They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I personally find that a good PCOS breakfast sets me up for a good day. Before my diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my standard breakfast was oats, muesli or some other cereal. The problem was that I was always starving 2 hours later. Since going gluten and dairy free, my breakfasts have changed drastically and the best thing about them is that they see me through to lunch. So, I’m going to give you some breakfast ideas for your PCOS diet. But before I do, let’s look at the problem with some standard breakfasts.
The Problem with Cereals and Some Porridges
Okay, so apart from the gluten and dairy that is inherent in most cereals, they also tend to have a high glycemic load and are very carb heavy.
So, what is the alternative? Here are some ideas:
Eggs are highly nutritious and are a good source of protein as they have all of the essential amino acids. They are also low GI and are considered to have “high biological value” (1)
There are so many ways you could have your eggs in the morning: scrambled, pached, fired, in an omelette or frittata or hard boiled. If you’re in a rush and you want to bump up the nutrient content by adding some veggies, here is a great recipe idea:
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Microwave Egg and Veggie Breakfast
- 2 x eggs
- 1 x tbsp. water
- 2 x tbsp. thinly sliced baby spinach
- 2 x tbsp. chopped mushrooms
- Sliced grape or cherry tomatoes
- ½ x cup strawberries, to serve
- Coat 8-oz. ramekin or custard cup with cooking spray. ADD egg, water, spinach and mushrooms; beat until blended.
- Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds; stir. Microwave until egg is almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
- Top with tomatoes.
- Serve with a ½ cup of strawberries on the side.
This food is a good source of Niacin, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin and Selenium. It is also MILDLY anti-inflammatory.
Total carbs: 12g
Glycemic load: 5
For a more relaxed weekend breakfast, try this delicious one pan breakfast:
One Pan Summer Eggs
- 1 x tbsp. olive oil
- 2 x large zucchini (courgette), chopped into small chunks
- 7oz (200g) pack cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 x garlic clove, crushed
- 4 x eggs
- few basil leaves , to serve
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then add the zucchini (courgettes).
- Fry for 5 mins, stirring every so often until they start to soften, add the tomatoes and garlic, then cook for a few mins more.
- Stir in a little seasoning, then make two gaps in the mix and crack in the eggs.
- Cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of foil, then cook for 2-3 mins until the eggs are done to your liking.
- Scatter over a few basil leaves and serve.
This food is a good source of Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Phosphorus, Manganese and Selenium, and a very good source of Vitamin A. It is also MILDLY anti-inflammatory.
Total carbs: 13g
Glycemic load: 4
Smoothies are a quick and easy breakfast and are an easy way to get loads of nutrients. The only thing with smoothies is that they can have a very high glycemic load and can cause your blood sugars to rise quickly. So, to combat that quick spike in sugars, make sure that you balance the carbs with some almond butter, an egg or even an avocado (you hardly notice the taste but it does make your smoothie so much creamier!)
Here are some smoothie suggestions:
Chocolate Cherry Cinnamon Smoothie
- 1 ½ x cups fresh or frozen cherries (if frozen, watch for added sugar)
- 1 x banana
- ½ x cup coconut milk
- 2 x tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 x tsp. cinnamon
- ¾ x cup water
- 4 x ice cubes
- Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy!
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Copper, and a very good source of Manganese.
Total carbs: 33g
Glycemic load: 10
Pineapple Citrus Smoothie
- 1 x banana
- 1 ½ x cups fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 x orange, peeled and quartered
- Juice of one lime
- 4 x ice cubes
- 1 x tbsp. ginger
- ½ x tsp. nutmeg
- 2 x tsp. turmeric
- ½ x cup coconut milk
- ¾ x cup water
- Add all ingredients to blender.
- Blend until smooth. If needed, add additional water until desired consistency is reached.
- Divide evenly between two large glasses and enjoy!
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese. It is also STRONGLY anti-inflammatory.
Total carbs: 43g
Glycemic load: 13
Granolas and Porridges
Last but not least, we need some “cereals” and porridges”. My mom used to call me the Corn Flakes kid when I was growing up as cereal always used to be my comfort food. So, is a porridge and cereal for when you need a bit of warmth and comfort.
