Diet And Health

Diet And Health May 11, 2015

Well, Mother’s Day was pretty rough for me. I mean, I have nothing against the day itself or the idea of the day and celebrating my own mom is great. But it is a very intense reminder of that one thing I don’t have that I so desperately want. And at my new job it’s hard because I am interacting with lots of customers who all want to wish me a happy Mother’s Day!

I hope that this time next year I’ll be celebrating my first Mother’s Day as a mom. Any thoughts, prayers, well wishes, etc. that you can send my way are appreciated.

As you know, I’ve been diagnosed with a condition called PCOS that is one of the major causes of infertility for women. There is no cure and doctors usually suggest work arounds like using powerful drugs to force ovulation. However, I have two friends with PCOS who conceived their children naturally without these drugs. They both knew before they started trying to have a family that they had PCOS and had been working on managing the symptoms for a long time.

One of these friends suggested a book to me written by a woman who has PCOS but has not had symptoms in fifteen years due to her system of feeding the body in a way that supports hormonal health. 

It’s called WomanCode (which kind of makes me roll my eyes).

But despite the name I decided to buy the Kindle version and give her methods a chance. It’s the only thing out there I’ve found that suggests you can have some control over this condition. And I realized that I was looking at spending thousands of dollars on fertility treatment, so why not spend $10 first to see if I could do it myself?

The fact is, I need to work on my blood sugar levels too. I’m one step away from pre-diabetes. It can be reversed but I have to be dedicated to eating in a way that really nourishes my body.

Based on the information in the book, I’ve been putting together meal plans and I wanted to share those with you in case anyone else reading this book wants help with that part of the program. She explains that to best support your body’s systems, you should be eating different foods at different points in your cycle. There’s a great chart in the book for all the types of foods for each of the four parts of the cycle and all the types of nutrients you should be getting to balance out the hormonal changes that are constantly going on within your body. The timing of each meal also matters to keep blood sugar levels consistent.

(If you need more information about the parts of your cycle and how to tell where you are, Taking Charge of Your Fertility is the classic and a must-read for every woman whether she wants to get pregnant or not.) With PCOS it can be difficult to tell what part of your cycle you are in since you almost never menstruate. I had to guess where I was to start but I think within a couple of months I should have a much clearer idea.

Using the chart from the book and some of her other principles (only complex carbs, limited sugar, bigger lunch than dinner, no carbs or sugar for dinner, etc.) I put together these meal ideas. I’m still modifying and expanding. The “afr” means it is from the cookbook Appetite for Reduction that a friend lent me.

Follical Phase (7-10 days)

Breakfast

Oat muffins with plum jam and almond butter
oatmeal raisin breakfast bars
carrot banana breakfast bakes

Lunch

Stir fry with carrot, cashews, snap peas
“meat”loaf
mushroom tibs (afr)
mac and trees (afr)
creamy mushroom fettuccine (afr)
carrot pasta with zesty garlic sauce and brown rice

Snack

sauteed broccoli
pecan butter brussle sprouts
cool slaw (afr)
soft broccoli polenta (afr)
orange scented broccoli (Afr)
sweet and salty maple baby carrots (afr)
avocado
plum
orange
homemade lara bars: tropical, cashew cookie dough

Dinner

everyday chickpea quinoa salad (afr)
pad thai salad (afr)
cesar salad with eggplant bacon (afr)

Ovulatory Phase (3-4 days)

Breakfast

“pretzel” strawberry salad with fake cream cheese
roasted red pepper strip on corn bread
brussle sprouts potato hash

Lunch 

rajma
portabella mushroom burger
spinach salad with pecans
almond crusted tofu
quinoa with roasted red pepper sauce
spinach linguine with edamame pesto (afr)

Snack

almonds
chocolate date mousse
apricot
grilled asparagus
jerk asparagus (afr)
shaved brussle sprouts (afr)
strawberry
homemade lara bars: apricot almond

Dinner

strawberry spinach salad (afr)
spicy blue potato and corn salad (afr)
lettuce wraps with hoisin mustard tofu (afr)
red pepper soup (afr)
http://www.bojongourmet.com/2013/04/asparagus-leek-and-green-garlic-soup.html
http://www.ourhenhouse.org/2013/06/because-bunnies-cant-type-how-i-answer-why-vegan-with-my-heart-not-my-head/

