VIVA LA VEGAN!

WHAT IS VEGANISM?

Vegan is defined as abstaining from all animal products in your daily diet. In other words, any bi-product of an animal such as milk, cheese or chicken. So I’m sorry vinas, no more half & half in your iced coffees or butter filled croissants from the local bakery.

BACKGROUND

Countless studies and documentaries have been produced to convey to the public why intaking certain foods and drinks on an everyday basis is unhealthy. For example, “What the Health” is a documentary on Netflix that addresses how the meat industry lies about how and where animals are raised. Not to mention either how the bi-product of the animal is altered. Thinking about how poorly chickens are raised is concerning and quite disturbing. Not all baby chicks are running freely in grass and consuming natural nourishment, but instead trapped in tight cages. Considering even a small amount of knowledge regarding the food industry and major food corporations can open eyes and mouths to what is really nourishing for our bodies.

WHY GO VEGAN?

Going vegan and reducing the amount of animal product intake can help with heart problems, tiredness, and overall health. Dairy is especially fattening and can cause stomach issues to some. For example, lactose intolerance is no longer uncommon and rather more apparent than ever. In addition, getting the proper nutrition you need from protein and healthy fats can come from many alternatives to meat and dairy. Below are some suggestions.

WHAT TO EAT

Here’s a very short list of items you can still enjoy while being vegan! Always remember to check labels and keep your eyes peeled for yummy treats in the grocery store, at local markets, or in the latest newsletter from your favorite place to shop!

FOOD

Tofu, tempeh, pasta, rice, beans, lettuce, chips, potatoes, fruit, veggies, nuts, dark chocolate, vegan cake and cookies

DRINKS

Milk (almond, coconut, nut, cashew, rice, soy), coffee (hallelujah!), juice, kombucha

OVERVIEW

Contrary to popular belief, going vegan is very affordable and easy. Fruits and vegetables are a comfortable price while tofu and tempeh are significantly cheaper than red steak or chicken drumsticks. There are always ways to spice things up and switch tastes around by adding, for example, different sauces to your tofu. Don’t get discouraged about running out of recipes or ideas. With plenty of resources online and convenient videos, making vegan dishes can be very fun, while also tasting yummy without maxing out your credit card.

Educate yourself, take time to see what foods are out there, and get to shopping! Mix up your life with adding a splash of coconut milk to your coffee while saving one precious cow at a time. Now that’s what I call a-moo-zing!

xo,

Mia Costa

To find your fellow vegan vinas, join the Vegetarian and Vegan Community on Hey! VINA. Swap recipes and plan some vegan dinner nights in or out with the girlies today!

HERE’S HOW TO HAVE A PERIOD-FREE SUMMER

Summer is just around the corner. You might be prepping to go on vacation or book a weekend getaway before the warm months come to an end. If your period just so happens to land on your vacation time, read below for tips on how to manage symptoms or move your bleeding to a more convenient date or time. You’ll be hula-ing all your stress away in no time!

TURN OFF YOUR PERIOD WITH THE PILL OR A RING

Did you know you can avoid getting your period during your vacation? There’s really no need for you to have a period every single month — or at all, actually. If you’re on the birth control pill, just skip the sugar pills/placebo week after you’ve finished the three lines of active pills and go straight into the next pack. If you’re on the ring, change it after 28-30 days (four weeks to a month) instead of taking it out at 21 days (three weeks), with one week without it and a week of bleeding.

If you want to skip your period indefinitely, just keep taking the active pills until you have breakthrough bleeding. When you get heavy spotting, come off the active pills or ring for five days to have a withdrawal bleed and pick up active pills again (or replace the ring) on the sixth day whether or not you’re still bleeding. You might have to do this at three months, then six months, then nine months, until the spotting stops, but it’ll be worth it. Each woman is different: some stop bleeding completely immediately.

Some people’s bodies have really strong internal hormones and may take awhile to get used to not having monthly bleeds or might need a stronger pill to take over their system to allow them to not bleed each month.

STOCK UP ON TRAVEL-SIZED TAMPONS

If you’ve ever been in the uncomfortable position of trying to be discreet on your way to the bathroom to change your tampon (though let’s face it, who has the patience or the need for that anymore?) you might have noticed that traditional tampons, which are 4 to 5 inches long, are just the opposite of that. The good news is some brands make pocket-sized, retractable tampons, like U by Kotex’s click tampons or Lola’s 100% organic compact tampons. And because they take up less space, you’ll be able to pack a larger quantity into your travel suitcase or your beach tote and not have to worry about running out.

