My 4th 21-Day Sugar Detox – 2019

As I geared up for my daughter, Tayler’s, wedding this past September, I knew I needed to be at my best, so I took on my third 21-day sugar detox. Every time I’ve done this, I’ve learned something new about how to simplify the process as well as how my body and mind respond to sugar (this includes all forms natural or processed such as fruit, honey, etc.) and grain-based carbohydrates such as rice or corn.

From my past two 21-day sugar detox experiences, the first few days were always the most difficult. But once I was sleeping better and had more energy, it was much easier to avoid temptation of taboo foods for the remaining of the detox or fasting period.

However, I always seem to start giving in once the holidays begin. It starts with indulging on a few pieces of Halloween candy and then evolves into a full meal at Carl’s Jr during a long day of Christmas shopping! By the time it’s actually December, I’m roughly eating 50/50 Paleo/SAD (Standard American Diet). I’m sleeping less, more irritable, and the brain-fog and forgetting things is out of control. And the end of 2018 was no exception.

I honestly don’t know how long I will succeed this time, but I’ve got to give it another try. I know I will feel better inside and out — for however long it lasts!


Past 21 Day Sugar Detox Challenges

As I prepared for my fourth 21-day-sugar detox, I reflected on some things that have made it challenging in the past. I’m really working on being realistic with my goals for 2019, so I needed to asses the struggles I’d had before, and perhaps pinpoint why I’ve found it hard to stick with the diet for the long-term.

Eating Often Enough

On any given week day, I tend to consume 2 to 3 cups of coffee over a couple of hours as I review my goals for the day and get to work. Our family business requires a lot of tasks and some days I get caught up in bookkeeping or project scheduling and before I know it, it’s 2pm and I haven’t eaten a thing!

Then I’m off to prepare a batch of Paleo pancakes with eggs (no matter the time of day, I usually prefer a breakfast food first!)

My second meal of the day is then dinner at around 7pm. This will include a large portion of animal-based protein, cooked vegetables and a starch (rice, corn, potatoes, or sweet potatoes).

I don’t drink enough water throughout the day either.

So my first hurdle to overcome is getting used to eating three meals with snacks in between to avoid getting hungry, which during the detox leads me to getting hangry!

Meal Planning Challenges

I’ve been known to get pretty ambitious once I decide to take on major dietary changes. I’m determined to follow the diet exactly and go head-long into ordering and shopping to stock my pantry and fridge with all the necessary items for a full week or more of recipes.

Then I end up with way too much fresh food on hand, and find myself scrambling to prepare all of it regardless of the recipes and menu. I have too many left overs or lack the time to use all the fresh produce, and inevitably end up throwing stuff out.

As of today, I’m on DAY 5, but started out using the food already in my fridge for the first few days. I had deli meat and cheese, eggs, salad ingredients and some fresh vegetables I needed to use up first.

I finally went shopping based on the Week 1 menu in the 21 Day Sugar Detox Daily guide on Friday and ordered the few pantry items from Thrive Market that I knew I couldn’t find at Whole Foods.

Online Updating

My other challenge in the past was planning on updating my progress regularly and failing to keep consistent. As part of my overall 2019 goals, I want to be realistic about the rate I post to my various social media outlets. (I posted to my Author Website last week on this if you’d like to read more click HERE)

For this blog/website, the most realistic effort I can make at this point is to tag my relevant Instagram (find me at rk3775)  posts with #csidrecipes #ketoforkids #21daysugardetox #paleo and other similar phrasing. Before I take on trying to add more posts, I really need to review and update all the current posts that are already here and note the date of the update for those who haven’t been following this blog for long.


Recommended Resources for CSID, Paleo, Sugar Detox and Keto

As always, I highly recommend the following recipe books and dietary guides, as both Diane Sanfilippo and Danielle Walker have become my go-to gals when it comes to amazing recipes and paleo/keto lifestyle education.

As always, please modify any recipe per your specific dietary needs and food sensitivities!

Diane Sanfillippo (BalancedBites)

PRACTICAL PALEO

21 DAY SUGAR DETOX DAILY GUIDE

KETO QUICK START


Danielle Walker (AgainstAllGrain)

Find the link to all these books HERE

  • Against All Grain
  • Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple
  • Celebrations
  • Eat What You Love

 

I pray peace and hope in 2019 to you all! Have an amazing year!

Advertisements

Food Intolerance and the Immune System

When Undigested Carbohydrates Wreak Havoc

With the popularity of probiotics hitting main stream media, I have to ask why food intolerance is not considered a serious risk to the immune system. I have heard more than one celebrity promoting yogurt or another food containing healthy bacteria state that 70-80% of our immune system is in our gut.

