Health & Wellness

Sugar Detox Redux #CoffeeTalk

So, this second sugar detox isn’t going quite as well as the first, but I set out about it a bit differently this time. I didn’t aim to be as strict as I was the first time, and I wasn’t looking at it so much as a 21-day thing to kick the sugar habit with the hopes of working into some type of paleo-ish lifestyle afterwards. Instead, this time I decided to consider it a lifestyle change from the get-go. That meant that I would allow myself an occasional deviation from the “rules,” but try to stick to them closely enough to lose a few pounds and kick the sugar cravings. I don’t have an end date this time, since I plan to keep going.

I’m not doing too bad with the sugary stuff, but because of my job, I had to make a few grain-heavy recipes this week that don’t fit into the detox protocol. While I didn’t overindulge (or I didn’t think I did), it has definitely set me back a bit in the weight-loss department, or at least slowed my progress. It’s disappointing, and yet, I just keep reminding myself that it’s a good lesson. I know what works and what doesn’t, and I need to do my best to stick to the program until I get where I want to be, and then I can loosen up a bit. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Or something like that. I hate running references now. They just depress me.

My other favorite mantra is, Just Keep Swimming.

Just Keep Swimming

So I will “keep swimming” and not let a little setback get me down.

That said, I prepared a super delicious riced-based dinner last night that I can’t wait to share with you! Unfortunately, I forgot to add a few components to the dish I plated and photographed, and now I have to make it AGAIN. I’ll wait till next week when I’ve hopefully had some success from this diet, and one dinner shouldn’t sabotage my progress. It’s pretty discouraging to have a set-back on Day 3.

Otherwise, I’m doing fine and feeling good.

A few have asked what I eat. I usually have eggs in some form for breakfast — fried or scrambled with some leftover dinner veggies thrown in. For lunch I’ve been having tuna salad or chicken salad. I actually buy those prepared from a local natural foods store. I know I should make my own, but it is so easy to pick them up when I’m there, and sometimes I just need easy. That’s my version of “fast food,” ha! Sometimes I will have it over a salad with my homemade lemon vinaigrette, and sometimes I just eat them right out of the container.

Dinners vary, but I’m trying to stick to paleo/primal meals. Next week’s meal plan will reflect that. I don’t snack much, but when I do, it’s usually raw cheddar cheese (Organic Valley) or that seasoned seaweed from Costco. I am still drinking 2 or 3 cups of coffee with heavy cream each day, but other than that, it’s mostly water. I had a glass of wine last night with a friend, but that’s not a daily thing anymore.

For those just tuning in, I did Diane Sanfilippino’s 21 Day Sugar Detox last summer, and I loved how I looked and felt afterwards. I had hoped to move into a primal way of eating, a la Mark Sisson, so I could maintain my new lease on life, but I gradually moved back to my old eating habits. Forty years of eating habits is hard to break, yo!

This time I’m doing it again, but more or less following Mark’s Primal Blueprint, which isn’t meant to last only 21 days. It’s meant to create new eating habits that you stick with long term, which is my ultimate goal. I want to look and feel good for years, not for three weeks. (That’s the goal of Diane’s plan too, and both are very similar, but I like the way his is laid out, and you don’t have to pay anything to get it.) If you’re wondering what his “rules” are, they are right here. I don’t get into the counting carbs and all that nonsense, though. I just am trying to reduce my consumption by cutting out the empty carbs.)

I created my own list of rules, based on his guidelines and what I know works for me. I posted this a few days ago, but here it is again.

What to Eat


  • eggs (preferably from pastured chickens)
  • good quality meat, chicken and fish
  • good fats (EVOO, pastured lard, grass-fed butter, ghee)
  • non-starchy vegetables & leafy greens (preferably organic)
  • unsweetened yogurt (preferably organic)
  • coconut
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • coffee (I use heavy cream daily, but NO sugar)

SOMETIMES (two or three times a week)

  • red wine (2 glasses max)
  • bacon (preferably nitrate-free)
  • good quality chocolate
  • fruit
  • cheese (preferably organic and raw)
  • yams/sweet potatoes

RARELY (once or twice a month)

  • small dessert, preferably homemade
  • white wine
  • white potatoes
  • beans/legumes
  • peanut butter
  • rice
  • oats/oatmeal

NEVER (or almost never)

  • sugary snacks
  • soda or other sweetened beverages
  • artificial sweeteners
  • processed food products
  • wheat-based breads or crackers, even homemade (b/c I am gluten-free; I would put this in rarely for most people – if it’s organic and whole grain)

Those lists are not exhaustive, but they give you the general idea.

Join the Conversation

5 thoughts on “Sugar Detox Redux #CoffeeTalk

  1. Why is peanut butter in the rarely? It is high in protein?
    I’m on a similar diet but I prefer to call mine a life style change. I have always ate healthy, as in no fast foods and very little processed ones. I decided to cut out breads and sugar and feel much better and have lost weight. I eat 2 eggs six mornings a week, an apple with cheese or salmon salad on lettuce for lunch and meat with a big salad for dinner. If I get hungry in between lunch and dinner, I have a handful of almonds and in the evening, I have an Activia yogurt cup. I cut out wine all together for a year and now I have a glass when out with friends. I never eat a sweet anymore and don’t miss them. I do get a craving for Miss Vicki’s Sea Salt & Vinegar chips occasionally, but I resist and it passes. I think once you’re in the right frame of mind, it is easy to make these changes and then they become the norm. I hope to slide into old age in a healthier body and mind. Lol

    1. That’s because peanuts are legumes, and legumes/beans are not part of a typical paleo or primal lifestyle. He explains why in that link I posted. I totally agree about this being a lifestyle change rather than a diet. I hate calling it that, and this time I really want to make this my new normal. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, though. 🙂

  2. Hi Jo-Lynne! I’m right here with you trying to change up some unhealthy eating habits. I’ve improved my eating since my 20s, but I’m carrying an additional 20 lbs since having kids. I read The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferris and he recommends an eating plan similar to yours, but then one day/week, you can “cheat” and have whatever you want. This helps with cravings because it’s not like you can NEVER have a food. It also helps me plan around special events.

    If you check it out, I will warn you. There is a chapter that is very graphic (check the subtitle and you will know what I mean). The food part was interesting, but this is not a book to leave around the house!

  3. I followed you last summer while you were doing your 21 day detox and you did amazing. I have never had the will power, but need to, I have packed on a few pounds this winter from not being as active, I had to buy one size bigger shorts for spring break. We live in Kansas and each spring they have a 6 week long team challenge to encourage exercising and eating of fruits and vegetables. I am hoping for some success. I do fruits and vegetables…it’s giving up the sweets and comfort foods i am not so good at. Good Luck!

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