Jenn Visser, owner of The Healthy Hub, is inviting the community to join her in the second annual 10-day Sugar Detox Challenge to kick off the year by stabilizing blood sugar levels and augmenting health consciousness.
The 10-day challenge will start Monday, Jan. 11, and it is not too late to sign up to take part in the free community event.
The Healthy Hub, a wellness and massage center, opened in January 2015 and Visser organized the first community detox that month. More than 250 people participated.
“Sugar is a hot topic right now, and our community is reaching and yearning for more information on the subject,” Visser said.
On Jan. 6, in preparation for the challenge, Visser gave an introductory presentation at Seaside Coffee House, explaining the purpose of the detox and guidelines for people to follow. A video of the presentation is online at www.healthyhubwellness.com.
The detox will start Monday with a kick-off community dinner from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bob Chisholm Community Center. The cost is $10 per person and it is open to all participants. Sharing the first dinner is a fun way to create camaraderie and solidarity, Visser said.
“It’s really inspiring to see the community striving to get healthier together,” she said.
She has personally done several detoxes, and led them for others accompanied by cooking and nutrition classes through The Healthy Hub. She sees a sugar detox as a chance for people to reset their taste buds and readjust their conceptions of what is sweet. Those who have grown accustomed to consuming lots of processed sugars, overstimulating their taste buds, might not recognize the natural and more subtle sweetness of carrots or snap peas.
Besides stabilizing blood sugar levels, the detox also will help people pay more attention to what they’re consuming, to read labels and to learn different terms for sugar.
“Becoming a conscious eater can last a lifetime and cause a cascade of health benefits,” Visser said.
She has produced a list of what foods and in what amounts fall within the guidelines of the sugar detox.
The “Yes Foods” include proteins, such as meat and eggs, and vegetables, except starchy vegetables, in unlimited amounts; limited fruits, such as green apples, grapefruit, lemons and limes; beverages such as water, herbal teas and limited amounts of black coffee and espresso; and fats and oils from “clean sources,” such as olives, coconuts, nuts and avocados.
The “No Foods” include refined carbohydrates, such as bagels, bread, granola, oatmeal, pasta and popcorn; starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, yams, beets and corn; fruits such as bananas, mangoes, pineapples and dried fruits; sweeteners, such as honey, agave, juice, sugar and artificial sweeteners; dairy products, such as yogurt, milk and cheese; grains and legumes; certain fats and oils, such as margarine, peanuts and peanut butter and canola, corn, safflower and vegetables oils; and alcohol.
The closer the participants follow the detox guide, the sooner their bodies will respond. Throughout the 10-day challenge, Visser will send daily emails with encouragement, recipes, tips and links to studies and online information.
“I think everyone gets something from the detox,” Visser said.
After the challenge is over, she hopes people stick to the guidelines for about 80 percent of their diet, allowing for roughly 20 percent of indulgence. However, it depends on the individual and what their personal level of health and sugar addiction is.
Visser started changing her eating habits about four years ago as a response to chronic back pain. She considered herself a healthy eater, but she based it on the average American diet, and “when you’re talking about the American diet, going with the flow gets you in trouble,” she said. She started sticking to a diet based on a Paleo format — which consists mainly of fresh, unprocessed meat, fish, vegetables and certain fruit, or items presumed to have been eaten by humans in earlier centuries.
Within a few days, she felt a different physically and cognitively.
“I was hooked right then and there,” she said. “The more I learned, the more I felt a responsibility to share this information.”
Not everyone may experience results so swiftly, but Visser believes many are accustomed to their current level of “feeling well,” accepting that as the pinnacle and not knowing what their next level could be if they made changes to their diet or other aspects of wellness.
“There are so many other layers of feeling better,” she said.
Visser selected 10 days as the length of the challenge because she believes that “is enough time for (people) to understand who they are and how they function.” Participants can personally decide what to with the information from there.
For more information or to sign up, visit healthyhubwellness.com or call 503-717-3645.