Search “food allergies” vs “food intolerance” and you will likely come across the difference being that food allergies effect the immune system and food intolerance does not. You will also find that the only type of food referenced as “intolerant” is that for lactose, or milk products.

I have not come across a single article or medical reference discussing the fact that people can also be intolerant to sugar and starch. How are people suppose to know that milk is not the only culprit?

Beyond Lactose Intolerance

My research indicates that undigested food—specifically undigested carbohydrates (lactose, sugar and starch)— promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the large intestine and can lead to other health problems.

The message I hear in general is a promotion of adding “good” but no talk of removing the “bad” and this confuses me.

There is no question that diets high in refined flours and sugars create other health problems such as obesity and diabetes. So why is it so difficult to find concrete data and articles regarding the harm these foods also cause in our digestive systems?

This post is more rhetorical than scientific. Aside from research associated with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I have not been able to locate additional evidence that omitting harmful carbohydrates in the light of digestive imbalance is also a benefit to the immune system.

I only have my personal experience and knowledge regarding CSID and the inability to break down sugars and starches. If you have a personal experience related to food intolerance and the immune system, I would love to learn about it.

The Importance of Limiting Harmful Starches

Even though some situations where starch is tolerable, it is important that each family learn to master the CSID diet without starches. Every day our discussion groups reveal variations to how much and which types of starches appear tolerable for us or our CSID children.

However, a CSID diagnosis is rarely (if ever) confirmed without the child or adult presenting symptoms. These symptoms are a sign the body is suffering. This suffering is the result of undigested food in the gut. Undigested food harms the lining of the intestines, and can irritate to the point of causing tears in the lining of the intestines. This “leaky gut” can also result in allergies to foods that have made their way in the blood stream through these cracks. Once the gut is healed, some of these food particles may have a chance to be properly digested and the “allergy” will eventually diminish. Of course, this would be on a case-by-case basis. For us, Parker had to eliminate dairy for quite some time and now has it all the time without issue.

I came into knowledge of this process through a combination of my own research into various digestive problems and solutions as well as from insight from several professionals in the field of digestive health. The conclusion being not all starches are created equal. Some can cause great harm, especially to a weakened system that is irritated and sensitive due to months or years of undigested food wreaking havoc.

There has been a lot of talk about starches on the Facebook and Yahoo CSID groups lately. I sense a push from parents trying to find ways to incorporate starches into their children’s diet. Everyone has their opinions about the best way to go about it, but I would like to take moment to emphasis the fact that some starch-based foods should be eliminated to avoid possible long-term problems. Starchy foods that do not offer any nutritional benefit should be out. Overly processed foods should also be eliminated or reduced to an occasional basis.These include foods that come from white flour and that include artificial sugar. Most grains, even whole, still promote the growth of harmful bacteria, which can manifest as various symptoms, including behavior problems.This theory is based on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) approach which reveals that undigested carbohydrates cause the most harm by feeding harmful bacteria and promoting fermentation. Another result from including harmful starches on a regular basis is acidosis, which requires a strict ph-balancing process to reverse.

There is a way to incorporate essential carbohydrates in the form of “safe” starches once the starch-free diet has been mastered and symptoms are no longer present. See my other posts relate to STARCH & DIGESTION for more details on assisting with the digestions process and choosing easy to digest foods.
When I use the word “safe” I mean to imply that my research suggests these foods have a lower likelihood of causing digestive distress while also providing maximum nutrition.

These “safe” foods include:

  • almond and coconut-based foods
  • soaked dry white beans such as baby lima, navy, or northern
  • lactose-free dairy such as butter, heavy cream, and homemade yogurt to serve as thickening or fillers
  • incorporation of plain yogurt to promote helpful bacteria product
  • 100% organic, sprouted-grain
  • low-carb/sprouted grain wraps and buns (on a limited basis, taken with Food Enzymes
My family has also experienced success in the occasional use of brown rice pasta and red potatoes (2 foods which are NOT endorsed for SCD) — but always with food enzymes! 
What I have also found is that there are many other digestive diseases and illness that have a direct correlation with the excessive eating of sugars and starches. Even though doctors and scientists do not know the direct cause of diseases such as Crohn’s or colitis or in some cases, Celiac; the recommended dietary approach often involves the elimination of starches, sugars, and sometimes lactose. Continuing to consume harmful carbohydrates in light of CSID or other digestive ailments can result in additional digestive disease and in some cases, stomach or colon cancer.
In the end, I will not promote or endorse suggestions for foods that do not line up with my personal approach to remove what harms and add what helps. I do not pretend to follow this diet 100% of the time, but I feel listing exceptions just confuses parents, especially those who are new to the diet. By incorporating my knowledge of the best of CSID-friendly foods, the SCD approach, digestive supplementation, and a pH balanced goal I have found our family experiences maximum health, energy and overall well-being.

