#21DSD Program Updates & the NEW Daily Guide

Program Updates for The 21-Day Sugar Detox in 2018 (with a FREE download)

What's new for The #21DSD in 2018

Since 2010, The 21-Day Sugar Detox has been a 3-level program to help you bust sugar and carb cravings, reset your palate, and get rid of the sweets and processed foods.

The official Yes/No list has remained largely unchanged for seven years, with the exception of a few additions as new questions arose about whether things like collagen peptides, flavored but not sweetened organic cold-brew coffees, and almond flour tortillas were “approved” (note: yes to all, with a limit of 1 per day on the tortillas – more in this as you read on).


First and foremost, The 21-Day Sugar Detox Official Program Rules are now free for anyone!

Times have changed. The Internet has changed. My work and livelihood have changed.

In the past seven plus years, I've developed tons of resources, books, program, tools, and my own business to very different places.

See, back in 2010, The 21-Day Sugar Detox program was a big part of my real-deal actual income on a weekly and monthly basis. I had been blogging for several years, sharing information and support with folks across the world for free. And, in April of 2010, I decided that this program would be born into the world in eBook form, and it was my first ever for-a-price product. Without that eBook having been for sale, who knows if I'd have gone on to write Practical Paleo, continue a podcast for more than six years, or co-create the Balanced Bites Master Class.

Now, over seven years later, this change has been a long time coming. I've seen old, outdated, and slightly inaccurate representations of the #21DSD circulating for a while now. Whether folks are sharing images in Pinterest, or simply screen-shotting the rules to share with a loved one, things are shared at lightning speed these days! And, I'm not at all trying to fight that! I want to encourage as many folks as possible to join us and to find their new normal with the 21DSD.

So, I decided to go ahead and release the basics of the program, the rules that anyone can grab and follow as they see fit (with purchases of my books, online program or not), and succeed!

Download The 21-Day Sugar Detox Official Program Rules.

The 21DSD YES/NO LIST Formatting change:

There are now two ways to view the Official #21DSD Rules.

The 1-page view is to help you visually “digest” the differences in the levels, and so that you can easily see whole categories of foods or ingredients that are either a Yes or a No for your 21DSD.

The 2-page view is to help you find specific foods or ingredients that you're unsure of, and to identify portion sizes of certain Yes foods.

What's been ADDED to the “YES” list in 2018:

Peanuts and cashews. 

When I wrote the original guide, there was more of a strong Paleo-bent to it and both peanuts and cashews, which are technically legumes, were out. Over the last seven years, I've seen that not only are these two nut butters largely not problematic for sweetness reasons, but eliminating them posed a bigger-than-necessary challenge to those who are allergic to tree nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.) and therefore can't eat many of the healthy fats or recipes on the program.

So, peanuts and cashews are officially on the Yes list now. But, with all nuts and nut butters, I urge you to have a strong sense of awareness and reasonable portion sizes. These can easily be overdone and I don't want to encourage that. You are responsible for your own portion sizes, so be aware that a Yes list food doesn't mean it's a green light to sit down with a container of peanut butter and a spoon in front of the television, know what I mean?

Starchy carbohydrate vegetables like plantains, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

These foods were previously on the “No” list for all levels, however, they were noted as okay for those who followed our modifications for active individuals, athletes, and pregnant or nursing moms. These foods are no longer on the “No” list and modifications are no longer part of the program.

All of these foods are considered “Yes” foods, and I recommend that you build your 21DSD plate as outlined in the new program rules. These details can be found in the new Daily Guide or in the free version of The 21-Day Sugar Detox.

Foods that were previously listed on the “Limit” list.

In the original Yes/No list, there were foods marked as “limit foods,” with a portion size total. This posed a challenge in that many folks simply didn't read the Limit list as foods that they could include at all since they weren't marked as  “Yes.”

In the original program rules, these foods were considered sweeter, slightly starchy carbohydrate foods and, thus, to be eaten with some limits. Furthermore, the foods that were listed as limit foods are not foods that most folks tend to overdo with any sort of problem – foods like beets and butternut squash, for example.

It is for these reasons that foods that were previously called “Limit foods” were moved to the “Yes” list – some noted with portion limits, and some without.

Modifications are no longer part of the program.

This term “modifications” and the called out groups of folks for whom rules seemed to be “modified” has simply been shifted. This doesn't meant that there aren't way so modify your own plate while on the #21DSD, however, it's simply more inclusive and clearer to say, for example, that yes, sweet potatoes are allowed on the program. Everyone can use the portion recommendations that are available in both the Daily Guide and the free 21DSD program rules download to determine what that means for their own needs.

