Well, here I am on the last night of the last day of the ten-day sugar detox. During the ten days, I kind of impressed myself by being able to avoid sweet and sweetened foods altogether. My few slips were mostly unintentional, finding sugar in unexpected places (like salad dressings and unflavored half and half). I think those served as teaching tools, forcing me to read labels and think carefully before ordering certain things in restaurants. My one moment of voluntary sugary weakness came yesterday, after I’d been up all the night previous with a restless kiddo. I was spreading almond butter on a gluten-free wrap and (hold onto your horses), I added a drizzle of honey. That’s right, honey, honey. You would have thought it was a line of cocaine the way I felt about doing it.
It’s amazing what being tired, stressed and hungry will do to your ability to make healthy choices. In counseling, we used to say never make decisions when you are HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired), and I think the same is true for eating healthy. I found my toughest choices came when I was ill-prepared or rushed. Even if I didn’t violate the sugar detox, I sometimes made other questionable choices that were fatty or empty calories. (Chips, etc.) This morning, after wrestling the boys into the car and off to preschool, I found myself starving on the way to visit the osteopath with no time to run home or to the store. I ended up grabbing a breakfast sandwich at Starbucks because it was one of the lower-calorie options I could eat on the run.
Since I also took myself off wheat before and during the detox, the sandwich was the first real bread I’d had in a couple of weeks. All I can say is wow. Just wow. I couldn’t believe how bad I felt – groggy and disconnected – within half an hour. I wanted to crawl in the backseat of my van and take a nap at 10 a.m. Even with the coffee. I had a hard time focusing on what the doctor said in the first half of our session together, and my brain felt…. foggy. I know it sounds crazy, but needless to say when the doctor suggested I stay off wheat, gluten and sugar for a few more months, I didn’t take much convincing. At least on the wheat. We’ll discuss whether I can survive without Guinness and chocolate later. 🙂
For now, I’m going to go out on a positive note and share today’s planning-ahead accomplishment, thanks to a fab idea from my doctor: these cool salads in jars! You put the dressing on the bottom, then protein and veggies, lettuce on the top. You can make them ahead of time and just shake them up when you’re ready to eat. Mine are asian pears, walnuts, goat cheese and arugula — I’m sure there are six million other recipes for these on Pinterest. What a cool idea.
I want to say thanks again to everyone who followed and supported me during the detox. Many people asked me about it, made comments, and even tried to make my life easier and I so appreciate it. Since it appears this is turning into a longer road for me, I’ll try to continue posting periodically about the challenges of eating kale and blueberries when what you really want is a Big Mac and chocolate shake.
Have you ever given up a food you love – for Lent, for health reasons, or when the Twinkie factory workers went on strike? How did you deal with it?
I’m M.J. (Manda) Pullen, an author and mom in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I blog about writing, publishing, parenthood, life and the many lessons I’ve learned the hard way. I miss chocolate.
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My current roster of books includes The Marriage Pact series, a trilogy of Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction novels. You can find them for all eBook formats and in paperback here.
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