Tag Archives: PCOS diet

First steps to start reversing PCOS symptoms

Baby Steps to reverse PCOS If you are like me and freaked out finding out you have PCOS, please know that it will be ok. And the fact that you found this article means that you are being proactive about it. For that, I seriously commend you. There is a lot of information out there so get informed. Google away. I personally chose the natural method of reversing my PCOS symptoms and did a ton of research. I continue to do research. Over a years time I lost 40 lbs and completely reversed my symptoms. I didn't have help from anyone in the beginning so I know what a struggle it is. I will take some of the guess work out and give you a short list of things you can start doing right now to get you on track toward reversing your PCOS symptoms. Here are my suggested first steps: 1 - Switch from the white versions of carbs like bread and pasta to the whole grain variety. 2 - If you don't eat fruit, start with 2 servings per day. But make sure to eat all fruit before 2pm. Here is more info on fruit. 3- If you don't eat veggies, start. And add a lot of them. Shoot for 6 servings of veggies per day. 4 - Cut out milk. It is best to cut out all dairy but these are first steps and milk has the highest amount of sugar so it has to go first. 5 - Cut out Sugar not from natural sources. This means candy, pastries, soda, etc. More info on Sugar 6 - If you drink, cut back to one day per week. More info on alcohol and weight loss. 6 - Add 20 minutes of any kind of exercise to your routine. This can be walking, bicycling, dancing, workout video, etc. Just move for 20 minutes every day. As time progresses, you will want to further modify your diet and incorporate more difficult workouts but you have to have a starting point. A less intense starting point will prevent you from getting overwhelmed right out the gate. Accept the failures you WILL have along the way and always get back on that horse. Lord knows I failed tons of times along my own journey but I NEVER gave up. Focus on small changes. The change you seek begins with you and your daily choices. Hang in there. If you would like some additional support, reach out to me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/jenngraham57 Here is another article with some more Do's and Dont's  with PCOS diet.

What is The 21 Day Fix? Does it really work?

The 21 Day fix is a workout routine combined with a portion control system that have been optimized and made super simple for anyone to follow. For starters, the workouts are 7 days per week for 3 weeks and only 30 minutes long. The daily workouts include: upper/lower body, cardio, yoga and Pilates. Workouts are broken down into 60 second intervals. You can do ANYTHING for 60 seconds. And of course there is a modifier. If you find you are having a hard time, just modify. It gets easier, promise. And now for the good stuff, the portion control system. Autumn Calabrese designed a color coded container system. Each container is a different color and size. The color is specific to the type of food like veggies for green or proteins for red. And the size is perfect for exactly one portion of that food. If you are allowed one protein, you fill the red container and that is your portion, easy peasy. Below is a list of approved foods for each colored container and there is even an ap available for your phone called "The  21 Day Fix Tracker" that I absolutely suggest yo download for 99 cents. It spells out what can go in each container as well. When on the Fix, your allotted containers depends on your weight and varies from 1,200 - 2,300 calories. Once you know exactly what your calorie intake will be, you can distribute your containers throughout the day and design a meal plan as you choose. I strongly suggest you shoot for 5-6 meals. And be proactive, don't just start checking off the containers as you eat them. Sit down and make a meal plan. This may take a little time up front but will actually save you money. I have cut my grocery bill in half, yes in HALF following the fix. I don't over buy anything and my portions are so much smaller. Here is an example meal plan to give you an idea of what a typical day can look like.   The next big thing you have to do is put the food on a plate. DO NOT eat right out of the container. Yes they are cute and convenient but the whole point of the portion control system is to train yourself what a normal portion looks like. So use the containers to measure and then arrange the food on a plate. This really helps train your brain so that when you are in a situation where you do not have your containers or are not on the fix, you have a good idea of how much food you should put on your plate. So follow this rule, MEASURE AND POUR. put on plate Want to take the fix to the next level, add Shakeology. Shakeology is your daily dose of dense nutrition and the healthiest meal of the day. And best of all it only accounts for one red container. That's right, just ONE!!!!!! Unlesss you add milk then it adds a yellow. Shakeology comes in 6 flavors and is loaded with everything you are missing. So make the commitment to yourself and give it a shot. With the Empty Bag policy, you have nothing to lose. Lastly, reap the rewards of all your hard work. These are true 21 day results from The 21 Day Fix. What more can be said, the Fix works. And it works because it masters and simplifies the hardest part of any diet program, THE DIET. The fix is not like other programs that severely restrict calories or have you eating only hot sauce and lemon juice or whatever all those other CRAZY diet fads are. You are eating real food and often. You are not hungry and you get in a killer workout that does not kill you. If you are looking for a starter program, this is it. I personally use it and strongly endorse it because it works.

