I am more clear-minded. I feel calm. I have more energy. I don't need coffee in the afternoons any more. I wake up before my alarm goes off and I actually want to get up and get started on my day. I have started leading a youth Bible study since I feel so much better. I am no longer bloated. I've lost weight! Vegetables taste so much better since I've been off sugar. I am sleeping more soundly. My skin has improved. My ears used to itch constantly but they don't anymore! I can't believe how toxic I was and how much better I feel. It's like having a new pair of glasses, I see things differently; when I see sugar, I see poison.
These are a few phrases I wrote down from the sharing that took place at the last meeting, week five, of my first RESTART® class.
I have to admit, I don't think I was prepared for the impact that three weeks of eating whole foods and kicking sugar and processed junk to the curb would have on my RESTARTers, and on me. I did the challenge with them, having been free of refined sweets for the most part for several years, but still struggling with the stuff sneaking into my life through my affinity for salty, crispy crackers made of grains that dissolve rapidly into blood glucose-spiking sugar. Seriously, I have a problem with this. Can't eat just a handful. Can't eat just half a box, even! But I haven't had any in a month now and I plan on keeping them out of my house for the long haul. My goal was to WANT the nutrient-dense choice: the veggies, low-glycemic fruit, proteins and fats that would satiate me without risking a ride on the blood sugar roller coaster, to be able to step away from the crackers and chips once and for all. RESTART® has me on my way.
So, we bonded. My RESTARTers and I, through sharing our ups and downs, cravings and the end of cravings, detox symptoms and the end of detox symptoms, our grocery store finds and recipes and new meal tweaks, and our group facebook posts, became friends. It's bound to happen when people stick with something together and come out the other side better for it. We celebrated our success with chocolate chia seed pudding (sugar free and with no artificial sweeteners, from the RESTART® cookbook), strawberries, and certificates of completion for everyone. Armed with new knowledge about digestion, blood sugar regulation, and fats, along with a few choices of ways to step back into less restricted eating, we are one week this side of done. I am confident that we've all developed some habits we will keep, and that we know what to do if we get sidetracked so we don't wander too far from our well-being. We're still connected through our facebook group and there is a reunion to be had in about three more weeks :-)
So who will be next? Who'll take the challenge to discover what it's like to be free of bondage to sugar and processed foods and to reap whatever rewards your mind and body experience? I'll be honest, the first week wasn't a walk in the park for some in our group. But they'd all tell you it was well worth it in the end (well, even before the end). You can do anything for three weeks! Just ask these gals, here in all our unretouched, but detoxified, glory! :-)