We did it!
It is crazy for me to think that I just completed 24 days with no sugar – even fruit sugar. What’s crazy about it is that it really isn’t that long. Not to minimize what we just did but it will be almost three years since I went 365 days without any sugar. The reason I even bring that up is that I think this 24 days was harder than that 365 days! I think the reason is because back then I was so, so sick and my body needed major nutrition and I really didn’t have a choice because sweets and even garlic and onions made me non-functional! I still craved the sweet taste back then but it definitely got easier as time went on and my mentality was that I knew I was in for the long haul. I thought I was going to have to do it for two years.
During this 24 days I had some major cravings that would ebb and flow and was kind of just waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel but hoping for great results. Also, being that we are just starting fall, which is my favorite time of the year for some amazing baking and indulgences, that made it harder as well. The good news though is that I succeeded and I learned some things during this 24 days without sugar.
Along with the food I ate for the last 12 days (you can see the first 12 days here), I wanted to share with you health improvements I had, frustrations I had and other things that I learned about myself. Maybe you’ll be able to relate?
As a quick reminder, I pretty much make everything from scratch. I don’t buy processed food or junk food especially with cruddy oils or GMO’s in them. I don’t eat gluten, dairy, grains (including corn), legumes, refined sugar (and at this point unrefined sugar including fruit), no nuts, and 99% of everything I eat is organic. I don’t eat this way to be a snob, I eat this way to help my body heal. For me, this is what it takes.
First things first – what I ate for the last 12 days…
Results of fasting from sugar (refined, unrefined and fruit sugar) for 24 days
There are mixed feelings in my mind about the results I encountered during this elimination time. As I was looking back at my symptom tracker sheet and comparing what issues I started with and what issues I ended with it did help me to realize that I did have a few symptoms improve and some that went away completely. I was hoping for everything to go away and that this would have been the missing piece to my puzzle. Although, I know balancing blood sugar and limiting unrefined sugar and fruit is a good thing, eliminating it completely is not the one thing that will solve everything – for me. However, it IS a piece of the puzzle and very important. Healing from autoimmunity is multi-faceted taking multiple interventions at the same time. I suspect that I need to continually eliminate sugar and instead fill my body with whole foods like I did for this 24 days. I eat whole foods all the time but blood sugar problems and autoimmunity go hand in hand and since I love sweets I need to continue to reign it in.
Here are my health symptoms that improved
- My left gums stopped hurting
- The achiness in my hands (they even hurt when I would pick up a water bottle) disappeared
- I had a pain in my gallbladder area that was always there. Kind of a like a dull ache. That went away.
- My acne (although very little) went away.
- I lost some belly fat
- My ears stopped itching
- The rash on one of my feet went away
Here are my health symptoms that improved but are still there just not as bad
- Brain fog improved
- Fatigue improved slightly
- Headaches improved
- Blurry vision improved
- Better focus and concentration
Health symptoms that did not go away(which is why I suspect I need to stay away from sugar longer)
- PMS Symptoms – moodiness, irritability, depression, easy cryer *Hormones take a while to change and I know they can for me. Back when I went 365 days without sugar and was being purposeful about every other facet of healing (like sleep, etc.) I did not have any of these symptoms. It was glorious for everyone 🙂
What I learned (or was reminded) about myself
- I don’t like being deprived. Every time I have that feeling though I think of how far the Lord has brought me and also what an abundance I still have in spite of my food limitations.
- If I bake something I know I can’t eat, like something that has nuts in it, I won’t be tempted to eat it. This was a solution for a time for me because I love to bake and the boys love it too. I made sure to bake with almond flour for them and I wouldn’t be tempted since I know nuts bring on some unrelenting symptoms for me.
- Fruit and unrefined sugar crept back into my life in so many ways and became my go to for snacks. Fruit is not bad at all but when I would only choose dried fruit or something baked rather than a veggie or protein filled snack, I knew there was a problem. This challenge helped to highlight that and forced me to find new snacks or choose the snacks that weren’t my first choice but helped when I was hungry. Doing this challenge for 24 days helped me to form new habits that I can stick with easier now than before. I also have more options to choose from since I had to make a no sugar snack list.
- I have to have a plan. If I don’t have a menu plan (including snacks) then I choose the food that is the most simple and is easy which is usually something sweet. When I planned and prepped ahead I never had that feeling of not knowing what I was going to eat or making a bad choice.
- One thing I know about myself is that when I determine to do something I do it fully. I dislike wasted time so I purpose not to waste mine when doing anything – especially eliminating foods. For me, food elimination has been an eye opener and allows me to truly pinpoint what my body does and doesn’t like. It’s tedious but well worth it!
- Discouragement and lack of motivation for me go hand in hand. If I got discouraged because I was still experiencing fatigue it made me want to give up. I didn’t because I know that fatigue can come from a myriad of things – one being die off. Since I was doing several other things to improve my health during this time I could have been experiencing some die off symptoms which can be fatigue, headaches, moodiness, and more.
I was excited to hear feedback from those of you who did this elimination diet with me. It sounds like there have been some wonderful improvements in your health too! Praise God! Thank you for coming along with me on this journey and helping me be accountable. I do plan on doing this again in the future and the next time I may have a give away to go along with it! I know that will help with motivation for those participating. Please don’t hesitate to send me a summary of your 24 days and what you felt. I always love to help others and also know that I am not alone in how I am feeling or felt.
Blessings to you and keep on reducing sugar! Your body will thank you for it – especially in the long run.
1 Corinthian 3:16
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?