Day 21: Results

It is officially the last day of the 21dsd and it has been a pretty good ride. I had some cravings in the beginning but was able to get through them thanks to planning and will power. This detox was actually much easier the second time around, which is most likely due to the fact that I was familair with the changes that would occur and I was much better at actually cooking food in advance and finding 21dsd recipes I enjoy instead of eating raw vegetables and flavorless meat.

I also was able to navigate eating out and restaurants better by checking the menu in advance and not being afraid to ask about ingredients/recipes. Restaurants are very accommodating these days, which could be linked to the rise in allergies like gluten and dairy or to rise in alternative diets like vegetarian, vegan and paleo. Whatever it is I was happy that wherever I went I was able to find a 21dsd option that I actually enjoyed. Today I went to the Garces Trading company for restaurant week brunch and I shared mozzarella cheese and a charcuterie plate with a friend for an appetizer, got baked eggs for a main course and gave away my dessert. Overall it was a really nice brunch and probably my last meal on the 21dsd so it was almost like a celebration of the end.

I have gained a ton of strength this detox from a combination of eating unprocessed foods and working out 5 days a week. I actually invested in a pair of adjustable dumbbells because the weight set I currently have is too light and I am able to do way too many reps before getting tired during strength training exercises. Not only have I gained strength during the detox, but  I have lost a total of 7.6lbs and my skinny jeans are a bit baggy. I have to wear a belt to keep them up. Unfortunately I forgot to take my body measurements before and after the detox but I can definitely tell that I’ve lost some inches off my waist and thighs because of the way my clothes are fitting. Below is a before and after the detox picture of me(wearing the same pjs). Overall, I think the detox was a success, but I am also super happy that it’s over.

Before(171lbs)

Before detox (171lbs)

After(163.4)

After detox (163.4)

 

Day 20: Two days left!

Only two days left to go on this round of the 21dsd! Today was a pretty nasty weather day. In typical Philadelphia fashion, it warmed up enough that all the snow that fell yesterday turned into slush and then later on in the day, when it got colder, everything turned into ice. The one nice thing about the terrible weather was that it prevented a lot of people from coming out so Whole Foods was practically empty, so I was free to poke around and read labels without being in the way.

I cooked a lot of stuff today and have a few more things to cook tomorrow, so expect a lot of new recipes in the next few days. In honor of my sister’s birthday, I experimented with making sugar-free 21dsd cupcakes(recipe here) and frosting (recipe here) and they turned out surprisingly well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t celebrate it together, but if she is reading this… HAPPY BIRTHDAY! This cupcake recipe could also be used to make gluten-free cupcakes(with sugar) when you are not on the 21dsd and I added a few modifications in the recipe so you can make these a bit sweeter.

Tomorrow is the last day of the 21dsd and also one of my final challenges because I am going out with some friends for restaurant week. I’ve already checked the menu and can eat something off the appetizer and meal selections but will have to give away my dessert. This is another reason I made those 21dsd friendly chocolate coconut cupcakes is so that I will a little treat waiting for me at home tomorrow so I won’t be tempted to stop my detox a day early.

Day 19: It’s all downhill from here

Yesterday was day 19 of the 21 dsd and was a Friday. I was really glad that I had leftovers because I was way too tired to make food for dinner and the boyfriend was ordering buffalo chicken pizza(one of my favs) for dinner. it was super tempting to just call it quits and be “close enough”, but I made it through. Saturday is usually my food shopping/meal planning/cooking day so I always have good stuff to eat. Thus, in the words of New Found Glory “It’s all downhill from here”. Only two more days to go and I will have successfully completed another 21dsd!

I had a ton of energy yesterday in the morning/afternoon but then I had an HKN meeting(which is the electrical engineering honors society), which for soeme reason wiped me out even though it was not a stressful meeting. I got home and basically watched tv all night. It was kind of nasty because of the snow storm so I didn’t really want to go anywhere and I had missed quite a few episodes of shows I like to watch this week because I have been busy, so it was nice to catch up. Overall it was an uneventful day filled with meetings, paperwork, television and leftovers. Can’t wait for the weekend!

