Two Smoothies: Cramping & Cravings + Girl Talk♥

This post is sponsored by LOLA. All opinions are my own. Thanks for making Simply Taralynn possible!

Good Morning! I am so lucky that over 90% of my readers are women because women are awesome. We put up with a lot, and we experience things men will never understand. We are strong, we are tough, and we are mighty. I feel so blessed that I get to connect with all of you amazing women every day! You make this space so much fun. 
Talking about periods doesn’t scare me. It’s not embarrassing; it’s not something that should be hidden, and to be honest, I love complaining about them. I love complaining about my cramps, moping about how bloated I look, eating dark chocolate when I have cravings, camping out on my couch when I don’t feel like moving, and giving my boyfriend the “stink face” if he says anything wrong (which is rare) when it’s my time of the month.

When I was younger, periods were always “embarrassing.” I would hide my products so no one could see them, buy a ton of random foods to cover up the pads in my cart, and refuse to wear any color other than black during my periods. I don’t know why it was such a sensitive subject, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I mean, if it were, I wouldn’t be partnering up with LOLA to talk about my monthly cycle or sharing which products I use on a platform for the entire world to read. 
Another reason I tend to talk about periods a lot is that I have them pretty bad. I have endometriosis. With that, I get the worst periods. During my time of the month, you’ll find me hiding under the blankets with heating pads, hot tea, in my sweatpants, most likely curled up in a ball, and refusing to get up and do anything (unless my Netflix is asking if I’m still there.) My cramps can be so severe that it’s hard for me to get active a couple of the days, the bleeding is awful, and I swell like a balloon. It’s horrible. I know a lot of women deal with this on the daily. Luckily, there are things you can do to help the pain, and make your time of the month a little less terrible.

Before I share my tips for cramping and cravings, I want to mention a whole other side of the menstrual cycle that is equally as important. The products we use! I teamed up with LOLA two years ago, and have been using their products ever since. I love them! They are free of harsh chemicals, unlike the popular brands, and they are shipped to my house monthly, so I’m always covered. 
If you missed my previous post about the LOLA brand, let me fill you in on why I love the LOLA products.

Did you know that the FDA doesn’t require brands to disclose a comprehensive list of ingredients in their feminine care? And they totally take advantage of that and leave the ingredients off their lists. These major brands are using a mix of synthetic ingredients like rayon and polyester in their tampons. They may contain perfumes and dyes. This isn’t the safest option. You can eat all the healthy food in the world, but it won’t do anything for you if you’re not paying attention to the products we surround ourselves with. 
LOLA Products are made with 100 % ORGANIC cotton, and there are a lot of options for you to choose from. They have BPA-FREE plastic applicators, cardboard applicators, or non-applicator tampons. Everyone has a preference, so I love that they have options. They also have pads and liners available, which is what I try to use the most. If I’m not out and about, I stick to the pads. TMI? Get over it! 🙂 We’re practically all women here. 

What I love the most is their subscription service. This is something I wish I would have had in high school! Any moms out there? This would be an awesome subscription for your daughters (or yourself!)

You can customize the subscription with a mix of light, regular, super, and super+, a mix of pads, the number of boxes, and frequency and delivery. You can skip or cancel the subscription at any time.

The pricing is also very reasonable! It’s $10 for one box of applicator tampons, $18 for two boxes per month.

If you are interested in trying out LOLA, the first 100 readers will receive 50% off their order with the code: simplytaralynn 🙂
(available in the US only/excludes Hawaii & Alaska)

EASING THE PAIN

1. HEAT: During my time of the month, I take a lot of hot baths with lavender and mint bath salts for the cramps. This takes away the pain almost instantly. It eases up the pressure faster than any pain medicine. I’ll also spend a lot of time with my heating pad. Candles are always helpful, too! Calming scents like lavender, mint, lemongrass, and eucalyptus.

2. LESS CAFFEINE/MORE SLEEP: I avoid alcohol & caffeine. I’ll stick to water and caffeine free herbal tea with lemon. The good thing about not drinking as much caffeine is that you’ll sleep better and more. More sleep helps with period symptoms, especially the cravings.

3. EXERCISE: I try my hardest to get out and exercise. Sometimes I just can’t, but it helps with blood circulation. Yoga and power walking are my go-to’s. Plus, exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy…you get it.

