Girl Uninterrupted Blog

A Healthy Diet & PMS

Posted by in Nutrition, PMS, Tips

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We spend a lot of time on the GirlU Blog talking about the importance of a healthy diet to help mitigate symptoms of PMS because, let’s face it, you are what you eat and what you eat matters.

Here is how a balanced diet can help with an assist from Epicurious.com and some easy recipes for one dinner!  The delicious GirlU dinner menu is Jamaican Jerk Salmon with Mango, Pineapple Salsa with sides of Sautéed Spinach and Brown Rice.

Will this dinner “cure” you of your PMS symptoms? Probably not.  One salmon dinner can’t stop the hormonal fluctuations going on inside you!  But, will a steady habit of good food choices help you maintain better balance of important vitamins, minerals and nutrients and ease hormonal fluctuations? Probably!

Look at the major ingredients from these recipes as examples of why good food choices matter.

  • Salmon                Omega-3 Fatty Acids to help ease bloating
  • Mango                  Vitamin A for clear, glowing skin
  • Pineapple            Bromelain is muscle relaxing and Manganese reduces irritability, decreases menstrual flow
  • Black Beans        Fiber alleviates water retention
  • Spinach                Iron helps keep blood sugar in check, which keeps emotions in check and Magnesium reduces stress, lifts mood, helps regulate serotonin, fights bloating
  • Brown Rice          Vitamin B6 helps alleviate mood swings and fatigue

Each of these foods has many other important vitamins and minerals in them that do other important things to support health in other parts of your body.

Add a tall glass of cucumber-infused water and you will have added quercetin, which helps fight bloating, and treat yourself to a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate squares for dessert  and you will have added antioxidants.

Cheers to making good food choices!

10 Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

Posted by in Videos

healthy_at_workIt’s easy to get a bit…well…lazy at work, especially cushy office jobs where you sit most of the time in an air-conditioned building with plenty of access to treats.  But don’t worry—making healthy choices at work is actually a lot easier than you might think!  Whether it’s taking some time out for deskercise or bringing healthy snacks for when you get the afternoon munchies, health in the workplace is just a few easy tricks away!

  • Get up and move!

Not only is more movement good for variety during the day, it can be great exercise, too.  Try parking farther from your place of work and walking in, or getting off the bus one stop earlier.  And when you’re in the building, take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.

  • Stock up on healthy snacks

Have healthy options handy for snack time to avoid being tempted by treats and vending machines.  Nuts, granola bars, and fresh fruit are easy to carry and not too expensive to keep around for that 3 o’clock snack break.

  • Pack your lunch

It’s easier to make healthy choices at work if you’re deciding ahead of time—not when you’re stressed and hungry at noon.  Pack your lunch, even if it’s just a simple turkey sandwich on whole grain bread.  This makes it easier to control portions and make sure you know every ingredient you’re consuming.  If you don’t have easy refrigerator access, try bringing a small fridge you could keep under your desk.

  • Make healthy suggestions

Want to go out to lunch with your coworkers?  No problem, if it’s only once in awhile—but why not suggest a place with healthy options?  You can also check out the restaurant’s menu online before you go so you know the healthiest dishes available beforehand.

  • Take mini exercise breaks

Not everyone has an office door they can shut, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bit of exercise in!  Gentle stretching or using resistance bands or small hand weights can do wonders.  You can also stretch a bit at the water cooler or do 15- to 30-second leg lifts underneath your desk.

  • Get up and move some more!

It’s important to take breaks throughout the day.  Try taking a walk during your lunch break, or walk to a coworker’s desk instead of emailing.  Have you tried walking meetings?  Sometimes discussing challenges while moving can generate new and interesting solutions!

  • Drink lots of water

Aside from keeping you hydrated, drinking a lot of water will ensure that you have to get up fairly regularly to use the restroom—and even that little bit of movement can be great for your health!

  • Preplan office holiday treats

It seems like it’s always a holiday or someone’s birthday, which means treats in the break room—often not very healthy treats.  It’s totally okay to splurge once in awhile, but if you feel like the treats are getting out of hand, consider arranging with the rest of your coworkers for one day a month to celebrate.  That will keep the empty calories from piling up.

  • Keep happy hour tame

Happy Hours can be a great way to blow off some steam and bond with coworkers, but they can also lead to less-than-healthy food and drink choices.  Try limiting yourself to one drink instead of three and maybe fewer Happy Hours throughout the month.

  •  Try standing rather than sitting

A lot of people swear by standing desks.  There are a variety of options, some cheaper than others, and by standing rather than sitting all day, you’re likely to keep moving.  You could also try using a balance ball instead of a desk chair to keep your posture in check. Other tips on limiting the amount of time you spend sitting can be found here.

Got a great workplace health tip?  Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

How to Beat PMS Acne

Posted by in PMS

period_acnePMS acne doesn’t affect everyone who has a period, since we all react to hormonal shifts in our bodies differently, but it’s actually pretty common:  a study from the Archives of Dermatology found that 63% of acne-prone women experience premenstrual acne flare ups, usually about seven to ten days before their period.

It’s those lovely up-and-down hormones that can wreck havoc with our skin.  Rising levels of progesterone mid-cycle can cause a build up of sebum, a thick, oily substance that acts as a natural skin lubricant.  For some, this means a healthy-looking glow; for others, though, it means increased breakouts.

