I Tried A 20-Day Soda Detox And Here Are The Results

I Tried A 20-Day Soda Detox So You Didn't Have To

The results are so surprising!

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As an avid Diet Pepsi drinker, I definitely would say I have a little bit of an addiction. I probably drink two big bottles a day. And while I didn't think it was doing anything to my body, recently I've been noticing a lot of extra bloating and discomfort. I started doing my research and began to realize that maybe it was all of the chemicals in my favorite drink that was doing this to me! And, since I'm trying to make March a month of mental and physical health, I decided to give it a try.

That said, I have made a few guidelines to make sure that I still enjoy the process as much as possible. You may say it's cheating, but I say it's knowing your limits. I know it would be impossible for me, a college student, to go caffeine-free for 20 days. Plus, I would hate every second of it due to caffeine headaches.

Still, I want to limit what I drink as a way of knowing what's in my body. I came up with the following: coffee, tea, skim milk, and water. That is what I'm allowed to drink until I board my plane for spring break on March 25th. I'll be documenting my experience every few days; keep reading to see how I'm doing!

Day 1:

I woke up with a need for caffeine. While there was an open Pepsi bottle on my desk, I chose instead to empty the rest and throw it away so I wouldn't be tempted to drink it. I made a cup of coffee. It hasn't been much of a struggle yet because I drink coffee most mornings anyway, so we'll see how I do later on. Overall, I'm not even sure if this challenge will work because I still use artificial sweeteners in my tea and coffee (Splenda), but they aren't the same sweeteners in my diet soda, so we'll see! So far so good!

Day 2:

Is it sad that I already miss the carbonation? This article was almost really sad because I caught myself walking to the vending machine when I got home, automatically searching for my next sip of caffeine. But I caught myself before it was too late! Instead, I went home and filled up my water bottle.

Day 5:

I've been noticing I tend to not drink anything instead of replacing when I would drink soda with water. I wouldn't say this is a conscious choice, but I need to make a better effort of choosing to drink water, even when I don't feel super thirsty.

Day 8:

Today was the first day that was actually a huge struggle for me. I definitely missed the carbonation and the sweet chemical taste of artificial sweetener! It was a real struggle, especially when I went to the vending machine for a snack and had to resist a delicious-looking Diet Pepsi staring at me through the glass!

Day 14:

I felt a bit uncomfortable today because it was the first time I went out to eat since I started this challenge! I wanted something other than water, but because literally, all I drank was Diet Pepsi, I ended up picking flavored water. It wasn't at all what I wanted, but I'm sticking with the challenge!

Day 17:

My throat has been sore the past couple days, and I can't help but think of how nice the carbonated drink would be to clear out my throat. But because of this, I have been drinking a lot of water, so it is actually probably better for me!

Day 20:

I am proud of myself for finishing up this challenge and sticking with it the entire time. I have definitely noticed that I feel a lot less bloated and have a flatter stomach when I'm sticking with water.

Overall, this would be a great experience, and while I don't think I will continue to never drink soda, it has moderated my perspective. Clearly, drinking so much of that processed substance was harming my body, so in the future, I'll make sure to really cut back on that. Not because it's trendy not to drink soda or because it's a conversation starter, but because it makes me feel better and is better for my body.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.

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College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

https://picjumbo.com/healthy-fruits-and-vegetables/

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

https://picjumbo.com/fitness-girl-jogging-morning-run/

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

https://pixabay.com/photos/glasses-toasting-cheers-alcohol-919071/

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

https://icdn2.digitaltrends.com/image/dehumidifier_hero_1-2-720x720.jpg

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

https://picjumbo.com/makeup-brushes/

Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-people-kissing-romance-18397/

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

https://libreshot.com/green-tea/

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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