PERIOD-FRIENDLY PANTIES

For a longer stay, especially if you’ll have access to a washer machine, you might want to consider bringing along a couple pairs of period-friendly underwear, consider brands like Thinx, Dear Kate, Modi Bodi, or Panty Prop. These brands make underwear that can absorb as much as two tampons can and are made out of thin, breathable fabric that actually feel and look good. No obnoxious, visible panty lines or thick pads that bunch up this time — only pure vacation bliss.

SKIP THE BLOAT

We’re big proponents of redefining the term “bikini body” to mean healthy and happy. However, bloating is a common PMS symptom that can be very uncomfortable. This can put a damper on even the most self-confident among us.

Period-related bloating is caused by changes in your estrogen and progesterone which cause your body to retain more water and salt. For this reason, there’s no getting rid of it, but there are certain steps you can take to minimize other contributing factors. Mainly, avoid salty foods such as chips and canned soups, and if you eat out, ask the restaurant to lay low on the salt or soy sauce.

INDULGE

It may sound like we’re giving you a long list to check off before you can even begin to enjoy your vacation, but ultimately, this is a time to unwind and indulge. After all your preparing, you deserve to make the most of your vacation and treat yo self.

Go ahead and have a cocktail, if that’s what your heart desires. Ultimately, try to cut yourself and your body some slack. There’s no such thing as a perfect vacation, but with just a little planning, you won’t have to ride that crimson wave into your vacation.

What would a period-free summer look like to you? Sound off in the comments!

If all else fails, sometimes the classic movie and ice cream with your vinas is the move. Find your squad on Hey! VINA today!

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in this article intend to inform and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Pandia Health, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

HOW THE FOUNDERS OF BLUME ARE MAKING PERIODS SAFER

Our vinas over at Blume are here to talk about the power of friendship in accomplishing goals, what it means to have a healthy and safe period, and why they started a company to empower women every day of the month.

Hi Taran and Bunny! Tell me about why you decided to create Blume and your journey to get here?

We noticed there’s a lack of information and resources available for girls today. We were inspired to do something, because the process of puberty is something everyone goes through and everyone deserves to know what changes to expect. Beyond that, girls are presented with products with unsafe ingredients, making this isolating time even worse. We wanted to create a tangible solution and offer young girls products they can feel confident using.

It started as ElleBox. How did the business change and why?

With Ellebox, we knew 2 things:

  1. We wanted to create a conversation about periods so that people with periods could take on the world and live life without shame, stigma or taboo.
  2. We want girls and women to have easy access to safe, transparent, sustainable products that are not a threat to your body or the environment.

Through growing Ellebox we learned that these things matter to our customers, too. We also learned through the feedback our audience gave us every month after receiving their boxes. Rather than focuses on the service we were building, we focused on our why and found the best way to solve these problems for our community. From there, we relaunched as Blume and introduced four foundational products that customers were lacking.

What’s it like running a business with your sister?

It’s awesome! We both think very differently and have complementary skill sets, so it allows to tackle different aspects of the business, which come together in an efficient way. We also have 1000% trust in one another, which inherently makes running the business easier!

You’ve talked about how it can be lonely running as a business. What are some “gritty” parts about running a business and the stuff that most people don’t see?

In the early days specifically, as a founder, you are the business, which means that you are literally part of every touchpoint of the business and so while you also get to work on the fun stuff, you also have to ensure you’re making time for the not so fun stuff, like following up with lost shipments or working long hours to fix a broken webpage.

What is your advice for women who have a business idea but not sure how to get it off the ground?

Just start!

Tell me about BLUME how it works?


We provide everything from organic pads and tampons, to natural deodorants, to all natural blemish treatments. Everything a girl would need to help manage her period mindfully. These products work well for women of all ages and are made to grow up with girls and stand by them for years to come. More importantly than our products, we’re validating an often ignored & shamed life experience to celebrate womanhood and everything that comes with it (including the bad and ugly!)

VINA is all about the power of friendship and the importance of having your tribe. Do you both rely on a circle of friends? Tell us about how friends have helped you on this journey.

We couldn’t agree with this more! We both have a super close tribe of friends that we rely on and appreciate SO much. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey and we couldn’t imagine navigating both the highs & lows without a strong support system of friends around us.

Tell us about BLUME’s Acne Oil–Meltdown. What is the product and how does it work?

Meltdown is our all natural acne treatment made purely from essential oils! It’s anti bacterial and anti-inflammatory making it effective at tackling everything to hormonal/cystic acne to scarring. It’s great on all skin types and won’t leave your skin dry or oily—just crystal clear.

What makes it different from other products?

Meltdown isn’t made with any harsh chemicals, found in conventional acne treatments! No benzoyl peroxide or Salicylic acid is used, so you don’t need to worry about your skin flaking or peeling. It’s even safe to use underneath makeup!

Where can vinas buy it?

You can find all our products, including Meltdown, on www.meetblume.com!

What are your big dreams for this year?

We’re excited to continue building the brand that girls grow up with 🙂 There’s a lot of work to be done and we’re focusing on sex ed & self care this year.

On VINA, vinas use 5 emojis to define themselves. What 5 emojis represent you both?

Where can vinas buy it?

You can find all our products, including Meltdown, on www.meetblume.com! Feel free to use the code VINA10 for 10% off all Blume products!

Feeling inspired to support your fellow girls with a kick ass entrepreneurial gig? Find your next business partner vina on Hey! VINA today!

TALKING SAFE SEX WITH NEW PARTNERS

I love sex as much as the next vina. It’s empowering, liberating, and just plain fun, but if you’re not taking the necessary precautions, sex can end up being a traumatizing experience. The first step to avoiding a bad time? Talk to your new partner about safe sex. I get it – when it’s getting hot and heavy in the bedroom the last thing you probably want to do is talk about contraceptives.

Gif courtesy of https://giphy.com

But it’s 2019, vinas. It’s time we disregard the notion that talking about safe sex is a mood-killer. Do you know what’s unsexy to me? Unplanned pregnancies and/or sexually transmitted infections.

Gif courtesy of https://giphy.com

So how do you talk about sex safe with new partners? Well, let’s break it down:

COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

If you trust another person with your body, you should be able to trust that you can have open and honest conversations about sex with them too. This should always be an open-ended conversation as situations can change at any given moment. You and your partner should be on the same page at all times.

GET TESTED. SERIOUSLY.

It’s up to your discretion how much you want to disclose about your sexual history, but it’s wise to suggest getting tested with your new partner before having sex. It’s especially vital if you and your partner have agreed to be non-monogamous and are seeing other people.

FEELING SAFE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS BEING SAFE.

I hate to admit that I’ve been in one too many situations where I did not feel safe. It’s essential to be vocal and communicate how you feel with your partner, if you can, to avoid long-lasting regret. Remember, it’s okay to change your mind. You do not owe anyone, anything, especially sex.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED

Look, in an ideal world, you’d be able to have a talk about the logistics every single time before you strip down, but sometimes that’s not the case. Which is why it’s extra important to keep yourself safe and be prepared. If that means getting yourself on the pill, the patch, getting some dental dams, or keeping a couple of condoms on you, then so be it. Always be prepared.

At the end of the day, you get the final say when it comes to your body. So get to talkin’. Start the dialogue between you and your partner, because the sooner you do, the sooner you get to enjoy worry-free sexy time.

Talking about safe sex methods with fellow vinas made it easier to talk to my partners. Ready to find a fellow confidant? Download the Hey! VINA app today!

ADULTING CHECKLIST: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING

Let’s be honest, being an adult can suck sometimes. The bills, the responsibilities, the assumed maturity (that you don’t necessarily have nailed down yet), the expectations, and, oh, did I forget to mention the bills?! What happened to the days of only having to worry about a homework assignment, or who kissed who behind the bleachers, or “when is homecoming again?” There are times when all I want to do is forget my name and play Nintendo all day (I know, I totally just dated myself).

But there are times when it’s completely amazing as well! Like being in your own space, with your own things, and having whatever you want in the refrigerator! If I want to live on Cheetos for the rest of my life, I can! You can’t beat watching a friend marry the love of their life, but it’s not something you get to see much when you’re 16.

Good, bad or frustrating, growing up is unavoidable. Some still pretend to be teenagers – I won’t name names to protect the guilty – but we all change with the seasons and move forward (even if only chronologically). We all have our own toolkit to help us navigate these changes, but there are a few things that every adult should be doing:

1. LEARNING TO BE QUIET

Our entire day is filled with talking, explaining, sharing, interacting and presenting. The act of being quiet not only helps us reset our minds but also allows us to be introspective. Emotional intelligence is highly underrated, and being in a quiet space develops and cultivates your inner voice.

2. BEING FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

Granted, we’re all poor when we graduate, but learning to be responsible with the little you have now will help you build habits when you get that first fat paycheck! Financial health follows you your entire career and retirement thereafter, so it’s important to pay attention early.

