When I say that food heals and changes lives, I know what I’m talking about.
When I was 27, a doctor told me that I had numerous cysts on my breasts and ovaries and that it was unlikely I’d ever get pregnant. Immediately after, I heard the phrase Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) for the very first time, was told to come back in six months for a “check-up” and was handed a pamphlet with a laundry list of symptoms that looked like a death sentence: infertility, diabetes, weight gain, and ovarian cancer.
It was a whirlwind diagnosis that left me anxious, sad, and alone. With no support, I decided to take matters into my own hands to figure out what was causing my PCOS, and more importantly, how to treat it.
At the time of my diagnosis, I was eating a standard American diet and never considered that what I was eating was severely affecting my health. Yet, I decided to enroll in a holistic nutrition program, and on day one, I went to class eager to learn with a bag of gummy bears tucked into my purse in case I got hungry during class--no kidding! Within six months, I ditched the candy, drastically changed my diet and lifestyle, and felt better than I had in years.
My doctor couldn’t believe it: I went from having more cysts than she’d ever seen to having none that she could detect. My ovaries had gone back to normal size, and I was ovulating on my own again. And, to my delight, I was soon able to give birth naturally to not one, but two precious little boys.
After watching my own symptoms go dormant by changing my diet and lifestyle, I vowed to dedicate my life to helping other women find freedom from PCOS, a disorder caused by hormonal imbalance that affects nearly 1 in 10 women in the United States.
Today, I know that the information I received upon my diagnosis was both presumptuous and lacking. Presumptuous in the fact that my fate was already sealed and that I was headed in the direction of diabetes and ovarian cancer. Lacking because it didn’t address my current symptoms that had gotten me to this diagnosis in the first place. What about the non-stop tiredness, my bi-polar mood swings, and my facial hair? How was I supposed to manage all of that?
Where was the information providing hope and support that women with PCOS are not doomed and that all PCOS symptoms—yes all!—can be controlled through a healthy diet, thus eliminating the need for prescription drugs to manage painful or embarrassing PCOS symptoms.
“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health,
and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.”
PCOS-Friendly Foods and Happy Hormones
When I started my practice in 2003, my goal was to provide everything for women that I didn’t get myself when I was diagnosed with PCOS. In addition to much needed emotional support, this includes teaching women how to stabilize their hormones and blood-sugar levels by adopting clean, whole-food diet plans that allows PCOS symptoms to go dormant in the body. In practical terms, this means learning how to read labels, plan and prep meals, and eat out at restaurants in a way that’s not overwhelming and doesn’t control their lives.
Empowering women to make better food choices and nourish their bodies by committing to a PCOS-friendly diet plan means that for the first time in years--since the first unexplained symptom appeared--women have the power to take back control of their own bodies, become their own best health advocates, and find freedom from PCOS.
“I could never understand why I was unable to see more results from my diet and exercise regime. I did not know my meals were lacking a PCOS-friendly focus. My PCOS symptoms were lack of energy and cystic acne, and I had been trying to get pregnant for over a year.
After six sessions of working with Randi my skin looked beautiful-no more complaints of painful cystic acne, increased energy, and feeling the best I had ever felt. We continued to work on a PCOS-friendly diet to improve my egg quality, and as a result, I was able to conceive naturally.
I would not have this little angel inside me without Randi’s help.”
--PCOS Diet Plans Client
I always advocate making small changes over-time, and meet my clients wherever they are on their “real-food” journey in order to help them start incorporating sustainable diet changes that can help them find freedom from PCOS. Here’s a list of action-steps (in no particular order) that I discuss with my clients:
- Aim to drink about two liters of water per day. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can add the classic lemon or get more creative by trying one of these more fun concoctions.
- Eat organic meat, fruits, and vegetables whenever possible. If going 100% organic isn’t an option for you right away, start by buying organic, hormone-free meat and poultry and wild-caught seafood. Then, slowly make your way to buying organic produce.
- Visit your local farmer’s market and learn where your food comes from. Local, organic, fresh-picked fruits and vegetables taste so good you’ll never want to eat conventional produce again!
- Avoid processed foods with long lists of ingredients you can’t pronounce or include any amount of trans fats.
- Avoid packaged foods with added sugar (or a sugar pseudonym), food colorings, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
- Consume a variety of foods with omega-3 (enhanced eggs, beans, fortified milk, and dairy) and oils (avocado and walnut). You can also take a high-quality fish oil supplement with EPA and DHA if you can’t get enough omega-3 from your diet alone.
Finally, while not directly food related, it is health-related, and women with PCOS are after happy, healthy hormones, remember?
Chewing. Food. While. Sitting. Down.
This is one of the hardest aspects of healthy eating for my clients who feel stressed out by their never ending to-do lists, constant work deadlines, and the kids’ non-stop activities. I encourage my clients to turn off the TV, put down the phone, and savor the wonderful tastes and flavors of good-quality food.
Who has the time to sit down and enjoy a nice meal without distractions, they ask.
That’s why I love Provenance Meals. Having organic, gluten-free meals delivered straight to their doors takes all the work out of shopping, cooking, and cleaning, and means that my clients finally have time to sit down, relax, and enjoy a delicious homemade meal (that someone else made).
Together, my clients and I select the prepared foods from Provenance Meals that meet their food preferences and dietary needs in order to put together a PCOS-friendly meal plan for the week.
Not having to prepare their own PCOS-friendly meals means that my clients have more time and less stress--a double win. Stress contributes to 80% of chronic conditions, and for women with PCOS, causes damage to their adrenal glands. This can lead to adrenal fatigue, interrupted sleep, and a difficulty to lose weight even while exercising.
So, this means if women with PCOS are stressed, their ability to get a good night’s sleep or lose unwanted pounds becomes more difficult...and that stresses them out even more!
Having PCOS is stressful enough, eating a PCOS-friendly diet doesn’t have to be.
If you want to learn more about PCOS, sometimes called the silent killer because symptoms go undiagnosed and mistreated in 1,000s of women each year, hop on over to my Facebook page, where I post helpful information and practical tips daily to help women with PCOS find freedom from their disorder.
When you like PCOS Diet Plans, you’ll be automatically entered to win a complementary diet analysis. During our chat, we’ll discuss your current diet, and I’ll provide you with some personalized nutrition info that you can start implementing right away in order to help you start living free of your PCOS symptoms.