Navigating the 21DSD for Teachers

Hey Folks! We're excited to welcome Certified 21DSD Coach Kathy Kiger. Kathy's article is part of a series contributed by our Certified 21DSD Coaches. Enjoy! – Diane and Team


Hooray for teachers!  I’m not sure I could find a more dedicated, hard-working group of people anywhere.  Most teachers get to work in the seven-o’clock hour, teach a full day, and then bring their paperwork home to complete in the evening.  A teacher’s workday is a whirlwind.

So for teachers, it can be a real challenge to focus on eating real food and avoiding sugar for their 21-Day Sugar Detox.  But it is possible.  Along with being a 21DSD coach, I am also a public school teacher.  And I have figured out how to overcome some of the biggest obstacles a teacher faces on a 21-Day Sugar Detox.

Obstacle #1:  I have to be at work too early to eat breakfast.

This is a tough one.  My mornings are nuts.  I am trying to get myself to work by 7:00 and make sure my kids are getting ready for school. And, honestly, I’m just not hungry at 6:00 am.  But there are options:

  • I’m a big fan of prepping something on the weekend that can be grab-and-go during the week. It can be as simple as a hard boiled egg or two with some pre-cooked 21DSD-friendly bacon or sausage.  I can just heat it up and take it with me. The 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide has recipes that work great for this too.
  • Drink a smoothie in the car. Having breakfast in the car isn’t ideal, but it’s better than skipping altogether and relying on coffee and the stale donuts in the teachers’ lounge. Check out the smoothie recipes in the Daily Guide for ideas.
  • Us your personal schedule to your advantage. Right now my planning period is in the morning, so I bring breakfast to work and take a few minutes of my planning period to eat.  One year I had lunch at 10:15. If I had that schedule now and I felt okay doing it, I might push my breakfast back to that time, and then have “lunch” after school.  That way I’d still fit in three meals.

Obstacle #2:  I don’t have time to get my lunch together in the morning.

Making a lunch can take up precious morning minutes, especially if you are trying to get your own kids out the door as well.  But I have found some ideas that work for me:

  • Eat leftover dinner for lunch. I have started doing this a lot lately.  When I cook dinner, I set aside a serving (before my 6-foot tall teenage son eats it all).  I bring it to work the next day in a mini-crockpot I bought on Amazon.  I plug it in while I teach and then I don’t even have to take the time to go to the microwave.
  • Balanced Bites Meals. These amazing, real-food meals come frozen in microwavable containers.  So you get the convenience of a frozen meal, but with 21DSD-friendly options.
  • Batch cook something on the weekend. I’ve done this a lot and it has worked really well.  I make a soup or prep the ingredients for a salad on Sunday, then portion it into 5 containers and I’m good to go.  I didn’t think I’d like eating the same thing for lunch all week, but it ended up not bothering me at all as long as I wait a few weeks before I repeat a recipe.

Obstacle #3:  All the easy-to-grab junk food in the teachers’ lounge.

There always seems to be something – donuts, cookies, cold pizza.  Our PTA likes to stock our lounge with lots of packaged foods and sodas.  And these can be hard to resist.  But with a little planning and preparation it is possible.

  • Have some 21DSD-compliant snacks in your desk. Some of my favorites are nuts, seeds, single-serving nut butter packets, shelf-stable individual servings of olives, meat sticks or jerky (check the ingredients for hidden sugar), or even a can of tuna or sardines.
  • If you have a small refrigerator in your room, you can add options like hard boiled eggs, cheese (levels 1 and 2), and pre-cut veggies.
  • Remind yourself of your why and how much better you feel when you skip the sugary, processed foods. And then walk right on by….

As a teacher I get it.  Teaching is hard, exhausting work that can leave little time for us to take care of ourselves.  But we are worth the effort!  And with a little tweaking and planning ahead, completing a 21-Day Sugar Detox as a busy teacher is totally do-able.  You’ve got this!


Kathy Kiger, FTNP is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, 21-Day Sugar Detox Certified Coach, Beautycounter Consultant, single mom of four, and an elementary music teacher.  Her mission is to help depleted women regain their energy and vitality so they can make their mark on the world.  Kathy has earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, and has taught everything from elementary school to natural childbirth classes.  She works with clients 1:1 both locally and virtually, regularly runs 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaching groups, and authors the Authentic Sustenance blog.

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