Conversations With Our Bodies

By: The Fifth Vital Sign


The Fifth Vital Sign has teamed up with Daysy to bring you a talk and panel discussion covering the menstrual cycle, fertility awareness method (FAM), diet and lifestyle choices for hormonal health, and the effects of hormonal birth control. Our terrific panelists are: Jessa Blades, Abby Epstein, Holly Grigg-Spall, and Nicole Jardim.

Come to converse and learn, enjoy music and drinks, and enter a raffle for: Nicole Jardim'sFix Your Period program, Roy custom-made swimwear, movie downloads from Ricki Lake's and Abby Epstein's BOBB Films, Holly Grigg-Spall's Sweetening the Pill books, Fifth Vital Sign t-shirts, and more! Raffle ticket sales will benefit Yeah, That's What She Said. They are a collective of self-organized women in NYC (and beyond) whose focus is to highlight the work of poor and working class women, queer and trans women, women of color and immigrant women through arts, film, poetry, music & activist programming.

There will be a short introductory talk by Emily Varnam and Kelsey Knight of The Fifth Vital Sign on the menstrual cycle and fertility awareness, then we will open it up for discussion with our talented, renowned panelists. Read their bios below. We are so excited to meet you there!

Jessa Blades 

Jessa Blades is a make up artist, natural beauty expert and herbalist. She has been a make up artist for 14 years and specializes in natural, non-toxic and healing beauty. Inspired by the idea of true healing and wellness, Jessa made the switch to natural products and founded her company Blades Natural Beauty in 2008, providing simple routines, pure products, and expert advice. When she's not working on set for editorial clients, Jessa teaches private lessons and group workshops for women on how to apply makeup, how to choose the best and healthiest products, and how to incorporate herbs and food based medicine into their lives to heal their skin. Jessa has studied with a group of wise and powerful teachers: Rosemary Gladstar, Peeka Trenkle, Phyllis Light, and Nancy Phillips. She curates an amazing collection of beauty and wellness products and sells them through her site:

Abby Epstein

Abby Epstein produced and directed the celebrated documentary The Business of Being Born, with her longtime producing partner, Ricki Lake. Heralded as a “must-see for every pregnant woman,” The Business of Being Born premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival where it was named among “Best of the Fest” by New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. The success of the film inspired Abby and Ricki’s book Your Best Birth, which was published by Hachette. Their follow-up DVD series More Business of Being Born was released in 2011. Under their joint venture BOBB Films, Abby and Ricki served as Executive Producers of the 2014 documentary Breastmilk, the upcoming The Mama Sherpas, and are in production on two new films: Weed the People and Sweetening the Pill. Abby made her film directing debut at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival with the documentary, Until the Violence Stops. Prior to her film work Abby directed theater, helming National Tours and international premieres of RENT and “The Vagina Monologues.”

Holly Grigg - Spall

Holly Grigg-Spall is the author of "Sweetening the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control" (Zero Books, 2013). In 2014 her book was optioned by Ricki Lake for a feature film documentary. The film is currently in production, with Abby Epstein as director. Holly now works with the companies Flo Living and Daysy as blog editor, social media manager, and marketing consultant.

Nicole Jardim

Nicole Jardim is a Certified Women’s Health Coach + Functional Nutritionist with a specialty in young women’s hormonal health. Her signature Fix Your Period series of programs empower women to heal their menstrual and reproductive health in a fun and sassy way. She trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach, and completed a 3-month apprenticeship at a women’s holistic health center in NYC, a 1-year training program with Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD, and an additional 1-year women’s health and nutrition coaching certification program with the Integrative Women’s Health Institute. She passionately believes that all women can (and should) be active participants in their health and is dedicated to showing women how to take back control of their bodies.

We want to give extra thanks to our event sponsor, Daysy. Daysy is hormone-free and hassle-free--a fertility computer that can be used for planning or preventing pregnancy. For more information on Daysy and fertility awareness, check out their website: