How is What You Eat Affecting Your Period?

Period Eats

Ever heard that age old saying: you are what you eat!

Well Divas, it’s time to start taking nutrition more seriously. After all, nutrition is a huge factor that influences our everyday lives. When done right it can make amazing improvements on our general health and well-being, it can even help with those pesky period symptoms. Now, there are many things that influence our bodies, not just what we eat, including our own menstrual cycle. In fact what we eat, how we exercise and where we are in our menstrual cycle all tends to work with (or against) each other and can affect our PMS symptoms, and possibly even disrupt our menstrual cycles. This means we have to get more in touch with our cycles and understand how foods affects our bodies in both positive and negative ways.

First we recommend you take the time to understand your menstrual cycle. This means researching and understanding what is happening to your body during the different phases of your cycle. For example when your period is about to begin, your progesterone levels rise as your body prepares to shed the uterine lining and this as well as other factors can cause you to experience PMS symptoms. Understanding your cycle and body can be a very liberating experience. In fact many users of The DivaCup like the fact that they get to know more about their body and menstrual flow when using the cup.

There is a lot to learn about menstruation and diet, too much in fact for just one blog post! An interesting book that discusses the importance of considering your cycle when it comes to nutrition and exercise is “The 28 days Lighter Diet”. Some of the great tips from this book and from other industry generated experience have been combined to bring you a collection of tips and tricks to help you achieve a healthier period.

First let’s talk about what we should do:

sleep

Sleep.

During your period your body is hard at work as hormone levels rise and your uterine lining sheds. Conserving energy with an extra bit of sleep is an excellent way to help you feel better during your period. An 8 hour sleep during your menstrual cycle is also important to help your body stay healthy and when your period hits, we recommend adding an extra half hour to your sleep regiment. Trust us, it helps!

Calcium.

Calcium is very important for women and is needed on a regular basis. If women do not get enough calcium it can lead to painful cramping and can also cause hormonal imbalances. Though calcium is also available in supplement form, it is important to discuss the incorporation of supplements with you health care practitioners before starting any supplement programs. Some great natural sources of calcium include sesame seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, quinoa and beans.

Iron.

Is a common nutrient-deficiency in women and if you find yourself looking pale, feeling tired or cold, you may have an iron deficiency. We lose iron every month with our menstrual flow and so it must be replenished. There are many natural sources of iron such as chickpeas, lentils, seafood, cooked spinach, pumpkin seeds and beef to provide the iron that is needed for our bodies.

Protein.

Is an essential part of every woman’s diet as it provides valuable energy to the body. There are many different sources of protein that you can draw on but we recommend eating whole foods such as whole fruit, veggies and wheat, which are all excellent forms of protein. Chicken, beef and fish are also great sources of protein. Looking for more energy in your day? Eat more protein.

Vitamin E.

An antioxidant that improves circulation, Vitamine E can be a very beneficial nutrient when on your period. Some of the symptoms of being vitamin E deficient are dryness of the skin, lips and hair. Vitamin E can help to relieve period symptoms and it can be found in foods like avocados, egg yolks, spinach, seeds, and broccoli.

water

Hydration.

Women lose about 1-2 ounces of blood during a regular period, so you need to keep drinking water to replace your body’s loss of fluid. It is recommended that you drink roughly 8 glasses of water a day, now a lot of you might have heard this numerous times before and drinking the recommended amount seems next to impossible, but you don’t have to just drink water. You can get your recommended amount of water by eating more steamed vegetables, soups, smoothies and oils in your diet. Also avoid things that dehydrate you like coffee, sugar and alcohol.

Magnesium.

An essential nutrient and a natural muscle relaxant that has been shown to help or even sometimes prevent period symptoms can be found in many foods such as beans, tofu and peanuts. Note: women who are deficient in magnesium often find themselves craving sugars such as chocolate because magnesium affects our blood sugar levels, which if low makes our bodies start to crave sugars. You may also want to be a little bit cautious of having high doses of magnesium, as too much magnesium can have a laxative effect.

Vitamin B6.

Aids in the metabolism of proteins and red blood cells and has been cited in numerous studies to relieve depression. Some vitamin B6 rich foods are potatoes, bananas and oatmeal.

Now let’s look at a few foods to limit for a healthy reproductive cycle and better nutrition overall.

You may not want to read this, but the best dietary changes to make are the ones we don’t really  want to make. This means that we need to limit or cut out artificial sugars, caffeine, smoking and alcohol.

Sugars.

It is important to manage your refined sugar intake not only because it can make you gain weight, but it can also disrupt your body’s blood sugar levels. Eating sugary foods will cause your blood sugar levels to go up and the higher your blood sugar goes, the more sever your period symptoms may be. It’s important to keep them at a steady level and so we recommend natural sugars in moderation.

