After a decade of deep inner healing and releasing work, all that was left was to get over a lifelong sugar habit. This July 16th, I was guided to follow a Candida Cleanse for 60 days to break the habit and reset my body and taste buds. I quit all natural or artificial sugars, sugary root vegetables (potatoes, beets, etc.) and fruits (tomatoes and avocados were allowed), grains (breads, rice, pasta, etc.), honey, processed foods, caffeine, vinegar and pickled/fermented foods, dairy (except yogurt), and alcohol. I ate clean meats and poultry, almond and sugar-free almond butter, lots of fresh vegetables and drank herbal teas, freshly juiced greens and plenty of water. What a powerful and life-changing experience!
The first ten days were the most difficult, as predicted. I kept telling myself that it isn’t me craving sugar, but the sugar craving more of itself in my body (a vision given to me two years ago in shamanic ceremony). After a few days, I tried putting a teaspoon of monkfruit sweetener in a cup of yogurt with ¼ teaspoon vanilla to appease a strong craving. This worked and I repeated it a couple more times that week before the cravings subsided.
My taste buds underwent metamorphosis. Previously desensitized by years of strongly sweetened and seasoned processed foods and drinks, my numb taste buds came alive! I came to appreciate a wide range of natural flavors, and the subtle nuances were again noticeable. I looked forward to mealtime.
My knees and back also noticed a change. I had thought my joint pain was some early-onset arthritis, but now they stopped hurting! The longer I stayed on the cleanse, the better they felt. In fact, the more energy and vitality I felt throughout my body.
Next came weight loss: five pounds at first, then ten, and twenty. I ultimately lost thirty-five pounds and an entire clothing size in two months. What a delightful surprise! I used my newfound energy to shop for clothes. Dressing rooms closed for the pandemic would not deter me as I selected a few new items each week to take home, try on, and return items that did not fit. I was so excited to see my new shape and size in flattering clothes!
September 16th approached. I was both excited and nervous to end my cleanse. What had begun as a temporary change had revealed the high price I had paid for these foods and drinks with my health, energy, flexibility, and weight. My habits and palette had changed, and it was time to decide who I wanted to be. I recognized the slippery slope of gradually allowing more and more until I was back where I began, and I did not want that. What did I want?
Item by item, I reflected. That first piece of fruit was so exciting and alive with flavor! That first cup of coffee really wired me! I began sampling and adjusting. A small bit of honey in my chai tea. Earl Grey is better unsweetened to me now. Dairy no longer irritates my digestion. Vinegar and fermented foods are delicious but strong, so a little goes a long way. I enjoy a diverse array of vegetables and fruits, savoring root veggies and sweet fruits as treats. I pass on grains, processed foods, candies, pastries, and sweets. I enjoy a good margarita from scratch, and it’s even better with agave replacing sugar. I do not add sugar to anything, instead choosing unsweetened or adding honey, agave or monkfruit sweetener. I still enjoy my yogurt dessert creation (above) occasionally, too.
It has been almost another 60 days since the cleanse ended. At times when I reach for something processed or sweet at the store, I stop and reflect upon how I felt before. So far, this prompts me to return it to the shelf. The weight has stayed off and I continue to feel good and enjoy my new clothes. I appreciate a more conscious approach to food and all the new ways I am discovering to bring sweetness into my life. May this inspire you to embark on a similar journey of possibilities for yourself. Let me know if I can help!
With love and gratitude,
Sheryl Sitts, MPA, BA, Possibilities Coach & Holistic Practitioner