21 Day Sugar Detox: Week 1 Recap

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Here’s a rundown of what I experienced during Days 1-7 on Level 2 of The 21 Day Sugar Detox
Day 1:  Headache kicked in late afternoon.  Particularly enjoyed dinner of mustard glazed chicken and roasted golden beets.  Two thumbs up from hubby too, so that’s a recipe we’ll use again even after the detox.
Day 2:  Woke up super hungry and had a headache all day long.  Didn’t care for the breakfast veggie hash or shepherd’s pie recipes, so kind of a downer day for food.
Day 3:  Hungry and a little shaky first thing in the morning.  Headache was mild in the morning, but came back to previous days level in the afternoon.  We had dinner at a friend’s house and it was challenging to find something to eat.  I’m sure I inadvertently ate something on the “no” list.
Day 4:  Hungry and shaky again in the morning, plus the addition of a new symptom – muscle fatigue.  So-so food day…nothing really stood out as amazing or terrible.
Day 5:  Woke up hungry again and felt like I had the flu – shaky, winded, muscle fatigue.  By late morning, I was feeling better, but remained tired all day.  The olive and caper tapenade recipe to go with our salmon dinner was really good – another keeper.
Day 6:  Worst morning so far.  Felt awful – shaky, weak, exhausted.  I didn’t wake up crazy hungry though so that was a plus and eventually felt better by late afternoon.  Part of breakfast was half a grapefruit and I could tell my taste buds were starting to change because that half actually tasted much less tart than the other half I had eaten on Day 4.  We had dinner at my in-laws and the natural sweetness of roasted butternut squash was amazing after not having anything sweet for 6 days.
Day 7:  Felt less hungry than any previous day upon waking and flu-like symptoms had mostly subsided.  Felt pretty good throughout the day until late night when the consumption of almonds, almond milk, and almond meal caught up with me.  As far as food sensitivities go, they’re a “moderate” for me so I do best if I only eat or drink almond products once or twice a week.  I had been so focused on feeling sick over the course of the week, I didn’t realize just how much almond product I had consumed.  But lesson (re)learned on almonds!

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Level 2:  No sugar, sweeteners, dairy, gluten, grains, legumes, caffeine, alcohol.  The only fruit allowed is under-ripe bananas, grapefruit, and green apples.  Nuts are okay, except for peanuts and cashews.  Since the diet is primarily Paleo, eggs are allowed, but they are considered a “high” food sensitivity for me so I’m egg-free and had to modify a lot for breakfast meals.

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Slip-ups:  Only 1 so far – I ate a mint without thinking.  And I don’t care.  The 1g of sugar from that mint isn’t going to do any damage.  Plus, it was just about the best mint I’ve ever had – I’m pretty sure my taste buds registered it as 3 times as sweet as normal.
Thoughts:  I was surprised by my symptoms…I expected headaches, but not the flu-like symptoms even though the book warned about that.  I’ve gotten the hang of the author’s menu planning so I’m able to make up my own meal if a particular day calls for something I don’t like.  Day 7 was definitely the turning point for me.  The book says that most people start feeling better somewhere in Days 7-10.  One thing I found to be interesting timing is that the day I started feeling better was also the day the sweet cravings set in.  Hubby was really good about encouraging me when I’d start to complain or say I thought I might be dying.  He’s the best.  But he did eat sweets during the week…in front of me…so he’s also not the best.  I’ll forgive him though…eventually…like in 2 weeks when I can have sweets again.
Now on to Week 2!!

I’m Doing The 21 Day Sugar Detox!

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I’m starting The 21 Day Sugar Detox program today.  I’ve always had a sweet tooth and sometimes it gets me into trouble with myself.  Ever feel like your body is just holding onto something?  Or that your past record of good self-control isn’t so stellar anymore?  Or that you work from home and you like to bake so you end up eating way more of whatever you baked because it’s staring at you all. day. long?  So those all apply for me and it’s time for a change.  I’m not a “detox” type of person, but after reading the book I see it as more of an elimination diet than anything else.  And I’m certainly not a stranger to those as someone who is gluten, dairy, egg and soy-free (gluten because of my thyroid, dairy & eggs because of food sensitivity testing, and soy because of thyroid, but more so because I have a negative opinion about it).  So, you see, after all that I can handle giving up sugar for 3 weeks, but I don’t intend for it to be a long term thing.  Moderation is what it’s all about…don’t go through life depriving yourself of treats.
My main goal is really just to see if I feel better, to reset the sweet tooth a bit, and if, in the process, I lose the 3 pounds I’ve gained from my recent baking sprees, then I would be okay with that too.  Most of the recipes look pretty good, but it’s basically a Paleo diet and I’ve never felt like that much meat is necessary in a diet, so we’ll see how it goes.  I already modified the first breakfast, so I’m sure I’ll be doing that throughout the whole process.  I’ll jump back on with a review of Week 1 once I’ve made my way through it and you’ll find out if the dreaded Days 3 & 4 get me like they do most people.  Anyone else out there ever done this one before?  Curious to hear thoughts and/or results!
Now, to go hide that last cookie that’s been eyeing me all day…

dōTERRA Series: Essential Oil Flavored Ice Cream

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Over 4th of July weekend we had family in town, so I thought it would be the perfect time to experiment with something I’ve wanted to do for a while – flavor homemade ice cream with essential oils!  There are so many combinations I’ve thought up, but I narrowed it down to 3 oils for this go-around: Cassia, Lavender, and Peppermint.
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I started by making a double batch of this super easy 3-ingredient vegan chocolate ice cream recipe, then separated it into 3 different containers, leaving a couple scoops set aside just in case I overdid it with the oils.  A little goes a long way with essential oils, so when using them to flavor food, it’s recommended to dip a toothpick into the oils, then stir into food.  You can do this as many times as necessary until desired flavor is reached, but make sure to use a new, clean toothpick each time.  Because the ice cream was melting and we were all anxious to eat, I eventually just tapped out 1 drop of each into their respective containers.  That worked fine for the Cassia and Peppermint, but it was way too strong for the Lavender.  Using the reserved ice cream, I added some into the Lavender mixture until the flavors were balanced.  So here’s the consensus from the five people who tried it…
#3: Chocolate Lavender – Pretty good, but also pretty floral.  If you’ve never experienced Lavender flavoring in food or drink before, you might be surprised at the flavor.  If you achieve a good balance between the chocolate and Lavender, it can be very good, but it seemed to be a fine line.  At the very least, it’s unique and something worth trying!
#2: Chocolate Peppermint – An obvious flavor combination so it was no surprise that it was good.  The Peppermint was refreshing in this rich ice cream.  It tasted just as you would imagine chocolate and Peppermint to taste, although not quite as good as a York patty (yum!) in my opinion.
#1: Chocolate Cassia – This ended up being a surprise favorite.  My sister said it reminded her of a Mexican Mocha – that’s a good thing!  Cassia is very similar to Cinnamon and although strong itself, it tends to be milder than Cinnamon.  Aside from tasting and smelling good, Cassia is also known to help promote healthy digestion, so it’s a good one to add to food!  Sweet chocolate with spicy Cassia made for a great combination – I definitely recommend it!
If only making one batch of flavored ice cream, you would want to add the oil(s) to taste before pouring into your ice cream maker.  Or if you do add oils afterwards like I did, I would recommend re-freezing the ice cream before eating as air temp and stirring can cause the ice cream to soften more than you may like.
Other flavor combos I plan on trying in the future:  Coconut Lime, Wild Orange & Vanilla, Honey Lavender, Lemon-Lime Sorbet…so many options!
Important Note:  Always be sure to use essential oils that are labeled as safe to ingest.  dōTERRA has gone through the FDA process to determine if an oil can be considered a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) ingredient to be used as a food additive.  Each bottle of dōTERRA oil states whether it is for aromatic, topical or dietary use.  Those that can be used for dietary use will also have the Supplement Facts info on the bottle.  Please use caution with other brands of essential oils and take the time to find out if they are safe for consumption before using.
If you wish to purchase any of the oils mentioned, you can find them here!