Stories & experiences


Day 12

Posted in Quit experiences 08 Jun 2021

Day 12 lol. I honestly didn't think I was going to make it this far. I have made a few changes since my last post, I am returning back to my normal daily routines, such as chores and outside activities. I am still not tracking my food intake, allowing myself to pretty much eat whatever I want. My plan is at my 21 day mark of quitting I will return back to the gym and start eating right again. I feel a sense of relief that I'm only focusing on quitting smoking, and not my diet, and regardless if its really making a difference is irrelevant, because I feel that allowing myself to only stress about not smoking is working.

My behavior is all over the place. I'm starting to feel bi-polar. It seems I go from happy to mad to sad to happy. I snap at my wife on occasion, then I take a few deep breathes and try to get past the anxiety. Then we talk about it, 90% of the time I'm in the wrong and apologize.

When I made it through the first few days it was such a struggle, but there was that sense of accomplishment, "I made it 1 day! I made it 2 Days!" and that was equally met with acknowledgement from my wife and friends about understanding the immense struggles I was getting through. But now I find myself at a weird spot in quitting, the excitement of "quitting" is kind of dying out. Like its no longer a new exciting thing. And even though that is dying out, its still a struggle. Its nice to say that the urges don't feel as frequent, and its does genuinely feel like its getting easier, I still find myself craving cigarettes from time to time through out the day, and my concentration at work and home still waivers considerably.

The biggest factor pushing me now is the 11 days that have passed without smoking. Thinking about that strengthens my resolve when the mental withdraws hit. Another really nice thing I think about is that when I put on my mask when I go outside, I'm no longer met with the smell of stale cigarettes.

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  • sushil June 15, 2021 | 18:20
    There is no copy book style in quitting. every one has his own reasons and own way of quitting. I believe you have made it so far, then you will stay quit. i was regular on my exercises and continued doing that. To me it has been the biggest help in keeping my mood right and energy high. For me all the small achievement mattered no matter how small they were. each gave me happiness. keep it up. Good luck.
  • Mavie, South Western Sydney June 11, 2021 | 19:29
    Well done... It is so hard, but I am trying my best like you
  • Happiness June 09, 2021 | 14:00
    Always remember to think positive. You have made it this far and there is no reason why you should stop now. With each passing day it does become easier and you do become more confident. Your plan seems well thought out, so stick to it.
    Safe is certainly correct in reminding us that we are just one puff away from being full blown nicotine addicts again. His choice of Sunflower seeds does not only keep the hands and the mouth busy, but is very high in Vitamin E which is hard to fine in foods , and it is also high in selenium to keep you Happy. Having to shell them will keep consumption down while benefiting in other ways.

    I copied and pasted the following should anyone be interested.
    Congrats on accomplishing more than you thought you could Soren. We can quit smoking when we CHOOSE to do so.👏👏👏

    Sunflower seeds are especially high in vitamin E and selenium. These function as antioxidants to protect your body’s cells against free radical damage, which plays a role in several chronic diseases (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

    Additionally, sunflower seeds are a good source of beneficial plant compounds, including phenolic acids and flavonoids — which also function as antioxidants (6Trusted Source).

    When sunflower seeds are sprouted, their plant compounds increase. Sprouting also reduces factors that can interfere with mineral absorption. You can buy sprouted, dried sunflower seeds online or in some stores (6Trusted Source).

    Sunflower seeds are excellent sources of several nutrients — including vitamin E and selenium — and beneficial plant compounds that can help prevent chronic diseases.

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    Health Benefits
    Sunflower seeds may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar as they contain vitamin E, magnesium, protein, linoleic fatty acids and several plant compounds (1Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

    Furthermore, studies link sunflower seeds to multiple other health benefits.

    While short-term inflammation is a natural immune response, chronic inflammation is a risk factor for many chronic diseases (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

    For example, increased blood levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes (11Trusted Source).

    In a study in more than 6,000 adults, those who reported eating sunflower seeds and other seeds at least five times a week had 32% lower levels of C-reactive protein compared to people who ate no seeds (11Trusted Source).

    Though this type of study cannot prove cause and effect, it is known that vitamin E — which is abundant in sunflower seeds — helps lower C-reactive protein levels (12Trusted Source).

    Flavonoids and other plant compounds in sunflower seeds also help reduce inflammation (6Trusted Source).

    Heart Disease
    High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, which can lead to heart attack or stroke (13Trusted Source).