4. FOOD TO CURE: I turn to healthier foods to help with my symptoms, and try to stick to healthier options for cravings. I’ll share two of the go-to smoothies that I drink around my time of the month. Not only do they satisfy the cravings, but they also ease up the cramping.

5. ESSENTIAL OILS: I never believed in essential oils until I used the LOLA Essential oil blend during my last cycle. I laughed when people told me to use essential oils for my endometriosis pain. I rolled a ton of the LOLA essential oil blend all over my lower abdomen and lower back while experiencing cramps, and the pain decreased by 80%. I was amazed because I don’t even experience relief from taking Ibuprofen or Midol. I couldn’t believe it. 
I’ve always been a huge believer in turning to food for healing and medication. There are so many nutrients and vitamins that help with period cramps in food, especially plant-based food.

I wanted to share two smoothies that are ideal for cramping and cravings!

Foods that help menstrual cramping and keep those cravings under control

FOODS I TURN TO DURING MY TIME OF THE MONTH (these are just a few of my favorites)

Cocoa Powder: Iron, Magnesium & Mainly for fighting chocolate cravings. 
Pumpkin Seeds: Magnesium
Cranberries: Magnesium, Potassium, Antioxidants, Vitamin C
Bananas: Potassium, Vitamin B6,
Pineapples: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Iron, Vitamin A
Blueberries: Antioxidants, Vitamin C
Mint: Calming Moods
Coconut: Pottasium, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin C
Spinach & Kale: Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E
Sunflower Seeds: Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Iron, Healthy Fats
Avocado: Vitamin B6, Healthy Fats, Vitamin E
Pistachios: Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium
Ginger: Muscle pain & Inflammation from Gingerol
Lemon: Vitamon C, Helps Cravings
Broccoli: Vitamin E, Vitamin C
Hazelnuts: Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Iron, Vitamin C, Potassium, Calcium
Hemp Seeds:
 Essental Fatty acids, Magnesium, Potassium,
Coconut & Almond Milk: Replaces dairy during your cycles (dairy causes bloating & cramping) Contains Vitamin E
Herbal Teas (ease pain & reduce caffeine)

Smoothie #1 The Cranberry Cramp Monster! ♥
1 Cup Almond Milk
1/2 Cup Frozen Cranberries
1/2 Frozen Banana
1 Scoop Vanilla Plant-Based Protein Powder
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Avocado
1 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
♥Ice is optional (I always add it in!)

Smoothie #2 The Cravings Crusher!
1 Cup Coconut Milk
♥1/2 Banana
♥1/2 Avocado
♥1 Scoop Chocolate Plant-Based Protein Powder
♥2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
♥1 Tablespoon Hemp Seeds, 3-4 Fresh Mint Leaves
♥1 Tablespoon Pistachios
♥1 Tablespoon Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
♥Ice is optional (I always add it in!)

Questions for you!

  1. Do you get embarrassed talking about your periods?
  2. Do you pay attention to the ingredients in your personal products?
  3. What is one tip you follow to ease up period symptoms?

Comments

  • Kim

    I recently started using the Lunette mentrual cup after learning about all of the bad chemicals they put in commercial tampons. It’s totally changed the way I view my period. I have learned a lot about how my body works in the process as well.

    Reply to Kim
  • Kaitlyn

    1. I don’t get embarrassed anymore, but I have also done a lot of work in my twenties to embrace that a) I am a woman and b) along with that comes periods. It’s honestly just easier to talk openly about them than try to be awkwardly discrete.
    2. Generally speaking, I haven’t paid much attention to the ingredients in the products I use. That said, I recently purchased a set of reusable pads from Hesta and I like them so much better than disposable pads. They’re super easy to care for, are softer and more absorbent. I’ve also found that they hide odors very well. I don’t love menstrual cups, but will be looking into safer tampons to use in the future, and LOLA might be that brand.
    3. One tip to ease period cramps is to have bananas on hand – they are a great natural remedy for mitigating cramps.

    Reply to Kaitlyn
  • Dorothy

    Man! Wish I would have seen this earlier. I’ve been cramping something fierce lately.

    Also… where did you get those cups!?

