A Few Things I Wish I Knew 20 Years Ago

There are things about being a girl that we take for granted and don’t talk a lot about, but dealing with these things conventionally can sometimes lead us to resorting to solutions that run contrary to our paleo and environmental principals. In the last few years I’ve found some alternatives to conventional girly-type wisdom. I wish I knew about them 20 years ago, but I’m glad that I can pass this knowledge down to my daughter.

Periods & Menstrual Cups

Until a few years ago, I thought the two options I had for dealing with my period were pads or tampons – both of which, apart from being inconvenient, seem not great for the environment given the amount of waste produced. But there really didn’t seem like there was a viable alternative. When I thought of a reusable product, all I could think of was something like this. That seemed even more inconvenient than conventional solutions.

I can’t remember how I heard about menstrual cups, but it was such an epiphany. Sure, at first it sounds incredibly disgusting, but once you get the hang of it (and it took me a while to get the hang of it), I cannot tell you the level of freedom it allows. No worrying about running out of tampons at an inconvenient moment, or carrying them around with you, or changing and discarding them discreetly every four hours. And while it costs about $40, it’s basically paid for itself in a year and so far, it’s lasted way longer than that.

The Diva Cup is my weapon of choice, but depending on where you live, there are an astonishing variety of choices. Who knew! This device has made having a period an order of magnitude less inconvenient. I can’t even explain. You just have to try it.

UTIs & Baking Soda

Not all women experience urinary tract infections, but those who do know that tell tale tingle when you know one is just starting. I get them occasionally, and it usually meant a trip to the doctor and a round of antibiotics (not to mention a week of discomfort). This, of course wreaks havoc on your gut flora and just goes against the way I want to live. In the last few years, I’ve found that I can easily nip the UTI in the bud with a little baking soda.

I’m not kidding. I know it sounds gross, but drinking a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water a few times a day, while disgusting tasting, totally kills the UTI. I had a full-on UTI the first time I tried this one weekend when I was desperate. By the time I got to my GP’s office on Monday, not only was I on the mend, but my urine test came back negative! I wondered at the time if I’d had a UTI at all. Then, the next time it happened, I left a urine sample with the GP before I started the baking soda, and sure enough it came back positive. However, the baking soda did the trick and by the time of my appointment my symptoms were gone and my second test came back negative.

Apparently the ph in the baking soda makes for an inhospitable environment for bacteria. I also drink lots of water. It helps get rid of the disgusting taste of baking soda-water and also aids in clearing out the urinary tract.

Dry Skin & Coconut Oil

As women, we are pretty consumed with facial moisturizers. I don’t know one girlfriend who doesn’t use a daily moisturizer for her face. I bet every woman I know can name the brand she prefers would have a bit of a crisis on her hands if she ran out of it.

One day I ran out. I’d been reading a lot about the wonders of coconut oil. Since I had some for cooking, I thought I’d try it out. Wow. I will never waste my money on moisturizers again. I rarely have a blemish since using coconut oil and my skin is always soft and smooth. Plus, it isn’t full of a bunch of carcinogenic chemicals and if I run out, I always have some on hand down in the pantry. Give it a try. It is also an incredible make-up remover. Even for water-proof mascara.

That’s it for now. I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful.