This month I’m celebrating six months off of sugar, and after getting a lot of questions about it, I’m ready to share my journey with you! I’ve split this into two blogs (one today and one you’ll get next Tuesday). Should you want to learn even more than what I cover in the two blogs, you’ll see a workshop invite below.
Before I share more, let me say that quitting sugar isn’t for everyone, and although I do believe cutting back on sugar would benefit everyone, I am definitely not a sugar shamer. It’s a personal decision between you and your body that requires a massive level of commitment (especially at first).
For those reasons, I’m not focusing on the benefits of quitting sugar in general but rather I am sharing (1) the symptoms that led me to quit sugar, (2) the impact it has had on my health and life, and (3) the tools that saved me mentally and emotionally as I detoxed (yes, detoxed) from sugar and stuck to it the last six months.
It all started with an email to my doctor. A couple of years into healing my Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, I felt much better, but my energy still wasn’t completely back. He suggested re-testing my gut, and the results confirmed what I had been experiencing. Due to the an unhealthy level of bacteria and Blastocystis hominis in my gut, my body wasn’t receiving the nutrients it needed to produce normal levels of energy.
He recommended cutting sugar to five grams a day (!@#$!@!!), taking a supplement, practicing food combining principles and cutting back on calories to starve out what was going on in my gut. (P.S. I was diligent about everything but the calorie cutting LOL!)
Here’s how I did it, what I learned, and how I have benefited from quitting sugar.
My detox process was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done…
For me, the detox phase of quitting sugar was brutal. If you have a healthy gut, your experience might be easier. I have not gone through alcohol or drug detox, but I know people who have and have also quit sugar. They say the process has similarities.
For me it was jam-packed with extreme emotions (a lot of anger, frustration and sadness), irritability, light-headedness, insomnia, brain fog and I’m sure many other symptoms I’m now forgetting.
Experiencing those symptoms triggered fear, as they were similar to many of the symptoms I experienced with Hashimoto’s. I freaked out wondering if it was really working or if I was just regressing back into sickness.
I knew I couldn’t quit the detox process, but I also felt like I couldn’t survive it (sharing more on how I survived below.) However within a few days only I started to see shifts in my health, and I clung to those small victories to keep me going.
But it was well worth it because…
I experienced some amazing benefits from quitting sugar…
My energy is BACK! I am working full time and working out regularly! And loving both. 🙂
While quitting grain, almonds and dairy majorly improved my joint pain, I still had persistent pain in my right shoulder, which disappeared quickly after quitting sugar.
I don’t snack as much.
I lost weight. My inflammation disappeared.
I started sleeping better and feeling happier.
I feel proud AF for giving myself this gift and owning my worth in this way (because this really is a journey in owning that you’re worthy enough to saying yes to feeling great and saying no to comfort food).
I learned some great lessons from getting sugar sober…
I was using food as a drug and not as medicine in some ways. During detox, memories surfaced of times in my life, dating back to childhood, when I medicated with sugar. I realized reaching for that “hit” was a habit – when I was stressed, bored or thinking, I’d reach for a sugary treat. Quitting sugar gave me a chance to detox emotionally and to build some new, healthier habits.
There are dozens of different names for sugar, thanks to clever marketers, which you have to be aware of if you’re committed to quitting sugar. Because you don’t see the word “sugar” doesn’t mean there isn’t sugar in it. For example, most stevia is cut with dextrose, which is corn sugar.
“Healthy sugar” is still sugar. I was only having “healthy” sugar by the time I quit: maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey. My detox from them was gnarly.
Being off sugar gets to be pretty effortless at a certain point, but we all have our moments of being tested. For example, traveling is harder for me because I don’t have access to my usual foods. It’s important to have tools and support to help you through those moments (see below).
I still have a sweet tooth and enjoy dessert. Whoever said that would go away was full of it LOL. But I will say the experience of wanting it is different. It’s less of a craving and more of a desire. I still regularly have “dessert” that tastes pretty darn good, even to those who haven’t quit sugar.
Fruit will be blow-your-mind-delicious after you complete your detox and introduce some of it back into your diet.
For me, life is better off sugar.
And I wish I had quit sugar sooner. Stay tuned for next week when I share more insights about quitting sugar, including the daily tools I use.
* Quitting sugar has many definitions. My post detox definition is: small amounts of fruits, primarily berries, and occasional stevia. I do not have cane sugar, dextrose (or any other sugars disguised by another name!), honey, agave or maple syrup.
If you’d like to learn more about my journey to naturally healing my thyroid, please jump on the waitlist here for Happy to Heal (Everything Your Doctor’s Not Telling You About Healing Your Thyroid, Adrenals and Leaky Gut) and receive exclusive offers and first access!