Hello! Still dreaming of that fabulous bread pudding so have just posted the recipe for it and the accompanying caramel-whiskey sauce: Em-i-lis Recipes has topped 100. Very exciting! If you intend to make this bread pudding, please be aware that you will have to suspend your (probably negative) views on excessive amounts of butter, cream and sugar. Just get over it before you start cooking, and you'll be fine.~~~~~~
This morning I am feeling the need to share some information I have gathered over the years regarding women's cycles. To you post-menopausal women out there, congratulations. Go cook some bread pudding, and visit Em-i-lis for the post that will follow this one. To all male readers, you are welcome to go do something else, but you might also want to stick around and gain a little insight.
I am not suggesting to anyone that I have experienced before or am experiencing any of these things right now, but I am saying that as I'm mid-30s, I definitely have experienced much of this, have asked lots of questions about it all and feel the need both to find some humor in it, a la the Girlfriends' Guide books to pregnancy/child-rearing, but also to share some info that I don't always feel is widely enough disseminated or shared. We gals deal with enough without having to stay in the dark about anything. Of course, this list is not exhaustive!
1) If your nipples start to burn before or during ovulation or menstruation, this is normal and should not be feared. You might never have experienced this before, this symptom may have started recently, you might always have been plagued by this, but as far as I have learned, it's not terribly uncommon and you shouldn't worry unless things get really out of hand; i.e., you're starting to feel as if you could audition for the robotic gals in Austin Powers whose nipples are actually guns.
2) If you are feeling like a crampy, lethargic, water-retaining cow, carb-loading will make you feel nice in the short term but alas will not really help you long-term. Get some exercise. I'm sure it will seem like the complete antithesis of what you want to be doing -couch/PJs/bread/heating pad- but it will actually alleviate some bloating, cramping and general malaise you might be experiencing.
3) If you find yourself exceedingly emotional, like weirdly up and down, weirdly mad-sad, you could ride a roller coaster and feel like you're twistier than it is, you might suffer from PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. This is nothing to sneer at, feel embarrassed by or whatever. It's an actual condition that affects, according to the NIH, 3% - 8% of menstruating women. This link will give you more information if you suspect you might have PMDD and wish to ask your physician about possible treatments.
4) If you want to get to know your cycles and related states-of-mind better, look into the iPeriod app for smartphones. There's a free, basic version, as well as a more substantive (not necessarily better) version which you can purchase. It's never bad to know yourself better!
I hope some of this info might be helpful or informative for you. In my humble opinion, codes of secrecy and/or stigmatization about issues that many face (ex: the challenges of parenthood) just serve to further intensify feelings of aloneness or struggle. Life is hard enough without that BS!
Go gals (and guys who stuck with me through this post)!