Instant Flax Meal Almond Butter Hot Cereal
- ¼ x cup flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
- ½ x cup boiling water
- 1 x tbsp. almond butter
- ¼ x tsp. cinnamon
- ½ grapefruit
- Pour boiling water over flax seed meal and stir well.
- Stir in almond butter and cinnamon.
- Let thicken for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve with ½ grapefruit.
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Thiamin and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese.
Total carbs: 22g
Glycemic load: 3
This granola may take a little longer to prepare but it will last for up to a week so is a great breakfast on the run or something quick and easy to take to the office if you need to.
Grain Free Granola
Serves 14, 2 oz / 58g per serving
- 2 x cups mixed almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia and brazil nuts
- 1 x cup dried plums or dried cherries, cranberries or apricots
- ½ x cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds, activated if possible)
- ½ x cup hazelnut or almond meal
- 1 x cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
- ½ x cup coconut flakes (if you have them)
- 1-2 x tbsp. chia seeds
- ½ x cup melted coconut oil
- 5-6 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 x tsp vanilla extract
- Optional but very nice: zest of 1 orange
You will need a food processor or some other way to break the nuts into smaller crumbs
- Preheat oven to 165C (330F).
- Add whole nuts and dried fruit to a food processor. Process the mixture into medium size crumbs, some of it will turn into finer flour/meal like consistency but that’s what we want – a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Mix processed nuts and all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break down the clumps, which will form when coconut oil and honey come into contact with dry ingredients. It’s ok if some of them remain unbroken.
- Line a deepish roasting tray with baking paper, making sure the sides are covered. Spoon the mix into a tray and flatten with a spatula.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes in total or until golden brown on top. Make sure to mix through at a 10 minute point to expose more of the granola to the heat.
- Remove and let it cool completely. You can even refrigerate it for 10 minutes, this solidifies coconut oil and honey in it.
- Break into crumbs and pieces using your hands or a spoon. Transfer to an air-tight container. I transfer mine still in the baking paper and keep it, unrefrigerated, in a large plastic container for up to a week.
- Serve with almond milk and some fruit if desired.
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Manganese.
Total carbs: 21g
So, there are some breakfast ideas that are PCOS friendly and will stand you in good stead for your busy day. If you need some more ideas on other recipes, I have well over a hundred recipes that I use for the weekly meal plans so there’s loads more where these came from!
What is your favourite PCOS friendly breakfast? I’d love to hear from you!
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Hi Ladies, I would recommend you remove oats from your diet as they contain a high amount of carbs in 100g of Oats you have about 66g of carbohydrates try and switch this for quinoa which contains only 21g of carbohydrates in 100g and see how you feel. Eat a lot of vegetables ( no beans ) good sources of protein and healthy fats and keep carbs like in 25% of your diet. Join the gym or martial arts club. Weight training will help absorb better carbs and martial club-like boxing or kickboxing is good cardio and will help you feel better about your self. You have PCOS and you can’t change it, you can only do your best to control it by smart food choices and exercising. Love you all.
And Don’t blend fruits that will make sugar quickly absorbed by the body Look on the package of juices no added sugar and info High in sugar there is a reason behind it.
Hi,i am a indian and suffering from pcos from last 6 years.can you please suggest me a healthy diet.( try something indian and more vegetables)
My breakfast is 2 pranthas (it is a kind of indian bread )with curry or dal and simetime with omelette.
My lunch is 2 chapattis with sabji (sauted vegetables ) and some curd.
And my dinner is again 2 chapattis with dal and salad.usually i take this but sometimes i consume white rice,noodles ,oats.
I thought having a sugary start for the day is not very healthy for pcos women?
Thanks for the content.
im just starting to feel like the only solution is to not eat anything. -_- im so sick of this, pcos hasnt been studied in medicine for very long, there is no cure, and no one TRULY knows what foods are best. everyone claims to, but honestly there are so many people claiming so many different things, i just wanna live life. its not life anymore
i hear ya mariah. i feel much of the same at times. it’s very frustrating. i’m not giving up the fight, but i gotta be realistic. as my mom always said “something in the end will be the death of you. so choose what you’re willing to battle with or not and move on.” cuz if it’s not something related to your pcos that will be the end of you then something else will, like a simple accident/disaster that you didn’t have control of anyways. we just don’t know. so decide what’s important to you and choose your battles. for me, i’m tired of feeling tired and in pain. so i choose to do what i can do to battle that. the many other symptoms i have like hirsutism, weight, prehypertension, the cysts on my ovaries, infertility, etc all would be great to fix too. however, my main goal is to feel better. for me, that battle is what i choose to combat with first.
i commiserate with you. just don’t give up the fight yet! do the best you can.
I feel you girl. Exactly what I was thinking to myself. Every doctor I met acted like its not a big thing. Well, I know and glad it’s not cancer, but it still affect every aspect of my life. I am bloated all the time and I’m skinny so it looks like a baloon inside me or like I’m 2 months pregnant, I have the most painfull acne and skin problems. my hair’ skin and throat are dry all the time, I’m always tired and no matter what I eat nothing helps. I even start acupuncture, but i still don’t see any results yet. I’m so sick of that.
we can eat egg and oatmeal ? i taught we cannot, do you have anybody any idea about it ?
Hey, sadly it is “gluten free porridge” on the meal plan, not just oats.
But according to Google (always reliable) oats are gluten free anyway?
Most that can’t eat gluten, can eat oats. But there are many that can’t eat oats and are gluten-free. It varies on a person.
Oats are gluten free, but the way they are transported handled makes them end up being NOT gluten free.
The only truly gluten free oats are those certified organic, as there’s been strict procedures on how it’s handled and transported (they spend extra money to make sure it doesn’t get into contact with anything that held glutenous foods before, it never gets contaminated) . Regular oats go into containers, or transport trucks that carried gluten foods before.
Apart from this, there’s also an issue for some Celiac sufferers as there’s a type of protein called avenins in even the uncontaminated kind of oats which can be triggers for some altough not all Celiacs.
But generally, as long as ypu buy organic and you are not Celiac, you should be fine.
But for Pcos, it’s best to keep oats to a minimum, consume only occasionally and especially in lower quantities.
I would recommend good quality flax seed meal, organic, and use it as you would oats. Pour hot water over, let sit, add cinnamon and very little coconut nectar.
I have eaten eggs daily which are the only things that hold me at breakfast, but I started getting sick of them literally. I couldn’t finish the eggs or I would be nauseous smelling them. I started drinking smoothies which never held me. I was told years ago not to drink them by a Nutritionist because they werent good for PCOS. Well I ignored that now and it was a bad decision. It spiked my A1C higher than it was before I lost 32 lbs and was properly treated on Metforming. My new PCOS Specialist told me they aren’t good for people with PCOS. Nor is oatmeal which I don’t like. I started putting a little plain in the smoothie to bulk it up along with the protein powder, but I was still hungry afterwards. I asked if I could drink a mainly veggie smoothie and she said no because its still carbs which is an issue. I’m sticking by what she says and my A1C will be retested in 3 months. So I’m still prediabetic ?. Gd luck…I’m still trying to find an alternative to eggs. I’m not a good cook nor do I like it. Of I did I would eat more protein based dinner foods at breakfast, lol.
I was wondering if the smoothies need to have protein powder added to help balance the sugar from the fruit.
Hi Tarryn,thank you for the great recipes and all the tips.Im new to this page n loving it so far.I was wondering how come youve not included oatmeal in your breakfast porridge recipes?any reason behind it or no?I usually blend oatmeal,bananas apples n some berries and 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein.I also was wondering if whey protein should be avoided?? if so is there a substitute?Thank you
I also have IBS and can’t eat eggs all cereals or breads so I really struggle for breakfast and I’m feeling frustrated with the whole thing.
I’m not supposed to eat eggs either. It’s really hard!! I like brown rice porridge and put some brown rice or pea protein in it which help keep me fuller for longer. I also sometimes do a quinoa bowl with veggies and avocado or gluten free chicken sausages. Breakfast is really hard. I tried duck eggs for a while and they were gross tasting!! Good luck!
