Hey Folks! We’re excited to welcome back Certified 21DSD Coach Natalie Washabaugh. Natalie's article is part of a series of articles contributed by our Certified 21DSD Coaches. Enjoy! – Diane and Team
The best advice you will ever receive about your 21 Day Sugar Detox is prep, prep, prep!
This is why there are preparation checklists starting on page 32 of the guidebook to help you get ready before the detox even begins. I handle my detox by following what I like to call the 3 Ps: Plan, Purchase, Prepare. This approach can be tackled in one day, or broken up into several days depending on how you want to conquer your detox. I typically plan on Fridays, purchase on Saturdays, and prepare on Saturday evening and Sundays. I find that this strategy sets me up for a successful 21 days and ensures that I always have healthy, delicious food ready and waiting.
Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, or a laptop or smartphone if you are technologically inclined, and start creating a list. Grab your copy of The 21 Day Sugar Detox, The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook if you have it and any other online resources you prefer to use for recipes. Create the list based on what meal and snack recipes you would like to make. Planning in the kitchen is helpful because you can check what ingredients you already have on hand and jot down the ones you need for the upcoming week.
When planning for myself I find that one to two breakfast recipes, and three to four lunch/dinner recipes (depending on the amount of servings per recipe) works perfect. This will have to be adjusted for larger families. Doubling up the recipe is always a good tactic as well. Even better, make extra and freeze it for a later date!
Tips for Planning
Learn to love leftovers!
- Learning to eat the same meals a few times a week helps to eliminate the amount of time needed in the kitchen each week.
Casseroles and slow cookers are your best friends!
- Casseroles can be eaten at any meal depending on what you throw in them. They are also a good way to get lots of protein and yummy vegetables into each serving.
- Slow cookers can be loaded with protein, vegetable and a delicious sauce in the morning, and by the time you arrive home, dinner is served.
The purchase portion needs little explanation: we all know how to grocery shop but a little extra advice is always helpful. First and foremost, make sure you eat before you head to the store. A hungry shopper is a mindless purchaser. With paper list or smartphone in hand, head to your favorite store. The important part is making sure you navigate around the store in a manner that is conducive to a successful detox. Avoid those aisles with tempting foods–they contain no nourishment and can easily thwart your health goals. Remind yourself to only get what is on your list. That will save you money and time and will help you to avoid those unwanted, tempting foods.
Tip for Purchasing
Map it out!
- Write your lists in grouped items based on the layout of the grocery store. For example, write all produce together, all proteins together, and all condiments and other items together based on their aisles. This makes shopping so much easier and also ensures you will avoid those pitfall aisles.
Now that you have your recipes for the week and the shopping done, it is time for the fun part: cooking! Start by prepping everything. Read over your recipes a few times and see which ones need similar ingredients. Cut, chop, mince, and dice everything, measuring as you go. Assess which recipes need to be cooked first based on cook time and whether the stove, oven, or slow cooker will be used. Depending on your schedule, the cooking can be done in one day or broken up across the week. Do what works best for you, your schedule, and your needs.
Tip for Preparing
Clean as you cook!
- Start your preparations with an empty dishwasher, or sink and dish drainer. As soon as you are finished with an item, wash it or place it in the dishwasher. If you continue to clean as you cook, the whole process will go more smoothly and there will be less work at the end.
Remember this is your detox. Following the 3 Ps will help you stay on track for the next 21 days and alleviate some of the stress that comes with learning a new way of eating. Eventually planning, purchasing, and preparing will become habit, and this new way of eating will be a wonderful life long journey!
Natalie Washabaugh-Jimenez is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), a certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, a blogger at www.anourishedappetite.com, and a 21-Day Sugar Detox Certified Coach here to help you on the path to eliminating cravings and nourishing your body!