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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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

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

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."


Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

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