In my previous post about spring detoxing, I mentioned that I did not consume any sugar during the entire month of March.
January and February brought emotional ups and downs, situations, scenarios and circumstances that left me feeling as though I was not in control of my emotional reactions to life’s stresses. And with stressful circumstances comes our human need to feel comforted, which may lead to our brains connecting food, specifically sweets as a comfort mechanism. And that is exactly what happened for me. Were they vegan sweets? Of course! Does that mean they were all healthy and nourishing for my mind, body and soul? Certainly not!
I have been on countless emotional roller coasters before and knew from previous sugar detox experiences that lightening the sugar load within my body’s blood cells would significantly reduce stress and even out my temperament. Reducing stress is all relative though. I truly believe that most situations exist in a neutral space in time. It is the way in which we react that causes our minds to feel stressed. Our reactions to what we perceive as stressful situations, will be calmer and more considered, less rash and explosive if our bodies are free from the damaging affects of sugar. It is how we perceive, interpret and respond as opposed to react, to these situations that will determine how “stressed out” we become.
So let me begin by defining sugar for myself:
-Evaporated cane juice
These are the bad boys of the sweet family for me and when I ingest them, you better believe my body lets me know!
The following are symptoms I notice when I eat sugar:
-Lack of deep restful sleep
-Skin break outs
-A Low grade headache the day after consuming sugar that last all day
-Swollen, puffy face
-Dark under eye circles
-Low grade anxiety
-Unsettled and less grounded emotionally
-All around grumpy disposition
Sounds fun right? Not at all! So I banished these sweeteners from my life for a month and even after 4 days, I was able to notice a difference.With every day after that, I felt more clarity in my thought processes and I noticed that I stopped dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings. After a few more days, the negative thoughts and feelings just disappeared.
Just to clarify, for my sugar detox, I also cut out the friendlier sweeteners such as:
-Brown Rice Syrup,
I generally don’t mind including these sweeteners in my life but for the detox I went all out and faced the sugar beast head on.
Having said that, I did consume fruit throughout the detox. Sugar from an actual fruit gets absorbed into our blood at a much slower and more consistent pace. Therefore our blood sugar levels don’t spike and wig out which is what brings on the lethargic blues and that overall blah feeling. I kept it to apples, pears and oranges for no particular reason other than I really love apples, pears and oranges
I did not eat more than one fruit a day however since I did not want to compensate sugar cravings with fruit. I wanted to feel the detox, deal with sugar withdrawal symptoms and understand my cravings. What I learned was that sugar detox symptoms usually disappear within a week. These symptoms could include headaches, sniffles, coughing, crazy cravings for all things sweet and an irritable mood, especially when dealing with a craving!
Understanding my cravings became a fascinating adventure. Every time I got a sugar craving, I stopped and focused on what time of day it was, what circumstances was I surrounded by and what emotions were coming up for me. Sure some of the time I just plain wanted some dessert after dinner but other times,I noticed reoccurring triggers that would send me into a tails spin of a craving for some vegan brownies. These were the times where I deliberately did not reach for a piece of fruit. Nothing would have been wrong with doing so. I just wanted to sit with and get to know my craving so that I could feel more in control. Wouldn’t you know it, the pesky craving usually subsided within 20 minutes and life kept moving forward.
Please know that this post is in no way scientific at all. I would love to get into the nitty-gritty science of how sugar ravages the body and indeed I will post about that at some point. For now I felt that sharing simple details of my sugar detox might help and encourage anyone willing and/or curious to rid themselves of sugar.
In addition, I have been indulging in some delicious vegan ice-cream recently and it may be time to sugar detox once again. June-July is looking like a good time to do it!
Anyone with me?