Episode #70: Mastering Your PCOS Routine: Daily Success Strategies

Episode #70: Mastering Your PCOS Routine: Daily Success Strategies

Episode #70: Mastering Your PCOS Routine: Daily Success Strategies

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

Mastering Your PCOS Routine: Daily Success Strategies

What you’ll learn in this episode

This episode explores the critical role of planning in achieving success on your PCOS journey. Discover how intentional planning can be your secret weapon, helping you combat chaos, create a comprehensive health plan, and ultimately make it happen. 

Learn how intentional planning can eliminate resistance, making it easier to stick to your health goals. By intentionally creating habits and routines, you’ll pave the way for a smoother and more successful PCOS journey.

Combating Chaos

Life can get hectic, but we’ve got you covered. Explore strategies to combat chaos and regain control over your daily routines. Discover how planning can help you stay on track, even when life throws curveballs. Say goodbye to overwhelming chaos and hello to a more balanced life.

Overwhelm can be a roadblock on your PCOS health path. We’ll discuss practical strategies to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of managing PCOS. By breaking down your plan into manageable steps and setting priorities, you’ll navigate your PCOS journey with confidence.

Creating a Comprehensive Plan

Next, we’ll dive into the art of creating a comprehensive health plan tailored to your PCOS needs. Identify your goals, outline actionable steps, and gain insights into crafting a plan that sets you up for success. Learn how planning can be your guiding light on your PCOS wellness journey.

Make It Happen

Finally, it’s time to put your plan into action. This episode will guide you through the process of making it happen. Explore how to seamlessly integrate your daily success strategies into your life, even when motivation wanes. By the end of this episode, you’ll be ready to take charge of your PCOS wellness journey through intentional planning.

Tune in to gain valuable insights and actionable tips that will transform the way you approach your PCOS health goals. Don’t miss out on this episode to make your PCOS journey smoother, more enjoyable, and ultimately successful.

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

rate the podcast

Spread the Awareness

If you have found this podcast helpful please take just a moment to rate it and leave a review. This helps apple, spotify or whichever platform you use know to share this podcast with other women. I truely appreciate your help supporting as many women as possible

Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

If you’ve ever felt like you’re just floating with your health goals, you have ideas of what you want to change, you’ve done your research, you’ve discovered your PCOS root cause, and now you’re trying to take action, but you feel like you have a couple of steps that you’re trying to incorporate in your daily life, and they just seem to be out of reach, or you feel like you’re floating, or you can’t quite get them in your grasp, then you’re going to love this episode because we’re going to go step by step how to master your daily routine so that you can have success long term in your PCOS health. So let’s get started.

You’re listening to the PCOS repair podcast where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalances in your hormones naturally with a little medical help sprinkled in. Hi, I’m Ashlene Korcek, and with many years of medical and personal experience with polycystic ovarian syndrome, it is my joy to watch women reverse their PCOS as they learn to nourish their body in a whole new way. With the power of our beliefs, our mindset, and our environment, and the understanding of our genetics, we can heal at

the root cause. Welcome back to the PCOS Repair Podcast, where today we’re going to be discussing how to master your daily PCOS routine, some daily success strategies, so that you can feel in control and confident and really excited about your progress on your journey to PCOS health. There’s nothing more discouraging than feeling like it’s within your reach if only you could get your act together. We all feel like that from time to time, and ultimately, we need to give ourselves grace because there will be days like that but how do we set ourselves up so that we have fewer days like that and spend most of our time plotting forward, excited about the improvements that we’re making, the progress that we have, but ultimately feeling just confident in ourselves that we’re making the changes necessary to achieve the results that we want.

Step one is always having a plan and first part of having a plan is really knowing what you need to do. That’s always going to start with discovering your PCOS root cause, understanding the science and the metabolic and endocrine and hormone connections that are going on in your body and how they relate to your environment so that you have a clear picture of what habit changes, what things you want to incorporate, what things you want to remove from your daily lifestyle. We’ve talked about that in other episodes. Those are things that I work with women on. But in this episode, I want to focus on how do we, once we have picked that habit or two or three, how do we create a plan that actually becomes successful in our day to day. I highly recommend, as you get started, that you pick one habit or one small aspect of your lifestyle. This could be as simple as a bedtime routine or drinking more water one thing at a time, simple, small, ideally something that’s going to be highly impactful. So if you already have a pretty good sleep routine, even though that may sound like a nice one to choose, I would pick something where you’re going to get some good bang for your buck but ultimately, one thing is a really good place to start, especially if you feel like these changes throw you, that they’re hard to make stick, that they’re hard to incorporate in your daily life. Sometimes that can simply be because we’re trying to do too much too fast with how much we already have going on in our daily lives. So why is planning so important?

Well, whether we have a conscious plan or not, there is a nebulous plan in place, at some point, you’re going to wake up, at some point, you’re going to eat, at some point, you’re going to leave the house or do whatever it is that’s going on in your day, you will go through those motions, you’ll probably brush your teeth, you’ll probably scroll through your phone. There’s just things that are going to happen. The more intentional we are about these plans, the more that our plan will be one that leads to the things that we want or our success. The less that we plan, the more that we will wonder at the end of the day what happened with our day and ultimately, whether we meant to or not, we plan to “fail” and feel discouraged about how our day unfolded. So whether we realize it or not, we are planning. The lack of planning leads to being discouraged at the end of the day a well thought out plan that is reasonable and attainable and not setting us up for failure allows us to succeed in our day. I’m not someone who has to have a super detailed plan.

If you are highly type A, you probably are someone who has a very detailed plan and you know exactly what time you’re going to get up and you have every little thing planned out. I would caution that personality type that sometimes we overplan, and by overplan, I mean we forget to plan in the unexpected because we don’t like the unexpected and so when we’re a type A, and I used to be very type A now with three children, I’m a little bit less type A. I’ve had to relinquish some of my type A-ness but I understand from the type A point of view how hard it was for me to accept that no matter how well I planned out my day, there would be disruptions that were unplanned and so creating space for that, not overplanning yourself, not overcommitting and overextending yourself was my best way of setting up my three top priorities, making sure those happened, and then the rest of it was bonus. When you’re thinking about your health goals, let’s say that drinking a gallon of water a day is your goal, just because it’s a simple example. If your goal is to drink a gallon of water a day, do you want to drink a gallon of water at nine o’clock at night?

Now, if this was your goal and it was your priority and you were staying true to yourself of meeting your priorities and making sure they happened, sure, you could drink a gallon of water at nine o’clock at night but I wouldn’t recommend it. Your stomach is going to feel full, you’re going to be up all night having to use the bathroom, and you’re going to have been dehydrated all day long. So better would be if your priority is to drink a gallon of water a day to when you first wake up, get started right away. It energizes your body. It wakes up your digestive tract. It helps you feel alive and awake and rehydrated for the day. It decreases your risk of brain fog and then, of course, you can have other beverages as well throughout the day but get that water started first thing in the day. Start your priority early on so that you are ready and primed to continue it as you go. The more that we put it off throughout the day, even if it’s something that’s only one thing that we can do later, unlike trying to get a certain amount of water in, when we put it off, we start to feel like it’s hanging over us and it starts to feel more daunting. It’s like we’re procrastinating and so when we think about that task, it can become bigger and more ominous than it really is and so if we get up and we start chipping away at whatever our priority is earlier, the better in our routine, the more likely we’re going to feel excited and successful in our endeavors and continue to carry through. Another important part of planning is to make sure that anything you’re going to need ahead of time, anything that’s going to require a little bit of thought has been planned out. So for me, this looks like I know what workout I’m going to do in the morning. I have, again, this is going back to being maybe a less type A planner. Okay, so let’s think more, but if you’re more type B. So I have a loose plan. I will do 2-3 depending on the week. I alternate to fit in other types of workouts as well of leg and glute strength. Then I will add in things like upper body, I’ll do core. Those are my strength routines. I like to do some stretching and yoga to do more mobility and flexibility training and then I also like to do some cardio, which will include some stationary cycling or outside, depending on weather and scheduling. It takes a little bit more effort to get outside. I will do running, more slow paced, prolonged endurance running, as well as maybe a shorter time frame intensity interval training where I’m doing more speed work and then I also do just I’ll go for a run in nature or hike in nature just to get outside, change my scenery and those type of runs tend to be a little bit more mentally uplifting and things as well as compared to just getting the work out done.

