Four foods to ease PMS

Ladies, it is that time of the month where PMS can be severe for some people. So here are some lifestyle remedies that worked for me and it might work for you too.

What is PMS?

This is the premenstrual syndrome normally felt a few days to 14 days before your period. It can be anything from mood swings to bloating. Even insomnia is classified as PMS. Some people get acne around this time. 


Well technically this is not a food but a supplement but you can find it in foods like cacao and most vegetables. It can also be taken in a supplement form such as a tablet. Here it helps to relieve muscle aches and some period pain.

Some magnesium-rich foods are fish, sardines, mackerel, broccoli, nuts (such as walnuts), cauliflower, carrots, etc.

Dark Chocolate

I love dark chocolate without sugar. Two pieces of keeps me happy. This is a mood busting food. When we eat it, it releases serotonin which is the happy hormone.


Fruits are full of Vitamin C and fiber as well as other minerals like potassium. Do eat plenty of them around this time and other times. You should get about 2-3 serves a day.


Ginger helps to relax you and you can buy most ginger at the supermarket. It helps to ease PMS symptoms such as bloating. You can add it to tea, soups, some stir-fries,  sauces, noodle dishes. Or you can eat it raw.


We should be getting in enough calcium from our foods and milk is the easiest way to enjoy that. Milk has vitamin D in there which is good for bones. You can enjoy lactose-free milk if you are sensitive to lactose. 

Vitamin D and mental Health

The Broglieblog has written about Vitamin D and I thought it could be useful here, now that we are experiencing Coronavirus and mental health. Vitamin D is a antidepressant vitamin. We also need it for bone health.

It is an important vitamin which many of your cells in the body require it to function properly.

What happens if you don’t get enough Vitamin D?

  • You could get sick or infected often. That would mean that you might be at a higher risk of COVID19. Your immune system would be weak.
  • You could become easily depressed. Depression and anxiety are common in people with low vitamin D
  • You have low brittle bones and back pain. Back pain is commonly associated here
  • Tiredness
  • Your wound would heal slowly
  • Bone and hair loss
  • Muscle soreness

So how would I go about increasing my Vitamin D?

What foods have Vitamin D in them?

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Codfish
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines

But if you don’t like fish or can’t eat fish you get it in a supplement form. Just ask your local naturopath to see which supplement works best for you.

Also getting enough sunlight is important too for bone health. Make sure that you get enough time in the sunshine each day. We should aim for about an hour. If you can go out in the sunshine during your lunch breaks or walk to work. A short walk can do wonders for your mind and body.

Are corporations taking advantage of the poor people

Now that the Coronavirus has hit and people have lost their jobs we wonder if corporations such as Amazon, Walmart, Coles, Woolworths are taking advantage of poor people.

Most people are on the US Food stamps program which is a government assistance program. It is like Centrelink in Australia. These companies have an online store where people can get their groceries delivered. But it is expensive and there is a delivery fee added to the total cost of groceries at the checkout. 

The US Food Stamps corporation has released this report about greedy corporations. Amazon and Walmart have online stores, the same way that Coles and Woolworths do. Food companies around the world benefit from these sorts of the program and therefore they drive prices up every year.

Every year many people are left without. Many of them do not have access to fresh food. I think what this Coronavirus recession has taught us is to drive fresh food prices down or make it free for people that cannot afford it. We have seen more and more people ask for food help online. America and Australia are both the same that their populations suffer from chronic diseases.

What we can do to help stop these greedy corporations from taking over

  • Donate to your local free pantry. Many of these people are struggling to get by and can do with some help.
  • Offer to buy the poor food if you have money and a car to deliver these items. With delivery, it’s recommended that you follow the Government guidelines with Coronavirus. Otherwise, you would get into trouble.
  • Write to your local MP about this issue
  • If you really feel passionate about this issue you could start a petition for cheaper groceries


Insomnia and why its not good for us

We talk about insomnia and why it is not good for us. In the COVID world, we are not always sleeping so well due to stress with job, money, and family life. We are living at home 24/7 with not much reason to leave home unless it’s for the essential work, groceries, caregiving, medical appointments, and exercise. Even then we have a time limit for outings.

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What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep condition where your sleep is less than ideal for quite a few days. It could be where you wake up in the middle of the night all the time or you toss and turn a lot. It could be due to stress and anxiety, particularly around Covid19. Many people are stressed about their jobs and family and staying home all the time

We are supposed to have 7-9 hours of sleep time each night but not many people can achieve that all the time.