3. PURSUING YOUR PASSIONS

Do you remember what you wanted to be at age 5? A veterinarian? A doctor? A lawyer? I wanted to be an Egyptologist! Super random, I know, but somewhere along the way life took over and that dream faded. I’m still curious about the way ancients lived, but working in finance, the two worlds don’t really collide. So instead, I’m following that passion by traveling as much as I possibly can.

Don’t let adult responsibilities be your excuse for losing sight of that joy. Find an alternative way to tap into the kid that used to jump out of trees (maybe that was just me) or treat all your sick stuffed animals with Band-Aids and wraps.

4. PRIORITIZING YOUR HEALTH

Healthy is the new sexy. We’re not all supermodels, and what’s healthy for me isn’t necessarily healthy for you, but we all know what healthy FEELS like. I don’t care if you think you’re “slim-thick,” “rail-thin,” somewhere in between, or no definition applies (I actually prefer to avoid categorical self-identifiers. We’re all beautiful!), being healthy is mandatory. As women, we often take care of others before taking care of ourselves. Ladies, put yourself first and take care of you. We can’t be there for our families and friends if we’re in the hospital or worse. Me Time is REAL!!

And last, but certainly not least:

5. KNOW YOUR WORTH

This is across the board! Not just at work, in friendships or in relationships. We are beautiful, strong women and deserve to be treated as such. Knowing who you are and what you contribute is an invaluable feeling that holds so much weight. When you know your worth, you won’t tolerate being treated as anything less. Self-esteem is a huge issue for many teenaged and adult women who don’t know their worth. Remember who you are and how wonderful you are. Never let anyone smother that fire that you have.

It can be rough being an adult, and there are days when we’d all like to be back on the playground. But to be honest, there’s a reason I blocked out high school, and no amount of money could EVER make me go back there. So for now, I’ll take being able to travel whenever I want to (in accordance with my work calendar that is), come home to a quiet house with my Cheetos and enjoy staying out past curfew! Something tells me that you feel the same.

If you’re looking for some new vinas to conquer adulting (and brunching) with, start swiping on Hey! VINA today!

MINDING MOTHER NATURE: FREE OUTDOORSY HEALTH HACKS FOR YOUR BODY, MIND & SOUL

Do you ever feel antsy after scrolling your Instagram feed and come to the realization you kind of feel disconnected from real life? Like, it’s the middle of a gorgeous afternoon full of possibility, but you can’t seem to stop double-tapping internet memes.

Our modern obsession with tech devices can potentially change our circadian rhythm, sleep, and even learning. I don’t know about you, but going from work to school to home to fitness class to any and all of the other indoor responsibilities can make me go a little stir-crazy!

Want to talk about getting motivated to set down the device, get outside and move more? Here are some tips that can boost health, promote calm, and cater to your overall well-being.

GET OUT OF YOUR MIND AND INTO THE MOMENT OUTSIDE

One of the best perks of spending some R&R time outdoors is nature’s tendency to help get us out of our heads. We spend so much time throughout the week thinking, doing, rushing, and worrying. When we hang out with earth, it relaxes our racing, buzzy minds and puts us back into our physical bodies. Fresh air, natural light, the colors and vibes of living things, all point back to a bigger picture.

Especially if you’re anxiety-prone, try getting your butt outside more! You don’t have to move to the mountains or become a granola-eating weirdo (but if you want, that’s totally cool, too!) to enjoy the full benefits of this planet.

It can be as simple as taking a 45-minute walk around the greenest park in your city. Maybe visit a free botanical garden in your area if flowers and plants bring you joy. Head to the beach. Start a container garden. Read or nap under a tree instead of slouched on your couch all weekend. Plan a picnic with your vinas, your family, or your kids. The options are endless.

The main idea isn’t what you do outside, but simply getting out there more often in ways you enjoy to hopefully better your mental state.

Vina outside in flowers

 

A DOWN-TO-EARTH WAY TO REJUVENATE YOUR BODY

You know what it’s like to have spent hours laying on the beach, hiking up a mountain, or chillin’ barefoot at a grassy park with friends? Going home, maybe you noticed a feeling of happy exhaustion– similar to that incredible energy leftover after a long, good run. Even if you didn’t necessarily do anything physically tough outside, you feel rewarded with a sense of “AHH, yes” in your body.

That’s because there are legit health benefits of being outside. Being present among the earth’s surface recharges humans in a special way. Nature gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!

You might’ve heard about “earthing” or “grounding”. This concept states that earth is surging with free electrons. When we come into contact with its surface, the human body rebalances whatever may be “off.” It can apparently supercharge us toward more vibrant health. We can’t always feel it, but many subtle differences add up over time.

