HHB Day 2: Sugar Detox
I would not be hyperbolic to say that sugar is a drug and that if it were discovered for the first time in 2019, it would be banned. Sugar (in all of its permutations, including agave, maple syrup, and honey) is insidiously bad for you. Not just the obvious small children with type 2 diabetes kinda way, but it has an enormous impact on the production of sexual and stress hormones. And like any other drug, it is addictive AF. This addictive AF drug is snuck into ALL KINDS of food and even personal care items.
We accept a modest amount of sugar in moderation, because, let's face it, chocolate is delicious and for a short period of time, sugar can make almost anything better! It will brighten your mood, put a pep in your step, and make you like even the most odious of people. Until it runs through your system, wreaking havoc.
Most of the time, I do not eat any sugar, in any form. I definitely do not use artificial sweeteners, which are possibly worse. But when I am working out hard and lifting heavy, I have occasional refeed days to let my body use the glycogen. Even then, I use coconut sugar, which at least has a low glycemic index and less of an effect on my blood sugar.
But like most humans, I am deeply fallible and have a horrible sweet tooth. So when I fall off the wagon, I don't cut sugar back.
I cut it out entirely.
I do this because it is the only way I know to stop intense sugar cravings. But even things with stevia and xylitol, which I cannot entirely avoid, can cause minor sugar cravings.
So I do a few things.
- Add lemon and ginger juice AND oils to my water to flush sugar out of my body as quickly as possible.
- Drink green juice that contains kale, cucumber, and celery EVERY morning and EVERY afternoon (think times when you might have a caffeine/sugar slump.
- Make essential oil shots with grapefruit and fennel or slim and sassy to kill off sugar cravings before meals.
- When in dire straits, I will drink a sugar free red bull, which I know is chemical city, but detoxing can make me brain dead and, well, I'm a lawyer so that doesn't so much work.
- Only have the tiniest of fruit, because fructose will kick up my sugar cravings. Basically I live on vegetables.
I do this because sugar has such a bad long term impact on my stress response, focus, and hormones. I also do this because sugar is a drug over which I find myself unable to make good choices. So if it's not in my home and not in my office and not in my car, I have to go through steps to get it. Usually an essential oil shot will prevent me from going to buy something.
But even if you can handle a modest amount of sugar and don't care that much about sweets, detoxing from sugar for a week every few months is great for your body. It "resets" your response to sweets, and helps you see how much sugar you actually use. It allows your body to find an equilibrium and you might discover things you like better than sugar, such as feeling alert in the afternoon without gallons of coffee. It also junks helps clean the gunk out of your system.
So in the spirit of Easter Monday, all leftover sweets are going to my wife's office and I am doing a detox. And yes, right now I am grumpy and doing all the essential oil shots, but in about 36 hours, I will feel way better than I did all weekend.
Which is my body telling me than it prefers when I don't eat sugar.
So I listen.