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Every time I’m in my office or somewhere else and I see other females get “the look,” then reach for their little bag or whatever it is that holds their tampons and go running for the bathroom, I desperately want to chase after them screaming “There’s another way! You don’t have to do this anymore!”

But, alas I don’t, and for the same reason I’ve avoided writing this post for a while, because it’s still a bit of a taboo subject to talk about. Thankfully for me, a friend did tell me about menstrual cups years ago and I’m passing on the favor by telling you all.

Benefits

There’s a lot of articles about benefits and such, but here are why I’m so madly in love with them:

  • On heavy days, I have to empty mine twice per day. On light days, once per day. So WAY less than tampons and way more convenient.
  • No leaky panic moments (see bullet above)
  • Partially because of the first bullet point, I’m sometimes capable of forgetting I’m having my period for hours on end. This could be a downside, however, if I forget to empty it.
  • My Diva Cup was about $30 and they last at least 5 years. How much have you spent on tampons and pads during that time?
  • Environmentally, think of all of the waste from tampons and pads
  • No leakage while working out

Functionality

But Nicole, isn’t it gross? I get this question a lot and if you get easily freaked out by the sight of your own blood, I get it. For me, blood isn’t a big deal, so it’s not so bad. They say to empty them in the toilet. I find that’s a pain and can be messy. So my solution? Take a shower twice a day when I need to empty it and dump it down the drain.

They can be a bit tricky to get out, I’ve pulled on the mine (which has the traditional stem style end) many a time and not had it just snap back like a rubber band on me. Ouch! But that’s because I have a hard time gripping it. Thankfully, Me Luna brand has ring and ball style handles that would work much better.

Feel free to comment below with questions and I’ll add to this. But you can’t say no one told you about them now 🙂

 

Stress impacts your body. At least, that’s what all of the research tells us. It also impacts your blood sugar, which makes it a very important topic for those of us with hypoglycemia. And, oftentimes, especially as hypoglycemics, we’re so involved in making the correct diet and fitness decisions, that our mental health, our personal well-being goes by the wayside. In this series, we’ll discuss a variety of ways to manage your stress and, in the process, manage your blood sugar.

Most of the time, I’m one of the most intense and cerebral people you’ll meet, oftentimes to a fault. So, I can see how it would seem odd, to my friends, family and coworkers, that, in the most intense situations, I’ll wander up them and make a big deal over savoring a cookie (a tiny, tiny piece for me), or a piece of chocolate, or a pretty flower or sunset.

Why do I do that in those moments? Because it creates a break in the tension, a moment of peace, and a reminder of something good.

I’m reminded of the scene in The Hobbit right after Thorin Oakenshield is killed; Bilbo is trying to process through his emotions when Gandalf sits next to him, and picks at his pipe. It’s somewhat comical to watch, but effective. Gandalf is by no means a simple person, but he uses the pipe to remind him, and others, to not always be so intense, to enjoy the small, good things in life.

In Zen Buddhism, there’s the story (the flower sermon) of the Buddha holding up a flower and only one of his disciples smiles.  The most common interpretation of this is that knowledge can be transferred without words or letters, but when I read this story, I can also see how this exemplifies the idea that, something so simple can bring a moment of clarity and peace.

In Christianity, I’ve heard several sermons talk about stressful situations draining your “bucket” and how you need to make sure you keep your bucket full (with love, things that bring you peace and joy, etc.), or at least not let it empty. With this interpretation, a moment of simple joy could be a way to refill the bucket, even if it is partially.

Whatever philosophy above works for you, I encourage you to give it a try. You may just find that that moment of simplicity may be what you need to get through a rough situation.

 

 

 

A grocery check out line with my groceries of fruit, vegetables, eggs, and Beanitos chips


I’m not anti-trainer, I do think they can help you on your path to health, but it’s important to realize that at most gyms they are employed as salespeople, not as trainers.

If you’ve ever been around a corporate gym franchise, trainers come and go like crazy; my coworker is on her fourth trainer in less than a year. Why? Most commonly because they didn’t meet their sales goals.

