The Goods

Three-day sugar detox: A holistic nutritionist's guide to swapping out the refined stuff

An approachable (and delicious) meal plan that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.

An approachable (and delicious) meal plan that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

This article was originally posted February 27, 2018.

Sugar gets a bad rap – and it may be with good reason. Holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy stopped by The Goods to explain why refined sugar is a substance we can do without. Although tempting, and found in lots and lots of our favourite sweet treats, sugar is nutrient dead, meaning it doesn't offer anything viable or healthy to the body whatsoever. It's just empty calories and is associated with plenty of negative health effects when you're eating it every day. So with that in mind, Joy shared a 3-day plan for cutting unnecessary sugar from your diet.

After a few days you'll realize how great your body feels without all of that added sugar. You won't experience those energy crashes throughout the day caused by intake of sweets, and you may even be more motivated to continue to cut unnecessary sources of sugar out of your life. It's also worth noting that all three days of meals include three macronutrients: complex carbs, good fat and protein. Fat is important in order to feel full, which will prevent you from having those sugar cravings and protein takes longer to digest so it's also very satisfying. Here are Joy's suggestions (with some of our own favourites) for three days worth of nutritious meals to keep you full and help you smash those cravings.

Day 1

Breakfast: Avocado toast

Note: It's a quick breakfast that's loaded with protein and full of healthy fats! Top with some hemp hearts, sea salt, and hot sauce for added flavour.

Snack: Apples and almond butter

Note: They're super satisfying, and will keep you going until your next meal. Apples contain up to 10 grams of natural sugar, but that sugar is delivered with fibre, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, so it has a much different effect on your body than refined sugar.

Lunch: Arugula, canned salmon, peas and extra virgin olive oil avocado dressing

Dinner: Roast chicken and sweet potatoes

Here are some options we love:

Best Roasted Chicken

Make-Ahead Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Day 2

Breakfast: A green smoothie with added protein powder for extra nutrition.

Note: Opt for fresh or frozen ingredients such as kale, banana, frozen pineapple, ginger, and cucumber. Joy says the key is to aim for a smoothie that is 80% vegetables, and 20% fruit.

Here's are some options we love:

Steven's Power Smoothie

Steven's Green Smoothie

Shahir's Green Smoothie

Snack: Guacamole and brown rice crackers

Here's an option we love:

Alexis Hillyard's Guacamole

Lunch: Crunchy veggies with hummus and leftover roast chicken

Here's an option we love:

Spice-Roasted Carrot Hummus

Dinner: Lentil soup or stew.

Note: Lentils are rich in protein and iron – plus they're very filling and energizing.

Here are some options we love:

Greta Podleski's Mexican Lentil Soup

(Source: Yum & Yummer)

Chicken and Lentil Soup

Day 3

Breakfast: A veggie and egg scramble.

Note: Scramble some eggs with red onion, kale and serve with avocado. It's delicious, nutritious and packed with protein, so it'll keep you feeling full for longer.

Snack: Dried apricots and a handful of walnuts

Lunch: Chickpea apple salad with extra vrgin olive oil avocado dressing. Mix together cooked chickpeas, shredded apple, celery, carrots and parsley.

Note: Chewing and crunching sends signals to the brain that you're eating so you feel more satisfied.

Here's another satisfying salad option from Joy:

Joy McCarthy's Superfood Salad

Dinner: Veggie stir fry with quinoa

Note: Joy recommends making an almond butter tamari ginger sauce for it.

Here are some options we love:

Chicken Sesame Cashew Stir-Fry