Or an honest review of THINX
The experts say tampons do not cause cramps. However, if you go and do a google search with “do tampons cause cramps?” you get page after page of women, like Nicole from Nicole Jardim, ditching their tampons and finding tremendous relief.
So why aren’t we talking about this?
Well, my theory is that talking about this question is bad for business. Disposable period products are big money (a $15 billion dollar industry to be exact), as well as the pain killers that help us combat their side effects (a $300 billion dollar industry). It’s also fun to note that pain killers create their own side effects, such as liver damage and leaky gut syndrome. I am sure there is a separate billion dollar industry for dealing with all of THAT.
My journey to THINX involves a lot of medication, sports, and pain. As a child I was on antibiotics a lot, leading to a sensitive stomach and gut. When the red sea started I was virtually crippled in one way or another. If I took pain killers, I couldn’t really eat, and if I didn’t, I couldn’t play sports. This lead to proscribed birth control, which offered relief from both cramps and most of my sex drive. This was wonderful in college, but in post college life I wanted a more natural, hormone free life. I soon ditched the pills and was back in the same unpleasant situation of both stomach and menstrual cramps.
I didn’t know there was another way. No one I knew did either.
Yet, I did suspect that something was up. While uncomfortable in other ways, I often found relief in switching out my tampons for pads. I hated this from an environmental and athletic standpoint, but it was almost like my muscles needed to flex in order to relieve the pain, and a tampon prevented them from doing so. I did a couple google searches, looking at the diva cup and tampon alternatives, and soon advertisements for THINX started flooding my facebook feed. I was intrigued. Could these actually work, and could this actually be a comfortable, sustainable, healthy and pain reducing solution to my problem?
The answer is yes! THINX feel just like normal underwear, and if you are worried about feelings of wetness or a gross factor, it is nothing more than what you deal with when wearing a pad. I think it is much more sanitary than tampons, considering tampons often absorb pee as well as what they are supposed to, so…. YEAH. How is that for EW? I am pretty heavy my first two days, and go through about 4 boy shorts within the first 48 hours. After that the normal hip hugger panties are just fine, but only the boy shorts are strong enough for my heavy days. As the day progresses, if you go to the bathroom you can see how your THINX are holding up and it is self-explanatory when to change them. I did have one spillage issue, but only because I was super lazy and pushed it about 2 hours after I could see that the THINX was thoroughly saturated. DON’T DO THAT, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
This is my third month, and I do make sure to soak (AKA wash my THINX on delicate in cold water without soap and then do another wash in the washing machine) my THINX before washing (as the care directions indicate) and hang dry. With this system, I haven’t noticed any negative smell while wearing them or after they are clean. After the first cycle, I have been completely pain killer free for my entire period. I do have discomfort for my first two days, but nothing terribly that I cannot sleep or run with. I feel so much healthier, so much more comfortable, and even just thinking about using a tampon causes a reflexive shutter of my whole reproductive system. THINX has reduced my cramps!
To top it all off, I feel much more green. I love using a reusable product instead of something disposable, and I love not supporting the pharmaceutical industry either. THINX is a non-made in USA manufacturer, but they seem to be a pretty good company; promoting women’s rights and family run businesses. Upon further research, I have become a little suspicious of their manufacturing practices, but I have sent an e-mail to the company and will let you know what I find. After all, how hard could it be to pressure a company like THINX into becoming certified free trade?
If anyone else has even greener alternatives to THINX, please comment and let us all know!
This week in updates: Goodbye Portland
In a wonderful and unusual week, Jesse and I got to spent tons of time together in Portland. There were no referee games to attend, and our only pressing concern was planning Jesse’s kitchen remodel together. Can you say I felt a little domestic in all the right ways? We worked well together, and picked out some fantastic cabinets from a local company, and a wonderful granite counter top slab. Apparently I am the quartz whisperer, and I can spot the man made materials right away. They just feel very plastic to me. Thus, we went with granite, and I love the feel of the completely natural material. Better yet, I loved the feel of Jesse and I doing some family planning. Together.
And going on a great hike with Jesse’s brother in law, Johnathan!
The Recipe: Mexican Black Beans and Rice
This has always been a lazy go to, and so obvious I haven’t put it up before. However, this is the quintessential beginner's rice and bean dish. For a week’s worth, rice $2, black beans $2, and salsa $5 (bonus points if you have a garden and can make your own for free!). You will want a strong flavored salsa so that it can flavor the whole pot of rice and beans. I like topping with shredded carrots $2, and some avocado slices for $3. Thus, a week’s worth from $9-$14. Makes 7-10 servings.
- 2 cups dried black beans
- 2 cups dried rice
- 1 jar salsa
- Soak and cook black beans.
- Cook rice.
- Combine beans and rice with salsa.
- Top with desired veggies.