Read This If You’re 23 And Lost

Thought Catalog

Sophie PearlSophie Pearl

So you’re 23 and you have no idea what comes next.

First of all, congratulations. You’re ahead of the game.

Do you know how long most people wait to realize that they’re lost? Do you know many people never do? Do you understand how many people go through their entire lives aimlessly floundering; only to realize at the very end of it that none of what they did was what they wanted? It’s a lot more than you’d think. And most of those people thought they had it all figured out at twenty-three.

After all, it’s not so hard to be found when you are twenty-three years old. There are infinite hoards of people who will tell you what to do and where to go. There are endless opportunities for you to make money and prosper. All you have to do is let go of what you want…

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8 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Eating fresh, healthy, organic, local foods sounds great—but what if you’re on a budget? Maybe you dream of shopping at Whole Foods, but the cold, hard light of day finds you wheeling down the aisles at ShopRite®.

We feel your pain. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to eat well and actually save money in the process. Your shopping list isn’t going to include vegetarian, brown rice sushi rolls from the macrobiotic deli case, but trust us, you’ll live.

1. Don’t shop hungry!

How often do you swing by the market on your way home from work, tired and starving? While this seems like grandmotherly advice, it’s firmly rooted in current research; a new Cornell study shows that people who shop while hungry are more inclined to buy more calorically dense food. Keep a piece of fruit or a small Ziploc® bag full of raw nuts in your bag to guard against filling your cart with foods you’re craving now but wouldn’t buy on a full stomach.

2. Buy flash-frozen fruits, vegetables, and fish.

While any processing takes away from a food’s maximum nutritional value, flash freezing is a great way to preserve vitamins and minerals when vegetables and seafood are at their freshest. And the convenience of a bag of veggies or a filet of fish in the freezer can’t be beat. The price? For seafood, there’s no comparison: fresh is much more expensive—when you can get it at all. (If you check at your local grocer’s fish counter, you’ll find that much of what is being sold in the case as fresh has in fact been previously frozen.) Produce is trickier: frozen is sometimes, but not always, cheaper than fresh, in-season, fruits and vegetables.

3. Shop at your local farmers market.

This may surprise you, but it’s cheaper to get your veggies—organic or not—at the local farmers’ market than at the local supermarket. A 2011 study by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont is one of several around the country showing that farmers’ market prices are consistently lower than those of neighboring grocery stores. Who knew? So have a great time shopping with your neighbors and supporting local farmers, and be happy in the knowledge that you’re saving money too.

4. Stick to your list.

Don’t cave in to the snazzy packaging on the supermarket shelves. Make your meal plan and shopping list at home, and then stick to it. Here’s the exception: when you shop at the farmers’ market or local produce stand, sometimes a gorgeously fresh fruit or vegetable will stand out—one you hadn’t planned on. Build some flexibility into your list to account for these unanticipated treasures…just decide which meals you want to add them to before purchasing. A good rule of thumb is to stick absolutely to your list of pantry items, but give yourself some leeway with fresh, seasonal foods.

5. Eat lots of beans and always soak your own.

Beans are a great source of protein and fiber, and form the cornerstone of many world cuisines. And they’re dead cheap—if you buy them dried. Soaking your own beans is easy, though it does take more planning than opening a can of them. But it’s no big deal. Just decide the night before what you’re going to eat the next day. If a meal includes beans, then put them in a pot of water to soak and leave them overnight. In the morning, let them cook as you’re getting ready for the day.

6. Buy in bulk.

Costco® and other warehouse stores sell fruits and vegetables at ridiculously low prices—if you’re willing to buy, say, 15 pounds of potatoes or 8 pounds of oranges at a time. You’re in for some work at home, but at those prices, who’s complaining? Also, in many regions it is possible to pair up with another family or two and buy a portion of either a cow or a pig directly from a local farmer. In exchange, you will receive many, many neatly wrapped and labeled packages of meat. An extra freezer is necessary for this, but well worth the investment if you live in a region where such arrangements exist. Another huge benefit of this is that you know the animal was not raised on a factory feedlot. Therefore, the meat will likely be free from the steroids and antibiotics that plague grocery store bargain meat cuts.

7. Join a CSA.

Community Supported Agriculture is another way to save money by cutting out the middleman. With a CSA, you pay a flat fee up front. On the East Coast it’s typically $400-$500—for a whole growing season of produce! Every week you get a box of whatever came out of the farmer’s field. Like buying in bulk at warehouse stores, this calls for some time and creativity in the kitchen. In late summer, we sometimes freak out trying to figure out what to do with all those perfect, ripe tomatoes. What a problem to have!

8. Cut your consumption.

Over the last few decades, restaurant portions have become gargantuan, and we somehow seem to think that a platter of food is actually a single serving. Most restaurant entrées can easily feed two or three. So when you’re out, either share a single entrée, or get half boxed for another meal. And at home, serve smaller portions on smaller plates. It won’t take long at all before you’re satisfied with sensible portions!