Caffeine.

The ol’ morning motivator can cause heightened anxiety and lead to sleep deprivation, which in turn can cause PMS symptoms. Though it is worth noting that some people may find that a little bit of caffeine can help with period cramps.

Smoking.

Smoking can be very dangerous as it can disrupt and cause irregularities to your menstrual cycle.

Alcohol.

A depressant that often makes PMS symptoms worse.
And there you have it, some great suggestions on what to eat, and not eat, for a healthier period and lifestyle in general. It is important to make the right food choices, particularly when you have PMS, as eating healthy can help to beat those pesky PMS symptoms for good.

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Book Feature:

Ellen Barrett and Kate Hanley are the co-authors of the brand new book The 28 Days Lighter Diet: Your Monthly Plan to Lose Weight, End PMS, and Achieve Physical and Emotional Wellness. The book covers how to sync your diet, exercise, and life to your cycle, so you’re working with your body instead of beating it into submission.

 

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Diary of Diva: Trailblazing in Music Education, and Teacher Survival, with The DivaCup

I’m Maegan, 26, and a seriously ambitious public school Music teacher. I don’t have time to tinkle, much less worry about pads, tampons and obsessively checking to see if my clothes are ruined! I am also quite prone to UTI’s regardless of cranberry supplements, and don’t even get me started on how much “supplies” cost. We don’t teach for the money! Spending $30+ a month on pads, tampons, travel wipes, new underwear and sheets just doesn’t fit in the budget.

So after a little research I thought, “Ok, let’s give The DivaCup a shot.”

Absolute magic ensued.

After a little practice, The DivaCup was the most natural thing in the world to insert and remove. It fits even us tiny-down-under girls! I put it in the day of my period, and never even knew it arrived! It never leaked! Even on my heaviest day and heaviest night, which always seem like a gushing lava flow to me, it was hardly filled halfway. I can sleep without worrying about waking up in a red puddle. And at work I attend to regular business and empty it out when I get home.

IMG_6027Once in the morning, once before bed – that’s it!

Hiking or camping with my period? I’d never have even considered it, but with The DivaCup I was perfectly happy hiking through Blue Ridge Mountains with my dog, all the way up Mt. Mitchell!

Ok, so what happens when you get home and have to empty it out? Yes, you’re going to have to wash your hands, but it’s not going to spill all over you and your clothes, and since your flow never reaches your vaginal opening you’re squeaky clean all day.

Just wash it out, slip it back in, and get on with your life!

I will NEVER go back to pads and tampons, and I only just finished my first cycle with The DivaCup! Do yourself, your wardrobe, budget and the environment a favor and give it a try. A period without bother or worry – what more could you ask for? My life has certainly changed for the better

IMG_6750Bio: Maegan M

Maegan is a 26 year old professional Music Educator from New Hampshire, now living in Western North Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire and is now trailblazing new outlooks on elementary music education, while blazing the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She spends her time with her pit bull mix and ridiculously talented bluegrass musician fiance roaming the woods, knitting, spinning and making warm things.

Diary of a Diva: Fear No More With The DivaCup!

menstrual-cupI have used tampons for 14 years, since my first period came. I’ve always dealt with leaking and having to wear pads as well as tampons.

Since I had my son a year and a half ago it seemed like my flow got heavier and nothing could control it, not even super plus tampons. That is until a coworker of mine was talking about the same issue she had after having her daughter. Her solution? She switched to a menstrual cup.

I ordered The DivaCup online and it came just in time for my period! I will not miss tampons or pads and The DivaCup was surprisingly easy to insert, no vaginal discomfort at all. I was very nervous because I read about a learning curve for placement and removal.

Placement was easy, I didn’t even know it was there and by the end of my very first cycle with The DivaCup I had removal down as well. I figured out quickly how long I could wear it on my heaviest days. I work in a dental setting and see between 8-14 patients a day. Before I would have to run to the bathroom to check for leaks in between every patient.

No more of that!

I wore it all day at work, no leaks, no panicking. It’s almost like I’m not on my period at all. I think about it twice a day instead of all day feeling uncomfortable. I cannot believe I didn’t know about this sooner. I wish I had, but I’m so glad I met someone that openly talked about it. I feel like before, my period controlled or limited what I was able to do that week. Swimming at a pond with no restroom available was a nightmare. My regular running routine was affected. Not to mention constantly feeling like I’m leaking, or that dreaded swoosh feeling… then running to the restroom.

close up of hat and slippers at seasideI’m not even sweating knowing my beach vacation next month falls on the same week as my expected period. I know I’ll be able to place the cup in before I go to the beach, swim all day with my husband and son, come back and still have no leaks! This has definitely changed my period and this was what I realized the very first day of my cycle using The DivaCup! I will never go back to the old ways of dealing with a period. I am a DivaCup user for life! This product is worth any fear or any cost. Going through a box of tampons and pads cost at least $13 a month. The DivaCup is going to pay for itself within 2-3 months of my purchase. There’s no waste and it’s eco-friendly, which is a great bonus!

