Italy is the land of exquisite sweets and damn good coffee − and these wonderful things have been wreaking havoc on my body.

Two weeks ago I went to the doctor, and he told me it's time to cut the refined sugar and caffeine after seeing a slight increase in my blood tests and having to listen to me complain about how I was in a constant state of fatigue. Over the last few months, I've found myself in a vicious cycle of starting the day with sugar and caffeine to wake up, feeling fantastic and productive, experiencing a severe crash, then turning right back to sugar and caffeine again to keep going. I'd feel giddy one minute, then total brain fog the next.

I've made peace with the fact that it's going to be hard as hell, but my health is my #1 priority. I haven't had any processed sugar or caffeine since I've walked out the doctor's door two weeks ago. Today I can say that I feel amazing, but the first week was pretty much hell on earth. I had constant headaches, felt even more exhausted and at one point I even thought that I was going to collapse. 

Apparently this final crash is the point where things really changed, and the very next day I found myself with less appetite and a lot more energy − even being able to power through until midnight. 

I didn't think that eliminating no coffee and sugar would bring such a productivity boost, but I'm excited to see where this healthy change takes me in the new year. I'll even try less coffee meetings and more walking meetings...

What did you give up to gain mental clarity?

Elena Ciprietti