So you can see I have this list of things that I like to accomplish in a week. However, it’s not highly planned out. Now, in a perfect world, I would sit down and I would that out further and now that my kids are back in school, maybe I will do that but for now, it’s just been the week flies at me. A lot of the schedule is not under my control. It’s things that are constantly revolving around my husband’s schedule and my kid’s schedule and so when I think about what I’m trying to accomplish, I go through it and I’m like, okay, these are the ones I still need to do. What am I going to do tomorrow? In that, the very least of the planning that I do is set out the workout clothes that correspond to the one that I’m going to do when I first wake up. That way, when my alarm goes off and I’m already wanting to figure out how I could fit my work in later and I could just work out maybe after I drop the kids off at school or when I first get home from the day, and I’m trying to think about how I could just reset my alarm for an hour, I don’t have a ton of excuses and barriers between me and my workout. My workout clothes are already folded and at the side of my bed. I know what workout I’m going to do so I can mindlessly roll out of bed and slowly wake up as I get ready and as I head out the door. This is the type of planning that sets me up for success because I have less barriers between the thought and the intention of doing it and the actually getting it done.

A lot of times when we think about our week, the next step here is how do we combat the chaos? There’s just chaos throughout the week. There’s chaos, whether it’s your work environment or your social environment. There’s just things that are constantly going on and type B people, typically, like when I’m thinking I’m being in more of my type B type of personality because I can go back and forth a little bit and when I’m more in my type B-esque side of my personality, I like to go with the chaos, see what’s going on, be a little bit more spontaneous and be lost in the moment, which is great, and it’s an amazing practice, and I encourage all of you, type A or type B, to experience that more and more and more because it’s where we tend to be more present, and it’s a good thing. On the flip side, though, it can also be something that pulls us off of what our priorities were for the day and so when we think about combating the chaos of our day, we want to think about what are our top priorities. So it’s a really good idea, it’s a really good habit to the night before think about what are the things you absolutely have to do. So there’s the things that are going to happen. You’re going to remember to put clothes on before you leave the house. You’re going to remember to brush your teeth. You’ll remember at some point in the day to feed yourself because your body will remind you. Aside from those, and if you have commitments, like you have to go to work, things like that, you’re going to do those. In your free time, where you have the space to make decisions, where you have the space to mindlessly scroll through social media, or where you have the time to diligently get something that you wanted to get done, we know those times in our day. What are your top three to five priorities that absolutely have to happen? Make sure that your health goal priority is on that list. It’s going to be right there with making sure you pay the bills, that the rent got paid, that you picked up the groceries that you needed, that you fed the dog, all of those things that you know need to happen.

So with that, although life in the day will take on its own flavor, its own chaos, its own stresses, its own excitement, and its own distractions, what is it that you have to get done? Make sure you know those priorities, and that’s really going to help you combat that chaos. It’s also really helpful, step three, is having some degree of tracking involved. When we feel like we have this priority and we’re fitting it into our day, it can become a little bit mundane and a little bit like, Oh, yeah, I’m doing this thing and if we don’t see the progress of it, it’s difficult to keep the excitement about it. Now, most health endeavors, we don’t see progress every single day. Usually, it takes a week or two at most to start seeing or feeling progress. So depending on the habit that you’re trying to incorporate. I would encourage you to find some way of tracking it. If you’re trying to increase your sleep quality, I want you to just have maybe a journal note that you write down, How did you feel? The first starting point, maybe be more elaborate. All the things that you’re not feeling, all the things that you want to feel, why are you doing this. Just jot all those down, maybe put a couple of headings and just a quick couple of thoughts. It doesn’t have to be beautifully written just so that you have something to go back and look at to compare where you started from. If it’s something like you are starting a new strength training or you’re starting a new cardio program or ideally a combination of the two, maybe take a before picture. Maybe take a picture every single day, even though it’s not going to be any change, just to get in the habit of focusing on appreciating the muscles that you’re seeing, evaluating where you’re at, evaluating that like, Yeah, this is still a goal of mine because I still feel like my arms are not looking quite as strong as they want them to be and it’s not a judgment. It’s not a self-critic thing, but you’re continually motivating yourself and looking at the progress of where you’ve come. On a daily basis, maybe too much. Sometimes it’s more a weekly check-in. It just depends on what it is that you’re doing. It depends on your personality. It depends if it’s going to be a positive or a negative.

You want to stick more with the positive, but you do want to find something that is going to help you track so that periodically you can check in and be like, Oh, my goodness, I really am making progress. Look at that bicep definition. It’s starting to actually show. These are things that then help us stay motivated and help us continue to keep that health goal a priority. So then we talked a little bit about being overwhelmed, but in the process of not becoming overwhelmed, the next step is to create a comprehensive plan.

So going back to you discovered your PCOS root cause, you’re looking at what it’s going to take to adjust your lifestyle to nurture and nourish your hormones and to help them to heal. So you might have a whole list of things that you want to start doing. Maybe there’s foods that you want to start eating or foods that you want to reduce in your diet. Maybe there’s an exercise program, some mindset work, all of the things, some stress management and some self-care, some ways that you’re going to start incorporating all of the things that you have learned in your life.

Making a list of all of those is really helpful because as you have made your first priority a priority for day after day after day, and as you see the success begin to come with that, even if it’s just the success of it’s happening, I’m now doing this new thing, even if you haven’t begun to see the results yet because those can take a little time, at some point, it’s time to add in habit number two and so that way, you can slowly progressively add to and flush out the full lifestyle that you’re trying to do. Now, some of us can do more and quicker than others. It has to do with our current situation, our support system, our understanding of what we will take of us. It also has to do with our past history of doing healthy things for ourselves. If we have never cooked healthy or ever cooked period, assuming that we are going to start cooking healthy and cutting up all of these vegetables and prepping all this food for three meals and two snacks a day, that is going to become overwhelming extremely quickly and probably setting ourselves up to fail. It’s so much better to start with one meal and keeping it really simple and then growing from there.

I can’t stress enough that the final step here that I want to talk about is taking it one step at a time. As you take it one step at a time, you’re going to identify and be able to remove any obstacles, anything that is a roadblock for you because you will see clearly, this is what I started doing. This is where the struggle came in. What are some of the solutions to this struggle so that I can continue making this new change a priority? As we start to see these really simple things. In recap, basically, we’re identifying what it is that we’re trying to change. What is our priority here? We’re making a priority. We’re planning it into our day. We’re setting out our clothes, or preparing our water bottle, or setting out our cooler to pack our lunch the next day, or prepping it the night before, and allowing ourselves to really step by step by step, set ourselves up so that our next move is in line with what we want it to be and that way, we’re not constantly fighting against ourselves and feeling like this new thing that I have to do is so cumbersome and so heavy. But instead, Oh, this is actually really nice. I already know what I’m going to have for lunch, or I wake up and instead of trying to figure out what’s going on my day, I just put my workout clothes on, go through the motions. And before I know it, my workout has happened, and it’s only six in the morning and I’m already on a winning streak. That confidence boost of getting up and going into autopilot that’s in line with what it is that you’re trying to add in and grow in your life is really exhilarating. I’m excited for you to start to experience that

And so there you have it, my friend. A couple of steps to really help you to master your PCOS health daily routine and set you up with some daily success strategies. I cannot wait to hear which ones you start to implement and choose, so please let me know over on Instagram. You can find me @Nourishedtohealthy and either drop me a comment or shoot me a DM.

I look forward to hearing how you are going to implement your daily success strategies into your weekly routine and your daily routine and how you’ll plan them out and how you’re going to start seeing them to take form and transform your PCOS health. So until next time, bye for now.

Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely our PCOS symptoms? I believe that although PCOS makes us sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful. When we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves. This is why I’ve created a guide for you to get started. My PCOS Fertility Meal Guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.

Take The PCOS Root Cause Quiz

   What Do Your Symptoms Mean?

  Discover your current PCOS Root Cause

Start to reverse PCOS at the root cause. 

Results are not guaranteed. Please see Medical Disclaimer for more detail.

Similar Podcasts You Will Enjoy

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Discover the PCOS Lifestyle Equation, a powerful guide to managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall well-being. Learn essential insights, practical strategies, and personalized approaches to feel better in your body, lose weight, improve fertility, and boost energy levels.

About Show

Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!

I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.

If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.

So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

What you’ll learn in this episode

PCOS is a health condition that requires healing, but what about after healing has occurred how do you continue to maintain the health you have created? This episode is about the transition from healing to maintaining and doing it by creating a lifestyle that works for you and your body.

The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

PCOS is a metabolic and endocrine-based disorder influenced by both genetics and our environment. The fascinating aspect is that we can reverse PCOS by tailoring our lifestyle to work harmoniously with our bodies. Understanding this foundation sets the stage for our journey toward optimal well-being and symptom relief.

Root Cause Health 

If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS or suspect you might have it, the first crucial step is to uncover the root cause behind your symptoms and we discussed this earlier in this 4-part series. Next comes the healing phase, which we discussed in part 3 of this series. But what happens after you have recovered your period, lost the weight you wanted to, or gotten pregnant?  Does this mean you have cured your PCOS and you don’t have to continue caring for your PCOS?

