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Living Simply with PCOS

As I sit and write this article, life is anything but simple. You see, we’re packing up our home and our lives for a six month adventure in beautiful (sunny) South Africa.

There are a lot of logistics to consider – insurances, travel plans, tenants and rental agreements, packing up so much stuff. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and my desire for simplicity grows by the day.

It’s also really forced me to consider what is most essential when it comes to my PCOS. You see, it is so easy to get caught up in all of the things that we “need” to take, eat or do for our PCOS. It can leave us feeling overwhelmed.

So, let’s take a step back, especially as we’re entering the festive season, and have a look at the most essential elements of our PCOS management.

Food

Now, we’ve said time and time again that the way that we eat is the most effective way of managing our PCOS and our symptoms. In fact, researchers have found that eating well for our PCOS is more effective than clomid and Metformin in stimulating ovulation and generally managing our symptoms.

Now, this entire site is dedicated to managing our PCOS using food (mostly) and you will find articles on the main principles of eating well for your PCOS – dairy free, gluten free and low GL.

Also, if you want some more ideas of recipes that meet the PCOS Diet guidelines, why not check out PCOS Foodies? It’s an entire meal planning app specifically designed for women with PCOS.

So, how can we go about simplifying our food, following the basic guidelines?

Remember, we’re looking for dairy free, gluten free and low glycemic load foods. The first thing that springs to mind is whole unprocessed foods. You can eat these kinds of foods anytime, anywhere.

Going to a restaurant? A steak and some vegetables is a great option.

Picnic? Deli meats, salad, fruit, olives – you’re sorted.

Dinner at home? Chicken breasts and vegetables.

Lunch? Soups and salads.

It is AMAZING how much food you can happily enjoy that follow these guidelines.

Really, it is AMAZING how much food you can happily enjoy that follow these guidelines.

Now, I have a confession to make. My children (5 and 2) crave sugar. I have not been all that successful in staying away from processed foods with them. So, I’m seeing our trip to South Africa as a wonderful opportunity to reset their diets and way of eating.

I’m seriously considering a new rule – if it has more than 3 ingredients or comes in some kind of commercial packaging – it’s out.

I know that sounds extreme but if you had this wonderful opportunity to re-establish traditions and habits for your family, what changes would you make?

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Supplements

We have spoken a lot about the best supplements for women with PCOS. And I often get asked which supplements are the most helpful for women with PCOS. You’ll find that there are so many options out there for women with PCOS.

But, I don’t want to be taking a million different tablets and supplements a day and I want to know that what I am taking will be effective for me. I also just don’t want to travel half way across the world with a bag full of supplements.

So, I have 3 essential PCOS supplements that I just won’t go without.

  • Vitamin D – 85% of women with PCOS are deficient in Vitamin D. You can read more about it here.
  • Omega 3 – It helps to lower testosterone levels in women with PCOS.
  • Ovasitol – My number 1 PCOS supplement. If you can’t get Ovasitol, Inositol is you next-best bet.

Yes, there are other things that I could add to my regime but this combination has been amazingly effective for me and so many others.

Exercise

Now, this is also something that we tend to over think. We want to know what exercise we should be doing, how much and how often. And these are all legitimate questions with some very good answers that you can find here and here and here.

But remember, at the moment we’re talking about simplifying with PCOS.

So, what exercise should we be doing? Anything. Just make sure that you are doing something.

I find that sometimes the day runs away with me and I’ve hardly moved. That is why I love my Fitbit so much. It helps to remind me and motivate me to get moving and make sure that I get as close to my 10000 steps a day as possible.

Yes, I could be doing HIIT workouts and that would be even better.  But as long as I’m moving and being active everyday, I’m happy with that.

So, my Fitbit will definitely be making it half way across the world!

The Rest of our Lives

At the moment, I’m very mindful of the number of distractions, adverts and pressures, to spend more – more time, more money, more stuff. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner and Christmas not too far off, I just want to encourage you to be mindful.

Mindful of the things that you dedicate your time, money and energy to. For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, may you have a wonderful day spent with family and friends, focusing on the things in your life that are most important for you.

And in closing, I’d love to hear from you. If you had an opportunity to “reset” and start fresh, what changes would you make – for you and for your family?

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

6 Responses

6 Responses

  1. Thanks Tarryn. Just reading this today has helped me see how to get back on track. We have had such a lot of stuff going on in our lives that I felt like I’d fallen off the bandwagon with managing my pcos and didn’t know how to get back on! Reading this helped me to see how simple it can be. Thanks again

  2. Hi Tarryn,
    I have to first say THANK YOU for your website and what you do to help educate and support SO many women all over the world with PCOS. I was first diagnosed with PCOS after my son was born in 2013. I couldn’t lose the weight and had NO energy at all. Fast forward a year later after being diagnosed with PCOS and put on Metformin, I was feeling better but not 100%. I needed a new change to happen to feel better. So I decided to see a naturopathic doctor who has been VERY helpful in managing my PCOS with supplements. Since then, I just had my second child in August! Today I am working on getting back on track with losing the baby weight and I have found that your website has been such a guiding light! I have downloaded the starter kit and am enjoying the videos. 🙂
    One question I have for you is do you have an article or information about how to explain PCOS to family members? I am educating my husband and other family members and close friends that I have PCOS and need to eat gluten and dairy free but there’s so much more to it that I don’t think they totally understand especially since I am learning it all and its new to myself too. 🙂 Any help or advice it greatly appreciated!
    Thank you again for everything you do, especially how busy you are as a mom and wife. Keep on sharing your stories and guiding us with such powerful knowledge for those of us who have PCOS.

    Happy Holidays!!

    Krisy

  3. Taryn,
    I’m a teacher in Texas and we just had our Thanksgiving break. I’m not proud of this, but I did not eat mindfully for the whole 5 days I was away from my students. I ate horribly. Whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Let’s just say my pants were a little snug this morning when I got dressed for work. That being said, I already knew that starting today I would be resetting. I have been doing a good job staying active in gym, but as we all know, diet is key. I’m excited to get back on track. It is much needed!

  4. Great post! It is so nice to know what works. I have been considering trying Ovasitol for a couple of weeks now. Has removing parabens and other chemicals made any sort of a difference for you? I have been avoiding them for a while, but I can’t tell if it really helped or not.

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