About a year ago I started doing CrossFit. I immediately clicked with this style of training and was lucky to have found a Box with extremely knowledgable coaches. After improving my fitness through an exploration of weights, cardio and various classes I hadn’t seen much improvement in some time. I just did the same old stuff week after week. With CrossFit I was suddenly learning proper Olympic lifting, gymnastic rolls, handstands and all manor of other things. Not only doing them but learning the correct form first. I soon started to see improvements as the constantly varied approach always threw up fresh challenges.
CrossFit also embraces nutrition and is associated with the Paleo way of eating, not a diet. This isn’t rammed down your throat, but after a while it is intriguing especially as the mantra, “to eat meat, veg, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar” is part of the print on the back of the t-shirts. I never thought I would adopt anything as strict as this as I was so used to eating breads, cereals and pastas etc. The new year came around, and January is the time a lot of people cut back or do some form of detox. Some fellow cross fitters were talking about the 21 day sugar detox. I asked to join in and ordered the book to find out more.
I had already been eating pretty healthy dinners but cutting out all breads and cereals would mean some major changes and planning. The book had 3 weeks worth of meal plans and recipes. I wanted to be influenced by these but then try and work out my own plans so that I could maybe carry on afterwards. The first weekends made me quite anxious when I realised time was passing and shops would be shutting and I still had to figure out what to make and buy. By day 3 and 4 my mind was very clouded and work was a struggle as I couldn’t focus and kept losing my train of thought. I really was amazed at the detox effects of cutting out sugar and how hard it seemed. I didn’t feel up to that evenings CrossFit session, but after the warm up suddenly felt really energised. I felt like my body was getting energy from different reserves.
As time passed the cravings for snacks and chocolate started to fade. I realised that cutting out sugar was actually more about cutting out processed foods. I never had sugar in tea anyway. Maybe what was written on the t shirts wasn’t so out of reach after all. As I started to get more clarity I began using the book more to make snacks including grain free granolas and cookies and all manner of things that I never thought I would, to help prep meals for the week ahead. These were vital to stop mid afternoon runs to the shop or temptations if someone at work brings round cakes etc.
Approaching the end of the 21 days I started thinking what I would eat and at first was thinking a big greasy pizza, but the closer it got I actually realised that I didn’t really want to go back to how I ate before. I didn’t miss bread, and courgette noodles were so tasty that pasta/noodles were not missed either. The benefits were so much more important. I felt happier, less bloated, more focused on achieving things on my to do lists, had more energy and was having better, deeper sleep. I look forward to each meal as my taste buds have changed to appreciate flavours more, and lemon chicken with a load of veg, is much tastier than a boring sandwich anyway. This is not a diet it is a change to eating natural whole, fresh foods, but as a bonus I have lost 5kg over the 3 weeks, and now consider myself eating Paleo with a few cheats here and there. I totally recommend the 21 day sugar detox to anyone. It’s not even a month, try it you wont regret it I’m sure!