Coconut Flour Crepes for Breakfast or Lunch!

(A Gluten-Free recipe) 



One of the “diets” I have used as a reference in creating CSID appropriate recipes is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I cannot stress enough how the understanding of what happens to undigested carbohydrates has helped me in choosing foods for my family.
A few months ago, when I got back on track with eating and cooking sugar-free and grain-free, I purchased the recipe book Healing Foods by Sandra Ramacher. On her “flog” she lists school lunch ideas along with recipes. Not all the SCD foods are low enough in sugar and starch for Group A, and some of Group C. As a parent, I know it can be daunting to filter through recipes to determine what is or is not okay for your child. Once you are used to skimming labels and recipes, adjusting ingredients can become quite simple.
For now, I wanted to share the crepe recipe inspired by the one posted to the Healing Foods flog that can be used for  breakfast, snacks or lunches. As usual, if you have it, provide Sucraid prior to every meal and snack in the case of hidden sucrose. You may need to sub fructose for honey if recommended by your child’s dietician.

*(Group A, B, or C use with Sucraid recipe)

Yield: 6 4-inch crepes

4 eggs

2 teaspoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup coconut milk (check that there is no added starches or sugars if using canned)

1 teaspoon honey or 2 teaspoons fructose

2 tablespoons organic coconut flour*

Sour cream and Simply Fruit jam or fresh raspberries (S)

1.    Blend together all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth.

2.    Using about two tablespoons of batter, cook crepes individually with a dab of butter on a skillet set to medium heat.

3.    Spread one teaspoon sour cream and one teaspoon jam or mashed berries and roll. Serve warm.

Lunch option: Use plain crepes as wraps. Some “filling” possibilities include cream cheese, cranberry and turkey; tuna with thinly sliced cucumbers; sour cream with fresh spinach and strawberry slices; peanut butter and Simply Fruit jam (Group C, Sucraid needed); almond butter with drizzled honey (Group B or C, maybe A with Sucraid)

Challenges

I feel like I am suppose to be posting recipes or nothing at all. But I know some of you just need to know we all struggle with CSID limitations from time to time (or always!)

As some of you are aware of, I have been battling fibromyalgia for nearly a year. When symptoms were at their worst, my ability to work in the kitchen at all as well as to sit at the computer was highly limited. I am now getting that under control and as an interesting “twist of fate”, eating a CSID diet also keeps my fibro symptoms from flaring! It is truly a blessing in disguise!

I have also recently moved to California to be closer to family as well as closer to a much greater variety and access to the healthy food and ingredients I need to once again fill my cupboards, freezer and fridge with sugar-free, starch-free foods.

As for my children with CSID, both my daughter and son are facing separate challenges. My daughter is away at college, and at the mercy of the on-campus food selection. She took it upon herself to talk to the kitchen staff and educate them about CSID. She also took an opportunity to discuss CSID for a speech class assignment! As much as I wanted her to have a copy of “A Place to Start” in her hands, most of the recipes she cannot cook without a kitchen anyway. She caved to poor eating habits during her first several weeks at school, and after losing significant weight and developing asthma and anemia, is finally determined to stop the bad eating habits in order to survive college!

Though we (my daughter, myself and my son) seem to tolerate small amounts of starch in say a slice of pizza or a fast food hamburger, we do much better without them! What we have noticed is that over time, subtle, yet significant changes (or symptoms) occur. For me it is brain fog, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and irritability. The larger risk we take in eating high-starch or sugary foods is that it weakens our immune systems. It is now common knowledge that 70-80% of our immune system is in our gut, and that carbs from foods such as grains and sugar feed the harmful bacteria that prevent us from fighting off illness.

Parker is now 7 1/2 years old! My biggest challenge with him is that he is now sneaking foods he knows he should not eat. I notice the more he takes Sucraid, the better he seems to be able to handle small amounts of disaccharides, but I know in the long run, this is not a healthy habit to form. The fact is, he has an advantage over me and my daughter: He has not developed a life-long habit of eating harmful foods.

With that said, my primary goal is to get us all back on track eating right again. As I refresh my memory about “the dos and donts”, I will update here. This may mean duplicating or revising past entries to reflect my current findings.

Right now, I am simply LOVING the newest cookbook for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Sandra Ramacher. It is called HEALING FOODS: Cooking for Celiacs, Colitis, Crohn’s and IBS . While you wait for my book to come out, it is one of the best resources I have come across that contains mostly foods appropriate for those who can tolerate some starch. Many recipes call for almond flour, winter squash and beans, so use at your discretion and as always, consult your child’s doctor or dietitian before starting any new or different foods.