The University Tag

Since I really enjoy watching all kinds of tag videos on YouTube, and reading tag posts on blogs I figured I might as well give this one a go;ย The University Tag (which I found here)!!!

  • Where do you study?
    I’m a student at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, so I’m studying in Estonia (Tartu to be even more precise)
  • What do you study?
    I study veterinary medicine ๐Ÿ™‚
  • What year are you in?
    Just finished my third year (halfway done, yay!)
  • Do you live at home or at uni?
    Well this is a tricky one. I considerย homehome to be in Finland, so since I live in Estonia I don’t technically live at home. However, I no longer live at the university dormitory, and I’ve made our rental apartment feel very much like home, so in a way I live at home, but still at uni, at the same time. Very confusing, but also very self-explanatory.
  • How old are you?
    I am 22 years old, 23 at the end of summer.
  • What are your 3 uni essentials?
    Highlighters, tea, and Netflix.
  • What is your favourite meal to cook?
    I don’t know!! Depends on many things. I guess tortillas never let me down, so I’ll go with that. I also really like making different kinds of pasta dishes and soups.
  • What is the latest you’ve been to the library?
    Well, truth be told I don’t study at the library (used to in secondary and upper secondary school, but not anymore)… I prefer to study at home (bed, sofa, floor… need I explain more?)
  • Ever pulled an all nighter to finish work?
    Yes, but not in uni ๐Ÿ˜›
  • Your favourite university moment so far?
    Learning how to draw blood from a dog and doing it well the first time, but feeling a (big!) calf move around during our AI practicals was really cool too ๐Ÿ™‚
  • One piece of advice for a fresher
    Try not to stress too much about grades, future employees want to hire people with great attitudes, different personalities, and people who are willing to learn on he job. They want someone who can bring something new to the team – your biochemistry grade won’t matter to them!
  • Something you worried about for no reason
    My grades in “useless” subjects (read: biochemistry, toxicology…)

//jz

(this is a scheduled post, I am currently on my way to Norwich! check out this post to find out more about my summer plans)

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My 7 day water fast experience

That’s right, I consumed nothing but water (and a cup of oolong or herbal tea during the first days) for 7 days.ย 7 days.ย Holy sh*t!ย After this I’m going to try intermittent fasting, most probably the 16:8 “method”, because that seems like something I could (relatively) easily stick to ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have the time I would honestly recommend watching the documentary below before thinking I was starving myself or damaging my body irreversibly (both videos are the same, but the lower one has Finnish subtitles and commentary, whereas the top one is in English with some dubbed parts). Here is also a link to a website explaining the different stages of fasting and what happens during each of those.

Why am I doing this?

  • I suffer from hay fever/pollen allergy, and based on the documentary water fasting supposedly helps with that (histamine is removed from the respiratory tract)
  • I believe in a God who sustains us and heals us. I do, however, feel that our daily activities and society’s obsession with food (more importantly processed food) may come in the way of that – this should both give my mind a chance to reset regarding how I think about food and at the same time give room for some healing (see the above mentioned little thing about allergies)
  • I want to get rid of my “addiction” to: easy sugars (sweets, quick carbs…), sodium (crisps…), emotional eating (stress…)
  • I like to try new (and crazy?) things. Besides, the science behind water fasting makes sense to me; junk gets stored in adipose tissue and will remain there unless we rid ourselves of the fat.

Seems pretty straightforward to me; drink water, water and some more water for whatever time period you decide to fast for and expect to see/experience some major changes! Sounds great!

Day 1 (Wednesday, 23.5.2018)

Initially I had thought about doing a 24-hour fast, but after more research I think I’ll listen to what my body is telling me and take it from there ๐Ÿ™‚ Seeing as I’m going to England on 3.6 I will most likely try to fast until 30 or 31.5, which would give me 8-9 days of fasting and 3-4 days to return to normal food (which should be okay). I won’t water fast while on holiday simply because I don’t want to, I’d much rather do it by myself when I’m not interfering with other people’s routines/plans ๐Ÿ™‚

The day went by pretty quick with only a few thoughts (feelings) of hunger (when cooking, and when overhearing J eat chili nuts and chocolate). For “dinner” I did have a cup of oolong tea, just because I really wanted to have something warm (and plain warm water did not sound too appetizing). In the evening I added a slice of lemon to my water.

