Four Ways to Love Yourself on Valentine’s Day

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February 14th can be tough on single folks. The shameless public displays of affection and bouquets of flowers that aren’t for you can get a lady down.

If V-Day is killing your vibe, do these things:

Celebrate. You have the ability to do whatever you damn well please so use that power to dance wildly to Jason Derulo’s ‘Ridin’ Solo’ (or something equally fun and single-affirming).

Take yourself on a date. Do something you’ve always wanted to do like eat Singaporean food or listen to live jazz. It is really empowering to do things alone. It feels brave, and it also confronts the silly myth that life is on hold until you have a sig.

Unplug. Turn off your phone and computer. Go on a walk, cuddle up with tea and a book, hike a mountain. Give your body and brain a rest from the screens we constantly have in front of our faces.

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Give. Buy a flower for someone who is going through a rough time. Buy coffee for the person behind you. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Valentine’s isn’t a popular public service holiday, but why shouldn’t it be? Love and service are undeniably connected.

Regardless of your relationship status, celebrate love, in every and all forms it exists in your life.

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Fighting The Flu From Your Kitchen

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Cold and Flu season is officially in full swing, and unfortunately, frequent hand washing, 8 hours of sleep, and avoidance of the sneezing lady on the bus will only go so far.

If you succumb to a winter illness, your first instinct may be to head to the doctor to get a dose of antibiotics.

Practitioners have a lot of powerful medicine at their disposal, and antibiotics have been wonder drugs at fighting harmful bacteria for decades. As time goes on, bacteria has become more and more resistant to many commonly used antibiotics, which has been frequently accredited to over-prescription. The CDC put together this handy guide if you want to know more about antibiotic resistance. Sometimes antibiotics are the absolute way to go, sometimes they aren’t.

Either way, there are natural anti-microbials all around us that can help us heal. I put together this chalkboard of commonly found flu-fighters (and gained so much respect for creative people/people who can spell/people with legible handwriting in the process).

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With these seven ingredients you can make an endless number of tonics, but I’ll share my two favorites here.

Miracle Tonic

32 oz water

4 gloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, juiced

2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

1 tbsp raw honey

1 knob ginger, minced

1 inch turmeric, minced

Mix and stir in a pot over lowest possible heat, sipping throughout the day. The garlic and honey fight bacteria, cayenne boosts the immune system and opens sinuses, and ginger and lemon soothe sore throats.

Oregano tea

1 small bunch oregano

1 tsp raw honey

1 tsp lemon juice

Steep leaves in hot water, add honey and lemon juice after removing from heat. Oregano inhibits bacteria growth and has 42 times the antioxidant activity of apples.

A healthy night of sleep, lots of water, and managed stress can go a long way to combatting illness, but these warm remedies can help out should a winter bug get you down.

The Female Heart Attack

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One of my biggest frustrations with the American health care system is how we have failed to inform women how differently they can experience myocardial infarction (heart attack).

We have been taught heart attacks look the same for everyone: impending doom, severe pain, shortness of breath.

The startling truth is, women often have entirely different heart attack symptoms than men. 

The Office on Women’s Health has put together this easy-to-read, simple graphic:

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The hilarious Elizabeth Banks partnered with Go Red For Women to create this informational video:

You don’t need to be a health care professional to carry and share this life saving knowledge.

Eat well, move daily, and listen to your body. Take action when you sense something’s wrong. Share what you know with other women.

It’s that simple. 

#SorryNotSorry: What’s a Cervix?

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#SorryNotSorry is a series of posts about subjects that are uncomfortable to talk about (sometimes even for a women’s health-crazed nurse) but nevertheless important to confront.

This is the female reproductive system:

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I’m sure you’ve seen an image similar to this before, perhaps in sex-ed or as a curious google-er.

So while this image is likely familiar, in recent years, through conversations with women from vastly different age groups and backgrounds, I have found that the anatomy that correlates to this image is more or less undiscovered.

Empowered feminists in their mid-30’s, shy housewives, hyper-sexual eighteen year olds, married ladies, even grandmas frequently have one thing in common: They have gone their entire lives without touching a very tangible part of themselves, this lovely biological structure:

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The cervix.

There is a culture of shame about our bodies that is so pervasive that women from all cultures, races, and ages by and large feel embarrassed about what’s going on underneath their skirts.

The end of that starts with us rejecting the idea that our bodies are anything but incredible.

The cervix is amazing.

It opens a centimeter to let an egg out once a month when it goes unfertilized, it opens ten centimeters to allow for a baby to enter this world.

It releases awesome lubricating mucus when you’re feeling frisky, and let’s you know when you’re fertile.

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Pretty awesome right? High five to cervixes everywhere.