    Reply to Dorothy
  • Amina

    I don’t really get embarrassed anymore. I use to deal with the worst cramps that had me curled up in a ball crying, thankfully birth control helped immensely.

    Yes! I am so glad you teamed up with Lola and I started using their products a year ago.

    During bad periods I use a heating pad and light exercise. Even though exercise is usually the last thing I want to do. I know it helps.

    Thanks for always telling us about amazing companies like Lola!

    Reply to Amina
  • Sarisha

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m always looking for great, NATURAL products to add to my regimen. SO SCARY that these companies are not regulated to give their ingredient lists. I recently found an app called “ThinkDirty” and it’s all about teaching people the chemicals that are in everyday products and it offers more natural choices. I recommend it! The only thing is – you can’t UNknow the information once you find out about these products!!

    Anyway, thanks again for this post and info about LOLA – I used your coupon code, stocked up and saved over $20!!

    YOU ROCK, TARALYNN!!

    Reply to Sarisha
  • Anna@Actively Anna

    I literally had NO idea that some of the more popular brands could leave ingredients off of their list.. I didn’t even think about what could be in them to be honest. So I truly appreciate this post! And I agree, we shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about something natural. I too enjoy complaining about it (and blaming some of my moodiness of the month on it) 😛

    Reply to Anna@Actively Anna
  • Katie

    Love your honesty, Taralynn! Your blogs are always so inspirational.

    I am a nurse, so I don’t really get embarrassed talking about anything 🙂 I personally use the diva cup, which I LOVE. It is so much better for my body, the environment, and my wallet. A lot of people are turned off by menstrual cups, so I think it is great that Lola is an option for quality disposable products. I also use essential oils for cramping, but I also force myself to walk. If I can’t find the motivation, I just tell myself that it is for my two labs! 🙂

    Reply to Katie
  • Suzanne

    Those smoothies look delish! Have you thought about getting an iud? Just wondering because when I had mine in, my periods stopped completely. I don’t know too much about endometriosis but I’m glad you are discussing these things! Keep it up 🙂

    Reply to Suzanne
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    I used to think it was so embarrassing to talk about periods and now I could care less haha. Maybe that’s something that comes with age?! I also love commiserating with other women about it, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels like humpty dumpty and wants to eat EVERYTHING in sight!
    I also love that Ben and I are at a point where I can ask him to go buy me tampons, AND he knows when I’m on my period and brings home chocolate (I know, he’s a keeper!). Is it weird that I think it’s VERY attractive to have a man who doesn’t get freaked out by a period?!

    I definitely pay attention to what’s in my products because I’ve recently learned about how much sketchy stuff companies put EVERYWHERE. I love that LOLA is all organic cotton, and it’d be super convenient to have it delivered too. I would also love to try their oil because I 100% believe in that stuff!

    Honestly, my one trick is to just cut myself a break. I’m a go go go person, but during my period week, if I just feel like checking out and laying in bed with a plate of fries one night, I’ll do it and not feel bad!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
  • Kelsey Weissner

    Hi Taralynn! I definitely don’t get embarrassed talking about it. I’ve actually never really considered the ingredients in my personal products so I’m glad you shed some light on this. In fact, almost a year ago I stopped taking the pill because it was seriously screwing up my entire body! Physically, mentally, you name it. As a result of my body going back to what it naturally does, I definitely cramp much more and have other uncomfortable days of menstrual madness! I’m happy to see there are natural ways to combat these things. I did sign up for a subscription, so thank you so much for the code! The tip I usually follow to ease cramps is definitely hugging my heating pad in the fetal position haha, it’s just so comforting!

    Also, thanks for the smoothie recipes. I actually have a bag of frozen cranberries from Thanksgiving that could be put to use. I would have never thought to put them into a smoothie!

    Have a great week! 🙂 xo Kelsey

    Reply to Kelsey Weissner
  • Steph

    Thanks for such an honest, open post. I am thinking those delicious smoothies should be made even when it isn’t that time of month! Can’t wait to try them 🙂 and love all the pup pics, could they BE any cuter!?

    Reply to Steph
  • Patricia L

    No embarrassment here either but used to be when I was younger. I think it’s normal at a young age to be embarrassed because none of your friends talk about it so you think you’re alone.

