So, after taking the at-home candida overgrowth saliva test and having sugar cravings, I decided to research what a good sugar detox would be for me.
To see what the at-home candida overgrowth saliva test is, click here.
The truth is that sugar is a bad friend. Yes, as contradictory as it may sound, it is the best way to describe it. She is a friend because it’s the “go-to” friend when you are sad, need comfort, are feeling down, lonely, or want to feel better. It is bad because it is addictive and it can bring all kinds of ailments. Actually, sugar has been proven to feed and even cause tumors and cancers! Not a sweet friend anymore, huh?
In the quest for health, I ventured into an extensive research journey to discover what is best for us in regards to sugars and sweeteners. I personally think that going to any extreme can bring more harm than good, so giving up all sugars and sweeteners was out of the question (it is basically impossible). So the definition of my quest is finding the balance to sweeten life in a healthier way. We do live in a fallen world and sadly, nothing is perfect.
So, I like the vegan diet in that it avoids dairy (I happily give up cow’s milk) and meat (although I could never give up meat completely).
I like the vegetarian diet in that it still uses cheese and eggs (which would be extremely hard to give up).
And I like the paleo diet in that it goes sugar-free and grain-free (I am inclined to minimize my gluten consumption. This is not because I have an allergy or sensitivity, per se, but I do feel better in general when I do avoid gluten). I also like that it doesn’t get rid of all meats (especially bacon). What we are working on now is to eat less meat and the meat that we do it is mostly grass-fed and organic.
Here are a few tips that I learned during my 21-day sugar detox:
– I waited to start the sugar detox until my almost 14-month old self-weaned. All pregnant and breastfeeding women should wait until they’re done to do any kind of detox.
– I learned to drink herbal teas instead of sugary drinks. I am sweetening our homemade lemonade with honey and I am off coffee and soda. We eat out only once a week and I thought I’d have a soda only while eating out, but the thought of that now doesn’t seem so appealing after all.
– I use raw organic honey and organic maple syrup to sweeten food and drinks and I use less of it. I am eventually going to add coconut sugar (crystals) and vanilla organic green stevia.
– I taught myself to read labels and spot not only sugary culprits, but anything that isn’t healthy.
– I am making our family and our health a priority, so all of our meals are homemade (except for one meal a week). Yes, I do take the time to make delicious meals (a lot of if from scratch), so I know exactly what is in our meals.
– I realized that our health is more important than material things, so we changed our way of thinking. We no longer go for the cheapest foods (which are mostly processed junk) and decided to buy the best ingredients possible (organic) as much as we can.
– I learned how to make my own homemade almond milk, coconut milk, and almond flour. Baking with these milks and flour makes food healthier and delicious (imagine making pancakes using coconut milk…yumm!).
– I learned to make my own breads and bagels. Yes, not all are gluten-free, but they are still void of all additives, preservatives, dyes, and other unnecessary junk. A good bread maker is a must, really, especially if you are planning on baking your own bread on a regular basis.
– We invested in great quality cooking/baking products. I became a Pampered Chef consultant to take advantage of discounts to get items that I love and use every day. Ever since I got these products, I am much more confident in the kitchen and I feel like I am developing a bit of a “chef’s sixth sense.” I love following my instincts in cooking and baking!
– We invested in growing our own fruit and vegetable garden (and compost pile). It is a bit of work at first, but it is so worth it! There is nothing like growing your own organic goodies and stepping right outside to pick fresh produce for meals. My 3-year old especially loves picking strawberries.
I am sure I am forgetting things, but at least this is good enough info to get you inspired and to get started! Ask me any questions and I’ll do the best I can to answer them (or at least I’ll point you in hte right direction). 🙂
Day 7 of the sugar detox: I am feeling much better overall. The first 3 days or so, I felt blah, tired, and headachy. Now, I have my regular high energy back and feel lighter (not bloated), but I am still craving sugars and carbs (more sugars than carbs, though) all day. Personally, I think it’s because I am about to get my menses. Last month, I had a horrible bout of PMS and hated it because of how I was feeling (physically and emotionally). This month, I know I am about to get it, but I haven’t had any symptoms of PMS! Wow! Could this be attributed to the sugar detox? Don’t know yet, but if it is, then omgoodness, it is totally worth it!
I am not giving up all sugars, just refined white (processed) sugar. I am only using honey and maple syrup (sparingly) as well as eating some fruit (which contains natural sugar) and I’m about to start using coconut sugar and liquid vanilla stevia (organic).
Agave and xylitol are out. They are too processed and I’m trying to go as natural as possible.
UPDATE!!!! It has been 21 days and I made it through the detox! I feel better, even though I didn’t give up 100% sweeteners, just everything with refined/white/processed sugar.
I stopped having cravings, which was my strongest wake-up call to realize that cravings were a sign of candida overgrowth. I did find it very hard to socialize because I had to either ask if food had sugar in it or just avoid it completely. It was really hard when there was nothing I could eat (potluck-like events), but stayed strong and got through it.
I took the at-home candida overgrowth test again and it was a whole lot better than it was 24 days earlier! I was pleasantly surprised!
I had a dinner date with a girlfriend and that day, I realized that the dinner was after the detox was over (after 21 days!), so I did have coffee with sugar and had a dessert (chocolate molten cake, yum). Sugary stuff tasted different now. It felt like I could enjoy it, but I wasn’t a slave (or bound) to it anymore! I ate because I liked it, not because I had an insatiable craving for it. You know what I mean? I felt free.
I was a bit scared about having a sugar rush or going into a sugar comma after not having white sugar for 21 days, but it didn’t happen. I did feel a bit of a buzz (which I had never noticed before (after eating sugary foods), but nothing major.
Honestly, I understand that it’ll be nearly impossible to adopt this detox permanently, but I will avoid refined/white/processed sugar at all costs. I will keep coconut sugar in a baggie in my purse (in case I need to sweeten something), but I won’t restrict myself when eating at an event. I think it is a good thing to want to be healthy, but I also think it is a good thing to be happy and enjoy life. Restricting myself 100% of the time would not be fun and I think I’d feel burned out after a while and quit trying altogether. As with everything, balance is key. Make sure that if you want to do something more permanent, that it is doable and that it is something that you can live with.
And about me, well, I will try to do the sugar detox every six months or so, unless I feel I need to (because of candida overgrowth symptoms).