Graduation day | Health promotion with focus nutrition

After 3,5 years at university, whereof 3 years studying health promotion with focus on nutrition, it is finally coming to an end.

These three years have gone SOO quick. Trust me, when you first begin university it may feel like a lifetime until you graduate and are done… but it will go by so quickly. Three years anyway… if you study 5 or 7 years, of course it will feel like it never ends. But even then, i have heard people who study 5 years to do a masters and say that the time at university went far too quickly.

Today is my graduation day… hopefully get my bachelors in health promotion. Though i won’t know until summer whether i have passed or not with my final bachelors essay.

In three years alot can happen. I feel like a completely different person compared to the girl i was autumn 2016 and first started the program.

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^When i moved to Gothenburg, autumn 2016^^

2016 – new start

I moved to a new city… on my own. Wanting a new fresh start.

I had only been in Gothenburg once before where i spent a two day weekend with my boyfriend at the time… and i fell in love with the city.

Moving to a new city is scary… especially when you don’t know anyone. When you don’t have any contacts and don’t know where you will live. How to travel around the city.

Read more about this HERE: moving to a new city to study| life change and 8 tips for moving to a new city

I had moved out and lived with a roommate earlier, when i was studying at Uppsala univeristy, though i just had a 60-90 minute journey back home if i wanted to see my family. Now i was going to be 4 hours away by train.

However, i have always been so independant that that never bothered me… mostly i knew i would miss my dog. Which i very much have these past 3 years.

There are alot of fears moving to a new city and starting a new university program. Would i make any friends? Would i like the program? Would i feel lonely? Would i like the new city? etc etc I had to face alot of fears and step outside of my comfort zone alot when i first started university and moved to a new city.

 

Did i always know i wanted to study this program?

I have had doubts about my program… often wondered if maybe i should study the dietititan program instead. But in the end, i am very happy i have studied this program… and i do have plans to continue studying… to learn more about coaching, psychology, eating behaviour, leadership, sports nutrition and maybe do a masters in nutrition. Three and a half years at university but i still doubt that i have enough knowledge. Or well, i know i have enough knowledge… i know that my knowledge in nutrition and exercise and health promotion is adequate and higher than the average person… but i guess i am just not done studying or learning.

I love learning…. not so much the stress involved with assignments and exams. But learning more information which i can then share with others and use to help others is what i love. So i am not done with studying, even if i am done with my bachelors.

My university program

Many people are interested in what program i studied and it was “Health promotion with focus nutrition”, and i have written some posts about what i have learnt and my thoughts about the program, HERE: & HERE, which you can read.

My overall thoughts… it is a good program. You learn information about alot of different areas from nutrition, coaching, motivational interviewing (an evidence based counselling style that is usually used when helping people to change behaviours), sports nutrition, biochemistry, health promotion and the list goes on.

Compared to the dietitian program, we have focused alot on health promotion. I.e working with healthy people to keep them healthy. Promoting health and working on “health factors” instead of so called “risk factors”. In the dietitian program they learn more about how to work with sick people and people with different diagnoses. With my knowledge i can work with people who are sick to a certain extent… however we don’t really have the right knowledge to work with nutrition advice regarding certain illnesses and then it is better that the client is sent to a dietitian with more knowledge in those areas of nutrition.

So what can I, and the others in my class work with after this program? Well… we don’t really have a license like dietitians do. However we have qualifications to work with nutrition, exercise, health, health promotion, lifestyle changes etc

Careers can vary from having your own business and doing health coaching, doing lectures, working in health care centres, working in schools, working with businesses, creating mealplans or even working with food. The list goes on…. just from the wide range of internships that people did in my class shows how many different career options there are for us.

Not to mention that there is more and more attention focused on the health for qualified healthcoaches and people focused on promoting health. More and more people are getting sick due to lifestyle related illnesses, and i definitely think people with a similar university degree/program can have a huge impact in helping people improve their health.

What happens now?

It is so crazy to think that these 3 years are over, and it does send me into slight panic mode. I must admit… i feel like i have been constantly stressed these past 3 years, hahah. Which isn’t a good thing. But i have the same feeling as i did after graduation from highschool where you are left thinking…what happens now? What do i do now? Do i work… do i study… how do i get from A to B? What am i doing with my life? Am i on the right path?

So many questions and no answers…. I don’t know where i will be in 5 years time or what i will be doing with my life, or how my life will look like then. But i don’t want to worry about it either.

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This summer my goal is to just work at the foodstore i currently work at. Focus on my social media work with my blog, instagram and YouTube. And also work on some side projects i want to try to build up. And also begin with lectures, maybe doing health coaching and also applying for nutrition/health related jobs. I don’t know how my autumn will look like… but this summer i know i just want a break from school because these past months have been stressful with school and my bachelors essay.

