Living With Geographic Tongue

Living With Geographic Tongue

That weird tongue disease
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Warning! There will be pictures of varying degrees of grossness. If you are squeamish and think weird tongues might freak you out, please locate the nearest exit.

Tongues. They reside in our mouths, are incredibly flexible — sometimes freakishly so — and are the strongest muscle in the human body. These muscles have always been a source of weird tricks and traits. Some people can roll it into a shape that vaguely resembles a taco, others can make the clover and then there are those that can somehow straight up fold their tongue in half.

These strange tongue facts are news to no one, but there is something I'm willing to bet that the majority of people don't know about. If you are a fan of watching bizarre medical conditions videos, you may have heard of this condition called geographic tongue. "What's that?" you who have not heard of this ailment ask. Well, it's something I have lived with every day for as long as I can remember. Geographic tongue is a disease (I'm not a fan of the word "disease," but I'm not in charge here) that is centralized to the surface of the tongue. For some unknown reason, it causes raised white lines and/or bald patches all over the tongue - that's where the geographic part comes in.

According to the Mayo Clinic, geographic tongue is listed as a harmless ailment, but I would disagree. True, it will not kill you — unless you're allergic to having a weird looking tongue — but it can definitely cause harm. You see, this condition brings with it an incredibly delightful increased sensitivity to spicy and acidic things. I'm not talking about a slight increase either. What I'm talking about is an "I've become so sensitive that the small amount of acid in a banana hurts me," increased sensitivity.

Just imagine, you go home and you find out that your mother has made that delicious chili for dinner. You know the one I'm talking about. Everyone at the table can easily consume their entire bowl while barely being bothered by the relatively small amount of spice. You however — oh boy — you get to the end of your bowl (which has been loaded with heat reducers like sour cream and cheese, and you even ate most of it with buttered crackers!) and you're sweating like a pig because of the ridiculous amount of heat and pain radiating from your tongue. You're almost in tears, and you find yourself wondering, "Is my tongue bleeding? It feels like it's bleeding." No, your tongue isn't bleeding. It's just dangerously red, welted and dreading tomorrow's leftovers.

It can't get worse than that, can it? Sorry to ruin your dreams, but it can. Geographic tongue by itself causes sensitivity, but those unlucky enough, much like myself, will also find themselves in possession of a fissured tongue. This condition causes lovely little groves to cover the tongue and its own round of spicy/acidic food caused pain.

There's nothing quite like a double pain whammy that makes your tongue look gross, am I right?

Cover Image Credit: Dental Studio 101

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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11 Tips For The College Vegetarian

Eating healthy doesn't have to break the bank and leave you rushing out the door to class.

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Five years ago I decided to become a vegetarian. I have learned so much about healthy eating as a student, making meals cheap and quick yet still delicious. From dorm room smoothies to making the most of dining halls, this list will help you follow a vegetarian diet while attending college.

1. Smoothies are your best friend 

Drink your morning breakfast on the go easily by mixing up your favorite ingredients into a blender. Throwing frozen fruit such as strawberries and bananas in a blender with some milk and yogurt creates the perfect morning smoothie. Adding things like almond butter, almond milk, and protein powder will provide you with enough protein to get through your morning. I like to throw some granola on top of my smoothie for an added crunch as I'm drinking it.

2. Cook in bulk 

Pick a day during the week to cook in bulk. Most halls will have a kitchen somewhere in them and you can utilize it to make some food to eat throughout the week. Cook up a large quantity of rice or pasta on the stove top and keep it contained for eating throughout the week. For a quick healthy lunch take some pre-made noodles and heat them up with some vegetables in a microwave.

3. Research opinions on your campus 

College campuses have a variety of places to eat, but the key to finding places that will fit a vegetarian diet is research. You won't find a lot of opinions at commercial fast food chains, such as Chick Fil A or Mcdonald's, so it's important to know what spots to eat at. At the salad bar, you can load up on fresh veggies and dressings. If your campus has hot bar options, you can pick out things like rice, potatoes, vegetarian soups, etc.

4. Master the microwave 

You can make all kinds of meals in a microwave, which will save you time out of your busy college schedule. Amy's makes plenty of frozen vegetarian meals that you can stock up on at your local supermarket (shown in the video above!!) and Gardein makes tons of meat alternatives packed with protein that will satisfy your hunger.

5. Savor some soup 

Whether it's cold on campus or not, a bowl of warm soup is the perfect way to get a quick meal in. Supermarkets carry a variety of soups that only require water and a quick trip to the microwave that tastes great! Next time you're trying to figure out what to eat, try a hearty soup with some crackers and your stomach will thank you.

6. The power of snacks 

Don't neglect your snacks! If you're ever hungry in class, make sure to have healthy snacks with you so you aren't tempted to splurge on expensive unhealthy food. A hangry mind never makes the wisest food choices. Bring along granola, nuts, fruits, and your favorite snacks to munch on.

7. Drink lots of water 

Most health professionals would recommend drinking about half a gallon of water a day to stay hydrated. Water boosts your metabolism, helps your body break down food, flushes out toxins, and other many other health benefits. Vegetarians, vegans, and meat lovers alike all need to drink plenty of it to take better care of their bodies.

8. Talk to your doctor 

Doctors are the best people to talk to when going through a dietary change. They are educated and qualified to answer the questions you may have. For newer vegetarians, they have packets full of advice and recipes that can start you out. For long-time vegetarians, they often recommend a B-12 vitamin to make sure you don't become vitamin deficient while not eating meat.

9. Replace unhealthy foods 

Don't bring unhealthy food that is going to tempt you into your dorm. Try to avoid super sugary foods and instead eat some fruit if your sweet tooth comes calling. Replace candy with healthy snacks such as nuts, and opt for whole grain options rather than refined grains (white bread/rice).

10. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.

Most colleges will have a fitness center that you can use to workout in. Part of taking care of your body is exercising it often. Find time in your schedule for a quick trip to the gym or maybe even consider taking a fitness class such as boxing or yoga.

11. Listen to your body 

The vegetarian diet isn't for everyone and there is no reason that you should let yourself go hungry ever. Maintaining it while living in a dorm, surrounded by fast food, makes it a difficult task to manage. So if it is something you want to do and believe in, go for it! If not there's no reason to beat yourself up over it.

Lastly, celebrate yourself. Maintaining a vegetarian diet is no easy task, especially for a busy student looking to save cash. Give yourself a pat on the back for eating healthy and contributing to the betterment of the planet. You deserve it.

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