Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sugar Detox Day 6

Welp. I just wrote a long update and my computer shut down so... Here's the Clifsnotes version:

I'm doing ok. No out of control cravings but I miss cheesy carbs! The three day sugar detox was meant to help create a clean slate and give me a jumping off point, so here's what I plan to eat now:

all vegetables
fruit in moderation
"clean" meat and fish (trying to do organic but not always possible)
whole grains in moderation

Splurge foods:
refined sugar
honey, agave, pure maple syrup
refine grains

I can't say I feel a significant improvement in my pain level or brain fog, but I do feel a little more alert. I still wake up with my muscles aching/burning, so we'll see what to try next :)

I've lost 6 pounds since I started reducing sugar 10 days ago, which feels great. I now weigh what I did when I got my drivers license and am 30 pounds less than my heaviest weight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sugar Detox: Day 2

So far, so good with the sugar detox. I have moments where I really want some dark chocolate or pizza (of course), but for the most part, I don't feel completely deprived or defeated. Not to say I don't want donuts or coffee with cream, but I'd say it's not been as hard as I anticipated, probably because I knew it would only be for 3 days. I can do anything for three days.

I've been reading more and gaining more of an understanding how sugar and caffeine affect our bodies and am wondering if I should cut out caffeine next. I've read blogs and actual medical studies about caffeine and low back pain, and eliminating caffeine can cause drastic reduction of pain for some people. What if I was one of those people?! It's worth finding out, for sure. After this three day sugar detox, I think I'll reintroduce small amounts of grains, fruit and dairy (I didn't consume lots of dairy before, but the stuff I did have, I miss!) and consider giving up caffeine for a while. It's kind of a hard time to think about cutting caffeine, with summer camps starting Monday at work, so I really want to weigh the cost/benefit to cutting it or reducing it at the busiest time of the year for me.

I ate just about the same stuff today as yesterday, but for a snack today I had tuna salad (canned white tuna in water, chopped dill pickle, mustard) on cucumber slices and it was really good. We're having broiled tilapia and grape tomatoes tonight with roasted asparagus and steamed edamame with sea salt. Might roast some broccoli and cauliflower with the asparagus.

So far, not seeing any difference with my pain level or concentration, but wasn't expecting anything yet. Time will tell. But, in the meantime, I feel good about fueling my body with fresh, whole, healthy food.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sugar Detox

I've been doing some research on sugar and how it causes an inflammatory response in our bodies. So I started to reduce my sugar intake: I swapped sugary lattes for coffee with cream and 1 packet of raw sugar. I stopped drinking pop for the most part (still would have 1 or 2 a month). But after reading more, I am seeing that sugar is in everything (spaghetti sauce, mayonnaise, cereal, etc.). I started making more of an effort to cut out sugar (reducing fruit consumption, eliminating any processed grains, no white flour). It hasn't been as hard as I imagined, except for wanting pizza every day, which isn't a new thing, I want pizza every day anyway! But after talking to some friends and reading more, I decided it it time to really take this seriously, so I'm starting with a 3 day cold-turkey detox, and will start adding in different foods after the three days. I went to the grocery store after the boys went to bed last night (Kyle was home, so they weren't alone!!) and got the supplies I think I'll need.

The first three days, I'll abstain from added sugar in all its forms (raw sugar, honey, agave), along with any grains, beans and all dairy. I'm most sad about the dairy and think it will be what I add back first, but wanting to read more before I make that call. Fruit might be a better option, but really, I don't know!

The reason for doing the detox is to see if it helps with the chronic pain I've lived with for the last 20 years, so I'm logging my "complaints" to see if there is any change.

chronic low back pain
chronic muscle pain (shoulders, back, quads, calves)
joint pain (knees, back, hips, occasionally wrists and jaw)
brain fog (trouble concentrating, memory recall)
occasional migraines

I don't expect all these symptoms to improve after three days of no sugar, but wanted a complete list to reference later.

I found a few articles that had some recipes and menus, so this is what I'll be eating today:
Breakfast: 2 egg omelette with onions, mushrooms and red and yellow peppers
Snack: 1/2 cup pistachios (in shell), carrots, hummus, bell peppers
Lunch: Spinach salad with red onion, tomatoes, chopped grilled chicken
Snack: almonds, bell peppers
Dinner: Spinach salad, sliced steak, mushrooms, roasted broccoli and cauliflower

We'll see how it all shakes out!