So halloween is now over!! And as we like to describe it here at eco18, over and now bloated, with a sugar coma and wearing stretchy pants all week long. Don’t worry, it’s not just you who feels overwhelmed from their night of sugary indulgence. I mean, did you know that Americans buy more than 600 million pounds of candy in a year JUST on Halloween? And get this—the average American consumes 3.4 pounds of candy on Halloween, the average trick or treater consumes about 3 cups of sugar on Halloween, and the average kid consumes up to 7,000 calories on Halloween!

While we’re all for treating ourselves once in a while, the day after Halloween is definitely something that acts as a bit of a wakeup call for us, and makes us remember that, while a cookie or piece of cake here and there will do no harm, health and a solid nutritional foundation trumps all. So we are challenging YOU to cleanse yourself of your Halloween goodies and make room for the Thanksgiving and Christmas food that are right around the corner. Yep, we’re talking about a 2-week sugar detox.

So, what happens when you give up added sugar? Let’s get into it.

First of all, numerous studies have shown that your incesent sweet tooth is a huge factor in weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and an increased risk of diabetes. Studies also show that sugar addiction is a real thing, and that the brain reacts to sugar in a similar way as it does to drugs and alcohol

Bethany Doerfler, a clinical research dietician at Northwestern Medicine says that cutting out sugar will almost immediately increase energy levels and diminish cravings and fatigue. And those are only the short term benefits! Overall, a sugar detox will restore your blood sugar, reduce insulin spikes, balance hormones, cool off inflammation, improve digestions, and boost your metabolism. And what’s even better, when you go on a sugar detox you will recognize just how good whole, healthy food really makes you feel.

For example, by choosing low calories, high volume foods over foods that are fried or covered in sugar, you will be eating more food with LESS calories! Not having to worry about foods that have sugar in them means that you can spend more energy eating high volumes of delicious foods that act as fuel rather than as a quick sugar high.

So, if you’re feeling regret from all the halloween celebrations, like we are, then let’s start this 14-day sugar detox together and get back to feeling great. And it’s important to remember—a sugar detox doesn’t mean we have to compromise on taste. Check out this week 1 sample menu below from Sugar Free Mom as a delicious, satisfying and sugar-free way to start this cleanse:

Day 1
1. Breakfast: Cheesy Spinach Baked Eggs
2. Mid Morning Snack: Tamari Almonds
3. Lunch: Low Carb Cheesy Sweet Pepper Poppers, mixed green salad
4. Afternoon Snack: 3 hard boiled eggs, yolks removed if desired
5. Dinner: Baked Stuffed Chicken & Spinach, Cucumber Tomato Feta salad
6. Snack if needed:1/4 cup part skim, low fat ricotta cheese, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, a few drops vanilla stevia

Day 2
1. Breakfast: Sun-dried Tomato Feta Frittata
2. Mid Morning Snack: left over Tamari almonds
3. Lunch: Left Over Chicken & Spinach & pepper poppers
4. Afternoon Snack: Raw Veggies with Spinach Dip
5. Dinner: Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups (minus honey hoisin sauce), sauteed spinach, mushrooms, peppers
6. Snack if needed: 1 cheese stick

Day 3
1. Breakfast: Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie(without protein powder)
2. Mid Morning Snack: 3 hard boiled eggs, yolks removed
3. Lunch: Left over Turkey Lettuce Cups, Tossed Mixed Green salad with cucumber, sweet peppers, tomatoes, dressed with extra virgin olive oil & vinegar
4. Afternoon Snack: left over feta frittata
5. Dinner: Grilled Chicken with Fresh Herbs, Light Vegetable Soup (skip carrots)
6. Snack if needed: Dairy Free Sugar Free Vanilla Chia Pudding

Day 4
1. Breakfast: Sante Fe Frittata’s
2. Mid Morning Snack: 1 cheese stick
3. Lunch: Left over grilled chicken to make Cilantro Chicken Salad
4. Afternoon Snack: No sugar added peanut butter or other nut butter on celery
5. Dinner: Crock Pot Chicken & Bean Stew, Mini Zucchini cheese bites
6. Snack if needed: 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese topped on cucumber slices

Day 5
1. Breakfast: Left Over Sante Fe Frittata’s
2. Mid Morning Snack: Spicy Mediterranean Feta Dip with raw veggies
3. Lunch: left over Soup, Tossed Mixed Green salad with cucumber, sweet peppers, tomatoes, dressed with extra virgin olive oil & vinegar
4. Afternoon Snack: cucumber tomato feta salad
5. Dinner: Low Carb Cheesy Bread Sticks, Italian Green Bean Salad
6. Snack if needed: Dairy Free Sugar Free Vanilla Chia Pudding

Day 6
1. Breakfast: Single Serve Crustless Egg Muffin
2. Mid Morning Snack: 1/2 cup cottage cheese or ricotta with 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, vanilla stevia to taste
3. Lunch: Left over Cheesy Bread Sticks & green bean salad
4. Afternoon Snack: raw veggies with spicy Mediterranean dip
5. Dinner: Garlic Lemon Chicken Drumsticks, Zucchini Noodles
6. Snack if needed: 3 hard boiled eggs, yolks removed, filled with hummus if desired

Day 7
1. Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with sauteed spinach & mushrooms and no sugar added salsa
2. Mid Morning Snack: 1/2 cup cottage cheese
3. Lunch: Left Over Light Vegetable Soup, zucchini noodles
4. Afternoon Snack: Tamari Almonds
5. Dinner: Left over chicken drumsticks, left over green bean salad
6. Snack if needed: Dairy Free Sugar Free Vanilla Chia Pudding