I have been dealing with my PCOS and Insulin Resistance Symptoms for some time now. I have successfully reversed symptoms and been able to lose weight by modifying my diet and exercising but am yet to have been able to get pregnant. Recently I decided to try a product to specifically address my Insulin Resistance. It is called Chiral Balance DCI (D-chiro-inolitol). I have been taking the supplements for about 3 weeks now. My periods have been regular for several months (exactly 30 days) but the one thing I have noticed is that my breasts are significantly larger. Not complaining but my first thought was "I'm pregnant". But I just finished my period so that's not it. Being the curious person I am, I needed answers and found that PCOS, which is caused by Insulin Resistance, has the following symptoms:
Irregular or no menstrual periods (for women of reproductive age)
Irregular ovulation Acne Excess hair growth on the face and body
Thinning scalp hair or male pattern hair loss
Accumulation of un-ruptured follicles on the periphery of the ovaries (mislabeled as "cysts," often called polycystic ovaries)
Small breast size or underdeveloped breasts (hypoplastic breasts)
Deepening of the voice
Dark or thick skin markings and creases around the armpits, groin, neck, and breasts due to insulin sensitivity
Obesity, weight gain (often centered around the waist), and/or inability to lose weight
Oily skin and/or persistent acne
Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis
There is no known cure for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Instead, a variety of methods are used to manage symptoms. These may include:
Diet changes (limiting amounts of sugars and starches) to aid in insulin sensitivity
Hormone therapy through use of birth control pills
Medications to address insulin resistance, blood glucose levels, or fertility-related symptoms
Ovarian surgery ("drilling"), which is a temporary treatment to assist with the release of eggs
Of all the PCOS management methods, I have used Diet Changes and Weight Loss to treat my symptoms. I am against hormones. And now I am trying some medications to treat the insulin resistance. The medication I have chosen is DCI.
So what this new side effect from the DCI supplement tells me is that it is effectively reversing my insulin resistance. Thus, my breasts are returning to their "natural form". Glorious! Hooray for boobies!
Hope this is helpful in some way and I will share more results of the DCI supplements as I continue using them in conjunction with my beloved Shakeology and regular workouts (usually Brazil Buttlift or Chalean Extreme). So far, no bad side effects. Hoping for a bun in the oven in the next few months 🙂
Eating clean means to consume food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. By eating foods in their natural state, you remove a lot of exposure to toxins that are used in processed foods. Most important to recognize about eating clean is that it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation. This leads to an improved life one meal at a time. If you follow these methods, you are on track to looking and feeling like a better version of yourself:
1 - Eat lots of Plants - Eat fruits and vegetables in their natural form or as close to it as possible. Preferably in the form which they were harvested. This means lettuce simply chopped and fruit freshly picked. However for some vegetables, you may steam or cook to change the texture if that makes them more palatable. For instance, I love broccoli but just like it a little softer so I steam it. It is still close to its natural form and actually it has been proven that steaming your vegetables breaks down the cell wall of the plant cells and makes it easier for your body to absorb the naturally occurring nutrients. Just don't over cook the veggies because then you do the opposite and destroy the nutrients. I like to steam until they veggies are bright green. If they are turning yellow, you cooked them too long.
2 - Include Meats - If possible get your meat from a butcher and not processed. If you want ground meat, buy it an ask the butcher to grind it for you. That way you know there are no mystery ingredients in your ground meat. Try to incorporate different types of meat like chicken, turkey, fish, etc. And limit your red meat to one day per week. Avoid canned or processed meat of all kinds and this includes: canned tuna, spam, and lunch meat (unless cut at a deli from a larger cut of unprocessed meat).
3 - Enjoy Grains - You NEED carbs so don't listen to people that do crash diets and are "carborexic" for weeks on end. Yes they lose weight but they put it all back on when they start eating carbs again. That type of diet is not a lifestyle and not sustainable. Eat grains that are "whole" and have not been broken down. Some great forms of grains to eat are: quinoa, Brown rice, Barley, Millet, Farro, Buckwheat, Kamut, Amaranth, and Oats. Follow a general rule that "white" is processed. The reason grains are processed is to remove the part of the grain with the shorter shelf life and leave the parts that will sustain longer. This is how companies have cut back on losing product because it has gone bad. Companies know it has less health benefit after being processed but it has a greater financial benefit for them. And make sure when you buy whole grain that it is really whole grain. This leads to my next point....
4 - Read Labels - A company is allowed to call a product "whole grain" as long as the main ingredient is truly whole grain. So as long as the bread is 51% whole grain, they slap it on the label. So read the ingredient list. The ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance. If the second ingredient is a non-whole grain, don't buy it because it is not a true "whole grain".
5 - Eat Fewer Ingredients - Read labels and try and buy foods that have fewer than 6 ingredients in the ingredient list. And make sure you can recognize and pronounce all of the ingredients. Companies like to add fillers to save money and they are generally loaded with sugar.
