So we did it. 21 Days with no sugar and very limited carbs. It’s been a little over a week since we finished up, so I thought I’d share my findings.
It was actually much easier than I thought. It turns out if I have a real plan (a book to follow), and someone to do it with me and hold me accountable, I’m pretty good at following a set of yes and no rules. The biggest challenge was actually all of the fruit the boys ate. Not being able to eat a blueberry or a slice of orange or even lick my fingers after slowly feeding it to the Little One was pretty tough.
Here’s a breakdown of my ‘results.’
- I still feel like I crave something after meals. This has pretty much always been a dessert or snack or something sweet. 29 years of habit can’t be broken in 21 days. BUT I don’t feel like that something has to be sweet. That is a huge win!
- I do still want, desire, crave sweets in general. I like ice cream and cake. I’ve indulged in a few treats out and they aren’t as good as they used to be. However; I have to fight the habit to have something every day or I will just fall right back into my old habits.
- I like things I didn’t before. Green apples are actually pretty good. Sauerkraut makes a great topping for sandwiches. Almond butter is actually good instead of the sad alternative topeanut butter. My palate has definitely changed.
- Paleo/grain free/sweetener free desserts are actually a decent substitution – if you find the right ones.
- Coconut butter is a legitimate dessert.
- In the first 4 days, I lost the 5 holiday pounds I had gained.
- I noticed a distinct difference in how bloated I looked and felt.
- I don’t crave bread at all. Just ice cream 🙂
- I feel empowered that I actually am capable of cutting something out that I thought I couldn’t.
- I improved ten fold in the kitchen.
- Green smoothies are the bomb. (Spinach, almond milk, frozen banana slices, almond butter, coconut milk)
So what do we do now?
Well, we definitely aren’t going to be sugar/grain free forever. We have been working on our eating anyway so this was a nice boost.
- We don’t feel the need to buy bread anymore and even the boys don’t need to have sandwiches. Romaine hearts are a perfect substitution.
- The green smoothies are sticking around. Especially since both boys love them!
- We are all more adventurous eaters. Even Little C has tried more new foods in the last few weeks than at any other time in his little life.
- We are going to try to follow a paleo diet for the most part. (Except cheese and milk mostly)
- Instead of trying/worrying about organic veggies, we are going to be better about the meats we buy. If only we had room for a chest freezer! I’m learning that the advantage of better sourced meats is way more than the veggies. And since we don’t have the budget to do both, we are going to switch gears slightly.
- We are working to incorporate more veggies! I’ve realized our biggest hurdle is just not knowing how to prepare them. So my recipe goal is now to focus on good veggie recipes. (Broccoli and brussel sprouts last night were a huge success! A 2.5 year old that likes broccoli and a 15 month old that eats brussel sprouts? Awesome!)
- We currently have our first ever batch of kombucha and of sauerkraut fermenting away. We’ll see how that goes.
- I hope to keep sugary and carb heavy foods out of the house. Then I only have to avoid them while out and about.
If you are looking for something to help you reset your taste buds, give you a general starting point for a new way of eating, or just to challenge you to cut out sugar, I would highly recommend it. Diane Sanfilippo actually has full meal plans, but I like to do it my way (shocking, I know). I am much better at just having the list of foods I can and can’t eat and making my own meals. I did use many of her recipes, and I genuinely liked every one I tried. The desserts aren’t quite that, but they worked really well while we couldn’t have any sugar and I may make a few of them again.