Halloween Treats for Every Craving

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When I was younger, Halloween was one of my absolute favorite holidays. I mean, we are talking about playing dress-up, candies and chocolates here! But now, as I have grown into an adult, I have more reasons than ever to crave something special.

Yes ladies, I’m talking about periods here.

Obviously, having your period on Halloween is not ideal and all that sugar from candy can make your symptoms worse. But it also isn’t all bad. In today’s blog post, I am going to share with you some healthy Halloween treats for every craving so you can still enjoy a yummy treat no matter when your period strikes.

Craving: Sweet

If your body is calling for something sweet, try these Spookishly Delicious Granola Bars! You won’t even miss the candy.

granola-bars.editYou will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups rice crisp cereal
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Orange food colouring
  • Tootsie rolls

Instructions:

  1. Line a 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crisp cereal, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt and mix.
  3. In a small saucepan, stir together the maple syrup and peanut butter until well combined. Cook over medium to heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Optional: Add some orange food coloring until your mixture takes on a pumpkin-orange color.
  5. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture and mix until the oats and cereal are coated.
  6. Spreading it out into an even layer into your cake pan.
  7. Option: Add tootsie rolls for garnish.
  8. Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 10 minutes, or until firm.
  9. When cool, slice the bars into 12 and store them in an airtight container in your fridge.

Ta-da! Enjoy your deliciously sweet treat!

Craving: Salty 

If you’re craving something a little less sweet, and a lot more salty, try a batch of this Pumpkin Patch Mix!

nut-mix.editjpgYou will need:

  • 3 cups mixed nuts
  • Pretzels
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you are feeling something spicy!)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and toss until mix is coated.
  2. Separate desired amount of each treat into a baggy. And voila! You have a salty treat to combat cravings! (Bonus: you can take it anywhere where cravings might hit!)

Craving: Chocolate

There is nothing as satisfying as chocolate when on your period, and Halloween certainly has that in abundance! Try these Witch Brooms to help you feel a little bit better.

chocolate-dipped-bananas.editjpgYou Will Need:

  • Bananas
  • Chocolate chips
  • Pretzel sticks or lollipop sticks

Instructions:

  1. Melt some chocolate in a microwave safe bowl until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  2. Cut bananas into small chunks and dip into the chocolate mix.
  3. Place dipped bananas on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  4. Place a pretzel stick in the top of each banana.
  5. When you are done dipping your bananas, place them in the freezer until chocolate is solidified.
  6. Enjoy this bewitchingly delicious treat!

What are some of your favorite period treats? Share them with us at @TheDivaCup on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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Diary of a Diva: Cross-country Bike Adventures with The DivaCup

Cross-country tours, what a life. Whether by car or bike, you’ll be on the road for quite some time. As a women, I can think of a few reasons why this is not ideal. This past summer I was on the road for a number of weeks with the non-profit organization Bike & Build. Our cause was to bike across the country to volunteer and raise awareness for affordable housing. 32 of us started in Portland, Maine on June 18th. We had 4,000 miles to ride before we reached our end in Santa Barbara, California, which also meant myself and 19 other women would have our periods, likely at the same time, on the trip.

While I was preparing for this trip, I honestly had no idea what I’d do for my period needs. I had heard about The DivaCup, but never really got around to trying it. I knew I’d be logging a ton of hours in the bike saddle each day and really needed to find a better solution for my period.

Cycling has been a prominent part of my life since I was little. My dad and I would mountain bike in the Catskills, spending hours on tiny, hidden trails, leading to mesmerizing cliff side views or secluded lakes. Now that I live in NYC, cycling is my sole mode of transportation. As I’ve grown, it’s become extremely important for me to channel a sustainable and thoughtful lifestyle. I’ve no need for a car, and the idea of burning gasoline while living in NYC on a 16 mile island is absolutely blasphemous. I’m all about using my own ingenuity and energy to get around, which is why being a cyclist is so amazing. The city is at my fingertips; wind blowing in my hair, and my view uninhibited by cars or subways – the freedom I feel is unexplainable. So of course The DivaCup iStock_000058371900_Mediummantra is one that syncs perfectly with my state of mind.

What first drew me to The DivaCup was its sustainability factors: reusable, free of harmful dyes or chemicals, non-invasive design, waste-free, and better for your overall health. I also thoroughly enjoy the idea of saving money, and can’t fathom the amount of money I’ve spent on tampons over the years.

The “lady love” aspect of cycling and The DivaCup are both equally important too. Cycling has empowered me: I rely on myself for travel, I bike through all kinds of wicked weather, and leave a clean, no-trace footprint on the earth. The DivaCup functions by similar means via providing a friendlier, efficient way to handle my period.