A Stripped Down Meal Plan

A stripped down meal plan is not a lifestyle. It is designed to help you with the last 10 lbs or to get you read for an event. This is not an option if you are just starting your weight loss journey or have a lot of weight left to lose. It follows the basic principles of eating clean but really strips it down. The basic Clean Eating Principles are:
  1. Eat more often. Eat 6 small meals every day spaced about 2-3 hours apart
  2. Make sure your last meal is at least 3 hours before you go to bed
  3. Eat breakfast EVERY day. You need to start with fuel in AM to boost your metabolism.
  4. Eat Fats but Healthy Fats every day.
  5. Eat carbs (grain or fruit) always with a protein
  6. Drink 2-3 liters of water daily (Your weight divided by 2 in ounces is a minimum)
  7. Carry a cooler packed with your meals so you always have healthy food available
  8. Depend of fresh fruits and veggies for fiber, vitamins, nutrients and enzymes.
  9. Be mindful of portion sizes. You likely need much less food than you think.
  10. Do not eat anything processed. Stick to foods with less than 6 ingredients.
The last 10 pounds will be the most difficult and stubborn so to do it in a healthy way, without depriving yourself and sacrificing nutrition, you need to supplement your diet with an abundance of fruits and veggeis. Examples of good veggies: Yams, bell peppers, cucumber, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, spinach, zucchini, green beans, radishes, onion, and my favorite garlic. Examples of good fruits: Apples, berries, cherries, tomatoes (yes a fruit), limes, lemons, apricots, and oranges. Great Protein Sources include: Eggs, lean fish, lean turkey, chicken, shrimp, bison (very low fat red meat), quinoa, hummus, tofu and tempeh. Healthy Fat options include: Nuts (almonds and walnuts), seeds (sunflower and pumpkin), avocados (my favorite fat), and oils (sesame, coconut, olive, walnut, flaxseed and fish). So here is a ideal Strip Down Day including workout: 4:00 am - Get up early and do my workout (T25, Turbo Fire, or Chalean Extreme for me) 5:00 am - Breakfast - One piece of whole grain bread, 1 egg, and 1/4 avocado egg] 8:00 am - Snack - Vanilla Shakeology shaked with water and two Tbsp of powder peanut butter. Shakeology is a meal replacement shake and to read more about it: (What is Shakeolog) shakeology 11:00 am - Lunch - Raw Spinach, chopped onion, garbanzo beans, tomato, 6 oz baked chicken, and an olive oil based wasabi salad dressing. 2:00 pm - Snack - A cup of berries and a handful of unsalted almonds 5:00 pm - Dinner - 6 oz Grilled Rock Fish, Grilled bell pepper and onion, and 1 cup quinoa dinner 8:00 pm - Off to bed and then start it all over again the next day 🙂 As you can see this is not a starvation diet. You still get to eat a lot of food. But to strip down I focus on cutting down dairy and carbohydrates (not carborexic though). And there is absolutely nothing processed on my meal plan.      

