Thursday, 28 August 2014

PCOS | Diet | Dairy

When you find a tasty gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, sugar free, recipe...

PCOS affects my day to day life more than I like to let on to the people that surround me everyday. But lately I have been noticing a change in my energy levels. Since finishing university and moving back in with my mom there have been more treats around me than there was before. There are cookies, chocolates, cakes and sweets all the time. My brother and sister are twelve and fifteen and like to eat the usual treats and rubbish that kids there age do. However, I am twenty-one and no longer a child and that means my needs for sugar aren't and shouldn't be matched with theirs. But the time of the month got to me when I first arrived back that first month and I ate a few too many sugary treats. Since then though I have been a bit of a sugar and snack addict up until a month ago when I managed to straighten myself out and get me back on a healthier road.

Growing up there wasn't a doctor to sit me down and properly  explain what PCOS was. That also included what you should eat and how people with the syndrome struggle with insulin resistance. I had to instead research on my own and find out about everything about it, and I still feel like I'm learning today. In fact I take my symptoms more serious now, than I ever have before. I'm learning more about my body and how certain and different foods make me react. That's both IBS and PCOS related. At the moment I'm figuring out what works for me and what doesn't. So far it is working and I am paying attention to how my body reacts to certain foods. There's still a long way to go and more I want to figure out, but so far so good.

Here is one of the main things I have recently learnt about PCOS:

~ Dairy - before my recent research I didn't know how bad Cow's milk and products are for your body. I knew that soy products were bad but I didn't realise that the milk contains IGF-1 or Insulin Growth Factor 1. IGF-1 is a naturally occurring hormone with a similar molecule structure as that of insulin, mimicking the role insulin plays. However, women with PCOS already have higher than normal levels of IGF-1, meaning that their ovaries are sensitive to heightened or added amounts of this hormone. This leads to their ovaries going into overdrive and doing more work than they in fact need to. I have now switched up my use of cow's milk and gone back to almond milk. It isn't a favourite but I am going to keep using it because I know how the switch has helped others internally, including helping the reproduction system and aiding natural unassisted periods.

I hate dealing with this but glad there is something that can be done about it

For more information I have found this website called Tarryn suffers from PCOS herself and has also made podcasts which I have found useful that you can find on Itunes by searching pcos diet support.

Do you have PCOS? If so, have you learnt anything that you would like to share?


Monday, 25 August 2014

Quiet | Susan Cain

'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' is in fact a book by author Susan Cain and my new bible. Of course, I am using the word bible in an open sense, meaning a book I feel to be powerful. I have been reading this book over the course of the past few months and although it has taken me this long to complete it, it doesn't take away from how much I have thoroughly enjoyed the read. As well as, how much I have taken from the book information-wise.

Quiet is a non-fiction book about introversion and in turn extroversion. Before I even picked up this book I knew I was an introvert, and in fact I have always had an incline that I have introverted tendencies. But personally for me this book (and my saving grace) has only confirmed it definitively. I know referring to it as my saving grace sounds a little strong and some may say 'Slow down Chloe, it's just a book'. However, for me books have always been and meant something much more than words on paper. They symbolise numerous things, including the determination to complete/finish something that a book helps us achieve.

I am definitely the type of person that can pick up a book at 11am and still be reading it by 6pm later on that evening, especially if I am really into a book. I have even been known to complete a book in a days sitting when I've put my mind to it. As an English Literature student this isn't shocking and was one of the many demands of my chosen course, which nowadays I actually miss. Who'd have thought it?

Basically, if you've ever felt like the shy person in the group? Or even if you've questioned your own personality type, then this is the book for you. However, I would honestly recommend this book to everyone and anyone I meet (and have been). You know when you find a book so good that you want everyone you know and come into contact with to read? Well, it's one of those. It's both informative and enlightening and like the recommendations on the back praise:

"Remarkable" - Daily Mail,

"Will make quiet people see themselves in a whole new light" - Naomi Wolf

and "An extroadinary book that will change for ever the way society views introverts" - Gretchen Rubin, Author of The Happiness Project

Pick it up and give it a read :) It will definitely change your view of certain people.

Oh and check out the TED talk Susan Cain did here.

The Guardian's Review here.

Saturday, 23 August 2014


This week has definitely had its highs and its lows in terms of weight loss. The lows happen when I feel like I am getting nowhere and the highs happen when I go to the gym and are able to do things I couldn't do even a few weeks ago. At the moment the bottom line is that I am nowhere near where I want to be. And honestly on my lowest days that fact still gets me down. I've been there, before, but not for long. But what keeps me going and pushing forth is that I am going to be there again, hopefully before or at graduation on the 27th of November.

There are big changes I am just failing to make. I am becoming conflicted and confused in my attempt to clean up my diet. There are too many things that I am trying to do at once. I am trying to eat Low Fodmap and Low GI all at the same time for health reasons. I am eating a Low Fodmap diet in order to help my IBS and so far so good. All my symptoms have calmed down and I am definitely happier as far as that part of my digestive system is concerned. The same is really to be said of the Low GI dietary changes I have been making, cutting down on high glycemic foods has been a huge change - mainly in my mood. So there are definitely improvements being made, just not at the fast pace I crave.

But I think that is mainly down to self and not giving it my all. There are nights out and I'm not one to turn down a beer, but I think that's where I need to stop. Only drinking for occasions or special events is definitely the way to go as my university days drift behind me. (It's getting less and less acceptable to drink on a Thursday haha.) But by abstaining from  alcohol, I know there will be rewards to be reaped on the scales.

Basically, I know what I need to be doing it's just putting mind over matter and getting the job done.

Friday, 15 August 2014


This week equals a success and I feel completely proud of myself to be saying that sentence.

As I relax now with a well earned beer (or two), I find myself looking back on the week. The lows, the highs, the successes, the failures, it really did all happen. But I battled with myself when it came to food and I made sure that I got a good workout session in (whatever I decided it would be). And two out of three ain't bad, as Meatloaf would say or for me six out of seven ain't bad! The only day I "took off" was Thursday, or yesterday I should say, as I just felt downright terrible after minimal sleep. At one point, I honestly thought I'd pass out from exhaustion. But I powered through, took two Pro-Plus (which I hate to do) and pulled it out of the bag. Now I never recommend taking caffeine in pill form, but yesterday it was necessary and quickly did the trick. I'd say within half an hour I was powering through job applications and continuing on with my Thursday.

Eating healthy and cleaner, and simply working out, doing whatever I chose is what has made my week a success. In my own eyes anyhow. The workouts where beginner and nothing too strenuous was achieved, as in I wasn't flipping tyres or throwing sandbags, which is what I always think about when I think of "proper people" who work out. I ran, I lifted weights, I toyed around with kettle-bells (easily my new favourite piece of gym equipment). Nothing was ever boring, though at times it was hard and I think that's where balance comes into the equation. You need to enjoy what you're doing, but it needs to feel challenging enough to see improvements and changes. These improvements and changes are what make you want to continue and to power through. They are evidence of your hard work and proof of the strength you put into each session. So hopefully 4 to 6 weeks time and I'll see some kind of improvements.

I'm not weighing myself at the moment,a deliberate decision that I have made. It will do no good and so I am going to leave it alone...for now anyways. My goal weight I feel is always 9 and a half stone, with a 25/26 inch waist. Those are the figures I always have in my mind, because I know when I get down to that weight all the opportunities I'll have. Opportunities like wearing shorts and not minding, just the little things like that that make life that little bit easier.

And that's where I leave it for today. Hopefully next week will be just as successful.