I recently completed a 21-day sugar detox. It was, well, interesting, and I will be sharing exactly what happened in a separate post. Let’s just say that the entire process was nothing that I expected it would be, and it was surprising in every way possible (both good and bad). But I can confidently say that doing a sugar detox is something that everyone should try.

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Ideally, your sugar detox will be at least 21 days. This post will give you the framework of what I did, plus your first seven days of meals to get you started. After that, you can follow this on repeat for the next two weeks, or explore meals on your own, armed with the knowledge of what to look for and what to avoid.

The dangers of sugar are well-established (read this fascinating post here, and this one on the science behind it here), but unfortunately, sugar is hidden in everything. I had heard that before, but didn’t fully understand it until I did my sugar detox. I was shocked to find sugar in veggie straws (a salty snack!), organic chicken broth base, mayonnaise, and my gluten-free hamburger rolls. Notice that none of those foods are sweets… yet they have sugar in them, unnecessarily. Once you start looking for sugar in ingredients lists, you’ll be shocked, irritated, and mad. On the flip side, once you start finding foods without added sugar, and ways to keep your life sweet and healthy without processed sugar, you’ll feel like an empowered healthy ninja badass. Or at least I did.

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For my detox, I decided to abandon all processed sugars. I allowed honey and maple syrup in moderation, as well as foods sweetened with items like dates. I ate fruit in moderation. Many sugar detoxes eliminate these things entirely, but my personal belief is that it’s not necessary for most people.

As with my 7-day vegan challenge meal plan, I had the same thing for breakfast every day, because it’s easy, makes me feel amazing, and does not have any added sugar. It’s sweetened with stevia, which is considered the only natural no-calorie sweetener (and is the only no-calorie sweetener allowed in products sold at Whole Foods, if that tells you anything!).

My last advice is read all packages. Sugar can and will be found in the most unexpected places. There are loads of recipes for substitutions, like homemade ketchup and other condiments, and paleo everything. Your tastes will change during your detox. Don’t be surprised if you feel like garbage in the beginning, as your body goes through a bit of a withdrawal process.

sugar detox meal plan (3)

Day 1:

Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Burger bowl salad with paleo ketchup
Dinner: Butternut squash & apple hash with sausage

Day 2:

Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Asian chicken chopped salad
Dinner: Paleo baked meatballs, with zoodles, and no sugar added marinara sauce (check the label – my favorite is Aldi’s organic sauce)

Day 3:

Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Paleo balance bowl salad
Dinner: Paleo chicken nuggets with paleo ketchup, and roasted sweet potatoes with Brussels sprouts

Day 4:

Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Sweet potato toast
Dinner: Chicken carnitas burrito bowls with cauliflower rice (keep an eye on your salsa and make sure to buy/make one with no added sugar)

Day 5:

Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: BLT bowl (be sure to get bacon with no sugar added)
Dinner: Skinny eggplant rollatini (with no sugar added sauce)

Day 6:

Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Avocado tuna salad
Dinner: Paleo best chicken drumstick recipe ever (seriously), with crispy garlic baked potato wedges, and sauteed garlic green beans

Day 7:

Breakfast: Vegan superfoods smoothie mix with 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana
Lunch: Egg roll in a bowl (with no sugar added sausage)
Dinner: One pan roasted lemon rosemary chicken and sweet potatoes

Treats & Snacks (in moderation only!):

Baked apples
Flourless banana bread muffins
Pumpkin spice muffins


Going forward, start searching for paleo and Whole 30 recipes, which always will be free of processed sugars. We have a wealth of paleo and Whole 30 ideas right here on Daily Mom.

For other recipe ideas, click here.

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