Angela Grassi was the speaker for the Lifestyle Management for PCOS session. I was so inspired by her presentation and decided to buy two of her books. I was even blessed to spend a good fifteen minutes with her talking about PCOS research and picking her brain.
So let's get to it, shall we?
First of all: EXERCISE.
Disturbing Statistic: even 30 minutes of exercise per day can lower insulin resistance by as much as 50% for 24 hours. Even a 10 minute walk following a meal will dramatically reduce insulin resistance. Angela helped me answer my question of what is the best time to exercise with this statistic. After dinner -- do something!
Benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle:
- improved skin
- improved hair
- better mood
- better immune system
- improved fertility
- aid in weight loss
- support a healthy pregnancy
- maintain healthy blood pressure
- reduce risk for diabetes
- prevent cancer
- extend your life
Portion Control: Take a looksie ladies! This is the new research.
So as you can see, portion control is one thing --- but take a look at that. Veggies is now 1/2 and protein is 1/4 when in the past you may have been taught the opposite. However, protein still is beneficial for us and we can also get protein from our veggies.
But.... let's talk eggs for a minute, shall we?
Several presenters mentioned this fact - so it's worth noting. Eggs used to be known as a concern. Especially, because of cholesterol. This is no longer the case. But here's the scoop. We need healthy fats in our diet. This is true. HOWEVER. The inexpensive eggs in the store, most of them are omega 6's and those aren't what a PCOS gal needs. It was repeatedly recommended that we have cage-free omega 3's. With PCOS we're dealing with inflammation issues. That's a no brainer. Cage free omega 3 is where it's at. I spent some time researching this further and the research on this is a bit scary. This website is less scary. If you're going to google, proceed with caution. The point is we need to not only focus on what we are eating but also what our food was eating.
Wait... LeLe.... did you say we are dealing with inflammation issues with PCOS?
Yep.... true story. Luckily, the author of THIS STUDY/Article was also present at the Symposium and she broke it all down for us.
So again --- shameless plug: If you can donate to PCOS Challenge, please do so! These professionals went above and beyond to give us the latest, most up to date findings.
Now.... back to inflammation. Starchy processed carbohydrates and high amounts of carbohydrates increase insulin release and trigger inflammation. So things to stay away from - as appealing as they are.... include:
- white bread
- white rice
- baked goods
- sugary drinks
Instead focus on healthier carbohydrate containing foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes.
Are you ready to have your mind blown?
This is something I've known for years.
And it's finally confirmed.
STOP DRINKING COWS MILK.
JUST STOP. SAY GOOD-BYE, AND MOOOOOOOOOVE (see what I did there?) ON!
When I was pregnant with my son, I found myself throwing up every time I had cows milk. I was so naive, thinking to myself - "How will my baby get calcium?" - silly me, there are plenty of things you can have that are healthy for you and baby with calcium. I gave up cows milk when I was pregnant with Elliot in 2011 and haven't looked back. I don't miss it and it made a significant difference with my PCOS labs. Anuja's presentation confirmed this research. As did the Case Study session at the end of the symposium. We are the only species out there that relies on the milk of another species. The hormones in cows milk are an enemy to any cyster out there. So say good bye to it. Mooooooove on.
So what is this nonsense I hear about Myo-Inositol and Inositol?
Well ladies, it ain't nonsense. Check out Angela's website. She explains insulin resistance quite well:
"when we eat foods, mostly carbohydrates, they get converted into glucose in our blood stream. We need the glucose to enter our cells to be used for energy. When blood glucose levels rise, a signal (imagine a doorbell is rung) is sent from the cell door to the nucleus telling it to open up. However, with PCOS, the doorbell on the cell door may be defective. This means that it takes longer for the cells to open its doors to glucose resulting in higher amounts of insulin needing to be secreted. MYO, as a secondary messenger, acts to repair the doorbell so that the cell doors open in response to glucose, resulting in less insulin needing to be secreted."
"So.... I heard PCOS women should be gluten free. Is that true or not?"
I straight up asked Angela this question. To her face. Because let's face it, it's tough being gluten free. I personally have no choice in the matter. Gluten and I became enemies after my pregnancy with Elliot. I was told that Elliot would be my one and my only. I was totally fine with that. After having Elliot, my thyroid went bonkers and my simple case of hypothyroidism turned into "Hypersensitive Hashimoto's Autoimmune Hypothyroiditis" and I was urged to go gluten free. When I found out I was pregnant with Nora, we weren't even trying to conceive. We weren't preventing either, but we were told Elliot would be it for us. The team I work with is absolutely convinced that being gluten free for those eighteen months boosted my fertility.
But then.... when I was pregnant with Nora, I CRAVED it. I gave in (I mean seriously, look how cute she is) and had it and had absolutely no side effects or consequences. Mmmm bread, you addictive beast.
However, when Nora was exactly 6 months and 2 days old, my doctor urged me to go off gluten again. Your allergies change within the first 6 months following having a baby. Perfect timing. I was getting really embarrassing bloody noses and having joint issues. Keep in mind, I have the double whammy. Not only do I have the fun of PCOS, but I also have Hashimoto's. There is LOTS of research indicating a need to be gluten free for Hashimoto's.... but not for PCOS. Here's why ladies. MONEY. THERE IS NO MONEY FOR THE RESEARCH. IT COMES DOWN TO MONEY. Angela said that while there is no direct research, it makes sense to be gluten free because eating gluten free means you're eating less inflammation inducing choices. When you're eating clean, your body may just shock you and behave. When you are eating gluten free, your insulin resistance is more controlled.
With that said....
Later this week we are going to receive copies of the Power Points from the presentations so I may discuss this further, but seriously, if you have any questions --- reach out to me.
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God bless the Hashtag. I'm learning that Twitter may be the best option because you can make lists and search hashtags. Feel free to find me on facebook as well. There's a lot of information out there and if there's anything I can do to make your journey with PCOS a little less burdensome, I will do so. It's no picnic. I get it.