I could probably have picked a better time to fast (no school, no nothing), but since learning about the benefits I was too keen to give it a try to wait for a more suitable time ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh well, I’m saving money for my holiday as well!

Day 2 (Thursday, 24.5.2018)
Change from yesterday: -1.2 kg (water weight, expecting to see significantly less coming off in he coming days)
Total loss: 1.2 kg

Woke up at 5:18 and felt completely ready to wake up. Watched a few YouTube videos before getting back to revision for today’s test. Still feeling good!

Biking to school wasn’t that much more exhausting than normal (I made it up the hill without walking), but I do notice especially my face is sweating more than usual. My coughing has changed from frequent, dry and unproductive to a less frequent,ย veryย productive cough (yellow/green slime balls, yummy).

I still feel like eating, I find myself thinking of the biscuits on the tea shelf, pretzel sticks, soup in the fridge… Butย no, I know I can do this! In fact, it’s easier than I thought! (although the cravings were at times really bad)
This proves to me that most of my eating is from sheer boredom – I just want to taste something, be it sweet or salty. My solution for when the cravings become too much – tea (today I had a cup of herbal tea). I think I’ll be having a cup of (herbal) tea once a day, at least to begin with, to act as my “dinner”.

(enter evening, around 7PM)
I feel the detox “symptoms” kicking in… All I want to do is eat! I’ve walked to the fridge several times, opened the door, looked around, closed the door and walked back to the sofa. Around 5 PM I also got a headache , but it was nothing major (I put a few grains of salt on my tongue and took a shower and that weakened it to a tolerable level ๐Ÿ™‚ )
Speaking of showers; I weighed myself before my shower – 96.2 kg. That’s another one kilo drop… Then again, it’s not surprise to me that I was carryingย a lotย  of water weight.

Day 3
Change from yesterday: -1.3kg (still a lot of water weight it seems)
Total loss: 2.5kg

I slept really well (basically passed out while talking to Jason… oops… then again it’s quite the norm for me ๐Ÿ˜› ) – woke up soon after 7 AM. Last evening was quite terrible when it comes to “detox/withdrawal symptoms”, but the day has started quite well ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still coughing mucus balls and have to blow my nose every now and then, but the stuffiness from the flu from last week is pretty much all gone *yay* Over the course of the day my headaches disappeared almost completely (whenever a small one would creep up I would have some more water and distract myself by walking around, doing the dishes, braiding my hair etc.)

My skin is noticeably less oily than yesterday (yesterday was quite greasy…), which is nice. I also think it looks less red/patchy, which is also great ๐Ÿ™‚

Most of the day my come-and-go cravings were mainly centered around fresh fruit and veg, but towards late afternoon (around 5 PM?) the true cravings kicked in again – cookies, crisps, chocolate, sweets… basically anything with tons of carbs! I guess this is what happens when you eat too much of the “good stuff” (which we all know isn’t actually good ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I had a cup of elderflower tea to curb those, and it worked pretty well.ย I even managed to make food for J without tasting it! (I’ll admit it was hard, but I did it!)

Day 4
Change from yesterday: -1.2 kg
Total loss: 3.7 kg

I woke up around 5 AM again, which is understandable seeing as I went to sleep around 10 PM. Upon waking up I had a tiny headache, but after having some water it quickly subsided. I added a tiny pinch (a few granules) of sea salt into my 750 ml bottle of water just because I wanted to (?). To be fair I couldn’t even taste it, which goes to show how little I put in (seeing as my taste buds have been on a break for quite a while now I would imagine their sensitivity to something like salt to be heightened).

Today my cravings have changed to salads, cheeses, steak, cold cuts… Basically very ketogenic! I spent quite a bit of time on Pinterest looking for ketogenic recipes (and found so many nice ones!) which I’m going to give a go once I come out of my fast ๐Ÿ™‚ At one point the cravings got to a point where I nearly caved in, but a glass of cold water shocked me out of it! After that I popped some ice cube molds in the freezer, just in case I need a shock of icy water at some point.

