The 21-Day Sugar Detox – Part 1

LIFESTYLE | May 10, 2017 | By

Major sugar cravings, grueling headaches, irritability is what I anticipated during the first few days of the 21-day sugar detox, to my surprise none of what I describe really happened. After completing couple of Whole30‘s I wanted to change things up a bit…why would I do that to myself is a question I’m very often asked, so here are some reasons why:

  • When cravings turn into habits its time to make some changes – I was getting into the habit of eating a piece of dark chocolate after lunch or dinner which is not terrible as such but it was more a case of habitual eating versus mindful eating.
  • It’s always interesting to observe how my body behaves in different scenarios, physically and mentally
  • Strengthens the willpower muscle
  • Opens up an array of foods, aromatic herbs and spices to explore in the kitchen
  • Helps hone my creative skills when it comes to cooking as well as meal prep

I won’t get into the details of the program as you can read about it on the website or buy the book – The 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo. Since I eat Paleo for the most part, I went for the Level 3 plan with some exceptions. However, this program was different from anything I’ve tried before, no sugar even in the form of fruit was certainly challenging. 

This post is split in two parts, the first one is about the 21-DSD experience and new products I explored. The second post will focus on what I cooked and ate during these 21 days.

What I ate while on the 21-Day Sugar Detox (21-DSD)
I made some minor changes to the plan, since I’m not a big red meat eater I introduced raw goat milk cheese as an additional source of protein. I also ate cashews and potatoes (mostly on days I worked out) even though they’re excluded in the program. 

These are the foods I ate –
Vegetables: almost all vegetables and greens
Protein: chicken, fish, shrimp, nuts, seeds, raw goat milk cheese
Fruit: grapefruit, green tipped banana, green apple
Flour: coconut flour
Fat: ghee, mustard oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, olive oil
Spices and Herbs: variety of aromatic spices and herbs
Beverages: Almond milk, Coffee, Kombucha

How I felt while on the 21-DSD
I’ve never ever felt so energetic, positive, mindful and motivated as I did on this detox. The energy levels were just mind-blowing, my brain felt like I was on steroids; constantly at work and brimming with ideas. 
Physically I’m not sure if I lost weight (I almost never weigh myself and don’t believe its an accurate measure of being healthy) but my clothes do fit better. The seasonal allergies didn’t bother me as much and nor did PMS (score!).

21-DSD Compliant Products
While the book lists several products that are compliant with the program, these are some products I tried for the first time and loved – 

Anita’s coconut milk yogurt – This was a game changer, for someone who hardly ever ate yogurt! I could eat this everyday all day long! Anita’s is a local, Brooklyn based brand of dairy free, full fat, vegan yogurt made from coconut milk and live active cultures with absolutely no added sugar. I’ve been so obsessed with coconut milk yogurt that I tried making my own at home and nailed it! 

This local NYC artisinal brand, NYSHUK makes a variety of handcrafted Harissa blends. This harissa with preserved lemon is nothing but locally sourced lemons preserved with a harissa spice blend. I typically spread this on beetroot burgers or use as a dip with sweet potato fries.

Even though I used my spice blends while cooking, the Primal Palate spices were a good addition for more variety. The Meat & Potatoes Seasoning is by far my favorite blend and I used it on eggs as well. The adobo seasoning is great on sautéed kale or roasted brussels sprouts.

Eating Evolved is another local brand that’s become a favorite, can’t even begin too describe how good these Keto Cups are. The ingredients are squeaky clean – Organic Cacao, Organic Coconut Butter, MCT Oil and Organic Vanilla Extract. This is my go to snack when I really need one, also I sometimes eat it before working out for that pre-workout boost.

This Midnight Coconut bar is made from Organic Cacao, Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Shredded Coconut, Organic Vanilla and zero sugar…every bite is like pure dark chocolate heaven!

Coffee is life and this combination is the best ever! I was using Nutpods dairy free creamer since I did the Whole30 but it was my first time trying Chameleon Cold Brew, the mocha coffee flavor is a favorite. Even though I’m done with the detox, this how I still drink my coffee – chameleon mocha coffee and nut pods over ice with absolutely no sweetener.

Lastly Health-Ade Kombucha, the ginger-lemon flavor is fabulous! Half a cup of kombucha was reserved for days when I needed a pick me up and this actually made me feel rejuvenated. This particular flavor has a spicy after taste and I think it pairs really well with Indian food.

These super amazing clean products are the reason why I got through the 21 days so effortlessly, also its good to know that healthy food can be exciting. I didn’t want to make this post super long so the next post will include what I cooked and how the program forced me to get better at and creative with meal prep.


  1. Leave a Reply

    May 11, 2017

    What a great write up of healthy products! I love the ginger kombucha too & looking forward to trying some of the other ones you mentioned. Glad the sugar detox went well- thanks for all of this inspiration!

    • Leave a Reply

      May 11, 2017

      Thank you Shahla, isn’t ginger so so good?! I’ve been thinking about brewing my own Kombucha, hopefully soon!

  2. Leave a Reply

    May 11, 2017

    I did a no processed sugar, gluten free diet once for 30 days, and like you mentioned I did not have any major sugar cravings, or headaches etc. The only problem I faced was when it came to socializing. I mostly made everything at home during that period but its good to know the store bought alternatives.

    • Leave a Reply

      May 12, 2017

      Hi Shumaila, I agree with you on the socializing part…I felt like my social life was non-existent! It’s good to do these kind of programs with a friend or partner. I didn’t eat out a lot except for sushi rolled in cucumber and I took a bottle of coconut aminos from home 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      May 12, 2017

      I’m glad this post is useful!

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