Sugar Detox for Lent

things to give up for lent

For those of you who like to give up something for Lent, I invite you to join the Sugar Detox. It’s a wonderful time for spiritual discipline to coincide with health. Because the Lenten season runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter and our typical Sugar Detox is only 21 days, we are going to make some modifications to encompass the entire period.  The first half of Lent we will follow Sugar Detox Lite which is a moderate version of the Sugar Detox. During the second half, we pull out the big guns and go full throttle Sugar Detox, which truly gives the body respite from blood sugar dysregulation and creates better eating habits. I hope you will join us for this more intense challenge, but feel free to continue with SDL or customize however it makes sense for you. Results vary from person to person but typically include: weight loss, improved energy, better sleep, less cravings, feeling “better” in general, and skin clearing. Please note, however, any time you remove something your body has been dependent on (especially a substance as oppressive as sugar), there are often transitional and detoxification reactions such as mood swings, exhaustion, allergies, and skin break-outs. Although unpleasant, they are sure signs that your body is rebalancing and coming off the sugar crutch. So hang in there! It’s truly worth the challenges in pursuit of better health. I also HIGHLY recommend you join the Daily Nutritionist Sugar Detox support group on Facebook. It’s a wonderful resource of people who share frustrations, questions and answers, recipes, ideas, and lots of encouragement. Here’s how we’re going to do this thing:

no sugar cupcake

March 5 (Ash Wednesday) – March 29: Sugar Detox Lite
No sweet/dessert products – includes boxed (processed) or homemade. No cereal.
No added sugar OR artificial sweeteners (including Stevia) – this means no sugar in your coffee/tea or oatmeal and no soft drinks (even diet).
No sweetened coffee creamers. Use full fat half and half or cream, or butter/coconut oil. If you are afraid of fat, read this.
No fruit juices  (not even orange juice)
Limited alcoholic beverages

March 30-April 19  THE Sugar Detox

no no list


PROTEIN: Enjoy as much protein as you like. A minimum of 4-6 ounces per meal. Eat lots of: beef, chicken, turkey, venison and wild game, fish (especially wild-caught), and eggs. The higher the quality, the better. Look for: grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild-caught fish, and pastured/organic/omega-3 enriched eggs. High quality nitrate-free bacon and sausages are acceptable too.

VEGGIES: Lots of these: green leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, cucumber, asparagus, celery, spaghetti squash, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, and snow peas.

Moderate amounts of these: winter squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots, beets, and green beans.

None of these: potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, or corn. *If you are a high intensity athlete, you may incorporate sweet potatoes and moderate amounts of rice. Take note of how your body feels and adjust your carbohydrate load accordingly.

FATS: Butter (organic, preferably brands like Kerrygold or Organic Pastures), avocados, coconut oil, olive oil. Absolutely no margarine, corn oil, canola oil, or any hydrogenated fat (these are incredibly hard on your body- see here).

NUTS/SEEDS: Moderate amounts of: almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, unsweetened coconut, macadamia nuts, pistachios, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and 100% cocoa nibs. Almond butter and Sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds) are acceptable. You may also use almond flour and coconut flour. No peanuts or peanut butter. Don’t overdo the nuts, see why here.

FRUITS: Fruit is very limited. We’re resensitizing taste buds to sweetness. You may have only 1-2 pieces of the following fruit per day: green apple, green-tipped (not quite ripe) banana, grapefruit. Feel free to have as many lemons or limes as you like.

BEVERAGES: Water, herbal teas, unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, smoothies made from coconut/almond milk. Limited: coffee (1-2 cups/day), sparkling mineral water, and coconut water. NO alcohol, juice, milk, soda (not even diet).

NO GRAINS. NO PASTA. NO RICE. NO BEANS. (These all quickly convert to blood sugar). NO SWEETENERS (including Stevia). NO DAIRY (except high quality butter). NO CHEESE (ouch that hurts!). NO ALCOHOL. I know, this seems impossible. It’s 21 days. YOU. CAN. DO. THIS.


Sugar Detox Pinterest Pages (access mine here) There are many once you start looking!
The 21 Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfillipo
The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook by Diane Sanfillipo
Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis

Helpful Items to Purchase:

Almond Flour – brands like Honeyville or Anthony’s can be found on Amazon. You can use this to make Sugar Detox friendly muffins, pancakes, and other yummy stuff.

Coconut Oil – I buy this by the gallon – for real, the gallon. Can also find different brands at your grocery store or on Amazon.

Coconut Flour – I buy this (same place I get my coconut oil) but also check out your grocery store.

Organic and/or Grass-Fed Butter – brands like Kerrygold or Organic Pastures (can find at most grocery stores or Walmart).

Coconut Milk – canned, not from refrigerated section. Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk is found in Asian section of grocery store (not my fave, but still works). Or order from Amazon: Natural Value or Native Forest. (These come by the case – so split with a buddy to offset the price and volume).

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – in baking section at grocery store.

Almond Butter or Sunbutter - from grocery store or from Amazon. Make sure the only ingredient is the nut or seed (with salt is fine).

Applegate Farms Hot Dogs, Bacon, and Lunch Meat.

See here for a sample detox menu and food ideas. Questions, comments, concerns? Talk to me in the comment section!



Disclaimer: The material and content within this site are intended as general information only and are not to be intended as a substitution for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

3 thoughts on “Sugar Detox for Lent

    • Hi Robyn – I know I addressed this on the FB group page, but, no quinoa is not allowed on the detox. Sorry! We try to stay away from foods that turn quickly to blood sugar in the body. Otherwise, it is a fine choice to have when you’re not detoxing. Thanks for checking and being a part of the sugar detox!

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Healthy Things I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving | The Christian Nutritionist

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