Tampon Shortage

ICYMI: there’s a tampon shortage. If you’re a man and that made you feel uncomfortable, I’m sorry. Trust me: somewhere a woman you know is feeling even more uncomfortable after perusing near-empty shelves, or worse yet, finding she can’t even afford this basic necessity.

Because prices for feminine hygiene products have increased by almost 11% in the last year. That’s more than double the amount that oral hygiene prices have increased in the same time period.

Meanwhile, as the article points out, “P&G posted its biggest sales gain in decades in the most recent quarter, and the amount of money it made from sales in its feminine-care division was up 10%.” Tampons are big money for these companies. And raising prices is a no-brainer from a business standpoint. After all, “…people who get their periods every month have to keep buying tampons just as regularly.”

According to one female CEO interviewed for this particular article, “…there’s been no push to solve this supply problem, she argues, because many of the people determining prices and availability for feminine-care products do not use them.” I mean, that makes sense. The people who lead the companies who manufacture tampons (P&G, Edgewell, Unilever) are men. So they may not have considered that raw materials shortages and staffing shortages would impact feminine hygiene products. They might not also be considering the impact of this 10.8% increase on basic necessities that only women use. That’s why this article wraps up with this line from Thyme Sullivan: “It’s why we need to bring men into the conversation, because in many places, they’re still the decision-makers, and this wasn’t on their radar.”

So…men…welcome to the conversation (assuming you’re still reading this post about tampons). There’s a tampon shortage. And also we need reasonably priced feminine hygiene products. They’re a necessity.

Fellow women (or men): consider whether or not you can donate and share with those less fortunate (Check out the The Homeless Period Project for example). Or I know I, as well as many of my colleagues, keep a stash on hand for students in need (whether they have one of those potentially humiliating surprises or just come up short with their own supply). I’ve been giving out tampons to girls at work since I started in 2004. My own local stores were pretty bare today.

Thanks for coming to my JennTalk ™️.

*This article is on pg. 19 of the June 20/June 27, 2022 edition of Time Magazine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ripped from the Headlines

Zucchini Bread Breakfast Cookies

Today’s from-the-garden baking experiment: low carb (thanks, almond flour) zucchini (my plants have been producing like crazy!) bread breakfast cookies. They’re also a good source of prebiotics, courtesy of oats and chia seeds. Prebiotics feed the native good bacteria in the gut, keeping it strong to fight off infection. And they support the immune system. 💪 One cookie was actually a pretty filling breakfast. Thanks, fiber. Did you know most Americans fall far short of the daily recommended intake of fiber? In fact, a recent study* reported that only 5% of men and 9% of women get the fiber they need. That matters because inadequate fiber intake is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, two of the most common diseases in the U.S. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber a day. Plus, it can cause a host of digestive issues and other chronic health issues.

  • “Usual Dietary Fiber Intake in US Adults with Diabetes: NHANES 2013-2018.” Derek Miketinas, PhD, RD (Texas Woman’s University) et al.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gut health, In My Kitchen, Just For The Health of It, Maintain 2022

Zucchini and Zucchini bread

Harvested the first zucchini from our garden yesterday. And this morning, I made zucchini bread! I got the recipe from a book called Best of the Best from South Carolina Cookbook, which I picked up at a free little library near work while on a lunch break walk to destress. Win!

Leave a comment

Filed under In My Kitchen

Still Grateful for Food!

Grateful for food and the ability to eat it (gonna hold onto this one for a while!). Last night, we made individual pizzas with the gluten free crust from My GF Chef at Crack A Daddle Do Farm . Mine had a lemon-garlic-tahini sauce with tomatoes; mushrooms from DarkSpore Mushroom Company ; swiss chard and red onion from JBo Ranch ; kalamata olives; banana peppers; and feta cheese. For breakfast today, I had a mushroom and sundried tomato quiche (also from Crack a Daddle*) with some citrus fruit (so I can put the peels out later to dissuade the neighborhood free-roaming cats from using our mulch like a litter box). I also made some homemade strawberry (from the farmer’s market, of course) sourdough muffins with a crumbly topping, which came out fantastic. And as an additional note, I’m now the kind of person who drives her own herbs.

  • Trent said, “Is that a quiche from Crack a Daddle? They’re doing a lot more prepared foods now.” And he’s right. They are because people want convenience…but also healthy and good-for-you foods. We had their stuffed shells and Bolognese the other night, and I’ve got their Tuscan Chicken Pasta bake in the freezer for the next time I don’t feel like cooking from scratch for dinner. Next best thing to homemade because I know it’s made with good ingredients and not laden with preservatives that are bad for my microbiome and overall health. Win!

eatfresh #buylocal (for me, that’s at the Simpsonville Farmer’s Market !) #Maintain2022

Leave a comment

Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, In My Kitchen, Just For The Health of It, Maintain 2022, Practicing Gratitude

Pork Tenderloin

Sometimes I impress myself. Pork tenderloin (with an amazing new homemade marinade) and veggies (squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes) + peaches (because obvi): it’s what was for dinner, and it was good. #domesticgoddess #Maintain2022 #eatfresh #buylocal

Pork tenderloin from Bethel Trails Farm
Veggies from Lein Farm
Peaches from Hyder Farms

All available at Simpsonville Farmer’s Market every Saturday 8-12 at City Hall.