This approach is clearer and encourages you to determine what you need as you need it, based on how you're feeling. The intent was never to decide for you that you should or should not include starchy carbohydrate vegetables. That said, what I saw happening more often than not were folks limiting their own food choices beyond what the program asked.

Limiting yourself beyond what the 21DSD dictates is not only unnecessary, but not advised nor recommended. 

If you are using one or both of the first 21-Day Sugar Detox book or Cookbook and you'd like to use the modification notes, you can do so, but they are no longer supported nor explained in the new rules and new Daily Guide.

The 21-Day Sugar Detox book and cookbook

All of the recipes in the first two books are still 100% approved!

You can purchase and use both The 21-Day Sugar Detox book and The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook that released in 2013 with confidence that all of the recipes are totally 21DSD-friendly even with these program updates. In fact, many of those recipes are reader favorites and I highly recommend adding them to your regular rotation. In time, those two books will be updated to reflect these changes, but I don't yet have a date as to when that will happen.

The 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide

Some FAQs about the new 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide

What's in the new book that isn't in the previous books?

The new 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide is an entirely new book, formatted in an extremely easy-to-follow manner to help you succeed on your 21DSD.

The introduction to the book includes a full chapter on mindset to help you handle the most common roadblocks that you'll face on the program.

A pre-detox week leads you up to the 21 days with daily lessons, insights, preparation checklists, meal-prep and more so that you're 100% ready on your Day 1.

A full 21 days of detox guidance, so that you can apply what you're learning as you go and learn about what's happening and how to make life easier each day of your program. It's helpful advice, tips, and how-tos for everyday life on the 21DSD as you need it and in a format that you can read while you sip your morning coffee or tea before you start your day.

Each day has journal prompts to make your 21 days practical, useful, and full of presence and connection. One thing I've noticed since 2010 is that many people “white knuckle” their way through the three weeks, only to come out the other side without having a practical way to apply what they learned. I want you to have this experience, learn while you are in it, and move on with finding your new normal after based on those insights that only you can have for yourself.

Is it available on Kindle.

Yes, but I honestly recommend getting in in-print, especially if you want to follow the meal plan and recipes. If you want the meal plan and recipes “with you anywhere,” then the Kindle is an okay option. I can't vouch for how well it'll be formatted or how easy it will be to follow in that format.

What's included in the free program PDF, and how do I get it?

The free PDF download includes the program rules, the 1-page and 2-page Yes/No Lists, portion size guidelines in the Building Your 21DSD Plate section, and FAQs about the program. You can download the 21DSD PDF here.

I hope that answers the questions that you have, but if not, please drop a comment below and let me know what else I can help answer for you about the program, books, or the online program!

Comments 20

  1. Yay! Excited to share this free information with more people! Have fun on tour, can’t wait to get the new guide and go to the KC event!

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  2. So excited to re-start my diet for a healthier year. My mom and I both love your meal plans – they are easy and delicious! Thanks for the work you do 🙂

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  3. Question – are beans allowed? i.e.: chick peas, black beans, kidney beans?? I don’t see a reference to these anywhere on your lists…also what about hummus?

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  4. I am a newbie. Live 2 hours from Kansas City and would consider making the trip. Are you going to do a lecture that evening or just book signing? Thank you for all your knowledge.

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  5. Hi Diane,
    My Daughter bought me the Guide and Cookbook for Christmas along with some of the pantry items. So far we are doing great with the first week. I’d love to see the shopping list for each of the weeks on you site. If would make it easier to print off the list and checking off what I need to purchase.

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  6. In the above section, you listed peanuts and cashew nuts and butters are now allowed. To make sure I stay within the guidelines, when choosing a peanut butter, I still need to ensure their is no added sugar, oils, or molasses…or anything else on the “no” list. I’m not sure there is a peanut butter out their that exists without some or all of those things, but if there is, that would be a great addition!

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      There are PLENTY of peanut butters without additives! Where are you shopping? Literally every grocery store offers a natural peanut butter where the ingredients are only peanuts and/or peanuts and salt. Not sure where you are looking…

  7. I just started today. Can you eat white potatoes on level 1? I see some references to potatoes that say yes but some say only sweet potatoes only. I’ve also seen red potatoes and yellow potatoes. Can you please clear that up for me?

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    1. Hi Diana,

      If that’s what works for you, then that’s fine! We would encourage you to add as much variety to your menu as you can, but you also need to do what feels best and most manageable to you. As long as what you’re eating is on the 21DSD “Yes” List, you’re good to go. —Moriah, Team 21DSD

  8. A friend just told me about this plan. I am trying to download the quickstart guide, but the link is broken. I am interested in seeing the yes/no list.

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