This Too Shall Pass: Treating PMS Symptoms Naturally 

Alright, ladies, it’s that time of the month again, let the collective groans begin. Yes, I’m talking about PMS, shocker, I know. We all get it, but that doesn’t mean it needs to ruin our day, week, or even the entire month for some of us. Fortunately, there are ways that we can help reduce the symptoms and stress of dealing with PMS in natural and healing ways. 

It always feels like the beginning of a long hard battle each month when we start gearing up to deal with our PMS symptoms; it’s a bit ridiculous. All the time and energy we put into thinking about when we are getting our periods and how that will affect our activities for the month. Can I go to the beach this week? Can I schedule a bikini wax? Do I need more cover- up, for the acne, I’m bound to get? The questions and problems quite honestly, are endless. Having a period is already an inconvenience on multiple levels; we shouldn’t have to struggle any more than we need to.  

Sure, there are things we can’t change, or magically make disappear with a single downward dog or a big whiff of essential oils, but there are definitely steps and actions we can take to dramatically reduce PMS naturally.  

The Good, The Bad, And The Bloaty 

We’ve all experienced the sweat-inducing struggle of trying to squeeze into a pair of pants that fit last week and are now straining at the seams. Bloating is a losing battle that we as women are constantly fighting. This, while a minor PMS side effect, is definitely one of the most irritating ones to deal with. Fluid retention can be the result of fluctuating hormones and can leave us feeling like Violet Beauregarde, post blueberry incident. 

Snacking on bananas, tomatoes, celery and citrus fruits pre-period, can help to alleviate bloating and other symptoms. 

Coconut Oil is amazing for hormonal health. It can assist in weight loss, reduce inflammation, and even has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. 

While eating certain foods can help to reduce or even diminish some PMS symptoms, other foods can actually aid in, or bring on more symptoms. We should try to avoid certain foods around the time of our periods, such as inflammatory foods like grains, dairy, and vegetable oils, which can actually create inflammation in the body. 

Go With The Flow 

Exercise, in general, is always a good idea, to help relieve stress and anxiety, or just to get a good sweat in. Case in point, working out not only releases pain-busting endorphins, but it also triggers serotonin (a depression and anxiety fighter), which can be a major help during times of PMS, and hormonal mood swings. However, intense exercise leading up to our periods can actually make our PMS symptoms worse. It’s actually better to practice mild forms of exercise such as yoga, swimming, or going on walks to better help alleviate our symptoms.  

Doing hip and back stretches can increase blood flow to abdominal and lower-back muscles, easing the tension that leads to cramping. It would be helpful to practice yoga stretches that help to relieve tension and get our blood moving, such as child’s pose, pigeon or happy baby during the week before our periods to avoid PMS.  

Stick It To The Man, And PMS   

Acupuncture is not a new practice by any means, but it is starting to become more mainstream as of late, even in the western medicine world. Getting stuck with a needle has never felt so good! Hear me out here guys, research shows acupuncture is very effective at treating PMS. One study found that acupuncture quelled symptoms in 78 percent of women. They believe acupuncture may increase circulation and elevate endorphins, which enhances mood and alleviates pain. Most women experience PMS relief within 24 hours after a session.  

With results such as these, it’s definitely worth checking out at least once to see if acupuncture would be a good solution for you. There are so many great acupuncture facilities around that offer great deals, such as Brooklyn Open Acupuncture in downtown Brooklyn, that operates on a sliding scale, meaning you pay between  $20-$50 for an appointment; you get to choose what you pay depending on your financial situation.   

Poppin Pills Like Candy 

Supplements are a great way to get a ton of extra nutrients and beautifying superfoods by simply adding them to a smoothie or taking them as pills with our other daily vitamins. There are so many great superfood supplements out there that can help to naturally relieve PMS symptoms; it seems silly to not take advantage of their awesome healing powers. 