So how has The DivaCup benefited my cross-country adventures so far?

In the first 4 days of our trip, our team traveled over 200 miles across 3 states. That’s about 7-10 hours in the saddle each day, mostly on remote country roads. Obviously, it is both unsafe and uncomfortable to use other methods for that amount of time. The DivaCup sort of saved my life and my integrity out of sheer convenience.

The 12 hour factor is great, although as a first time user with a pretty heavy first day, it got a little hairy. However, I learned quickly its capacity and just changed it more regularly. Once in, I can’t even feel it, even when doing a high-intensity ride. Comfort while riding long distances is key and The DivaCup provides that flawlessly, which has me breathing a lot easier on the road.

I’ve noticed that I ride harder and have less desire to stop because I know my period is in check; that’s the best thing to have happened yet! I enjoy my ride days so much more, and can take in the sights with confidence. It’s lead to some wonderful off-the-bike explorations, with countless more to follow.

In Bike & Build, each rider also has a restriction on the amount of personal items that they can bring. The DivaCup’s portability is like a blessing in disguise. It saves a gigantic amount of space in my bin, and it’s easy to stow in a saddle bag or jersey pocket. Overall, I see The DivaCup as a progressive product made by women for women, with functionality, comfort and feminine well-being in mind.

For the Divas who travel off the beaten path, I wholeheartedly suggest giving The DivaCup a try. It’s been an ease through my first-ever period on the road and I no longer dread my upcoming “time of the month.” My fellow B&B ladies echo my carefree ease, and thanks to The DivaCup we can put our entire energy into riding for affordable housing, without period qualms of the past!

kimKim M. 
Kim is a 22 year old from a small New Jersey town named Mahwah. She graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in photography and has been living in Brooklyn for the last 4 years. She is an avid cyclist who likes to spend her summers exploring the forests of Southern New Hampshire. She also enjoys yoga, reading, making friends with dogs on the street, cooking and swimming in vast bodies of water. Kim is a nomad at heart and loves being active and outdoors.

 

 

Preparing for Midterms (While on Your Period)

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Periods can make you feel uncomfortable, stressed out and lethargic… not ideal conditions for studying for a midterm. Having your period during your midterm week is not ideal but it happens. But don’t start pulling your hair out just yet! Here are some tips to help you get through:

Be Prepared

The DivaCup: The last thing you need to be doing when you’re trying to study is worrying about leaks or having to take lots of bathroom breaks to change your tampon. With The DivaCup, you can focus on the task at hand because it is comfortable and you are able to wear it for 12 hours at a time.

Hot water bottle: Having a hot water bottle handy will help you to use cramps while you study.

Pain relief: Drink some red raspberry leaf tea for some symptom relief or pop a pain reliever if your cramps start getting out of hand. You can also find teas on the market specifically made to help you manage your cramps and PMS symptoms, like Be Prepared Period’s Cramp Tea. Unsure of whether tea is the right fit for you? Enter The DivaCup’s giveaway with Be Prepared Period to win a free tin and try it for yourself!

Stay focused
Plan it out:
Know what exams are when and which ones you should study for early on. Schedule out a specific time on a specific day to study specific information. A great idea is to break it down into chapters or lessons.

Listen to music: If you are anything like me I can’t focus in the eerily quiet. Luckily for us, there are tons of playlists to choose from that offer anything from background noise to instrumental music.

Find your study niche: Do you study better in a group in the library or alone at home? Find out what helps you to focus and understand and stick with it.iStock_000055378844_Small

Listen to your body
Take a break: If you are feelings exhausted or on the brink of a mental breakdown, take a step away from your studies and do something else. Whether that something is talking to your roommates or going for a walk, you want to find a way to calm your mind and avoid over stressing.

Sleep well: It may be tempting to pull an all-nighter but avoid the urge. Without getting the proper amount of sleep your body is going to have a hard time recouping from the past day, especially when it is currently menstruating. So hit the hay early, get a restful night’s sleep and you’ll be able to better deal with tomorrow’s studying or exam.

Talk with friends: You don’t have to suffer alone. If you’re feeling down in the dumps or starting to panic that you will never understand anything, school is a waste and you should become a cat lady. Sloooow down. Go talk with your friends or call your Mom and just chat it out. Sometimes you just need a new perspective to calm you down and keep you from giving up academics forever.

Nourish yourself

Hydrate:  Obviously, water is an easy way to hydrate and is essential in keeping your body and brain functioning optimally. If you get bored of water easily, feel free to toss in some lemon, cucumber and mint for a refreshing change! You can try any mix of fruits and totally customize your water to your taste, so no more excuses!

