Sugar Free Me – Week 2

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Favorite meal this week – shrimp and pork cabbage dumplings

I was off my game this week. My headaches resurfaced on day 8, and I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed. After all this work and five days of freedom, it feels unfair.

I promised to be honest with you, and here’s the truth – I thought about giving up multiple times. I felt worse than before I started – headaches, bloating, hives, moodiness. By Friday night, I just wanted to demolish a white pizza and follow it with a giant brownie. Water is getting boring and I should probably chill on the amount of herbal tea I’ve been drinking.

I just have to remind myself that this is 21 days, not forever.

The play-by-play

Day 8: Return of the Headaches

I had a dull ache from the moment I woke up – expected it to dissipate as the day went on, but it’s stuck around. It could feel the pressure around my jawline, ears, and temples, with a pulsing around the crown.

It was so bad when I finally got into bed that I couldn’t switch positions without a stabbing pain on the left side of my head.

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Can’t chew gum? Light a candle before chopping onions. It helps prevent tearing, just like gum!

Day 9: In a Fog

I was hoping yesterday’s headache was a fluke, but it wasn’t. I had a burning sensation until around 4 pm – makes work even less enjoyable.

Today I had a small craving. Not for anything in particular, just for something sweet and yeasty – doughnut, brownie, apple pie?

Really though, food-wise I’ve been pretty okay. My favorite weekday breakfast is so simple – two hard boiled eggs, mashed avocado, hot sauce, and a side of nuts. I’ve been having a green-tipped banana or green apple for a snack in the morning so I can burn off the (naturally occurring) sugar during the day. Both taste so deliciously sweet.

Day 10: Hangry

To be fair, I was only hungry because last night’s leftovers did NOT taste good reheated. Actually, they were terrible, but fabulous the day of. I’m noting this for my recipe roundup.

The headache is still lingering. I thought that it might be cycle or stress related, but I don’t know for sure.

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This vanilla n’oatmeal was fab.

In Dr. David Buchholz’s book Heal Your Headache, he talks about how everyone has a different threshold for headaches, and when the level floods over, the pain begins. One day I might have stress and feel fine, the next day I might have stress and then eat something that puts me above the threshold and boom! a headache.

It’s so complicated to explain to others. Even my doctor said she “exhausted all possibilities with me” after her treatments (i.e., prescriptions for seizure medications) failed. It’s a miserable life.

Day 11: Oh, the Temptations

Did you ever notice that once you get to the halfway point in a book, the second part just flies by? I’m wondering if that will be the case with this program.

Eleven days in, multiple temptations, no cheats. I’ve endured the smell of fresh bagels in the kitchen at work, the ramen noodles my coworker makes for breakfast, pizza, chocolate, cinnamon toast, coffee – so many delicious things. But can you believe my mouth isn’t even watering right now?

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This chicken tortilla-less soup was very filling.

Day 12: Thinking Ahead

Do you know what’s just as heavenly as banana with almond butter? Baked green apples with cinnamon and a drizzle of coconut oil or butter. Oh. My. God. It’s seriously delicious.

I’m starting to think about my Reintroduction and which foods I want to eliminate. I’m really on the fence about dairy. I know it isn’t good for me, but pizza.

Day 13: Feeling Low

I had a nice sore throat to go with the throbbing head. I seriously felt like Debbie Downer this week. My headaches can do that; they make a sunshiny day turn into a cloudy rainstorm.

I checked the “what to expect” section, and on all accounts, I should be feeling good with looser pants. If I really think about it, yes, my pants are looser, today’s workout was on point, and life is good. It’s just my headaches that cloud it all.

Day 14: Out of the Funk

Today looks brighter. Not feeling as hungry and I don’t have any cravings. I went grocery shopping last night and walked past all of my favorite foods without the urge to throw them in my cart.

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A little Sunday prep.

I know I wasn’t technically supposed to weigh myself, but I’m starting a new fitness program tomorrow and had to capture my weight and measurements. I’m officially down 5 lbs and 4.25″ from January 1st. Of course, in addition to eating healthily, I’ve been working out 6 days a week.

I am a little worried about emotional eating. I realize how hard it can be for me to pump the breaks when I’m eating something I really enjoy like sour patch kids and salt and vinegar chips (there are a half bag of these in my cabinet right now). I’ll just have to remind myself of how far I’ve come to reach my goals and take care of my health.

Overall, I feel like I am benefiting from this program. Here’s to a better week and a happier update!

To see how the first week went (spoiler alert: it was better!), click here.

 

 

 

Sugar Free Me – Week 1

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This Portuguese Green Soup was to die for!

Let me start by saying that I can totally understand why a lot of people don’t eat healthy – it’s not that they don’t want to, it’s just so difficult and time-consuming, not to mention expensive.