I know having really cold water during a fast is not the greatest of ideas, but in my mind it’s better than caving and binging (which is the worstย way you can break a fast! (as a side note I didn’t feel my stomach going weird after having the icy water as I had read people did on some forums)

Fast forward a few hours:
I actually think the best way for me to stay on track is to mix up my water every now and then; add a slice of lemon if I feel like, make it cold if that seems like a good idea, add some salt if I feel like needing a tiny boost, and so on ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I found myself filling the kettle and thinking “I actually dontย wantย tea right now, why am I about to boil water?” and guess what, I stopped myself from going forward with that. Meaning I can still have my cup of tea later in the evening if I feel like!ย Woo!ย This has actually been a really great learning experience when it comes to noticing how much I autopilot towards certain things (mental note!).

Day 5 (27.5.2018)
Change from yesterday: – 1.1 kg (wondering when I’ll go to ~0.5 kg drops per day…)
Total loss: 4.8 kg

Halfway through! I’m already so proud of myself!!
Woke up with a minor headache, but that went away with walking and some water. I’m surprised to see this big a drop each day, but on the other hand I know I’ve been quite bloated in the past… I guess it makes sense – and I’m not complaining, I just hope it’s not *just* water, I’d like to see some permanent (fat) loss too ๐Ÿ™‚

Again, I’ve been reading up on IF (intermittent fasting) and am definitely going to change to that one my 10 days of WF are over ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been using my natural deodorants (salt block and a spray) this entire time, and have not noticed any bad smells emitting from my armpits *hmm*. I will try and get my hands on LUSH’s solid deodorant/deodorant powder while in Norwich – no more aluminium and other junk!

J bought doughnuts “for study motivation”… well, I’ll freeze mine and have it after the fast. Normally I would have devoured it in an instant – progress ๐Ÿ™‚ (Although I’l admit I did think of quitting my fast and just having the flipping doughnut ๐Ÿ˜›ย butย I didnt, and that’s what matters! )

Around 4-5 PM the “eating desire” came by for a visit again…

Day 6ย (28.5.2018)
Change from yesterday: -0.4 kg
Total loss: 5.2 kg

The day was quite easy, no major cravings, no nothing really. Biking to school was definitely slow, but I still made it up the hill! Had my last exam for the semester (first part of Surgery) and it went perfect (got an A ๐Ÿ™‚ )

In the evening we went out for drinks to celebrate, but I managed to stay strong and ordered iced water.ย I have discovered the magic of sparkling mineral water!ย I had to go by the grocery store on my way home to buy two big bottles of it ๐Ÿ˜›

Day 7ย (29.5.2018)
Change from yesterday: -1.3 kg
Total loss: 6.5 kg (wow!)

Still feeling perfectly fine. However, I am toying with the idea of breaking my fast tomorrow simply to allow myself more time to adjust to food before I head off to England (and let’s face it, 8 days without food is pretty impressive!).
I know I could go for longer, but for my first fast I can be proud of myself no matter what ๐Ÿ™‚ Besides, I could always do another 7-10 day fast when I’m back in Tartu in September (no work, only little school, notย too much stress (hopefully!)).

(enter evening:)
Decided to break my fast at an admirable 7 days. And what more glorious way to do it than with plain mango puree and water ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also bought a massive half of a watermelon and some lovely looking cherries to enjoy over the next few days.

I’m by no means expecting to see a permanent drop of 6.5 kg, but I’m quite sure whatever comes back will be water weight. This has also helped me notice when I’m hungry and when I’m just bored, which will be helpful in maintaining a healthy relationship with food ๐Ÿ™‚

All in all 10/10 would recommend!

$

I honestly think a 7-day fast every now and then wouldn’t be too bad an idea… The first few days were quite awful craving-wise, but I kept telling myself “I got this, I’m not starving” and that certainly helped ๐Ÿ™‚

(As a side note: I did not track my water intake, but I did notice myself drinking a lot more on the first two days of my fast than during the rest. I guess that had to do with my body slowing down, not eating dehydrating foods and simply not being used to not eating when I started this…)

Things I’ve learned:

  1. Autopilot is not your friend
  2. Detox symptoms are no fun, but they only last for a while!
  3. You can live a (relatively) normal life when water fasting, but it takes a lot of self discipline.
  4. I personally could not do any proper exercising during my fast…
  5. … although my energy did go up around day 5-6 (still not enough to push myself too hard)
  6. Mixing up the type of water you drink helps keep things interesting ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (and last, but by no means least)

  7. Anything is possible when you set your mind on it; remember your “why” and you can do it!

The one about my plans for the summer

Early June (3-15.6) I’ll be in Norwich with my lovely potato and his family. I already know we’re going to the zoo, the Disney store (obviously!) and the beach, but more activities are sure to take place ๐Ÿ™‚ This will be my first time ever flying alone, so that will be interesting!