    A compound in sunflower seeds blocks an enzyme that causes blood vessels to constrict. As a result, it may help your blood vessels relax, lowering your blood pressure. The magnesium in sunflower seeds helps reduce blood pressure levels as well (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

    Additionally, sunflower seeds are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid. Your body uses linoleic acid to make a hormone-like compound that relaxes blood vessels, promoting lower blood pressure. This fatty acid also helps lower cholesterol (14, 15Trusted Source).

    In a 3-week study, women with type 2 diabetes who ate 1 ounce (30 grams) of sunflower seeds daily as part of a balanced diet experienced a 5% drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number of a reading) (7Trusted Source).

    Participants also noted a 9% and 12% decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, respectively (7Trusted Source).

    Furthermore, in a review of 13 studies, people with the highest linoleic acid intake had a 15% lower risk of heart disease events, such as heart attack, and a 21% lower risk of dying of heart disease, compared to those with the lowest intake (16Trusted Source).

    The effects of sunflower seeds on blood sugar and type 2 diabetes have been tested in a few studies and seem promising, but more research is needed (7Trusted Source, 17).

    Studies suggest that people who eat 1 ounce (30 grams) of sunflower seeds daily as part of a healthy diet may reduce fasting blood sugar by about 10% within six months, compared to a healthy diet alone (7Trusted Source, 18).

    The blood-sugar-lowering effect of sunflower seeds may partially be due to the plant compound chlorogenic acid (19Trusted Source, 20).

    Studies also suggest that adding sunflower seeds to foods like bread may help decrease carbs’ effect on your blood sugar. The seeds’ protein and fat slow the rate at which your stomach empties, allowing a more gradual release of sugar from carbs (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).

    Sunflower seeds contain nutrients and plant compounds that help reduce your risk of inflammation, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

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    Potential Downsides
    While sunflower seeds are healthy, they have several potential downsides.

    Calories and Sodium
    Though rich in nutrients, sunflower seeds are relatively high in calories.

    Eating the seeds in the shell is a simple way to slow your eating pace and calorie intake while snacking, as it takes time to crack open and spit out each shell.

    However, if you’re watching your salt intake, keep in mind that the shells — which people commonly suck on before cracking them open — are often coated with more than 2,500 mg of sodium — 108% of the RDI — per 1/4 cup (30 grams) (23Trusted Source).

    Sodium content may not be apparent if the label only provides nutrition information for the edible portion — the kernels inside the shells. Some brands sell reduced-sodium versions.

    Another reason to eat sunflower seeds in moderation is their cadmium content. This heavy metal can harm your kidneys if you’re exposed to high amounts over a long period (24Trusted Source).

    Sunflowers tend to take up cadmium from the soil and deposit it in their seeds, so they contain somewhat higher amounts than most other foods (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).

    The WHO advises a weekly limit of 490 micrograms (mcg) of cadmium for a 154-pound (70-kg) adult (26Trusted Source).

    When people ate 9 ounces (255 grams) of sunflower seeds per week for one year, their average estimated cadmium intake increased from 65 mcg to 175 mcg per week. That said, this amount didn’t raise their blood levels of cadmium or damage their kidneys (25Trusted Source).

    Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about eating reasonable amounts of sunflower seeds, such as 1 ounce (30 grams) per day — but you shouldn’t eat a bagful in a day.

    Sprouted Seeds
    Sprouting is an increasingly popular method of preparing seeds.

    Occasionally, seeds are contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, which can thrive in the warm, moist conditions of sprouting (27Trusted Source).

    This is of special concern in raw sprouted sunflower seeds, which may not have been heated above 118℉ (48℃).

    Drying sunflower seeds at higher temperatures helps destroy harmful bacteria. One study found that drying partially sprouted sunflower seeds at temperatures of 122℉ (50℃) and above significantly reduced Salmonella presence (27Trusted Source).

    If bacterial contamination is discovered in certain products, they may be recalled — as has happened with raw sprouted sunflower seeds. Never eat recalled products.

    Stool Blockages
    Eating a large number of sunflower seeds at once has occasionally resulted in fecal impaction — or stool blockages — in both children and adults (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).

    Eating sunflower seeds in the shell may increase your odds of fecal impaction, as you may unintentionally eat shell fragments, which your body cannot digest (28Trusted Source).

    An impaction may leave you unable to have a bowel movement. Your doctor may need to remove the blockage while you’re under general anesthesia.

    Besides being constipated due to the fecal impaction, you may leak liquid stool around the blockage and have abdominal pain and nausea, among other symptoms.

    Though allergies to sunflower seeds are relatively uncommon, some cases have been reported. Reactions may include asthma, mouth swelling, itching of the mouth, hay fever, skin rashes, lesions, vomiting and anaphylaxis (2Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).