Creating a Sustainable Lifestyle

An essential aspect of the PCOS Lifestyle Equation is crafting a sustainable lifestyle that aligns with your body’s needs and your life’s aspirations. We’ll explore how to strike a balance that nourishes your well-being, allows you to enjoy life, and supports your journey to optimal health and vitality.

There you have it, my dear listener! The PCOS Lifestyle Equation holds the keys to transforming your relationship with PCOS and unlocking your path to a more vibrant, balanced, and joyful life. By tuning in, you’ll gain profound knowledge and practical techniques to embrace a new mindset, regain control over your hormone balance, and experience the incredible ripple effects of improved well-being, weight management, and enhanced fertility. 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Resources & References Mentioned in this episode

You can take the quiz to discover your root cause here

rate the podcast

Spread the Awareness

If you have found this podcast helpful please take just a moment to rate it and leave a review. This helps apple, spotify or whichever platform you use know to share this podcast with other women. I truely appreciate your help supporting as many women as possible

Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

While PCOS is something that cannot be cured. It can be healed in the sense that you can get in there and repair the hormone imbalance and really love up on your environment to create a space for healing for your body, for your health, and for your hormones, so that you’re able to reverse and remove those PCOS symptoms from being a problem in your life. Once that has been accomplished. Then what? and that is exactly what we’re going to be talking about in today’s episode. We’re going to move on from the healing phase of our PCOS health journey into what does it look like to finally create a lifestyle that is sustainable, that works for you, that works for your body, and allows you to live long term in a body that feels good and feels vibrant and full of energy, that functions the way that you want so that your health doesn’t feel like it’s always dragging you down or closing doors in your face.

So with that, let’s go ahead and dive into creating a lifestyle that works for you and your PCOS.

You’re listening to the PCOS Repair Podcast where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalances in your hormones naturally with a little medical help sprinkled in. Hi, I’m Ashlene Korcek and with many years of medical and personal experience with polycystic ovarian syndrome, it is my joy to watch women reverse their PCOS as they learn to nourish their body in a whole new way. With the power of our beliefs, our mindset, and our environment, and the understanding of our genetics, we can heal at the root cause.

Welcome back to the PCOS prepare Podcast, where today we’re going to be talking about how to go from that healing phase of your PCOS journey and transition it into a more sustainable, long-term lifestyle that will allow you to continue to feel great in your body, have more flexibility, and really get back into living in a way that works for you while still maintaining all of the great results that you’ve accomplished while getting into the metabolic and endocrine root causes of your PCOS.

So this is part four of a four-part series that we’re doing this month as part of PCOS Awareness Month for September and if you’ve missed the first three, make sure you go back and listen to those. They’ll really help set the stage for today’s episode and also make sure that you have taken the PCOS root cause quiz because it’s going to help you understand and make all of this information a little bit more unique to you and your current situation but I want to recap a few things that are really going to set the groundwork for our conversation today. So over the last three weeks, we’ve talked about genetics and the causes of PCOS and it’s important to remember that those genetics don’t leave just because we have created an environment that nurtures and heals our PCOS at the root cause. So if we have a tendency to be more insulin-resistant than somebody else, that tendency doesn’t go away. So the environment that we have created has healed that, has improved our blood sugar balance, and has improved the insulin response that we have to our food by how we’ve been creating an environment and there’s many ways to create that environment to improve our blood sugar balance, and it’s not just the foods that we eat but as we realize that those genetics of having an increased tendency towards that are still there, even though we have made the appearance of those genes or the symptoms of those genes go away, that is exactly what epigenetics is. We have turned down the volume, turned down the amplification of those genes, and the symptoms have lessened and gone away but how do we continue forward without having to be quite as strict while still reaping the benefits of all the hard work that we have done so that we can continue to live and embody that feels good, that functions correctly and all of that? This is where we still want to stay in touch with our current root cause. Now, remember, our root causes can change, our life is in constant motion, things are constantly changing, the stressors on our plate are constantly changing, our schedules are constantly changing, and it’s really normal to have ebbs and flows in our focus of our health and our focus of exercise and our focus of nutrition, how good our sleep is, there’s just different phases of our life.

It’s important to keep tabs every once in a while to check in again on what your current root cause is, because this is something that we… Really what we’re looking at when we look at the root cause is where is our body needing assistance? Where is our body needing our focus and attention? That’s a great way of summing up what is it that we’re really looking at when we’re looking at our current root cause of our symptoms. This is where throughout our life we learn to continually check in with ourselves. How are we doing? How are we feeling? and before we let things get so out of hand that we have to have a prolonged healing phase again, we’re just constantly taking the temperature of our health and allowing ourselves to gain the feedback that our body is giving us and addressing it as it comes up. The way this would look is as we create a lifestyle where we have room to let down a little bit and enjoy our vacation, maybe we don’t get as much sleep. Maybe we get more sleep, but we are also not getting as much exercise or maybe we finally have a week off and we’re able to get great sleep, great exercise, but we’re eating out more because we’re out in doing things that we don’t normally do, and we’ve let ourselves have a break from all the meal prep and the cooking and the cleaning of the kitchen. Wherever it is that we’ve allowed ourselves to let down a little bit, when do we pick that back up? and having an idea of how we can create that balance in our lives of having times where we take a little bit of a break, but also how we pick up those parts again so that we don’t allow ourselves to drift back to where all of a sudden all of those symptoms come back in.

This is really the phase where the habits come in. In the healing phase, I don’t like the idea of being a diet where it’s the short term diet, but it is a more hardcore dig in, take action, make it count, and allow our body a space to heal. If we are part way invested, it’s hard to fully see the progress, see what’s working. So even on a scientific level, let’s use nutrition as an example. So if you know your root cause, you have a meal plan, you know what you’re going to do, but you only stick to it for breakfast and then lunch and dinner, you do good, but you don’t really stick to the exact plan. At the end of the day, scientifically speaking, outside of just realizing that life is life, and sometimes that happens, maybe we feel a little better. Maybe our energy is a little bit better, but we’re not really seeing great results. We’re not really seeing our period return, we’re not really seeing the scale move in the direction that we want it to, we’re not really seeing the energy come back as much as we want, but it’s there. It’s like, maybe it’s working. The problem is what that ends up doing is it makes a second guess whether or not our plan is the right plan, so during that healing phase, I highly recommend that you really go all in. This can be somewhere up to a month, to three months, to six months, depending on how your body responds to the healing phase and what you can maintain. Sometimes we can get the feedback that we need in a month that, okay, this is working for my body, I am seeing all of the improvements in the right direction, but this is not sustainable for me.

As we start talking about lifestyle, I want to give you several options because the whole point of this is that you’re making it work for you. The reason I suggest that you go all in in the healing phase is not because we have to live that way forever when it comes to our PCOS, but it’s really to get in there and to discover and to have it be a really good learning situation for you of what does work for your body. When people come to me when they have PCOS and they are frustrated and nothing’s working for them and they want to know what they can do to naturally heal their PCOS, there is not a one size fits all. This is where we have to try. We can take what their symptoms are telling us. I have a very long standing history of working with women that have PCOS, living in a body that has PCOS. I’m pretty good at figuring out like, okay, this is the picture that your body is giving us. This is where we should start but from that start point, there’s a lot of trying, testing, figuring out, listening to the body’s symptoms, adjusting, adding, removing some of the plan, and seeing what actually works. It may not all be things that you enjoy doing or that you enjoy eating, but the first step is to see. How does your body do with dairy? How does your body do with carbs? How does your body do when we add exercise? How does your body do when we get enough sleep? How does your body do when and you’ll keep adding to that list, good and bad things. Like when we take away something, when we add something, how does your body respond? Then we can know, okay, look, it does work. Is it sustainable? Maybe, maybe not. Do we have the habits in place? No, not really, because we’re just trying hard to figure out what is and isn’t working. If we do a week without dairy, we may have a really hard time continuing that for three months, but we do have an answer of whether or not we saw an improvement or no change as we slowly add dairy back in. That’s an example on just the nutrition piece of being able to test, get some answers, and then take a step back and create the habits, create the ability to move forward and so some people will stay in that really strict healing mode for as long as it takes to get them where they want to be. That is a great way to go. It’s probably a faster way to go. It works for some personalities extremely well. For other personalities, that is not sustainable, that is not workable, and that is not appealing in any way, shape, or form and there’s not a right or a wrong. While going at it a little slower and less all in, we’ll have a different time frame. Again, there’s not a right or a wrong, and the wrong is really going to come down to, I guess, I’m not lying, there is a wrong. The wrong is going to come down to forcing you to be someone that you’re not. Trying to work in a way that your personality is just not going to be able to sustain, that’s where you’re going to fail. We have to also bring into the fact that you’re a person, a dynamic person with a dynamic life, with real things going on, and a personality all your own, and preferences and a temperament all your own, and a life that’s already in motion, we can’t just pause everything and do this maybe for six months.

