Ok so I am currently undergoing my second 21 Days Sugar Detox (21DSD). What is the 21DSD? Check out more information here. A Cliff Notes version (do they even make those anymore) of what the detox does is it busts sugar and carb cravings naturally. Skeptics will ask, but what does that REALLY mean? I can tell you. Society has spent the last 20 or so years thinking low-fat and fat free products are healthy and make us lose weight, when in reality they make us more hungry because they don’t fill us up or provide any nutrients to our body. So what happens? Those refined carbs turn into sugar and if we have too much sugar in our bodies and we cannot store it properly, the excess sugar is broken down into fat. And eating those types of malnutrition foods sends signals to our brains that we want more and more of this crappy food. It is similar to druggies who keep chasing that next high and minutes later they crash, what a vicious cycle. Basically it boils down to if you eat crap, you feel like crap. On the contrary, the paleolithic lifestyle (notice I did not say diet) helps you realize that by eating whole foods you gain energy, are more satisfied and by cutting out refined sugars and carbs you are not only NOT crashing at 3PM but most importantly you are pleasant to be around. So why would you not want to eat the best foods you can to make you feel the best you can?!?! My point exactly…
So does what I explained happen to you often? Do you drink Diet Coke all day (because “diet” is better for you) and eat processed foods like “healthy” granola bars, whole wheat breads and cereals and yet you are STILL hungry and constantly feel sluggish? Well if that is the case, then you need to try this natural sugar detox and teach your body to fuel itself by burning fat and not carbohydrates. If you do it I can promise you, you will be surprised how good you feel and how much energy you have.
And that is why I do it. Even though I eat very healthy, I like to often give my body another “gut” check, no pun intended, and clean out the pipes to make sure everything is working well. The difference in my diet for me undergoing this detox as apposed to my 90%/10% Paleo lifestyle is simply cutting out natural sugars like maple syrup, honey and FRUIT! It may seem easy but you will be surprised how much sugar is EVERYWHERE. In ketchups and other condiments, in meats like sausage and bacon, etc. The fruit limitation is also difficult. During this detox, you are limited to eating only 1 piece of fruit daily, which is a green apple, a green tipped banana or a grapefruit. The first time I underwent the sugar detox I learned very quickly that prior to it, I heavily relied on fruit as a major staple of my diet. I am very grateful for the lessons learned from my first detox, and since last April I have servery increased my daily vegetable intake. I like to say my goal now is to eat more vegetables than a vegetarian. You can read about my first experience here and try my amazing 21DSD Green Monster Smoothie that got me through the first detox. It is so yummy and it is even featured on the official 21 Day Sugar Detox Website! In addition to my and Diane’s websites, you can also check out Day Two’s Recipe of the Day on the 21DSD daily emails.
So I am half way through the detox and I feel great. If you asked me last week how I was holding up, I would have told you HORRIBLE! The sugar withdrawals (read constant headaches were unbearable but I stuck with it and now I am glad I did it). What has changed for me this time around, although I must admit that I shamelessly look forward to eating my daily green apple at night with a big hunk of almond butter, I am craving more starchy carbs. I am exclusively nursing my 1 month old son and I also do CrossFit 4-5 times a week so I feel like I am STARVING 24/7!!! To be honest, I was starving before the detox because I am burning so many calories, but this time around I had to be more cognizant on the type of extra calories I was adding to diet to give me more energy and not make me crash during the day. Ultimately my job is to nourish my son so I did not want to do anything drastic that would decrease my milk supply and more so make me crash since I am sleeping less (read middle of the night feedings) and slowly increasing the intensity of my workouts post preggo.
So basically if you live an active lifestyle, participate in high intensity exercise (like CrossFit) and/or are nursing or pregnant you need to add more carbohydrates to your diet per the 21DSD book. Specifically you need to add 30-50 grams of carbohydrates to at least one meal per day or after a vigorous workout. So what is 30-50 grams? That is about 1/2 to 1 cup of sweet potato, plantains, butternut squash, beets, etc.
Well since I am nursing and CrossFitting I knew I had to get on this right away. My friend and fellow CrossFit Coach Tricia told me she likes to eat a sweet potato after her workout and I knew I had to get on that right away. I started nuking my sweet potato and adding a little coconut oil, cinnamon and crushed pecans to it. After two days of eating nuked sweet potatoes, I was tired of how dry they were and I also thought it was the worst way to cook them and keep as much nutrients in the sweet potatoes as possible. After some research, I actually found nuking veggies is ideal since the cooking time is the least compared to other methods and thus there is little time for nutrients to leave. Steaming vegetables is also ideal, but I like to cook a few sweet potatoes at a time so I decided to roast them all. You can cook them how you prefer, but I love the caramelized flavor and extra sweetness that roasting gives sweet potatoes. So there you have it. Below is my fave go- to pureed sweet potato puree that are 21DSD approved and got me through this detox. I especially loved how they tasted like the inside of a sweet potato pie. So not only did it provide me more energy, but it also satisfied my sweet craving.
- 3 medium sized sweet potatoes (about 2lbs)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, warmed and in liquid state
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- With a fork, prick holes into each sweet potato on all sides.
- Place sweet potatoes on a lined cookie sheet and cook for one hour. Depending on the size of your potatoes, you will need more (if bigger) or less (if smaller) time. Half way through the cooking process around the 30 minute mark rotate and flip over your sweet potatoes to help them cook evenly throughout.
- Once cooked, remove skin and place in your food processor along with your warmed coconut oil and cinnamon and blend. If you don't have a food processor or (if you are lazy like me sometimes and do not want to clean another kitchen appliance) than feel free to use a manual hand masher or ricer to blend.
- End result is a very, very sweet potato puree. Once mixed, I separate them to ½ to 1 cup servings and reheat them and eat them after a workout to replenish my energy levels. This recipe yields about 2 cups of pureed sweet potato and can last in your fridge up to five days. You can also serve this as a side for any dinner or as dessert as well! The options are endless!
So what other foods have you relied on the most to get you through your 21DSD? Please share…
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