Last weekend my friend Jessica from Delicious Obsessions posted on her Facebook page that she was embarking on Diane Sanfilippo's 21 Day Sugar Detox, and wondered if any of her friends would be interested in signing up. I can't remember if I'd ever heard of the 21DSD before, but it sounded intriguing.
The very night before I saw her post, I was thinking to myself that I have to do something. I thought, “I need to get serious and snap out of it. I need something to hold me accountable.”
I ate from the GAPS approved food list for almost five years. I lost quite a bit of weight and had stabilized around 170. That's still heavier than the charts say I should be at 5'4″ but I was happy there. I was wearing size 10 jeans and “large” tops. I felt good in my body.
I've been very happy eating GAPS approved foods. Many of my issues with food fell away. I stopped overeating, I ate what I wanted to and as much as I wanted to. I ate tons of butter. I ate GAPS approved sweets and treats, like my Chocolate Ice Cream Shake. Of course I didn't eat these goodies exclusively, but I felt like I was free. I didn't have to count calories or worry about portion control.
Then I started feeling like maybe it was time for me to start transitioning off of GAPS. After all, it's not meant to be a diet you stay on forever. I have decided I will never eat gluten or wheat based foods again, and I already knew how addictive pasta has been for me in the past. I have always felt certain if I started eating pasta again I would just gain all the weight back.
I always liked rice and potatoes, but I did not believe they were addictive foods for me, at least not to the extent pasta had once been. When I mean addictive, I mean I can eat a large quantity at one sitting and will scarf it down like a starving dog. Or, more aptly, like a goat. We owned dairy goats for eight years and they loved grain like no tomorrow. They would gobble it down like they were starving to death. As a matter of fact, goats will gorge themselves on grain and can actually die from eating too much grain. We always kept our grain away from the goats, secured in a heavy metal 55 gallon drum with a locking lid to prevent accidents like that from happening.
“One of the most commonly reported causes of bloat is simply due to overeating; a goat that raids the feed bin is a likely candidate. These escape artists will from time to time, find their way to a grain bin and consume as much grain as if they are starving. The result is a goat that becomes uncomfortably bloated and usually unable and unwilling to get up. … One should first know that bloating can be a serious condition which if left untreated, can result in death to the goat.”
Since I didn't think rice and potatoes would be a huge problem for me, I began to include them in my diet.
I bought five baby red potatoes the first time. They sat in the fridge for awhile as I contemplated eating them. Finally I steamed them along with some other veggies and they were heavenly. Over the next month I had potatoes a few more times, always red and I bought only enough for a small side serving. I did similarly with rice. I bought a one pound bag and cooked 1/2 a cup at a time.
I also added in pinto beans, which I have always loved, and sweet potatoes. I even started having popcorn with my husband. So neat to eat the same snack foods my junk food addict husband was eating!
I was treating myself to Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Larabars, and KIND bars. For a couple of months I had a monthly shipment of one box of KIND bars coming to my job. I was also eating Enjoy Life chocolate chips. And every weekend I was baking sweet quick breads for a new cookbook I was trying to finish.
Then I started to buy potatoes by the ten pound bag, bought a 25 pound bag of pinto beans from Costco and five pounds of rice. And started to treat myself to potato chips. I even ate some french fries from Burger King one night!
I was still eating healthier than anyone I know in real life, but I felt like I was skidding out of control.
I started to do some things to intervene; I stopped my monthly subscription of KIND bars and forbade myself from walking to the corner convenience store for my fix. I started limiting myself to two slices of each loaf I created and took the rest to work. But I continued with the white rice and potatoes and popcorn.
It took several months and I was watching the scale go up each month but before I knew it I had gained twenty pounds!
My name is Starlene, I'm addicted to white carbohydrates. Please help me. I need an intervention.
You may or may not recall that my hands had begun to hurt again. The last time this happened I was taking a large amount of Vitamin C. I didn't know it was the Vitamin C and decided to try another round of GAPS Intro to see if it would help me figure out what was causing my pain, so I had to slowly decrease the Vitamin C. That alone caused my hands to feel a lot better.
So this time I thought doing GAPS Intro could help again and the three days I tried (and was low carb) I had terrible insomnia.
I started to feel like I was between a rock and a hard place. (By the way, I am 99% certain that this time my hands were hurting because I was taking an herbal calcium. I have yet to research each herb, but I feel certain I will find at least one if not most of them are high in oxalates. Vitamin C is high oxalate. Since I stopped the herbs, my hands over several weeks have returned to their no-pain status. Thank God. It is hard living one's life when you cannot pick up heavy items, like groceries, when you can barely turn a door handle, drive a car, use a computer, brush one's hair. I could go on with the things I was having pain from, just normal every day tasks!)
I googled and found that the Bulletproof Executive slept poorly when avoiding “safe” starches:
“My quality of sleep declined. I found that I woke up feeling exhausted even if I got normal amount of sleep for me. … My amount of deep restorative sleep plummeted to near 0. My brain was literally starving for glucose and was waking me up to go find some.”
~Dave Asprey Bulletproof Executive
And so my conundrum… apparently my body needs carbohydrates – specifically high starch “safe” carbs to sleep well – but carbs are addictive for me and I start overeating.
The Bulletproof Executive goes on to make a recommendation for getting enough “safe” starches, suggesting the consumption of a moderate amount (100-150 grams) every 3-7 days. I discovered, thankfully, that sweet potatoes do not cause addictive behaviors for me.
But I was still unwilling to give up the white rice and potatoes. I wasn't even eating them every single day, just every few days. And on those days when I did have them, it was a fight to eat a small amount. A “serving” of white rice is 1/2 cup, but my perspective is why even bother for just three bites? 🙂
I was definitely in need of an intervention.
And then, serendipitously, Jessica mentioned the 21 Day Sugar Detox. A group was starting on March 2nd, and I impulsively jumped on board.
Am I ever glad that I did.
For the record, the 21 Day Sugar Detox is very GAPS friendly. Maybe you have been eating too many GAPS legal sweets and treats and need some specific structure in cutting out the sweets, this could be helpful.
You don't have to join a group – but if you want to there is another one beginning in April. Registration ends the week prior to the first Monday of the next month so you would need to sign up for the April Facebook group by March 27th. The gal I am working with is Carrie Staiger and she is a health coach. This is her affiliate link: http://www.healthcoachcarrie.com/go/signup
There is a book that will guide you through the process and it is available on Amazon. This is my affiliate link: The 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally
There is also a cookbook with more recipes: The 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally
Anyway… this post has gotten too long already, so I will continue on another one and tell you how it's gone for me so far. One last thing: In a nutshell, I am doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox to reset my taste buds and hopefully get back on track to once again having a “normal” relationship with food, and to be honest I would like to lose some weight and get back to 170 or lower.