As promised, here is our much awaited complete review of the 21DSD, from the perspectives of Sydney & John…
Where to start
If you’re trying to decide whether you want to give the 21DSD a go, check out Diane Sanfilippo’s website, read about the program and some testimonials (on her site and from this post!), join the current month’s detox group on Facebook to get an idea of what it would be like to do the detox, and also see common questions/problems that arise and the answers/remedies to them. If, after you do your research, you decide that YES this is something you want to do, then at that point, I recommend you acquire The 21 Day Sugar Detox guide book (read an excerpt of the book here, and/or buy the book here). Diane also has packages available for purchase on her website that includes access to online forums and additional resources. I did not purchase the membership, it is not required and you can complete the detox fine without it, but wished I had the additional resources.
Time management & planning
Get ready to PLAN!!! If you aren’t one that currently sets a weekly menu, I would greatly encourage you to start this habit now, pre-detox! This will help you navigate the grocery store and keep your grocery bill lower! Get the whole family involved, browse pinterest for some meal ideas, or pick some from my recipe archives! Pre- or during detox, the most important thing I did was look at the weekly ads for the grocery stores we frequent. The meats and veggies that were on sale were what I would base my meal planning on. Then, I would take into account the craziness level of the day- should I prep for a crockpot or one pot meal? or do I have enough time/energy to make something at a higher level of difficulty? I also always planned to make one to two extra servings worth of the meal for us for lunches the next day.
Our 3-weeks of meals!
Week 1 meal prep: hard boiled eggs, omelet muffins, chia n’oatmeal, herb drop biscuits (from the guide book), breakfast sausage, sweet potat-ola, baked sweet potatoes, and bone broth.
Week 2 meal prep: buffalo chicken egg muffins (from the guide book), baked sweet potatoes, bone broth, chicken salad, sweet potat-ola, chia n’oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, jerky, banana bread, almond butter cups.
Week 3 meal prep: buffalo chicken broccoli tomato frittata, apple streusel muffins (from the guide book), hard boiled eggs, chicken salad, cinnamon coconut cookies (from the guide book), chia n’oatmeal, baked sweet potatoes, moo-less chocolate mousse (from the guide book), bone broth.
For me, my overall focus improved as the days passed, and I wrote about it here. Not having to take my ADHD meds has been wonderful! Another benefit I noticed was I had fewer incidences of my urticaria (only on my wrists-which could have been from touching gym equipment or something else unrelated to food). Pre-detox, after working out, I would have the brightest shade of red imaginable all over the brightest shade of red imaginable all over my face & chest… during detox, this did not occur!
For John, he was the whole reason we did this detox. We wanted to see if omitting sugar and processed foods would kick his flair up, and I’m SO EXCITED to announce that the 21DSD did the trick!!!!!!!!! John is now flair up free and his Crohn’s is in remission!!! He’s back to his ‘normal’, wild, bubbly spirit! For this reason, we will be sticking to a predominately paleo, sugar-free diet.
Weight loss was not something you should expect from this detox, but for us it was a welcomed side effect. John is now at 169#, a total weight loss of 6#, and I am now at 117#, a total weight loss of 4#. We are both less bloated and have clear skin!
There were some aspects that were tough for us… Finding the right combination of proteins and fats for John to take to work to keep him from being super hungry and being tempted to go buy a protein bar. Once I figured out how to pack his lunches and snacks, we were good to go! Curbing my (PMS) snacking was also rough. I love chocolate and I’m pretty lazy during that week, but I pushed through the laziness, made almond butter cups, and snacked on green apple slices with almond butter–all of which did the trick! Another thing we had a tough time with was the limitation of fruit to one of the approved fruits per day. We love fruit. It’s a common snack for us. Especially green apples and grapefruits. Some days I thought I’d just bypass the 1 fruit limitation and I thought I’d be ok… BOY was i wrong… I was SO bloated and felt icky… Just from having extra of the allowed fruit! Boy oh boy did I learn my lesson! Our last ‘situation’ during the detox was sickness during… When we were sick, it was SO tempting to cheat and go get other food… But since I prepped food for the week, had bone broth on hand, and had approved easy no-cook meals, we stayed on track easily. And finally, the last obstacle encountered was snacktime with the kiddo I nanny. His snacks aren’t bad at all–just not detox friendly. Every day for snack I tell him I want to see fruit or veggies- he normally adds a go go squeeze (which I always check before letting him eat it), protein (which is typically lunchmeat or a cheese stick), and then he can pick his crunchy snack (typically doritos, pringles, or pop corn). Then he also has a juice box. All it took for me to pass on snacking on that stuff with him was reading the ingredient lists, and bringing my own snacks & hot bone broth! Obstacles conquered!!! The biggest piece of advice I can give you is: prepare prepare prepare!!! Prepare to encounter obstacles, and figure out how will be best for you to conquer them! YOU CAN DO IT!
After the detox I planned to indulge a little… well, maybe a little… These darn red velvet oreos came out the day after we were finished with the detox, so I said I wanted to try one and get rid of them. Well, I did try one [whole sleeve]… Don’t call the paleo police!!! In my defense, since the red velvet oreos are limited edition, they came in a smaller than usual container, therefore the sleeves themselves were smaller than usual… Next post detox failure happened this past weekend. John surprised me with an early Valentine’s Day celebration in Greenville, SC. He knows how much I miss that place and everything about it, so when we went up for his niece’s birthday surprise, he planned a spontaneous night on the town for us complete with a walk at Falls Park, a trip to the moonshine distillery to try some ‘shine, dinner at the restaurant we had our first date at, then we had some AMAZING ice cream at a new ice cream parlor downtown, and we wrapped up our evening staying a night at the Hyatt on main street. We indulged in gluten and dairy to the max! We had so much fun and I’m such a lucky lady to get to keep him for forever! But, Sunday, we were both very lethargic, bloated, and John had a 101 degree fever! I had him drink about 2 cups of warm bone broth and sent him to bed in sweats and covered him up with 2 big fluffy comforters. He was back to 100% by the next morning! But now, I didn’t feel great–still bloated & icky. In hopes to remedy the ick and bloat, I made hot lemon dandelion chai tea (1/2 lemon, 1 dandelion root tea bag, 1 green chai tea bag), which totally helped!! Lastly, Alcohol was also something we indulged in, but we aren’t heavy drinkers and our ideal drinks include gin & tonic with lime, or vodka & seltzer with lime. Low sugar spirits, in small amounts, so we didn’t have much negative kick backs there. We really liked the Covington’s sweet potato vodka and definitely recommend it to anyone in NC willing to try it! (NC because it’s made here and available in all ABC stores in NC.)
To wrap things up on a positive note:
There were SO many positive aspects to doing, and sticking with, this detox– clear skin, weight loss, CROHN’S IN REMISSION, trying new recipes, creating new recipes, No ADHD meds needed, brainless breakfasts, learned about La Croix waters (which we now LOVE and always have in the fridge), and getting to know bone broth and its many applications-especially cold/flu remedies.
DO THIS DETOX! You won’t regret it!!!
What are you waiting for?! It changed our lives… how will it change yours?
Yours in health & sunshine,