From Superhero to Supervillain: When Hormonal Imbalances Affect your Life


 I have always considered myself a very positive, glass-half-full kind of person. I don’t like drama and I certainly don’t like negativity. I wouldn’t be the person I am today If I was a negative person clinging to the past. So when one, two or more people tell me “you are being negative” my first reaction is denial.

But, I am nearly 34 years old. I am mature enough to think things through. I am impulsive ( I am an Aries) and I have a strong character. I am aware of who I am, and  sometimes I do act in the heat of the moment. However I don’t consider myself negative, but blunt and to the point.

The Pill, Aunt Flo and Hormones:

I never had bad PMS. Never. I have always been very calm and zen when it comes to pre, during and post period days. I have been on the contraceptive pill for about 10 years, plus a year and a half with the contraceptive implant. The implant didn’t work for me. It made me gain lots of weight and made me suffer from headaches, so I quickly got rid of that and went on the pill again. Microgynon 30 was my pill for about 6 years, then I changed to Levora. Both of them are the combined mini pill (containing two hormones: ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel or a progestin and an estrogen respectively). I had no weight gain, no mood swings, no PMS, and very light periods.

Background history: when I was 18 years old,  I had three cysts removed from my ovaries by surgery. They were big enough to cause concern. You see although cysts tend to be   benign, they can grow, burst and twist your fallopian tubes, resulting not only excruciating pain but also infertility.

Now at 32-years-old (last year) once again, a 5cm cyst was found in my left ovary.

I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collections of fluid — called follicles — located in each ovary as seen during an ultrasound exam.

According to the Mayo Clinic “Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity can all occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. In adolescents, infrequent or absent menstruation may raise suspicion for the condition.” I have and have had  in the past, all of these symptoms.

About a year ago when I was diagnosed with another cyst the doctor just decided to change my contraceptive pill (started with Levora). He said these cysts come and go and it wasn’t worth doing anything else. They are benign. However 6 months after the “treatment” my prescription for Levora  (contraceptive pill) ran out, and my doctor left the clinic. Since then I have been without the pill (about  6 months). During this time I have noticed some changes in me, some changes I cannot explain.

Hormonal Imbalance:

The cause of PCOS is unknown. But most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. Women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with PCOS.

A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal. Androgens are male hormones that females also make. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation. To me, ovulation hurts. I always without a doubt know when I am ovulating, not only because of the physical changes but because of the 3-day dull pain.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is not a disorder of the ovaries primarily, but rather, in essence, a disorder of the hormones. – PCOS.COM

According to  many online sources, hormonal imbalance symptoms in women can include (but not limited to) mood swings.”Women can be, and many are, greatly affected by hormone fluctuations. Sometimes it gets to the point of feeling totally overwhelmed – as if for a time they have lost control of their life,” says Christiane Northrup, MD, author of The Wisdom of Menopause and Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom. 

I think the key word here is “Overwhelmed”. We all manage our feelings in different ways, some great, some bad. But from a person who usually has everything in place, feeling overwhelmed with emotion and stress is not something I am familiar with. It is also affecting my relationships with close friends and family. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, some people close to me, have told me I am being (too) negative at times – I have noticed this usually happens during “that time of the month” and since my cycles are shorter and I have breakthrough bleeding that time of the month happens more often than once every month.

I don’t want to be that person; I am not that person. I debated for a long time whether to write about this topic or not. It is a very private topic and I usually don’t blog about these things. But today I write this post because I am sure there are other women out there like me who at one point or another in their life have been affected by hormonal imbalances. I write this post because I want to find natural non-invasive ways to help with my PCOS and Hormonal issues.

I am starting this series called “From Superhero to Supervillian”  in the search for answers, suggestions, questions, and natural options to deal with PCOS and Hormonal Imbalances. I start this series not just for me, but for my friends to understand my sudden bursts of Super Villian anger *insert buahahaha here* please bear with me! I promise I am not an ogre!


Please note I am not a doctor, nor an expert or physician. If you think you have PCOS or a hormonal imbalance please consult your doctor. Opinions are my own. 


