I’m three days into a 21 day reset with my eating. For these 21 days, I’m avoiding sugar, wheat (this isn’t new for me, but included in the detox), and most dairy and alcohol. This isn’t the first time I’ve done something like this, and I do think it gets easier the more you do it, but I still find myself struggling! I usually think of myself as a pretty healthy eater, but I’ve definitely got room for improvement, and the sugar withdrawal headaches prove it! This time we’ve been encouraged to practice more mindful eating, avoiding the impulses to mindlessly snack and graze. Turns out, I am a master at eating little bites and tastes here and there! Dinner preparation is the worst; I am constantly putting things into my mouth while I get dinner ready for my family. But knowledge is power, so here’s hoping I can learn to eat only when I’m hungry.
In case you’re interested in trying something like this for yourself, here are a few things that have helped me this time and in the past:
- Preparation is key, both mentally and logistically. I have to go in fully committed to the detox, not just thinking I’ll go along halfway and see how I feel. If I’m in, I’m all in! And I have to prep things ahead of time so when I get hungry I have healthy options! If my fruit and veggies are cut up ahead of time, I am so much more likely to eat them. And I love carb filled, bread like snacks (granola bars, muffins, etc.) so if I make sugar free versions ahead of time, it helps me feel like I am not going without the things I usually love.
- Be realistic. I’d love to follow the “rules” 100% all day every day for the entire 21 days, but reality is that I’m going to mess up, give in to a craving, or simply forget that I can’t put a few chocolate chips into my mouth. That’s okay, it doesn’t mean I’ve failed, and I can still make a healthy decision with my next snack or meal. I also can’t function without coffee and I can’t drink my coffee black; I just can’t do it! So I still choose to put a single tablespoon of a natural sweetened creamer in my coffee, and I’m okay with that!
- Add natural flavors to my water. I don’t like to drink water, but I know it’s good for me. And I do feel better when I’m fully hydrated. It’s not as big of a deal this time of year, but it’s still important. In order to help meet my goal of drinking lots of water, I add lemon or lime wedges to my water. For me, it’s amazing how much difference this makes and how much more I find myself drinking.
- Grab a buddy. Accountability is huge for me, and if I’ve got someone else to ask me how it’s going, I’m so much more likely to succeed. Plus, if you do make the decision to eat healthier together, you can also complain to someone else who really gets it, and share little daily successes. I can tell my husband that I made it 24 hours without chocolate, and he’ll give me a high five. But if I can share that same information with someone who really, truly understands how difficult that was, it’s a little more rewarding.
Here’s to a couple more weeks of clean eating! We’re headed to Florida on the 23rd, so I’ll be stopping my detox a few days early (remember, be realistic)! 🙂