16-24.6 I’ll assist at a local dairy farm. So excited to be back with cows after a long time! Also really looking forward to getting more insights into the management of herd health and healthcare of dairy cows ๐Ÿ™‚ (and the calves!! โค )

Starting 25.6 I’ll do a 4-week internship as a nurse at a small animal clinic in Lohja, and after the internship I’ll continue working there as a nurse until the end of August (24/25.8). I am absolutely terrified, but also so excited to get a taste of life at the clinic.

7-8.7 I will be spending my days with horses, ponies and future colleagues during Suolet ry’s first riding camp ๐Ÿ˜€

The last week of August will be spent at the farm again, I might also go there on some of my summer Sundays ๐Ÿ™‚

Basically, there will be no lazying around this summer!
All of this is two exams away (“Clinical diagnostics of small animals” and the first part of our surgery course) – I want to be on holiday already!!

//jz

The one about sunshine and diseases of poultry…

Today was spent desperately trying to absorb all the knowledge needed to pass tomorrow’s (absolutely terrible) exam on diseases of poultry. Needless to say, these are not the things I’m very excited to learn about, so finding the motivation to study when it’s full-on summer outside has been even more challenging than usual.

Well, today Juulia and I went out on the nearby dock to study… without sunblock! BIG mistake. We emerged from our study bubble (6 hours later) looking like freshly boiled lobsters! I’ve since spent nearly an hour and a half soaking in a cool-ish bath (spiced up with coconut oil and epsom salts), slabbed some hydrocortisone all over myself (the benefits of living with a person suffering from atopic dermatitis ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) knowing fully well it’s not the best thing to do (#pharmacology), and forced a good litre and a half of water into my system… I really hope I’ll emerge from my bed looking less like a lobster and more like a healthy human being tomorrow morning…

Let this be a warning to my course mates who have to lay eyes on me tomorrow – please don’t comment on my appearance, and to everyone else – please use sunblock, especially if you’re a pale Nordic person like myself.

On a much more positive note (pun intended)ย Finland is through to the ESC finals!!!ย (as is Estonia ๐Ÿ™‚ )

//jz

The one about mental health…

I’d like to thank Dr. Carrie Jurney and Dr. Melanie Goble from Not One More Vet (NOMV) for the lecture they gave at our university today. Mental health is a difficult topic to talk about, especially when you know there are people suffering on some level in the group you’re talking to, but their lecture and workshop gave us a lot of tools and ideas to work with and use in the future, soย thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

To sum everything up in a few points:g

  1. Mental health issues are real
  2. Everyone can (and most probably will) suffer from mental health issues at some point
  3. Your mental health is just as important (if not more important) as your physical/social well-being, so make it a habit to take care of yourself
  4. Don’t be afraid to reach out – we can all help one another

 

The rate of suicide in the veterinary profession has been pegged as close to twice that of the dental profession, more than twice that of the medical profession, and 4 times the rate in the general population. (source)

Why? There are so many factors I can’t possibly cover everything in a quick little blog post, but I’ll list a few down below

  • the work is stressful and things can pile up (overworked, exhausted people on the brink of burnout…)
  • perfectionism that turns into a fear of failure + fighting death every day (with a few inevitable losses) – not the best combination
  • taking on the emotions of every single family that loses a member (empathy beyond safe limits)
  • and so much more… Basically, it’s a tough life.

As a future veterinarian knowing all of the statistics is both scary and comforting at the same time; you know what to expect, but you also knowย you’re not alone.

In my mind I envisioned this being a very thorough post, but I think I will leave it at this, perhaps I’ll elaborate things later. For now I really must be getting back to studying (check the “What I really do when I say I’m studying”-page at the top of the page to find out what I actually end up doing ๐Ÿ˜‰

//jz

P.S. This is just to write down some things to remember. I’m okay, really, don’t worry ๐Ÿ™‚ย