Almost 21 and almost finished healing. Advice would be nice!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I could use some advice!

I'm a 20 year old female, in college, and my 21st is next Saturday. I have a trip planned to go to panama city beach for spring break and to celebrate my birthday with all my friends while I'm there. This trip has been talked about and planned for awhile. It's most likely going to be the stereotypical college spring break, pizza and bear kind of thing.

For the past year I have been struggling with health. I was diagnosed with mononucleosis in January of last year and I am a type 1 diabetic. Lets just say those two don't mix well. Healing took me awhile but this past summer I seemed to be getting much better. This winter my symptoms came back worse than before. I began eating full paleo at this time and it's been helping a lot. I have learned that eating low carb, cutting out dairy and grains is really helping me control my blood sugars as my body heals. I've been super focused on re-building my immune system and it's finally working but I have had to sacrifice A LOT of my social life. So here I am, functioning well but having to be really careful with my diet and making sure I get enough sleep.

So my question is what do I do? Is one week of 'breaking the rules' going to set me back on my road to recovery? Would I do better to stay home and wait until I feel better to catch up with my friends? or do I need the mental break? If i go should I will try and make the best (food choice) decisions I can, but I know they won't be optimal.

I know this is obviously something I have to decide, but I just can't make up my mind. I could use some perspective I guess.



on February 28, 2013
at 04:44 PM

Just stick to the bear, and avoid the pizza

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4 Answers


on February 28, 2013
at 04:57 PM

Optimal probably isn't necessary for party time - if you have blood sugar problems though I would try to make generally the right decisions.

Junking out for me would be drinking too much red wine and eating too much salami. I know if I start hitting the pizza and ice-cream not only may I seriously regret it, but I may not seriously regret it until months later when I realise I've completely fallen off the wagon and I have to go back almost to square one.

Allow yourself sensible alcohol, and try to moderate it on most occasions. Try to be as strict as possible with the food though because you need to do that to adequately recover from the drinking.

This doesn't mean that everything has to be grass-fed and cooked in coconut oil. But avoid gluten and avoid refined sugar, and moderate chips and rice. I don't know what junk food options will be available where you are going, but I reckon bacon and eggs and shish kebab and salad are generally good options in most holiday places.



on February 28, 2013
at 04:26 PM

I think the ultimate deciding factor for myself is how I feel, overall, at the end of the vacation. Easing up on the mental stringency does help you relax and feel "free" for a bit, but the benefit of that is hard to see if you're in pain, or spend the next two months trying to get back to where you were, health-wise.

Alternatively, trying to be too strict will make you feel excluded and quite possibly make you feel like you didn't actually go on vacation.

Whole9 has discussed this a bit here: http://whole9life.com/2012/07/anatomy-of-a-vacation/

Personally, I have a set of "default rules" - the ones I do not break, ever. There is no dissonance or resistance surrounding them (which means that breaking them doesn't give me any mental relief), they're just part of who I am and how I eat, and I've learned to love them because they're the foundation of my health.

What those rules are will depend on your needs. Personally I will not touch a wheat based product; I may get some incidental gluten from enjoying a good beer or something along those lines, but there's a line that doesn't get crossed, and I'm happy in that fact, I don't feel deprived at all - I feel great and I want to stay that way.

I'd say you should take a look at the fundamentals of your diet and figure out a few options/rules for yourself. You should be able to get some seafood around there. It might be important to realize the benefit of taking an hour to yourself to walk down to a restaurant and have a meal, rather than having pizza on the go with the group.

Have fun!


on February 28, 2013
at 06:59 PM

Well I went to PCB when I was 22 and in great health.

I came back road hard and put up wet. I lost several hours of sleep and gained some weight. I needed atleast another week to recover.

Just make sure you are able to sleep whenever and the party is never in your place.

Just take it easy


on February 28, 2013
at 05:51 PM

If you want to go but mitigate as much damage as possible, go for the least additive-laden alcohol you can get in each situation, and get salads instead of sandwiches or pizza, and eat less than normal (get some IF going, though still eat enough to participate), and take digestive enzymes and other things like that. Just pick less unhealthy vs. more unhealthy, eat less than normal to mitigate damage and engage the healing systems that activate via IF, and take supplements that may mitigate the damage (digestive enzymes? Superfoods like cod liver oil to make sure to compensate for the effect where junk food actually uses more resources than it provides? Bring some of your own sustenance to eat during downtime so as to not be too hungry when presented with junk food? Etc)

Of course the trip would be for the socializing and not the junk food or alcohol in particular. Drink no more alcohol than is necessary to get you into 'social mode', eat no more junk food than lets you fit in and have fun, make better choices over worse ones, etc.

Or just don't go. It just depends on how bad your health issues are right now, and how much damage is expected to happen even if you put all damage-mitigation protocols into effect. Don't let an obsession with health rob you off fun in your life (as good health is never more than the prerequisite for fun!), but at the same time I'd recommend a long-term orientation in your thinking, and if you think passing up on the fun at this stage is necessary for your health, and thus necessary for fun in the future, then pass it up now and just visualize how awesome your life could be in the future if you don't have to worry about health problems, etc!

Good luck! I can sympathize with your dilemma, to say the absolute least! I hope you make the right decision!

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