On April 2, I started the 21 Day Sugar Detox by Balanced Bites. Why, you ask, would I do that???
For a number of reasons.
1a) My eating had gotten out of control. I was being cavalier about eating since I'm in training for the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC), eating waaaaay more than I should and not necessarily eating the right things. I was eating paleo friendly treats as meal replacements or in conjunction to meals. I was eating a TON of fruit. I was eating dark chocolate EVERY night, and not just a square of it. I was consuming large amounts of raw honey during the day in my smoothies and tea and sometimes just eating it straight up. I was chewing a ton of gum - not sugar free. All around not ideal situation for training my body; not an ideal situation for a healthy body in general.
1b) I seemed to have forgotten my portion control skills. This still remains an issue, even after the 21 days, however, it is much more in check than it was prior.
2) I want to keep my weight in check. For RKC, there is an extremely physically demanding test I am going to have to do, the RKC Snatch test: If you are under 123.5 lbs, you qualify to use a 12kg bell...over 123.5lbs, you must use a 16kg bell. I am under 123.5lbs, but would like to have a nice, wide buffer going to my certification.
3) I want to maximize my diet for training purposes. Detoxing/Reducing the sugary foods meant replacing them with healthy fat sources, high quality protein, and veggies as well as some dense carb sources, all things necessary for a body in training.
What was the program all about?
I chose to do the most strict of 3 levels of detox available.
For the 21 days, I was to have no fruit, other than 1 green-tipped (not fully ripened) banana OR 1 green apple per day, no sweeteners whatsoever, natural or synthetic (no honey, maple etc), no grains, no beans/legumes, no refined carbs, no dairy, and no alcohol or other sweetened beverages. Coconut water (in limited amounts) and unsweetened nut milks were fair game.
I could have all meat and fish, veggies (limiting intake of beets and squash), nuts and seeds (other than cashews and peanuts), and healthy fats (avocado).
The one caveat I had going for me was since I am considered an "athlete", I could have some of the dense carb sources that were off limits to the non-athlete on the detox, such as sweet potatoes and yams.
How did I do?
I think I did pretty well. The program changed my perspective on eating in many ways.
The first 3 days were TORTURE for me. I came off of snacking on fruit all day long and putting raw honey in everything (smoothies, tea, a spoon, you get the idea).
I felt like crap - my body was cold and headachey.
To stave off hunger, I ate nuts, nuts and more nuts, and then nut butter. I went nuts.
But then I figured it out.
I figured out when to eat my dense carbs to maximize my workouts. I figured out what veggies to snack on. I figured out that I LOVE hard boiled eggs! I figured out what high quality proteins to eat. This all took the 21 days that I was on the detox, and I'm still figuring it out.
It was not easy, at all but slowly the cravings went away. I started to realize that with a craving, I didn't need to turn to chocolate, fruit or dare I say it, ice cream....I learned to enjoy a nice hot cup of tea.
I lost 1 lb.
1 lb you might ask, that's it??? Well, to tell you honestly, I don't really need to lose that much weight. As I said, I would just like to cushion my buffer zone going to RKC. You also need to understand the level of training I am doing as well. It's 6 days a week, working the kettlebells and teaching spin 2x. I am made of a lot of muscle. I feel that with my current level of training and the changes I made to my diet towards the end of the 21 days, and will continue to finesse, that I will shed a couple more pounds.
I've been feeling good and strong in my workouts and definitely progressing. My energy levels are high. My mood has been lifted. I've noticed less inflammation in my lower back, where I have facet joint arthropathy of my lumbar spine.
I am waaay more mindful about eating - more so than ever before. I need to be in the best shape of my life to go to RKC and everything I eat depends upon it.
What do I eat now then?
Pre/Post-workout I drink an amazing smoothie made from frozen banana, almond butter, homemade almond milk, coconut water, chia seeds, raw cacao, maca, and coconut creme (which is pure coconut, just in a concentrated form). I'll also eat a sweet potato post a heavy kettlebell workout.
Breakfast is usually my pre-workout smoothie and a hard boiled egg, or scrambled eggs w. canadian bacon or bacon or smoked trout or whitefish or smoked salmon.
Lunches have become mega salads, with greens, mixed veggies, a protein such as wild caught salmon, or tuna, or trout or sardines, or maybe a grass-fed beef burger, avocado and a chopped hard boiled egg, topped w.a squeeze of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Dinners are paleo friendly meals again with high quality proteins (grass fed beef, pastured pork and poultry or fish of some sort) with different veggies.
Snacks are nuts or a green apple w.a nut butter or paleo approved jerky (which from Steve's original is the best I have tasted)
I'll enjoy fruit post workout or as a dessert.
It's all working for me.
Would I recommend this detox?
Absolutely, Yes! There are 3 levels that you can chose from, with level 1 being the least strict and level 3 being the most strict. There is a very comprehensive guide that you get when you purchase the detox. There are several sites that have 21 Day Sugar Detox approved recipes to follow, some even with meal plans for the 21 days.
Is it easy? No.
Is it worth it? Definitely.
To find out more please visit: 21 Day Sugar Detox website
Feel free to contact me w.any questions you might have about my experience.