My advice to others:

All i can say from my experience is…. Dare to try something new. Apply to that university course or program. Dare to move to that new city. It is ok if you realize that the first course or program isnät for you… that happened to me. The first time i started university and moved away from home it didn’t turn out as expected. I didn’t make friends, i felt lonely and didn’t have any fun at university. But the second time rount it was better.

It is ok if you study 3 years and realize you hare passionate about something else. You are not a failure. You have still learnt things, gotten experience and realized what you don’t want to do.

Just dare to try. Things may not work out as planned, but that’s life.

I had to move a bunch of times before i finally got my own student apartment. I didn’t makke friends at first when i started university the seocnd time around. I have felt lonely. I have doubted my program and whether i should continue studying.

But for the majority of the time i have enjoyed studying and enjoyed my university experience.

Also, i am so thankful that in Sweden it is free to study. Of course, i have taken a student loan to be able to afford to pay rent/food/etc and not have to work fulltime as well as study… but atleast i don’t need to pay to actually go to unversity, which i am very thankful for.

So… this long post finally comes to an end. All i can say is that i am so happy to finally graduate and have my degree *hopefully*… but at the same time i really don’t feel ready and like time has gone too quick.

Also, i know i haven’t written so many personal posts recently… i used to share my monthly goals and life updates… but with all the school and work stress i have had recently i stopped doing that. But i felt i atleast wanted to share this update in my life 🙂 For those of you who have followed me for the past few years 🙂 And hopefully you will stick around for the next few years as well!

 

Why am I not blogging anymore?

Not sure how to start this post… with hello?

Over the last few weeks i have been getting quite a few messages from people wondering why i am no longer blogging on here… or why it is mostly recipes.

First off, it is lovely to hear that you care and miss my posts… it does mean alot!

And well, the short answer to the question is…there is no time.

But if i am honest with myself, that is not the real or full answer. Sure, not having alot of time left for blogging is definitely one of the reasons i haven’t been able to blog. But if i truly wanted to blog, i would make time for it. If i can write and share recipes, then i should be able to write a few non recipe related posts as well?

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However, i just haven’t been motivated or inspired. There hasn’t been any creativity left for blog posting recently. Haven’t known what to write about, and sometimes it feels like i end up just writing about the same things over and over.

Many want to read more about eating disorder recovery posts, and i understand that. But it also feels a little like i have done that in the past, and one of the reasons for changing blogs was to not write so much about it. Sure, i still want to help and share advice posts… but i am also trying to do that in video format on my YouTube at the moment. (My channel, HERE).

It also feels like i have written so many posts about eating disorder recovery, shared all the advice i could and it is easier to just refer to old posts instead of writing new ones.

And with nutrition posts, which have also been requested… well i just haven’t known what to share. I’ve been stuck in a battle of… what could i share that isn’t already available online? As well as feeling…How much free information can i give away? For the past 10 years i have been blogging for free, so much time and energy dedicated to writing blog posts, sharing advice, answering emails and of course… helping people is SO MUCH MORE important than money. But there also comes a time when I have to realise that i can’t give away all the information i learn at my university course and from all the hours spent studying… because in the end, why would anyone want to hire me as a health coach or a lecturer(?) or even to buy ebooks from me if everything is already available online for free? I hope that makes sense! Of course… that doesn’t mean i will never write nutrition or advice posts again… most of all i just need to find inspiration again and find my creativity.

For those of you who don’t know, i am writing my bachelors thesis right now which is taking up the majority of my time. Preparing, reading articles, writing, rewriting things and the list goes on. And then on top of that i am also trying to keep creating recipes and content for my IG and on here (recipes anyway) and trying to post a YouTube video a week… even if that isn’t always possible as editing can take 8-10 hours and i don’t always have the time for it. And then on top of that i work some evenings and weekends… and somewhere inbetween i want to try to meet friends and have a social life, work out and also get time to clean my apartment, do laundry and actually just watch series.

Somedays it can feel like i don’t actually get any time for myself or that i am working on something from 8am to 10pm. And otherdays… i am so exhausted mentally and have 0 creativity or motivation.

Of course i must admit… i sometimes feel bad about the fact that there are people out there who are running businesses while also writing their bachelors thesis (or even masters – which is much tougher), people who can actually post several youtube videos a week while going to Uni or writing their thesis essay.. and people doing so much more than me while still able to do their Uni work. And it makes me feel bad… like i should be doing so much more. Why can’t i also run a business or post several YouTube videos a week and still do everything else i do… or why can’t i just write a few extra blog posts a week.

