For the past 10 days, I’d been subscribed to “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet“. We also purchased “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook” to compliment it. Suffice to say it worked. Common sense says: “Of course it did, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t.” I lost 17lbs in 10 days. I’m now at 256lbs. But now I hear people asking: “wait,what? Last time you checked in your weight you were 268.” Well, people… let me tell you a little bit about the weekend BEFORE I started this detox. Friday was a gala feast at Naumkeag Ordinary in Salem in which I ate 3 cheeseburgers (no buns), a few appetizers (that were actually pretty paleo) a half a bottle of white wine and a glass of beer. Saturday was a lovely birthday party in which I had a few bottles of cider, a few shots of hard alcohol, a lot of my wife’s cheese dip and 2 slices of pizza. Sunday morning finished me off at O’Neills of Salem where we brought a friend out to his first Full Irish Breakfast. My wife, my son and I ordered 1 each. Then when my son couldn’t finish his, we split it between my wife and I and ate it. By Monday morning weigh in, I was 273lbs. That Friday morning before the weekend I was 263lbs. For a 3 day gain of 10lbs.
One part of this detox involved a detox of social media and news. There was simply not a better time for me to start this in the face of what’s going on this election season (I’ll stop there before I alienate people or start stressing myself out…). It was definitely nice to get away from the stresses of facebook, the 24-hour news cycle and a lot of general negativity that was surrounding me.
The main part of it is simple paleo eating and daily workouts. The basis for the plan is to remove all sugar, caffeine, grains, starchy vegetables and beans from your diet. The main idea is that sugar is as addictive as drugs. There’s a lot of exposition that explains how your brain’s addiction centers actually get more activity from sugar and even artificial sweeteners than it does from cocaine. It’s a lot of fun science if you’re into that and it’s mostly sound from my perspective. It gets a little preachy and if you’re already paleo or primal, this might not be the plan for you. If you were paleo/primal and fell off the wagon, this one should hitch you right back on. If you were NEITHER of these things this is a GREAT starting point. It ignores the ‘cult of paleo’ and cuts right to the meat of things. Sugar is killing you and making you do things you don’t want to do. He coins the term ‘diabesity’ in this book as diabetes caused by obesity. I know when I first started my journey, I was definitely in that category and that’s what got me to start it in the first place: I didn’t want to get diabetes.
If you’re familiar with the Whole30 or a Whole9, the food is nearly identical. The one interesting thing about the Blood Sugar Solution is that they NEVER ONCE CALL IT PRIMAL/PALEO despite it being pretty much 100% to a T. I think the MAIN reason for this is because there’s also vegetarian options that include things that wouldn’t work as paleo. So good on them. It also distances themselves from the paleo movement which can be a turnoff for a lot of people as it has become a little militant. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten someone commenting on my facebook page about how something I ate wasn’t 100% paleo or primal. I get it, I’m not perfect. The food in the cookbook and the plan was great, but the recipes were not very well laid out. Make sure you read and re-read a recipe before you start in on it. I can’t tell you how many times I screwed something up because half of the recipe was on one page and the other was on the opposite page and I’m scrambling to wash raw fish off my hands so I can flip a page back to see what herbs he’s suggesting I toss in with it.
The daily regiment is pretty simple: Weigh yourself, measure yourself, take your blood pressure, take your blood sugar, do 30minutes of exercise (I did incline walking), PGX Fiber pill, multi vitamin, Vitamin D, fish oil and a smoothie from the book. I stuck with this lovely concoction that was made with a Kiwi, 1/4 of an avocado, chia seeds, kale, water, ice and mint. My wife and son hated it, so that’s what I stuck with so they could enjoy theirs without me digging into their stash of ingredients. That said, there’s was superior to mine, but I enjoyed mine enough. The good news is that it really did stave off hunger. Also, the going cold-turkey on sugar really had an immediate effect on my cravings. I wasn’t going to the kitchen and chowing down on things I shouldn’t. I wasn’t even opening the counters at work to LOOK. I also stopped taking my blood sugar after the 3rd day. It was in the low 80s and the pain of pricking my finger was impeding my work as my fingers ached all day. My blood pressure was thankfully normal before and throughout.
Lunches were a variety of options, but I stuck with the least stressful: salad and protein. I made a mixed green salad with carrots and tomatoes and slapped 2 hard boiled eggs on it and my wife’s homemade greek dressing (which is paleo). Snacks would be a small handful of nuts (about 12). Dinner was varied and we stuck to the plan for 6 days. By the 7th day, we got a little more adventurous and looked at the cookbook for ideas as some of the suggestions for days 7-10 didn’t have us excited. I will tell you now, it’s mostly chicken and SMALL fish (ie, no tuna). There was one red meat meal that we ate on day 8 where I got a REALLY nice aged ribeye that my wife and I split and enjoyed thoroughly. The good news is the chicken meals were fantastic. There was a great chicken soup lunch option that we made twice. There were some great cod cakes (which I massacred when I attempted the 2nd time we ate it) and some other good fish suggestions. I wasn’t in love with the first day fish suggestion, but that might have been because I bought shitty salmon.
Overall, I was very happy with the food. The exercise was good too. Of course I lost weight, that’s what happens when you eat right and exercise. I did have recurring nightmares of cheating badly on the plan though. It was very strange. Everyday I’d wake up with a stomach full of guilt because my brain ate a bunch of pizza and beer while it slept. Stupid human brain. I’m pretty sure we’re going to continue to make this kind of food for another 90 day at least. Maybe make some adjustments to things so we can have steak a little more and fish a little less.
There’s also a journaling aspect to the project as well. There’s daily questions and a daily log of your food, weight, measurements, etc… It can be great for someone starting out on a paleo journey, but for me it was a lot of questions about how your dealing with your cravings and sugar addiction… and for me it wasn’t dramatic. I just stopped craving them immediately. Also, I absolutely hate writing with a pen and paper. I wish I’d just kept an online log of it. It’s a lot easier for me to jot down notes on my phone or something than to constantly be searching for that pad of paper and pen.
There was one thing on the detox that I hated: Detox baths. First off, I’m not a ‘bath’ person. At least not in my own house. I’m pretty tall and my bath doesn’t really fill very much before it hits the overflow drain… which has a bad seal and leaks into my downstairs living room. So the only bits of my body that get submerged in the water are my hips, butt and ankles… and my legs if I sit bolt upright. In the long run it makes my back and ass hurt and I tend to get cold because most of me is above the warm water. I tried to read in the tub to some minor success, but mostly I was annoyed to be lightly simmering in my shitty tub. I should have bought one of these: Bottomless Bath Overflow Drain Cover – Recyclable. Then I could have gotten somewhere. I should also probably replace that gasket…
Otherwise I’m pretty happy with the results, the food and the plan. I’m probably going to stick to limiting my facebook usage, reducing the notifications from facebook in general, avoiding the news cycle and trying to get away from my phone and computer more. I did break away from one thing today and probably JUST for today: the morning smoothie. I missed eggs and bacon, so I got some with some peppers and onions (instead of homefries) this morning. It wasn’t as good as I had hoped… so I’ll probably go back to smoothies tomorrow. I also miss the taste of coffee and black tea, but not the caffeine that comes with it. I’ll need to figure that one out too.
So, here we are again. At the beginning of a new journey… a new, old journey. Next time I’m going to discuss my concerns about how this goes forward, my plans for what happens next and my major concerns with things like going out with friends to bars and restaurants and parties.