What I’ve Been Eating on the 21-Day Sugar Detox

Apr 12, 2012 by

"Green Eggs and Ham" recipe to come soon!!

I mentioned that I would let you guys know what we’ve been eating and what recipes I have that I can recommend for those of you thinking about starting this detox. One of the easiest parts of the past few weeks has been eating. The food I make isn’t bland or boring, I’ve been using way more herbs and spices, and have really been able to enjoy eating healthy food.

I’ve actually been logging my food most days because I wanted to make sure I was getting enough calories because I really am only eating two meals a day plus one small snack, if that. My calories are ranging from between 1200-1800 calories a day, 80-110g of healthy fat (65%), 30-40g of carbs all from veggies (15%), and 90-110g (20%). I actually couldn’t be more pleased with that macronutrient breakdown as it falls pretty perfectly within the Paleo ratios and I  feel full and satisfied.

I tend to have coffee (with unsweetened vanilla almond milk) around 7-8 am, eat breakfast around 9-10 am, then have a snack around 1-2 pm or so and then I work out every day at 3:30 and we eat dinner as a family every night by 6 pm. I also am not a “traditional” breakfast type of person and get sick of eggs really easily (not bacon, though. I mean who can get sick of bacon?). I do always try and start out the day with a good mix of protein and fat but it doesn’t necessarily have to be bacon and eggs. Often, I just eat the leftovers of the dinner from the night before for breakfast.

My snacking has been really reduced and I’m not typically hungry between meals at all. But when I do need to grab something, it’s either pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, carrots and hummus (I have an awesome Paleo Roasted Garlic hummus recipe here that’s sugar-detox friendly), or raw organic coconut flakes.

Looking back on the past week or so of this detox, here are some common meals I’ve been eating and/or some links to my recipes that you can make that will fit in the 21-day sugar detox program.



Main Dishes:

I hope that by reading this list that you see that just because you don’t have any sweetener in  your food doesn’t mean you don’t have any flavor. Maybe this will give those of you on the fence a push in the right direction. Even though my energy is still MIA, I know I am fueling my body and healing and giving it the time it needs to adjust.

Here are a few pieces of food advice if you plan to start this or are in the beginning:

  1. Keep your fridge stocked with lots of things you can eat so you never feel deprived. I know time is hard for a lot of us, but prepping and pre-cooking a lot of stuff on the weekends really makes the week that much easier with meal planning.
  2. Give up the notion that eggs and bacon are all you can eat for breakfast. There’s no rule that says you can’t  have soup or a burger before 10 am!
  3. If you need to run out of the house and you know you’re going to be on the go for a while, throw a bag of carrots or a ziploc of almonds or better yet, macadamia nuts in your purse.
  4. Almond milk is your friend – try it in tea, coffee, and in recipes you’d normally need to “cream.”
  5. Drink a ton of water. I don’t know about the rest of you – and I’m sure it has to do with the detoxing of my metabolic system – but I am thirst as hell. I take a few limes and lemons, slice them up, and freeze them indivdually on a cookie sheet. Then I bag them up and use them as “ice cubes.”


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  1. ramsmom

    Thanks for this – am considering the detox but since my family isn’t behind me at all (!!) and I have a horrible sweet tooth myself….I’m very intimidated. Appreciate your blog very much! Cheers.

  2. Jess

    Thqnks for this! I am going to start the detox on Monday. I have also started to do crossfit after reading about your adventures. It’s nice to know that not everyone eats perfectly clean or that I am not expected to finish first in crossfit anytime soon. Thanks for your great blog.

  3. Hi! I’ve been following your detox and when I read this post last week, I was curious about that calorie number. I *know* you know how your body operates better than anyone else can, but I’ve been waiting for you to talk more about that 1200-1800 calories/day. That just seems so low for someone with your activity demands. Even though you feel full, have you tried eating more to see if your energy level comes back up? That might put you in a weird place mentally with your relationship to food, so that would be a perfectly legit reason to not try it.

    I have very little personal experience with this kind of eating plan, so this is in NO WAY me trying to direct/instruct you. I’m just curious.

    • I have the same question! Not that I am a nutritionist or know anything about your particular situation.

      My own experience is that when I had a body comp scan done I found out that I actually need minimum of 2600-2800 calories a day (based on my lean muscles mass) when I’m doing crossfit and minimum 2200/2300 if I’m trying to lose weight. A body comp scan is the first data I’ve been given that was specific to me. Before that I used charts that said I should be eating 1400-1600 to lose weight.