Balsamic Tuna Salad Sandwich

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  • Makes: 1 servings
  • Carb Grams Per Serving: 48

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces tuna packed in water, drained
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 2 pieces romaine lettuce
  • 1 small orange

Directions

  1. Make it: Mix tuna, vinaigrette and celery. Place on bread with lettuce. Serve with orange.

Nutrition Information

 Servings Per Recipe: 1
PER SERVING: 400 cal., 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 48 g carb. (8 g fiber), 29 g pro.

Cucumber & Dill Salad!

This super easy and yummy side is not only a crowd pleaser but it’s super healthy too! No mayo or pasta and no need to spend hours with the oven on during the hot summer day.

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All you need is a large cucumber, fresh dill, half a sweet onion, greek yogurt, and salt and you will have yourself a nice and light BBQ side!

Take your large cucumber and cut it in half length wise. Then take each half and thinly slice it.

Next, take your onion and cut it in half length wise and slice one half of that very very thinly and toss in the bowl with the cucumbers.

Sprinkle in about 2 tsp of salt. I use Himalayan pink salt, but any will do, and toss it all together.

Next add 3 table spoons of non-fat Greek Yogurt and mix.
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If you have fresh dill from your garden that is great, if not take some fresh dill from the store and pluck it off the stems. Finely chop it and toss it in with the rest of the salad.

You can either serve it right away or toss some saran wrap over it and serve it later on.

21 Day Fix

1 Cup Serving

1G

Aspartame Poisoning

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in foods and beverages without adding excess calories. People often consume products with aspartame in an effort to maintain or lose weight.

The reason for aspartame poisoning is that it dissolves into solution, travels throughout the body and deposits within tissues. Unlike saccharin, the body digests aspartame. The digestive and absorption process results in aspartame accumulating in our bodies resulting in health problems.

Symptoms of Aspartame Poisoning

1. Physical Symptoms

The effects of aspartame are far reaching and negatively impact many organ systems and structures, causing a diminished level of functioning and enjoyment of life.

  • Ear Symptoms. Tinnitus or buzzing in the ear is a common symptom of aspartame poisoning. Intolerance to noises and notable hearing loss can also occur.
  • Eye Symptoms. Aspartame can cause decreased vision, particularly night vision, blurring, tunnel vision and eye pain. People will also note decreased tears, trouble wearing contact lenses and even bulging eyes.
  • Chest Symptoms. Breathlessness, elevated blood pressure and skipped or racing heartbeat are all symptoms of aspartame toxicity.
  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms. People often experience an upset stomach, diarrhea (possibly bloody), abdominal pain and painful swallowing when using aspartame as a sweetener.
  • Skin and Allergies. Hives and intense itching, lip or mouth swelling and worsening of asthma all can occur due to aspartame.

2. Metabolic and Endocrine Symptoms

Metabolism and hormones are the cornerstone of our body’s production of energy and ability to regulate itself. We produce a variety of hormones that regulate our overall health and wellness.

Diabetes control and increased weight are side effects of aspartame use. Others report hair loss, menstrual irregularity and severe premenstrual syndrome. Some may note marked weight loss and problems with low blood sugar.

3. Neurological Symptoms

The nervous system is a very delicate machine and very sensitive to minor amounts of toxins. Aspartame negatively impacts brain function and can trigger or mimic many serious disease processes.

Aspartame can cause or trigger the following neurologic conditions: memory loss, confusion, migraine, dizziness and unsteadiness, seizures, sever speech slurring, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

4. Psychiatric/ Psychological Symptoms

Serious psychiatric problems are known to occur due to aspartame and include aggressive or suicidal behaviors, severe depression, birth defects and severe cognitive problems in the baby, anxiety, insomnia, phobias and irritability.

Health Risks of Aspartame Poisoning

Additional Side Effects of Aspartame Poisoning

The health dangers of aspartame are widespread and can affect multiple body systems. Additional health dangers include: persistent craving for sweets, aspartame addiction, irreversible brain injury and cognitive impairment, stomach ulcers, birth defects, hyperactive behavior in children, aggression, severe depression and suicide attempt and ultimately death. Scientists and anecdotal patient reports continue to show the global negative effects on the human body.

Illnesses Triggered by Aspartame Poisoning

Aspartame poisoning triggers many subtle diseases. Even under the best conditions and in the hands of the skilled physicians, these conditions are difficult to detect. Diseases such as ALS, multiple sclerosis, Lupus, post-polio syndrome and Lyme disease can all be triggered by aspartame. Other problems such as Meniere’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, thyroid disorders and Alzheimer’s disease can all result from aspartame.

Relief for Aspartame Poisoning

What we eat in our diet has a direct role in the development of many health conditions. In most cases, aspartame poisoning resolves if the individual simply stops using sweetener-containing products. Cut out products like low calorie pudding, diet sodas, and gelatin mixes, and any powdered drink mix containing aspartame. Even some dried fruits and cereals contain aspartame. Reading food labels and avoiding aspartame can literally be a life changing activity.

Aspartame Detoxification Program

Detoxifying your body from the ill effects of aspartame is a powerful method to reverse any symptom related to using this artificial sweetener. Over 92 different signs and symptoms are attributed to aspartame. The detoxification program is the most effective way to remove the toxins produced from aspartame such as phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol and their damaging by-products. This 9 step program is easy to implement and will improve symptoms in 30 days.

