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 🙂
Did you know that there are two times in your life when you gain fat cells? I do not mean gain weight by filling fat cells, I mean actually acquiring additional cells which increases the amount of fat you can potentially store. These two times are when you are a child and when you are pregnant.
Ironically, it is when women are pregnant that they are the most likely to over eat. We simply say we are "Eating For 2". Well news flash, you are eating for like 1.2 people. That tiny person inside does not need its own 8 ounce steak and baked potato. In fact, a pregnant mother only really needs around 350-450 extra calories per day to support a growing fetus.
Yet many women will give in to the temptation of excess food because there is an idea that it's ok because "I am pregnant". What they usually do not know is that they are not only packing on baby fat, they are adding additional fat cells and they will NEVER go away. You can lose fat, but the cells are with you for life.
The other instance when we as humans develop fat cells is as children while we are developing. It is for this reason that childhood obesity is becoming such a problem. Many parents tell themselves that their child will grow into the extra pounds and struggle to say no when their child is crying for junk food. It is so much easier to just give in. What they do not realize is that they are allowing their child to gain extra fat cells. The extra cells will make weight gain more of an issue for the rest of the child's life. Again, any excess cells gained during this period are with you FOREVER. Thus making the likelihood of diabetes as an adult more likely.
This is all information I was shocked to hear and being that I am so informed when it comes to health and fitness and yet I did not know, I am compelled to share. Information is power so please share this. You may make post par-tum weight loss a lot easier for a future mommy out there or help a parent do what is best for their child. Saying no is hard but knowing that they are making their adult life better makes it easier.
The occurrence of breast cancer is growing at an astounding rate. I was aware but never gave it the attention it deserves until just a few weeks ago when my own mother told me she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. And like many others I asked myself WHY???? Why is it that more women and even men are being diagnosed with cancer today compared to 50 years ago? The answer is in the food we consume and in our daily habits.
Have you ever thought that what you fork into your mouth can actually be making you sick? Well sadly it is very possible and very likely due to the lack of limitations and guidelines being set on the food industry today. Diet is thought to be responsible for 30% - 40% of all cancers. That being said there is no food that can solely prevent cancer. However there are some foods you can enjoy, others you need to avoid, and actions you can take daily to get your body the healthiest it can be, boost your immune system, and keep your risk of cancer as low as possible.
Research has shown that getting a variety of nutrients from foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains will make you feel your best and fuel your body with the nutrition it needs to function properly and fight off diseases. Getting adequate nutrients is more difficult due to over-cropping in the united states so ensure to supplement where necessary.
At the cellular level doctors have discovered that cancer is actually caused by damaged DNA. And how is DNA damaged? Well pesticides for one will do the trick. So avoid food riddled with pesticides. When it comes to fruits and veggies, if it lasts abnormally long it is probably due to all the toxic garbage they put on it to keep the bugs from eating it. If a bug wont eat it, why should you? Scary thought right? So try and eat as organic as possible and always wash your fruits and vegetables.
Research has also shown that a diet high in fat can lead to being overweight or obese which is a breast cancer risk factor. So avoid high fat foods and incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet. To maintain your weight, EXERCISE!!! Yes, we all say we plan to do it but we absolutely NEED to. Today's jobs are much more sedentary than they were 50 years ago and the lack of movement is increasing the inches around our waistline...and everywhere else for that matter. So get up and move...buy a bike, join a gym, get an at home workout video, DO SOMETHING!!!! And do it regularly. Once a day is not what the doctor ordered. Shoot for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days per week.
People like lists so here is a good list of things to do to get you on track to help not be another breast cancer statistic. Be proactive and take care of your body.
To Do List:
1) Eat lots of veggies and fruits - More veggies than fruit and at least 5 cups per day. For fruit, try and stick to berries whenever possible. I personally drink Shakeology daily to get my daily dose of dense nutrition but find what works for you. Perhaps start growing a garden.
2) Limit Fat intake - Choose leaner options of meat like chicken breast or turkey, limit dairy, and avoid fried at all cost.
3) EAT CLEAN - Avoid processed anything whenever possible. This is due to the high levels of salt and sugar in processed food. Processed food aids in weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes. ALL BAD!!!! So buy the whole chicken and whole cuts of meat.
4) Eat smaller portions more frequently. This means eating 5-6 small meals per day instead of 2-3 large ones. This will keep your blood sugar regulated and energy level high throughout the day. Energy is always a good thing.
5) Get a workout routine. It does not matter what it is but get your blood pumping. I personally use at home workout videos. If you want to go that route, shoot me a message on Facebook.
Whether you have never had cancer, survived cancer, or currently have cancer, take care of yourself and others you love. Share this content with them and keep them informed. No one deserves this and there is so much we can do to fight it before a diagnosis. Make the changes necessary. I can do it, my mom can do it, and you can do it. BE THE CHANGE!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Once you love the flavor, VOILA!!!!! Your meal is ready to be served.
Is inner thigh Gap a Big Deal? Heck yes it is!!!!!!!!
Inner thigh Chafing is a very sensitive subject for a lot of women and even some men. For those of you that do not know what I am talking about, it is the resulting rash from inner thigh skin rubbing together under hot weather conditions. It can happen in cold weather but is much worse when it is hot due to sweating and moisture in the area. And it doesn't take long for a rash to appear. I can remember putting on a pair of shorts on a hot day and leaving for school after forgetting to rub baby powder on my inner thighs and being in pain all day after lunch. I would be too embarrassed to go to the nurses office and ask for band aids. I would just walk kinda funny with my legs as far apart as possible and try to avoid walking as much as possible until I got home. At that point, it is too late for preventative measures and its time to medicate and wait the week for the rash to scab up and heal. Do any of these look familiar to you thigh chafing sufferers?
I speak from experience because I suffered from inner thigh rashes all summer long ever since I was in junior high. I would look forward to summer because it meant I could use my pool and quite honestly I can't stand cold weather. I am a tropical person, lol. None the less, the one thing I always hated about summer was wearing skirts and shorts. No matter what, when wearing a skirt, you were getting a rash unless you took preventative measures. As far as shorts, you could only avoid a rash if you got shorts long enough to cover the areas that would rub. Does this look familiar?
I learned to accept that this was just a part of my life and that I could not buy the cute shorts that I really wanted to wear. And if I did and happened to be good about using baby powder and keeping the inner thigh area dry, I always had bunching of the shorts between my thighs. I looked like the fat pockets on the top of my inner thighs were trying to escape my shorts, ugh!!!! I would be constantly pulling them down and they would eventually be all wrinkled between the thighs and just looked really bad. I knew that my problem was that I had no thigh gap. This is what my thighs looked like.
So I started researching Thigh Gap and found my future Beachbody Coach's blog. She had achieved an amazing transformation with a workout called Brazilian Butt Lift. That was enough for me, I purchased it. It arrived at my house within a week and I hit it hard. I followed the workout calendar and nutrition plan and really enjoyed the workouts. There is a lot of booty shaking and I really like dancing so this was a perfect workout for me because I was not bored with it.
I started to see and feel results after a few weeks and I remember getting crazy excited the first time I could see a hint of light between my thighs. It started at the very top and was very faint but damn it, it was happening. I completed the program and finally got my thigh gap.
I have since moved on to other Beachbody workouts but I always incorporate this workout into my routine because I have proven that it works. I have spent hours on eliptical machines at the gym and tried countless diets but this is what did it for me. Thank you Brazil Butt Lift!!!!
Weight loss is not easy. Especially for women with hormone disorders like PCOS. Follow this link if you would like to hear my whole weight loss journey.