Eat it to beat it

Terms of endearment can be sweet and funny. Some are common, like sweetheart or babe, and some are unique, like stink bug. Stink bug may not seem like an endearing name, but to me it is. It is what I call Lia. It fits her and I love everything about it. I also have a name applied to me at home that does not seem very endearing but I embrace nonetheless. The name of food nazi.

I’ve been this way for years. Since I was a teenager I’ve tried to make healthy choices, and as my knowledge and understanding of nutrition grows, I up my game. I put a lot of thought into what I feed my family. I teach my kids the importance of healthy food. In fact, when we cut through any aisle in the grocery store that contains chips or candy or similar things, my twins shout out, “That’s junk food!” To some this makes me look like a crazy lady. Or a control freak. But to me, it’s about freedom.

I’ve witnessed many people have failing health due to poor lifestyle choices. I realize that some things can’t be controlled or prevented by lifestyle alone but I firmly believe most things can at least be improved by it. Long ago I decided that I would do everything in my power to keep my body strong and healthy as I age. Now I’ve got a much more specific goal.

I am eating to reverse PCOS. Or at least the symptoms.

I used to assume that there wasn’t much I could do. Most sources suggest that losing weight can set things right. But I had no extra weight to lose and I already exercised and ate healthy most of the time. For me, it’s not as simple as losing weight. Now that I’ve had my kids and my body is all mine again, I’ve decided that I will do whatever it takes. I’ve heard stories of people who have done this, so why not me?

I don’t follow a crazy diet but there are a few things I do regularly and intentionally. I truly believe these habits, if you will, aren’t only good for someone with PCOS but for many who simply desire to be healthy. Because of this, I’m sharing them with you today.

  1. I center my meals on protein.

    Generally speaking, I try to get 30% of my daily calories from protein. For me, this breaks down to 30-40 grams of protein per meal. It’s actually difficult to do! But I’ve found that focusing on the protein makes it easy to not fill up on other food. I’m stuffed just by trying to keep my protein levels up.

  2. I limit grains and starches.

    I eat only one grain or starch a day. If I eat oatmeal for breakfast, then I will not eat any other grain that day. If I’m having a sweet potato for dinner, then I will eat no grain that day. Since I do all the meal planning in my house, it’s not hard for me to figure this out and it’s a lot simpler than counting carbs. I also don’t eat bread or pasta, with the exception of my homemade pizza crust, which I joyfully eat every Friday night.

  3. I limit sugar.

    Cassie shared how she lost 7 lbs by limiting her sugar intake, including natural sugar already found in foods like fruit, to 50 grams a day. I also limit my sugar intake but I only focus on the sugar added to food. Women should eat no more than 4 teaspoons of added sugar a day. That works out to be 16 grams. This one can be tricky because even some “health foods” are packaged with more sugar than that per serving. So I try not eat anything that has been processed and packaged.

  4. I prevent spikes in blood sugar.

    I also start each meal by eating the protein first, since this helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar, and I sip on my Good Girl Moonshine throughout the day.

  5. I supplement.

    I started taking myo-inositol after I finished nursing Lia. It supports hormonal balance and healthy menstrual cycles. For me, a half dose seems to be enough. In effect, it is the supplement version of the prediabetic drug Metformin.

It may sound like a lot of effort and very restricting but it’s not. I eat good food! I eat a lot of eggs and egg whites; homemade yogurt; meat and cheese; fish; almonds and other nuts; salads loaded with pumpkin seeds, avocados, and other veggies; veggies roasted in coconut oil or steamed and drizzled with olive oil; coffee protein shakes; peanut butter protein balls; fruit; and select whole grains.

To keep myself in check, I log what I eat in MyFitnessPal a couple days each month. That is enough to help me stay on track without consuming too much time or being a big distraction. Using this data, I know that on average I eat 25-30% protein, 45-50% fat, and 25-30% carbs.

Is it worth it? Well, part of PCOS is missed menstrual cycles. Since starting this effort six months ago, I’ve had five normal cycles on my own. That’s more than I can say about the past 10 years! So yes, it is definitely worth it.

What are you willing to do to keep your body healthy?

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