Apoterra Skincare a Natural Way to Look After your Skin


I have been looking everywhere for organic, chemical-free oils, serums and masks for my skin. Skin care is something I take very seriously, even more now that I am thirty (cough) three years old. I came across Apoterra Skincare who caught my attention with their uber feminine and delicate brand image. I did some research and I feel in love even more!

Previously known as Caru Skincare Co, Apoterra Skincare is small apothecary based in NYC devoted to providing all natural, sustainable, good for you and the planet, effective skincare products produced in a truly sustainable and transparent way. Their products are handcrafted with care (something you don’t get from mass-produced industrialised big brands) They claim to use only “the freshest and sustainably sourced ingredients”.

All our formulations are based in a blend of herbalism, aromatherapy, and scientific research to provide you with the highest quality plant + mineral based skincare.

I love that their connection with the environment is embedded not only in their organizational culture but in their name.

Apoterra, means “derived from the earth”

Apo = derived from

Terra = earthapo copy

On their page there is a full description of all the natural ingredients they use, which range from aloe vera extract to cornflowers and coffee beans. [for full list click here] No harsh chemicals, which makes Apoterra Skincare a good alternative not only for the eco-friendly green consumer but also for those with delicate skin or skin sensitivities.

We source our ingredients from sustainable sources and buy certified organic when possible.  We like working directly with small farms/distilleries and plan to expand the number of small business and cooperatives we work with as we grow.

All of their products are formulated by combining the arts of scientific research, aromatherapy, and herbalism combined with years of experience in skin care products. Also, something that I really like is that they never test on animals, which makes them 100% cruelty-free. They test on willing humans such as myself. Which is why they have provided me with a sample of their Rose Nourishing Serum with Rosehip + CoQ10. 


The Rose Nourishing Serum is certified organic. It is formulated for mature or dry skin, with rose extract, and vitamin-rich oils such as rosehip, pomegranate, and evening primrose for deep cellular nourishment, stimulate collagen production and promote a youthful glow.

Ingredients: Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil* infused with Matricaria recutita (chamomile)*, Calendula officinalis*, and Symphytum officinale (comfrey)*, Rosa canina (rosehip) oil*, Punica granatum (pomegranate) oil, Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oil*, Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil*, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Sambucus nigra (elderberry) fruit extract, tocopherols (non-GMO vitamin E)*, Rose damascena (rose) extract, Daucus carota (carrot seed) oil, nourishing essential oil blend*


The Verdict: The Rose Nourishing Serum has a very delicate rose fragrance. It reminds me of my grandma’s rose gardens. The fragrance is not too strong, but if you are looking for a fragrance-free serum you might want to try something else. Very easy to apply, runs smoothly over your skin. I first tried it on my face and it was too greasy for me, however, I don’t have “mature or dry skin” I have a combination of dry and oily facial skin.

So I decided to use it on my hands, arms, legs and feet (which get super dry during the winter, because of the use of extra hot water, and the lack of sun/humidity) and it worked wonders! I applied a few drops all over my arms and legs straight out of the shower. My thirsty skin absorbed the oils pretty fast, leaving my skin soft and non-greasy. In a few days, my skin regained elasticity and had a natural glow! I will definitely keep using it as a body oil/serum.


Apoterra Skincare has a range of products for all types of skin. From Activated Charcoal + Dead Sea Salt Complexion Soap to Hibiscus Exfoliating Mud with Rosehip + Açaí. Apoterra Skincare is definitely worth your time and money if you appreciate natural, chemical-free skin products.




I Don’t Have a Problem with Love…


2012 has been a very good year. I had amazing professional opportunities and I meet so many wonderful people that I couldn’t really ask for more. And I don’t. I don’t ask for more. What comes into your life comes into your life mostly when you are not planning it. Life often surprises you with its spontaneity and “hits” you – sometimes good, sometimes bad – when you less expect it.

Some people ask me. Do you still believe in love? … And why shouldn’t I?

Love is so many things. Love is here, and love is now. Love is yesterday and love is tomorrow. I have no issues with love nor do I have any impediments or psychological traumas regarding the subject. I am perfectly capable of loving. Now, neither is to say that I don’t take precautions in the love department. Why shouldn’t I take precautions? We learn from our mistakes, and I like to think that now with a “more mature” and wise heart I can make better decisions.

