Happy New Year and Join Us in 2016

Happy New Year from the entire GirlU team and we hope you will join us in our quest to bring a full line of PMS relief products to the market in 2016!

staceyWe are writing to thank you for your continued support and interest in Magpie LLC and our Girl Uninterrupted PMS relief products.  This past year has been one of learning lessons and overcoming unforeseen obstacles.   However, we have emerged grateful for what we have learned and inspired to push forward and achieve our goals for 2016!

We would like to invite you to join us in that journey.  Magpie is currently seeking to raise $100,000 in capital to launch its tea and supplement products by March of 2016.  And before seeking out angel investors who would need to be introduced to the brand, we thought, why not invite those who have been at our side all along?

And do not be daunted by the size of our goal: a minimum investment is $5,000.

If you are interested in learning more about our plans for 2016 and beyond, including both our fiscal projections and social impact goals, please contacts us at info@GirlU.com for a copy of our CompanyBook, Financial Outlook and Term Sheet.

Best wishes for all things merry and bright over the holiday week and cheers to a fantastic new year.

Kendall Egan, CEO & Mayling Kajiya, Founder

Chocolate for PMS, a benefit or a cliché?

chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have seen the gif files of emotional women stuffing their faces with chocolate for PMS symptoms.  Does chocolate really provide PMS relief or is it yet another goofy claim to manage fluctuating hormones?

Chocolate begins with cacao, which is loaded with flavonoids and antioxidants.  Both are more prevalent in dark chocolate and chocolate with 70% cacao is the best choice for health purposes.  Here are a few of the good things our research showed about controlled chocolate consumption.

  • Chocolate is good for cardiovascular health.
  • Chocolate keeps the brain healthy and prevents memory decline.

But does it help with PMS?  According to our research, it might have a temporary “feel good” benefit.  Carbohydrates help brain cells make more serotonin, which is the “happy” or “feeling good” brain chemical.  This can damper the anger, irritability, anxiety and cravings women might be facing 3-5 days before menstruation.  As mentioned before on this blog, serotonin levels are thought to drop during the PMS phase of the cycle due to hormonal fluctuations.

Chocolate has sugar and caffeine, sugar is a carbohydrate and the caffeine will help with fatigue.  The key to all of this is “controlled consumption.”  A couple of pieces of delicious dark chocolate melting in your mouth might just make you feel a little better on a temporary basis, too much chocolate will send you crashing later on with a big time sugar low!

Think in terms of consuming one or two individually wrapped Ghirardelli
Squares, or Hershey Kisses or Dove Chocolate Mini Squares…not a gigantic Toblerone!

The PMS Lack of Research Rant

rantAfter years of reading articles about premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, there is one sentence about the lack of research that appears in almost all of these articles.  Even though half of the population is female and even though there are millions of women who are menstruating monthly, the one line in these articles says something like, “there is very little research around premenstrual syndrome” or “there is very little research about the woman’s cycle” or “there is some general consensus that serotonin levels drop during the luteal phase but very little research,”  do you get the picture?

It is galling, really and truly galling that there is very little research on the effect of surging and dipping hormones.  PMS isn’t a disease to be cured, but why isn’t study and research warranted on the topic if women suffer from PMS?  There isn’t even consensus around how many women PMS effects.  Some articles say 60-70% of menstruating women, while other articles say 85% of menstruating women have at least one symptom of PMS.

Would there be ample research around PMS if it happened to men?  Take male pattern baldness which seems to be more of a genetic condition than a disease, so again a condition to be eased or reversed but not cured.  Look at the pipeline of products from topical foams, to pills, to hair plugs, lots of people have worked to ease this condition which is vanity based and not pain based.  It is just an interesting comparison.   Erectile dysfunction is another example of a male health issue. Plenty of research on that topic, lots of medicines to help there and yet there are probably fewer men experiencing ED on any given day than the number of women suffering from PMS symptoms on any given day.

Right now there is a wave of innovation by women who are tackling period products and premenstrual discomfort because we know it’s an issue and we know there are better ways to handle it.

Stay tuned to GirlU for more information on our upcoming products for PMS relief…we are focusing on one issue and that is living each day uninterrupted.  We want to give you the products you need to ameliorate the many symptoms of PMS so you can live those days without interruption.

PMS #tbt

pms tbt_finalToday is a #tbt of some of our favorite PMS Relief blog posts!  There are many ways to naturally alleviate some of the worst symptoms of PMS, but it is really, really difficult to stay the course using healthy alternatives when your body is in revolt and your willpower is flagging.   Fatigue and pain sometimes get the better of us, so give yourself a break if you just need a nap or a candy bar.

PMS Bloating: One of the best things to do is disguise it with good wardrobe choices since this is temporary water weight gain.

Period Cramps: Bring on the external heat and double up with a cup of tea to warm up from the inside as well.

Food Cravings: The number one tip is to employ a distraction long enough so that the temptation passes.  But, there is nothing like a healthy diet and we offered up these smoothie recipes to help with PMS symptoms.

Sore Breasts: Breasts do get tender and swollen from hormonal changes, but check your bra size because squished boobs hurt even worse on PMS days.