However, i am trying to remind myself that we are all different. And adding more to my plate isn’t going to help me. I am already incredibly sensitive to stress and easily get anxiety when i have too much on my plate… so even if i want to do more and often feel like i am not doing enough or good enough, i also need to realise there is only so much i can do without breaking down.

Anyway… so that was the long post as to why i am not really sharing so much on here right now. My goal is to be more active on Youtube and try to show more of my personality and to also sharing some advice and inspirational videos on there.

And in time, i do hope to start blogging on here again and sharing more than just recipes. But i hope you all understand why it has been a little empty here recently. Just trying to balance everything in my life and figure things out!

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Aware but not obsessed? | Organic, plastic free, locally produced food?

The previous day i shared on my Instagram story wondering how people thought about

  1. buying local or knowing where the food they buy from actually comes from
  2. and also about organic vs. nonorganic, considering that organic food is often wrapped in plastic.

So recently i have begun thinking about these two topics. I was shocked when i began to read where some of the food i buy – mostly fresh produce – comes from. I.e i have never really thought about the fact that certain root vegetables which can be grown in Sweden, are still imported from other countries. This may of course be obvious for others.

Foods grown in sweden.

And of course i am aware that certain foods and fresh produce can’t be grown or produced in Sweden and so they are imported. If each country were to only sell locally produced food then there would only be like 1 or 2% of the food left in the stores and it would most likely not economically go together. Considering that important and export of food/produce creates alot of money.

Not to mention that you would never really get to try any new or different foods if you were to only buy and eat local foods.

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I also asked about peoples opinions on organic vs. non-organic produce. I buy organic when i can, but it is not my main priority when i go food shopping. I am not so worried about the pesticides on the inorganic produce. Now a days the toxicity/danger of consuming them is very little and has less environmental impact as they once did when they contained more dangerous substances. However, of course the organic pesticides or biorational pesticides have a lot less impact on the environment and less substances that may be unhealthy for humans.

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Of course it is all about dosage... the more fresh vegetables and fresh produce which have been sprayed with pesticides which you eat, the higher the dose. So if you eat alot of fresh produce then choosing organic may  be better. Example if you eat alot of raw food. But if you eat fruits and vegetables in a rather “average” way, then there doesn’t seem to be a risk or problem.

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However certain items such as bananas, coffee and chocolate, it is good to choose fair trade and organic for the sake of the workers, as the chemicals used on the inorganic are very dangerous and the working situations not good at all. So i try to buy fairtrade of these items when i can. And if organic food is just a little bit higher in price – but nothing extreme – then i will choose it when i can.

I do want to start becoming more aware of where the fresh produce i buy comes from. Especially when it comes to foods that can be grown in Sweden. I know that example avocados, bananas as well as beans and lentils can’t be grown or produced in Sweden, but i still want to eat them on a weekly basis.

Basically… i want to become more aware, but not obsessed.

Which brings me to the main point of this post.

For someone who has had a past with a restrictive eating disorder, it could be easy for me to become “too aware” or “too obsessed” and want to suddenly only eat local and organic vegan food. To begin cutting out food because i have become too aware. This of course is not the case.

I wrote about these topics because they were on my mind and something i never really considered before, and well it is something i want to think about and make more active choices when i can. But i won’t let it completely control my food choices or how i eat either.

In the end, eating imported lentils and beans has alot less environmental impact than eating meat or dairy, and that is what matter for me. I may not be able to eat the most environmentally friendly diet, but just eating plantbased/living vegan is enough for me. And the extra things like local and organic is when i can.

My aim is to not give anyone anxiety or put pressure on people to “be perfect” or always make the “best” choice. But instead to raise awareness, and from that awareness you can make your own choices. Just like with knowledge… if you don’t have the knowledge or awareness to make certain choices, then you won’t know. But if you have the knowledge and awareness then you can atleast make a choice.

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And like i said… you shouldn’t let these things control your life, especially not if you are/Have struggled with an eating disorder, then just eating is good enough. (Which is also one of the reasons i don’t recommend eating fully plant based if you are in recovery from an eating disorder, because the main thing is to just be able to eat without guilt or restrictions, and in the future when you are mentally and physically healthy you can begin to eat more plant absed if you still want to!).

This was just my thoughts on the topic, and if you have any thoughts regarding these topis comment down below!

Food as medicine?

So recently i have seen that there has been some talk abd articles about “food being medicine” and i don’t fully agree.

Just like the picture which shows medicine and then fruit and vegetables on the other side and says that fruit and vegetables is your medicine.

Sure good nutrition is important for everyone. Good nutrition and a healthy balanced diet affects your mental and physical health and can reduce the risk of illnesses. However it doesn’t prevent all illnesses.

