The Gendered Side of Pain

I had always had a fear of standardized testing, but I never thought it would manifest like this.

Like many high schoolers, I had to pass exams to graduate high school. Despite my fear of exams, these state tests were a breeze for me. You know, the type you would finish before everyone else but wonder if you did something wrong. It was during one of these tests when I experienced one of the worst pains I had ever felt in my life. As I plugged away at math problems at my desk, I felt as though someone was stabbing me in the abdomen. I hunched over, unsure of what was going on. The whole perverted side of the story was I tried desperately to save face. The state I lived in had a rule about the entire class having to retake the test if someone interrupted it.

And if I made kids sit for another round of tests, well then that spelled the social end for me.

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What’s the Beef with Protein?

When I became a vegetarian, my parents were not shy about making sure I met my nutritional requirements. Specifically, the subject on their minds was protein. “Sarah, have this piece of fish. It’s full of protein. You need protein in every meal to stay healthy.” It drove me absolutely mad, so much so that I became super focused on making sure I was hitting at least 100 grams or more. I tracked my macronutrients using LoseIt extensively, making sure that every handful of spinach or carton of egg whites helped me reach my goals. Sometimes, I would eat 3 Quest Bars just to make sure my protein needs were met. Now to be fair, at the time, I probably was not eating enough calories, which resulted in the symptoms of protein deficiency. And yes, once I stopped eating my vegetable-only salads in favor of a more balanced meal with added protein and fats, I felt loads better. However, after reflecting to that time in my life,  I began to critically think about the intense focus our society has on protein in our diet.

With this in mind, I beg the question: what is the deal with protein?

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A Survival Guide to Live Without a $600 Water Purifier

The last straw for me was when I saw bloggers on Instagram promoting a stand-up water purifier. They claimed that this was the Cadillac of water purifiers, removing all of the deadly toxins that were poisoning our bodies. Even Brita filters, they said, were not good enough, leaving a lot of the dangerous minerals behind that would mess with sleep, cognition, and happiness. Reading through the comments, many people expressed fear that they had not yet made the switch, vowing to exercise the generous $25 off code they had received. I decided to see for myself how much this stainless steel drum cost. After a quick internet search, I got my answer: $600.There was no way I would ever be able to shell out $600 for a water purifier. Living in one of the most expensive cities in the country, it was enough that I had to pay for rent and food.

I’ll take my water via the tap, thank you very much..

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How I Use Bullet Journaling to Help Me Stay Organized

Ever since I was in middle school, I have always been a “lists” person. You know what that is?

It is a person who has lists for what they need to do for the day. It is a person who never goes to the grocery store without a list. It is a person who writes out their weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.  It is a person who even has lists for her lists.

How else would I keep track of my lists?

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“Are You Getting Enough Protein?”: Counting Macros

The first time someone told me that I needed more protein was from my mom. I had just come back from a weekend trip in college and was visiting my family for the holidays. My mom took one look at my hair and asked, “Are you eating enough protein? Maybe you should have some fish.”

To be fair to my mom, I probably was not getting enough protein or calories at the time. Like all trips you take in your late teens and early twenties, I was subsisting on a diet that would not be considered balanced. In this case, my team and I ate nothing but granola bars and Subway sandwiches. And because I was a pescatarian and store bought tuna salad (which is basically half mayo) FREAKS me out, my only option was the veggie delight sub with the sweet onion sauce. As you can tell, this probably has zero protein.

But you cannot say I did not get my veggies in.

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Letting Love, Not Fear, Be Your Compass

This past June, I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. A friend of mine was planning on traveling the world and, for a segment of the trip, she discovered her previous travel companion was no longer able to come with her. She asked if I would like to come along, knowing of my desire to travel. When she presented the opportunity to me, I could not be more excited. The trip was for two weeks, traveling through central and eastern Europe. I had been saving money since my freshman year of college for the opportunity to do this. This was the first time I would be traveling without my family (or “adults” although technically I was an adult). And even though the $900 I spent on the last minute ticket to Venice was more money than I have ever spent in my life at once, I was so excited to be finally leaving the country by myself.

And yet, that same excitement was quickly augmented.

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Learning to Eat Mindfully

I am a bit embarrassed to write this post. As a health and wellness blogger, I feel as though I need to have a perfect face on at all times. However, my hope with The Cutting Veg is to be real with you guys. And I do not feel as though I can move through this journey until I come clean about my journey through emotional eating. And really, this will be a journey. And I want you to come on the magic bus with me. Cause duh!

So here it goes.

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Taking Control of Your Gut Health: Probioltics

I hope you all realize by now there are two types of stomach bugs.

Now, today I will not be talking about the bug that you catch when you are sick. Those are the bad kinds. You know, the ones you have been over the toilet for for three days because you ate some sushi that probably should come nowhere NEAR your body. Can we talk about how all food poisoning stories are about SUSHI. Aka the most delicious food on the planet. Seriously why is it always the tastiest things are potentially the most lethal.

I’ll take my chances with my maki, thank you very much

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Cutting Out Sugar/Wheatberry Porridge with Runny Eggs

Did you y’all realize I used to be a sugar ADDICT?

I mean I still kind of am. BUT I am working on it. When I was a kid, I used to hoard sweets and candy in my room (sorry to my mother who did not know this. Ha!). Reese’s cups were my drug of choice.  I was so content to have a muffin or a donut for breakfast, and, even in college, my go to was a highly sweet yogurt with just as sugary granola. I usually would crave chocolate after every meal. And I was not just satisfied with a whole piece. I needed a whole bar.

You heard that right friends. A whole freaking bar.

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