I just completed the 21 Day Sugar Detox program created by Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a Holistic Nutritionist specializing in Paleo nutrition, blood sugar regulation, food allergies and digestive health. The effect of sugar and refined, nutrient-poor carbohydrates leaves us fat, sick, tired, and unhappy. Here is my sugar detox story.
My reason for doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox:
- I have been battling eczema since my Baby was born two years ago. I had it on my stomach but the worst was on my hands. It was so painful. My hands had so many open soars I couldn’t bathe my baby and toddler at night. I had it on my fingers and on my palms. When I gave up gluten a year ago, the eczema on my stomach cleared up. My hands were better but never cleared up completely. My hope was eliminating sugar from my diet would give me more insight into what was triggering the eczema.
- About six months ago, I started having really bad acne on my face. I do not have perfect skin but acne was something I thought I had thankfully grown out of. It was all over my face, my forehead, along my hair line, my chin, my cheeks. My Princess asked me one day what all the bumps were on my forehead. It’s heart-breaking to have your 5-year-old notice your adult acne. I knew the cause of the acne was hormonal, diet, or a combination of both. My goal was to eliminate sugar to see if that what was causing the breakout.
What I Learned
- The eczema on my hands finally cleared up! When my eczema started I made a decision to not treat it with hydrocortisone because of the long list of side effects. I believed there was an underlying factor triggering this condition. About a year ago, I believed I had “leaky gut syndrome” caused by my diet and stress. I stopped eating gluten a year ago and dairy six months ago and my eczema significantly improved, but did not go away completely on my hands. I have been seeing a new integrated doctor, Dr. Hyun Joon Lee from Scarsdale Integrated Family Medicine. She is fantastic and after one look at my hands, she immediately identified my eczema type as Dyshidrotic. She recommended I limit the amount of water my hands are exposed to. The combination of wearing gloves when I will have excessive exposure to water like preparing meals and giving my girls showers and eliminating sugar and carbs from my diet cleared up my eczema.
- My acne cleared up a little bit but not completely so my breakout is also caused by hormones.
- I eat red meat. Before this detox I did not eat red meat. I had given it up over fifteen years ago in college because I was scared of getting mad cow disease. I periodically tried to eat it again but it was too hard to digest and would always give me an upset stomach. It took me the first week to adjust to eating red meat again. Now that I can eat it, I learned how to cook a perfect medium rare steak. Yum!
- I eat bacon. Bacon has not been part of my diet for as long as I can remember because I believed it would give me high cholesterol and make me fat. I’m a huge fan of Chris Kresser, a licensed Acupuncturist and Practitioner of Integrated Medicine. His thorough research has proven many of the ideas and beliefs about health in society are actually myths, like eating cholesterol and saturated fat will give you high cholesterol and lead to heart disease.
- I love the spiral vegetable slicer (you can buy it here). I haven’t eaten pasta in a long time. On the detox, I saw a recipe for spaghetti sauce over zucchini noodles. I would make the noodles with my spiral vegetable slicer, steam the zucchini between 5-10 minutes to get them soft but still have a crunch, toss with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and serve under pasta sauce. I love pasta sauce and this is a fun way to eat it.
- Delicious no sugar recipes. I thought I would only be eating steak, eggs, vegetables and bacon on the detox but that was not true at all. There are great detox-approved recipes on Diane Sanfilippo’s Balanced Bites website and the 21 Day Sugar Detox Facebook community. One of my favorites were the pumpkin pancakes. Now that I’m off the detox I can add honey and they are even more delicious. My absolute favorite was the Hot & Sweet Ginger-Garlic Chicken. I was introduced to coconut aminos, a great sugar free way to add flavor. Each day you are able to eat either one green-tip banana or a green granny smith apple. My favorite way to eat a banana in a Green smoothie. The recipe is super easy, 1 frozen banana, handful of spinach, 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and a spoonful of almond butter. Blend and serve. My girls loved this smoothie also so we all drank it together.
- More conscious about the sugar I eat, avoiding processed sugar. The detox made me realize how much sugar I eat from fruit to swedish fish. At the beginning my body was adjusting and I was tired and craved my usual sugar fixes. By the end my body adjusted and I had enough energy on the no sugar diet. I lost a couple of pounds and I was eating steak and bacon. I’m excited to be eating sugar again and I don’t want to pollute my body with processed sugars.
The 21 Day Sugar Detox book is coming out October 29, 2013 ($22.96). If you pre-order the book you get 7 quick start guides to get your started on the detox today ($21 value). Click Here to order.
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