Not only does connection with nature help our minds and bodies. It can also be surprisingly healing to us on a deeper, personal level.

GREEN, SERENE & NOURISHING TO THE SOUL 

I know not everyone loves going outside. Some of us could care less about getting sweaty, dirty, or even trying to sit cross-legged as we wait to “feel one with nature.” I get it!

But we often forget: so many of our different ancestors around the world understood the value of taking time to appreciate nature. We may be advanced, but we don’t just exist to work, find love, pay taxes, and die. Observing the physical qualities of the planet can bring us a clearer perspective, emotional delight, and a reconnection with our unique, meaningful place here.

At the end of the day, we’re all trying our best. Everyone wants to be appreciated, provided for, and understood. One of the most empowering things we can realize is this: by being part of Earth, we have a chance to participate in a great personal journey toward healing and growth.

Enjoying, learning, and relating to the wonder, resilience, fun, beauty, strangeness, and even the mystery of Earth is a gift we all deserve to be a part of. So let’s hang out in this space more! It can benefit your health, quality time with others, and the wellness of your communities near and far.

How do you mind mother nature? Are you an outdoorsy vina, do you wish to enjoy it more, or are you happy observing nature from a tidier distance? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Find your outdoorsy vinas on the Hey! VINA app and make some plans today!

REVERSE BODY TRANSFORMATION: WHAT IS IT?

Reverse body transformation—what is it? It’s what happens when you realize that whatever you’ve been doing has been working for your body but not for your happiness. We take our hats off to anyone who has stuck it out and lost the weight, but we also have tremendous respect for the women who have decided that enough is enough. What is good for one is not necessarily good for another, and the sooner everyone understands that, the better.

While one person may feel exhilaration every time they eat peas and carrots and avoid chocolates and cakes, others feel miserable and measured. When your happiness is dependent on what society’s ideas of happiness is, and when it’s rooted in what you believe is acceptable and standard, you will lose yourself in that standard. It won’t matter how much weight you lose, you will never feel like you measure up. Self-love is about so much more than what we see in the mirror.

I’ve done both the transformation and the reverse transformation, and while I can’t really choose which one made me happier, I can say that I enjoyed having a body goal. Mostly because it taught me that anything with the right amount of discipline is a one-way train to achieving goals. What I learned from the reverse transformation is that I guilt myself way too much. I’m my biggest critic, and I body shame myself probably between 20 and 30 times a day. We are so harsh on ourselves, to the point where it’s hard to take a compliment because you’ve told yourself so many negative things. You couldn’t possibly believe something positive is true.

adult black and white darkness face

Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

If your spirit is telling you (whether it’s a whisper or a scream) to STOP what you’re doing and take stock of who you are and who you want to be, that is a good place to start asking yourself if you’re really investing in your own happiness, or in an idea of happiness that you have somehow forced yourself to believe.

I am not at all saying that choosing to live a healthy lifestyle is taboo and you shouldn’t do it. I am also not saying that you should let yourself go and not give two hoots about your body. No, the complete opposite. We only have one body, we can’t trade it in for a new one when it’s dead. I’m simply saying that if something isn’t working for you and you are unhappy all the time because you’re hungry, or your lifestyle change is causing you to binge eat your favorite foods, or if you hate yourself for missing a workout and eating that Oreo, then maybe it’s not for you. Maybe you should try something else.  Something that you actually enjoy doing that will keep you healthy, motivated, and most of all HAPPY!

Diane Flores was a bodybuilder when she decided enough is enough. On her website, Living the Goddess Life, she talks about winning 1st place and the overall in the masters division in her last competition and even then feeling incomplete and unhappy. Today, she looks happier than she’s ever been, loves herself to the fullest, and teaches women all over the world what it means to feel sexy, how to chuck that insecurity, and why losing weight in order to feel sexy is a no go.

catherine-mcmahon-10118-unsplash.jpg

Megan Jayne Crabbe’s transformation is absolutely insane. She said that her new body is her happy body and that happiness isn’t a size. Totally agree, girl! Crabbe struggled with an eating disorder in her teens and almost lost her life because of it. That’s when she started her transformation to a healthier, happier version of the always beautiful her.

Body ideals turn us into monsters. We hate ourselves because we believe that those women who have the six pack and the chiseled, lean arms, and the 15% body fat have it all and if we could only look like that we would be happy. It works for them, it doesn’t mean that it will work for you. And remember, it may look like they have it all because of all that, but chances are they have just as many insecurities as you.

