absolutely stop… but I couldn’t.

After I posted Samantha’s blog, I thought long and hard about my lifestyle. I enjoy food immensely and don’t deny myself anything. I’m in shape and I’m not worried about gaining weight. But, especially for the last month or so, I haven’t FELT healthy. I crave sweets and carbs constantly. So I finally decided to do something about my sugar addiction.

I chose to follow Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox. I went on Amazon and got her book ($25), which is a great resource. It has easy-to-understand lists and guides (the yes, limit and no foods list is bookmarked), as well as recipes that are surprisingly tasty for not having any sugar in them.  Look at these muffins I made this morning!

It’s important to note that this is NOT a diet. I can eat however much I want of anything on the list. I’m not trying to lose weight. I simply want to kick this sugar habit so, maybe one day, when I get a craving for sugar it can be satisfied with a piece of fruit instead of a bag of candy. That is DEFINITELY not the case right now! Fruit isn’t sweet enough, which is not right! That’s the natural stuff!

To my point about it not being a diet: I could walk into Harris Ranch and order a 16-oz steak with an entire pound of butter and that would be within the scope of the detox. Actually, that sounds pretty good…

Today is day 4 of the detox. Days 3-5 are supposed to be the worst, and I have definitely felt some effects. My body feels sore all over (kind of like the body aches you get when you’re sick), and I’ve had a constant headache. I’m also a little grumpy (I snapped at my mom when she complained that I wasn’t going to “make anything anyone else could eat” after I was cooking everyone dinner–proved her wrong!). Otherwise, though, it hasn’t been so bad. My cravings haven’t been terrible; fairly easy to ignore, but it might be because I accidentally slipped up already and had a cup of miso soup on day 2. Oops.  But I don’t think that’s the worst thing I could have slipped up with. At least it’s not sweet! I’m expecting this weekend will be bad, but hoping by the time Monday rolls around that I’ll be coming out of it. It  might also be because I haven’t gotten very much sleep. Between the diet and the bad sleep, I went to bed at 9:30 last night and slept for 11 hours. It was glorious!!!

It’s still early, but I’ve already learned a few things. First, sugar is literally in EVERYTHING.  My detox said beef jerky was a good snack (provided no added sugar, of course), but I checked every brand–even in the “natural foods” section–and every single one had sugar in it. I can’t have soy sauce, any sort of bread (healthy carbs like rice, beans and quinoa are OK), and only 1 serving of less-sweet fruit (green-tipped bananas and Granny Smith apples) per day. It hasn’t been easy, and I’m going to be cooking all weekend. I just can’t trust anything eating out, and I can’t have sandwiches because of the bread, so I’m making a lot of stuff with eggs and veggies!

I left the fancy grocery store last night with coconut oil, coconut flour (regular flour is a simple carb, which is broken down in the same way as sugar in your body), almond butter, and almond milk. I could not bring myself to ask where the coconut aminos were—that was just too much. Although now I wish I had, because I needed something like soy sauce last night! I think I’ll make a trip to the super crunchy all-natural co-op this weekend, where they probably get requests like this all the time. *sigh*. For the next 3 weeks, I guess I’m going to be one of those San Francisco health nut ladies. Sorry to any of you crazy health nut ladies reading this.

To end, I have a headache and I feel tired and lethargic, but I feel better about myself for doing this! It’s definitely going to take dedication, and the initial investment (for all that coconut stuff) is a little high. But I think it’ll be worth it in the end. Hey, feeling crappy means I had to make a change, right?

My goal is to update every few days. Any questions? Just ask!


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