Why this is not good for us?

It would cause you more stress, weight gain, hormonal imbalance etc. This is partly the reason why iso weight gain happens. Its also partly to blame for the increase in domestic violence

What to do about this?

  • talk to your doctor about some options. Don’t put off going to the doctor due to COVID19
  • you might have to change your diet if that’s what causing the problem. Having too many heavy meals before bed is not good for you
  • If you don’t do exercise start doing it. I find that this works for me to have a better night’s sleep
  • Find some stress management techniques like mindfulness and yoga to do


IBS is irritable bowel syndrome. It is experienced more in women than in men as women have periods. Health Unlocked said that a lot of people felt anxious about it as it means that they would have to change their lifestyle. They would need access to a toilet often

There is no cure for IBS just supportive measures

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What are the symptoms?

  • Increased urination especially at night
  • Bloating particularly in females.
  • Constipation
  • Excessive gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain and cramping- this is common for IBS. “Normally, your gut and brain work together to control digestion. This happens via hormones, nerves and signals released by the good bacteria that live in your gut.

In IBS, these cooperative signals become distorted, leading to uncoordinated and painful tension in the muscles of the digestive tract (3Trusted Source).

This pain usually occurs in the lower abdomen or the entire abdomen but is less likely to be in the upper abdomen alone. Pain typically decreases following a bowel movement” (Healthline 2020)

  • Food intolerances- some people can have some sort of food intolerance meaning that they produce more gas and urine

Lifestyle changes

  • Avoid stressing out too much
  • You may need to make some dietary changes such as eating more fruits and vegetables. What we eat affects our mood. The more fruits and vegetables we eat the better our mood will be.
  • You may also need to keep a journal of your food and your body reacts to the food and see if that food is the problem
  • Make sure that you get plenty of time to relax and sleep. We need about 7-8 hours of sleep a night and a few hours of downtime each day.
  • I would make sure to buy nappies just in case if you can’t access the toilet.
  • If I’m going somewhere I would need to check if there is a toilet at the place.

If you have IBS symptoms make sure that you consult your GP about treatment options for you.

Sugar and income

We wonder about sugar and income and we talk about the relationship between both. In America, a lot of people are on the food stamp program. This is the food welfare program that is provided to low-income families and individuals by the Government. In Australia that is called Centrelink. The lower the income the more healthy foods that you cannot afford.

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The poorer you are the more likely that you’ll want a sugary drink. In America the poorest people can only afford a sugary drink. Thus there are a lot of health inequalities there and the Coronavirus pandemic has made it worse. Thus we call upon a sugar tax that would have massive health benefits and economic benefits for the government. The UK already has a soda tax which was implemented in 2018

I wonder if it is similiar in Australia. Already we have seen some markups in sugary items at the supermarket. But the chocolate at my local Coles is about $1 for a bar.

We know what sugar can do to your health and your teeth. Too much sugar is bad for you. The government should introduce a sugar tax and free fruit for people that are most in need.

Governments need to step up their efforts in providing more healthier foods at affordable prices for people. That might not happen anytime soon due to the shortages of fresh food. During this Coronavirus pandemic, many of their workers have Coronavirus and so the supply chain has been cut short.

But food banks might be able to procure some fresh fruit and vegetables if people can donate money to them.

Growing your own might be a better option for all of us. If you grow your own you can supply those that need some fresh food for free.

Is insecure work making us sick?

With high numbers of coronavirus cases all over the world, we have asked this question, “Is insecure work making us sick?”

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This pandemic is has exposed to vulnerable people such as casual workers. Casual workers work in all sorts of environments such as supermarkets, retail, food production, markets, etc. These workers cannot time off and if they do they won’t get paid any of their entitlements. Touchstone says that people are forced to work when sick. People worry about losing their jobs. Future Work says that insecure work will become the new normal. EHS Today has reported that people that work in more casual roles will be at higher risk of heart attack amongst other things.

The ABC says that 80% of new coronavirus cases in Melbourne come from casual workers that work when they should be at home self-isolating. These people need money to feed their families. They don’t get sick leave or other leave entitlements. The Andrews Government has offered these people $300 payment for those that are waiting for test results at home.