I just love Jennifer Lawrence’s idea about self-love. She was interviewed by Cosmopolitan in 2014 and stated that she sees herself as a Victoria’s Secret model all the time. That is a darn great place to be. I sincerely hope that every one of us can one day wake up and just be happy with the way we look and how we are built. That our minds are not consumed with hurtful confidence-breaking words about our perfect bodies, and that we will just love ourselves and see ourselves the way our loved ones see us. As the person we truly are, and that person is perfect.

Transform your idea of beauty and happiness with all the vinas you’re about to meet on the Hey! VINA app now!

WHAT ARE BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES, AND SHOULD YOU BE WEARING THEM?

You’ve probably seen or heard something about blue light blocking glasses in the last year or two, and if you’ve never really looked into them before, or don’t even know what the heck blue light is, let me shed some light…pun unintended. If you (like me) are constantly staring at a screen for work, then class, then to catch up on your favorite Netflix binge, you’ve probably noticed some super annoying headaches, dry eyes, the occasional hallucination, and even excessive exhaustion and loss of focus. Enter blue light. Now, blue light isn’t all bad. It’s actually necessary for our REM cycles and other natural hormonal resources, like breaking up our melatonin during the day. Blue light is in natural light forms, and that’s the stuff that tells you when it’s time to wake up and be alert, whereas white light tells your brain to relax and go to sleep.

Blue light becomes harmful when it is used in excessive amounts, which in this day and age is pretty common. The brightness of our phones, laptops, TVs etc. all play into our tolerance to blue light, or lack thereof. In other words: blue light could be the reason you haven’t slept in the last 10 years, just saying. Interesting, right? So here’s the deal. Blue light-blocking glasses are designed to do just what their name suggests: block blue light. Wearing them while you look at an artificial source of blue light is supposed to help reduce headaches, dry eyes and all the other bad stuff that we’ve been getting too much of, while promoting better sleep and focus! Now, it sounds kind of like a futuristic gimmick, right? I was pretty skeptical about this at first too. So, instead of sitting around and wondering about it, I tested three of the biggest names in blue light blocking technology to see just what they can do, and if they’re really all they crack themselves up to be. Curious? Keep reading.

PIXEL

This is the first pair that I tried so, I had no idea what to expect, especially being someone who has never needed glasses and therefore has never worn them. After a few days of wearing them, I noticed my tolerance to my laptop gradually increasing. Normally I find myself having to turn down the screen brightness as it starts to really bother my eyes, but with Pixel, I was much more relaxed.

The glasses didn’t stay on my face very well, and I found myself flexing my facial and earlobe muscles a lot to keep them up, which obviously became uncomfortable after subconsciously doing this while wearing them so often. However, I’ve never worn glasses, so this could just be attributed to me getting used to the feeling. I mean, I also had to get used to my eyesight suddenly being fogging after doing the dishes, and remembering not to adjust the lenses while eating greasy food. Woops.

Verdict? I’ve found a higher tolerance to my computer screen and can do work for a longer period of time without feeling tired or not being able to focus on the screen because it gets blurred/my eyes burn.

Style: I tested the Meru Matte Navy, which I would deem the cute version of nerdy. This is my practical pair that goes with everything but still looks trendy. I like the big frames and the sleek matte finish. 8/10.

Comfort: not bad but not great. Again, it could just be because the size of my head is kind of small compared to other average human heads. They slip down and cause me to strain my facial muscles, so I’m gonna say 7/10.

Affordability: The price range for these is between $80-$100 which, for the product you’re buying and the quality, is not outrageous in the least. 9/10.

Effectiveness in blue light blocking: my tolerance is up and my headaches are down so, A+!

BAXTER BLUE

This is the second pair I got so I had something to compare them to at this point, and I was super curious to see how they measured up. My first impression was not bad, I feel the same way about how they don’t stay on my face so I guess that’s probably just the feeling of glasses. My head is small after all.

Just like with Pixel, my eyes do feel less strained and worn out already, but I don’t think it’s about short-term effects or the way you feel while you’re wearing them, it’s more about the long-term effects and how they make you feel in the long run/what they prevent and the long-term benefits. So if you don’t feel that different while wearing them, try to pay more attention to how you feel in a month, or even 2 weeks after wearing them.

A little perk about this website: You can upload a photo and virtually try on any pair of glasses! This makes shopping super easy, and helps narrow down your choices, just like an in-store shopping experience.

Style: Lane/Crystal. Definitely upscale chic. These are very modern and current in terms of style. I love the look, it’s very minimalist and literally matches everything considering they’re transparent. The rounded frames are elegant and don’t make me look or feel like a kid playing dress up. 10/10.

