Tuesday, March 29

21 days.

After recently (as in yesterday) returning to chilly Chicago from a wonderful trip to warm and sunny Argentina, I was struck by how many things effect the health and well-being of our bodies. Food, weather, excerise obviously, but it also can be things like relationships, conversations (good or bad)...etc. Recently, in a developmental psych class, we spent time learning about melatonin and how even your body's sleep cycle is effected by a factor as simple as how much cell phone generated light you have been exposed to in the hours leading up to sleep time...yes, texting right before bed is enough light to prevent you from having high sleep quality.

Now, how does this relate to Argentina? I was in Argentina for eight days, which was enough time to learn that the food down there was unlike anything I (or my family) normally consume in our every day American lives. Within three or so days of eating steaks, breads, and other high carbohydrate filled foods, most of us were not feeling the greatest. I personally do not like steak, but that meant that I was relegated to order other items off the menu - 3 things to now quickly understand about Argentine food: First, it is all very bland - spicy food does not exist. Second, there are lots of breads always served with meals. Third, if it is not steak, its probably going to come covered in cheese. (Case in point, I ordered a club sandwich on Friday of our trip and it came out of the kitchen buried under a layer of melted cheese. I may not know much Spanish, but I do know that I did not order a cheese-drowned sandwich intentionally...) Needless to say for most of the trip my digestive system was shot, which is what got me thinking about change.
My mom and other friends recently have been  going through various kinds of detoxing (for various reasons) from things such as dairy, meat, sugars, and processed food in general. It is so interesting to me, how every person's body is effected by the kinds of things they intake so differently. For some people, its as cut and dry as having seasonal allergies. For others though, especially women/girls, we underestimate sometimes how foods and other junk can really mess up everything from our moods and weight to the healthiness of our skin, face, and overall well being. While in Argentina and eating foods high in carbs/sugar/fats, I felt terrible. But that applies Stateside as well...

Side note: I realize this is no major revelation or big idea that other's have not already concluded or that still others will say is common sense - junk food makes you feel less healthy, duh.

That being said, this is more of a me stating the obvious publicly for my own personal benefit. Words typed out (or written) are hard to ignore. Also hard to ignore is my incessant amount of googling. All this thinking about detoxing and feeling healthier has been the primary search query of my Google adventures this morning. End result: I really want to try to eliminate sugars from my diet. To summarize my research, sugars just really end up not being so great for ya. 21 days sans sugars is my plan - based off of a fun blog I found. The main green light foods will consist of veggies, proteins, grains, and moderate amounts of dairy - fruits are a no-go though with the exception of green apples & newly ripe bananas.

Here are my two biggest personal motivations for this:

1. As a Christian, God calls me to take care of the body He has blessed me with & love others as I love myself. Plain and simple, I am here to serve others, and that comes from making sure I in the right shape to do so. I do not take nearly enough time to taking care of myself.

2. This semester especially, but this school year as a whole, I feel like I have been all over the place with my day to day moods/attitudes, which is especially frustrating and not always fair to those who unknowingly cross my path during a bad moment or do not have a choice but to be involved, i.e., my very patient and loving boyfriend, Adam (who I need to thank more often for those qualities!).

Two of the things that lowering sugar intake specifically helps is to improve mood stability and the other is overall/general health improvement - so hopefully both of those occur over these next 21 days.

So to recap: Argentina is beautiful, but try to avoid the food if you ever visit, Veggies= my new best friend, Mornings will start with coffee sans sugar. Ouy.