When my sister and I first started a 30 day sugar detox, we had the best of intentions. We still do. We also, however, have chaotic lives as most of us do. Part of that chaos included her trip to Los Angeles (she’ll be guest posting that one soon), my weekend in Tallahassee moving all my worldly possessions out of a storage unit, an upcoming trip to DC (maybe just me; maybe me and her), and preparing for a yard sale. All of this is, of course, in addition to life in general (you know, the jobs, school, the gym…survival things). Maybe we should have considered that and waited until July to start, but let’s be realistic. There will always be something “in the way” of a commitment. We did quite well for the first 9 days, but when we lost control of one another’s activities, we also lost control of our detox. Well, okay. No. We can’t blame one another for this. When she went to LA, I stopped the detox on my end, and she made an executive decision to enjoy her vacation.
I, on the other hand, made an executive decision to eat whatever I wanted. Technically, I chose to finish everything we had in the fridge so nothing went to waste, but I stopped worrying about the sugar intake and following Arielle’s plan.
While she was traveling, my sister ran into this article from CNN about the whole “sugar detox” trend. It is, unequivocally, a trend, no matter how much we want to call it a move for better health. We’re great big nerds, so the fact we didn’t look this deeply into the idea before we embarked upon it is somewhat troubling. See, neither of us so much as buys a toothbrush without extensive research. Why would we blindly follow a random Buzzfeed writer into the depths of a sugar-free sublayer of hell?
In short, we were desperate.
We still are. We’re not giving this up.
We both know we have to make some changes to our eating habits. Prior to moving back to our hometowns, we were relatively clean eaters and we both lived in cities with clean options for restaurant meals, too. That’s not the case here. Sure, we can eat well at home, but we both became so busy that cooking ceased to be an every night thing (for me. It never was for her). One hamburger here or ten wings there is no big deal, but when the week becomes “cook two nights and scavenge the town for something to eat the other five nights, skip lunch, grab breakfast on the way to work, crack open a Kind bar before the gym,” that shit will catch up with you fast.
Arielle made her experiment sound so easy…and delicious…and effective…and fun.
If you’ve read any of the other updates, though, you’ll notice it was, in reality, none of those things for us. It may have been effective to some extent because we both felt better. The overarching framework here is solid. However, even at 9 days, we were having a hard time with variety and with making time to keep up with the entire plan. It was not easy. The meals individually were easy to make, but there is not enough time in our days to plan well enough in advance for lunch and breakfast. As for flavor, there wasn’t enough. Like I mentioned last time, what’s wrong with herbs and spices? In the end, it’s easy to argue this shouldn’t be fun at all, but I will vehemently disagree, no matter how strong your argument might be.
I’m a firm believer in finding the line at which “fun and flavorful” meets “healthy and smart.” I’m also a firm believer in doing something the right way. We did not do that the first time around. I suppose that’s what you get when you consult Buzzfeed for health advice. Sure, I appreciate their up and coming role in our information culture and their successful attempts to lure me away from actual work with quizzes that tell me important things about myself like what type of cat I might be based solely on the last four items I bought from Anthropologie. However, my sister and I are going in a different direction here. Thanks to CNN, this article from Prevention, another from Today’s Dietician, this book edited by James M. Rippe (if you don’t have an academic institution through which to get this, it’s expensive), and perhaps other resources along the way, we are starting fresh with a more academic mindset toward our sugar detox attempt. We’ll share what we find along the way.
It’s how we do everything else. Why should this be so different?
I hope you all are doing better than we did, but if not, you can take peace in the fact you are not alone. If you’re doing well, please share your tips for success here. If you’re not, ask us questions, and we’ll do what we can to find potential answers.
Let’s get this started…again…for real this time…with herbs and spices…