Changing Your Diet For A Week

I Changed My Entire Diet For A Week And It Was One Of The Worst And Most Challenging Things I've Ever Done

The pickiest of eaters (me) tried a little something new, and I will never do it again.

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I've literally been the pickiest eater I know since as long as I can remember. My diet consists of A LOT of pasta and bread products, so tons of carbs. I've never been super conscious about my eating habits until I got to college, and everybody else around me would eat much healthier than I would. When people heard how picky of an eater I am, they would be shocked how I live off of carbs all the time, and they would express concerns for my health.

While they seemed worried about my weird diet, I wasn't because this had been my life for as long as I can remember. However, this year, I've been more motivated to take better care of myself, including going to the gym more and not eating junk food constantly. While my diet still doesn't constitute as "healthy," I'm eating much better than I used to.

However, my diet still consists of carbs in every meal. Without any persuasion or convincing, I decided to cut pasta and bread products out of my diet for an entire seven days. Now, to some people, this may not seem like a big deal, but I literally lived off of bread and pasta, so I was going to really push myself out of my comfort zone to try new foods during this week. Clearly, trying new foods is not something I'm good at.

The first morning of this seven-day challenge was the worst. I had an event that morning where I was passing out donuts, and it felt like I was being tempted. I don't think I've ever used as much willpower as I did at that moment to not break my promise literally an hour into it. Once I got through the event and that day, I told myself that I was 1/7 of the way done and that I could do it. Taking it day-by-day and trying not to think about the five or six days ahead of me left made it much easier to not give up completely.

Some days were better than others; I would find alternatives to my usual foods, and I even tried some new chicken soups that I loved. Some days, however, I would literally envy other people for eating cereal or a grilled cheese or a bagel. It was TORTURE watching other people enjoy their meals. That's another thing that happened during this challenge week. I just didn't eat as much in general because I wasn't able to look forward to any meals. That was probably the worst part: not being able to enjoy sitting down with a snack.

I thought that changing my diet for a week would literally transform me into a new person, and therefore, it was worth it. But I was so wrong. Nothing about this helped me at all. In fact, it only made me want to eat bagels, and mac and cheese, and pizza, and PB&Js;, and cereal so much more. I didn't try all new foods that would magically turn me into a healthy eater after the week was over. There was literally no benefit to this challenge other than proving to myself that I could do it. It did feel good afterward, but I did not really feel too accomplished.

Take this as a lesson. Now I'm no nutritionist or health coach, but I can say from personal experience that making extreme changes to your diet like that will not benefit you AT ALL. It not only will make you miserable, but it will make you constantly think about all of the things you want to eat, which is tortuous. I can promise that I will never be challenging myself like that again any time soon.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100 percent real" and that incoming freshman should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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10 Of The Best Restaurants In The Phoenix Area That Are Perfect For Celebrating Birthdays

Skip the basic chain restaurants and indulge in a birthday dinner you deserve.

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One thing that happens every year, that we can't avoid, is birthdays. While sometimes we throw lavish parties or take special trips, a low-key birthday dinner is always a memorable experience.

Luckily, Phoenix is jam-packed with cute restaurants that will fit your birthday desires. Whether you're ready to splurge or have some wine with your friends, these restaurants are ready to celebrate another year of you being you.

1. For an Instagrammable meal: The Henry

The Henry is a local Phoenix favorite. Their super cute restaurant is filled with yummy dishes, kind service and a great atmosphere for those birthday pictures. Take a picture in front of their signature arrow with your birthday gang and treat yourself to one of their desserts (they're worth it).

2. For the best drinks: Hulas Modern Tiki

Hula's Modern Tiki is almost a best-kept secret. It's like taking a vacation for a couple of hours. Their menu has a huge variety from tacos to steak sandwiches. Plus, their drinks are delicious and festive.

3. For a good time on a budget: Joyride Taco House

You don't have to drop $25 per person for a good time. JoyRide's taco Tuesday menu has $2 tacos and $5 margaritas. Try the crispy fish, it's the best.

4. For the wine lovers: Postino Wine Cafe

If you're not in the mood for a big dinner, Postino is the place for you. Their bruschetta is perfect for sharing or for indulging in yourself.

5. For the ones who believe brunch is a religion: Hash Kitchen

I mean, the picture speaks a 1000 words. Hash Kitchen takes their brunch seriously, just like you do.

6. For the healthy foodie: True Food Kitchen

True Food is healthy dishes that are far from boring. Their menu changes seasonally so there is always something new to try.

7. For the feel-good food feels: Culinary Dropout

With multiple locations, Culinary Dropout is a birthday classic. Their home made feeling food is amazing but the atmosphere will guarantee a good time.

8. For an interactive experience: The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot is a fun, interactive food experience. Typically, it's a three-course experience and its fun for everyone to enjoy.

9. For the person who'd rather not leave the house: IPic

IPic theaters the way to say, let's go to dinner and celebrate but I also don't want to really have a conversation. Pick your favorite movie in theaters and sit back, relax.

10. For the pancake lover: Snooze AM Eatery

Snooze also has multiple locations, so it's bringing the breakfast good times to you. Try their grapefruit mimosas. You won't regret it!

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