I finished! I can’t say I loved the program, but I’m glad I did it. My biggest takeaway was “Sugar Awareness.”
Awareness that there’s a lot of sugar in a lot of foods. The main reason the diet plan is primarily vegetables and meat is because they don’t have much in the way of natural sugars. Which is a good way to eat until you start adding dressings, marinades, sauces, etc., especially if they’re store-bought. If I buy food that has a label on it, I read it. Being dairy, egg, gluten and soy-free means I have to read labels all the time. But my eye is trained to look for allergens, not sugar content. So this program has taught me to take sugar quantity and type into account now too. For example, every now and then I buy coconut milk yogurt of which there are two kinds at my local health food store – regular and Greek style. The difference in sugar content between the two? Regular style has TWICE as much sugar as Greek style. 22g vs. 11g is a big difference in my opinion and I don’t feel slamming my system with 22 grams of sugar first thing in the morning is the wisest choice, so we’re going Greek from here on out. Bottom line: read labels and determine if the amount and type of sugar listed is what you want to put in your system.
Another thing I learned while doing this detox is that I don’t care for the Paleo diet. I mentioned here that the provided meal plans are primarily Paleo and I wasn’t a big fan at that point (Week 2). After the full 21 days, I can definitely say I won’t be incorporating a Paleo diet into our lives. Like I mentioned before, it’s fine for some people, but it doesn’t work for me. I can’t be convinced to eat that much animal protein when there are other protein sources that are perfectly healthy to consume. To each their own!
So, did I gorge on chocolate and carbs on Day 22 like I thought I would? Nope. Surprising, since I had these bad boys waiting for me…
During Week 2, hubby was in Norway and before he left, I told him to make sure he brought me back some chocolate. The awesome thing about these? They’re vegan! (And non-GMO, which is a bonus.) Do you know how difficult it can be to find chocolate that doesn’t have some form of milk in it? Sometimes even dark chocolate has milk derivative(s) added. Anyway, I was excited to try these, but still had a week to go on the detox. I thought for sure I’d have gone officially crazy by the end of the 21 days from too much meat & too little happy foods, and would end up eating all carbs or sweets in sight. But I did good. I only had one square of chocolate on Day 22. As for other sugars, anything else I consumed that day was in the form of natural sugars. We aren’t generally stocked with cookies, breads, or even much fruit so there wasn’t much in the way of sugars for me to even eat. And since the completion of the detox about a week ago, I’ve noticed my sugar cravings have dramatically decreased. I see those chocolate bars in the pantry, but I rarely reach for them. Hubby & I went out to dinner right after I completed the detox and he offered to buy me a cupcake for dessert, but I didn’t want one (which is the first time I’ve ever turned down a cupcake!).
But I feel I should confess to another slip-up. I confessed here to my earlier tiny sugar cheat, so I’ll confess again: I had corn chips at a beach BBQ. I don’t even really like them and I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually bought any. But they were there, I was tired of meat and vegetables, and I was close to the end of the program. I didn’t feel guilty then, and I don’t feel guilty now, but chips have always been one of those foods that I purposely don’t buy because I’m a snacker and have a hard time stopping at just a few. So my rule is that if we go somewhere and chips are available, I can have as many as I want. If 95% of the time I never have chips, then I’m going to enjoy that 5% 🙂
Do I recommend the program? If you think it’s something that would be beneficial to you – you know you’re addicted to sugar, or want to find out if your body is without you realizing, and you’re relatively healthy (if you have health issues, research or discuss with a doctor first to decide if this is something you should do), and you’re not endurance training – then absolutely give it a try. There are 3 levels to choose from, some more forgiving than others and the book provides a short quiz that will help you determine which level is best for you.
Advice if you do the detox:
Be prepared for your body to go through an adjustment.
Take the time to do the shopping and as much food prep ahead of time as you can. When you have a hunger headache, or feel like you have the flu, the last thing you want to do is be in the kitchen for a long time making a snack from scratch.
Play around with the meal plans to suit your taste and be prepared to be in the kitchen a lot.
Eat some starches if your body is telling you to (squash did wonders for me the two times I had it).
Don’t feel bad if you cheat, but keep cheating to a minimum.
Only weigh and/or measure on Days 0 and 22, not during the detox. It’s not a weight loss diet, but there is potential to lose.