PCOS: An Unexpected Journey

PCOS is a bitch. I find myself a 31-year-old professional with acne, facial hair, mood swings, cravings like a crack addict, and uncontrollable weight gain. “Well just stop giving in to the cravings and you’ll lose weight,” is what an average person would say. Except the thing is I don’t give into my cravings. I am not bingeing in secret. You won’t find candy wrappers stuffed under my car seats or in my sock drawer. In summary, I am a food snob. Meat that finds itself on my plate is organic and grass-fed. I have now eliminated the most common allergens wreaking havoc on most of us today: eggs, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, and gluten. And yet I am gaining weight at about one pound per week. Right now I am up to 216 and I don’t see any sign of it stopping. I was doing Crossfit for the past 6 months, completely convinced this would jolt my body into cooperating with my eating habits, but I GAINED 10 pounds!! I was so embarrassed I quit until I could figure myself out. And it was not 10 pounds of muscle, either. I gained inches and a pants size. Lovely!

Medications have not helped, either. My latest escapade was with Metformin, which wound up causing me to hallucinate at night. The last straw was when I woke up in the middle of the night shaking my sleeping husband so hard he woke up, too. His eyes were wide and he exclaimed, “what are you doing?!” He’s a huge guy at 6’6” so I could not have hurt him, but still the incident scared me. What else would it have caused me to do in my sleep? Metformin is out. Which is a shame, too because it was stopping my cravings, leveling out my energy, and I felt like a new person. But when you practically assault the person you love in your sleep, nothing is worth that.

So here I am back at square one. Low carb caused me to gain weight, Paleo caused me to gain weight, counting calories and intuitive eating have caused me to gain weight. When I stop dieting and caring I gain weight. What’s left?

To be a nutritarian means that you only eat foods that offer the most nutrient-bang for your calorie buck. So while a 6-ounce serving of organic chicken is nutritious and about 160 calories, eating 160 calories worth of super-nutrient foods like kale will offer me more micro-nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. It’s not that the chicken breast is unhealthy, but it’s not an efficient way to spend my daily calorie allowance. If a guy only had $500 to spend on an engagement ring for his girlfriend, would he shop at Tiffany’s and settle for 1/8 karat microscopic diamond? No, he’d go to Kay Jewelers on black Friday and negotiate a discount to top it off! In the end he emerges with a killer ring she can show off to her girlfriends. He got the most diamond for his dollar. And it’s the same with my body. A serving of organic meat or an ancient grain like quinoa is the 1/8 karat, microscopic engagement ring. Worth the same calories (the $500) but unimpressive to our body (the girlfriend). Plants, nuts, and seeds are the mega engagement ring we got for the same $500 (the same calorie allowance), and they cause us to shine brighter than the other foods!

I have no idea if that made sense. I am not on Metformin so I should be back to non-crazy M.

So, it’s my first day being nutritarian. I skipped my usual cup of coffee and had a smoothie based on Kimberly Snyder’s The Beauty Detox Solution recipe “Glowing Green Smoothie”. My version was:

3 cups romaine lettuce
1 banana
1 green apple
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 scoop Vegalite vegan protein powder
1 scoop super greens powder (Nutrition Dynamics, Gluten Free, Chocolate)
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 cups water

Combine in Vitamix, watch your cats tear up flooring while escaping the sound, and enjoy. I drank this about an hour ago and feel great right now. I will most likely start to get a caffeine withdrawal headache in an hour or so, and that’s when I’ll have a cup of organic coffee. I just switched over to organic since I read that conventional coffee is like a pesticide soup that can cause your body to stop producing estrogen… which means it has more male hormones… something that PCOS-ers do not want! So organic coffee is a non-negotiable item for me now. I was never a Starbuck’s chick anyway. I love my savings account too much!

I will be posting about my lunch and dinner later today. I have a date with the gym later on (it’s biceps and triceps day, yay!!) and a mission to tick off as many Philly guys in the weight room as possible with my Steelers t-shirt (thanks, Hubby <3). Then it’s off to Whole Foods to get some organic greens and other nutrient-bang items. I’ll post my list as well.

Stay hopeful, happy, and hungry for change.