Another month down :-)

The 2nd month of my experiment is gone.  I have to admit, I was terrible with my eating and hardly had my spearmint tea.  I’ve been really lazy.  I’m telling myself that it is justified because I’ll be so busy the rest of the year with my post-grad studies that I needed to rest before I started.  I really know that I was just being lazy.

Interestingly, this month is the first time in my life that I have ever had a late period.  My period was a week late and I had 2 negative pregnancy tests before it started.  I wonder if this was because I was so slack and my hormones were more out of wack.  I have had a bit more acne this month, but it isn’t too bad.

The worst thing at the moment is the return of nipple hairs.  So gross!  The extra hair growth with PCOS really makes me feel very unlady-like.  I often joke with my husband about him marrying a “man”.  Sometimes this gets me pretty down.   I think the trick to making myself feel better again is to be very girly (eg. dress up, wear make up, do my hair really nice, go shopping etc.).  Not only do these things make me feel good about myself normally but especially when my femininity is being challenged.

Do any of you do the same kinda thing?

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Dairy Free

I love milk!  As a child I hated soft drink and would have milk instead.  I remember going to Sizzler and my siblings would get soft drink and I would get milk from the coffee machine.  The past year I have limited myself to low fat milk (it just isn’t the same as full cream) but in my research on controlling PCOS naturally I’ve seen a few things on going dairy free helping.   There are hormones in dairy products which when they get into our bodies can worsen our already mucked up hormone problems.

I was very resistant to this.  I have read somewhere that women that drink milk whether it is full cream or light are on average a healthier body weight than those that don’t.  This is the kind of thing I have been telling myself.

However, I decided that I would give it a go.  I started just not having glasses of milk and drinking more water.  Now I have changed to almond milk for my muesli in the morning. I’ve cut right back on cheese except occasionally feta in a salad.  I’ve also started to get organic milk for my husband and also for when I want a cup of tea.  Almond milk is fine in my muesli… I think it blends in well because there are already a lot of nuts in the muesli, but it is awful in tea.  Too nutty!  So at the moment the only dairy I have is in my cups of tea and that is organic milk.

I’m liking my spearmint tea more and more, which is a blessing.  Acne is still going really good.  I have been really naughty with my low GI eating because of Valentine’s day and birthday parties.  But I think it is good to enjoy those things and not be overly strict otherwise I would be miserable.  My sister gave me a box of chocolates last night and they have been staring me down 😦  I’ll wait for my hubby to get home later before opening them because he will eat most of them and that way I’ll eat less.  I have 3-4 black chin hairs that have been growing back really quickly but no new ones have developed.  I’m lucky that I’m fair as my face is hairy but so light only I notice it.

Hope you all were spoiled as I was for Valentine’s Day!

Homemade Muesli

I’ve been reading about eating organic foods to help with PCOS.  Basically, organic or “real” food won’t have chemicals, hormones (eg. meats) etc.   Eating organically is healthier and better for everyone but with PCOS it is more important as our bodies are already out of whack and adding chemicals, hormone, etc. will make us even more out of whack.  That’s the theory.

I’ve been looking a lot at this blog http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/ & http://myrealfoodfamily.wordpress.com/, about cutting out processed food and that made me look at the ingredient lists on some everyday foods that I eat like my morning muesli.  I was suprised that my fairly natural looking muesli had chemicals and preservatives in it.  I then googled home made muesli recipes and came up with this combination that I love (especially with the fruit and cinnamon on top).

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10 cups rolled oats  (I think I’ll make it 12 cups next time to make it go further)

1 cup linseed

1 cup sultanas

1 cup almonds, slivered

1 cup pepitas or pumpkin seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup chia seeds

Psyllium husks for more fibre

Add fresh chopped banana, apple or berries and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per serve

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There is a store in our area that sells all these ingredients for good prices they have big tubs of different things and you scoop out how much you want into your bag then they weigh it at the counter.  It gave me some ideas I’ll have to try later on 🙂

Cinnamon is supposed to help with insulin resistance and glucose control so it is really good for PCOS too

My story

Hi!  My name is Anna Croft.  I am 26 years old, happily married to the man of my dreams, bit of a career girl, and proud owner of a 1yr old golden retriever.  I have always lived in Queensland, Australia but would love to see as much of the world as possible.  I have been working in the health industry for about 3 years now and really enjoy helping people.

2 years ago, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  I had been having a lot of abdominal pain and an ultrasound showed multiple cysts on each ovary.  At the time, I had only heard of PCOS once or twice and really had no idea about it.  My doctor told me that I would be fine, just not to leave having kids til to late in life.  She also said that the pill was the best thing for controlling my symptoms (mainly acne) and didn’t really take much notice of the pain from the cysts.  So, I carried on with taking my oral contraceptive pill, Loette, and began to notice excessive facial hair and snail trail (technical name is hirsutism) and I continued to have painful ovaries.  So, my doctor changed my pill to Levlen ED which contains higher doses of hormones.  This seemed to fix the problems.

After getting over the initial shock of being diagnosed with PCOS, I started to read a lot about PCOS.  I really had to dig a bit deeper to find good, reliable information on managing PCOS and the risks associated with it.  I found this website particularly helpful for really good for reliable information : http://www.managingpcos.org.au/about-pcos.

I started reading the PCOS Evidence Based Guidlines (http://www.managingpcos.org.au/pcos-evidence-based-guidelines) and was shocked to find that the pill can actually lead to more insulin resistance.  This is more common in higher doses and the pill I was taking (Levlen ED) is middle of the range dose.  This scared me because, I already knew that I was at risk of diabetes with PCOS and if the pill can cause insulin resistance then the risk is increased.  I’m DO NOT want to have diabetes. I work with people that have diabetes and it is an awful disease.  However, I don’t want acne and facial hair either.

I started reading more into managing PCOS naturally which has lead me to writing this blog.  I am going to stop taking the pill and will not be taking any medication for my PCOS (I do take medication for my asthma as my lungs only function at 70% capacity without it).  This blog is a way of documenting the changes I will make and how it affects my symptoms.  It is also a way of challenging myself to keep going with the changes and not give up.

I’ve been waiting to stop the pill because my acne is the best it has been in a long time and I am maid of honour at my best friend’s wedding in a couple of weeks and don’t want to be covered in spots for that.  I’m going to start making a few changes, do more reading and try to put a post up each week.  I know that if I try to change everything at once I won’t keep it up so I’m just going to take it all one step at a time.