Luteal Phase (10-14 days)

Breakfast

pumpkin seed granola
walnut banana bread muffins
pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal breakfast cookies
avocado with vinegar
scallion potato pancakes (Afr)

Lunch

spagetti squash chow mein and marinated tofu
“tuna” salad with chick peas
roasted red pepper sauce over polenta
“b”lt in lettuce
orange cauliflower
butternut coconut rice (afr)
chickpea picatta (Afr)
tamarind bbq tempeh and sweet potatoes (afr)

Snack

hummus (afr)
pumpkin seeds
oven baked onion rings (w/ chia seed breading) (afr)
roasted radishes
healthy pumpkin pie parfait
sweet potato bread
cauliflower mashed potatoes
apple
peach
pear
raisin
date
homemade lara bars: pbj

Dinner

sancruary chef salad (ranch style)(afr)
warm mushroom salad with cranberries (afr)

Menstrual Phase (3-7 days)

Breakfast 

gingerbread spice protein granola
chocolate peanut butter chia breakfast parfait

Lunch

wild rice pilaf with cranberries and mushrooms
wild rice salad with oranges (afr)
cranberry cashew biryani (afr)
black bean tacos (pinterest)
tempeh helper (afr)
yam and black bean soup with orange (afr)
wild rice and mushroom pilaf (pinterest)

Snack

kale chips
garliky mushrooms and kale (afr)
unfried refried beans
concord grape
cranberry
watermelon
homemade lara bars: very cherry (use cranberry instead)

Dinner

black bean soup
vegan chili
sushi roll adamame salad (afr)
black beans in red velvet mole

Pinterest is a great source of recipes. You can type in whatever restrictions you have and Pinterest will bring up gorgeous pictures of food you can make!

The diet does seem to be helping by the only ways of measuring I have.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • What is your current diet like? I grew up eating poorly (mostly processed foods and lots of meat/dairy) but have done a total 180 over the past 3 years (now almost all veg food except for fish & very few dairy products) — and it has improved my health (mental and physical) considerably. Putting myself in supportive environments, and surrounding myself with other people with good eating and living habits, was key. I also did it slowly over time, learning to make a number of dishes from the same few ingredients. Even though my repertoire has expanded, I still worship simplicity. (I should put together a menu of my own one of these days…) Anyway… “Let food be thy medicine.” Change is possible… and a good diet is essential for good health. No matter what, best of luck, Ambaa, you can do it!

    • Ambaa

      Thanks! I feel very lucky that I do know how to cook so changing my eating patterns is very possible. And having so much motivation to do it to help get a baby, even when I’m eating out I’m making good choices. And I’m seeing real positive change already in jut a month!

  • David

    Everything is changeable. By following a good routine. But what you have it to is follow that routine regularly. I think most of the people in our world facing this problem and because of this our fatty shape we get depressed. I don’t think so that taking lil bit of food can lose your weight and regain your previous shape. You must have to follow some instruction. Personally i’m using a dietery plan. If you guys want you can take a help from. It’s amazing and working for me. The way they explained is awesome. Just take a look

    http://bit.ly/1JzUitR

  • showyourfacewithpride

    Hi Ambaa, I also have PCOS. I completely understand your frustrations and helplessness, especially when you badly want to have a baby. I also tried numerous medications and quack remedies, including a specialized inositol, which was claimed to be a miracle cure for PCOS. But I found that what actually worked for me (in restoring some normalcy to my cycles) was plain old regular exercise and healthy eating. I exercise about 20-30 minutes every day or at least 3 days a week. I have incorporated more fruit and vegetables into my diet. For salads, I have discovered the dressing makes a huge difference to my satisfaction and appetite. So go ahead and use a small amount of fatty dressing if it will help you feel full with a big bowl of salad. I have a very sweet tooth, so I appease that by taking a fixed, small amount of sugar every day ( best to calculate as a percentage of total calories consumed). I also use lots of sugar substituites, especially sucralose.
    Not only has the diet and exercise helps with my medical condition, it has improved my overall health and I have lost some weight. I am also struggling to avoid diabetes and I think the healthy living appraoch will help with that as well.
    Thanks for putting up the meal plan, wish you good luck in gettyung healthy and hope you have the cutest littyle baby ever.