by Eden Levitt-Horne, Yana Kane and Isabella Wilson, Opinions writers
graphic by Caitlin Ang
Superfood or Superfluous?
New cleanses, detoxes and diets are always trending, with everyone swearing the new product changed their life. There are millions of products out there that are marketed as healthy, but what is truly beneficial to someone’s well-being and not just a false advertisement from a paid actor?
A popular product marketed as “life-changing” is the Bloom Nutrition Greens and Superfoods powder. It is a supplement consisting of probiotics and nutrients that supposedly provide digestive, immune and energy support. Bloom Greens has been talked about non-stop on social media, so I decided to try the product myself.
I bought the mango-flavored powder and stirred it into a cup with water every morning for seven days; I doubted the results were going to be miraculous, but I expected to see some change in return for the $40 I paid.
When I first drank the juice, I thought it was going to be bitter, but it actually had a sweet flavor. Other than its refreshing taste, the drink’s only effect on me that day was decreasing my hunger.
Over the next two days, drinking the green juice in the morning gave me a beneficial energy boost before school, but I felt no other physical results. As I drank every morning, I noticed that it had more of a mental effect on me than a physical one.
By incorporating this new step into my morning routine, it increased my productivity; just the act of accomplishing a task that was supposed to improve my health motivated me for the day. Making and drinking this juice was just another aspect of my morning to look forward to.
Overall, based on my week-long trial, I think that purchasing this product would not be useful if you’re looking for long-term health results, but it is another reason to get up in the morning and start your day. I do not regret trying this and will continue using it every day, and I think that it is worth a try.
We have all heard countless wellness teachers, doctors and therapists recommend daily meditation as a reliever of stress or anxiety, as well as a way to improve emotional health and self-awareness. I decided to put this to the test. Over the course of one week, I begin meditating for 10 minutes each morning to see its impact on my stress levels.
On my first day, I listened to a guided meditation on YouTube. I was instructed to sit up in a seated position with my limbs relaxed and to release tension from my muscles. I immediately felt lighter and less tense. The video directed me to put any negative thoughts or concerns out of my mind and focus on the task at hand.
At first, this was difficult to do because my mind was busy with a million other thoughts. But with practice, I eventually could solely focus on the meditation session. As I visualized the words of the guide, my room filled with the sounds of rain and birds chirping, giving me the illusion that I was outside.
Using AirPods or headphones made the experience better by blocking out any outside noises. The repetitive nature of the deep breathing created a sense of mindfulness and self-awareness that allowed me to feel less anxious and more centered.
After repeating this cycle of mediation for one week, I noticed that I was far more centered throughout the week, and any worries I had were greatly diminished.
Although I am not an expert in the matter, I’ve realized that in meditating, consistency is key: meditating once can provide immediate short-term results; however, if you want the overall benefits of this practice, the more often you do it, the better.
Meditation is a beneficial tool to become less stressed and improve focus throughout the day, and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of trying this healthy habit.
Scarce to Sufficient Sleep
I’ve never been a 10-12 hours of sleep a night type of person, but over the past few years, my seven-to-eight hours a night has dropped to four-to-six. While I don’t think my lack of sleep greatly impacts me (though science suggests otherwise), I resolved that for this article, I would abandon my night shifts as Tyler Durden and get at least six hours of sleep each night for a week.
Sleep isn’t easy for me, so I tried a couple strategies, starting with listening to meditation podcasts before going to sleep. In the past, I’ve tried meditations my friends and family recommended, but they bored me to death. However, this week, I was all in. Well, I tried to be.
But after three days of listening to a voice instructing me to breathe, overlaid with discombobulated nature sounds, my restlessness persisted and I ultimately ended my illustrious mindfulness career.
Next, I decided to try a different sleep “hack”: listening to music. This method proved to be futile, and I ended up restlessly fixating on the individual songs rather than peacefully drifting to sleep.
After the lack of success in my first two strategies, I decided to take a more methodological approach, downloading an app to record my hours slept and beginning to take naps whenever I had time to spare.
During the week, I followed my standard routine while also tracking my hours slept. While I didn’t regularly achieve eight hours, I found that tracking my daily routine allowed me to hold myself accountable to be more productive — establishing sleep as a priority enabled me to structure my time better.
So, did getting an extra few hours of sleep change my life? Well, kind of. I’m still not quite ready to write a self-help book and start posting my 700-step nighttime routine on TikTok, but I do think that it pushed me to become more mindful of my sleeping habits and hopefully will help me to devise better ones for the future.