    I used to not pay attention to what my pads and tampons where made of until I heard that those chemicals can actually make you bleed heavier and cramp worse. I use cotton tampons while out and about along with a reusable panty liner and reusable pads at home. We are on a mission to cut down on waste and I used to use a lot of panty liners so buying reusable ones was the way to go. Ordered from Etsy so helped a Work at home mom with a little income, my periods are lighter, and I’m saving a little garbage from the waste land. I totally understand not everyone wants to go that route though. 🙂

    Reply to Patricia L
  • Angelina

    I am OUT about periods! I teach high school and had to explain to my 9th grade girls that tampons are not just for girls who have had sex…yikes! We definitely need to be more comfortable talking about it so ladies can make better choices for their bodies.

    Like another reader, I use a menstrual cup! In love that it’s eco friendly, very safe, sanitary, and doesn’t require constant changing which can result in dryness.

    I am all about stick-on heating pads that you can wear to work! Lifesavers on bad days you can’t take off. Also, legs-up-the-wall yoga pose feels really nice.

    Reply to Angelina
  • Mallori

    Do you get embarrassed talking about your periods?
    – I am like you, I used to get embarrassed, but all women have one (mostly) so why be embarrassed?

    Do you pay attention to the ingredients in your personal products?
    -I do. I pay attention to a lot of my personal products not just tampons. I will say that I tried Lola and it wasn’t for me. The tampons didn’t give me enough coverage. It is a great idea, and awesome for what they are made of, but it just didn’t work for me like I was hoping. I do still recommend the service because it is super cool.

    What is one tip you follow to ease up period symptoms?
    – UGHHHHHHHH I used to be one of the lucky ones that didn’t suffer much from PMS- however, I recently (month and a half ago) had an IUD put in. WOW! CRAMPS!! I am trying to get use to it, so reading what you do to help yours out has been very helpful. I will have to try the bath method and smoothies. I never realized how terrible cramps can be and now feeling badly for all the women out there that are paralyzed by it every month! Hopefully it gets better! Weh. You’re right, us women, are STRONG!

    Reply to Mallori
  • Alison Williams

    Girl. I’m all about the pad when I’m at home. Pfffttt, at tampons. I’ve been that way for awhile but especially since I’ve gotten older. (38 in April) I’ve never been a true fan of the tampon. I actually never wore one though high school. Not even once. Yikes? It wasn’t until I was out of high school – maybe even 20 before I wore my first one. But clearly since then I’ve worn them… for the appropriate times.

    This blog has opened my eyes up a little. It is not something I’ve thought of. I will check out their site.

    I don’t have what you have but I’ve experienced some horrible periods through the years. Knock you to your knees cramps. My period hasn’t slowed down any being my age. Still consistent. Every month. And normally the same heavy flow. I wonder about that with my period and getting older… so I brought it up with my doctor at my yearly appointment 2 weeks ago. But she said I was fine and everything came back fine. I track my period and I noticed it would start one day one month, then the same day next month and then it would move up a whole week and so on. But she said it was fine. Lol.

    Reply to Alison Williams
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    I’d love to have girl time with you on a monthly basis in person, haha! I think it’s so important that females connect and get their vibes going with each other ^^

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Elisa

    I love how honest you are! It’s hard to see that most people think periods are something shameful, when it’s just natural!

    Do you get embarrassed talking about your periods?
    I used to. I used code names for asking for tampons and pads when I was younger, and didn’t complain about my PMS (which is like WWIII almost every month). I realized one day it’s not a shame and now I’m totally open about it.

    Do you pay attention to the ingredients in your personal products?
    I use a menstrual cup (tampons irritate me) and I’m going to try reusable pads sometimes (I always forget to buy new pads…)

    What is one tip you follow to ease up period symptoms?
    No dairy products (I’m lactose-sensitive), and maybe I should try avoiding coffee… (it would probably help with the monthly WWIII ^^)

    Reply to Elisa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Well, it’s a shame we have to deal with it as ladies, but I’m ALWAYS up to talk about it AND complain about it!

      So glad you’re open about it as well!

      Glad you found something that works for you!!!

      No dairy around that time and cutting dairy has been very helpful for me so far!! lol monthy WWIII

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • M.K.