  • Vitamin D– We can get our daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun, but in most places it’s hard to get enough exposure on a regular basis, which means that many of us are actually deficient in Vitamin D. Fortunately, in this case, there are many ways in which we can supplement our vitamin D intake. We can do this my taking Vitamin D supplements, or by consuming foods and other supplements that are high in vitamin D, such as cod liver oil, margarine, egg yolks and oily fish. 
  • A recent trial discovered that Vitamin D supplementation significantly reduced anxiety, irritability, and sadness in young women with associated mood disorders linked to PMS. “Researchers found that vitamin D levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. In addition, studies have shown vitamin D levels are related to anxiety and depression. Based on these observations, researchers conducted a study to assess whether Vitamin D supplementation reduces the severity of mood disorders associated with PMS in young women,” spoiler alert, it does. 
  • Maca– Maca has a history of boosting hormone production. Many women notice fewer PMS symptoms, increased fertility, and improved skin. Maca is also high in minerals and essential fatty acids, making it great for hormones. As an added bonus Maca has a rich caramel taste, making it a great add-on in a sweet smoothie! 
  • Magnesium– Magnesium often contributes to better sleep (which is great for our hormones). Natural Calm is a great magnesium product to help calm and relax our bodies and often greatly helps both PMS symptoms and menstrual cramping, especially during stressful times, such as that time of the month (wink, wink.) 
  • Calcium- Calcium is a very effective supplement in helping to reduce PMS symptoms. In a recent study, researchers found that women with PMS who took a 500-milligram calcium supplement twice a day for three months had significantly reduced levels of fatigue and appetite changes. Another study revealed that taking 1200 mg of calcium a day helped reduce women’s emotional and physical PMS symptoms.  
  • Vitamin B– B Vitamins are essential to cellular functions throughout the body including metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In addition, they balance mood, reduce anxiety and soothe irritability. 

Smells Like Teen Spirit 

Essential oils are blowing up right now and for good reason. These potent little guys are natural remedy powerhouses. Essential oils have benefits ranging from cleaning products, bug repellent, anti-depressant, and yep, you guessed it PMS relief

Essential oils can be an effective natural treatment for PMS. Clary sage oilhelps to naturally balance hormones, by rubbing 2-3 drops of oil on our lower abdomen. Cypress oil can improve circulation and lessen pain from cramping by applying several drops onto our lower abdomen as well.  

Several drops of ylang-ylang oil along with lavender oil can be applied to the back of the neck to help reduce tension and stress. Peppermint oil can also be used with a warm compress to help reduce pain. 

Whichever method you choose, just remember that we are all different and some of these natural remedies may work better for you than others, but make sure to do what is best for you and your body. If you feel good and are happy with what you are doing, then that’s all that matters!

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The Healing Powers of Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan Salt lamps are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Not only are they visually pleasing to look at, but they are also known to carry plenty of healing powers and health benefits, ranging from purifying the air to helping boost energy levels. With all of these amazing benefits, it’s crazy to think that all you have to do to experience these wonderful therapeutic powers is to simply plug it in.

By nature salt is hygroscopic, which means the lamps attract water molecules from the air; trapping dirt, pollen, and smoke particles, which are carried in water vapor, thus having a purifying effect on the air around it.

This purifying effect also helps in reducing allergy symptoms that are related to dust and dander, since the cause of the allergy is being eliminated in the air, the symptoms will dramatically subside.

By releasing negatively charged particles into the air the lamps can help to reduce electromagnetic radiation from household electronics, such as computers and cell phones. This means that having a lamp on your desk or near where you use your electronics frequently, is a good idea.

Speaking of electronics, research has shown that the blue light given off by phones and other electronic deceives can mess with our sleep hormones and disrupt our sleeping patterns.  Alternatively, salt lamps give off a warm orange glow similar to that of fire or candlelight, giving our eyes a rest from the harsh glow of our computers and cell phones.

  • ProTip, make sure to utilize the NighShift option on your cell phones, this will automatically switch your phone from blue to orange light, according to the rising and setting sun.

For this reason, Salt lamps are great light sources in the evening to help us relax while trying to fall asleep and can be used as a nightlight without negatively affecting our sleep.

These soothing lamps may also help boost mood and energy levels, the soft orange hues are one of the soothing colors often used for calming and to increase focus.

Using salt lamps for color therapy can help to increase energy levels, and induce a clearer mental state,  not to mention, we could all do with more beauty in our lives and there is no denying the beauty and calming effect that these lamps can have on us.

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Hemp Seeds, Are They Worth The Hype?

What are hemp seeds, you might be asking? It sounds an awful lot like marijuana, and you would be right, well sort of.

