For the new year, I decided to do another 21 Day Sugar Detox... but then after reading the book, The Hormone Cure, by Dr. Sara Gottfried and following her blog, I decided to do her Detox instead of 21DSD this time.
Many things were great about that detox but I learned that not all protocols work for me
- Protein powders, no matter how cleanly produced are not optimal for my body. My body works best when eating foods that are not processed. I had increased inflammation and puffiness from the protein powder "shakes" and I tried several - no go
- Don't do too many protocols at the same time. Couple this with heavy metal detox chelating agents and you have a recipe for a too intense experience. I had to stop both the detox protocols and give my body a break
I have to say that I thought the program was well laid out in terms of how to do an elimination diet, how to re-introduce foods and really notice if its a food that doesn't agree with your body and having the online and webinar support was great! I had some good takeaway learnings from the experience:
Blood sugar - I don't have "low blood sugar" or hunger shakes anymore since changing my diet. However, since we needed to measure blood sugar I did realize that my Fasting Blood Sugar was very unstable and sometimes too high - working through the detox really helped me learn how to stabilize my blood sugar, monitor which foods had a spiking effect and which didn't. I was able to stabilize the FBS rather nicely just by tracking it on a regular basis.
Screens and artificial light past 7 pm. This one is tough for me and I'm sure a lot of us really. Its so easy to watch a screen at night, use an iPad or have a lot of bright lights on. Given this was still in the winter months, darkness came early, and so did the lights. I tried to go "cold turkey" but changing my modern-life habits was very difficult! The premise behind this is that the blue light spectrum that comes from artificial light sources (not candle flames or sunlight), mess with the melatonin your body produces and changes the natural circadian rhythms. This can lead to difficulty with getting good quality, or quantity, sleep.
So what does one do when they have difficulty going by candlelight exclusively past 7pm and still want to get optimal melatonin production? Embrace the total geek factor and don some really nerdy looking lab goggles that block the blue light spectrum. I thought this was total rubbish when I first heard of this idea - but you never know until you try! So I got a $7 pair of dorky lab goggles and donned those when the sun went down each night.
Now I track my sleep using Sleep Cycle and here is what I noticed: I started waking naturally with the sun. My body that craved an extra hour past sun rise, started waking with the sun! The other thing I noticed is that Sleep Cycle was reporting better quality sleep (more deep restorative sleep) than before. So I am sold and I can handle looking like a total lab nerd as long as I can continue to read on the iPad or watch a movie on movie night w/ the darling husband! (Thank goodness he is willing to be just as nerdy for our movie dates - its sort of like homemade 3D glasses without the 3D!)
Oh yeah, and my sugar cravings that I used to get no matter how many times I had done the 21 Day Sugar Detox? gone! So that is a complete bonus!