Tips to Get Started Eating Clean Now

Are you ready mentally to start eating clean but have no idea where to start? Are you struggling with how to ditch your old habits? I have some tips for you to make the transition a little smoother. 1) You need to first sit down and decide what "Eating Clean" means to you. It can be defined differently for everyone. You may choose not to eat organic vegetables to save money for instance and that is fine. When I first started my Eat Clean Basics were:
  • Nothing White. This means no sugar, white flour (includes pasta, bread, muffins, etc), no white rice. Literally tell yourself, if its white and is not a vegetable or fruit, its off limits. Some products are not white but have multiple ingredients so this requires you to read labels and make sure none of the offending items are in it.
  • No Alcohol. This was a big sacrifice for me at first because I was in my 20's with no children when I started eating clean. But it was a necessary sacrifice I would make 100 times over.
  • Eat Healthy Sources of Fats. Make sure that you are getting your fats from natural healthy sources. Some great options are: avocado, olive oil coconut oil, and nuts.
  • Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats. Quite honestly, you have a large variety of food available to you when eating clean it just may not be familiar to you.....yet. So try out some new recipe ideas with ingredients you have never tried before. You may find some whole foods you never knew you loved. And a big key to keep in mind is that you should never feel hungry or deprived. If you are doing it correctly, you will be moderately hungry before it is time for you to eat again. Staving off the hunger feeling will dramatically help with the sugar cravings and within a few weeks they should be gone completely.
  • Treat Yourself. If there is something you just really love that is off limits when eating clean then it is acceptable and recommended to treat yourself occasionally. Be mindful though that this is a "cheat meal" and not an entire day or week. It is best to decide when you will have your cheat meal and how often. Make it part of your prep. This is your treat so have it and enjoy it but do not go overboard with it. If you choose to have some cake, don't eat the whole cake. Stick to the normal serving of that particular item. I personally love frozen yogurt covered with rainbow sprinkles and butterfinger so I get it on the way home from work almost every Friday.
  • Stock a clean eating pantry and load the fridge up with fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. If you are looking for convenience stock your freezer with the frozen varieties. Just be sure the frozen fruit does not have added sugar.
2) Clean out the fridge and pantry. First of all discard all the expired stuff and start reading labels. If you find anything with ingredients that are not "clean" or that you cannot pronounce, throw it away. Or if you feel bad throwing stuff away like I did, send a food care package to someone that would really appreciate it. And throw away anything that says "fat free"!! That screams processed food. The only fat free food you should consume is fat free Greek yogurt. 3) Make a grocery list. The first grocery store (or stores) trip will be a big one because several things can and should be purchased in bulk. So budget accordingly or limit your variety the first week so that you are not buying everything in one trip. For instance, maybe decide to get the quinoa in bulk on the first week trip and then a big bag of rice on the next trip. Or olive oil this time and coconut oil next time. This will limit the variety of food but it wont hit the pocket book as hard. And build up your spice variety as you go. Spices can be expensive but they go a long way so maybe just get a few each trip. Here is a great shipping list for beginners. 4) Use shopping day as Prep day too. Don't under estimate how much time it takes to prep food. Try and get your grocery shopping done early in the day and get right to prep when you get home. I like to buy lots of veggies for stir fries and do all the chopping on Sunday. If you have ever made fajitas or stir fry, you know that it takes about 30 minutes just to cut up all the veggies. That is a lot of time to spend during the week after a long day at work. As much as I love coming home to a clean house, I love coming home to an easy to make dinner. Pre-chopping cuts the time to make dinner in half. I also like to make a batch of my dutch oven chicken on Sunday which I use in salads, wraps, etc throughout the week. I also make a large batch of my quinoa/rice recipe which I will use with dinners or fry up with some egg whites to make myself an Asian style fried quinoa/rice (this is the bomb.com). Find all my recipes and videos here. 5) Buy a cooler or lunch bag. I personally have a lunch bag that I use to keep my snacks and lunch cold in for work. You can pick these up cheap on amazon and go crazy and get a fun color. The cooler is key because you have all your meals for the work day in one spot and easily accessible. The best part is that you can take food that needs to be refrigerated when you work in a place that does not have a refrigerator accessible. 6) Give yourself time to adjust. If you are intimidated by all the changes then take it one step at a time. Slowly take things away and start adding new foods into your diet. Start with substitutions like greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise and cut out the soda and fast food. This is your lifestyle so you need to change it at your own speed. Some people are able to do this in one fail swoop and others need baby step their way along. Small changes are still changes so you will be on the right track. I really hope these tips help you feel less intimidated and ready to take control of your health. Remember that eating clean is a lifestyle choice and not a diet so don't treat it as something you are dreading. Make it fun. Add your own fun flair and prepare yourself to reap the benefits of eating clean. Eating Clean has changed my life. If you want to hear how I managed to transform my lifestyle, here is my story.

Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

 

Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes are made with grain-free tortillas filled with seasoned, shredded chicken and topped with a combination of tomatillo salsa verde and “Cashew Sour Cream”. The resulting dish captures the essence of classic Chicken Enchiladas Verdes without the grains and dairy. The spiciness will depend in large measure upon the salsa you use – whether it be my homemade version or a jarred variety. The paleo tortillas lend a more “crepe-like” texture to the dish than standard tortillas. But I think you will agree creamy chicken-filled crepes are pretty delectable and should satisfy your craving for creamy chicken enchiladas quite well.

Cashew Sour Cream Sauce Recipe

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup liquid (water, chicken stock or vegetable stock)

How to Make Cashew Sour Cream

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with water and allow to soak for several hours or over night. (Alternatively, you can cover with water, heat to a simmer and turn off the heat and allow to soak for at least an hour)
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  3. Place cashews in a food processor or high speed blender with the lemon juice, salt and about half the liquid. Pulse to process scraping the sides down as necessary. Add the remaining liquid and process for several minutes until extremely smooth.

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Enchiladas

  • paleo tortillas
  • 3 cups diced and/or shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • 1 recipe cashew sour cream, (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • chicken stock

How to Make Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F
  2. Combine the salsa verde and cashew sour cream in a medium sauce pan and heat slowly until warm. Season will salt and pepper to taste.Paleo Salsa and Sour Cream Sauce
  3. Mix approximately 1 1/2 cups of the salsa/sour cream mixture with the shredded chicken.
  4. Roll 1/8th of the chicken mixture in each of the tortillas (about 1/3-1/2 cup each) and assemble the chicken enchiladas, side by side, in a pan (use 9 x 13 or similar size/shape). Assemble Chicken Enchiladas LR
  5. Top the chicken enchiladas with the remaining salsa/sour cream mixture. (Thin out the sauce with extra chicken stock if it is too thick after heating)
    Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and heat in the oven for 30 minutes or until heated through.
  7. Remove from the oven and top with slices of avocado and scallions. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-8

Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes | Paleo Spirit #dairyfree #paleo

Grain Free Tortillas (Paleo Tortillas)