We may have to build. So some people, when they’re in that healing phase, will go all in for however long and then transition to a lifestyle. Some people will go all in and then start to adjust and build the habits slower once they have some information. Others will start with one area and then slowly add to it but I do suggest trying to be as all in as you can for as long as you can, ideally at least a month, okay? For that healing phase before you transition to more of this lifestyle phase. The lifestyle phase is really about creating long-term habits, building on those long-term habits, but also incorporating the other aspects of life beyond just focusing on your health. So when we’re in the healing phase, we may say, look, I’m taking a little bit of a break from some of my other responsibilities. Obviously, there are some things we can’t take a break from, but maybe we agreed to having less on our plate, less on our schedule, less other obligations, and we give ourselves like you would when you were on a diet. You would say, Oh, I’m not going to eat out at those restaurants right now because I’m on a diet.

For a little bit of time, we give ourselves the space to figure it out and then we start to move into, well, how can I figure out how to balance going to my favorite restaurant or going out to eat with friends? Going out to eat with friends does not have to mean I necessarily deviate from my perfect way of eating, quote, perfect, because it’s not really perfect. We don’t want to be perfect, but we have our little set plan, okay? So deviating from our plan. However, sometimes we also want to eat at our favorite restaurant and we want to eat our favorite food. That would be a big deviation from the plan. But that also can be part of the plan is to have those deviations but how much do we deviate? So how often? How much? How much meaning, do we just order a dessert and have a couple of bites? Or do we order the entire course of the meal, everything that we want, from the drink to the appetizer, the main course and the dessert, and eat as much of it as we want? Those are things that we have to determine.

And where we determine that is how our body responds and some people, they want to jump in and they want to see how much they can get away with. Other people want to dip a toe in and then slowly try a little bit more, try a little bit more and again, that’s going to come down to personality. The big thing here, though, is that you’re finding that new balance. You’ve learned how your body has healed, you’ve learned what works for your body, and you’ve learned how to learn what works for your body because again, your body is constantly changing. Your environment is constantly throwing new things at you and so knowing how to determine what your body needs and what’s working and not working is really the biggest piece of the puzzle, and then constantly checking in and seeing. Then we can say, okay, look, I’ve gotten to the weight that I want, I’ve gotten my periods back to where I want them, I’m ovulating regularly, I feel like my energy is back and I’m not breaking out anymore and I feel like the PCOS is really not owning me the way it did when I first started seeking answers to how to heal this and how to fix this but now I don’t want to go back to that place, but I also want to have a little bit more flexibility in my life.

Where is that balance? Learning that is really the key to being able to feel like you don’t have barriers in your life, that you’re able to do the things that you want, and you’re back in the driver’s seat of how often, how much, because you ultimately want that good health, but you also want to live life on your terms and so figuring out how those two match together and where the give and take and the compromise between all of that works, that is where the lifestyle comes in and that’s really what’s cool about when we look at creating an environment that works for you. That is going to have such a different look for each and every person. The healing portion is more or less similar. If you have certain symptoms, if you have a similar root cause as someone else, the healing phase is relatively going to be… Again, it’s not a one size fits all, but it’s going to be more replicable than not. We’re going to look at the same things as far as testing how your body does with it and we’re going to be looking at similar types of pillars of healing that PCOS, meaning your fitness, your nutrition, your stress management, your sleep, your mindset, all of those things are going to all play into it and you’re going to learn which ones are more important for you and which ones move the needle more in your health but ultimately, it’s going to be more similar.

When we come to the lifestyle piece, it is so different for each person. Learning what time your bedtime is going to be, what time do you get up in the morning, what time of the day you like to work out, learning how it works in your schedule. That is the lifestyle piece. Taking all the things you know and then playing with it until it feels right, until it feels good. Not just that you have your energy back, not just that your cycle is back to regular and ovulatory, not just that you’re finally living at and maintaining the weight that you’ve always wanted. This is where you get to play around with your habits, how they fit into your life, how you continue to incorporate this, and how you find that balance between keeping your body healthy and functioning and vibrant while at the same time enjoying vacations, enjoying friends, enjoying family gatherings, and enjoying holidays, and all the things that life has to offer us.

So as a quick recap as we conclude this series, I wanted to give you a roadmap of what it looks like to really take on healing your PCOS from a natural standpoint and it’s definitely not a one size fits all. There’s definitely similarities from person to person, but it’s a unique journey based on what your body is needing, what your current environment entails, what works for your body, and then ultimately, what works for you and your lifestyle to maintain that health that you have created. So with that, if you have any specific questions, this episode is really to show you what is coming so that as you dive into the healing portion of your PCOS journey, which is, of course, the most difficult part because it’s going to be the most new, the most learning, the most change, it’s going to take the most effort and there’s also a little bit sometimes of not believing it’s really going to work for you and there’s a lot of mindset and a lot of just perseverance as you start to take the actions and then recognizing the results that you’re getting, even the small wins as you keep going to keep yourself motivated and excited to give yourself long enough to really see the results that you want but I wanted to also show you that this isn’t something that you have to stay in the healing phase, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that ultimately, once you get to a place where you understand what your body needs or you’ve met those results that you have been dying to get to, there is a way of incorporating a more balanced approach to this and that’s where the lifestyle comes in. I think a lot of times we hear people talking about it’s a lifestyle, not a diet but what does all of that really mean? and when it comes to something that our body is really struggling with, when something is not working for our bodies, sometimes we really do need to dive in and be a little bit more strict and get a little bit more help and really have a healing phase before we can move on and create it into a lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable and allows us to do all of the things that we want.

I hope that gives you a bigger picture as we went through this four-part series to see all the different steps, all the different phases, all the different nuances of how to make this work for you individually with your unique body, your unique situation, your unique likes and dislikes, so that you can create a health that is fun for you, that excites you, that feels good to you, and that ultimately works for you long term because you like it, it’s enjoyable and sustainable.

So with that, if you have any questions, you know where to find me over on Instagram @Nourishedtohealthy and until next time, bye for now.

Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely reverse our PCOS symptoms. I believe that although PCOS makes us sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful. When we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves. This is why I’ve created a guide for you to get started. My PCOS Fertility Meal Guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.

Take The PCOS Root Cause Quiz

   What Do Your Symptoms Mean?

  Discover your current PCOS Root Cause

Start to reverse PCOS at the root cause. 

Results are not guaranteed. Please see Medical Disclaimer for more detail.

Similar Podcasts You Will Enjoy

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Discover the PCOS Lifestyle Equation, a powerful guide to managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall well-being. Learn essential insights, practical strategies, and personalized approaches to feel better in your body, lose weight, improve fertility, and boost energy levels.

About Show

Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!

I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.

If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.

So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now

Episode #68: Nurturing Your PCOS Health Bubble

Episode #68: Nurturing Your PCOS Health Bubble

Episode #68: Nurturing Your PCOS Health Bubble

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

Nurturing Your PCOS Health Bubble

What you’ll learn in this episode

This episode continues the four-part series about discovering, understanding and healing PCOS at the root cause. The healing starts by nurturing your PCOS health bubble, which is exactly what this episode will dive into. The best way to manage your PCOS symptoms is by healing your root cause(s), you won’t want to miss this valuable discussion!

The PCOS Health Bubble

Let’s start by exploring the concept of the PCOS Health Bubble, which encompasses the environment surrounding us daily. From nutrition and exercise to sleep, relationships, work, stress, hobbies, and more – all these elements contribute to our well-being and hormonal balance. Just like PCOS is a combination of our genetics and environment, nurturing a healthy bubble becomes essential for our overall health and PCOS management.

Balancing Your Habits

Understanding that PCOS is not a one-size-fits-all condition, I’ll guide you through the significance of balanced habits. Each person’s root cause may point to specific aspects of their health bubble, but it’s crucial not to overlook any area. We’ll discuss the importance of taking baby steps to improve different aspects of your daily life, gradually creating a well-rounded and balanced health bubble.

Personalized Approach for Hormonal Harmony

To provide you with a practical perspective, we’ll delve into personalized examples of how your habits might change based on your PCOS root cause. By considering your individual factors, we’ll explore ways to nurture your PCOS Health Bubble and set you on a path toward slow, steady, and long-term progress.

By tuning in to this episode, you’ll gain valuable insights into creating a nurturing PCOS Health Bubble, which can significantly impact your journey to feeling better in your body, losing weight, improving fertility, and having more energy. Embrace the power of balanced habits and start making small changes to various aspects of your life. Remember, every step counts, and you’ve got this! 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Resources & References Mentioned in this episode

You can take the quiz to discover your root cause here

rate the podcast

Spread the Awareness

If you have found this podcast helpful please take just a moment to rate it and leave a review. This helps apple, spotify or whichever platform you use know to share this podcast with other women. I truely appreciate your help supporting as many women as possible

Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

Once you’ve discovered your PCOS root cause, now comes the time to create the environment where your body can slowly heal, recover, rebalance your hormones, and start to alleviate some of the symptoms of PCOS. Then as you build that momentum of healing, you’re going to see more and more of the PCOS symptoms resolve themselves, lighten, you’ll feel better in your body and this is a very exciting zone of your PCOS healthy journey. Let’s dive into today’s episode all about healing those root cause hormones to start feeling better in your body. Let’s dive in.

