I Went 21 Days Without Sugar

I did it! 

For the first time in my entire life, I went twenty-one days without sugar.

This may not be a big deal to you, but I grew up in a household with limitless soda, copious amounts of juice, candy, and of course frequent cupcake parties with my aunt were totally a thing. 

I was addicted to sugar.

Just like most Americans are. And it's honestly not our fault, sugar is in almost everything. Going sugar-free will show you just how many things contain sugar, and you will be shocked, because I know I was.

I made the choice to do this detox after going on a candy and brownie binge during a weekend trip to Dallas. Just four feet outside the bedroom door where I slept, was a whole pantry full of any kind of snack you could imagine. As a child, I dreamed of pantries like this one, and so, of course, I couldn't help but treat myself.

Then it happened. In the middle of the night, I woke up to some crazy joint pain and had one of those epiphanies you get in the middle of the night when everyone else is sleeping. I could feel the inflammation in my body and I knew it was sugar. And then I thought deeply about how much this sugar addiction had been ruling my life. Something had to give, so that next morning I researched sugar detoxes and found Diane Sanfilippo's 21 Day Sugar Detox

The first week I made lots of substitute treats. Like the one, you see in the photo above. It's an "apple muffin" and it's only sweetened with green apple and cinnamon. What looks like delicious icing, is actually a yummy glob of Coconut Butter I plopped on the muffin in hopes of it tasting the slightest bit sweeter. (It didn't work on the sweetness front, but it was a delicious treat!). 

Day four and five were the hardest days to get through. I thought about food ALL DAY long those two days. I even dreamed about drinking what we used to call "suicides" growing up. They were a combination of every soda in the fountain all mixed up. In my dream, I combined three different flavors of Coca Cola. I woke up so grossed out, and found this dream extremely odd because I have not had a Coke in years. I knew my mind was freaking out from not having any sugar and that showed me just how real sugar addiction is.

By the second week, I was pretty much adjusting to the detox. I was no longer craving sugar all the time, I noticed changes in my physical appearance, and had way more energy. This week I felt that I had made it to the "other side". My green apples now tasted faintly sweet, and a cucumber tasted similar to watermelon. My taste buds were changing!

By the end of week three, I was really excited to get back to having grains in my diet. Not having any rice, quinoa or oatmeal got really boring pretty quickly. 

The thing I missed most were my favorite beverages like tonics and fruit smoothies. I vowed to have a fruit smoothie the DAY my detox was done, but instead, I made it a whole four weeks before having one. 

Now being on the other side of the cleanse, I realize just how much sugar impacted my life. People asked me how I did it and I can honestly thank preparedness for my success. Cleaning out my pantry beforehand and then stocking it with the foods allowed on the detox made life SO much easier. 

Most people fail at diets and cleanses because they aren't fully prepared for it.

The same goes for changing your lifestyle and your kitchen is often a great place to start.

NutritionB.