And yes good nutrition can be part of treatment for certain illnesses but it doesn’t always replace medicine and it can infact be dangerous and incredibly unhealthy to skip medication. Example if you have cancer and skip medication and treatment thinking that eating fruit qnd vegetables will cure you.

I am all for alternative medications and herbal medicine however i also know that “regular” medicine is also important and there is a reason it exists.

Ex. I take herbal medication for my CF and try to limit my use of antibiotics but i know that sometimes i need antibiotics to keep me healthy. And eating fruit and vegetables won’t cure me from the bacteria i have in my lungs.

Also it does frustrate me when people write that fruit and vegetables will cure all illnesses and nobody needs medication. That is incredibly dumb.

I eat a balanced diet and get all the nutrients and energy i need HOWEVER my hody doesn’t absorb all the nutrients i eat and so i need supplements and there is nothing wrong with that. Just like i need to take medication daily to stay healthy… and that’s just life for me with cystic fibrosis. No matter how healthy my diet is… it won’t cure my illness. Sure it helps… i would be alot sicker if i ate an unhealthy diet and didn’t exercise. But at the end of the day i need medication daily if i don’t want to diet before the age of 25.

Just like with depression, sure eating a balanced diet, getting in daily doses of omega 3 and moving your body weekly can be oart of treatment and help you feel better. Some people may need medicine as well and there is no shame in that. Eating fruit and vegetables won’t magically cure anxiety but it won’t make it worse either.

And when it comes to cancer, a balanced diet and exercise can help the person feel better but it doesn’t replace treatment. And if the person has no appetite and no energy its better they eat something than nothing at all.

Good nutrition with a balanced diet and regular exercise can do wonders and is recommended for everyone but there is no shame in needing medication.

Of course when it comes to certain lifestyle illnesses you can’t just take medication and think that it will fix everything because it won’t. And a lifestyle change is needed along with medication.

Don’t shame people for needing medication and unfortunately celery juice and raw food won’t cure everyones illnesses and it is incredibly disrespectful to tell someone to just drink some celery juice and they won’t be sick anymore

This is just my opinion on this topic anyway. And yes i do believe a healthy diet can be part of treatment and work as prevention for certain illnesses. But it is not a cure for all illnesses.

You have to start somewhere – it is ok to be a beginner

Two days into my internship and i can tell you i am feeling rather mentally tired. Though pretty much everyone told me this beforehand… there is alot to take in, new faces, new information, new work routine…. so even if the 9 hour workdays days aren’t so tough, i.e i am used to working those hours. It is all the new information and impressions that take alot of energy.

But so far so good. And i don’t plan to write so much about my internship or what i am doing or where it is etc, but hopefully in the next few weeks i will begin to get to do coaching with clients and even write nutrition/meal plans. So i am looking forward to that.

But one thing i am learning to accept is that it is ok to be a beginner…. And you don’t always start off amazing or perfect.  But to get better… you have to start.

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I am – unfortunatly – the type of person who doesn’t like trying new things in the risk of being bad at whatever i am trying. This does hinder me in life. I don’t want others to see me failing at something and i don’t want the negative feeling i get when i am bad at something… even if i have never tried it before and there is no reason why i should be good at it.

But i am now realising that to get better you have to start and just do it…And you get better the more you do it or practise.

Just like with ex pull ups or pushups or even running… for most people, when they first try push ups or pull ups they might not even be able to do one, but over time the more they practise they will suddenly be able to do 5 or more in a row. And it is the same with other things.

So if i compare myself to my work colleagues who have been working in the business for years, and i am new to this business (i.e i already have the nutrition and coaching competence) they have different qualities which are good to have at the workplace. And i know that within time i will also develop and work on them.

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But for now i just need to accept that it is ok to be a beginner…. and that just means i can only get better. Hopefully.

I know this post may be a little weird to read, especially when i can go into the different things i mean. Also the fact that this idea and topic came to me yesterday at work, but i didn’t have time to write it then… so my thoughts aren’t as sharp as they were right when the idea hit me! But hopefully you get something out of this post as well…. To learn that it is ok to be a beginner and ok to not be good at things. But if you want to get better… then you have to practise and work on them. 

I hope you are all doing well 🙂 I know i haven’t been writing or sharing so many posts that aren’t recipes the past while… but that’s just life. There just hasn’t been time or energy to share other than recipe posts. But hopefully i will be back to blogging or sharing nutrition or vegan related posts in the future 🙂

Otherwise… feel free to recommend YouTube video ideas i can do during the weekends so you get to know me better and can follow me on that social media platform where i am more than just words 🙂  My Youtube channel.