I am always up for a good challenge, but giving up some of my favorite foods is not a challenge on the top of my list. HOWEVER, when my co-worker mentioned trying this 7-Day Sugar Detox. I figured why not give it a try and take the chance to learn more about the type of food I am putting in my body?
Before I even started this detox, I enjoyed reading through this blog and realizing that what I was already eating was pretty dang good, minimal sugar in my meals, greater sugar in my SNACKS. n her blog post, Rachael includes a shopping list that I found SUPER helpful in starting my prep.
Here are a few of my key take-aways:
Sugar is hiding in EVERYTHING
I would say I typically buy food that I generally think is on the healthier side. I try to shop mostly in the outside circle of the grocery store rather than going through the lanes into the pre-packaged foods. However, I do have a stocked pantry of what I thought was not “too bad.” The food in my pantry is not terrible by any means, but never, before 10 days ago had I looked at the cans and realized that there was so much sugar in EVERYTHING. This was a great learning experience to just pause and look, to be more aware essentially of all the items I cook with.
Items I was surprised by… Cheese – no sugar in the cheeses I normally buy! I thought that was a miracle. But when you cut out sugars, it was nice to have a pop of cheese to add a bit of flavor.
Bryan and I typically do our grocery shopping on Sundays after planning out what we are eating for the entire week. In our home, I like to cook larger meals that can last us several days (one of our most favorites is this baked BBQ chicken) but unfortunately, I realized that several of my bigger recipes and sauces… contain sugar.
So luckily my patient husband gave me the opportunity to try this detox and we agreed to the following menu:
- Sunday: New York Steak over a Lemon-Arugula-Avocado Salad with Olive Oil Sauteed Zucchini Noodles
- Monday: Taco Salad with Avocado, Tomato and Taco-Seasoned Ground Turkey
- Tuesday: Bun-less Sirloin Cheese Burgers with Grilled Zucchini and Spinach Salad with homemade Dressing
- Wednesday: Baked Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Cumin-Chili Sautéed Zucchini
- Thursday: Bun-less Sirloin Cheese Burgers with Grilled Asparagus and Spinach Salad with homemade Dressing
- Friday: Olive Oil, S&P marinated Tri Tip, with oven roasted Brussel Sprouts & a Fresh Garden Salad
- Saturday: New York Steak with butter & garlic steamed/sautéed Greenbeans
- Sunday-Tuesday: Oven-Baked Fajitas (without the sugar in the seasoning) with a chilled Jalapeno & Red Onion Cucumber salad
- Wednesday: Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Cumin-Chili Sautéed Zucchini (Would definitely go with grilled vs. baked on this one)
Lunch: Several varieties of SALAD with homemade dressing
Part of me really loved shopping for all of this food and I felt EXTRA healthy when I popped it onto the check-out belt. During this “detox” I ate TONS of greens and some really good protein. I am now more encouraged to shop that outside ring of the grocery store because it just feels so good to check-out!
On the detox you are able to consume natural sugars, but obviously you are not supposed to over eat them. You are mainly looking out for “added sugars” versus naturally occurring sugars. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples are what I put stocked in the fridge. I found these to be more of my “dessert” items at night when I was having that end of day sugar craving – I’d say a healthy switch up!
I wanted to eat lots and lots of watermelon, but after doing some Googling, I learned that watermelon is on the “high” side of the glycemic index, so I wasn’t able to eat the juicy & delicious watermelon in the fridge… Luckily the hubs was totally happy to do so.
When I was prepping, I was really trying to find items I could grab as a little snack (besides fruit) that would be quick and easy. Not hard to believe… LOTS of snacks have sugar. I was able to find a few good snack items without sugar at Trader Joe’s. I also focused on trying not to snack, another habit that I do mindlessly when I am truly not hungry… could that be the effect of sugar calling my name? I also bought a mixture of nuts that I could quickly eat when I just felt the need to eat something. But I would like to think I did a nice job of not being a snack addict for those 10 days.
I was lucky to start off with a pretty good diet, so I did not experience any major side effects of cutting sugar. I definitely also upped my water consumption to help me not feel as hungry so frequently.
Most of all, I think this was a great learning experience – teaching me take a step back to examine what I thought was “pretty” healthy and making a few tweaks to make it even better. I also learned that my hubs is such a sport because he was also totally willing to try, even when he had to eat a lettuce-wrap chicken salad “sandwich” for lunch. He is always willing to try, but I didn’t make him cut EVERYTHING…. He ate a few pieces of bread and I was thankful just to smell that bread aroma 🙂
Something I absolutely got out of this was that I can, in fact, easily make my own salad dressing with what is just in my pantry
Homemade Vinaigrette Salad Dressing:
¼ cup EVOO
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Combine all into a mason jar and shake vigorously before pouring over salad.
The best parts of “ending” this detox…lunch date with my hubby at one of my most favorite lunch spots!
Let me know if you try the detox – I highly recommend giving this a try just to learn more about what you are eating and how you can slightly modify what you are already eating to cut out some unnecessary sugar.
Considering the topics of my blog post generally include something that might have sugar… never would I ever suggest that you cut out all sugar… I know I cant live without some of my sweet goodies!