2012 21 Day Sugar Detox: Week 1

We’ve mentioned before that we are doing a 21 Day Sugar Detox, for many reasons. First, we totally over did it for the holidays – too many paleo(ish) treats and carbs in general aided in us putting on a few pounds. Second, we’ve got a 10 year vow renewal coming up – it’s a big deal since we never had a wedding. We’d both like to look and feel our best for the event! Lack of sugar helps us sleep better, helps our skin be clear and removes bloating quickly and effectively.

I’ve done detoxes before (like, for my birthday). So I knew what to expect and what kind of results I’d get.  I’m happy to report I’ve had no issues sticking to the plan and resisting temptation. I’ve lost a bunch of water weight I was carrying from the holiday carbs and my pants fit comfortably again! I will note, I craved salt a lot more than usual. Diane from BalancedBites (who runs the #21DSD) confirmed my suspicions, in the facebook group, that this was normal since I was losing so much water weight so quickly. I happily put salt on my food and just drank plenty of water to stay hydrated. I feel great!

The kids have been fantastic. They never beg or whine about sweets or less than ideal paleo snacks, since we read and explained the concept using the Bernstein Bear book, Junk Food. We talked about how eating healthy makes us feel and all agreed as a family that this was something we wanted to do. They still eat fresh fruit, but they aren’t eating dried fruit or other paleo(ish) treats (not even date sweetened muffins). When they say they’d like something we’re not eating right now, we just ask “Do you think that’s part of our healthy plan or is that Junk Food?” They always get it and don’t ask again.

Matt however, has never gone “hard core” like this. Since he’s at goal weight (except for a few holiday pounds) he isn’t as strict as I usually am. He’s active. He’s lean. So he eats carbs and paleo(ish) treats more often than he had realized. This week has hit him harder than he anticipated.

The good: I’ve lost 6.2lbs, have much improved skin & sleep and am feeling better without the carb bloat bogging me down. The kids are averaging far less tantrums and not hearing them whine for treats is priceless. And Matt’s lost weight, too.

The bad: Matt is struggling. He told me he didn’t imagine it would be this hard. He’s had headaches. And more headaches. And then got sick (carb flu is common). And then when he had a particularly frustrating day, had a moment of weakness – since after all, no one is perfect. Fortunately, he realizes the magnitude of this problem for him and we’ve now bulked up on bacon, lunch meat & kombucha to help avoid desires for off-plan foods this coming week.

For those of you wondering what the heck eating very low carb and no sugar looks like, I’ve been taking pictures of every food I put into my mouth. Here’s what the first week looked like.

If you want to follow along daily, just join our facebook page where I’ve added a folder for all of my 21DSD Photos. Otherwise, we’ll have a week 2 and 3 recap later!

Day 1


Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

I knew I was officially in ketosis (burning my own fat) when I wasn’t hungry for 17 hours!

Day 7

I highly recommend doing a “reset” of whatever kind you feel comfortable. You can do a 21 Day Sugar Detox or a Whole 30 or something that you define yourself – it doesn’t matter. The important part is coming up with the rules you define and then finding the self respect to stick with them. Personally, I think everyone benefits from elimination diets of any kind – how else do you find out how to nourish and fuel yourself optimally?

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  • All that food looks wonderful!  We also over-did it for the holidays this year and are buckling back down this month, so I am enjoying watching your journey too.  We aren’t doing a “detox” exactly, just refocusing on our health and the foods we eat.  Keep it up!

  • Suzanne Fisher

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful photos.  I realize that sometimes I make it too hard on myself planning meals and worrying about what we are eating.  Simple looks really good and easy.  I too need to detox but am finding it as hard as it is for your hubby.  Thanks for your help.

    • Most of our meals are very simple. I just don’t see the need to get fancy on a nightly basis. Honestly, as hard as it is the first few days, it is just as easy the next few weeks! Give it a try!

  • Lins

    I hit the no hunger thing on Saturday, too!  Feels great to be back on track and I appreciate these posts.  My husband is also going hard core for the first time and he really hit a wall but is looking forward to seeing and feeling the results.  On to week 2!

  • everyone thinks eliminating wheat/corn/rice/potatoes is hard but just THINKING about cutting out sugar makes me wish I had chocolate chips nearby! kudos to you.

  • I am doing the whole30 for the second time as had some paleo treats (mainly hot coconut chocolate with honey) and hadn´t expected to feel THIS bad! Headaches, really really dizzy and simply could not function as a mum on totally low carb so I added some simple fruits back in (berries mainly) and feel much much better. Still no sugar and all within whole30. Don´t think I could ever do no-carbs!!  Those meals look lovely! Thanks for the great pics! Some brillant inspiration there – and HOW awesome are the cumin carrots!

    • It’s an addiction, you know? When you get a headache, it’s a withdrawal symptom. Once the first few days were over, it got better pretty quickly. Good luck!

  • Kala_way

    Some of the food looks really good, I just couldn’t stomach that much meat. If I have more than a hamburger’s worth in a day it makes me feel sick, I can’t imagine eating huge portions of it at every meal.

    • Meat is pretty much the main part of what Matt eats and always has. Some people can handle different amounts of different things and that is no problem at all to us. Thanks for the compliment. We appreciate it!

  • KathyK

    I am so pleased to see someone else who eats venison regularly!! My husband works for our state dept. of game and inland fisheries, so we always have hunters giving us meat – where do you get recipes for your venison dishes??

  • Cara NeSmith

    Question-what kind of sausage did you use and was it sugar free? My boyfriend and I are starting a 21 day sugar detox tomorrow using mostly paleo recipes but are not eating any fruit 🙁 and are going to try our best to out vinegar too since it is fermented. How strict were you about ensuring you were not eating carbs or sugar (natural or processed)?

    • I followed level 3 of the 21DSD and think it’s VERY important TO eat fermented foods – great for gut health! If you have the guide, read Diane’s take on sugar for curing. That said, we make our own sausage, recipe’s on the site (licorice sausage) and buy quality from USWM, our farmer and stores.

  • primalpack

    Hey your post is awesome however I was wondering if it’s possible to get the actual recipes? Thanks!