      It sounds like you’re not hungry and your meal plan is working for you. So I’m definitely not judging. Just curious as to how you came up with that number or if that number just chose you based on your own internal thermostat. I am fascinated by this kind of stuff and just started tracking my own nutritional intake again as I feel like I’m not getting what I need out of my diet. After day 1 it was clear I needed to eat more real meals as I have a bunch of snacks that create a large part of my diet but are mostly sugar (naked bars and apples).

      I did the whole 30 for a month and was eating all day and barely able to get in more than 2000 calories unless I ate excessive amounts of nuts. Even though the data says I can eat 2600 calories without gaining weight, I know that my body comp is massively impacted by my protein intake and my sugar intake. If most of my calories are from sugar I get pudgy around the midsection even if I am not gaining weight. If I get in 150g or more of protein a day my midsection gets to its leanest.

      Enough rambling. I would love to hear your thoughts on this as it sounds like you’re feeling full which is the important part.

      • AndreAnna

        I try not to have any relationship with calories whenever possible, LOL. But, in theory, though I do CF almost daily and do walk to and from school with my daughter, my day is mostly sedentary. I work on a computer all day and other than that 1 hour at the gym or the 30 minutes of walking, I do little else.

        So I decided to listen to my body above all else and eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full instead of aiming for a particular number either way. And some days, I am full at 1200 calories if the food is nutritionally dense – like steak or avocado or nuts. Other days, I feel less full and eat until I am satiatied and on those days I may reach 1800-2000 calories.

        I don’t strive for any particular number, either less or more than where I typically fall when eating this way, especially if my macronutrient ratios are where they’re supposed to be.

        In my experimenting with journaling, I’ve found that I have a very difficult time losing weight over 2200 calories a day OR under 1200. So it seems that my body works its best in the zone in the medium, as long as all the macronutrient breakdowns are proper for a “Paleo” lifestyle.

        That being said, every body is different. Even with CF, I have pisspoor metabolism, thanks to hormonal issues and 25 years of being morbidly obese and extremely sedentary. As Dr. Eades says in one of his blogs…

        …when a person goes from being normal weight to being overweight it is an indication that something metabolically has gotten broken. At this point, no one knows for sure what gets broken, but many (and I count myself in this ever growing group) believe the damage occurs in the mitochondria, the organelles within the cells that are the energy furnaces. Once whatever it is that gets broken breaks, it is difficult from that point on to lose weight and maintain weight loss without effort…Once your metabolism is broken, it’s difficult to lose weight (other than the first time or two you try it) and even more difficult to keep it off.”

        So, in short, everything for me – weight loss, maintenance, etc., – is a serious, conscious, calculated effort. And the best way I’ve learned to deal with it is to really follow my hunger cues, which have been the sharpest they’ve ever been since eschewing sugar. And this just happens to drop me into the 1200-1800 calorie range most days. I’ve tried eating more for energy – nuts or tuna or salmon as snacks in between meals – and feel even more sluggish as mu body digests the food.

        It’s so cool to be learning so much about myself and my body and when I come back from traveling next week, I plan to go back on this way of eating with some minor tweaks (small amount of fruit and starch) and see what effects that has. Even though I’m still depleted energy wise, I am following through with this so I have the knowledge of how my body reacts to this way of eating.

        And again, I’d like to mention for the record that Diane of the 21-Day-Detox does recommend that intense-workout athletes should add in a small amount of refuel, so please don’t think the program doesn’t allow for this. I’m just being a stubborn ass. Well, for two more days anyway. :)

  4. Excellent info–thanks!

  5. Agreed! I’ve been overweight most of my life and wonder what impact it has had in the long term. I am mulling over that quote right now…

    Thank you for not only replying but adding so much insight into the process and acknowledging all the various factors. The point that most resonates with me is how well you’re hearing your hunger cues now. As a life long emotional eater, I’ve found that to be the biggest challenge. When I’m in the groove and eating well, it seems effortless some days. Other days…an uphill battle not to be eating crap on the hour, every hour.

    Thank you.

  6. While April was some time ago, I wanted to say thank you for posting about your sugar detox, and some of the foods you have been eating. My wife and I are just starting out, and all I could imagine was buckets full of raw vegetables, eggs, and various meats. Nothing would actually formulate into a recipe in my head. This has been crazy helpful, thank you!


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