So what can employers do now that the pandemic is here

  • Let employees work from home if they can and when they can
  • Keep their employees in the loop about changes that are going on in their business
  • Kick casualization out of their place if you can. Instead, why not have full-time and part-time employees do most of the work
  • Casual works need better treatment from their employer. Now it is time for them to ask about this

Tobacco and COVID19

The WHO believes that smoking is a higher risk of COVID19. Smoking addiction is a disease that needs to be treated. It costs us money to fix and we need tobacco control now not shaming.

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Tobacco use kills 8 million people globally every year. Every year people get lung disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and other respiratory infections.

There is a link between smoking and COVID19. COVID19 is a respiratory infection of the lungs and you don’t recover from COVID quickly. It takes time to recover. It can take up to weeks to recover. We need to strengthen not smoking initiatives and getting people to quit smoking. We need more nicotine patches.

The Guardian reports that many smoke shops are still open during the lockdown and those that do smoke won’t be able to wear a mask whilst doing so. They say that people are addicted to nicotine. In Australia, cigarettes are sold at the supermarket which means that getting people to quit can be hard especially since Melbourne is in lockdown and people tend to stress more whilst in isolation.

The WHO has introduced a new initiative to help people to quit smoking. Johnson and Johnson have sponsored it and they are testing it in Jordan where smoking costs $1.6 Billion. So many people around the world need our help to quit smoking.

THE Who has introduced a new system called Florence. She is a digital health worker who is available 24/7.

In Australia, there is the Quit program which helps people to give up smoking. We have seen their ads on Facebook. If you ever you need help just call them on: 03 9663 7777

Why women’s menstrual pain is not taken seriously

I was inspired by Bethan Taylor-Swaine to write this article as I go through my own menstrual pain every month. I’m lucky that my pain is not very painful at all. And even if it is I can buy my own Ibuprofen to deal with this. Some women are not so lucky and they have to deal with the excruiting pain month in month out.

There isn’t a lot of research done on this as many women suffer in silence.

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What is period pain?

Period pain is when the muscles of the uterus contract to get rid of the lining that we don’t need. That pain can include cramping in the pelvic area. But some women experience heavier than others (adenomyosis which a condition that causes the cells to grow a lining in the uterus and outside of it). Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to ones found inside the uterus grows outside of it.

Why don’t women want to come forward and share their pain?

Maybe we are:

  • too embarrassed to tell others about the pain. In a survey done by Flexx the tampon company, it is said that 73% of women don’t feel comfortable sharing with others.
  • There isn’t a lot of research done on this so no one wants to come forward
  • Its taboo to talk about it with anyone. For centuries we have learnt that it is taboo to talk about it. Not even our mums and grand mums talked this with anyone other than their daughters who are going through puberty.
  • We feel embarrassed when we have our period. When I was young I did not want to do any sport or swimming when I have my period. Now its ok because I learnt to deal with it.

So how do we #mindthepaingap?

  • Speak to your doctor about the period pain if it so bad
  • Share your story on Instagram and on Facebook. The more people know about it the better and then it would be equally normal.
  • Support businesses that support women’s health. Business like Swisse support women’s health
  • If you are a man, educate yourself on women’s issues. There are lots of resources out there to help you do this.

Luteal Phase and Hunger

We talk about this issue that affects many women.

I have often felt hungry during the luteal phase of my period. Like so many women there is no reason as to why. Some say it is to keep up with demand on the body and the maintenance of the uterus walls. The rise in progesterone might be to blame.

Psychology Today says that is a way of disordered eating. Women are prone to more eating disorders than men due to this type which involves the menstrual cycle and the way we look. The nature of the period has more of an impact on our appetites, especially when it is that time of the month. During the first half of the cycle estrogen acts as a suppressant.

Greatist said that researchers are trying to understand the impacts of the menstrual cycle and hunger. There has been little research done on this to date. In the coming weeks and months we hope to see more research done on this issue.

What is the Luteal Phase?

This is the phase that happens after ovulation and about 12-14 days before your period. Here the walls are being built in the uterus. If there is no pregnancy there would be a period.

During that phase your metabolism rises a bit to prepare for your period and build those walls.

What should I eat during the Luteal Phase?

I would drink plenty of water, fuel up on those irons and carbohydrate-rich foods. And I would encourage you to throw some feel-good foods in there like chocolate. A little bit of dark chocolate helps seal the deal as it has magnesium that your body needs.

But of course if you can’t get all those minerals from diet alone, you can try a supplement.