You’re listening to the PCOS repair podcast where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalances in your hormones naturally with a little medical help sprinkled in. Hi, I’m Ashlene Korcek and with many years of medical and personal experience with polycystic ovarian syndrome, it is my joy to watch women reverse their PCOS as they learn to nourish their body in a whole new way. With the power of our beliefs, our mindset, and our environment, and the understanding of our genetics, we can heal at the root cause.

Welcome back to the PCOS Repair Podcast, where today we get to dive into that healing part of our PCOS healthy journey. This is a really important thing to realize that this is a segmented part of our PCOS health. So when we think about where we’re at when we go get diagnosed, whether it’s because we’re having symptoms of period problems, whether we’re trying to get pregnant and struggling with that, maybe we are fed up with having low energy and weight problems, and we don’t know why nothing is working for us. Whatever got us to the point where we received a diagnosis, and then if you listen to the last two episodes, you’re starting to understand the why behind your symptoms, as well as how to discover your PCOS root cause. Hopefully, you took that PCOS root cause quiz because today we’re going to be diving into the actual healing part of your PCOS hormones. First of all, this is like a diet. Now, I don’t like diets, and I think that modern culture is telling us to move away from diets that we don’t have to live on a diet but when you think about a diet being a short-term thing, this healing part of your PCOS healing journey is a short-term thing.

This is where we’re going to spend somewhere between three to six months, usually. Some people take a little longer, some people see things bounce back a little faster but typically, three months is the shortest that it takes, and somewhere between six months and a year is on the longer side of how it takes and that’s assuming that you go all in. Now, if you’re dabbling at it, you may not see as quick of improvement. It’s not a bad way to go, just different so when I’m talking about those are timelines. I want you to know these are people who are really tackling that environment, creating a really healthy bubble for their PCOS to heal and for their body to thrive. Let’s recap the four main categories of PCOS root causes. First, the biggest one is going to be the insulin effect. This does not mean that you have insulin resistance. It does not mean you have type two diabetes. It means that the way that your body is functioning in your current metabolic state, your insulin is going higher or being more sensitive to what you’re eating, or in some ways contributing to raising your testosterone, throwing off your LH ratio, and messing with your hormones and your cycle.

Insulin also messes with inflammation. It increases your inflammation. It reduces your chance of losing weight. It basically puts your body in a state of don’t lose any weight whatsoever, hang on to everything. Store everything, do not go into fat burning mode, whatever you do. That’s what insulin tells your body. So you do not, and this is very important, have to have a struggle with your weight to have the insulin effect but if you have a struggle with your weight, the insulin effect may be one of the missing links that you’re looking for in order to really break free from that plateau to make weight loss easier and to make weight management a lot easier. This is really important. Weight is not caused by your PCOS. Weight does not cause your PCOS. It is this adjunct thing that further messes with or improves your PCOS. It’s like they go in parallel, but they’re not as much of a cause and effect. They go in parallel, they have a huge impact on each other, but they’re not this causes this or this causes that. It’s a lot more complicated than that, and there’s a lot more other moving pieces.

If you are overweight, it does not mean that you have insulin effect PCOS. If you have insulin-effect PCOS or that’s what the root cause tells you and you’re like, But I don’t have a weight problem, that can’t be because only people that have a weight problem have this type of PCOS. That is also not true. So really important to remove the weight issue from the insulin effect root cause, okay? However, they definitely play hand in hand and can make things harder or easier on each other, depending on where you’re at in going up or down that spiral of PCOS health. The other things that go along with the insulin effect are stress response, these two are very commonly seen in tandem, where women that I’m working with will actually have both of these. We’ll really look at the symptoms of what is leading to that result on their full assessment but typically, the stress is just further aggravating that insulin effect and so while we work on all of the things to heal the insulin effect, we are also really being mindful of the healing the stress response and looking at what our body may be perceived as stressful.

I like to talk about those two hand in hand because now that you’ve taken the PCOS root cause quiz and whether or not you’re working with me one-on-one or in a group setting, this is one that oftentimes go hand in hand, and we do end up focusing on the primary root cause of the insulin effect that typically gets us faster and easier results. However, we don’t want to neglect the fact that there may be another close second PCOS root cause and oftentimes stress is one of those. The other one that I want to mention is the hormone and the nutritional disturbance root cause. This is one where if you get that as a result, but you have a close second, meaning you have stress response as a close second, inflammation as a close second, or effect as a close second, where I would go with that is work on that close second one because what that’s telling you is that, well, you probably do have a really prominent hormone disturbance, and it’s not just that you have a metabolic root cause issue going on or an inflammatory root cause issue going on. You have this hormonal disturbance that’s very prominent.

It’s not like your hormones are a little off, like they’re very off, but they’re likely very off due to that secondary root cause. It’s important to remember that the symptoms that our body is producing that we’re trying to interpret don’t give us a black and white answer. We do have to interpret that answer a little bit and if we are not seeing much of an insulin effect, not seeing a lot of an inflammatory response in our body long term, and our stress is relatively well managed, then we know what we’re dealing with is purely hormonal disturbance and/or a nutritional disturbance, where we just need to recover that rhythm. We need to recover the nutritional balance. We need to lean into our health, lean into our feminine health in a way that we haven’t been doing and help recover from our birth control, help recover from various things like that. Then we have an inflammatory category of PCOS root causes. This one can be a little bit from different angles. This could be due to the fact that you have another diagnosed or in the midst of being diagnosed and worked up inflammatory disorder, this could be someone who has really bad seasonal allergies and asthma combination, this could be someone who has another autoimmune disorder, it could be someone who has some psoriasis or skin issue and so you already have something going on that’s contributing to having low-grade constant inflammation in your body. This could also be, so from a different angle, this could also be where you have just a lot of inflammatory aspects in your life. This could be in part due to stress, in part due to foods, in part due to environmental stressors such as toxins and things like that, where you’re just making a lot of inflammation in your body for various reasons. This can, again, be partly from your genetics and so your body may have certain types of cholesterol and things like that that are just more inflammatory in how your body processes things. This is where we really have to then look at what is your top causes of inflammation, if this is what your symptoms are pointing towards as your current primary root cause of your PCOS symptoms. Okay, so those are the categories. Again, I want to review those.

The next thing to look at is the mindset as you approach this healing segment of your PCOS journey. So again, we approach this as a somewhat short term, this is not the lifestyle part, so when we think about creating a lifestyle that works for our PCOS and works for us, this part of the healing journey is going to need to be a little more strict or a lot more strict, depending on what your body needs, then the lifestyle part, which comes next, and we’re going to talk about in next week’s episode. So if you haven’t already, make sure you hit the Subscribe button so that you get notified when that episode becomes available because you’re really going to like that part of the PCOS healing journey where you start to develop the lifestyle, where you get to bring some of the things back that you enjoy and you get to have a little more ease and a little bit more ebb and flow and less restriction, but still live in a body that functions the way you want and that feels amazing as you create the PCOS lifestyle that works for you. For right now, though, your hormones are struggling, and there’s really not a good indicator of the degree to which your hormone levels are not normal or elevated or lowered really doesn’t correlate to how hard it’s going to be to heal them and the mindset here that I recommend that I encourage you and invite you to adopt and when we’re adopting a mindset, we have to just sit with it for a while and see what resonates, see if this makes sense to you so that it really becomes your own. I can’t tell you what your mindset should be. I can tell you that what worked for me was I wanted to get pregnant. I had spent a year not getting pregnant, and I had spent a year in a body that was really struggling with fatigue and weight gain and all sorts of problems coming off of birth control, I felt disgusting, I felt low energy, I felt bloated, and I had never felt this way before and I didn’t enjoy doing the things that I normally enjoy doing throughout the day and then to add to that, I really wanted to start a family and I couldn’t and so I was just in this very negative place and I was struggling to get an appointment because they’re like, No, you have to have been trying for X amount of months. In fact, at my age and with my situation, they were telling me, Oh, you need to wait a year till we can see you for that.

