We grew up having desert almost every single night, and if we didn’t have anything specific planned, my dad would grab a bag of chocolate chips and pass it around the table. That need to have something sweet after a meal has followed me into adulthood. I honestly hadn’t given it much thought, other then on occasion when I would try to diet, but now that I’m a mother, I see things differently. I try to limit my sons sugar intake fairly strictly, but I find myself being quite the hypocrite. I will decline their request for a sweet treat, only to find myself sneaking something when they aren’t looking. My mom has an amazing hot fudge recipe (one that I grew up on), and I have been known to make extra just to keep it in the fridge and eat it by the spoonful. But, now I see what sugar does to my boys. If they have a little treat, they just want MORE, MORE, MORE! Sugar has become such an accepted drug in our society. It is hidden in things that we have labeled “healthy”. It has names that we have never even heard of.
My father passed away in 2014 from complications caused by early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. My dad was a very healthy person. He ate fairly healthy (other then the sugar), was extremely active, worked out on a regular basis, played softball in an adult league a few times a week, rarely ate red meat, didn’t drink alcohol, and didn’t use tobacco products. It’s not a certainty that my dad’s sugar addiction was the cause for the issues he faced later in his life, (in fact, it was probably more likely caused by multiple head traumas–see my Alzheimer’s page for more information) but there is quite a bit of research that shows a relationship between consuming refined sugar and grains and the effect it has on our bodies and our minds. So, I’m using this as my own personal motivation.
I have decided to “detox” myself of sugar and refined grains. I did a lot of research on the subject, and for the most part a lot of the websites willing to guide you through the detox phase want a fee in exchange for their information. Sounds fair, but I wasn’t ready to commit to that. So, I just read as much as I could for free and decided to pull the trigger. The tipping point for me was one night in particular when I was having a bowl of ice cream with my boys. They requested dessert, and they had eaten a good dinner, so I agreed. I found myself eating the ice cream, but not enjoying it in the least. It didn’t even taste that good, however, I finished the entire bowl and wanted more. It was that night I decided enough is enough. I need to reset my mind and body and train my taste buds to appreciate natural sugars instead of craving the processed junk.
So, I just decided to wing it. I had been making excuses for a long time, and finally I was ready to take the sugar bull by it’s horns. I don’t advise winging it. It was a bit rough the first week. I did have the forethought to plan out our dinner meals for the week to include no sugary sauces or side dishes. But, I failed to plan out breakfasts and lunches for myself. I ended up eating a lot of eggs. A LOT. I got pretty sick of eggs by the end of the 1st week. I would open the fridge, stare-not knowing what I should eat, then make myself some eggs since I knew I was safe with that. It is also highly recommended to clean out your pantry of all sugary items, but when you are living with 3 other people who are not also on a sugar detox, that’s impossible. I do think it would be easier to get rid of any temptations, but there are always going to be temptations-whether you are at home or out and about, so I figured I need to strengthen my will power anyway…might as well start from the beginning.
A lot of the information I read advised to avoid all forms of anything sweet the first week especially. So, no fruit, no juice, no honey, no stevia, etc. I abided by this rule because I wanted to reset my taste buds and not bring on a craving after having something sweet, even if it was naturally occurring sugars. The brain gets a message that something sweet is entering the body, and it sends a signal that it needs more. I need to reset this message.
My goal throughout this detox is not to completely rid all sugar from my life forever. I simply want to get control over my cravings and be able to enjoy a treat periodically without feeling like I want to eat the entire cake. So, we’ll see how it goes! I’m going to give it 4 weeks and I am hoping that I can survive! One week down, 3 to go.
What I ate for dinner this week:
Homemade, no sugar added, spaghetti sauce with zucchini noodles
Tunafish salad lettuce wraps
Beef stroganoff with zucchini noodles
Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches (I skipped the bun)
Shaved Brussels sprouts salad
Fajitas (I just made a salad with the fixin’s and skipped the shells)