As many of you know I have been on a health journey for the last while (since April 2012) and have been working at getting myself healthier in the kitchen and stronger in the gym (er, living room). Mostly what I do is try to eat as clean as possible, and exercise regularly. While I have never committed 100% to paleo, I do base a lot of how I eat on the rules of that lifestyle, trying to choose the most nutritious foods as possible, with the majority of foods being vegetables, complemented with a good portion of animal protein, and some fruits (I do eat grains, dairy and legumes occasionally).
Sometimes, I really need a reset and so I like to regularly challenge myself to give up certain foods for a certain amount of times to challenge my relationship with food and to get myself back on track. Last May, I decided I’d give the 21-Day Sugar Detox a try. At this time, it was an e-book program and I was able to complete 17 days of the challenge before I went away for May Long Weekend. When I saw that Diane Sanfilippo (New York Times best-selling author of Practical Paleo, another book I highly recommend) was turning the 21-Day Sugar Detox into a print book, I was pretty excited and even more thrilled to be able to receive a copy to review and give the program another try!
What I love about this program is that there are three different levels, so anyone can truly participate! This book is FULL of simple and straightforward information on how to naturally bust your sugar and carb cravings and is based on real, whole, nutrient-dense foods — no supplements or magic formulas to purchase here.
This book is huge on information but small enough to carry along with you in your purse so that you always have it on hand while you are participating in the program. The 21-Day Sugar Detox is made up of three sections:
- Program Basics: how to prepare, what to expect, and where to find support
- Program levels and meal plans, including modifications for nursing or pregnant moms and athletes, pescetarians, and those with auto-immune conditions. (The first level also includes full-fat dairy, if you aren’t ready to give everything up!)
- Recipes: over 90 easy recipes that are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and, Paleo-friendly.
You might be thinking, “gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free… how good can these recipes be!?” — but I think you will be surprised! Granted, if you are where I was just over a year ago and fully on the Standard American Diet made up mostly of grains and processed food, then eating real, whole foods might take your taste-buds some time to get used to but it is one of the best gifts you can give yourself to push through and give real food a chance! It has honestly changed my life for the better!
Some of my favorite recipes from the program are: coco-monkey smoothie; carrot pumpkin spice muffins; mustard-glazed chicken thighs; smoky chicken tortilla-less soup (seriously SO good, even Peter wanted to eat it and he doesn’t even like soup! I didn’t share, I was on the detox and he wasn’t, sorry dear!); not-sweet cinnamon cookies (good with a spread of almond butter on top!); and moo-less chocolate mousse. There are so many recipes in the book that I didn’t get to try them all yet, so you will have more than enough to try out during your 21 days! Diane is also releasing a companion cookbook soon that is all recipes, so you’ll definitely have to check that out as well!
So if your New Years’ Resolution is to eat more vegetables or to tame that sugar dragon, I definitely recommend giving the 21-Day Sugar Detox a try! You will learn so much about how food affects you, your relationship with food, and you might even surprise yourself with how much you start to enjoy eating vegetables and other whole foods!