If you follow me on IG, you were able to get a glimpse of my family’s 1-week challenge to detox sugar. For those of you interested in the meal plan I used, I thought I’d post it here so you can refer back to it. My concluding thoughts and lessons are at the end of this article. Enjoy!
The Boundaries: 7 days. No sweeteners, processed or natural, of any kind. No white flour because flour turns into sugar in your body. Fruit, whole sprouted grains, and full-fat dairy were allowed.
The Meal Plan: (links to recipes provided when possible)
Breakfast: Chocolate-covered strawberry smoothie (plain whole yogurt, whole milk, cacao powder, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, spinach, ice, etc.)
Snack 1: Green apple slices with sugar-free peanut butter (read the peanut butter labels!)
Lunch: Chopped chicken Cobb salad–chicken, avocado, tomato, carrot, boiled egg, red leaf lettuce, and homemade balsamic vinegar dressing (1 part EVOO, 2 parts balsamic vinegar, squeeze of dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to taste).
Snack 2: Veggies and hummus (read the hummus labels!)
Dinner: Shrimp ceviche–(I added avocado), organic corn tortilla chips, and homemade Mexican rice.
Breakfast: Veggie egg scramble with spinach, onions, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and feta. Sprouted wheat toast with Kerrygold butter.
Snack 1: Grapes and crispy nuts
Lunch: Grilled chicken thighs, baked sweet potato, and steamed broccoli smothered in butter
Snack 2: Plain whole yogurt, banana slices, cinnamon (or banana ice cream with peanut butter and cinnamon added in, then sprinkled with crispy nuts)
Dinner: Against All Grain’s spaghetti sauce (skip the sweeteners), Tinkyada gluten-free spaghetti noodles–(I can’t recommend these noodles enough! You’ll never know they’re gluten free), and Against All Grain’s Rosemary Breadsticks–skip the honey.
Breakfast: Soaked, gluten-free oatmeal served with peanut butter, sliced strawberries, whole milk, and crispy nuts.
Snack 1: Hummus and veggies
Lunch: Spinach salad with shredded chicken, sliced almonds, strawberries, and homemade balsamic dressing (see Day 1)
Snack 2: Smoothie
Dinner: Juevos Rancheros from One-Pan Wonders–(I LOVE this cookbook. EVERYTHING we have tried has been so tasty, and it mostly uses whole foods or is easily adaptable), organic tortilla chips, homemade guacamole
Breakfast: Smoothie and toast
Snack 1: Apple and cheese
Lunch: Ezekiel tortilla quesadilla, organic corn chips, and homemade salsa
Snack 2: Kale chips (we love ours seasoned with lime juice and salt)
Breakfast: Omelettes and fruit
Snack 1: Mexican cucumbers (sliced cucumbers drizzled with salt and lime juice, and cayenne pepper for the adventurous)
Lunch: Grilled steak salad with goat cheese, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and homemade balsamic vinegar dressing; rosemary breadsticks (see Day 2).
Snack 2: Popcorn made in Whirly Pop and seasoned with Kerrygold butter and sea salt.
Dinner: Ground elk burgers (remember no ketchup or mayonnaise!) with Udi’s gluten-free buns, Bubbies pickles, and homemade sweet potato fries
Breakfast: Eggs and sugar-free breakfast sausage (we found an andouille sausage on sale, so we sliced that up).
Snack 1: Crispy nuts and apple
Lunch: Chicken salad (grapes, dill, whole yogurt, mustard, and more) served on lettuce or sprouted-wheat bread, and carrot sticks
Snack 2: Tsaziki and vegetables
Dinner: Roasted pork loin (no maple syrup) over apples
Breakfast: French toast (sprouted bread, eggs, milk, cinnamon) topped with butter and cinnamon or sliced strawberries and bananas.
Snack 1: Hard-boiled eggs
Lunch: Taco salad made with leftover chicken or homemade beef taco meat, homemade salsa used as dressing, organic chips
Snack 2: Dates dipped in peanut butter (or Lara bars–read the labels. The ones with chocolate have sugar.)
Fruit was our saving grace. I know we would have struggled a lot more without it.
Having a plan for all three meals and two snacks per day was the ONLY way I was able to keep our family from derailing. When there are plenty of good-fat-filled alternatives, and lots of fruit to quiet the sugar cravings, then we were able to stay the course.
Moods for all five of us improved over this week. I personally felt a noticeable decline in anxiety and overwhelm. My middle child jumped on a huge roller coaster of emotions once we went back on sugar. It’s clearly tied to the emotions. In previous times, I have found similar results with going off of gluten, so I’m not sure if it was just the sugar or the combo of going off of gluten and sugar. Gluten has always been tied to hormones for me personally.
You can’t find bacon that doesn’t have sugar in it. This was a really disappointing fact to swallow (or not swallow as the case may be).
What are your favorite sugar-free meals and snacks (post with links to the recipes is a bonus)? I’m always looking for tasty new recipes to try!