    The allergens are various proteins in the seeds. Sunflower seed butter — roasted, ground seeds — can be just as allergenic as whole seeds (32Trusted Source).

    Refined sunflower oil is far less likely to contain enough of the allergenic proteins, but in rare cases, highly sensitive people have had reactions to trace amounts in the oil (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source).

    Sunflower seed allergies are more common in people exposed to sunflower plants or seeds as part of their job, such as sunflower farmers and bird breeders (2Trusted Source).

    In your home, feeding pet birds sunflower seeds can release these allergens into the air, which you inhale. Young children may become sensitized to sunflower seeds by exposure to the proteins through damaged skin (32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).

    In addition to food allergies, some people have developed allergies to touching sunflower seeds, such as when making yeast bread with sunflower seeds, resulting in reactions such as itchy, inflamed hands (31Trusted Source).

    Measure sunflower seed portions to avoid excessive calorie intake and potentially high exposure to cadmium. Though uncommon, bacterial contamination of sprouted seeds, sunflower seed allergies and intestinal blockages may occur.

    Tips for Eating
    Sunflower seeds are sold either in the shell or as shelled kernels.

    Those still in the shell are commonly eaten by cracking them with your teeth, then spitting out the shell — which shouldn’t be eaten. These seeds are a particularly popular snack at baseball games and other outdoor sports games.

    Shelled sunflower seeds are more versatile. Here are various ways you can eat them:

    Add to trail mix.
    Stir into homemade granola bars.
    Sprinkle on a leafy green salad.
    Stir into hot or cold cereal.
    Sprinkle over fruit or yogurt parfaits.
    Add to stir-fries.
    Stir into tuna or chicken salad.
    Sprinkle over sautéed vegetables.
    Add to veggie burgers.
    Use in place of pine nuts in pesto.
    Top casseroles.
    Grind the seeds and use as a coating for fish.
    Add to baked goods, such as breads and muffins.
    Dip an apple or banana in sunflower seed butter.
    Sunflower seeds may turn blue-green when baked. This is due to a harmless chemical reaction between the seeds’ chlorogenic acid and baking soda — but you can reduce the amount of baking soda to minimize this reaction (35Trusted Source).

    Lastly, sunflower seeds are prone to becoming rancid due to their high fat content. Store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator or freezer to protect against rancidity.

    Unshelled sunflower seeds are a popular snack, while shelled varieties can be eaten by the handful or added to any number of foods, such as trail mix, salads and baked goods.

    The Bottom Line
    Sunflower seeds make for a nutty, crunchy snack and a tasty addition to countless dishes.

    They pack various nutrients and plant compounds that may help fight inflammation, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

    Still, they’re calorie-dense and may lead to unwanted side effects if you eat too many.

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  • Jessfreeof, Northern NSW June 09, 2021 | 6:41
    Well done you are doing so well🙌
  • Safe2017 June 09, 2021 | 5:57
    12 days without a smoke is a major achievement already. As others pointed out go NOPE. When I was at the start of my quit I was eating lots of shelled sunflower seed and chewed gum. Benefits from sunflowers was twofold: 1) they greatly helped to reduce cravings, and 2) Hand to mouth motion was similar to cig to mouth motor reflexes that i missed so much. Good luck and stay strong. Cheers
  • PuffNoMore, Southern NSW June 08, 2021 | 23:05
    You are doing great and its very refreshing to remind us all of some resolve and determination in NOT SMOKING!
    The Quit Smoking begins, the moment we SMOKED our last one!
    I'm not going to declare, that to stop smoking is easy. And, i am absolutely certain that one more Puff, will keep us hooked!

    Unless, you you are one in 5,000 of the lucky one's who can have one here or there, without getting tricked into it, again?

    I wouldn't recommend one more Puff. I've been there and done that. It is so wonderful to be free of it now$$$

    i PuffNoMore
  • softly40, Mid North Coast June 08, 2021 | 20:51
    So good to hear you have support from the people who love you. I can remember for me it felt like a roller coaster so I figured I might aswell enjoy the ride. Our emotions are something we need to look into throughout our quit. It will teach you many things as you progress. This is something you also need to enjoy. I am so glad you found one "positive" in putting on your mask. You plan seems a good one of resolving one thing at a time and going to the gym is also a plus... Urges are just thoughts let them float away or push them away however you feel at the time, but don't let the Nicotine drug win. Keep winning posting and reading one day at a time NOPE (not one puff ever) Well done

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