here is some unsolicited life advice.

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okay, so, many of these things may seem like common sense. but sometimes you just need someone to tell ya something obvious! also, the two vaginal-health related tips are things i’ve never seen in the many DIY resources on the subject (of which i’ve read plenty).  onward!

*if you menstruate, and get cramps, i’d recommend trying to cut out nightshade vegetables (the most common of those are tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers of all kinds) during your most severe cramping days, and maybe for a day before if you can. i did this, ordered my lunch-time sandwich with no tomatoes, and felt GREAT. then, that evening, i forgot and had some tomato sauce and within an hour i was feeling totally shitty again. i know nightshades are delicious and healthy, but you can live without them for a few days.

*do you hate your goddamn coworkers? does their incessant, mean-spirited nattering drive you up the wall?! it’s okay to spend $40 on noise-cancelling headphones, even if you’re on a budget! srsly, worth their weight in gold. (i know most noise-cancelling headphones are like $200, but i got mine at CVS for under 40 bucks. and they have made a tremendous diff in my life.)

*yeast infection? try taking a goldenseal bath! draw a steamy hot bath and put 3-4 goldenseal teabags in there with you. it’s a lot easier than a) drinking it (it’s beyond disgusting) or b) making a goldenseal douche, as some herbal handbooks recommend. and it worked really well, for me, anyway. goldenseal’s a pretty strong herb, you shouldn’t use it too regularly, and if you sit in the tub with it too long, it might make your skin a little dry (although it usually makes my skin deliciously soft, yay!)

*someone near and dear to me helped research this story in the NYT about hydrofracking, and how the runoff is extremely toxic & radioactive, and is winding up in our drinking water. fracking is a pretty hot-button issue around here because it’s literally in our backyard, but seems to have been not such a big concern in the rest of the country…until now?! I don’t know, but this shit is scary, my friends. read it & get angry. (well, i won’t tell you how you should feel. but you’ll probably be angry, and scared.)

on a thoroughly unrelated note, look! it’s me (and alicia, stephanie and a whole bunch of other people) ! in the pittsburgh post-gazette!

in case you can’t read my sign, it says, “i don’t care what congress says–our lives matter!”

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