That is not to say that I don’t believe in Love. Yet perhaps my definition of love transcends the social parameters of what many think of this precious feeling. Love is eternal, and once you love someone a piece of you will always remain “loving” – rather than “in love”. I love my first boyfriend, my sweetheart from high school, I do. We both learnt the true meaning of love when we were just 16 years old, oh and how did we love each other!. A pure, emotion filled, innocent kind of love. I love him. Yet I am not IN LOVE with him. I love the father of my child regardless of the mistakes, regardless of the nasty words,  and even regardless of the hell-on-hearth that he made me live. I do. He is the father of my child, I love him. Yet I am not IN LOVE with him.

There is a difference…

My heart knows the differences now, and so do I. We communicate with each other rather than it making all the decisions (I am still referring to my heart, yes) we know what we want, and we fill ourselves with happiness and joy every day. I am happy and I am complete… because being on your own doesn’t mean you are lonely.

And being with someone doesn’t always make you whole.

Today we live in constant hurry; we live rushing things up as if the world will end before we can finish the day. We confuse ourselves with the chemical reactions that love and lust bring into our bodies – yet not our souls. We go from one relationship to another trying to fill the gaps, without realizing that the gaps must be filled from within. We rush from screen to screen, from call to call, from voice to voice and yet we never have it all. We aim for the chaos of despair, and we reach out for the cheesy drama of life. We look, we want, we search… we fail. And we start all over again.

So exhausting…. (And when I say “we”, I mean you… not me) I am in no hurry. There is no rush, no search, no cheesy lines, no storms; and that doesn’t mean I cannot love. It means I have grown… In the words of Stephen Chbosky, “we accept the love we think we deserve.” ― The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Smoothie Mania! Detox

Its summer!!

Bikini, sun, margaritas, BBQ’s and trips over to water parks (if you have kids) time!!  Oh yes summers can be fun and relaxing but also stressful depending on your lifestyle. Nowadays we live in such a fast paced world that we hardly have any time at all to eat properly. Junk food, hectic life and overworking can lead us not only looking tired by also full of toxins. Yes, toxins accumulate in your body over time and can cause a series of things as small as acne and as bad as stress, far accumulation and cardiac diseases.

So… the solution?  Watch what you eat! And give your body a boost with some delish and healthy smoothies.

Green Smoothie

My favourite right now is from @iowagirleats (check her out on twitter, lots of fantastic healthy eating ideas)… the “Not-healthy tasting” Healthy Green Monster Spinach Smoothie. Its silky smooth, sweet (without adding any sugar or honey) and marvellous! It tastes like a none healthy milkshake but is packed with protein and vitamins…

Ingredients:  makes 1 large glass

Half a banana

Small pot of greek yogurt (plain or with honey)

A handful of baby spinach

A small spoonful of peanut butter

And milk – you can use skimmed, almond milk, soy milk…

She recommends on her blog to use frozen banana slices, i used a fresh room temperature banana but i added a few ice cubes. Blend it all together and get ready to have a party in your tummy!

This little baby has 10g of fibre and 21g of protein. It is for me the perfect on the go power breakfast!

Other smoothies I have been enjoying are for detox such as the Green Apple, Celery Smoothie. It is very fresh for a hot summer afternoon and it’s full of antioxidants and vitamins. It also helps your body to get rid of toxins.

Ingredients:  makes 1 large glass

Half a green apple

Half a cucumber (I don’t peel it but is up to you)

A celery stick

Some people add some cilantro or coriander too, but the taste can be powerful so just add a little bit and stick to the fresh stuff.

Add water and ice and blend well until smooth. Serve on a glass and give it a few minutes to rest. I take mine with a strawberry to eat and the end, helps especially if you don’t like your greens. This smoothie is practically calorie free as the celery and the cucumber have virtually no cals.

And last but not least, to change the colour of things I have the Blackberry Cress Smoothie. Its a mix of fresh blackberries, watercress and lemon. Again good for detox and an excellent source of antioxidants.