Low Self Esteem:  Does it seem like everyone else is posting happy pics on social media? Take a screen break and take your workout outside.

PMS Acne: Don’t pick, just keep your hands off your face.  Have you seen those articles about all of the “yuck” on your smart phone? You do not want to transfer that to your pores.

PMS Nausea: Eat regular meals and good snacks so your blood sugar doesn’t plummet.

Mood Swings: To calm the drama, get a sweat going.

Period Headaches:  Good food choices and plenty of sleep can help keep these at bay.

Fight through the temptation and make smart food choices, get plenty of rest at night and get moving during the day!

#LiveTweetYourPeriod

t-rex

Tweeting about period symptoms using #LiveTweetYourPeriod has caused quite a commotion and has a scatological approach that has some people a little confused, maybe even grossed out, but should it?  Half the population bleeds from a vagina each and every month!

One thing that these tweets have done is make any and all symptoms of a period seem so reassuringly normal.  You are not the only person whose menstrual flow can explode off the super-deluxo-maxi-pad-with-mega-wings!  Pancakes and broccoli for breakfast, sounds perfectly delicious.  There is the “day 2” rage monster and the “day 3” gal who eats anything salty, sweet, crunchy and fattening within sight.  And look at all the people who feel as if their uterus is being trampled upon, who are constipated, who want to lie in bed all day and whose face is covered with zits.  It’s a community of period sufferers!

All of these swirling emotions, cravings, hassles, eruptions, heavy or light flows are just so…in a word…normal.  Twitter appears to be the new place to freely bitch, whine and moan about the misery of a period.

In the right frame of mind, reading these posts can make you smile too.  There are some incredibly creative .gif files of T-Rex’s roaring to explain a current mood and a cat with a mouth full of cupcakes and “no regrets.”  One person went so far as commenting that #LiveTweetYourPeriod was the best to have happened to her period.

Giggle, commiserate, complain or even just read them to know that you are not alone in the world with your symptoms in a monthly cycle.

Infused Water to Increase H2O Intake

watermelon water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staying hydrated has never been more fun or flavorful!  Here is the first of three recipes to "wet your whistle" this summer.  It all starts with a pitcher of water adding fruit, vegetables and herbs that hopefully are plucked from your summer herb garden.

Watermelon-Mint Water

Ingredients:

  • Three Sprigs of Mints
  • Slices of Lime
  • Seedless watermelon chunks
  • Water

Directions:

  • Muddle (mash up) the mint sprigs and lime slices in the bottom of the pitcher.
  • Place chunks of watermelon in Cuisinart or Mini-Chopper to make a smooth puree.
  • Add puree to the pitcher.
  • Fill with water refrigerate.

Watermelon is loaded with Vitamin C and Vitamin Ad, plus it is a great source of lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant.  Plus, watermelon is a source of manganese and magnesium, two minerals that both lessen PMS symptoms!

Enjoy, and if it is cocktail time, a splash of rum makes a lovely evening cocktail.

What to Wear with Period Bloating this Summer

maxi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 15 precious summer weekends on the calendar this year from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but what if your cycle messes up one of those weekends with period bloating?  Not to worry because summer fashion options are plentiful for days with water weight gain.

Here are a few comfortable outfit ideas for those days when a waistline with a zipper and a button seem impossible and demoralizing due to PMS bloating!

The Maxi Dress – Whether you chose a jersey style fabric, or a more flowing chiffon style fabric, the maxi dress is a great way to keep it loose at the mid-section.  All you will need is an awesome pair of sandals and a few eye-catching accessories and you will be trendy along with comfortable.

Tunic + Leggings – Tunics are available in stores ranging from inexpensive at H&M and Forever 21 to more expensive, preppy labels like Vineyard Vines and Lily Pulitzer.  Either way, the shirt grazes the mid-thigh and leggings are totally stretchy around the stomach area.   All you will need is a fun pair of flip-flops or gladiators and you are set for a summer evening in the city.

Yoga Pants – Have you seen the different styles available these days? From tight to flare to jogger to pants that could easily pass for jeans!  Today’s yoga pants are stylish enough for the office and as comfortable as yesteryear’s sweat pants.

Overall’s – These have made the rounds on many, many fashion blogs so what is old is new again.  Since they hang loose at the mid-section, they are perfect for PMS bloating days!

A-line T-shirts – Even if you insist on squeezing into your white jeans, a loose, breezy A-line t-shirt is cut a little longer and doesn’t cling to the body.  If you are really uncomfortable, you can undo the top button of your jeans and no one will be the wiser.

Remember that this water weight gain is temporary and if you choose the right clothing, you can still feel and look good every single night and day this summer!

Get Rid of Cramps with Heat!

Sometimes the best course of action when cramps are ruining your life is to place something warm on your belly and let heat work its magic.   Here is a product roundup of hot water bottles and heating pads to get rid of cramps.

