Thursday, May 1, 2014

Finding balance, dealing with curveballs, and choosing the right level for the 21DSD

MAY DAY. How did we get to May 1 so soon?

I don't know about you, but I'm sure as shit thrilled that April 2014 is behind me.

It had way too many downs than ups, and to April 2014, I say, good riddance.

Mantras from City Surf Fitness. Making this WORK for May and beyond

I made it to day seven of the 21 Day Sugar Detox Diet, and then got hit hard by a stomach bug (or possibly, food poisoned myself by overdosing on coconut oil/coconut butter one evening).

I had to take not one, but two days off from work to just recover physically, and also, to de-stress my life a bit. With IBS, your brain/gut connection is HYPER-active. Telling sign? One of my RXs is called an anti-spasmodic, to slow down my "spastic colon." I try and lead a stress-free life, but a few things added to my work plate last week sent me into an absolute tizzy.

I haven't been that sick in a while, and it's a bit ironic that just two days prior, I had my annual shoot-the-shit chat with my GI (who is my favorite medical professional on the planet, and I'm already dreading the day he retires), and told him everything was "normal." That's a relative term when you have IBS, but at that point in the week, I wasn't lying. (PS: Another reason I dislike April? April 2015 means baby's second-ever Colonoscopy. The procedure itself is A-OK, but it's the day/night before...oh, the prep...I'm on an every three year plan with the doc, based on findings in my first one at the ripe age of 25)

Then Wednesday 3A hit.

Thankfully, I've got a partner in crime for Wednesday RPM, and I was able to sit out both classes last-minute. After lots of 30 Rock, sleep, Grape Pedialyte, Ginger Ale, expired Imodium, Chicken Soup and plain Kid's Pasta from Cafe Express (Mad shout-out to online ordering for curbside pick up. You can look like an absolute scrub and get your business handled), I finally recovered.

Clearly, the remedies required for the stomach bug were off the 21DSD detox, and the thought of returning to Coconut Oil and kale turned me off for a few days, so I made the conscious decision to press pause on the detox.

Intake-wise, I didn't go too far off plan, but have allowed myself the occasional squeeze packet of Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, and have worked in some green-tipped bananas with PB2.

Burn-wise, I changed things up dramatically. I fell in LOVE with City Surf, and made the most of my $15 two week unlimited pass, and ended up signing up for 10 more classes, and then unlimited monthly classes, starting May 30. I'll have to wax on poetically about my love for CSF in another post.

My one-year-old is branded. SO happy to have this back after VW crashed it into their car wash...

I'm hitting reset and starting with day zero on Monday, May 5. Cinco de Mayo. Not Cinco de Drinko for me, as my fellow Oxy Tigers branded it back in 2006.

If you're curious about the 21DSD, here's the quiz from the book that helps you decide which level to follow:

"The 21-Day Sugar Detox has three main levels. The difference between the levels and modifications for the various tracks, while minor at first glance, translate into some very different food choices on a daily basis. In order to determine which level you should follow, as well as any possible modifications you may want to make, complete this short self-quiz.

Select the answer that best describes you:
  1. Are you new to the 21-day sugar detox?
A) yes
B) no, I have completed it once
C) no, I have completed it two or more times

2. I currently eat:

A) bread, pasta, and other foods made from whole grain or other types of grain flour (wheat, teff, spelt, kamut, rye, etc.)
B) bread, pasta, and other foods made from gluten-free grain flours
C) a grain-free, Paleo, or primal type of diet

3) I currently eat:

A) fat-free dairy products
B) low-fat dairy products
C) no dairy

4) I feel that my sugar and carb cravings are:

A) so strong that I'm admittedly fearful of how this detox will go for me
B) pretty darned strong – that's why I'm reading this
C) not terrible, but certainly not under control the way I think they should be

5) I:

A) am currently following a pescetarian diet – I eat seafood, eggs, and dairy, but not meat
B) am currently pregnant or nursing one or more children
C) live a very active lifestyle, work at a physically demanding job, or participate in high-intensity physical activity or exercise regularly
D) have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition
E) none of the above

Questions 1-4
Determines which level is right for you.

If you answered mostly A, select Level 1.
If you answered mostly B, then select Level 2.
If you answered mostly C, then select Level 3.

Question 5
Determines the modifications, if any, to the level you determined was right for you based on your answers to questions 1-4. 

If you answered A, then follow the Pescetarian modifications for Level 1 or Level 2.
If you answered B or C, then follow the Energy modification for Level 1, 2, or 3.
If you answered D, then follow the Autoimmune modifications
If you answered E, then simply follow the level that is right for you."

(Source: SanfilippoDiane."The 21 Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally." )

To read about the modifications and the different levels, here's where you need to go.

I'm not going to lie to you: it's not easy, but in those seven days, I saw some big changes. That lower belly fat that stared at me in my private "before" mirror selfies literally melted away. I felt more energized and just generally lighter every day, and it translated to a loss of about 2-4 lbs on the scale. I think 2 of those lbs were from the stomach bug, because they crept back up on the scale the next day.

The 21 DSD doesn't promise weight loss, but you may notice some fluctuations. It's really more about resetting your brain and your habits. Some days, I found myself thinking, "What am I going to have for dessert tonight?" and recognized what typically trips me up. Having the YES/NO guide also helped me make better choices in the kitchen when making dinner, and when shopping for a week's worth of groceries.

Going completely off sweeteners also makes things taste sweet to you. I was suspicious that my Iced Venti Unsweetened Passion Tea had sweetener in it, but after a few more sips, realized that it was 100% made correctly, and my taste buds were just shocked by the tartness, and confused it with sweetness.

It's crazy how such minor diet changes (at least for me, following Level 3) really messes with your blood sugar and hormones. It kicked in my regularly scheduled monthly programming a week early, which freaked me out a bit, but apparently is normal, and it flushed out toxins in the form of jawline acne. Not a good look, but it faded away after a few days.

If you have any questions about the detox, or just general health/lifestyle things, feel free to email me: or add me on myfitnesspal (stelebrityfitclub) to see what I'm eating/doing on a day-to-day basis.

It ain't easy, but it's absolutely worth it to do something good for yourself every single goddamn day.

XO, Stel

PS Here's some food porn of things I made while following the 21DSD. Check out my Pinterest board for recipes and Pinspiration.

PALEOmg Spaghetti Squash Italian Sausage Casserole (5 ingredients, MEGA easy)

Spinach Avocado Dip (Lemon Juice, salt, 1 avocado, 6 c spinach, and food process)

Zoodle Shrimp Scampi (in full-fat coconut milk)

Sunbutter Unsweetened Brownies (sweetener is green-tipped banana)

GEAR. Love that Unsweetened Artisana Almond Butter

Baby Carrots + Coconut Oil Spray + Sea Salt. "Fries" baked at 400F for 20 mins

Homemade Unsweetened Almond Butter. Almonds. Process. Add Salt and 1 tbsp Coconut Oil.

Zucchini Carrot "Quiche"

Zucchini Crust Pizza.

Zoodles with Peas and Smoked Salmon

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