Comfort: they have a feeling of “barely there” other than the fact that I’m flexing to keep them up. But other than that they’re light and the arms  are a great size, they rest neatly behind my ears. 8/10.

Affordability: BB ranges from $89-$100 so they are on the higher end, but even so, still an insanely good price for the product! 9/10 ONLY because there are technically cheaper pairs.

Effectiveness: eye strain is definitely down, and so are my after-work headaches!

Bonus: They give a pair of reading glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased!

ZENNI

This is the last pair I got, so I really had some experience with glasses under my belt at this point, and the first thing I noticed was that these were the first pair that actually stayed put on my head and didn’t make me strain my facial muscles. Not that the others are unbearable, but these ones are like, light as air. I honestly forgot I was wearing them after an hour or two. So whether the thing that makes me strain is the size of my head/lack of experience wearing glasses, or weight of the glasses themselves is still up for debate.

As far as effectiveness goes for actually curing the eye strain, they feel exactly the same as the other two. So I’m thinking any company is as good as the next, as long as they’re using the appropriate blue blocking technology. It just depends on your price range and style preference.

This site also has the option to virtually try on glasses like BB: a huge perk!

Style: Pink Round Eyeglasses 782419. The pair I chose have a marble effect and are very trendy and in style. They do seem like they may be less durable, however, than the other brands, but it doesn’t seem like that plays into the appearance of them. The case is not as sleek or efficient as it could be, considering these come in a rather bulky plastic case. 8/10.

Comfort: Suuuuuper comfy, could barely even tell I was wearing them most of the time. BUT one of the eyeglasses is closer to my eye which makes it a little uncomfortable rubbing against my eyelashes, so I have to situate them just right. 8/10.

Affordability: This is definitely, definitely going to be your more affordable brand. But there are honestly SO many choices, you can pretty much pay as much or as little as you want. The prices are all over the board, from about $7-$50 approx, so there’s a little something for everyone! 10/10.

Effectiveness: definitely helping my eyes relax after staring at a screen, and also combatting those annoying blue light overload headaches.


Overall, I really love all three brands and think that all of them are a good option if you’re looking into blue light blocking glasses. My tolerance to screen brightness is way up when I’m wearing any one of them; I feel like I can work on my laptop for a longer period of time, and they all look super adorbs on my face! So, win-win! And remember, these can be bought with or without a prescription. So if you don’t need glasses, don’t take yourself out of the game! I have the ones with no prescription and they are fab. Whether you’re slaving away in front of the screen all day, or just using your phone for texting and the occasional Insta post, I would seriously suggest looking into a pair of these bad boys!

Protect your eyes while you swipe on the Hey! VINA app!

HOW TO START OVER AFTER A BREAKUP

Life after a failed relationship isn’t easy: you are bound to reinvent yourself, to re-adapt into a world that is no longer made for two. Truth is, there is no single formula on how to start over again, just as there is no single formula on how to build a routine and stick to it.

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Back to relationships: every background is different. Do you share the same group of friends or workplace with your ex? Are you close to each other families? Did you end up in “good terms?” Does it still hurt to call him “ex?” Whether you are the one who made the final decision or not, you must rebuild your life. You are on your own now (think of it as liberated!), and you have to fill the holes left by him (or her) with other people and new interests. You might be still in a dark place. You might think that there is nothing good enough to replace him, or you even might think that without him you are not as special.

But here is a fact: you are still the same person. Seriously! That funny, active, creative, extraordinary human being that you are is still right here, but only more wise, more mature, and you now know better what is best for you.

I won’t call them rules, but here are some hints that will help you focus on what is important while recovering from a breakup:

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TAKE THE CHANCE TO START ANEW. Breaking up with someone can be a wake-up call on how we are guiding our lives. Perhaps after you broke up, you realized how much you prioritized your ex. Perhaps there was nothing else that you considered meaningful and of your own. I encourage you to take a moment and think. You are free to take on any project you want. Who do you want to be? In which direction do you want your life to go?

RECAP WITH YOUR FRIENDS. Wait, are you one of those gals that stopped being a gal when in a ferocious relationship with this guy? We get it; it happens. This new relationship absorbed so much from you that you stopped seeing most of your friends. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons your relationship didn’t work either, as you put all your emotional needs on a single person. Now, you find yourself back and don’t know how to approach your old friends… Truth? Well, don’t worry, if they are truly good friends, they’ll understand. Explain your situation to them, be kind and do not demand instant complicity: things will not be the same from one day to the other, so don’t rush it and give it time. Also, don’t do it again when the new perfect guy shows up.

