Not too long ago, I was telling you guys about how I was starting a 21-day sugar detox. Fast forward 21 days and I have officially finished the detox – I can’t believe it!
I won’t say that it was easy, but I will say that it was definitely something worth doing. Read on to see my thoughts on the whole process and a few tips and tricks that I found along the way!
- Preparation is Key: Before starting this detox or any detox, in general (access it here), I highly recommend looking over recipes and the approved food list. I looked at (super quick and easy) recipes on Pinterest about a week or so in advance to get an idea of what ingredients I’d be looking for at the store. After looking at the food list
- Buy Common Ingredients: To make meal planning and cooking much easier, try to pick some recipes with similar ingredients or meats. This way, you can stock up on things that can be for lots of different meals.
- Prepare for Cravings: Let me tell ya, cravings will happen and happen often. I noticed them most as I was ending my detox and knew that soon I’d be able to go back to a more normal everyday diet. In that first week, try to find things that will take the place of something sweet. I relied big time on almond butter in an almond flour tortilla or a green apple dipped in almond butter. Maybe just rely on almond butter!!
Shopping List Essentials:
- Trader Joe’s: First and foremost, TJ has lots of detox-approved goods at much better prices than Central Market or Whole Foods. Perfect for the girl on a budget.
- Siete Almond Flour Tortillas: These were LIFE SAVERS and so delicious. I loved putting some almond butter in them, wrapping them up, and taking them on the go as a yummy snack. They also ser
- Raw Crunchy Almond Butter
- Granny Smith Apples: To find out that Granny Smith apples have lower sugar content than most apples, was something I did not expect! These tart little guys made for a delicious and filling mid-day snack with either some almond butter or an assortment of almonds and walnuts.
- Wholly Guacamole: These 100 calorie guac packs are the bomb. They make for such a nice dip to go with veggies, meats, or even salads.
- Pumpkin seeds: Perfect for a salty, crunchy on-the-go snack or salad topping to keep things crunchy.
- Spices are your friend: Without added or refined sugar, things can lose flavor. Ugh, the sad truths of life. So bring on the flavor with spices like Italian Seasoning blends or chili powder, for example. I really came to love ground cinnamon and pure vanilla extract for sweet substitutes. I would add both into a super yummy smoothie recipe I thought up during the detox (read for ingredients below!).
- Think about after the detox: Now I’m not saying think of the days when you don’t have to eat on a more restricted food list the whole time that you’re doing the detox. But as you’re cooking new meals, making new snacks, etc., think about which you might want to integrate into your regular diet once the 21 days are over. I kept a note on my phone and referenced that when I went grocery shopping when I got back to school. Now that I’ve made some of the detox recipes a go-to, it’s making it much easier to stay on track with a low-sugar diet.
- Spaghetti Squash with Bolognese Sauce (recipe here)
- This has become a weekly staple in my diet even after the detox! Using tomato paste is a game changer because it makes the sauce so much thicker. I’ve also started buying smaller spaghetti squashes at Trader Joe’s because they’re easier to cut AND you can cook them in the microwave. Win, win!
- Almond Meal Apple Crumble
- Oil a Pyrex baking dish with either coconut oil or olive oil
- Set oven to 350 degrees
- Peel and slice 3 -4 Granny Smith Apples and place into baking dish
- Cover slices with lemon juice and cinnamon to taste
- Mix together 1 1/4 cups of almond meal, 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil, 1 tsp vanilla, and a pinch more cinnamon
- Spread the ‘crumble’ over the apples and cover the dish with foil
- Cook the dish covered for 20 mins and uncovered for 25 minutes
- Paleo Chicken Tenders: recipe via Jay’s Baking Me Crazy – requires some prep time, but they’re delicious and can last for a bunch of meals!
- Banana Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana (buy them with green tips, not quite ripe)
- 1/2 cup pure egg white protein (makes the smoothie super whipped and frothy)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp of flaxseed (optional)
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
Something to remember is that I didn’t do this detox in order to lose weight, however, I did notice a lot less bloating with what I was eating on this plan. I felt like my body was functioning better overall, and as I reached the end of the detox I did notice a slight reduction in inflammation of my joints. One of the other things that I noticed post-finishing the detox was an improvement in my skin. I have been able to go without makeup to class almost every day of this semester and have felt very comfortable!
Trying this detox is really worth it, my friends. I enjoyed the cooking because I made sure that I pre-selected recipes that were really quick, easy, and didn’t involve too many ingredients. With the right preparation and these tips and tricks, it is very easy to find success on this detox. It opened my eyes to sources of sugar in my diet that I had no idea about and how I can make substitutions or changes now with yummy alternatives. If you have any other questions or concerns about a sugar detox or detox in general, chat with me in the comments or email me!