Preparation is the key to successful 21 Day Sugar Detox. If you do not prepare, you are setting yourself up for failure Day 1. Let’s look at some of the things that will help you be ready for your sugar detox.
First off, you need to have a plan and set goals. There are several sugar detox programs and each has its own way of detoxing. Some more restricting than others. This is where you need to do some “personal evaluation” and determine what your goals are. Just like addicts, sugar detoxing has withdrawal symptoms and you need to be prepared. It is also the time to answer the question, when do I reach for sugar the most.
For me, the answer to the question when do I reach for sugar the most is fairly simple. I reach for sugar when I am stressed out or tired or bored. I am looking for that FIX. So not only do I need to have a plan for replacement of sugar, I need to have a plan for decreasing stress and creating a more relaxing and restful atmosphere.
One of my other goals along with removing sugar from my daily diet is to lose weight. Since Sugar = Fat, I am hoping that I will see some weight loss just with the 21-day detox. But to help rejuvenate my metabolism, I will add exercise as a part of my plan. I am hoping that exercising will also decrease stress and help me sleep better at night so I will not be so tired during the day.
Home preparation is next. It is time to clean out the pantry and fridge. Sugar is EVERYWHERE. Best to remove all processed food such as cereals, bars, cookies, and chips. Fruit juices are loaded with sugar. Think clean eating. It helps if your family gets on board too. Not only to help support you but not to tempt you into failure.
The refrigerator/freezer is a minefield of sugar. Most all your condiments, sodas (diet included), pre-packaged meals, coffee creamers, all contain sugar. It is a great time to do a cleanout so that there is more room for fresh produce.
Next, it is time to go grocery shopping. For my sugar detox, I am not having any fruit for 21 days. Fruit is good and natural but I use it as a fix so I need to completely remove it for 21 days. My main problem areas are meal planning and having something to replace sugar in those times of stress and feeling tired. Make a grocery list and meal plan for the first 7 days. They are the hardest.
Off to the grocery I go. First on my list is a replacement for coffee creamer full of sugar. Many sugar detox programs restrict caffeine. But I am not going to set myself up for failure. I need my morning coffee so I will take out the sugar.
For the past year, I have been switching to almond milk. But mine has 8 gms of sugar so I need to find a substitute. I could go all black but I like my coffee with a bit of cream. Half and Half is a good substitute or unsweetened almond milk. I found this product which has 0 gms of sugar. It is Natural Bliss Half And Half, half almond milk and half coconut cream. For my prep week, I slowly started reducing my coffee creamer until I was totally on the Natural Bliss. This is a good way to get off sodas and sweetened teas too. Gradually reducing the sugar content.
Next on the shopping list is breakfast. I am a breakfast eater so I needed to make sure this meal gives me tons of energy for morning exercise and tennis. That means proteins + good fats. I purchased Egg Beaters, hard cheeses, turkey bacon (could be real bacon but it upsets my stomach) avocados. and real eggs. Because carbohydrates are not totally restricted (only sugar content) I added some 7-grain bread with a very low sugar content -1gm. My lunch and dinners are made up of proteins such as chicken, beef, fish and fresh vegetables. My list included zucchini, squash, tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, and salad with baby lettuces. For a salad dressing, I will use lemons, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. If you are cutting down on carbs, look for carb replacements such as cauliflower rice and zucchini and squash noodles.
I must not forget my emergency snack stash. I must have a plan for my need for emergency sugar for stress. Here is where healthy fats come in handy. I purchased a variety of nuts and seeds: almonds, pistachio, pecan, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. This is good to have in purse for quick energy or stress eating. Also for snacks, if needed I have added hard cheeses, carrot sticks, celery sticks. Later on, I will make energy bites that I will keep in the freezer from almond butter and oats, chia, flax seeds.
Teas are a great product to have on hand when you just can’t drink any more water or you need something to calm you down during stressful times or relax you before bedtime. If you drink sodas ( I have been off for many years) you might want to try the La Croix products. If you don’t think you can get off Cokes, let me share this with you. A can of Coke is the best product to remove the rust from my bike at the beach. If it removes rust easily, just think what it does to your body.
Finally, for mind and body, I am heading to the pharmacy and beauty aisles. It is important to take a good quality multivitamin. Look carefully at the labels, many have added sugar or sugar substitute for flavoring. Stevia is okay because it does not cause spikes in blood sugar as many artificial flavorings do. I recently had blood work done so I know I have a B12 deficiency so I take a sublingual (under the tongue liquid) to help with energy. I am also low in Vitamin D so I take an additional supplement by mouth. Many books recommend adding a Vitamin C supplement during this sugar detox. Since I am not having fruit, I will be taking one.
To help with stress, relaxation, and sleep I am purchasing Dr. Teals Pure Epson Salt Soak in Lavender. Hot baths are an excellent way to relax and to relax your body before bedtime. You can create your own detox bath with Epsom salts, baking soda, and essential oils. I also purchased several detoxing and relaxing facial mask. It is a great time to treat yourself. Because lavender scent is such a relaxing fragrance, I have added lavender essential oil, and lavender lotion to my cart. Latter up in lotion, add several drops of the essential oil to your pillow and grab an eye mask for a good nights sleep.
One last thing, grab a notebook to create a journal to keep track of your sugar, make notes on how your day went, write down what you ate and drank to keep you accountable, and finally to take weight and measurements so you can document your life change. With shopping and home preparation complete, we are ready to begin our 21-day sugar detox.