🍋 juice of ½ lemon
🧄 2 teaspoons minced garlic
🌿 ¼ teaspoon each dried basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley
🍶 ¼ cup oil
🤌 ½ teaspoon salt
🤏 pinch of black pepper
🥄 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
🍯 2 teaspoons honey

Leave a comment

Filed under In My Kitchen

It’s Ok to Not Be OK…and change your shoes

Things I shouldn’t think about while getting ready for work but did today (and have most days since last week): “Wait. Can I run in these shoes?”

I changed them each time. And sometimes my whole outfit.

Lockdowns for us last week. And for a couple K-12 schools nearby the next day. Discussions about all glass front rooms in one of our busiest buildings. And then yesterday in Texas.

I might need all new work shoes.

But seriously: it’s a scary time. And it’s ok to acknowledge that. Educators are told (explicitly or implicitly) to be strong for the students. But it’s ok to not be ok. And it’s ok to talk about that. And it’s ok to change your shoes. 👠

Thanks for coming to my JennTalk ™️

Leave a comment

Filed under Higher Ed, Ripped from the Headlines, Social Problems, Teaching & Learning

DNV3837: Clinical Trial News

DNV3837 From my news feed: #research #clinicaltrials news.

 The second part of the Phase II clinical trial of DNV3837 in Clostridioides difficile infections to be extended to Canada.

 In Phase II, everyone gets the treatment.

 DNV3837 is a narrow-spectrum, hybrid oxazolidinone-quinolone synthetic antibiotic targeting only Gram-positive bacteria.

 It is developed as a highly active first-line treatment targeting C. diff.

 It’s an IV antibiotic, so it’s good for people with severe diarrhea, for whom oral antibiotics may have trouble staying in the intestines long enough to kill off c-diff. It crosses the GI barrier and goes straight to where the bacteria are to specifically target it where it lives.

 Article contains a link to more info on the trials.

Leave a comment

Filed under C-Diff

It’s Negative!

🥳🎉 It’s negative! Negative! Negative! NEGATIVE! And even better it’s negative on the PCR/NAAT. 🎉🥳

TL;DR skip to bottom.

So c-diff testing, especially for relapse, is a little complicated. No one test is considered accurate enough to treat a relapse. So if this test were positive, I would actually need at least one more test before they pump me full of antibiotics again (antibiotics that, you know, destroy your microbiome and leave you susceptible to bacterial infections). There are 4 possible c-diff tests. The cytotoxicity test is the most accurate all around. It’s the gold standard. Positive or negative on that is pretty definitive. But almost no one will do that test anymore because it’s labor, time, and resource intensive. The ELISA tests (which would have been my next step if positive on the PCR) actually test to see if c-diff spores are releasing toxins at the moment. If positive, you have an active infection for sure. However, it’s less stable and therefore less accurate. The GDH/antigen test is accurate but only tests for the DNA of any strain of c-diff. That means it picks up even non-toxigenic strains, and there are lots of those that aren’t harmful at all. Most doctors do the PCR test for initial infection and first for suspected relapse (followed by an ELISA and/or GDH/antigen). The PCR tests for the DNA markers of toxigenic strains. It’s highly accurate and highly sensitive. Read that again: it tests for the gene that identifies a toxigenic strain. That, my friends, means that as long as they did this test right (and let’s assume they did), they found no DNA markers for toxigenic cdiff. The gene is not there. In a highly accurate test. That means not just am I negative BUT ALSO: I managed to eradicate all traces of that deadly bacteria. That means it’s not early signs of a relapse AND I’m not at risk of relapse anymore!


So maybe I had a virus and maybe it’s a blessing in disguise because I got this test result, which was unexpected. In order to get cdiff again, I would need to actually come back into contact with spores and be reinfected. No relapse. Hallelujah.

Thank you for all your support through prayer, good vibes, positive & healing energy. If you sent it, thank you. This is the best possible result.

Leave a comment

Filed under C-Diff, Healing 2021

Fennel, Cumin, Turmeric

Sharing this article (with recipe) from my morning reading.

➡️ Fennel: supports digestive enzyme production
➡️ Cumin: same + bile secretion, helps with digestion of fatty foods
➡️ Turmeric: anti-inflammatory + supports gut lining
➡️ Cloves: powerful anti-inflammatory

I used the first three pretty frequently when I was healing (and this recipe in the article is similar to one I made…without the veggies until I could tolerate them). I still use them regularly, and I drink a CCF (cumin, coriander, fennel) tea daily, particularly after meals. Coriander also aids digestion.


Leave a comment

Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Maintain 2022

RBX2660 update

More news on RBX2660.

➡️ “Most responders had no occurrence of diarrhea for up to two years after treatment.”

➡️ “The efficacy of RBX2660 is impressive and falls in line with that of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in rCDI patients, noted Elizabeth Hohmann, MD”

➡️ Between 82% and 92% of treatment responders remained free of CDI through six months after treatment in the phase 3 program, with “similar rates observed in the phase 2 program out to 24 months,” Dr. Bancke said.

➡️ “Additionally, our analyses indicated a consistent safety and efficacy profile for RBX2660 across the expanded populations of patients with IBD, IBS and immunocompromised status,” Dr. Bancke said.”


Leave a comment

Filed under C-Diff