Friday, January 10, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 4 - Oh What A Day

Yesterday I successfully completed Day 4.  Unfortunately, it's been a rather long, not-so-fun week this week.  I was reminded of this book yesterday evening, because it basically described my day perfectly:

Anyone else remember this book? Wish I could've stayed in bed!
I'm surprised I've managed to stick to this detox with all the personal stress I have going on right now.  I think that, more than anything, speaks volumes as to how badly I want this to work and how good I'm already feeling.  I feel that people have to be ready and willing to change to be successful at it.  Lesson #4 - your heart has to be in it if you're going to be successful, otherwise it feels like a drag and you get resentful and ultimately quit!  

Think to yourself - do you REALLY want to do this, or do you just feel guilty for gaining weight/eating sugar/eating processed foods/not doing some sort of detox like your friends or coworkers/whatever?  Because if you're doing this out of guilt, it's probably not going to work.  I am doing this as a service to myself, I consider it an exciting opportunity to improve my health and see if cutting out certain things can fix some chronic issues I have (e.g. joint pain and inflammation, back pain and inflammation, insomnia, depression, anxiety...whoa, I'm a wreck!).   What I'm getting at, is that you should try to put things like a detox or a change in eating habits in perspective.  You are honoring your body and taking care of it for a change.  And no dieting! We should make changes that can become a regular part of our lives, not a temporary fix.  Because any gains you make by living off a specific diet, will eventually be lost.  I cannot tell you the amount of times of done the fat free, sugar free, diet everything and it really won't be permanent.  You'll get sick of it, I always do when I've tried the "diet" approach.

Okay okay enough preaching, let's go over my food and health now shall we?

First of all, I forgot to mention this previously, but since I have started the detox I have only had water, or water with lemon to drink.  Herbal teas are allowed and I have a bunch, so I may start drinking some of those, but I'm pretty darn content with lemon water (I'm one of those weirdos that really likes water, but only if it's ice water).  I also fancy cucumber water, or lemon water with some mint, so if you're looking for water "variety" try those out!  I'm not a big lime person - unless it involves margaritas or pad thai.

A second thing I've forgotten to mention, is that, at least if you're doing level one of the detox like me, you are occasionally allowed to eat a green apple or green tipped banana.  This is as "sweet" as things get.  I have had 2 apples and one green banana so far this week (including today, Day 5).

Yesterday my meals were mainly convenient leftovers.  For breakfast I had leftover hash and a couple of over-easy eggs, and for lunch I had two leftover mustard-glazed chicken thighs.  For dinner though, I got to try something completely different!  I ordered this contraption that was recommended on the 21DSD facebook page to make veggie noodles, and I finally got to try it out last night for "Shrimp Pad Thai."  Check out how cool this is:

Zucchini "Noodles"!!!
Ok, I'm a kitchen nerd, so maybe this is way cooler to me than to everyone else, but it's super easy to use, there are 3 different blades, and if you're feeling unhealthy, you can even make curly fries!  Hello! Delicious!  Did I mention that it won't totally break the bank either?  It's currently $29.75 on Amazon.  Here's a link if you're interested!  There's also a "Spirelli" spiral cutter for about $6 less but it can't hold a wide array of vegetable sizes and it only has one blade type.

Anyway, I made the "Shrimp Pad Thai" out of the 21DSD book for dinner last night (you can see the book open to the recipe in the above picture).  Due to a collision of craptacular days, I'm the only one who tried this recipe.  Some issues with the recipe as written - if you get 4 dozen jumbo shrimp, then it's gonna be like a giant bowl of giant shrimp on a bed of some green stuff.  That's ridiculous.  I went with medium shrimp and used about 50 and it wasn't totally insane but still a bit more shrimpy than I would've liked.  Also, I got frozen shrimp and thawed them.  I've bought fresh before and I really can't taste a difference (then again, I'm in a landlocked city) when they're already peeled and deveined.  So at any rate, save some dough and get frozen and just run the amount of shrimp you want under cold water in a colander until they are thawed.

Another issue is that the picture of the recipe is totally inaccurate for a few reasons.  The number one reason being there are only like 4 shrimp shown in each bowl, (where are the other 40 giant shrimp??) and also, the shrimp in the picture are not peeled as you are told to buy for the recipe.  Also, you can't tell there is a brown nutty sauce on those "noodles."  So some artistic license was definitely taken on this one.  Regardless, it was a pretty decent recipe.  Not my favorite, but pretty good.  I got to try yet another new food item in the form of "coconut aminos" which is basically a non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, "soy sauce."  It was surprisingly good - I was skeptical when I bought the bottle.  This is the kind I used:

The sauce part of the recipe called for almond butter, so I used roasted almond butter (usually you'd use peanuts or peanut butter in a regular recipe).  Instead of buying a jar of the stuff, which I've had before and BLECH, I decided to buy some freshly made in one of those "peanut butter machines" at Whole Foods.  It tastes worlds better than jarred almond butter, so if the thought of almond butter is gross to you, try the fresh roasted kind.  Anyway, this recipe was pretty straight forward and here is my ugly, not fancy, picture of the final product:

I was lazy and didn't take the tails off my shrimp before cooking, so that was some extra effort in the whole "eating" department.  Still tasty!
Enough with what I ate though, what's up with my body?  I have lost a little bit of weight so far this week.  I will give you a final number after Day 21 though, so you'll have to wait and see!  The book encourages you to not weigh yourself at all on the detox, but I'm in a weight loss competition with P so I want to see if there's a chance of beating him.  To be clear though, the detox is first and foremost about improving your overall health, not about weight loss.

I also feel nice and not bloated.  I have not felt bloated at all since starting the detox which is quite lovely.  I don't feel weighed down or overfull ever.  I never feel insanely hungry either.  Sometimes when I get home and have to make dinner I'm legitimately hungry and might munch something small that I'm cooking with (e.g. last night I had a bit of almond butter).  But my hunger is like "hey, time to eat. Just fyi. K thx."  Unlike what it usually is where it's like "YOU WILL DIE IF YOU DON'T EAT ALL THE FOOD NOW!!! STOMACH CRAMPING ACTION!!!!"  I also don't get tired after eating.  It's easier to do the dishes and clean up, whereas before I'd be all "I hate you dishes!" and go lay on the couch for awhile.  I still hate dishes, but I have more energy to take care of the cleaning portion of things.

Another great benefit I've noticed is I don't have heartburn.  I normally have heartburn about 4-6 days a week. Seriously.  It runs in my family, it's like a badge of throat burning honor.  And I'll get heartburn even when I eat really bland, seemingly innocuous foods.  It never made sense to me and still doesn't.  Lastly, I normally drink about 4 or so diet cokes in a work day, maybe some coffee too.  But this week, I have only been drinking water, and I don't feel more tired.  In fact, my daily energy level has mostly been consistent with my days of caffeine consumption.  And no crazy headaches.  Pretty weird, right?

Lastly, sorry this is a bit late coming up, yesterday really was just awful and when I went to write this blog post my brain was literally like "today sucked. the end." which isn't a very compelling or informative recap of the day.  But today is Friday, hooray!  Hope you all are getting ready for wonderful weekends!

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