21-Day Sugar Detox: Week 1 Recap

My husband and I started the 21-Day Sugar Detox on Monday, August 5th. Each month there is an "official" group that starts the 21DSD, and if you have purchased the guides, it coincides with daily support and encouragement emails. There is also a pretty active page on Facebook where you can share your experience and ask questions.

We are doing it at Level 3, which is pretty much strict paleo done low-carb: no grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol, but also no starchy veggies (unless you are very active), no fruit, and of course, no added sweeteners of any kind. 


Here's what I've been eating for the past week with notes about how it's made me feel. The photos below are taken from my Instagram account. Are you on Instagram? If so, follow me! I'm @thecuriouscoconut

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Day 1

  • Breakfast: Fasted.
  • Snack: None.
  • Lunch: Big mixed greens salad with tomato, red bell pepper, and Asian-inspired tuna: canned tuna (I like the Whole Foods brand), powdered ginger, wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos, fresh lime or lemon juice, and toasted sesame oil. I don't measure, I just add a little at a time and taste until it tastes right.
  • Snack: None.
  • Supper: Hearty beef stew: homemade chicken broth, broccoli, onion, garlic, carrots, spiced with turmeric and cayenne pepper. Had some sparkling San Pellegrino with fresh lime juice afterwards.
  • Exercise: 1 hour walking; Qigong just after getting up.
  • Comments:  Day 1 was a breeze. Eating low carb/sugar-free like this for just one day never makes me feel any different than "normal". 

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Zucchini sauteed in bacon grease with crumbled bacon, small cup of coffee.
  • Snack:  celery sticks with Justin's almond butter.
  • Lunch: Big mixed greens salad with radishes, carrots, castelvetrano olives, celery, 1/2 avocado, 1 hard-boiled egg, large mug of yerba mate.
  • Snack: Few almonds and pistachios, coconut flakes
  • Supper: Leftover beef stew, more San Pellegrino + lime. 
  • Exercise: 1 hour walking; Qigong just after getting up.
  • Comments: I woke up on Day 2 HUNGRY. In the 3 years I have been eating paleo/primal, I hardly, if ever, wake up feeling hungry. I realize that I maybe should have eaten a larger breakfast and thrown a second egg into my salad. But, after eating those meals I did feel full , however I was still mildly hungry , pretty much all day. Even after eating like 3 large bowls of stew for supper. 

Day 3

  • Breakfast: 3 strips of bacon, 2 eggs cooked over medium in the bacon fat, black coffee.
  • Snack: Coconut flakes and boldo tea.
  • Lunch: Big mixed greens salad with radishes, carrots, castelvetrano olives, celery, 1/2 avocado, 1 hard-boiled egg.
  • Snack: Few macadamia nuts, unsweet black iced tea.
  • Supper: 1/2 lb pasture-raised pork sausage and onions, roasted cauliflower spiced with S&B Oriental Curry Powder, more San Pellegrino + lime.
  • Exercise: 1 hour walking; Qigong just after getting up.
  • Comments: Day 3 was better than day 2, but I still felt hungrier than "normal". Out of curiosity, I tested my urine to see if I was in ketosis, and yes, yes I am. So is my husband.



Day 4

  • Breakfast: Fasted.
  • Snack: Green-tipped banana, coconut flakes, few pieces of celery with Justin's almond butter.
  • Lunch: Treated to a meal out! Ceviche from My Ceviche, where they use fresh local-caught fish! I got the aji amarillo, which is made with lemon & lime juice, cilantro, tomatoes, radishes, and the aji amarillo hot pepper paste. YUM!
  • Snack: Handful of almonds and pistachios, unsweet green iced tea. 
  • Supper: 1/2 lb of antelope burgers, collards and onions sauteed in bacon fat, 1/2 avocado, San Pellegrino + lime.
  • Exercise: 1 hour walking; Qigong just after getting up. 
  • Comments: I didn't wake up hungry on Day 4! I got cocky and thought it'd be OK for me to fast for breakfast....turns out I was starving by 10AM. Ate a big snack, but didn't feel satisfied. Ended up eating an early lunch. 