6 - Eat 5-6 small meals per day - Eating multiple smaller meals helps to maintain a good glucose level in your body and prevents sugar spikes. Granted, this is assuming you are eating foods that are not loaded with sugar. Regarding sugar.....
7 - Keep sugar in check - You are allowed to eat naturally occurring sugar (fruit for instance) but keep a limit on it. Fruit is 100% natural and also loaded with sugar. Limit yourself to 3 servings of fruit per day. Also be mindful that grains are a form of sugar. The grain is broken down into sugar in your body and then is used for energy. If sugar is not used, it is stored.....we know how that goes. Try and consume most of your grains and fruit before 2 pm so your body has an opportunity to break down the sugar before you go to bed. I think the French really got it right by making lunch their biggest meal of the day. Keep dinner lite, mostly protein and veggies.
8 - Drink your share of water - Your body NEEDS water to function properly. In fact, water is the most important thing you put in your body every day. There is no point in eating clean food unless you are going to give your body the water it needs to function and make the good food (fuel) you put into your body work to provide energy. To calculate how much water you should drink daily, take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. The result is the number of ounces of water you need to consume daily.
This may be very overwhelming if you are new to eating clean but don't let that stop you from making the good and necessary changes to reclaim your health. Just baby step your way along. Start by cutting out fast food while adding more meat which, yes, you need to cook. Sorry, you need to figure that out. Then start removing boxed foods from your diet. Then lastly, remove foods from the dairy section of the grocery store. This will be the hardest step but dairy is VERY processed. But if you cannot give it up 100% then at least choose harder cheeses and low sugar varieties. But for those of you that are 100% ready to eat clean, I like to follow the rule of shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. All the fresh food with be in the perimeter in the produce section and meat department. You can do this. Your body will thank you for it.
I used the principles of Clean Eating and Exercise to lose 40 lbs and naturally reverse my PCOS. So I know it can be done. See how I did it.
For those of us with dairy allergies or those that choose to eat a Paleo diet, giving up cream can be a real heart breaker because it is a real comfort food and just ads that smooth desirable texture. Well don't despair, here is a great substitute that will satisfy that craving for smooth cream while keeping to your vegan ways.
How to Make Raw Cashew Cream
1 cup raw cashews (whole cashews, not pieces)
fresh, filtered water
Rinse the cashews well, place in a bowl with enough water to cover them by about an inch. Cover the bowl and soak the cashews for a MINIMUM of two hours but preferably overnight.
Drain the cashews, rinse under cold water and place into a food processor or high-speed blender with one cup of fresh, filtered water.
Process on high for several minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides, until you have very creamy texture. (It may take some time.)
Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups raw cashew cream.
For a thicker consistency, more akin to ricotta cheese, I suggest using half a cup of water and adding more if needed depending on your desired result.
How long can you store cashew cream?
You can store cashew cream in the refrigerator for about 3 days or in the freezer for six months.
Why did I decide to do the Ultimate Reset?
I purchased the Ultimate Reset almost 6 months ago because I had heard how amazing it makes you feel and that people lose a lot of weight doing it. I figured that since I am a beachbody coach, I should at least experience it so I can have an honest opinion of the product. I also had a terrible dependency on caffeine. I was drinking about 12 cups of coffee daily and would get headaches if I waited too long to get my first cup. I knew this was a problem and very likely contributing to my infertility. Research has shown that excess of 2 cups of caffeine daily can make it more difficult to conceive and can cause miscarriage. Its no secret that I want a baby so I figured it was worth a shot to kick the caffeine.
Truth be told, I was dreading it and continued to put it off. I knew the diet was very restricting and that I could not workout for the full 21 days of the reset. As most people know, the diet part of any weight loss program is always the hardest because you are restricting yourself. It is always easier to add things into your life like working out than it is to remove things you love. For this reason I was quite content continuing with my workout routine and holding on to the last 10 lbs I could not lose because I was not committed 100% to my diet. My sugar cravings continued to plague and inevitably sabotage me from reaching my health goals and the Ultimate Reset sat on a shelf in my closed unopened.
My injury ended up having a silver lining
Well about two months ago I hurt my knee at work from lifting a really heavy backpack and carrying it on my back all day. It was too much stress on my knee and I further aggravated it by continuing to workout. It got to the point that is was so swollen, you could see the swelling through my yoga pants. And the day my puppy ran straight into my knee and damn near brought me to my knees was the day I said, I NEED A BREAK!! I was not happy about the idea of taking a few weeks away from my workout routine so I figured I would do my body a favor and take advantage and do the reset. If I could not workout my muscles then I would workout my organs with a detox. I started the next day.
Week 1 Was Hell!!!!
I made the huge mistake of not watching the video that comes with the reset and just kicked the coffee cold turkey on day 1. The video tells you to ween yourself off of the caffeine and sugar. Well.....no slow transition for me. I had a killer headache for 4 days. It got so bad that I literally threw up. I was totally miserable. In the first week, you cut out caffeine, dairy, sugar, red meat, and processed garbage. I already ate pretty clean so the only things I cut out were the coffee and the occasional sweets(maybe 1 per day). So for me, week one was pretty much a caffeine detox. By day 7 I had only lost 1 pound. This was a little depressing because I had heard about stories of people losing up to 10 lbs in the first week and I wondered if I was doing something wrong but I just continued on. I had paid for the Reset and was finishing!!!
