First off, I want to thank everyone for following along these last 10 days. I hope it has been helpful in explaining WHY we suggest what we do in treating and managing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) with diet.
I was thinking that the best way to finish it off would be to recap, and give some of my tips to help you keep on track. Some of these have only come to me this week while trying to stay the course myself. It is often easier to tell other what to do, but once you walk in their shoes the truth becomes clearer. I have been telling clients what to do for PCOS for awhile now. After being strict about the diet this week, I will say, I have some new insight, and I think it will help you as much as I feel it will help me to communicate with you and clients. Here is what I found/find helpful for maintaining the Basic Principles of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Diet.
Making Baked Goods with Nut Flours
Many of the recipes and foods that we love are not forbidden, they just need some modification. Take my Almond Flour "Fried" Chicken. By not only substituting the white flour for almond flour (which is just ground almonds, which are high in Vitamin E by the way), but baking the chicken, you make a healthy and more nutrient dense meal with out sacrificing the satisfaction and flavor.
Knowing what can be substituted in baking and "flour" based cooking is a big help. With the increase in the diagnosis of grain and gluten allergens, which cause increased inflammation, the substitution possibilities are endless.
When it comes to baked goods, there are many "paleo" recipes out there that utilize Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, Garbanzo Flour, Barley Flour and other that are low glycemic and more nutrient dense substitute. Experiment, see what works for you and what meets your families tastes. My family has no problem with the coconut and almond flavors, so we use those most of all.
Make Your Own Dairy Substitutes
Coconut and Almond Milk are expensive!!!! Goo!! I couldn't believe the price difference between regular (even good, quality, organic milk) and Good Almond Milk (without added junk), wowzers! I found a couple of great video tutorials on how to make your own nut milks.
I read an article recently on the growing problem with nut milk by-product. There are huge amounts of almond meal that are discarded in the making of Almond Milk. What a waste! If you make it at home, you can safe the almond meal and use it in cooking, as pie crust, or in smoothies.
Homemade nut milk is also more flavorful, creamier, and WAY cheaper.
When You Cook, Cook Big
Many of us do not have the time to cook for ourselves even once a day, let along 3-6 times per day. I find/found it helpful to cook BIG MEALS when I did cook. This way I would have portioned out meals that work as mini-meals throughout the day. Making them into ready-to-go, easy to grab containers is helpful for busy work weeks. Grab a couple for breakfast, lunch, snack, whatever you need for the day, and know that they are balanced, portioned and ready to eat.
Learn to Feel Satisfied Not Full
One of the first things I work on with clients looking to loose weight, is learning to feel satisfied. This is often the biggest, and hardest thing for people to do. This means eating with consciousness.
When you eat any meal, sit and eat and enjoy each bite. Do not wolf down your food. The signals in your digestive system take about 15 minutes or longer to catch up with your brain. This is why you often eat till you are full, and feel fuller as time goes on after finishing your meal. By eating with consciousness, and enjoying each of your bites, you will naturally reach point where your immediate hunger has been satisfied. This is the point when you should stop eating this meal. This is how you know your digestive system has reached a manageable point, this is the amount of food that your system can hold and digest at one time. For each of us, this is different, but in general it is not 1/2 a chicken with a baked potato and a bowl of corn…it's really more like 4-6 oz of chicken, with 2-4 oz of sweet potato and a hand full of green beans, some it's less.
If have been in the habit of eating very large meals for a long time, your stomach is partially expanded and this awareness may take some time. Do not despair, like all arts it takes practice and if you are dedicated, you will get there.
Eat When You Are Hungry
When we are using diet to keep blood sugar levels controlled, the smaller meals play a big part, as does eating when you are hungry. It's okay to be hungry!!!! Many people fear the nagging growl of their stomachs. This is OKAY!!! Just make sure you eat when you feel hungry.
Now, here is the deal, many people THINK they are hungry when they are really just bored, routined, or thirsty. To really be hungry is to need to eat for body fuel. Being "hungry" because someone at work brought doughnuts and they look yummy, is not being hungry. Being hungry is need fuel so badly you will choose the fruit, or nuts. I had an example a couple of weeks ago on my Facebook feed...
Example: I keep a bag of mixed nuts (almonds mostly) in my car. I am notorious for skipping meals, or not planning ahead on road trips. I keep this bag in my car for the times I am really hungry, nut just craving food. I HATE NUTS!!! Honestly, I really do. If I had to choose between nuts, and dried fish…I would choose dried fish (it's honestly really good…hooray for odd childhood cultural snacks). But, If I am really hungry, those nuts are the most amazing thing I have ever tasted! THAT is how I know I am actually hungry. Afterwards, I am completely satisfied and ready to tackle the next couple of hours.
Keep a Snack Stash
Like I mentioned above, I have an emergency stash of snacks in my car, purse, work bag, and backpack. Not only is this for me, of those times that I am actually hungry, but for my kiddos. Same goes for them, if they are REALLY hungry, they will whatever snack I have in the car.
These snacks are NOT graham crackers, cookies, cheddar bunnies, etc… that are tasty, but healthy snacks like raw nuts, seaweed snacks, veggie sticks, etc…(that are also tasty, just not American, processed, tasty) This way I know that they, or I, am actually hungry and not just bored on the drive somewhere.
Carry a Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is my personal biggest issue. I found it easier to make sure I have a water bottle with me 24/7. Even if it is not full, I will see it in my purse and realize I need to drink some water. The more hydrated you are the more your fluids are nourished, blood flows smoothing, joints are lubricated, and our organs are in better health.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a disease associated with increased pus symptoms (in the ovaries, of course). The more hydrated you are, the thinner the fluids are and the more efficiently they can be moved and clear from the body.
These were great this morning. We got up and geared up for a day of fishing. I needed easy meals that would pack well this early morning.
Breakfast #10 Grab-and-Go Egg Cups
Preheat oven 350
In a cupcake tin, coat 6 spaces with 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil. Layer with Ham, spinach, and crack an egg into each. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Bake until yolks are cooked through.
* NOTE: There are several variations of these on the internet (love me some Pinterest). Get creative with the ingredients. Today's were super quick and easy to put together.
* NOTE: These are great snacks too.
Lunch #10 Chicken and Leek Salad with Apple "Chips"
Makes 6 Servings
With Apple Slices (1/2 an apple)
Debone and shred chicken (save bones for future bone broth), reserving 1/4 cup of the juice from cooking. Add chicken and juice to mixing bowl. Slice only the white parts of the leek, wash well, and add to bowl. Chop the water chestnuts and add to bowl. Quarter grapes and add to bowl. Add Mayonnaise and mix well. Season with S/P to taste. Let set, it tastes better.
Use Apple Slices as Crackers.
I honestly don't have pictures of most of what I ate today, because I left my phone at home (camera)…oops. We did however bring Hummus, Carrot Sticks, Cucumber Sticks, Dried Apricots, Cashews, Kind Bars and more, for the family to snack on throughout the day.
I ended up eating a little of everything.
PCOS Nutrition Part 1: Basic Dietary Principles
PCOS Nutrition Part 2: Avoiding Dairy
PCOS Nutrition Part 3: Sugar
PCOS Nutrition Part 4: Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load
PCOS Nutrition Part 5: Building Your Meal
PCOS Nutrition Part 6: Understanding Hormones
PCOS Nutrition Part 7: Fat Soluble Vitamins
PCOS Nutrition Part 8: Increasing Dietary Fats
PCOS Nutrition Part 9: Top 10 Foods for PCOS
PCOS Nutrition Part 10: Tips for Implementing the PCOS Diet