Day 18: First Food Share of the season!

I got my first food share of 2015! The winter share tends to be a bit more sparse and less varying than the other seasons for obvious reasons, but it is still worth it because I prefer to eat seasonal foods. The food is locally grown by small farmers who use sustainable farming practices and tends to taste a lot better and fresher than stuff found in the store. This is all the stuff I got in my share this week:

1_22_2015

One of things I am most excited for is the popcorn(which comes as dried corn on the cob). It is so cool and makes a super healthy and easy to make snack with very few calories. Once I am able to eat popcorn again you can expect a tutorial on how to cook this crazy popcorn and a few snack recipes using it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually use any of this for dinner tonight because I promised my boyfriend that I would make bacon cheeseburgers(recipe here) and I still had some leftover chinese green beans(recipe here) and collard for veggies. I am excited to cook with all this stuff(well the stuff I can eat on the 21dsd) this weekend though and will maybe post some new recipes using this stuff then.

Also, I decided for my food exchange I am going to make homemade deodorant and a healthy version of cheez-its(one of my favorite snacks)! I haven’t actually made the cheez-its yet but will post the recipe when I make them this weekend. It is my first time trying to make them and I am going to try o make them gluten-free and 21dsd friendly so I will let you know how they turn out. I made the deodorant for the first time last night(experimental results here) and was very happy with the results, so worse comes to worst I have that to bring.

Day 17: Counting down the days

With only four days left in the 21dsd, I am finding myself growing more and more impatient for the detox to be over. It’s not like I want to go back to my old eating habits, but I am tired of having to constantly question whether or not something is 21dsd approved. This has been a fun challenge and has definitely jump started my weight loss and instilled a lot of good habits into my everyday life, but I would like to be able to go out to dinner with my friends and be able to eat without worrying something has hidden sugar or carbs.

A few of my friends wanted to go out to eat for restaurant week here in Philly, which combines two of my favorite things: food and a bargain. However, I had to be the difficult one who had restrictions on what restaurants we could go to because a lot of the restaurants didn’t have menu options that would fit into the 21dsd. Although my friends are pretty supportive and are more than happy to take my dessert off my hands, I can’t wait until I am able to eat in a more realistic way (which means sometimes splurging a little bit).

The key things I hope to bring out of the 21dsd are moderation and healthy cooking. The 21dsd basically ensures that you have to cook every meal, every day. This is the best way to make sure your food is healthy and wholesome and you know exactly what is in it and how it was prepared. Obviously, I will sometimes go out to eat but now I have a better idea of what portion sizes to be eating of things(at least half my plate should be filled with veggies at every meal) and I will be able to limit my treats to once in awhile instead of everyday. I also plan to continue to cook and plan out/prep my meals in advance so I am never stuck at work with low blood sugar and only the unhealthy choices of the food carts/snack machines to satisfy my hunger.

 

Day 16: The return of the allergies

I have been super tired all day. My allergies cleared up overnight and I was feeling pretty good(except for the drowsiness) until I came home tonight and BAM, hives. I will probably go to the doctor tomorrow to try and figure out what  am allergic to so I can avoid it from now on. I think my sleepiness might be due to not eating enough. I have been tracking my food throughout the 21dsd to make sure I stay on track and get all my nutrients. Looking back through the past couple of days I have been consistently under my recommended calories and have only been consuming between 1000-1200, which is super low considering I am also working out everyday and pushing myself pretty hard. I have not felt super hungry these past few days and feel like I am eating a ton(because it is mostly veggies), but I think I need to step up my caloric intake a little bit to combat the exhaustion and make sure my body is getting the nutrients it need.

In general, I have noticed a decline in hunger since starting the 21dsd, but for the past 2 weeks this has coincided with an increase in energy, so I didn’t really see eating less as a problem. I can’t tell if the sluggishness I’ve felt over the past few days is due to my allergy attacks or to not consuming enough food/nutrients or both. Either way I am going to make a conscious effort tomorrow to consume enough calories by prepping more healthy food choices. 

Day 15: Allergies

So I had an allergic reaction to something I either touched or ate today and got hives on my arms and neck. Luckily it is not too bad. Hopefully it will clear up by tomorrow. I suspect it might be related to the radishes I ate at lunch because the hives started shortly after I ate my radish and avocado tea sandwiches for lunch (recipe here). I have extremely sensitive skin and have the weirdest, most random allergies ever (like pine sap and eggplant), so occasionally this happens. Because of this issue I have gone all natural with my hair products, toothpaste, laundry detergent, dish and hand soap, deodorant, cleaning products and basically everything that my skin comes into contact with.

I recently discovered that it is fairly easy(and cheaper) to make a lot of these products, so I will experimenting with making a lot of these products as I run out of them. The first trial I am going to do is making my own deodorant, so when I try making this stuff I will start a new section of this blog detailing how I made this stuff so you guys can too if you want.

Despite my annoying allergies, I managed to cook quite a few things today and I uploaded three new recipes! The first is the radish and avocado tea sandwiches I mentioned before (that I may be allergic to). The second was 21 dsd approved lemon poppy seed muffins (recipe here), which are sweetened only by green tipped bananas and are gluten free. They were still delicious and I will probably be making them when I am not on the 21dsd (I may add a couple tablespoons of sugar just because they are a sweeter muffin). The last recipe was buffalo chicken collard wraps recipe here), which can easily be made in a crock pot and tastes awesome.

I signed up for a food exchange through Philly Swappers, which I have attended a few times in the past and loved. Essentially, everyone brings a few items that they have made(it can be food, sugar scrub, plants, spices, or really anything as long as it is homemade and consumable) and they trade with everyone else. I always make something sweet, so this time I want to do something different. I am thinking of making healthy snack bars or apple chips and some sort of dip. It is going to be tricky to do a recipe that is not 21dsd approved because my detox will end the day before the food exchange so I have to make the food while on the 21dsd. If I make something not 21dsd approved then I won’t be able to taste it, which is not how I like to cook. Plus, I change my mind every other day so if I told you what I was making then I would probably change my mind next week, so when I decide what I am making, I will definitely post the recipe here so you guys can replicate it:)

 

Day 14: 2 weeks down one to go!

Today marks the end of the second week of my 21 day sugar detox. I have noticed that I am sleeping a lot better lately. I can even stay up a little later than usual and still wake up at my normal 5:30am feeling refreshed and awake. If you couldn’t tell from my previous posts, I am definitely a morning person. I like to get up and immediately exercise and shower with enough time to enjoy a cup of tea/coffee while watching the sunrise from my balcony (during the warmer months of course) or from the comfort of my couch.

Today was one of those lazy days when the weather is horrible outside, so I just stayed in my pjs all day, reading, catching up on tv, and prepped a lot of food for this week. I made some delicious 21dsd friendly, paleo, gluten-free pizza (recipe here) as well as some of my mini egg quiches(recipe here). But I forgot chicken at the store to make my crock pot buffalo chicken wraps, so stay tuned for that recipe tomorrow. The university is closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. day, so I have an extra long weekend, which is good since I wasn’t going out in this weather to get chicken from whole foods (which I forgot when I went to the store on Saturday).  Unfortunately the 21dsd doesn’t improve memory because mine still sucks, which is why I end up stopping at Whole Foods almost every day.

Other exciting news is that my winter food share starts up this Thursday, so I will probably be posting more recipes as I incorporate my farm fresh veggies into my diet. A lot of the veggie choices are a surprise each week because the shares are dependent on the harvests of the local farms and stuff happens so sometimes I get vegetables I’ve never even heard of. I find the winter shares to be the least exciting because farms can’t produce a large variety of vegetables in the winter because of the weather, so it is mostly root vegetables and squashes. I probably won’t be able to eat a lot of these things(like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes) until I am off the 21dsd, but after it ends I will probably be posting more recipes that use the seasonal vegetables I get from the food shares.