Also, certain teas may benefit you during your period by offering cramp relief, but tea in general is a great way to relax your body and mind while studying. Put down the energy drinks and the coffee and try some teas instead. I have been loving red raspberry leaf tea which can help with period irregularity and PMS symptoms, or you can try this delicious mix created by Be Prepared Period specifically for cramp relief!

Eat healthy:  I know how tempting it can be to go across the street to McDonald’s or go to the cafeteria for mac and cheese, but these foods will often leave you feeling worse than before. Instead, think about eating foods that are high in fibre and protein, whole grains, yogurt, dark chocolate and leafy greens. Not only will these foods help your body through menstruation, they will also help your brain focus and body energy.

Calm down: I would be lying if I said that I remained as cool as a cucumber during my study time. It is totally normal to have moments of panic but it isn’t necessarily the best way to handle your stress. Instead, when you notice that you are starting to lose your mind, take a step away from your textbooks and go for a walk or do some yoga. Do something that helps you relax so that you can focus on studying what you need to know instead of making up awful scenarios of failure in your mind.

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Tea Time with Be Prepared Period

Tea has been known for centuries to have healing benefits for the body and mind. But did you know that tea also has effective healing benefits for your period and PMS symptoms? Tara and the Be Prepared Period Team knows just how awesome the effects of tea can be for girls and women during their period and that is why they have created yummy blends for all women to try. Hear what they have to say about tea and its amazing benefits for your period:

What motivated you to add tea to the Be Prepared Period Shop? Why tea?

I am a tea lover, my absolute favorite being chai. The experience of drinking tea – the world’s most popular beverage besides water, is unlike anything else. Sipping on the hot, flavorful liquid for a short while is an escape, or a way to envision positivity. Tea means not only relaxation and indulgence, but also community. We get together with friends for a cup of tea, have high tea with delicious accompaniments or finish a nourishing family meal with our favorite cup. I want women to have this experience, and balance their hormones at the same time. There is no reason why balancing hormones, health or happiness should be negative and/or extremely difficult. Using a tasty, nourishing herbal blend will not only balance health but also help you connect with the pleasant experience of drinking tea. You’ll WANT to make this a part of your life, rather than feeling you HAVE to.

How can women decide which tea is right for them?IMG_9916

While the names are pretty self-explanatory, the teas are helpful beyond basic menstrual cramps and hot flashes. If you have other pain, or bothersome PMS symptoms, then Cramp Tea is your best bet. If you are going through menopause, and have noticed other symptoms like low libido, vaginal dryness and low mood, Hot Flash Tea is for you. Hot Flash Tea can also be used for other uncomfortable temperatures, like night sweats or hot flashes associated with stress, panic and possibly heart problems.

How can tea help with period symptoms?

Our teas are specially blended with organic/wild crafted medicinal herbs, all of which have been used for thousands of years in balancing the female system. These herbs contain many different properties, including volatile oils, vitamins and minerals.

We formulated the specific herbs in each tea with our friend and partner, The Hormone Diva (a holistic nutritionist) to be extremely effective for its namesake symptom. These herbs gently work on many organs of the body, including our uterus, ovaries, liver, bowels and kidneys. The herbs are also balancing to the brain and nervous system; an inflamed brain often leads to hormonal imbalances. Over time you will notice not only a reduction in cramps or hot flashes, but a reduction of your hormonal symptoms in their entirety, including low moods and libido, irregular or heavy periods and the like.

IMG_0218What if you are not a big tea drinker? Are there any tips for making tea taste better?

Absolutely! Find a brewing method that you like. Some women prefer to make iced tea, as they aren’t big on the taste/experience of drinking hot beverages. You can also sweeten the mix with liquid stevia, raw honey, agave or maple syrup. If there are certain herbs or teas that you LIKE the taste of, feel free to mix them in. Sometimes I like to make my Cramp Tea with green tea, for example, to get extra nutrients and a bit of a taste change. You can also use the brewed tea as a base for things like smoothies, where you won’t even notice the taste. Add in some squeezed lemon, lime or orange juice to hot or iced tea. You could also add some sprigs of mint, some cucumber slices or berries to flavor the mix if you’re doing iced tea. These teas were blended with YOU in mind – to already be insanely tasty. But, make it your own and add what you like to motivate you to drink the tea regularly.

 How much tea do you have to drink to benefit from it?

We provide instructions on how to receive maximum benefits with every tea purchase. But, for most drinking between 2-4 cups daily with breaks here and there should do the trick. Depending on the severity of the problem, take the tea as directed for three months or three menstrual cycles to receive maximum benefits.