An acquaintance of mine recently lamented on how, when he was a trainer, he dreaded the end of the month, because if he didn’t meet his sales goals of renewals and new clients, he’d get pulled into a meeting, reprimanded, and threatened with being fired.

I’ve personally walked through trainer-only areas (because those of you that know me know I think rules are suggestions) and seen the sales goal boards I am so familiar with from my early career days selling advertising.  The goals weren’t caculating how they’d helped their clients reach their goals, they were calculating how many clients they’d sold more training packages.

So, speaking from a sales perspective, their best strategy would be to have you see improvement and teach you a few things, but not see enough improvement or learn so much that you no longer need them.

So go to them if you need help with your fitness routine, but don’t lose sight of the fact that they make money the more you come back to them.

Two salads and two sides of tofu, ready to be reheated/have some oil added for easy food preparation. The masking tape has the reheating and final prep instructions right on them.

Here’s my low-carb, good fat, protein snack collection for easy snacking while I recover from surgery. This is a collection of Kind STRONG bars, ThinkThin bars, Zing bars, and dried-salted chick peas.

6 servings (1 cup each) of Kraft 30-minute chili mac, in individual containers for easy re-heating (note: I don’t reheat in plastic, so those are thawed and heated in bowls).

I recently had PRK eye surgery, which meant that I was going to not feel great and not really be able to see (due to light sensitivity) for a few days.  This posed a challenge for me as a hypoglycemic, since I still needed to maintain my diet. And, since I wouldn’t be able to work-out for a whole week, I needed to really make sure I ate healthy to maintain my weight.

My boyfriend (now fiance!, who was amazing during this, thank you so much!) was in charge of taking care of me during my healing process, including my meals. I wanted to make it as easy as possible on him because I definitely know how frustrating it can be do figure out all of the correct portions, measurements, etc.

So, the night before the surgery, I prepared some of easy-to-finish/easy to reheat meals that he could give me when I was hungry. This included (see photos above):

The salads and chili mac had final preparation instructions on masking-tape for him.

This worked really well, so I will definitely do it again if I’m having surgery again.

 

Modified Huevos Rancheros

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 corn tortillas per person
  • 1 can Bush’s Cocina Latina Refried Black Beans (any variety)
  • 1 can Enchilada sauce, medium heat
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 2-3 eggs per person
  • Shredded Mexican-style cheese

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees, put tortillas on a cookie sheet and bake until they are completely crispy all the way through the tortilla (you could break them into corn chips)
  • While the tortillas are baking
    • Put refried black beans in a sauce pan and heat over low heat until warm
    • Portion-out enchilada sauce into 4 containers, freeze 3 for later use, heat one in either the microwave or in a sauce pan on low heat
    • Cut-up the avocado into small chunks
  • Fry the eggs to sunny-side up
  • Right before serving (otherwise the tortillas won’t be crunchy)
    • Place the tortillas on the place
    • Sprinkle cheese on the tortillas
    • Put about ½ of a spoonful of enchilada sauce on next
    • Put abut a spoonful of black beans on next
    • Put a couple of chunks of avocado on top
    • Place the hot egg on top of all of it
  • Serve immediately with the leftover black beans

In terms of how to eat them, some people are very polite and break off little pieces at once. We’re fans of picking up the whole thing and biting into it. Yep, the egg runs, but you can scoop up that yellowy goodness (or let it drip on your side of black beans) with a spoon later.

I was traveling for work and rushing to visit a dojo for a 2 hour karate workout, but I needed to eat. So, I stopped at a Corner Bakery to get a light meal in.

Scanning their menu, my best light option was their Harvest Salad. The only problem? This salad is actually 780 calories. Way too much. I needed something between 400 and 500 calories.

In addition, there were some things on the salad that have a high Glycemic Index and my dietician has warned me against eating (mainly dried fruit and white bread).

So here’s how I fixed it:

  • I ordered the dressing on the side and used  very little of it.
  • I picked-out all of the cranberries (I forgot to ask them to leave those out)
  • The white bread went into the trash.
  • I left the protein (chicken) and the healthy fats (walnuts) to make sure I was still full after.

(and yes, I cleaned up after myself)

img_7696

Bye bye calories and high glycemic index parts of my salad.