It’s important to note that these breakouts aren’t due to your hygiene regimen; it’s far more related to hormones, which, unfortunately, you can’t do a whole lot about.  But don’t worry—there are things you can do to keep your skin healthy and happy, minimizing the effect of a PMS acne breakout!  Here are some tips:

  • Avoid touching your face—your hands can help spread dirt and bacteria, exactly what you don’t want during a breakout!
  • Clean your cell phone regularly. Phones can store up a lot of bacteria, and if you’re not keeping your phone clean, you’re introducing that bacteria to the most vulnerable parts of your face—your jaw line and chin.
  • If you’re working out at the gym, put a towel down on the mats to protect yourself from other people’s germs.
  • Don’t smoke—smoking contributes to all forms of acne.
  • Stay hydrated! Drinking lots of water can help flush toxins out of your body, which is great news for your skin.
  • Wash your face twice a day. Make sure to avoid products that include oil.  You may even want to step it up a notch and try a facial mask for added self-care and relaxation.
  • Consider herbal supplements, including zinc, vitamin B6, and chaste tree berry. Chaste tree berry, incidentally, is one of the herbs in the GirlU supplement, so be sure to check that out!

PMS acne can be one of the more frustrating PMS symptoms, but there are plenty of natural options for beating it!

What to Do About Nausea Before Your Period

Posted by in Health, PMS, Tips

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A lot of us have to deal with uncomfortable PMS symptoms every month, and few are as debilitating as nausea before your period.

Like many other symptoms, PMS nausea is likely caused by fluctuations in hormone levels, in particular, estrogen.  Changes in the amounts of progesterone and hormone-like substances called prostaglandins don’t help, either.  These hormones all ensure that your body does what it needs to do in terms of preparing for childbirth, and luckily, symptoms like nausea usually go away once you actually start your period.  But what can you do until then?

First, you should make sure the nausea isn’t caused by something other than your period.  For example, nausea is a typical symptom during pregnancy, particularly right around when your period usually happens.  Another possible culprit, endometriosis, happens when the cells that make up the uterus lining start growing outside of the uterus, which can cause nausea, bloating, diarrhea, rectal pain, and cramps.  So you definitely want to check with your doctor to make sure your symptoms aren’t related to either of these conditions first.

If they’re not, you’re likely just experiencing another fun PMS symptom that could use a little attention and possibly an herbal remedy.  Here are some tips to rid yourself of that nausea right away so you can get back to living life uninterrupted.

Eat consistent, well-balanced meals.  Nausea before your period can be caused by low blood sugar, which affects the chemical levels in your body.  If you make sure you’re eating well and at regular intervals, you can stave off the worst of it.

Keep track of when the nausea occurs.  Use a period tracker like this one to record when the symptoms hit.  This is the best way to determine if it’s related to your period or something else entirely, which might require a different approach.

Go herbal.  Tried-and-true remedies like ginger, mint tea, cayenne, and raspberry leaf are good choices for combatting nausea.  Ginger in particular has had the most clinical study done on its effectiveness, and it’s been ranked the most effective herb for menstrual nausea and vomiting.

Try antacids.  Sometimes PMS nausea isn’t so different from nausea that’s not related to your cycle.  It’s possible that excess acid in the stomach during the menstrual cycle is causing your distress, so popping a Tums could really help.

Turn to GirlU!  The GirlU herbal supplement is an all-natural way to fight PMS symptoms and have you feeling better fast.  Particularly if nausea isn’t your only symptom, GirlU is the way to go.

Don’t let nausea before your period put a damper on your day!  Try the options above and feel better fast!

Which PMS “Type” Are You?

Posted by in Health, PMS, Tips

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Did you know there are different types of PMS? In 1980, Dr. Guy Abraham at UCLA developed a classification system grouping more than 150 reported PMS symptoms into “types.” Many of us are likely to suffer from more than one type, but in general, our symptoms fall into these five categories:

TYPE A (Anxiety)

Symptoms: You suffer from a high estrogen/low progesterone ratio, making you nervous, tense, and anxious. Your mood swings are legendary. Your period often starts suddenly and is heavy with clots.

What to do: Try increasing your intake of Vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. Chamomile tea might be helpful, too.

TYPE B or P (Pain/Aggression)

Symptoms: Pain is what you feel most during PMS, particularly in your joints, lower back, abdomen, and head. You may also experience weight gain, swelling of the hands and feet, and breast tenderness. Some scientists theorize this is due to inflammation, which means the key to feeling better is to reduce that inflammation.

What to do: Try increasing your intake of Vitamin C with bioflavonoids. In addition, decrease your salt intake. When you do need salt, consider using sea salt, which has beneficial trace minerals.

TYPE C (Cravings)

Symptoms: Fluctuations in blood sugar levels cause headaches, fatigue, and moodiness. You’re dealing with increased appetite and cravings, often for sugary foods.

What to do: Eat smaller meals and snacks more often to keep your blood sugar level. You may also want to increase your magnesium intake.

TYPE D (Depression)

Symptoms: You’re troubled by emotional symptoms most of all, including depression, forgetfulness, and insomnia. It’s believed that this is caused by low levels of estrogen and serotonin.

What to do: EXERCISE! Even if you’re not feeling it, getting your body moving will do wonders for these particular symptoms. Certain herbs like red clover and chaste tree berry can help, too—and you can get both of those (and more!) in the GirlU supplement.

TYPE H (Hyperhydration)

Symptoms: You retain water like nobody’s business. Bloating, breast tenderness, and swollen hands and feet are the bane of your existence during that time of the month.

What to do: Even though it seems counterintuitive, keep hydrated! You’ll also want to increase your intake of potassium-rich foods like bananas, avocados, apricots, and broccoli.

No matter what your PMS type, all the usual suggestions apply: eat well, watch the amount of sodium, caffeine, and sugar you consume, drink lots of water, and run through all of your favorite de-stressing techniques.

What PMS type are you? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter…or take a snapshot of your favorite healthy remedy for your PMS type and share it with us on Instagram!

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