 What do you suggest for those new or unfamiliar with natural alternatives?

We totally understand that “going natural” can be unnerving or scary for some people, and we have something for them, too! Our free Benefits of Brewing email series highlights the herbs used in our tea blends, as well as a background on natural medicine, teas, and at-home remedies to try. Everyone starts somewhere; we commend those for taking an active role in their health!

Did we pique your curiosity? Want the chance to experience the benefits of tea for your next cycle? Well, you’re in luck! Until October 25th, Be Prepared Period is offering a free tin of Cramp Tea when you purchase The DivaCup from their online store! Be sure to use Promo Code Diva+Tea when you check out!

And, what’s more, in partnership with Be Prepared Period, we are hosting a giveaway for you to win The DivaCup and DivaWash, a tin of Cramp tea, and some adorable tea accessories! Giveaway starts Monday October 19th at 12 noon (EST) on The DivaCup Facebook page.

FF_Be Prepared Period_lo-03Tara Bruley is the founder of BePreparedPeriod.com, a website designed to be a one stop shop for all things menstrual. Her mission is to empower ladies of all ages have a healthier, better period by providing numerous resources – resources that include an online store (with one of the largest selections of traditional, organic, and eco-friendly products featuring The DivaCup!), a library of helpful articles, a PeriodTalk Q&A forum and more. Connect with Tara on her website, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

Challenging all women to have a healthier, better period she’s happy to offer a free copy of the Better Your Period Action Guide. Download it here.

 

 

How to Kick Butt like a Diva on National Kick Butt Day!

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With the cooler weather moving in and your course load getting heavier, it is hard not to feel a little bit overwhelmed and unmotivated. But since today is National Kick Butt Day, what better way to beat the mid-semester funk than to motivate yourself and inspire others?!

Try out some of these tips to celebrate National Kick Butt Day like a true Diva:

Kick Butt…Literally: Want to know the quickest way to feel more motivated and get your endorphins pumping? Get some exercise! Whether that is taking a kick-boxing class or joining a weekend boot camp with your roommates, use today as an opportunity to fight back against that little voice in your head that is telling you to lie in bed all day with a bag of chips. You will surprise yourself with how much more energetic, and optimistic, you feel by kicking your workouts into high gear!iStock_000015337748_Small

Kick Butt in the Community: Have you ever noticed that when you are around motivated people you begin to feel motivated as well? Getting involved is one of the easiest way to get yourself out of the post-summer blues and get inspired. Think about joining a club, helping out with a fundraiser or volunteer opportunity, or even just helping a friend out with their essay. Offering your time to be with and help other people will instantly make you feel better and give you that kick in the butt you needed! (Pun intended).

Kick Butt in Class: It is totally normal to want to go into hiding when assignments and readings and tests start to pile up, but you can easily help yourself get back on track. Spend some time organizing your due dates so you know what is on the horizon and prioritize assignments to avoid feeling burnt out. By taking some time to do these two simple things you will be able to alleviate some stress, put a fresh outlook towards your classes and maybe even have some extra time to do something fun with your friends!

What are some of the ways you are planning to kick butt like a Diva? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @TheDivacup!

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Providing Period Care for Pader Girls Academy

This past spring, Diva International Inc. partnered with Lunapads in support of their One4Her program in recognition of Menstrual Hygiene Day. We committed to donate an AFRIpads Kit (5 reusable pads and 1 carrying bag) for every DivaCup sold on Lunapads.com during the month of May. Each kit provides a girl with a sustainable supply of cloth pads to manage her period for over a year.

This year, thanks to our Divas, we were able to go above and beyond our goal of 500 kits with a total of 524 kits to girls in need!pader

These pads were distributed to the child mothers studying at Pader Girls Academy, in Uganda. The young girls who live at PGA have been victims of rape, coercion or abduction (due to Uganda’s 25-year civil war) and have missed the opportunity to continue their education as child mothers are often stigmatized.

However, with its special day care services and opportunity for vocational and secondary education, PGA is a rare opportunity for these strong young women to continue their education, and learn to advocate for themselves and their families.

Recently, Diva International Inc. received a letter from Denis Ongaya, Deputy Program Director of PGA, expressing his thanks for Diva and Lunapads’ help.

On behalf of the management and students of Pader Girls’ Academy, we sincerely appreciate Lunapads and Diva International Inc. for the support extended to the disadvantaged girls in this school. This support will go a long way to enhancing our on-going efforts in improving learning at the school by increasing convenience to the mothers as they attend classes during their menses.