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Made one of the recipes from the official 21-Day Sugar Detox guide: savory coconut flour biscuits. They are DIVINE. I was hungry this morning, so I ate 3 biscuits with 3 slices of bacon and 1 egg cooked over medium in the bacon fat, plus coffee. This meal kept me satisfied for a LONG time.
  • Snack: None. Couldn't even think about more food for hours.
  • Lunch: Treated to another meal out, this time at Salsa Fiesta, an awesome local chain. One of their options is to use a lettuce wrap for your tacos instead of a tortilla. I had one chicken, one steak, and one carnitas topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, lime, and lots of their fun spicy salsas. Yummy!
  • Snack: Coconut flakes, unsweet iced green tea.
  • Supper: 1/2 lb of chuck steak, cut into stir-fry strips and cooked with onion in palm shortening, side of kale sauteed in coconut oil with fresh garlic, pressed with my brand new Tim Ferriss-recommended Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press. This thing is worth every freaking penny!
  • Exercise: Same as usual. 1 hr walking, but did Qigong on the beach well after dark.
  • Comments: Today I really started to notice just how much more mental clarity I have, and also how much more motivation and stamina I have to get all the things that I have to do every day done. Also, this week my body has also been much more demanding than usual with regards to sleep. 9:30, 10:00PM rolls around, and I am ready to wind down with a book. And my body is not happy if I only give it 7 or 8 hours of sleep; instead, I've been sleeping more like 9 or 10, but I have been getting out of bed feeling very refreshed and well-rested. Hunger levels are still above "normal" but I expect them to stabilize going into week 2. 



Day 6

  • Breakfast: Leftover coconut flour biscuits with coffee.
  • Snack: Handful of castelvetrano olives, unsweet black iced tea.
  • Lunch: Cajun-spiced chicken livers with bacon and onions. Recipe coming soon on the site!
  • Snack: Coconut flakes, unsweet green iced tea.
  • Supper: Barbacoa meatballs and guacamole from Health-Bent. I modified the recipe: I used only 1 lb of ground beef and added 1 tsp onion powder, doubled the cayenne pepper, and used about 1 Tbsp of fresh finely chopped cilantro instead of dried coriander. For the guacamole, I used 2 avocados, juice of 2 limes, about 1/3 of a red onion, 1 large clove of garlic pressed with my Kuhn Rikon garlic press, and salt. YUM! This recipe is going to be in my regular meal rotation going forward! San Pellegrino + lime after supper.
  • Exercise: Still the usual. 1 hr walking, Qigong after 10pm. 
  • Comments: Day 6 was better even still. Hunger levels have started to even out.



Day 7

  • Breakfast: Made another batch of the 21DSD coconut flour biscuits; ate 3 with coffee. I have no idea what happened, but this time they turned out looking more like cookies, instead of biscuits. They still tasted amazing...so, whatever. This is why I hate baking LOL
  • Snack: Handful of almonds and pistachios, coconut flakes, unsweet black iced tea.
  • Lunch: Didn't eat a proper lunch. Instead, had the above and below listed snacks and an early supper.
  • Snack: 1 whole green (Granny Smith) apple with Justin's almond butter
  • Supper: A 21DSD-compliant version of my braised chicken: I used bone-in chicken breast and tried a new flavor mixture of fresh dill, dijon mustard, fresh-pressed garlic, and fresh lime juice. For veggies, I used carrots, zucchini, and a few radishes. Added a side of wilted salad greens (that I had let go just a touch too lon to be used for salad --- tasted GREAT cooked!) Turned out A-MAZ-ING. I'll update the recipe to include this variation.
  • Exercise: 1 hour walking, Qigong after 10PM.
  • Comments: Today my hunger levels were more even, and I didn't feel like I was going to die when I accidentally ended up skipping lunch.



I have to admit, I was taken a little by surprise just how affected I have been by doing this 21DSD. When I first changed my diet 3 years ago and went primal, it was quite an adjustment for my body. I was absolutely RAVENOUS for days as my body adjusted to relying on utilizing fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. I remember eating coconut oil by the spoonful to try to sate my hunger. I had crazy cravings, dreams about eating wheat products, had a touch of "low carb flu" symptoms, and just felt really out of sorts.

Let me be clear: this is nowhere NEAR as bad as that was -- I've just been dealing with more hunger than usual, and on day 2 I was having some cravings, mainly for fruit or something like yuca or fried plantains. But, I'm still a bit surprised that I even feel like this is an adjustment at all. As I said before, I know this means I had let carbs become too dominant in my diet. 

A note about exercise: I just simply haven't had the energy to do anything more than my usual walking and Qigong practice. I plan to get back into doing Convict Conditioning beginning on Day 8, though.

A note about snacks: I know I shouldn't really be eating snacks, especially not twice a day, but in week 2 I expect that I won't be hungry for them. Ideally, snacks are not a routine, daily thing.  

I am really happy to be doing this, and look forward to seeing how I feel in the next 2 weeks. I may decide to extend it beyond 21 days -- most likely to 26 days, which will bring me to August 30th. 

Thanks for reading! Are you also doing the 21DSD this month? If so, how is it going for you? Share your blog link if you've got one! I'll post my update from week 2 on the 19th.  

The 21-Day Sugar Detox

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