21 Sugarless Days

Well. Here we are. I finished off the 21 days with a huge salad with grilled chicken and avocado.

When I started eating “paleo” cold turkey last winter I saw major differences right away. I had everything from the withdrawals in the first week (intense headaches, fatigue and sore all over),  but eventually saw weight loss, better skin, headache improvements, better immune system and even better nails. Perhaps because I saw such differences when I made those changes I thought that I would see even more improvements with the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I believe I set my hopes too high and wound up disappointed. I also believe that my stress levels were too high during the 21 days and I worked way too much so I didn’t see any differences in my sleep (my sleep patterns are way off) or acne.

However, I’d like to be positive about this. Due to the amount that I worked and the sleep that I lacked I’d like to think how much worse off I might have been if I had been eating sugar. I didn’t get sick in the height of the flu season, when many other people in my workplace (a HOSPITAL) were getting sick. Okay I might be jinxing myself now.

I did learn a lot about my diet in these 21 days. I probably don’t eat nearly enough vegetables. Yes I had a lot of salads and squash, but I could definitely do with a wider variety of vegetables and more of them. I eat a heck of a lot of eggs and bacon. But also staying positive, I eat probably 100% more vegetables than I ate this time last year.

I decided to do the detox in November because I thought there would be less temptation. But in hindsight I believe that the spring or summer might be a better time to do the 21 DSD. Much more fresh and local produce, farmer’s markets and likely cheaper as well.

In any case, It’s over now. I may try the detox again next summer or spring. It was a learning opportunity and I love experimenting with new recipes and different ingredients. The 21 Day Sugar Detox book by Diane Sanfilippo was very helpful and I made many of the recipes from the book that will now become regulars in my meal rotation.

Day 20 of the 21 DSD

Day 20, Sunday night, my last of three night shifts. My preparation has served me well. I’ve had plenty to eat this weekend and it made it seem a little effortless. The detox seems to get easier as the days go on.

I woke up early today to do some baking for a baby shower I will be going to early Monday evening, on the last day of my sugar detox. This will be my ultimate will power test. I don’t plan on cheating on my last day, although I do find it hard considering I have not seen many changes during the detox.

Despite the fact that I have worked hard over the last 20 days to prepare all my food from scratch, I have starved in attempt to not eat sugar at work, I have not seen much improvement in the areas that I had set out to seek improvement. My acne remains about the same. My clothes might fit a little bit better but not very noticeable, not that I set out to lose weight to begin with. I still have cravings… but at least my cravings are for things like orange juice and dark chocolate and maple syrup on my pancakes and not things like crappy chocolate bars, chips and gummy bears.

For the baby shower I made the Apple Cinnamon Donuts from the 21 Day Sugar Detox book, I sprinkled some coconut crystals on top to make them a bit more sweet for the guests of the baby shower.

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I also made the Lemon Vanilla Bean Macaroons from the Against All Grain cookbook

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They look pretty good, I can’t wait to try them on Tuesday! (I’ll be saving a couple behind from the baby shower)

One more day!

Day 19 of the 21 DSD

It’s funny how you learn from your mistakes… on day 18 I thought I had enough food to get me through my night shift, how wrong was I. I was starving by 4 am. So for Day 19 I decided to skim through the 21 DSD book and see what recipes I hadn’t tried yet and make something based on what I had in my kitchen.

For breakfast I made the root vegetable hash from the 21 Day Sugar Detox book by Diane Sanfilippo, and oh my goodness this was so good. As I mentionned before, one of the things I missed the most about the detox is sweet potatoes. Mainly because I ate them as a side dish almost every day, in particular as a sweet potato hash with my eggs and spinach. I can’t believe I hadn’t discovered this before day 19. Or perhaps I had but thought it wouldn’t be food? I didn’t have any parsnips but I did have some rutabaga so I grated up the rutabaga and carrots and cooked them in a frying pan with coconut oil. I added some cooked chopped up organic merguez sausage (spicy!) and added a green pepper ring fried egg on top. This might be a new favourite of mine! (picture to come).

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For lunch I had leftover Tomato Basil Quiche with Bacon and Spinach and for supper I had roasted brussel sprouts with 2 of the merguez sausages (From Quebec) with some of the root vegetable hash. I’m always so happy when trying something new turns out to be so delicious :). And for snacks I had a green tip banana with almond butter and a nutty baked apple (too much fruit intake for the 21 DSD, oh well, I was hungry).

Only 2 more days to go 🙂

Day 18 of the 21 DSD

Last weekend left!

I stayed up late last night catching up on some TV shows I have been neglecting and decided to do some more cooking and baking in preparation for my weekend of night shifts.

Tomato Basil Quiche with Spinach and Bacon from the 21 DSD

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Review: I made this the first week of the detox and loved it, so I had to make it again! This time with more bacon :D. I had to keep it in the oven about 15 minutes longer than suggested in the book.

Nutty Baked Apples from the 21 DSD

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Review: I used pecans and macadamia nuts for the filling, used my food processor to coarsely grind them. Again, I had to leave them in the oven for about an extra 15 minutes than the book suggested (the softer the apple the better in my opinion). My oven looks like it’s from the 1950s so maybe it’s just my crappy oven and not the book.

