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FEED YOUR SOUL

Emma's 30-Day Sugar Detox

Could you make it through a month without eating sweets? NYC instructor EMMA LOVEWELL just finished a 30-day sugar detox. Now she shares what inspired her to do it — and how she felt afterward…  



What made you decide to do a 30-day sugar detox?
A friend told me she was doing the Whole30 diet, where you cut out sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes for 30 days. I was so impressed that she was cutting out sugar — I didn't even care about the other stuff; I was just most impressed by the sugar — because I realized I eat A LOT of sugar. 

Don't we all?
A few days after talking to her, I started paying closer attention to what I was eating, and I tried to cut sugar out of my diet. No honey in my tea, no brown sugar in my oatmeal, etc. Then I saw this film called Fed Up which is absolutely amazing. (You can watch it HERE for free and check out a trailer HERE. ) My friend Chrissie suggested that I watch this movie and told me after I watched it I would never want to eat sugar again. I thought, GREAT! And that's how it all got started. 

So what exactly did the detox entail?
I created this sugar detox specifically for me. I knew that as someone who exercises frequently I would have a really hard time cutting out sugar altogether while teaching 12 classes a week. So I still allowed myself to eat fruit, and bread, but at a minimum. Yes, fruit and bread have a lot of sugar in them. I checked labels on foods I was buying: crackers, canned tomatoes, yogurt, etc. Once you realize that sugar is in everything, you start to notice it EVERYWHERE. It's in Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, tomato sauce, chicken broth, the list goes on. I'd start noticing it in the most random places. So basically anything that had a label on it, I would make sure it did not have sugar (or glucose, syrup, honey) in the ingredient list, and a very low or 0g amount of sugar in it. 

That must have been pretty limiting!
Yes, because here's an interesting fact: There are 600,000 food items in the United States, and 80 percent of them contain added sugar. AND: It is suggested that we eat only six to nine teaspoons of sugar a day. Which is about 25 to 37 grams per day. ONE can of soda has 44 grams of sugar! When you look at the nutrition labels, you'll also notice that they don't include the daily value percentage on sugar. It only says the grams, because a soda would say almost 200 percent of your daily sugar!

Wow. But what did you eat during the detox?
I ate lots of fresh produce and a lot of protein. I fell in love with my crockpot at this time as well. I'd slow cook chicken and potatoes, with lots of herbs and spices. I'd eat a lot of fish. And I'd eat at home a lot, because you don't know what restaurants are putting in their food. Also, drink lots of water with lemon, especially in the morning. Someone once told me that helps curb your cravings for sugar. 

What was the hardest part about doing it?
The little things. Not putting honey in my tea — that was actually the hardest. Or not having a piece of chocolate after my dinner. Another part that was hard was cooking ALL the time. So halfway through the 30 days, I started getting my meals from my friends over at eateasynyc.com.  They delivered the meals right to my apartment, with a list of all the ingredients so you know exactly what you're eating. It's great food, and it saved me so much time! 

How do you feel?
Toward the end of the 30 days, I was really feeling great! My energy level was more stable throughout the day. My skin looked great, my overall mood was much brighter, too. And I felt really proud of myself for actually doing something that I said I would. I, of course, doubted myself in the beginning, thinking that I would never be able to resist ice cream, desserts, etc, but I did it!

Do you have any advice for anyone who might want to try it?
Watch this film first. It really talks about the truths of sugar in your body, and sugar in our society. It's very powerful. And if you want to read more about my journey through the whole 30 days, you can check out my blog: www.livelearnlovewell.com.

Catch classes with Emma at SoulCycle 19th Street, SoulCycle NoHo and SoulCycle West Village! Questions or comments? Email blog@soul-cycle.com!
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