Week 2 - Life got better
For Week 2 you cut out all animal protein and are completely vegan. My meals consisted of fruit, veggies, and quinoa. I made a great effort to cook a lot of the recipes in the Ultimate Reset book and found some recipes that I will continue to cook. This was actually my favorite week. I didn't mind the diet any more because I was past the caffeine detox and my sugar cravings were very mild. For the mild sugar cravings I still had, Chocolate Vegan Shakeology came to the rescue. I had it every night before bed.
The best part of this week is that I finally started to lose some serious weight. And I was feeling the difference in how my clothes were fitting. My body just felt like it was getting tighter.
Week 3 - The Finish Line
For Week 3 you continue eating Vegan but cut out more of the grains and try to eat solely vegetables and fruit. I definitely missed eating protein but was not hungry during this week.
I also felt very CLEAR by week 3 if that makes sense. I used to feel tired and had a lack of energy most days but by week three of the Reset I no longer felt foggy. I did not have a lot of energy but was definitely feeling clear, fresh, and clean. By the last day of the Reset, I had lost a total of 8 pounds and 12.35 inches. A lot of those inches were from my thighs which is GLORIOUS!!!!
The day after the reset, I had my first protein in 2 weeks, an egg!!!!! Oh man did I miss my protein. Once I started eating protein again, I had incredible energy. This energy mixed with the clarity I developed on the reset has left me feeling absolutely amazing. I am able to push harder in my workouts now and here's the kicker..... WITHOUT CAFFEINE OR PRE-WORKOUT!!!!! So at the end of the day, the Ultimate Reset is worth doing. By no means would I do it often but I plan to do it yearly. Kinda like my own body spring cleaning.
Needing a side dish for dinner tonight??
WARNING ~ these are ADDICTING!!
I know you are like 'what another zucchini recipe' but YES I mean I love zucchini already but these Zucchini tots top the cake for me!! Not only are they kid-friendly but zucchini tots are the perfect solution for helping the fam get their veggies while enjoying a healthier version of a tot! I prefer to make them in the mini muffin tins for a perfect little bite size dish!
Be sure to SHARE so you can find it easier later!
1 cup zucchini, grated
1 large egg
1/4 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel. Wring all of the excess water out of the zucchini. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fill each muffin section to the top, pushing down on the filling with your spoon so it's nice and compacted so they don't fall apart when you take them out of the tin.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops are golden... I prefer mine a little well done, so just watch them to cook a little longer if you want it that way as well.
Use a plastic knife or rubber spatula around the edges of each tot to remove them from the muffin tin. Enjoy!!
Servings: 3 Serving Size: 4 tots • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts • Calories: 108 • Fat: 4.3 g • Protein: 6.8 g • Carb: 11.5 g • Fiber: 1.8 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 262 mg (without salt)
It has been quite a long and painful journey from discovering I had PCOS to finally reversing it. So to share the story, I did a video with the help of some amazing friends that are huge supporters in helping me get the word out there. It can be done! PCOS can be reversed NATURALLY! You just have to be willing to BE THE CHANGE!!!!
Of course Fruit is good for you. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That being said, women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) must be cautious when eating fruit. This is because we usually have insulin resistance or some type of blood sugar issue like hypoglycemia, pre-diabetes or diabetes. Fruit is an important part of our diets, but eating it frequently and in large portions can spike blood sugar levels which cause the body to produce too much insulin (which can lead to insulin resistance and other health conditions over time). This is due to the fact that the body quickly uses up the sugar (fructose) found in fruit – that’s why it’s known as a “simple carb.” Simple carbs give you energy quickly and then the "avalanche effect" sets in. So eat fruit in moderation.
Here are some pointers for eating fruit if you have PCOS:
Eat fruits low on the Glycemic Index (www.glycemicindex.com). You want to choose foods with a number lower than 50. These fruits will have a slower-digesting effect on your body, thus producing less insulin when consuming and keeping blood sugar levels steady. These foods include apples, berries, kiwis, etc. Avoid melon fruit varieties.
Eat fruits before noon (12:00pm) or 1:00pm at the latest. The earlier you eat fruits, the more readily your body will use up their energy. You may find that eating fruit later in the day will cause your blood sugar to spike, thus causing fatigue and, worst of all, food cravings. If you have ever had mid-night cravings, you know what I am talking about.
Always eat fruit with some form of a protein. Never, ever eat fruit alone! I like to mix a bag of berries with nuts (walnuts or almonds).
So at the end of the day, yes fruit is your friend but in moderation and when paired with protein. So don't swear off fruit just be mindful of how much and when you eat it. There are so many benefits of fruit, we just need to make sure the dis benefits are kept in check. Check out some of my personal recipes on my nutrition page.