A handful of blackberries ( I use fresh but you can use frozen too)

A handful of fresh watercress

A tiny spoonful of honey

Half a lemon

Add water and blend well… I added the honey just because watercress can be a little strong and peppery in taste, and i didn’t want the smoothie to be bitter. The ingredients work really well together.

So there you have it a few healthy smoothies to detox and pack proteins on the go! Questions, suggestions let me know!

And have a happy summer!!!



Twitter @Onixjihane

Foundation me Perfect

It’s been a long time since I have reviewed a product on my blog but this one really impressed me and I feel compelled to share it with everyone else. As we know (or not) I have reached the age of 30! i am middle aged-ish (ish because I intend to live beyond 60 lol) anyway taking this into account I was looking for a new foundation to meet my “aging” skin needs. The foundation I had before in liquid version was way too greasy and was blocking my pores, and slipping away after just a few hours. The effect on pictures was horrible, was making me look older and greasy.  The one before that was too pasty and cakey, and although it provided great cover I always ended up looking doll like and not natural at all.

So it was time to find something new.

And there I was, wondering through vast the aisles of makeup at my local store which we all know can be rather distracting, with so many products competing for our attention. Anyway there I was when I saw this new – or at least new to me – concept of air foam foundation. Interesting I thought, and very appropriate for the hot summer days coming ahead, soI gave it a go; I bought Mabelline Dream Nude Air Foam. Tip: shake the little can before you apply, my first attempt without shaking gave me a handful of colourless foam.  Also you must apply to your hand a small amount of the product and work it from there. It is super light but has excellent cover, unlike some other mousses I had tried before. Mabelline Dream Nude Air Foam runs smoothly over your skin concealing all imperfections. I love it! I wasn’t expecting much from it at first as I have been disappointed by so many foundations over the last months but this one is a keeper. Perfect natural finish and impeccable cover.  I also purchased the Dream LUMI Touch Highlighting Concealer to go with it and boy they make a great duo.

The Dream LUMI Touch Highlighting Concealer does exactly what it says on the label. It illuminates your skin on those darker areas that might need an extra boost. I used it under my eyes and on the corner of my eyelids, as well as on the corners on my lips. It comes with a handy little brush – very much alike those that come with some lip-glosses – allowing you to spread the right amount on the right place. You can also use your fingers to diffuse the effect. It runs smoothly, fragrance free and it’s non greasy. Overall this two products will give you very good coverage without cake-ing your face; you get a very natural look and radiant complexion. They come in a range of different tones to accommodate your skin colour and are very affordable. I say give it a go!

Tip: when looking for foundation always try to get a yellowish tint in it. It makes your face look warmer and gives it a little glow, which you can also improve by using a little bronzer. But go easy on the bronzer!

Happy Summer Skin!

Keep an eye open for more summer skin tips coming soon.



Eating by Colors

So Easter is approaching and with it the promise of a hot hot summer, which means one thing – Bikinis! Time to shape up and leave behind the heavy wintery pies for much lighter summer salads, but wouldn’t it be easier if we knew before hand the types of food to avoid and which ones to stack up? Well scientists have been working on this one for a while and have come up with an easy idea. Eating by colors. And why not? After all different animals and specially mammals have relayed on this rule for centuries both eating and avoiding foods based on their color and what they symbolize in terms of nutritional information. So what if the color of the food you eat tells you more about its benefits? According to an article written by Eating Well Magazine based on the book The Farmers’ Market Cookbook (2009) “Anthocyanins make blueberries blue and may help to keep your mind sharp. Tomatoes get their ruby hue from lycopene, a phytochemical that may help to prevent prostate cancer.” But what does all it mean? Let’s look into it from a much simpler way and keep the science terms to a minimum paying close attention to what we eat we can benefit our body and boost our energy.