I made all of my meals and snacks for this detox because sugar is a sneaky sucker. It hides in pretty much everything – condiments, dressings, beef jerky, nut mixed, frozen foods; you name it. I’m doing this to heal my headache and start fresh, so I have to be cautious.

I mostly followed the Plan 3 Week 1 meal plan from the 21-Day Sugar Detox, with a few modifications – removing all of the fish, and meat that wasn’t chicken, beef, or pork.

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Shrimp Pad Thai w/ zoodles

The hardest part was beginning.

The play-by-play

Day 1: Feeling Great!

Seriously, it felt easy. It was nice to start the program when I had a day off of work to get all the meals situated.

I ate breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one snack. I didn’t even mind serving my husband a piece of cheesecake while I snacked on my chili lime nut mix and homemade jerky (the latter of which, I’ll be honest, wasn’t very good).

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Nope, nope, nope…

Worked out mid-day and wasn’t starving after. I went to bed full and content. Migraine pain about a 4 or 5, but tolerable.

Day 2: Killer Headache

Woke up before six, drank a glass of water and worked out for 30 minutes. By the time I got to work, everything hurt and I felt like I was dying or (more accurately) had the flu. I couldn’t even bend over without my head feeling like it was going to combust. Not sure if that was my body detoxing or just an extension of the migraine I’ve had for two days. I’d put the pain at about an 11 (out of 10). It literally hurt to think.

After lunch, I went to the grocery store on a FULL stomach to pick up a bottle of coconut aminos, and I wanted to hijack the chocolate aisle – I’m not even a chocolate person. I guess it didn’t help that two coworkers filled our back table with candy, cake, and cookies leftover from their holiday parties. I avoided it like the plague and drank three cups of herbal tea. Excessive?

Day 3: Feeling Good

Woke up with a clear head – no pain, not even the fuzziness I sometimes get. Started the day with a cup of Egyptian Licorice tea (no relation to the candy).

Found out that broccoli is not a good friend. After eating the same(ish) meals for the last two days, I was severely bloated after eating a bunch of broccoli for lunch. So sad.

I love how this detox, after only three days, is showing me how to be in tune with my body.

Day 4: Lot’s of Energy

Can I tell you just how heavenly banana with almond butter is? Seriously, it’s delicious (and allowed).

I think I’m supposed to feel pretty crappy right now, but I actually feel great. I was able to do a 30-minute cardio workout, shovel heavy snow for over an hour, and then cook dinner, all without feeling starved or exhausted. Although, by the end of the evening, I was very happy to take a rest on the couch before bed.

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I love snowy days!

I went most of the day without a headache, and it was glorious. A slight stress headache was triggered around 9 pm, but it went away on its own without medication. This is completely unheard of for me.

Day 5: Continued Energy

Third day without a full-blown headache or a migraine. It feels wonderful. I noticed that I’ve been drinking more, which is a huge accomplishment for the girl who doesn’t fancy water.

I’ve eaten some great meals and some not so great ones – I’ll do a recipe round-up at the very end of the detox.

A few simple swaps, such as coconut aminos for soy sauce, have been immensely helpful.

Planned out my meal plan and grocery list for the next week. Yum!

Day 6: Feeling…Normal?

It’s always easier for me to avoid snacking on the weekends. When I’m at my 8-5, I want to snack ALL day. Maybe it’s the stress of the job?

Woke up after 9 (a complete blessing!) and made a delicious egg scramble. Usually, I like pancakes or waffles a la mode with a glass of OJ on the weekends. I didn’t even crave it. And I’ve been fine drinking plain or sparkling water with every meal.

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Said egg scramble

Started meal planning for week 3. I’m really excited about the meals for the next two weeks. And I love that I can still recreate some of my favorite things – like donuts – to be paleo and sugar detox friendly.

I’m feeling great – lighter, less bloated, and energetic. It feels completely amazing to be headache-free for four days straight.

Day 7: One Week Down!

Wow – I can’t believe I made it through 1/3 of the program already. When I did the Whole30 back in 2016, it was so hard for me to remain in control. I relied on Lara Bars and sweet fruits to get me through the days. I guess the difference now is that I’m desperately trying to rid myself of headaches for good. I’ll do whatever it takes – even avoiding my beloved choco mint chip ice cream.

Sadly, I learned that almonds don’t agree with me either. I’ve gotten hives the last 4ish times I’ve eaten them. I switched to almond butter over a year ago after I stopped eating PB and it never bothered me, but now that I’m cooking with it and using it in various recipes, I’m noticing the sensitivity.

Overall, I’m super pleased with how I’ve been feeling and what I’ve been eating. I’m looking forward to the next two weeks in the program.

Can’t wait to give you another update!

If you’re interested in trying your own 21-Day Sugar detox, check out these resources.