    I do not get embarrassed talking about it. It’s natural! So many societies shame women for it. Including having them sleep in separate shacks away from the family.

    I use a menstrual cup. It’s a flexible silicon cup that you insert like a tampon. You can leave them up to 12 hrs. I have also found that it has helped my cramps a lot because it’s not just being absorbed and sitting there until I change it.

    I walk a lot and rub a EO blend I mixed up for muscles on my abdomen. Heating pads are the best too!

    Reply to M.K.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I know! It’s so sad. Periods are the reason for life!

      Glad you found a solution that works for you!

      I can’t believe how amazing the EO have been!!! OHHHH MY HEATING PAD IS MY BESTIE!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie

    Thank you for talking about this! I’m so tired of seeing periods being covered up like they are nothing. I have noticed that drinking matcha and warm coconut milk helps my cramps. Warm baths are always helpful too.

    Reply to Jessie
  • Lisette

    1. Not really. It’s just a natural part of life whether you like it or not!!
    2. I’ve been trying to lately. I actually just started using the Luna cup so if I hadn’t discovered that amazingness I probably would have taken advantage of these products! I’ve seen ads for it and it definitely looks like a very convenient method of getting those necessary products. Plus I always hated using regular tampons. Like those times when you’re at the end of your period, and go to remove your tampon, and it is just scraping you like crazy…you have to wonder what kind of stuff it’s leaving behind! ugh! TMI? lol! No shame!!
    3. Luckily I don’t really get cramps or back aches anymore. I just have the period from hell (flow wise.) 🙁

    I loved this blog post! I will have to try those smoothies out! They look delicious! I’ll make sure to try out those Lola products if my Luna cup doesn’t work out. 🙂

    Reply to Lisette
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Exactly, Lisette! <3

      No such thing as TMI! I’ve heard it all. Yes, switching to the cotton and healthy product have me feeling so much more confident!

      So happy you don’t deal with cramping!

      Thanks for reading, Lisette!

      Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hilary

    I just recently switched brands to organic cotton and it was the best thing ever! I will have to check this company out for future purchases!

    Reply to Hilary
  • Amy

    This is a great post! I’ve never heard of LOLA. I will be trying it out.

    Your blog is my favorite.

    Amy

    Reply to Amy
  • Kat

    I loved this blog post I deal with terrible periods due to my thyroid I’m definitely going to try Lola and the cravings smoothie 😋

    Reply to Kat
  • Krista

    I love how open and honest this post is.. because really, periods are no fun!! In my family growing up, periods were a hush hush sort of thing. I’ll always remember how in high school, whenever I wanted to go someplace but my dad would ask me why I needed to go out, I’d tell him I needed “lady stuff,” and he would just say “GO.” 😛

    Honestly, I know I should be paying more attention to the ingredients in my personal products, but because of how I and my fiance eat, we’re already so many labels that I forget sometimes. Usually to ease up symptoms, though I’ll make fresh ginger tea, sometimes with lemon– just grate a bit of ginger, steep in a teapot of hot water for ten minutes, and you’re good to go. I pour mine through a strainer first, but you don’t have to.

    Reply to Krista
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Krista!

      They really do suck. Not even going to sugar coat it, unless it’s REAL sugar we’re talking about 😉

      Hahahaha Luckily, my Dad has always been understanding with how bad my mom and I have dealt with period pain, but I think that’s most men’s reaction! That’s how they were grown up.

      Ginger tea helps so much! I find that drinking it daily helps regulate all the pain, especially when it arrives. I’ve cut back caffeine EXTREME lately and my symptoms have eased up.

      Thanks for your awesome tip! Have you thought about buying ground ginger? It’s awesome! I put a tablespoon (yes that much) in my tea!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Krista

        Haha yeah, my fiance is pretty comfortable with my talking about everything in that regard that this point. 😛 I love ground ginger, but it’s also really handy to keep it fresh on hand– we make a lot of asian-inspired dishes that ask for fresh ginger. If you haven’t tried Eat Live Run’s recipe for salted fudge brownies, they’re perfect (though totally not healthy) for getting through the week! 😉

        Reply to Krista
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Loved the girl talk, Taralynn! I don’t usually get cramps that time of the year, but I really sympathise with those who do. It must suck! 🙁

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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