The Afripads kits were distributed to 229 girls in the school each receiving one kit leaving a balance of 295. The balance is still kept at the school and will be distributed to the vocational students expected to report for non-formal learning in third term 2015.

pader2At Diva International Inc., menstrual hygiene management means a lot to us and we believe that all women deserve to manage their period safely and with dignity. All too often, supplies needed for period care are difficult to find due to poverty and limited resources, but thanks to Lunapads and our Divas we were able to supply these much needed supplies to the young women at PGA.

But the fight is not over. Please take some time to learn about Menstrual Hygiene Day and how you can work to fight poverty, menstrual taboos and how to ensure that women around the world can receive the basic needs they deserve. Together we can show the world that #MenstruationMatters!

Help change a young girl’s life by donating to Pads4Girls or shop to support One4Her today!

 

 

 

 

Bring Day of the Girl to Campus

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It is very easy to forget how lucky we are to have the ability to speak our minds, go to school and control our futures as girls. There are many girls all over the world who are stripped of these rights and instead are systematically degraded and disrespected.

Day of the GirlTwo years ago, the United Nations declared that every October 11th will be known as International Day of the Girl to highlight, discuss and take action towards improving the lives and opportunities of girls all over the world. And now, with International Day of the Girl just around the corner, it is your chance to bring awareness to your campus and work to empower and create brighter futures for girls just like us in other parts of the world.

Below are just some of the ways you can participate in International Day of the Girl right on campus!

Fundraise. There is no shortage of charities that work to improve the lives of girls, and certainly no shortage of ways to offer your support. If you are part of a club, organization or sorority, consider running a fundraiser and donating your profits to charities like United Nation’s Girl Up, Because I am a Girl, or Lunapads’ One4Her program to help keep girls in school and work to better the lives of girls living all over the world.

Attend or volunteer at an event. Check out if there are any local events on or off campus that are celebrating International Day of the Girl and find out how to get involved. If you aren’t able to find opportunities to get involved in, consider starting a Girl Up club on campus to help raise money to support the education, health and safety of girls all over the world.

Spread the word. With the help of social media, we have a lot of power at our disposal. Consider using your social media accounts to support International Day of the Girl and its messages. Consider joining the Day of the Girl 11 Days of Action campaign, joining Because I am a Girl’s #BrighterFuture movement, or considering challenging yourself to ‘do it in a dress’ with One Girl.

Let us know how you are celebrating International Day of the Girl on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #TheDivaCup!

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10 Unexpected Uses for the DivaWash

DivaWash was created with The DivaCup in mind. We wanted to give our Divas a way to clean their cup without compromising the integrity of the silicone or upsetting the natural pH of the vaginal canal. Our DivaWash is botanically-enriched and contains no added parabens, sulfates or petrochemicals and is designed to protect the material of The DivaCup with every wash. Little did we know, with naturally sourced and high quality ingredients, our DivaWash could be used for so much more!

Check out these cool ways you can use your DivaWash for at home and on-the-go!

DivaWash

Body and Face Cleanser:

The formula of this product is pH balanced and non-drying. Great for sensitive skin in need of a gentle cleansing!

Sulfate-Free Shampoo:

In a pinch, DivaWash can make a great substitute for shampoo. It creates a lather that won’t dry out your strands and rinses out with no residue!

Shaving Cream:

Because DivaWash is safe for sensitive skin and creates a lather, it makes an excellent alternative to shaving cream.

Cleans Makeup Brushes:

DivaWash cleans well and leaves no residue, making it a great option to clean those makeup brushes!

DIY Foaming Hand Soap:

Because DivaWash is concentrated, you can mix 2 parts water to 1 part DivaWash in a foaming hand soap bottle and voila, you have your very own foaming hand soap that will keep your hands clean and soft.

Baby Bubble Bath:

Mix a little DivaWash in with your baby’s bath and you’ll get bubbles that won’t irritate your baby’s sensitive skin!

Washing Pets:

Pets have sensitive skin too! Use DivaWash next time you’re giving them a bath for a clean coat and soft skin.

Travel:

The multi-uses of DivaWash make it an awesome travel companion. Now you can wash The DivaCup, your skin, your face, and your hair with one product! Travelers rejoice!

DIY Exfoliating Scrub:

Mix some sea salt or brown sugar in with your DivaWash and you’ve got a cleansing and exfoliating (not to mention natural) scrub for face and body!

Cleans Counters:

Is your kitchen or bathroom counter looking a little worse for wear? Create a paste using a little bit of DivaWash mixed with baking soda to scrub away grime without the harsh chemicals!

Find out more about DivaWash here and be sure to share with us how DivaWash has made your life a little bit simpler using #divawash!