I knew my coworker used The DivaCup for a couple months before I got brave enough to order it. I wish I would have ordered it the day she was talking about it. It has changed my period week into a no-sweat, no-dread, not-even-thinking-about-it week.

Everyone should try this.

There is nothing to lose! It’s affordable, easy-to-use and you will not regret it!

Thank you so much!

Jackie

Jackie is a busy mom always on the go. She enjoys running, swimming and spending time with her family! Jackie is an outdoor enthusiast who loves adventure.

Divas, What’s in Your Closet?

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April is Earth Month and with many initiatives in place to help keep our planet clean and healthy, The Diva Team wants to do our part by sharing some eco-friendly tips! With spring just around the corner, what better place to start being eco-friendly than with your own closet? I’m sure many of you are wondering what Earth Month and clothing have in common? Two words: vintage clothing.

vintage2Unique
Ever go to a party and realize that someone is wearing the same top as you? When purchasing a vintage item, you’re getting a piece that can’t be found at any chain stores and is often a one of a kind. Vintage clothing also gives us the opportunity to bring back old fashion styles and make it new again. You can also use different items and styles to make it your own… so why not start a new fashion trend and step out from the crowd? There are many Pinterest boards out there with ideas on a variety of vintage clothing styles!

Recycling

Aside from the trends and style, you’re probably wondering how vintage clothing can help make a positive environmental impact? Buying vintage clothing is not only a stylish choice but it is also recycling! Vintage clothing is previously-loved or previously-used clothing from a past era, brought back, and worn as a new style. By doing this, you’re recycling the items instead of purchasing new ones! Essentially, you’re not taxing the natural resources required for new clothing production and avoiding the further pollution, dyes and chemicals used in and caused by the production of new pieces of clothing. Plus by buying used clothing or donating old pieces you no longer wear, you are also saving these items from landfills. Now that’s a win-win situation!

Quality
clothes on a rack on a flea market.Today, it’s hard to find nice quality clothing for a decent price. Yes, vintage clothing is used and older, but it doesn’t tend to look worn out and is usually sold with a more reasonable price-tag! Some vintage items were even produced with better techniques and materials than mass-produced items today. This larger emphasis on quality means they may last even longer! Not only can the quality of the pieces be greater than the items that you would find today, but vintage clothing purchases can also be healthier for the planet.

Getting Started

There are a number of different ways you can find and buy vintage clothing. You can find some great pieces at thrift stores, yard sales, and even consignment shops. The great thing about consignment shops is that you can sell clothing you no longer wear for store credit and cash, making vintage clothing an even better option for your wallet! Scoping out these stores can be a great option for finding those unique pieces in your wardrobe that no one can match.

Try something new this April and look for vintage clothing! Make it your own, and help keep the planet healthy and yourself stylish by recycling old styles into the newest trends!

We would love to see your awesome vintage clothing finds! Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

 

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The DivaCup: Then and Now

For most of our Divas, disposables are now a thing of the past since making the switch! In our latest “Then and Now” social campaign, we remembered many of the amazing advances that, just like The DivaCup, we now cannot imagine living without!

1

How does the music move you today?

 

Remember the simpler times? Back when all you had to do to listen to music was carry around a large radio or a boombox wherever you went. No? We didn’t think so either, but it’s fun to reminisce! Who would have thought that listening to your tunes could be so easy or that you could carry a full library of songs on one tiny little device ?

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2

How do you brighten up your life?

 

Now this may be a little too far back for our Divas to remember, but never forget the importance all the light in your life around you plays! Lighting up your life at home, work and school is so simple, but it didn’t use to be! Thank you innovation!

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3

How do you keep in touch with friends?

 

Can you remember the times when you sent your pen pal a letter to keep in touch? Now it takes no more than a few seconds, wow! Bet you never thought keeping in touch with old friends could be so easy.

 

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4How do you find out where you are going?

 

Long gone are the times of fussing with maps as you look back and forth towards the road, trying to figure out where the heck you are going! We have GPS systems for that now! You never thought getting where you need to go could be so simple.

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5

How to you handle your period care?

 

When all of these great innovations were made, I bet no one thought that there could be another option! They were wrong and now our lives are changed for the better, so why should your period care be stuck in the past? Make the switch to The DivaCup for a better period experience!

Visit divacup.com and #SwitchToTheDivaCup today!