Day 18 Meal Plan:

Breakfast: Tomato Basil Quiche

Lunch: Leftover meatloaf with butternut squash

Supper: Spring Mix and Spinach Salad with Lemon and Oregano Grilled Chicken and Pecans

Snacks: Coffee, Raw Almonds, Almond Butter Banana Muffin, Nutty Baked Apple, Almond Flour Herb Crackers with tomato

Day 17 of the 21 DSD

Finally the cravings have subsided… only a few more days left. I’m getting used to drinking lemon water and ginger green tea instead of orange juice and coffee with stevia. I only have the weekend left and I will have survived!

Day 17 Meal Plan

Breakfast: Spinach scrambled eggs with leftover apple sausages

Lunch:  Baked Chicken with Roasted Butternut Squash

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Supper: Beef Burger patty with sweet potato pancake bun with avocado salsa

Snacks: 21 day sugar detox herb crackers with avocado salsa, green tea

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Delicious Almond butter banana muffins

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Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 large green bananas

4 large eggs

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

2 tbsp full fat  coconut milk

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1 tbsp raw organic cocoa powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

Combine all the wet ingredients in a food processor or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer.  Once they are blended well add in the dry ingredients.

Place your baking cups in the muffin tin and fill each muffin tin about 1/2 and sprinkle unsweetened shredded coconut and slivered almonds on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

This recipe is based on the amazing banana bread recipe from Civilized Caveman blog.

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/grain-free-goodies/paleo-banana-bread/

Day 14,15,16 of the 21 DSD

No, I have not given up on the 21 day sugar detox! I was just so incredibly busy (once again picked up overtime) that I did not have time to post.

Day 14 marked the end of two weeks and only one week left of the detox! I’m not even going to pretend that I remember what I ate over the last three days… but I do remember what I made thanks to my handy instagram account.

I don’t think the last three days were particularly hard. Perhaps because I was too busy to really be focusing on the detox or perhaps because after two weeks it becomes more part of your daily schedule. The cravings over the weekend had been really bad and I really wanted to have a drink so I avoided social situations. On Day 14 I had a couple of friends over (newly engaged couple :)) and I baked them some 21 DSD friendly treats and while they had some delicious Coffee Crisp Hot Chocolate with coconut milk I drank with my ginger green tea (I’m not going to force anyone to abide by the rules of the 21 day sugar detox just because I chose to do it).

Lemon Vanilla Meltaways from the 21 DSD book

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review: Very tart and smooth, quite delicious! and easy to make 🙂 I had to finally splurge and buy the coconut butter but it is worth it.

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups from the 21 DSD book

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review: I have made these before but had added some honey to the recipe to make them more sweet. Needless to say these were a little more bitter and I added a bit more than a pinch of salt screwing them up entirely.

Apple Cinnamon Donuts from the 21 DSD book

review: This is probably my fourth time making these since starting the 21 day sugar detox… and they are just as good as the first time. This time I even made it a better treat by adding a coconut butter icing to them. omnomnomnom. I believe my guests liked them as well? It’s always hard to tell, because most people like to be polite when you make something for them… so they usually say it’s good even if it’s not.

on Day 15 I made Banana Almond Butter Muffins that were absolutely delicious. I used green bananas of course. I am very proud of myself I must say. I can’t take complete credit for them as I had been researching paleo banana loaf and muffin recipes and decided to mix them all together to make my own version. I will be posting a picture and recipe soon.

on Day 16 I made the Mexi Meatloaf from the 21 DSD book

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Review: Better than the last meatloaf I made… which was not edible. So that’s not saying too much. Perhaps I am just not a meatloaf type of person? It took a while to make, and I left it in the oven about 15 minutes longer than the book suggests because it did not look right. I followed the recipe almost perfectly and it did not look nearly as good as the one in the book. And I’m assuming didn’t taste as good as the one in the book either. Oh well.

Day 13 of the 21 DSD

Another day of cooking and baking!

My sister came over for a visit so I made her some home made meatballs with the leftover roast sauce and cauliflower mashed and asparagus

I also made the apple breakfast sausages from The 21 DSD, excited to eat these for breakfast over the next couple of days!

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Review: Delicious! Decently easy to make as well.

For dessert I made the Pumpkin Spice Thumbnail Cookies from agirlworthsaving.net

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I kind of messed it up because I read “one can” of pureed pumpkin instead of “one cup”, stupid girl. Oh well, they are still edible! I just doubled the rest of the ingredients. It’s especially yummy with the coconut butter 🙂 I ventured out to a few specialty health food stores today to find some. It was worth the price.

I’ve found myself avoiding a lot of social situations since following the 21 DSD. This is kind of disappointing… last week we declined an invite to a pub to watch a friend’s band play, then this weekend I didn’t go to a going away party and stayed home alone on a Saturday night instead. This was mainly because I wanted to avoid temptation but also because I needed to stay home and rest after having worked so much and it allowed me to catch up on my cooking and baking. I need to learn to be able to go out in public and be able to make healthy choices. But the main craving I have had these last few nights is just a glass of wine!! Only 8 more days to go… do the cravings really ever go away?