I just felt like it was just a bunch of no’s. My body was telling me no, the doctor’s office was telling me no. I knew something was wrong and I didn’t know what to do with it at the time. Once I had the diagnosis, something switched. First, I went through all sorts of why mes and bouts of being angry and crying and devastated and all the emotions but then it hit me that, okay, well, now I know what I’m up against. There’s not a lot of promising information out there, but at least I know what I’m up against. Looks like I’m going to have to go to an infertility specialist. They can’t see me for a few months. I have this amount of time to just make this my time to allow myself to say no to others, to put my health first and what is that going to look like? What is putting my health first going to look and feel like? So that when I walk into that infertility special, this is my journey, your endpoint may be a little different but for me, what was I wanting to feel when I walked into that infertility office for my first appointment as I was evaluated, as I was offered and began treatment, how did I want to feel as I went into that? and what I came to was I want to feel as healthy as possible my body. I want my body to be as physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy to take on whatever is coming. I don’t know what is going to be required of me through these treatments, but I do know that whatever is coming, it’s not going to be in my control, and it’s not going to be something that was as easy as I foresaw getting pregnant to be. I need to be emotionally, physically, and mentally ready for what’s coming. That is going to be my focus. My focus was not going to be getting pregnant. My focus was going to be to get my body physically healthy, to care about my mental health, and to protect my emotional health with the people that I was allowing to spend time with me, how much I was putting on my to-do list, and all those things. Now, if you’ve heard my story before, I found out I was pregnant the night before I went in to start letrozole. I had gone in for the initial consultation, but I hadn’t actually started any medications yet and so it was five months from my diagnosis to where I was able to get pregnant naturally, and I wasn’t even really trying.

My husband and I, we never stopped trying to get pregnant, but that wasn’t the focus. My focus at that point was not to get pregnant. My focus was to prepare my body for the infertility specialist to help us get pregnant, and so that I would be showing up with my part taking care of being as healthy as possible and that mindset of giving myself a space to create health, a timeline where this is my time and the timeline is nebulous. Like I said, it can be anywhere between three months to a year, depending on your specific hormone situation and how diligent you’re being with it and how aggressive you’re being towards your healthy lifestyle. Some people, they’re like, Okay, insulin effect, this is what I’m supposed to eat, that’s what I eat. Other people, it’s like, Well, I’m going to eat like that most of the time, but I’m not going to go fully that way. I want a little bit more balance in my life. Not right or wrong, they will probably take different amounts of time. That is what this stage of the healing journey is all about. It’s creating an environment where your body is the number one priority and you are actually returning it to health.

Early on, you’re going to start to see some symptoms such as energy, stomach pain, bloating, maybe the scale starts to move a little bit in the direction that you want. You may feel like you can sleep better. You might wake up feeling more rested. Somewhere in the one to two months, you might notice that your period starts becoming more and more regular. Somewhere in the three to four months, you might start seeing that period is actually leading towards a ovulatory cycle and not just that you’re having regular bleeding, but you’re also seeing regular ovulation. If you were to retest your hormones, you may see that your progesterone has come up, leading to a longer luteal phase and that your testosterone is calming down. You may see that you’re starting to feel like a different person. You may less anxious, you may have more excitement and enjoyment in your life, you may feel like you’re more engaged, you might feel more bright, you may notice that your skin feels better. Hair loss, things like that, they’re going to take a lot longer to start seeing any improvement in and you may not actually regrow more hair, but you may notice that you have a tapering off of the hair loss. Same thing with you have a tapering off of new hairs on the chin and neck and upper lip growing back, but you may need to still treat the ones that were there previously. Then now you have a more balanced hormone profile to where you’re not seeing as many new things arise, and so your results from any laser hair removal, etcetera, last better.

That is the timeline and the mindset of what to expect. Then once you’ve reached a point at what you’re happy with or a place that you’re happy with for now. So maybe if your goal is, say, this is an easy example to use for this scenario, but say weight loss is your goal and you have 100 pounds you want to lose. Maybe you lose 25 pounds and then you’re like, Okay, I’m just going to hang on to this for a little while. I’m going to take a couple of months break, and I’m going to transition more to a lifestyle approach for a little while. Maintain this weight loss. Be very careful not to gain it back. But I just need a little bit of a break from being in this focused healing segment of my PCOS journey and I just need a little bit more of a lifestyle component. You take a little bit of a break and then you mark your calendar for when you’re going to dive back in and make some further progress.

There’s definitely some room for some variation, for making it yours, for making it work for you but this part of it, I think it’s important to not look at it like, I’m going to do this and then I’m going to stop doing this. That’s what we think of when we think of a diet but it is something where we dive in a little bit heavier because unlike someone who maybe is just trying to improve their healthy habits and hopefully drop a little bit of weight and they don’t have any underlying medical problem, they can probably jump straight into having a relatively more lifestyle approach to that. In contrast, for women with PCOS, we have an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed first, and the very best way to address PCOS is through lifestyle changes. There’s really not any great medications or even supplements for that matter that are going to do more than creating an environment, a bubble where you’re really listening to what your body is needing and adjusting it.

Now, along that thread, this is where, in this healing segment of your PCOS, is really where you’re going to continually look for progress and feedback from your body. You’re looking for what is working and what isn’t working. Now, you’re less looking for what do you like versus what do you not like, although that does play an important role in it, and you can start playing around with that but the main thing here is what does work? That’s what we really want to find. We’ve discovered your PCOS root cause. We talked about that a lot in the previous episode, so if you want to review that, go back and listen to the previous episode about the root causes but this is where you’re going to get a lot of feedback back and forth. You’re going to maybe want to use something like a continuous glucose monitor. You may want to track weight measures. You may want to take measurements so that you can track are you actually losing inches? These are things where if you aren’t tracking something, even if it’s just mood, maybe you’re tracking your energy, maybe you’re tracking your mood, maybe you’re tracking how rested you are or how tired you are at various points in the day.

How do you wake up? How do you feel mid-morning? How do you feel mid-afternoon? How do you feel before you go to bed? Maybe you just keep a journal of that, depending on what symptoms are coming up the most for you. Maybe it’s headaches, maybe it’s your cycle, whatever it is, you’re tracking something and you’re paying attention to what makes it better and worse. Now, ideally, you’re choosing things that you see on a daily basis. Cycle tracking is great, and I go into that a lot with the women I work with because we’re tracking all sorts of things in their cycles so that we can just get trends over time but it takes a while to really have that data mean anything. Whereas if you’re tracking energy levels or fatigue levels, this is something that you can track day to day and see, okay, when I started my breakfast this way, I had horrible cravings, horrible fatigue, no energy, but I had these energy surges where I felt like I was just on a high and then I felt these crashes but when I did this for breakfast, I noticed feeling good pretty much throughout the day without hardly any change.

Those are the things that we want to be tracking and then paying attention to what was it that created that good, sustained energy and how can I repeat that on a regular basis? and what is that telling me that my body is needing, We’re constantly gathering information and refining that root cause finding during this stage, and then creating the environment based on what those root causes are telling us so that we can create this bubble where our body can begin to heal and then begin to thrive and so while there are certain symptoms that you’re going to start seeing improve over just even a week, a lot of this takes a lot longer and a lot of this is something where even once you’re, quote, done with this healing phase and you’ve really gotten your body back on track, some of these results can even continue throughout the lifestyle phase, which we’ll talk about more next week and so, as you really dive in and you get as hardcore as you can during this healing phase, I encourage you to make it fun. Make it something that you enjoy learning. Read about it, learn about it, ask questions about it, dive into it and get involved in it because you’re going to be here for a little while and when you start to track things and you start to notice the improvement, it starts to become really exciting. The more you’re invested, the more that you’re involved and when you do that, the more you’re going to get results.

So with that, if you have any questions as you’re going through and thinking about your healing segment of your PCOS journey, you know where to find me, I’m over on Instagram @nourishedtohealthy. I love hearing from you in my DMs over there. Until next time, where we will be talking about transitioning into a more sustainable lifestyle for your PCOS health, I look forward to talking to you over on Instagram and bye for now.

Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely reverse our PCOS symptoms? I believe that although PCOS makes us sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful. When we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves. This is why I’ve created a guide for you to get started. My PCOS Fertility Meal Guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.

Take The PCOS Root Cause Quiz

   What Do Your Symptoms Mean?

  Discover your current PCOS Root Cause

Start to reverse PCOS at the root cause. 

Results are not guaranteed. Please see Medical Disclaimer for more detail.

Similar Podcasts You Will Enjoy

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Discover the PCOS Lifestyle Equation, a powerful guide to managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall well-being. Learn essential insights, practical strategies, and personalized approaches to feel better in your body, lose weight, improve fertility, and boost energy levels.

About Show

Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!

I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.

If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.

So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now

Episode #67: The Road to PCOS Health: Why Uncovering Your PCOS Root Cause is Essential

Episode #67: The Road to PCOS Health: Why Uncovering Your PCOS Root Cause is Essential

Episode #67: The Road to PCOS Health: Why Uncovering Your PCOS Root Cause is Essential

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

The Road to PCOS Health: Why Uncovering Your PCOS Root Cause is Essential

What you’ll learn in this episode

The best way to reverse your PCOS symptoms is by creating a lifestyle environment that works with your hormones allowing your body to thrive.

