I Quit Gluten, Meat, Alcohol And Processed Sugar For 21 Days – Here’s What Happened!


Amazing things can happen when you give up gluten, meat, alcohol and processed sugar for 21 days.

I’ve never really done a cleanse or health program before. Aside from a couple of fad diets in the past that didn’t really last, I had never really felt the need to give up anything. I felt healthy enough, didn’t have any serious health conditions, and thought my meals were fairly healthy most of the time.

Some of my friends had tried various things, including going gluten-free or giving up sugar, so it made me wonder. Maybe it’s something I need to do, too? Maybe I’m missing something? I know deep down that I could be a bit healthier. So maybe avoiding these things would be the ticket to amazing energy, losing the last few pounds, and clearer skin.

To find out, I decided to do the 21 Day Food Matters Program. They offered a supportive Facebook group and daily motivation to keep me going, and it seemed way more do-able compared to some others I’d looked into!

So for 21 days I gave up gluten, dairy, processed sugar, red meat, alcohol, and coffee. Here’s what happened:

1. I discovered that I didn’t need to be afraid of feeling hungry.

I realized that hunger is ok and being hungry isn’t necessarily something we need to freak out about when we feel it. The program helped me realize actual hunger vs. emotional hunger, and that skill has helped me to keep my portions in check even after the program ended.

2. I was eating way too much sugar!

Even though I ate quite healthy before, I was so surprised to discover after the cleanse that so many things tasted so much sweeter now! I have halved the amount of natural sweeteners used and feel SO much better for it!

3. It creates a conversation I never thought I’d have.

When you do something different from others and challenge their dietary beliefs, a range of emotions and questions can come up. But when you’re feeling so great, it’s hard not to help others on their path to feeling healthier, too. It creates a real ripple effect.

4. My aches and pains have basically gone away.

I never had any major health concerns but I did notice that my niggling knee issue started to go away and my headaches were few and far between!

5. I discovered that meat-free meals can still satisfy and give me lots of energy.

My partner is one of those men who considers a meal incomplete without meat, and surprisingly we both enjoyed the meat-free meals more than we thought we would.  It taught us that incorporating more plant-based meals and less meat can be equally delicious, easy and energizing.

6. I have a new found appreciation for yoga.

I have done yoga on and off in the past, and try to aim for 1 hour, but doing just 15 minutes each morning makes it so much more achievable and now I can’t imagine my days without it.

7. I no longer fear fat.

It’s been pretty pushed into our psyche that low fat is the way and fat makes you fat, but after incorporating more healthy fats into my diet, my skin has improved, I feel much more satisfied after each meal, and surprise, surprise, I lost a bit of weight instead!

8. I had a better night’s sleep.

I felt lighter in general and found that this helped improve my sleep and sleeping patterns, giving me even more energy than before.

9. Eating healthy isn’t about deprivation but experimentation and adding in more of the good stuff.

It was really easy to follow and my partner and I enjoyed every moment of it as it taught us new skills, recipes, and foods that we often forget to include in our diets. Now I’m all about trying new ingredients!

10. I feel way more confident.

Maybe it’s the weight loss, the clearer skin, or simply just the fact that I’m taking the time to nurture and nourish my body, but I’m way more confident and happy!

11. It highlighted how mindlessly I was eating before.

I used to eat because I was bored, tired, sad, happy, to celebrate, and even because it was just sitting in front of me. Now I’m way more conscious of what I eat, when, and why!

12. Including friends makes it easier and fun.

Twenty-one days can seem like a fairly long time for someone to stick to a plan, but when you do it with friends, it’s way more fun and you’ve got some people you trust to bounce your ideas and feelings off, and motivate each other to continue.

portrait of two young women

13. My energy levels have improved so much I’ve been more productive in the last 3 weeks than I have in a long time.

The boost of energy has essentially re-ignited my passion for life. I want to live healthier, do more, be more, and make the most out of every day. And with the program, I’m doing just that! I’m outside more, I’ve finished projects I’ve had on my bucket list for years and loving life.







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