  1. Read labels and remove any aspartame containing products from your diet
  2. Catalogue any changes and improvements in your health
  3. Submit your hair for analysis of toxins
  4. Be happy and enjoy feeling better
  5. Detoxify and eliminate aspartame and its by-products from your body
  6. Replace deficient nutrients in your diet
  7. Exercise regularly, rest and recover
  8. Aim for 75% raw food consumption at every meal
  9. Hydrate and drink water throughout the day

21 Day Fix COOKBOOK!!

Who is this cook book for?

“This book is for everybody,” says Autumn. “You don’t have to be graduates of 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix EXTREME®. You also don’t have to be a chef or great in the kitchen. It’s for anyone who wants to make healthier versions of the foods they love.”

According to Autumn, “Everyone will use the book differently. For some, it will become their “go-to” cookbook they use every single day. Others may use it when they’re going to a special event like a barbeque or party.”

And in addition to all the amazing recipes, Autumn has also included a detailed checklist for her absolute must-have kitchen and pantry staples, as well as the basic utensils and tools that every cook needs.

What’s Inside?

Inside Fixate you’ll find a section for every possible meal you can imagine: simple breakfasts, on-the-go lunches, sit down dinners, soups, salads, as well as healthy snacks like kale chips and protein bars.

Autumn insisted that all the “on-the-go” lunch recipes be easy and fast for working moms. “I based all of the lunches off leftovers from dinner and even breakfast,” she reveals. “I turned them into delicious, easy-to-make lunch recipes.” Autumn adds, “I also included a few of my favorite Shakeology recipes—even some Fix-approved skinny cocktails.”

And then there’s the desserts. “I have a big sweet tooth so I was really pleased with them,” she says. “I especially love the brownies (made with chick peas), peanut butter cookies and cake recipes, and the desserts are all gluten-free so absolutely everyone can enjoy them.”

21 Day Fix Approved Buffalo Chicken Dip

INGREDIENTS

1/2 red container Greek yogurt
1/2 red container shredded chicken
1/2 blue container shredded cheese
1 green container veggies
Tapatio, Franks Red Sauce or favorite hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

*Preheat oven to 350
* mix yogurt, chicken and 1/2 of cheese and hot sauce
* scoop into oven safe bowl
*Bake for 15 minutes until heated all the way through

Enjoy this whole recipe for one red container, 1/2 blue container and 1 green container!

 

To detox or not to detox?

What the medical experts say

The body already has systems in place that protect us from potentially harmful substances. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic systems are all designed to work together to ensure any dangerous toxins are chemically transformed into less harmful compounds that are then excreted from the body.

Will a detox make me feel better?

Those who normally eat an unhealthy diet will naturally feel better when they start eating properly. Most people don’t drink enough water or eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables anyway, so simple changes such as boosting hydration and eliminating processed foods will lead to an increased sense of wellbeing.

Will it help me lose weight?

Weight loss through detox diets is usually short-term, as these diets aren’t sustainable. Having completed the diet, most people feel they can go back to eating what they want anyway and return to their pre diet weight. Other claimed benefits of detoxing, such as helping relieve headaches, are more likely to be linked to lifestyle changes such as not drinking alcohol or coffee. Reduced bloating, for example, is probably just a result of eating less while better skin may be due to drinking more fluids.

Are detox diets dangerous?

Experts say that the biggest danger with detox diets is that they often don’t provide enough nutrients. Insufficient carbohydrates can drain you of energy. Other downsides may include blood sugar problems, fatigue, nausea and a decrease in the body’s ability to fight infection. Laxatives are not advised and colonic irrigation is deemed unnecessary and may result in bowel infection or perforation.

Vanilla Yogurt Bowl

Vanilla-Yogurt-Bowl

This is no ordinary bowl of yogurt! We amped up the nutrition with a scoop of Vanilla Shakeology and topped it with fresh strawberries, bananas, and sliced almonds. It’s a great way to fuel your morning workout, or as a satisfying snack anytime.

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
4 medium strawberries, chopped
½ medium banana, chopped
1 tsp. sliced raw almonds

Preparation:
1. Combine yogurt and Shakeology in a small bowl; mix well.
2. Divide yogurt mixture evenly into two medium serving bowls.
3. Top each bowl evenly with strawberries, banana, and almonds.

Photo by Rebecca Swanner

Are you actually hungry?

There are SEVERAL times throughout the day that I have gone to the snack machine at work and bought a snack, got back to my desk to realize that I wasn’t truly hungry. I was upset/frustrated, stressed, bored, etc. The amount of times that I do this in a day is frightening. There are a few ways that I have started to deal with these & here is a list in hopes of these helping one of you guys!

I know that all of these are not something that you can do at work but there are a few that you can!

-take a walk
-exercise
-read a book
-call a friend
-listen to music
-journal
-drink water
-think about if it’s physical hunger or emotional
-distract myself with chores
-keep busy
-wait 15 minutes and see if the hunger is still there
-drink tea
-meditation
-deep breathing
-look at something motivational