Hemp seeds are from the same species as cannabis, but they only contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC; for us smaller minded folk, the compound that causes the drug-like effects of marijuana. So if you were looking for a cheap and legal, in all states, way to get high, you have come to the wrong place my friend.

This article is about the nutritious and health benefits of hemp seeds, commonly known as hemp hearts, which contain healthy fats, minerals and protein. They are a great addition to your every day, healthy diet.

Hemps seeds almost remind me of sesame seeds in texture and appearance, but they have a bit of a nutty flavor that slightly reminds me of pine nuts.

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I use hemp seeds in my smoothies, on top of pasta or stirred into a stir-fry, see what I did there, stirred into a stir fry, pretty punny if I do say so myself. I also put it on top of my salads for an added crunch. Quite honestly, you can “literally,” and I do “literally,” put that shit on everything.

Hemp seeds are a super easy and relatively inexpensive way for me to add protein, fiber and essential fatty acids to my diet with a quick sprinkle, dash or teaspoonful, of those little buggers on one to two of my meals per day.

Nutritional Uses and Benefits of Hemp Seeds

  • Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat.
  • They are rich omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc
  • Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, cooked or roasted.
  • Hemp seed oil is also very healthy and can be used in food, medicine, and body care products.

Great Source of Plant-Based Protein

  • About 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein.
  • 30 grams, or 2–3 tablespoons, of hemp seeds provide about 11 grams of protein.
  • Hemp Seeds are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids.
    • Essential amino acids are not produced in the body and need to be supplemented in your diet.
  • The digestibility of hemp protein is also very good.

May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

  • Hemp seeds are a great source of arginine and gamma-linolenic acid, which have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Additionally, animal studies have shown that hemp seeds may reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and help the heart recover after a heart attack.

Along with being nutritious and beneficial to our health, hemp seeds also have other great properties that make them worth your while to try.

  • Hemp seeds are a known natural appetite suppressant and can help you feel full longer.
  • Hemp seeds are high in fiber and help aid in digestive health, and keep you regular, if you know what I mean. 
  • Hemp seed oil is very beneficial for your skin and hair. Hemp oil can help to improve dry, red, and flaky skin. You can find it in lip balm, lotions and soap.

I hope that this article inspires, even just a few people, to pick up a bag of hemp seeds the next time they are out at the grocery store and give them a try. I swear you won’t be disappointed, and if you are, then just send your partially used bag on over to me, I would greatly appreciate it.

As in all great works of art, we can’t always do it all on our own, so here are a few links to sites that I collected data and information from, during my research process of this article.

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Top 5 Favorite YouTube Channels

I have quite a few YouTube channels that I watch on a regular basis and I really like them all. I watch all of them for a particular reason and I find YouTube to be a very helpful and informative tool. I watch food and health channels, cooking channels, beauty channels, daily life vlogs and exercise channels. I have found many new beauty and skincare products that I love through YouTube as well as great recipes and helpful and motivational tips on how to be a healthy vegan. I also have gained motivation and a dedication to exercise and follow my dreams, through some of the channels I watch. I may be a bit obsessed and crazy, but I do think that YouTube is a very helpful and useful online community. So, without further ado, here, in no particular order, are my top 5 favorite YouTube channels.

Casey Niestat

This is the only channel on my list that has absolutely nothing to do with beauty, health or skincare at all, but I just really like his channel and watch his daily vlogs everyday, so I figured he should probably make the list. He is fun, real and human. It is refreshing to see someone who is so honest and genuine on YouTube. I find him to be very interesting and motivating. He does what he loves no matter what and he is unapologetic about it, which I love. I like his ambition and his drive, and hope to have that someday about something. He just seems like a great guy and I love watching his daily vlogs. I like starting my day with them. He also lives in New York, which I also love. I lived there two summers ago and I desperately want to move back soon, so I love being able to see the city and places he likes to visit there.