SpaComforts Cozy Comfort Hot Water Bottle, Spa Girl Pink

$9.99, Walgreens.com

SpaComforts Cozy Comfort Hot Water Bottle

 

This old-fashioned hot water bottle has a stylish, plush cover with a little girlfriend reminder to “relax.”  Fill it up with hot water and place it on your belly for hours of heat therapy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Size Heart Warmer Pillow Red

$11.01 on sale, Bucky.com

heartwarmer_flat-hr_765155507230_3_1__38692.1415127403.1280.1280

It is a little heart shaped hug and at 5”x 5” in size, it is discrete enough to use the office kitchen microwave and place on your lap at work.  Whole buckwheat seed is used in spas since it provides a gentle, moist heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CVS Heatwraps Menstrual Cramp Relief

$5.99 for 3 patches, CVS.com

cvs heat wraps

They are not sexy, but a patch provides 8 hours of heat exactly where you need it and no one will ever be the wiser!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunbeam Moist/Dry Heating Pad

$12.99, Drugstore.com

heating pad

The electric heating pad is great for those days on the couch in sweatpants when long-lasting, steady heat is the only remedy for those cramps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat is an all natural way to deal with the pain of PMS cramps and the good news is that there are many affordable options for relief.

 

PMS Food Cravings

cupcakesFull disclosure: This blog was drafted in writer’s head on a walk to coffee shop for decaf skim latte to avoid office birthday cake temptation!

As rational women, here is what we know.  We know that diet is critical to mitigating PMS symptoms.  By eating small meals throughout the day to avoid extreme hunger and by choosing vegetables and lean protein, we can fill our bodies with the food it needs to maintain balanced blood sugar and avoid food cravings.

But food cravings are powerful and fluctuating hormones can sometimes be hard to overcome.  During our PMS days, stress hormone, cortisol, can spike and feel-good hormone, serotonin, drops.  What temporarily boosts serotonin? Carbohydrates boost serotonin.  And the problem is that we crave the most fat and sugar filled carbohydrates during stressful and emotional times of the month.

We asked for coping strategies from a sampling of women and here are their answers.

  • Taking a walk and sipping on a warm beverage are two coping strategies. Both light exercise and caffeine can provide a boost.  If you are stressed out, go easy on the caffeine because you really don’t need a boost, you need the Zen affect of sipping something warm and soothing.   A dusting of chocolate or cinnamon to the top of a latte or cappuccino provides a dessert type flavor to the coffee, satisfying a sweet tooth for some.
  • Chew gum. Sugarless grape bubble gum was the respondent’s choice for a sweet pick me up, but mint or bubble gum flavors are also fine.
  • Have a conversation with yourself to understand the craving. Ask yourself if you are really hungry or are you bored?  Are you eating your emotions and is there something else you could do instead (take a walk, pick up your knitting, write in a journal) to work through the emotions?
  • Make a satisfying substitution. One respondent said that she eats a few dark chocolate covered almonds versus a candy bar and rationalizes it by saying that the almonds are healthier than a candy bar from the vending machine.  Plus, it satisfies the craving for chocolate.

Here is a little secret that most women don’t know, your metabolism revs up during your PMS days.  It is Mother Nature’s little offset for those PMS food cravings!  Try to bust through cravings by distracting yourself or substituting a healthier option, but forgive yourself and move on if you find yourself in a miserable mood finishing a bag of chips.

The Right Bra for Sore Breasts

braDuring those PMS days of the month, breasts may become sore, swollen and tender and a bra that fits correctly goes a long way to keeping “the girls” comfortable. Have you had a proper fitting for a bra? If you answered “no,” you are like most women who guess their bra size by trial and error. However, most women pick out the wrong size and that can have consequences!

Department stores and lingerie stores have employees who are trained to measure and fit a bra properly. Everything about getting fitted, buying one bra at that store and paying a higher price for the right size, is worth it. Most of the support from a bra comes from the band and the right cup size will prevent squishing, spillage and extra movement.

Here are a couple of key tips for wearing the most comfortable bra every day, but especially on PMS days.

The Band – The band should rest on the top of your rib cage. This is especially important if you are wearing an underwire bra. If the wire or band is digging into breast tissue, this can be very painful on PMS days.

The Cup – Breasts not only move up and down, but also side to side during normal everyday activity. A cup that is too big allows a larger range of motion, which can be painful during PMS. A too small cup will squish breast tissue, which is also uncomfortable when breasts are swollen and tender.

The Support- Breasts don’t have a lot of built in support, "Cooper’s Ligaments" hold your breasts up. This tissue is responsible for the “shape and lift” of your breasts, so excessive bouncing can damage the tissue.

We have written extensively about how exercise is good for combating PMS, like here and here, but if your boobs hurt that could really make exercise unappealing. So sports bras need to fit well too! A good sports bra will restrict bouncing which is important on PMS days. A good rule of thumb is to replace a sports bra when you replace your sneakers since the elastic wears out with frequent wear and washing!

If your breasts are sensitive to the touch during PMS, pick a bra with a soft lining versus a lace bra. Even a layer of padding will be helpful if your breasts are really sensitive.

One last note, the band and the shoulder straps should not leave visible marks on your body when you remove your bra. Use this as a quick check to see if you are wearing the correct bra size. If the straps dig into your shoulders and you have an imprint of the band around your chest, then do yourself a huge favor and get properly fitted for a bra as soon as possible!