So Refined – My Sugar Detox Journey

If you know me, sweets are my vice.  Anything dipped in chocolate could easily be called my kryptonite.  If you don’t know me, I am sure you know someone who has the same addiction.  It may very well be you.  I am here to share the 21-Day Sugar Detox that was passed along to me a month ago by a good college friend (shout out to my girl Kelli Grant, who started a Facebook page called “Our Vegan Journey”). 

Sugar is hidden everywhere in our food.  What isn’t hidden is all the information afforded to us on how to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle.  Here’s the deal – we all know what’s right and wrong.  We know we have to control our portion sizes.  We know we should be reading the labels on everything we buy.  We know that comfort foods are the ones loaded with sugar, carbohydrates and empty calories our bodies simply cannot process effectively. 

For the past two decades my weight has fluctuated up and down.  Oprah can relate.  Janet Jackson can relate.  I know many of us can relate to them with our own weight struggles.  Especially now that I am older, and have been spending almost the past decade being a caregiver for a sick parent, I realized my body was changing drastically due to neglect.  Excessive stress had put me on a rollercoaster of snacking and not scheduling “me-time” for consistent exercise throughout the years.  I always have known the concept of taking care of myself is the most important thing to do when becoming a caregiver for others.  It’s simply easier said than done.  I was tired of saying it and decided it was time to do it. 

Here is what was recommended for this 21-Day Sugar Detox, based on a cleansing program by holistic nutrition coach Rose Cole.

  1. Remove all sugar and simple carbohydrates from your diet for 21 days in a row.
  2. Remove all the foods from the “avoid” list below, and eat only foods on the “good” list for the 21 days.
  3. If you “slip-up” and eat foods from the “avoid” list, then start from day one again.

That’s it. Plain and simple. I also made sure I performed cardio and weight training at least four times a week. Getting through the first few days when you’re crashing and still craving sugar is challenging, but once you are over the hump you will be amazed that the craving is gone. Pre-detox my cravings ruled my mind.  Over the past couple of weeks I could be around brownies, cake, ice cream and all the candy bowls in my office and not feel the need to taste any of it.  These past few weeks have been stressful with a couple of incidents that would normally have me running after the ice cream truck and waiting in line for my favorite Lava Fudge treat at Georgetown Cupcake: the heat wave and power outages in the region, and my mother having to go to the ER after falling and hitting her head.  I got through those life stressors without slipping. 

Without further adieu, here is the “good” and “avoid” lists.  If you decide to try it, I wish you the best of luck.  I’ve already lost 15 pounds.  On day 22 I will continue my quest and introduce some other foods in slowly.  It’s all a process.  We just need to step away from the processed foods.  Cheers to you (with a large glass of water with lemon) – Bon apetit!

Good Foods

  • All Herbs
  • All Sea Vegetables
  • All Vegetables, Except Potatoes
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Bee Pollen
  • Beets*
  • Brown Rice
  • Carrots*
  • Chocolate (unsweetened)
  • Clearvite-SF
  • Coconut
  • Coconut Oil
  • Corn*
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • Goji Berries
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Green Life Smoothie Mix
  • Hemp Seed Protein/Powder
  • Incan Berries (Golden Berries)
  • Irish Moss
  • Lemon and Lime
  • Lentils
  • Maca
  • Miracle Noodle Brand Pasta
  • Nut/Seed Butter
  • Nuts
  • Olive Oil
  • Organic Free-Range Chicken and Turkey
  • Organic Grass-Fed Beef and Lamb
  • Peas*
  • Quinoa
  • Sashimi
  • Seeds
  • Tomatoes
  • Wild Caught Salmon
  • Yams*

 *Limit to ½ cup per serving

  Foods to Avoid:

  • Agave Nectar
  • Alcohol
  • All Fried Foods
  • All Fruit not on the Good Foods list
  • All Grains not on the Good Foods list
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Breads
  • Buckwheat
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • Cheese
  • Cream Sauces
  • Dairy
  • Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Exekiel Bread
  • Flour
  • Flour Tortillas
  • French Bread
  • Fructose
  • Fruit Juice
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Hydrogenated Oils
  • Maple Syrup
  • Millet
  • MSG: Monosodium Glutinate
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Raw Cane Sugar
  • Seitan
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Tortillas
  • Trans Fat
  • Vinegar
  • Wheat Bread
  • Wheat Pasta
  • White Bread
  • White Pasta
  • White Flour
  • White Rice
  • Yogurt

This is the list of foods only during the 21 day cleanse.  After you cleanse you can slowly add back in fruits, whole grains and all natural sweeteners, such as agave nectar and stevia.  However, processed sugars and processed grains should still be avoided.


9 thoughts on “So Refined – My Sugar Detox Journey

    • Things like kelp. Here’s a link with a list:
      I kept it simple with having spinach and arugula salads with peppers, tomotoes, avocado, cucumbers and added salmon, tilapia, crabmeat and chicken. You can do it Christy! The 3 weeks have flown, and it’s amazing how the sweet cravings do go away. I know I will eat them in the future but I don’t feel like I am crawling out of my skin to get to them right now.

      • Thanks for the Whole Foods link. It’s all about baby steps and keeping it simple was the only way I could approach this. Maybe I will become more adventurous with the sea vegetables as time goes on!

  1. Wow, Kelly, this is impressive – congrats to you for completing it! That rule #3 is scary…if you slip up START OVER!! I might have to give this one a try…
    Sadly, I don’t know what half the things on the “Do Eat” list are but I know most of the “Don’t Eat” items! Your journey is inspirational.

    • Thanks Marlene! I felt the same way when I looked at the “Good List” and thought what in the world was half of this stuff. I didn’t want that to overwhelm me and keep me from trying it, so I kept things simple with spinach salads with different fish and vegetables. I bought organic chicken and turkey and hard boiled eggs. I ate more nuts than I have in a long time. I had forgotten how expensive nuts are! There were definite moments where I felt a little bored but I could feel the change in my mind and body because the sugar cravings were gone. So I stuck to it. It was challenging but became easier once I got over the initial hump which was about 4 days. The START OVER request was and is an intense rule. Unless you just lose your mind and binge all day I don’t believe you have to start over from square one. I actually tested out the plan a few days before I officially started it to just ease myself into it. I think that really helped me prepare for the 3 weeks. If you try it let me know how it goes for you!

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