L’amour et la musique

She is a natural beauty vlogger that is very honest and blunt, and I love it. She isn’t afraid to say if she hates a product or rave about it excessively if she loves it. I love when people are completely honest about their opinions on things, it just makes it much easy to know if you will like a product or not. I also love her personality and the way she does her makeup. I love watching her videos even though most of them are really long and I normally split them up into two separate viewing sessions; I really enjoy watching her videos. She just seems so relatable and I like listening to her and her stories. She does use conventional products at times, but she does let you know that they are not natural and usually lists the EWG rating as well, which is great. I just like the vibes that she gives off. I don’t really know how to explain it, but yeah.

makeupTIA

This channel uses the least amount of natural products out of the rest of them on my list, but she does use and review them. She uses a lot of conventional brands as well, but I really like her so I just don’t pay much attention to the conventional products and just watch her other videos and vlogs. She is very down to earth and seems very nice. I also love her hair; sorry if that’s weird, but she is also a red head and I just love how she styles it. I also think that most of the makeup tutorials and products she uses will work well for me as well since we have the same hair color and pale skin tone. I like knowing that I might be able to pull off the stuff she does and look decent where as other vloggers who have a completely different hair color and skin tone than me and the makeup may not look as good on me. She explains things in a very detailed and simple way that is easy to understand and I trust her reviews completely. This doesn’t mean that I get, or want everything she raves about, but at least I can tell that it is honest and true so when I do decide to get something, I’m confident in my purchase. She also introduced me to both Casey Niestat and L’amour et la musique’s channels, that are also on this list.

Kendra Atkins

She is one of the first natural/nontoxic beauty bloggers I stumbled upon when I started trying to go more natural. I found most of my first used products from her channel. She does use makeup products that are not as natural, but most of her skincare products are good. She is also sensitive to gluten so she has good snack ideas that I like to watch. I also just love her style and her hair, it’s just so long and flowy and great, but anyway she has good tutorials and she makes sure to explain everything in a lot of detail and I appreciate that. This is a good channel to watch when you are just starting out switching up your products to more natural alternatives.

Shannon Sullivan

She has celiac disease and is also allergic to dairy, so we have quite a bit in common. I love watching her food haul and recipe videos because they really help me to get a better/new idea of what I could be making or buying. It is really helpful especially when you just feel stuck in a rut of the same food over and over again. She also has good picks for skincare products that I have bought and really enjoyed. She uses almost exclusively natural/nontoxic/organic skincare and beauty products, which is great, because I never have to wonder or look up to make sure that it is a more natural product, like I do with other vlog channels.

Other channels that I love, but didn’t make the list:

 

 

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The Healing Benefits of Essential Oils

Oil diffusers have been my latest obsession. Why I continue to obsess over, and become addicted to, expensive things is a problem I have not solved yet. Anyway, I have inevitably become addicted to using my diffuser and trying out different blends of essential oils to diffuse each night, or day, depending on my mood.

Diffusing essential oils is such a good way to obtain the benefits from your essential oils. Personally I use doTERRA essential oils. I love their products and what their company stands for. I can do another post on doTERRA and why I like them, but for now I’ll stick to diffusers and how I use them.

Personally, I have the petal diffuser from, yep you guessed it, doTERRA, but you can really get a diffuser from just about anywhere. I think Amazon is always a great place to go when shopping around for almost anything.

The reason, I think, I enjoy diffusing essential oils so much is because, of course the smell, and also for all of the amazing benefits that come with essential oils and diffusing them.

Some of my favorite oils to diffuse are:

  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Wild Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime

Each of the oils I listed above has great healing and therapeutic benefits.

Peppermint – helps to clear breathing and supports healthy respiratory function.

Lavender – is calming and relaxing as well as being very therapeutic.

Wild Orange – helps to energize and revitalize the mind and body and has immune enhancing benefits.

Lemon – can help to uplift your mood and it cleanses the air

Lime – helps with emotional balance and wellbeing and has stimulating and refreshing properties.

I love all of these oils and they are my regular go-to scents to diffuse on a daily basis. I will definitely use On Guard, when I am feeling a cold come on or Serenity when I am feeling particularly stressed, but the list above are my all-time favorite scents.

I especially love to mix oils together and create my own homemade concoctions. Some of my favorite mixes are lavender and peppermint, and lemon and lavender.

Almost all essential oils can be diffused aromatically, however not all oils can be applied topically or ingested orally, so just make sure to do some quick research before using any of your essential oils for something else, besides diffusion.

I really think that diffusers are a great addition to your home; I have one in my room as well as my living room. I think that they are a very easy and beneficial addition to the home and a great way to implement essential oils into your life.

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