I am excited to be able to introduce a lot of these more starchy veggies back into my diet, but one thing I (rather surprisingly) don’t miss that much is added sugar. I have noticed that the further I get into this detox, the sweeter/better regular food tastes to me. I haven’t had cheese in over a week, but I had it on the gluten free pizza I made today and it tasted amazing. Also, the banana bread muffins I made for my friend’s house tasted sweet even though I used green-tipped bananas and didn’t add extra sugar. I also have had a ton of energy and to date have lost a total of 6lbs! The last tiem I did this detox I lost 10lbs(without exercising) and was impressed but this time I am even more impressed because in addition to losing weight, sleeping better, having more energy and my jeans fitting better, I feel like I have gotten stronger. I have to modify fewer exercises and have to pause during my HIIT(high intensity interval training)workouts a lot less. So overall the past two weeks have been a great success. Two down, one more to go!

Day 13: I am a nerd

WARNING: Extremely nerdy content following. Skip to the next paragraph to avoid talk of fantasy role-playing games.  I went over to a friend’s house today to play Dungeon Master, which is a simpler version of Dungeons and Dragons and it was a ton of fun. I was a Druid who had the ability to turn into any animal from a forest and talk to any animal or inanimate object from the earth. Our team defeated a banshee and a dragon and took back a magical tower hidden behind a mystical waterfall. We also picked up two orphans along the way, which I subsequently adopted after our adventure was over. I have never played a game like this before, but I would definitely do it again. At first I found it a little awkward to try to make up details of the game but I got over that quickly since the people playing were really creative and got into their characters so I got into it as well. I have been trying to push the boundaries of my comfort zone more and branch out because I always learn from the experience (good or bad). If I wasn’t a total nerd before I definitely am now because I will definitely be playing more D&D in the future.

I brought a few snacks that were 21dsd approved over to my freind’s house to eat during the game and my paleo banana bread muffins (recipe here) were a huge hit. No one seemed to mind that there was no added sugar. I actually doubled the recipe and used cashew butter instead of almond butter and used 1/4 cup almond meal and 1/4 cup coconut flour(since I was running out of both) and I think these muffins turned out the best yet! They were very moist and flavorful and had a texture similar to what you would get with regular flour, so I am now a huge fan of this variation.

I also attempted to make turnip chips but they didn’t turn out well. I have always had trouble with making baked fries and chips. For some reason half of the chips end up burnt while the others don’t seem to get cooked even though I try really hard to get them all the size. This is not just a problem with my current oven because I have tried to make chips in three different ovens and have never had success, so I am going to experiment some more and upload a recipe once I find something that works. 

I was kind of busy today but I am gong to be cooking all day tomorrow so I will probably have some new recipes up then, so stay tuned. 

Day 12: It’s Friday!

So the Flyers forgot how to play hockey last night and lost 4-0 to the Canucks, but I still had fun at the game. I had a ton of energy in the morning but then had a bunch of meetings and by 3pm I was done for the day. I had a good HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout this morning and now my entire body is sore. Luckily tomorrows is a yoga day so it will be very low impact and give my muscles some time to stretch out and recover.

I haven’t really had many sugar cravings this week and have had a lot of energy during the day. The only thing I’ve noticed is that I get super exhausted at night, which could be due to the fact that I usually don’t eat that much for dinner. I like to eat most of my calories before 4pm because I am usually very hungry in the mornings/afternoons but not so much at night. I find that night time is usually when I consume the most “empty” calories from snacking. I think part of the reason is because I have this weird idea in my head of eating three square meals a day and feel like I should be eating dinner. However, I am not really that hungry so I eat foods that aren’t that filling but taste good, which are usually processed foods full of sugar and chemicals.

The 21dsd has helped me refocus my attention from when I should be eating to what I should be eating. Basically, I prepare all my food in advance or get things that are quick to cook(like collards and eggs) so I can whip a meal together at a moment’s notice. Then I don’t have to worry about eating at a specific time and just have to make sure I have enough food with me so I am prepared if I get hungry. This is habit that I want to carry into my life after the 21dsd is over and I think this will keep me on track to a healthier me.