According to various nutritionists red foods such as tomatoes, guavas, watermelon, and red pepper are high on lycopene and therefore they help to prevent prostate and breast cancer. Orange foods such as oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papaya and pumpkin are high on beta-carotene which not only help us achieve an awesome tan on those beach sunny¹ days but also gives us a boost of vitamin A, helping our immune system. ¹ For a tan boost drink an orange and carrot juice thirty minutes before you start your tanning session and just wait for the magic to happen. On the other hand experts suggest that Yellow & Green Foods can be divided in two groups. The leafy greens such as artichoke, lettuce, corn, arugula and turnip greens all with high sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds that accumulate on our eyes helping prevent age related eye, and eye muscle degeneration – they are also a source of Beta-carotene but the compound is found in lower amounts (compared to orange foods). The second group of Yellow & Green Foods composed by cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels spouts, cauliflower and green cabbage. Help us clear our body from nasty accumulated waste or toxins.

According to Eating Well Magazine, “These vegetables boost the production of enzymes that clear toxins from the body and may help prevent cancer.” Blue, Purple & Red Foods such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, eggplant, plums and grapes are foods rich in antioxidants which scientists have proved to keep the heart healthy and to keep the brain functioning at its fullest potential – which makes them a must during finals. Remember the key to a healthy body is a healthy diet, so do mix vegetables with complex carbs ( such as whole grains and brown rice) and lean meats – keep it balanced. Consult with your doctor before engaging in any diet or changing your diet abruptly and some things may work for some but not for all.


For more information about eating by colors refer to EatingWell in Season: The Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Copyright 2009 by Eating Well, Inc. Published by The Countryman Press, P.O. Box 748, Woodstock, VT 05091.


Jihane Rodriguez – Article written for The Summa Newspaper, St.Thomas University. Houston. February 2012

Cover Girl Lip Perfection!

Yes lip perfection it is! and it well honours its name…

I was looking for a bright summery shade inspired by the catwalks and new trends seen recently; I needed something that wasn’t washed down, neither a lip gloss because sometimes they can be a bit too heavy.

I found this little baby, Cover Girl Lip Perfection in Rapture (280) a very bright coral with a hint of metal;  Its creamy yet not greasy and leaves your lips super soft and sexy! The colours are vibrant and full of character from fresh and flirty pinks and corals to sexy and mysterious dark purples and browns, I love them all!!! and at $5.49 ( at Target) you can’t really ask for more.

I recommend it 100% but as always make sure when wearing a bright shade on your lips that your lips aren’t chipped or it can look clammed, also make sure it doesn’t compete with the rest of your face, keep it simple only blush and mascara for a Garden Fairy look or a Beach Siren look ( maybe add a touch of gold to the cheeks and top lip for a glimmering effect)



Natural Lush Tan? Eat Carrots

Yes! Carrots are known to improve your skin colour because of the high levels β-carotene  they contain and also their high levels of vitamin A and high fibre are beneficial for your body,  so do it bunny style and get eating the little root gem.  Keep in mind that for tanning purposes it might be more beneficial to cook them before consumption, according to some experts “Only 3% of the β-carotene in raw carrots is released during digestion: this can be improved to 39% by pulping, cooking and adding cooking oil.Alternatively they may be chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews” (Wikipedia)

Perhaps next time you head off to the beach, the park or wherever it is you go for a tan, eat a few carrots or have a carrot shake (but cook it to release more of the needed substance) I can guarantee you your tan will glow and your colour will be higher in quality than before pre-carrot experiences,  but beware because massive overconsumption of carrots can cause carotenosis, a non harmful but rather colourful condition in which the skin turns orange (unless you are after the Lauren Goodger (TOWIE) or Katy Price aka Jordan’s umpa lumpa orange look)



Perfume Reviews: Coach Poppy

As a “proclaimed” or should I say self claimed researcher of new beauty products and a writer I needed some inspiration, so I headed off to the closest department store in this case Dillards in the search of something to stimulate my senses;   I found among other things this little beauty called Coach Poppy.

It is quite juvenile and perhaps appealing for younger audiences ( but Hey we are as young as our heart is) After some research online  I found out from the nose experts that  Coach Poppy “opens with bright cucumber, juicy mandarin and freesia buds notes it has hints of  jasmine, pink water lily, Southern gardenia, red candied rose petals and crème brûlée accord.” So in simple words  Its a sweet yet fresh scent perfect for hot summer days.

I give it my thumbs up! Its available at around $60 at the Coach website and shops but you can also get it at department stores such as Dillards for less, or if you are lucky you can catch a promo and get a combo!