The 21 Day Sugar Detox is pretty much what it says on the box. 21 days where you cut out all added sugars and sweeteners and limit your starchy vegetables and fruit. The Whole30 is a very strict paleo program of 30 days where you removing inflammatory food groups such as sugar, grains, dairy and legumes as well as trying removing potentially triggering foods such as "paleo-ised" desserts and baked goods.
My goal wasn't really to sugar detox. What I really wanted to do was to break my bad habits and start incorporating more vegetables into my diet. I picked and chose bits and pieces from both programs but it essentially boiled down to:
- at least 2/3 of each meal had to be non-starchy vegetables
- limit packaged foods as much as possible, and avoid anything with added sugar (harder than it sounds)
- avoided grains, legumes and dairy
- limiting fruits to green apples and bananas and try to limit to one piece of fruit per day
- go for the full 30 days
and that's pretty much it.
I did try to cut out my dessert triggering foods like coconut butter and paleo friendly baked goods but it didn't work out. Clearly, I may have an issues with those foods. I rationalised my failure by telling myself that I happened to love paleo baked goods and I can't eat the non-paleo ones anyway.
One of the notes on the Whole30 website or forums was to take a photo or write down everything you ate to keep yourself accountable, so my Facebook friends were treated to a daily collage of my meals.
It took me a good 3 weeks or so before I really started to notice a true difference. Luckily though, the sugar withdrawals at the beginning were quite mild.
I wish I could say that I've kept up my vegetable intake at the levels I was eating during the detox, but I've let it slide a little bit. I've also rediscovered the joys of a square of dark chocolate when I'm in need of a pick me up.
I've kept eating mostly paleo though. It seems to work well for me.