In order to create that environment that works with your body the first step is to discover your PCOS root cause by learning to listen to your body. Your body’s language is your symptoms. Symptoms of health show what’s working and the bothersome symptoms show where your body is struggling.

Understanding Your Unique PCOS Root Cause

You’ll learn the significance of uncovering your individual PCOS root cause. We’ll explore how healing PCOS is about creating an environment that aligns with your genetics, allowing your body to function optimally and making you feel amazing within. By avoiding the common mistake of basing your PCOS management solely on others’ experiences or single symptoms, you can embark on a more personalized and effective path to health.

The Power of Your PCOS Root Cause

With so many potential aspects to improve in your PCOS management, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry; I’ll share the secret to focus and efficiency. By knowing your PCOS root cause, you can prioritize your efforts and concentrate on the areas that will yield the most significant benefits for your body and mind. Embrace this streamlined approach and watch as positive changes in one area lead to improvements in others, creating a transformative upward spiral.

By tuning in to this episode, you’ll know how to get started discovering your PCOS Root Cause and how to avoid the common detours. And be sure to tune in next week for the episode about the healing phase of the PCOS health journey.

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Resources & References Mentioned in this episode

You can take the quiz to discover your root cause here

rate the podcast

Spread the Awareness

If you have found this podcast helpful please take just a moment to rate it and leave a review. This helps apple, spotify or whichever platform you use know to share this podcast with other women. I truely appreciate your help supporting as many women as possible

Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

Discovering exactly what is leading to the symptoms that you have with your PCOS is a very crucial and essential step in your PCOS healing journey. However, there’s often times a lot of confusion about how we go about that. When we think of anything that’s ailing our body, we immediately think that it must be a medical problem, and we look towards medical solutions. In today’s episode, we’re going to look at what are your symptoms really telling you and how to assess your environment, assess your symptoms, and to start asking your body the right questions and listening to your body’s answers so that you can adjust your environment to work with your body in healing your PCOS hormones on your journey to finding PCOS health. So let’s dive in.

You’re listening to the PCOS Repair Podcast where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalances in your hormones naturally with a little medical help sprinkled in. Hi, I’m Ashlene Korcek, and with many years of medical and personal experience with polycystic ovarian syndrome, it is my joy to watch women reverse their PCOS as they learn to nourish their body in a whole new way. With the power of our beliefs, our mindset and our environment, and the understanding of our genetics, we can heal at the root cause.

Welcome back to the PCOS repair podcast as we continue our four-part series, this is part two of four in this PCOS awareness month of September. So today’s topic, we are going to be focusing on uncovering your PCOS root cause and why it’s essential and a very important step that we don’t want to hurry past on your journey to finding PCOS health and to alleviate your symptoms to improve weight management, to improve energy, to improve fertility, to regain your cycle, all of the things that can go awry with PCOS. First and foremost, thinking back to last episode, if you haven’t listened to it already, go back and listen to it. It really sets the groundwork for what we’re going to be talking about this month as we look at what is PCOS, what is causing it, where the root cause is, why is it unique to each person? and then next week, we’ll move on to how to really go about healing your PCOS and how to be in that healing mode, and then moving on into how to be in the lifestyle mode so that you can really live your life fully and not always feel like you’re in healing mode, which, as you’ll see, can be a little bit more restrictive and then how to get from the being in healing mode all the way into being back into lifestyle mode where you get to live life fully, you get to have a little bit more flexibility in your life, and yet maintain the healthy hormones and continue on having your body function the way you want it to and not have those symptoms creep back in. So let’s dive into today’s topic where we’re talking about uncovering your root cause. This step can be very quickly passed over. I have a PCOS root cause quiz. It will help you to start learning how to answer your questions but I do want to tell you right up front, while it does a pretty good job at telling you what you’re dealing with with your PCOS and gets into the root causes, it is a shortened down version of the full assessment that I go through with women that I work with individually as well as in my group programs and just keep in mind that it gets you on the right track to start asking the right questions, and it’s extremely beneficial but we always need to be re-evaluating where are we with our root causes?

It’s really important to remember that these are not set in stone. This is not like you have this genetic, so you have this root cause. If you listen to last week, we have genetic tendencies that lead towards developing insulin resistance, easier than somebody else, or lead to having higher levels of inflammation than somebody else but that doesn’t mean that that is for sure your root cause, nor is it cost effective or really all that clear if we tested your genetics to discover your PCOS root cause. I think one of the biggest mistakes that women make when it comes to uncovering their PCOS root cause is to look at laboratory values. We’re going to really dive into where labs should be used and where labs should not be looked at for answers. First of all, lab work is really helpful in diagnosing PCOS. We can look at the tip top of the iceberg, we talked about this a little bit last week where our hormones are our PCOS, symptomatic hormones. This is where we’re going to see maybe a low progesterone, maybe a high testosterone. We may see things that we’re ruling out, make sure that our thyroid labs look normal.

But then as we creep back into the root cause hormones, as we look at things like insulin and metabolic hormones, as we look at things like cortisol, these are going to be less likely to be helpful on laboratory values. The reason is that women in their 20s to 30s start to develop symptoms of PCOS. You may even have started to see it when you were in high school, and you may have gotten tested for why you had irregular periods or period problems even as far back as high school. Well, in your teens, 20s and 30s, our body is doing a really good job at compensating for any problems that we may actually have going on. So even if you have a tendency to produce more insulin or to have a higher insulin effect than somebody else, your body is compensating for it when we’re younger. Now, what we know is that a lot of women who have PCOS go on to develop type 2 diabetes earlier than women that do not have PCOS and it’s not completely clear if it was the fact that they had PCOS or just other lifestyle factors, etc, that led to that development, but we do know that it is a risk factor.

However, we don’t see that develop until mid to later 40s or even early 50s, whereas somebody else may have not developed it until they were in their 60s and beyond. This is where when we’re looking at someone in their 20s, we’re not going to see a hemoglobin A1C that’s abnormal. We’re not going to see an abnormal glucose level of fasting or non-fasting. We’re not going to see an insulin that’s off most of the time. Now, sometimes we do, and that’s a very advanced situation, definitely something we want to take seriously. So we should have these labs tested, and we should have these labs tested routinely for monitoring, but they’re not going to tell us our root cause. Now, I think that it’s really important to look at labs on a routine basis and not just be like, Oh, they’re not helpful, throw them out. However, really what we’re going to be looking at here is our symptoms and not just our classic PCOS symptoms. It’s not just, Oh, your period is missing, therefore you have a hormonal disturbance. Well, yeah, no kidding, I have a hormonal disturbance, my period is missing. What we want to know is what is causing that hormonal disturbance.

Let’s use this as an example, cycle is missing. Clearly, we have a hormonal disturbance. Let’s say, for example, you have a missing or lengthy period, so somewhere greater than 35 days between bleeding, and you get your lab tested, you have a high testosterone, you have an LH to FSH ratio that is greater than one to one. So what we’re seeing is that we are not getting a good follicular involvement, so we’re not completely maturing in follicle. Then we are not releasing an egg on ovulation. Then we are having a short luteal phase because although our body was ready to ovulate, it didn’t. We didn’t get pregnant and then we just started our period again because our progesterone wasn’t high enough to sustain a long enough luteal cycle and so then we have a period but that first half of our cycle was really long or maybe we didn’t have enough of a cycle at all. All of these aspects were so blunted that we didn’t even have a bleed. Those are the two things we’re looking at. Now, really important, when we think about the four PCOS root cause categories, and let’s just go through those real fast.

Insulin effect, my term, I don’t know that anyone else uses that term. I like that term because you’re not technically insulin resistant, at least most women are not and so it allows us to not be messing with something that sounds like a diagnosis of prediabetes when you’re not there yet, but the insulin is causing a problem, and we’ll talk about how it does that. Then two, the inflammatory response where we just have extra ongoing inflammatory responses in our body for various reasons that increases our hormones. I guess stress response, so our body is responding negatively to a stressful environment and what we consider stress and what our body considers stress can be two very different things and then fourth is where we have had some degree of a hormonal or a nutritional disturbance that we have not recovered from. Maybe we have certain nutrition aspects that we are lacking and/or we have been on birth control or something has happened where we have not recovered from a hormonal disturbance. Maybe some people won’t recover after having a baby, especially if they’re a little bit older, they may just have sluggish hormones afterwards. I had that after my third.

