It probably happens to us all at one point. We have a great eating plan going – eating food that we know is good for us and, more importantly, we know makes us feel good. And then, for whatever reason, we veer away from that little by little. For me, it was a little rice here, a little potato there, and then that was bleeding into corn tortillas and chips, and finally getting a bag of Fritos or Bugles out of the vending machine at work or gorging yourself on a six-pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs (oh, Easter, how I hate you at times).
Yeah, it’s time for a reset.
There are so many ways to do this that it’s hard to keep track of them all. For me, as a person who’s found a lot of value in a Paleo-type diet, it makes sense to try out one of those plans. In the past, I’ve done the Primal Blueprint plan ( a la Mark’s Daily Apple), and then a couple of years later a Whole 30. And the principles I learned from doing those plans were fantastic – eat real food, keep the stuff that we know isn’t going to help us out of the diet (for me, that was processed sugars and grains, legumes, and processed fats like canola and such), and keep the carbohydrate count low (150 g per day was more than adequate).
There’s no doubt that grains, sugar, and other carb-rich foods are addictive. The science for this is overwhelming – particularly in relation to sugar. And the amount of damage they can do to the human body is pretty well documented as well. I know I feel sluggish, arthritic, brain-fogged, and more when I eat too many grains. The vast preponderance of them in modern culture doesn’t help, of course, but it’s a slippery slope and an easy slide down that slope… you give in once, then you get all the rush of rocket fuel from the carbs and feel great for a while, and then you need more. And the cycle begins again, till you’re craving Hershey bars and Doritos. Not good.
So this time I’m using a plan that many people I know have used to great effect – Diane Sanfilippo’s 21-Day Sugar Detox. The idea here is not just to lose weight and reduce carb/sugar intake, but to eliminate the craving for the sugar. That means a lot of little steps that don’t even occur to many people – for instance, though nuts are allowed, cashews specifically are not because they can ignite carb cravings due to their sweetness.
I actually started yesterday: I’m not a huge breakfast person, usually I just have coffee with some grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and a pastured egg whipped into it. But lunch was a carnitas-laden salad with guacamole, and then dinner was taco salad with grass-fed beef, salsa, and more guac that I made at home. Not the most original of meals (especially since it was almost the same thing for lunch and dinner), but I’m not much of a foodie.
Today I started off with more fatty coffee and a kale/carrot/ginger juice. I think I’m going to get this small blender we have out and start doing breakfast smoothies instead of juices so that I still get all the benefit of the fiber in the fruits and veggies I use. Diane’s book, The 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally, has a metric s**t-ton of recipes in it for such stuff and I plan on spicing up our home meals while keeping myself honest with food over the next 20 days. And the internet is full of recipes that go along with the 21-day plan’s guidelines, so the variety is never a problem.
I’m really looking forward to being back into the condition I want to be in again. So many things become easier when you’re fueling your body properly. I actually like to get my body so sensitive to fake foods like grains and such that I feel sick when I eat them, which sounds weird, I’m sure. I like to have near-instant feedback from my digestion that says “um…you really don’t want to eat that, and in return for your lapse I’m going to make you feel like crap for a while.”
So I’ll keep posting on how things are going here, and let you know of some of the trials and tribulations as well as the successes that I feel as we’re going along.
So how about you: have you ever given yourself a diet reset like this? What plans did you use? How’d they work? Comment below!