paleo tortilla

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites (2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water*
  • 1 tablespoon melted lard (cooled), palm shortening, olive oil or other liquified fat of your choice
  • 1 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • lard, olive oil or coconut oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs, egg whites and water in a medium-large bowl. Drizzle in the 1 tablespoon of melted lard (or other liquified fat) while whisking.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the tapioca starch/flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk thoroughly until combined and smooth. The batter will be very thin – much thinner than pancake batter.Paleo Tortilla Batter
  4. Heat a crêpe pan or medium, flat-bottomed, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.
  5. Melt a small amount of lard on the surface.
  6. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter on the hot pan surface. (I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup)
  7. Holding onto the handle of the pan, remove it from the heat and swirl the pan so the batter coats the bottom and you have an (approximate) 8-inch tortilla. You will have to work quickly.
  8. Cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side.Paleo Tortillas
  9. Flip and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute on the second side. (Don’t overcook the tortillas if you want them to stay soft and pliable)Paleo Tortillas
Makes 8 paleo tortillas NOTES:
  • I used a crêpe pan to make the tortillas but I also made a few of them in my regular non-stick pan and they were fine.
  • I greased the pan for the first tortilla but did not need much for subsequent ones because the pan was seasoned and there is enough fat in the batter.
  • *The ingredient list shows 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water simply because it is easier to add water than to adjust the recipe if you have a batter that is too thin. In my experience the 1/2 cup of water makes for thicker, more corn tortilla-like paleo tortillas. The extra 1/4 cup of water can be added if your batter seems too thick and your tortillas are not thin enough. When I made them with the increased amount of water the end product was more like a crêpe. They actually tasted good and I kind of liked the texture for more of a sweet crêpe recipe whereas the thicker ones seem better for Tex-Mex recipes and wraps. It’s a personal choice and you will figure our what works best for your technique and taste. 

Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash

This is a great way to change up a family favorite. squash Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hr 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 cup almond meal 1 tbsp paprika 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp sea sald 2 eggs, lightly beaten olive oil cooking spray 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lb), cut in half 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese 1 3/4 cups spaghetti sauce (optional homemade)

DIRECTIONS

1 - Preheat oven to 375

2 - Filet chicken breasts so you have breasts that are about 1/2 inch thick.

3 - Place squash, cut sides up, in microwaveable dish. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on High 25 minutes or until fork-tender. Using a fork, scrape flesh from squash. Keep warm.

4 - Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Spray large baking dish with cooking spray.

5 - In shallow dish, combine almond meal, 1/4 cup of cheese, and all the seasonings.

6 - In a bowl, beat eggs with a fork. (Optional to use applesauce instead of eggs)

7 - Dredge each filet chicken in egg (or applesauce). Then coat both sides of chicken with almond spice dry mixture. Place in sprayed baking dish. Spoon about 2 tablespoons spaghetti sauce onto each chicken breast and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

8 - Bake 25 minutes until chicken is golden brown or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 160°F and the juices run clear.

9 - Meanwhile, heat remaining spaghetti sauce in medium saucepan over medium heat. Serve with the chicken and spaghetti squash.

Yam and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

If you are a soup fan than you will love this recipe. It is a thick and slightly spicy bisque that is perfect as a main course or to compliment a main dish. It can also be made vegan. I like to make a full batch and use it for multiple lunches or dinners throughout the week. P1030242 Ingredients: 3 large yams, peeled, cubed 2 Red Bell Peppers 1 Tbsp. Grated Ginger 1 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic 2 Tbsp. Miso paste 1/2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 4-6 cups Chicken Broth (Veggie Broth if Vegan) Bragg Liquid Aminos (to taste, optional) (Makes 6 servings)   Lets Get started: Peel yams and cut into medium sized cubes while bringing water to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Once boiling, add yams and cook for 15 minutes or until yams are soft. Drain and set aside. Cut Bell Peppers into 2 inch pieces. Add EVOO to grill skillet and roast red bell peppers. Turn frequently until skin is evenly charred.  You can also grill the red bell peppers on the BBQ whole and then cut into 2 inch pieces if you prefer to cook outdoors. Place drained yams into food processor (I used my Vitamix). P1030251 Add freshly grated ginger root, garlic, miso paste, and Italian Seasoning on top of the yams. Lastly, add the roasted red peppers to the vitamix. Top off with chicken broth until the broth fills the space in the vitamix and covers the red peppers. P1030254 Cover and start blending at this point while continuing to add chicken broth until the bisque is the right consistency. It should be thick but thin enough for the processor to blend it thoroughly. Once blended you can taste and add liquid aminos until you get the desired flavor. I add about 4 Tbsp of liquid aminos. P1030260 Once you love the flavor, VOILA!!!!! Your meal is ready to be served. P1030259