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MAKE NEW FRIENDS. Look at your mobile apps. Do you see this cute white logo, the one that says “Hey!”? That’s your new best friend. Trust me. Before you get into another affair of the soul your broken heart is not ready for yet (think: app with red flame logo), realize this is the time to meet new people. Be bold and take the chance to meet up with vinas. New lifestyles and activities will bring you to places and environments that are safe. Go to places that don’t have strong associations with your ex. Build new memories.

REBOUNDS HELP (SOMETIMES).  Having a rebound is fun and it can be healthy as it makes you come out of your cave; put some makeup on, and see the light of the day ( or the light of the club). It can be very exciting, but hey–it can also be disappointing. It isn’t gonna feel as exciting or fulfilling as when you were in love. Still, if you want, take the chance of experiencing something new and fresh where there are no resentments, lies or disappointments. It is just a blank page you can start writing whatever you want to write. Be careful though! Protect yourself!

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DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT FOR YOU. If sometimes you feel like being alone, watching a sad film and letting your tears come out, do it. Sometimes, you just have to let the emotions out. The sooner you cry out everything you have to cry, the sooner a smile will come up your face. If you feel like partying, do it. Perhaps you feel like being active and exercising nonstop. That’s really good, too. The important thing is that you feel complete and treat yourself. Just look that you do all of it with the right balance.

CONTACT/NO CONTACT Ah, this is complicated. It really depends on every breakup. Sometimes your ex is still your best friend and will help you go through the adaptation to your new situation. But most of the times, it is just better that you do your own thing for a while. You probably won’t want to know when your ex meets a new girl or has an amazing trip planned for the summer. If this person was toxic for you or you realize that even after breaking up you are still too dependent on him, don’t doubt on trying stronger measures: temporarily unfollow from social networks and delete him from your phone contacts. These can seem extreme but will give you the space you really need. When you’re feeling down, call your favorite vina and talk it out with her.

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PATIENCE. Breakups are messy and very emotional. It’s going to take some time to feel less vulnerable and more stable. Perhaps you think you are making massive progress (and, in truth, you are!), but then your ex shows up unexpectedly at a party and that affects you more than you wished. Maybe you break apart. It’s important to know: That is okay. It will be okay. Real change is slow. The good news? You have come a long way and the next day, you are gonna be stronger than ever.

So plan something fun with your friends. Be kind to yourself. And remember you will heal and find someone deserving of all you have to offer.

Looking for new vinas to help you through your heartache? Start swiping now.

Feature image @citroenzx.tumblr.com

STAY HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS WITH THESE 5 WORKOUTS!

The holidays are about celebrating friends, family, and the future. And of course, no celebration is complete without some delicious food! Do not deprive yourself from that turkey, pie, cookies, or any other delicacy you may find on the table. Instead, think of balancing it all out with exercise. With a little discipline, you can easily incorporate a 20-30 minute workout into your daily routine. Just remember that it’s a lot harder to start from scratch after a long period of inactivity than it is to maintain a constant flow of exercise.

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Since many of us will be traveling during the holidays, it is safe to assume we will not all have access to a gym with weights. On top of that, the commute to the gym alone can be an additional hour taken away from family or friends. Fear not, your body weight is perfectly sufficient and you can stay right at home to workout. So let’s get to it, vinas!

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

Here’s a workout that will focus on your triceps, biceps, shoulders, core, and quads. Get into a plank position, hands directly below your shoulders, and bring one knee to your chest. Switch. Keep going as fast as you can for 45 seconds.

BEAR CRAWLS

This exercise challenges multiple muscles: glutes, shoulders, chest, core, and legs. Get on all fours and lift your knees two inches off the ground. Crawl forward as many yards as you can (10 yards max), then crawl backwards. Keep going for 30 seconds.

180 SQUAT JUMPS

Let’s get your heart rate up by getting into a squat position and jumping 180 degrees to land in another squat. This is a killer workout for your legs. Keep jumping for 45 seconds. If the jump is too hard on your knees, take it out and just do squats.

SIDE DIPS

This one will work out your core and shoulders. Get into plank pose with your elbows on the ground and dip your hips on each side. Keep going for 30 seconds.

THE FROG

This is a great core workout. Lay down flat on your back and bring your hands behind your head in a crunch position. Crunch and simultaneously bring your knees to your elbows. Repeat 10 times.

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If you want a little extra credit, you can always do the good ol’ burpees and jumping jacks for some quality cardio. After a good workout, you’ll feel so much less guilty about indulging this holiday season!

Working out is always more fun with a vina to join you! Download the app now for an extra fun and healthy holiday season!