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CBUS Startup — Aunt Flow — Wants to Talk About Your Periods

614now Staff

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CBUS Startup — Aunt Flow, Wants to Talk About Your Periods

by Paola Santiago, Photos by Allison Lehman (The Wonder Jam)


Periods or female menstruation is often a taboo topic, which is, frankly, ludicrous, because periods are entirely natural and happen to of-age women around the globe. It’s like breathing or growing hair or sweating — and there’s a teenage CEO that wants to talk to you about it.

Ohio native and OSU dropout Claire Coder, started her business as a teen and realized helping women with their periods was the passion her heart wanted to follow.

“My mom would talk to me about the women who she was serving who didn’t have access to these products, because they didn’t have tampons and pads. Stuff like that really started getting to me. It’s literally unimaginable hell if you didn’t have the products that you need,” Coder’s mother, an art therapist, works with underprivileged and homeless women.

These women often use leaves or plastic, sometimes multiple layers of clothing to mask their periods — which can endanger their health. Needy and homeless women often go so long without using real sanitary menstrual measures that they forget or are never taught how to actually use them. This service isn’t about filling a possible need, it’s about filling a gap that has always been there and gets bigger every day.

And so, Aunt Flow was born — a subscription service that sends you a box of tampons or pads to your door, and for every box you purchase, a box is sent to a woman in need.

After a year of crazy crowd funding, fundraising events, working odd jobs to make ends meet, and being another Columbus one-(wo)man-band, she’s finally launched her service.

“We’re set to send out 100,000 tampons and pads in the first year of business – that’s kind of my measurement of success, how many vaginas can I fill with tampons and pads,” said Coder.
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So this service is pretty friggin’ awesome — especially because although it shouldn’t be taboo, periods are still treated like the plague. Going to the store to buy a box of tampons or pads, and then having to walk through the entire store with the box in your hand is basically like wearing a giant neon sign that says, “HELLO WORLD, I’M ON MY PERIOD.”

Now imagine you can’t even buy the products that help you manage a period. If that’s a type of hell, Aunt Flow is heaven.

The cotton pads and tampons are sourced from Veeda USA and are 100% cotton, as opposed to other popular brands that can mix cotton with other synthetic materials, irritating dyes, and scents.

Coder’s services run anywhere from $13 to $140 depending on how many products you want delivered in one year.

“My goal is to make sure that every human has access to quality products that you put in your body.”

So be proud of your period (or a friend’s period) and visit her website here to learn how you can help a woman in need “flow forward.”

 

 

 

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Does “detox water” really work?

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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Water, H20, aqua: the most basic of necessities for human life. Water is a vital part of many bodily functions, including removal of waste products, but can we make water even “better” for us as a “detox water?"

Simple answer: no.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1F2t7Vg91U/?igshid=9icqe17xmslg

H20, i.e. two hydrogen atoms connected to an oxygen atom, is the chemical identity of water. This specific formation is what separates it from other molecules, and makes it the most vital substance to human existence.

Soaking things in your water like ginger, cinnamon, or cucumbers can alter the taste but will not chemically alter the structure. Water infusions like the ones listed in the post above can taste great, but water is still H20 and will function as such.

That being said, water infusions are not bad; in fact if you’re struggling to meet your daily intake, water infusions are often an idea I suggest to patients and clients. Mixing up the flavors can bring water can elevate the flavor, making it easier to drink throughout the day!

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you water can be changed to a magical detox; water is already an amazing life giving drink. Instead, use social media for inspiration for trying a new tasty drink that might help you get the adequate hydration you’ve been struggling to get!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: 30 Day Challenges

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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@DietBetch, a popular Instagram account with over 213k followers, tends to post memes that subtly poking fun at our diet culture. But recently, I was disappointed to see a post about a "30 Day Challenge" that reinforces the unhealthy, fad diet-obsessed world we live in.

This "30 Day Challenge" prohibits participants from consuming foods that many people often associate with being “unhealthy” like soda, candy, and doughnuts.

As a dietitian, I’m not going to disagree that the foods listed do tend to be higher in nutrients of concerns—like added sugars and salt, and overall calories—but, I absolutely believe they can be part of a balanced diet.

By completely removing foods from the diet with a 30 Day Challenge like this, one will simply think, “No…for this month." This purge-style challenge won't teach healthy sustainable eating habits like intuitive eating or portion control.

Take-away: Instead of tagging a friend for a restrictive diet challenge that doesn’t set either of you up for long-term success, try implementing a small sustainable change. Maybe instead of going out for fast food every day of the workweek with a friend, you both could try packing once a week and share recipes and meal ideas!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: “His” vs “Her” portions

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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It’s not uncommon to scroll through Instagram and see beautiful plates of food labeled “his” and “hers.” Typically the “his” plate is larger in all portions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

But, this depiction of portioning is inaccurate and can be damaging to the way women satisfy their hunger.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmBjeBnB5jb/

Gender does not determine the quantity of food people “should” eat. From a science perspective, there are so many variables that affect metabolic rates that are not specific to sex, such as amount of muscle mass, fat mass, location of these deposits, physical activity, and more. 

For example, a very active, self-identified woman with high lean body mass can have significantly higher maintenance caloric needs compared to a more sedentary male identifying person. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxnh7yaFftA/

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you that gender determines the amount you deserve to eat. Listen to your body and your hunger cues. Fuel your body for what you need!

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