I have IBS too, I can eat eggs but I don’t like them in the morning. I can also have no grains and cereal and bread either.
I have smoothies every morning with a mix of veggies( usually spinach or kale or other leafy greens), fruit (whatever is in season), nutmilk, raw nuts and sascha inchi protein powder. My job is really physical and these smoothies keep me going all morning. Just make sure you put enough protein in the shakes to balance out the sugars in the fruit.
And I am allergic to nearly everything else but eggs, squash and tomatoes.. it’s sooo annoying..
I have high testosterone. Are eggs recommended for someone like myself?
My period got reduced from 3 days to 1 day.. I have cut down all dairy products from last 2 months. I will swim for 40 mins and I will do YOGA every day for an hour. Still there is no improvement in periods.
Can you help me in this.
My periods are also very short (1 to 3 days) and light, with approx 40 to 50 days between periods I stead of 28. I went to acupuncturist for pcos and that first cycle was 28 days, next was 33, then 32. I may go again. There’s definately something to it.
Hey! So I was having the same issue when I was diagnosed in August of 2015. If you out YouTube, you’ll find a ton of guided yoga practices that have positions targeted for PCOS sufferers like us. They helped me tremendously, even with the horrid pains. After about a day or two of doing the guided practice I got my cycle. After months of not having one. Oh and did I mention I normally have a 7 day cycle… I wasn’t getting one at all for months. Anyway, check it out! Its really helpful! And if you happen to not find any, comment back and I’ll attach the link for you guys!
I hope this helps…even just a little! *hugs*
Lucky you. I have horrendous periods at random times a month lasting very long and very heavy. I would trade places immidiately.
Hi , I have cut out all dairy products from my diet, excluding low fat yoghurt. Is this ok i should i cut it out aswell??
I always use almond milk and I didn’t notice where it messed up my hormones. In fact my periods are a lot better than they used to be since I had a baby. Still 7 or so wks sometimes but can’t complain compared to what I am used to. I was a total vegetarian for one year (even soaked fruits and veggies in peroxide). Yes extreme. And I took vitex supplements which I am confident caused my pregnancy. I am no longer a vegetarian as my diet of starting everything from scratch left me exhausted and miserable. I love almond milk. Maybe u could try making your own if you have the time. The corn starch and other ingredients can clog you up. My doc who put me on the natural diet told me that a lot of the things that goes wrong with our bodies is because we store toxic wastes. I noticed that since I have more regular BM my hormones are more balanced. I am still not going everyday as I would love to tho.
Hope I helped!
Hi, I tried the smoothie and liked it. I blended the coconut with water to make the milk, should I have extracted? I also wasn’t sure if I should have blended the orange with the seeds. But it really tasted so light compared to when I use yogurt. I didn’t even have pineapple and I used to bananas instead.
Hi! Wondering if you have any info on the best dairy free milk? I’ve recently read about the dangers of soy milk and how it messes with hormones and I was using almond milk for almost two years, which I loved, but it was causing some hormone imbalances as well. I had acne, abnormal periods etc. Right now I’m on coconut milk and wondering if that’s the best option? Anyone with PCOS have the same issue?
Try the brand So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, it’s dairy free too…actually all their products are
I make a great pancake on weekends, 2 eggs with a tablespoon of almond meal and teaspoon of cinnamon, beaten up well and then just cooked as a pancake in a frying pan. Serve with strawberries and a splash of maple syrup, delicious and really filling.
Idk what almond meal is. Is there a substitute?
I became a fan of smoothies since I am on PCOS friendly diet.
I basically blend everything what I have in a fridge 🙂 Now I’m trying to go gluten free and also thinking to go PALEO, however smoothies for breakfast is the best. Here are my favorites:
– Banana and avocado smoothie with some almond milk and spoon of flax or chia seeds. Few leave of spinach suites jus fine here too!
– Frozen banana and coconut milk smoothie with a pinch of cinnamon – excellent for hot summer days!