I Changed My Diet For My Health And Here Is What Happened

I Changed My Diet For My Health And Here Is What Happened

Living life was (mostly) manageable

I'll admit it. My diet isn't the greatest. I eat out more than I should and tend to buy more processed food because it's cheaper or more convenient. I drink a lot of coffee and not enough water. I've been able to sustain my current weight and even lose a little while eating like this but it's not as healthy as it could be.

Lately, I've been getting sick, and have had two doctors identify it as an autoimmune disease, which one they have not yet diagnosed. Instead, they suggested I change my eating habits and come back in a few weeks for more testing. Maybe I'll have a little more energy and have less pain. It can't hurt to eat more healthy, so why not?

I laid out a few rules for myself.

First, as my doctor recommended I would cut out caffeine. Instead, I would drink water, and water only. I downloaded the Plant Nanny app and started carrying around a 32-ounce water bottle.

Next, I found a meal plan that I would follow but allowed myself to switch out ingredients for other I preferred. I chose the Goodful 2 Week Healthy Eating Challenge to help me stay on track.

First off, the caffeine withdrawal was intense. I always started my day with a cup of coffee and usually got another cup of iced coffee or a latte by the afternoon. I got awful cluster headaches during the withdrawal.

My head hurt so bad I almost couldn't drive. That day I was exhausted. After day four with no coffee, I stopped getting those cluster headaches but still missed the ritual of drinking a cup before going out and starting my day. I replaced it with drinking a glass of water but it just wasn't the same.

Sunday night I went grocery shopping. The grocery list I made was supposed to last two weeks and I ended up with three large totes worth of food. I spent about 70 dollars on food, which is much more than I usually would. However, since I was starting from scratch it made sense.

Hopefully, I'll save money by not eating out and buying lattes from Starbucks.

On day one, the caffeine headaches finally began to subside and I was able to wake up without a hitch. I didn't feel extra tired at all, which was nice. For lunch, I made a sweet potato and chicken salad with a homemade vinaigrette.

Unfortunately, the vinaigrette called for way too much vinegar and I ended up dumping it down the drain and using some store-bought dressing. Regardless the salad was really good and kept me full so it will definitely stay in my rotation.

Once again for dinner, I had problems with seasoning. I used too much lemon juice so the entire plate tasted like a raw lemon. I was enjoying cooking when I had time, but planning out my life days in advance was adding to the stress of a new semester.

Until day five, I had gone without caffeine. Then, I was at work an exhausted with five hours left to go. I grabbed a macchiato with blonde espresso (aka, EXTRA caffeine) to get me through the day. I really missed it, and I really liked the new espresso that I wasn't supposed to drink.

So far, cooking all of my meals were going fine, but it was getting hard to find new recipes. I'm a picky eater, what can I say?

As the semester went from syllabus week to non-stop stress I fell quickly off the meal planning wagon. Even when I had the time I was recycling the same two recipes because I had them down by heart and knew I could get them done in what little time I had. When I couldn't pack my meals I bought salads to stay true to my diet, but they weren't as good as when I made them.

I had caffeine again... and it was bad. I had a latte with blonde espresso from Starbucks and about a half hour after finishing it I felt like I was buzzing. I was on a different astral plane and I wanted OFF. That's what I get for drinking caffeine when I shouldn't.

At this point, I was supposed to have gone through all 14 days of the meals and tbh I only ate like four days worth. The spaghetti squash I bought had mold on it which spread to a lot of the other products so I ended up throwing a lot in the trash. I had coffee one more time, but only having three drinks in two weeks wasn't too bad compared to sometimes three per day.

Changing my diet didn't magically fix my life or make me feel better. It will take much longer to feel any noticeable effects. That said, eating healthier will be better for me regardless of any disease I have.

Once I got through the withdrawal, living life without coffee was (mostly) manageable. I definitely had my slip ups but I don't miss all the time spent brewing a cup every morning. Everything is okay in moderation.

The amount of water I was supposed to drink was intense. I failed at it most days, especially if I couldn't keep my water bottle with me. When I didn't drink as much I got headaches, even when I was drinking more water than I had been.

Meal planning is no joke. Your heart really has to be in it, and mine was not! I enjoy cooking, but thinking days ahead was just too much for my unpredictable schedule. I will definitely be keeping some of the meals in rotation, but I have to be realistic.

Why did I think I would have time to make "noodles" out of a spaghetti squash?

I am not that girl.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

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.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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4 Ways Clutter Is Negatively Affecting Your Health

Clutter affects your physical, emotional, and psychological health.


If you're aware that your cluttered space is causing you stress and discomfort, it might be helpful to understand how and why clutter affects our health. When we clear our space we are more likely to feel at ease, relaxed, and tranquil. There is no better time to freshen your space than at the start of the new year when we are already setting new intentions and re-assessing goals and putting new ideas into motion.

1. Clutter produces dust and exacerbates allergies


Have you ever gone through your closet or bookshelf, only to see the visible layers of dust and dirt that were hidden behind your items? Clutter gives dust and other environmental fibers a place to accumulate. If you find yourself sneezing, coughing, or tired and fatigued in your space, it might be time to de-clutter - your itchy eyes will thank you!

2. Lack of organization in your belongings leads to stress and anxiety


I know I'm not the only one who has had the experience of needing an item before running out the door, only to realize it wasn't where you left it...and now you need to tear apart your entire room looking for it. Sound familiar? Having too much clutter leads to a disorganized space that provokes anxiety and stress and can have a strong, negative impact on your day to day life. Whoever came up with, "a place for everything and everything in its place" was definitely onto something.

3. Clutter puts your nervous system in overdrive


Cluttered environments are taxing on the nervous system. The sensory overload prevents us from being able to relax and rest, and keeps us activated in our sympathetic nervous system, AKA "fight or flight". This means we're more likely to be on edge and hyper-aware than calm and relax when at home.

4. Living in a cluttered space impacts your mood and self-esteem


Our brains thrive off of order and organization. When things are disordered and chaotic around us, it's natural to feel irritable and frustrated in response, lowering mood and reducing our self-esteem and self-worth. Rather than thinking about the things you want to get rid of when de-cluttering, focus on what things you want to keep and what you want to have in your immediate environment.

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