The #21DSD started out as hell, got better, then it ended... but oddly enough, we didn't stop. The first few week were a challenge, getting the sugar monkey off our backs, which was hard, but purely a matter of will power. What was actually difficult for us, was figuring out recipes and foods we could eat (especially with 2 kids). We spent hours on Pinterest, and scouring health food stores, but after we figured out our new normal, the detox was easy, and we are continuing on with the spirit of the detox even after 21 days. This is how my wife and I survived.
For most up to date food options/allowances check out the The 21-Day Sugar Detox Program Updates.
1 bag = 1 green apple (no other ingredients). Sweet, tangy and crunchy. Great garnish for full fat greek yogurt, or some sweet crunch in a trail mix.
RESTRICTED: 1 bag a day (fruits category)
If you are a brewer like me, or just sick of paying $4-5 for a bottle of kombucha, you may want to try and make your own water kefir (not kombucha but same kinda of probiotic fizzy drink, and significantly easier and less finicky). This kit makes it super easy, and all you need is a one litre mason jar, an elastic band, paper towel, a funnel, strainer, cane sugar and a few resealable (pop top) bottles/mason jars. Best of all, you can make a 33-40oz for less than a $1.
My favorite flavor is orange ginger. To make it, I fill my bottles half way with no-pulp orange juice (which I reconstitute from frozen concentrate) and a teaspoon of ginger, then fill the rest with the kefir... yum!
RESTRICTED: 8 oz per day
Chia seeds are a go to seed for me, I love to add them to my home made kombucha, juice, cereal and a lot more. During the detox, my wife made a delicious Banana Vanilla Bean N’Oatmeal (contains 1 green tipped banana per recipe), and the whole family loved it, our baby & toddler included. Part of a great breakfast or dessert.
I used it to crust chicken (crispy fried chicken), and it worked great. Chia is soo good at adhering, and creates a nice crispy crust.
In addition to those tried and tested recipes, I am itching to give this apple cinnamon chia pudding recipe a go.
Pizza... that's right, pizza. Put a little sugar free pizza sauce, then top with all the veggies, meat and mozzarella you desire. Broil in the oven until edges are golden and crispy (6-10 minutes). YUM!
I made a peperoni, garlic, mushroom and roasted broccoli pizza (then topped it with some fresh arugula) on the last day of my detox. I nearly died it was soooo good.
If you don't like these, then try Brown Rice Tortilla (Trader Joe's has some good ones too). They have tapioca flour (which is allowed in limited quantities according to the 21DSD updates), but are restricted to 1 per day (I did the cooked rice to brown rice flour conversion 20g/day = 1 tortilla).
Soy sauce... really, you can't have soy sauce. I know life sucks, and soy sauce contains wheat. Coconut aminos aren't exactly soy sauce, but provide a little umami taste for your meals... and for those of us who have tried, and succeeded, the secret is working with variety and finding those little things that just make the food.
One of a few brands of crackers which are ok for the 21DSD, and spicy!!!! YUM!
I have never tried this but am totally looking forward to try it. Though not on the older level 1 drink lists, but is listed as ok according to the updates on the 21dsd website.
RESTRICTED: 1 bottle (8 oz) a day
Serve with 1/4 cup of full fat greek yogurt and 1/2 a shredded green apple, for a delicious and filling desert/breakfast.
RESTRICTED: contains small quantities of buckwheat, which is a limited to 1/2 cup a day (grains/legumes) for level 1
What else do I need to say... craving some pasta and meatballs... go for it.
RESTRICTED: 1/2 cup cooked per day
Never got to try this, but certainly craved a delicious/convenient fried egg sandwich a number of times.
A little full fat cream cheese, with some roasted garlic and herbs to taste (I LOVE SPICY, so I add a little cayenne) spread over some flax crakers... yum.
Have as a snack or as a bread replacement (soup, pasta, etc)
I am an avid kombucha drinker, and GTs Gingerade kombucha was really my first positive experience, and what I now recommend to anyone who is looking to get into drinking kombucha. If you like ginger beer, then you will appreciate this low sugar probiotic drink.
Not to mention, it's refreshing and particularly helps sate the craving in the first week or two of the detox.
RESTRICTED: 1/2 bottle (8 oz) a day
One of the most surprising things to me when taking on this diet, was learning how many things that I would normally never think about, have sugar added.
Tomato sauce without sugar was almost impossible to find. After searching a number of standard grocery stores, found the Muir Glen Organic brand at Whole Foods.
Yay, pasta/pizza sauce becomes possible.
Nuts, seeds, etc. These became the staples of my snacking life... and they get bland, boring and repetitive. So I innovated.
I took the nutritional yeast nacho cheese powder from a popcorn recipe, and coated my nuts and seeds. The results... amazing. Loved by my wife, myself, and most of all my toddler :).
To coat, dampen (lightly drizzle with water in a colander) the seeds and nuts, lightly dust with seasoning, and toss. The powdered nutritional yeast becomes goopy, and sticks to the seeds/nuts. Repeat the dusting/tossing 2-3 times to desired flavor concentration, then dry in oven (10-15 minutes @ 350F).
The results, an extra crunchy yummy treat, which goes as fast as popcorn, so make lots :).
In addition to nuts, this technique works great on dry roasted edamame (which is unfortunately a restricted under legumes for level 1).
Spiralizer and mandolines (which can julienne) are great tools for creating zoodles (zucchini noodles). Which are a fun and unrestricted way to replace speghetti or ramen in many of your recipes. You should however be warned that they do shed some fluid when cooking, so if adding to sauces plan accordingly.
I made a nice bowl of ramen (inspired by this recipe) during my detox while I was sick, by frying up some julienned zucchini with some garlic and pepper, then adding it to some spiced up chicken stock, with a soft egg, some leftover pork chops, cabbage and carrot. It was great.