First there was Halloween and the tons of candy that your kids brought home or the leftover candy that you didn’t hand out. Then there’s Thanksgiving. The purpose of that holiday is to overeat. Then there is Christmas. The Christmas season now lasts two months. There’s the holiday parties, the cookies, the feasts. You visit family, family visits you and big meals are consumed. We are so busy shopping and preparing that it’s easy to get wrapped up in the “pick up a pizza on the way home” mentality.
Now, it’s January. Everyone is making resolutions, mostly the result of the 5 extra pounds gained over the course of the last two months.
What does The Wellness Wife do to get back on track? A 21-day sugar purification. My husband and I do this every year to cleanse our body of the sugar intake from all the cookies, breads, treats, and portion distortion of he holidays.
If you generally eat healthy on a daily basis but have added in a little too many sweets, this won’t be too difficult. If you aren’t a healthy eater you will have to be a little more resolute about changing your habits. Don’t worry, I’m here to help!
Why sugar specifically? Because it is the root of all evil. If you cut the sugar, your metabolism will increase, your mood will enhance, you will have more energy, and your immune system will be stronger (probably the most important of all this time of year). Find out more about the dangers of sugar in one of my previous posts.
Why 21 days? Because it takes up to 21 days for your taste buds to regenerate. By 21 days, you won’t crave sweets and fruits will taste sweeter than you ever imagined and some of your favorite treats will seem too sweet for your palate.
What We Will Be Eliminating
- Sugar: That means sugar itself and anything that has sugar added to it. Become a label reader. Remember, even organic sugar is sugar. Check out this post on SkinnyMs. to find out 50 names for sugar when reading labels.
- White rice: Switch to brown; long grain brown basmati is the best when it comes to glycemic load.
- White bread and anything else made with white wheat: Once again, you will have to become a label reader. Enriched flour is also bad for you. It’s basically telegraphing to you “we stripped the nutrients out of this wheat during the refining process, so we’ve added vitamins back in.”
- White pasta: Switch to whole wheat, brown rice, or quinoa pasta.
- Processed foods: I want you to succeed in this, so I’m not going to ask you to eliminate all processed foods right away, but please be discriminant. Most processed foods contain sugar, so refer to #1. If you have no idea what the ingredients mean, avoid the product, or if it sounds man-made, don’t buy it. This does not give you blanket approval to buy potato chips because the ingredients are “potatoes, oil, and salt.”
How to Get Started
- Get all of the leftovers out of the house. Finish the cookies or take them to work before you get started.
- Clean your cupboards. You want no temptations in the house. If something is unopened, donate it to your local food bank or return it to the store and get some money back.
- If something is already opened and you can’t bring yourself to throw away good food, hide it somewhere and eat it sparingly after the purification. Rice and pastas keep way more than 21 days, so you’re fine there.
- Satisfy your cravings. This is a Wellness Wife technique, probably not supported by a nutritionist, but oh well. If you have a craving or a favorite food or restaurant, get it out of the way before you start. That’s right. Go to your favorite Chinese buffet and pig out. Eat one last hunk of cheesecake. Dine out at that steak place that gives you unlimited yeast rolls. Because you will be saying good-bye to these for awhile. If you are craving them the whole time, you will not succeed.
- Pick a date and go for it! If you truly believe you are addicted to sugar, you may want to start on a weekend in case you get headaches or irritability as a result of the detoxification. I never experienced this, but some do.
I recommend you do this cold turkey. For a true purification, you have to. But, if you can’t, start gradually. In my next post, I will give you helpful hints on healthy substitutions and tips for those who need to start gradually. Be sure to subscribe at the top right hand side bar so you don’t miss a post!
Who is with me!
Other Posts in This Series
Image is from the portfolio of “Witthaya Phonsawat” from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, edited by The Wellness Wife.
- 6 Free Ways to Start the Year Off Right
- Fighting Evil with Good