My first, I didn’t recover very well from being off of birth control, so I just needed to do a little bit more to help my body in both of those situations to get back into its natural groove of having a strong ovulatory cycle that then went through all the phases so that all the hormones were working together and in proper amount. Okay, back to our example of absent or too long of cycles. The cause of that could be any one of those three categories. That symptom, that PCOS symptom of cycle problems does not lead to one type of root cause. Second thing: labs. Your insulin, your glucose, your hemoglobinA1C, everything that tests for insulin may be completely normal. We don’t really have great labs for testing inflammation. There’s a couple that test some degrees of chronic inflammation, but they’re so non-specific and they tend to be elevated in everybody, and so they’re not very helpful. Hormonal disturbances. We can measure hormones and see like, okay, yes, like we said at the beginning, your testosterone may be high, your LH FSH ratio may be off, maybe you have low progesterone but that doesn’t really tell us why and so this particular root cause is really just talking more about there was an incident and prior to that incident, you were fine. After that incident, you were not and so it has more to do with your body is struggling to recover, and we need to dig deeper into why and it may be a combination of the insulin effect, inflammation, it may be needing to restore certain things, it may be needing to deal with a stress response, but it’s not… It’s clearly one category. It’s typically a little bit of all categories in that situation, but we have to look at the individual symptoms, which we’re getting to. Then the stress response, this is one where cortisol is the problem. Cortisol increases insulin. There can be a lot of symptoms of having an insulin effect but if we’re also seeing issues of cortisol problems, then really what we have is a cortisol problem, and we want to resolve that first to see if in resolving that, we improve the insulin effect because of the cortisol, and then in that regard, see improvement in our PCOS hormones. The point with finding your current primary root cause and again, I like to use current primary root cause because they can change, this is not set in stone, is so that you can really focus on your number one thing that is going to assist your body in healing.

When we think about all of the healthy habits that we could list, we could talk about sleep, we could talk about nutrition, we could talk about movement, we could talk about supplements, we can talk about micro-areas of each one of those, it’s too much to do all at once. If we know, Okay, this is really what’s causing my body to struggle, it’s a lot easier to say, These are my two or three things to focus on to see massive improvement. It’s also really important because PCOS is a spiral, where we start spiraling out of control, where our hormones are not happy, our environment is not helping our hormones, our hormones get less happy, we tend to gain weight, we tend to become more insulin-resistant or moving along that spectrum, or we tend to increase our inflammation because we don’t feel good, so we’re trying to do things just to feel good for the day. Oftentimes, those worsen our inflammation, and we create this negative downward cycle. We start not sleeping well, so we stop moving because moving is hard when we’re tired but then not moving creates more of a sluggish energy, and then we don’t have a good appetite, so we tend to snack and eat less healthy foods.

We get this negative cycle both in how our hormones are doing. Our hormones start to cycle negatively because our insulin levels are higher, our inflammation levels are higher, our stress levels are higher, and also our habits start to cycle negatively. Thankfully, the reverse is also true. As we start to focus in on where that root cause is, as we start to do the two or three things that are going to improve our PCOS hormone health, we start to see an upward cycle. Adding in just a few of those healthy habits starts to create a habit upward cycle, as well as doing those habits creates a hormone health upward cycle where we may drop a pound or two, which gives less of an insulin effect. We start to see that and we start to feel powerful, which leads to less of a stress response. You start to see we start to get this upward spiral but that’s why it’s really important to not just be looking at, Okay, what’s working for other people? Oh, I’ll try that. I don’t know if it’s working or not for me, so I’m going to try something else. We’re not really clear on our strategy and our tactics for how we’re going to increase our PCOS health.

In order to get started, I recommend that you take the PCOS Root Cause quiz. Now, I know at the beginning I said that this is a shortened down version of the full assessment that I give women inside of my programs. However, this is going to give you a really good glimpse as to what questions, and it’s going to give you a pretty accurate response as to what is going on with your current primary root cause. Now, if you’ve taken it in the past, it’s been a little while, I encourage you to take it again and pay attention to the questions that’s asking you. I think this is where people get really surprised is that we don’t use lab work. We don’t even look at your typical PCOS symptoms of anxiety, fatigue, cycle problems, fertility problems, because like I mentioned, each one of those can have any one of the categories of root causes as the reason, or two of them, or even three of them but typically, we have one that stands out as being the biggest culprit.

The types of questions you’re going to see in the root cause quiz, as well as the type of questions that I ask women in the full assessment inside of my programs when I’m working with them, is what cravings do you have? Do you wake up rested? Do you have energy slumps throughout the day? Do you have skin problems? And if so, which ones? I go through different skin problems. If you have headaches, what headaches do you have? These are things where they’re really going to point to what type of struggles is your body having with your current environment. They point to, this is where our environment could improve to see some really big changes in our PCOS health. Next week, when we talk about really getting into that healing zone for our PCOS hormones and getting down into those root causes and discovering what our body needs, we’re going to talk about this even more. But for now, I want you to take that PCOS root cause quiz so that you’re ready for next week so that as we go through how to be in that healing zone and really move the needle in your PCOS health so that you can get a hold of those symptoms, so that you can regain your cycle, so that you can boost your fertility, so that you can finally drop some pounds without being on a crazy diet where you just know you’re going to gain it right back.

For now, what I want you to do is take the quiz. The link will be in the show notes. If you have any questions between now and next week about this topic, about discovering your root cause, if you take the quiz and you’re just not sure if that’s the main one or you take it a couple of times and you get a couple of different results, feel free to reach out in my DMs on Instagram. You can find me @nourishedtohealthy. You may be someone who has a little bit of a borderline where you’re between two different root causes, and we’ll talk about that more as well in our next episode. But for now, take the root cause if you have questions about last week or this week’s topic in preparation for moving on to the next topic next week, feel free to find me over on Instagram @nourishedtohealthy. And until next time, bye for now.

Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely reverse our PCOS symptoms? I believe that although PCOS makes a sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful. When we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves. This is why I have created a guide for you to get started. My PCOS Fertility Meal Guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.

Take The PCOS Root Cause Quiz

   What Do Your Symptoms Mean?

  Discover your current PCOS Root Cause

Start to reverse PCOS at the root cause. 

Results are not guaranteed. Please see Medical Disclaimer for more detail.

Similar Podcasts You Will Enjoy

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Discover the PCOS Lifestyle Equation, a powerful guide to managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall well-being. Learn essential insights, practical strategies, and personalized approaches to feel better in your body, lose weight, improve fertility, and boost energy levels.

About Show

Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!

I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.

If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.

So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now

Episode #66: Cracking the PCOS Code: Understanding the Why Behind Your Symptoms

Episode #66: Cracking the PCOS Code: Understanding the Why Behind Your Symptoms

Episode #66: Cracking the PCOS Code: Understanding the Why Behind Your Symptoms

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

Cracking the PCOS Code: Understanding the Why Behind Your Symptoms

What you’ll learn in this episode

This episode explores the seemingly mysterious causes of PCOS symptoms. Whether you know you have PCOS or just suspect it, this episode is packed with valuable insights to help you feel better in your body, improve fertility, boost energy, and take charge of your health journey. So, let’s jump right in!

The Collection of Symptoms of PCOS

We’ll start by exploring what makes PCOS a syndrome – a collection of symptoms with various underlying causes. Together, we’ll work our way backward from the various PCOS symptoms that you may have, the androgenetic hormones responsible, and then all the way to the root causes of these hormone imbalances. Understanding these root causes will empower you to gain a clearer picture of what’s going on in your body and how to address it effectively.

Discovering Your Personal Root Cause

Learn how to identify your specific root cause and why symptoms play a pivotal role in this process. Forget about relying solely on lab results; we’ll discuss how understanding your symptoms can be even more crucial in crafting a tailored plan for your unique situation.

Taking Action for PCOS Health

Once you’ve unraveled your root cause, it’s time to take action! During this four-part series, I will outline everything from understanding PCOS to discovering your root causes and how these root causes affect your hormones. Then we will move on to what the healing journey looks like and how to create a lifestyle that is sustainable so that you can live in a body that functions the way you want. Embracing these insights will pave the way for better health, improved weight management, enhanced fertility, and a more energized you.

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Resources & References Mentioned in this episode

You can take the quiz to discover your root cause here

rate the podcast

Spread the Awareness

If you have found this podcast helpful please take just a moment to rate it and leave a review. This helps apple, spotify or whichever platform you use know to share this podcast with other women. I truely appreciate your help supporting as many women as possible

Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

PCOS is a unique combination of symptoms that leads to a picture that prompts the diagnosis of PCOS but what’s going on behind those symptoms? That’s the root cause that we want to get to, especially when we are wanting to heal our hormones naturally and create a lifestyle that supports our body to thrive and to function the way that we want. For this month September, I want to dive into a series where we really walk through from the ground up of noticing symptoms, getting diagnosed, discovering your root cause, learning to heal your PCOS, and ultimately creating a lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable as you allow your body to live in an environment in a bubble that works for you and allows you to thrive and live your life fully without restrictions that you can enjoy and move on from the frustrations and stress of PCOS. So I hope you join me this month for each week as we continue this series in PCOS Awareness Month of September. All right, let’s get started.

You’re listening to the PCOS Repair Podcast where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalances in your hormones naturally with a little medical help sprinkled in. Hi, I’m Ashlene Korcek, and with many years of medical and personal experience with polycystic ovarian syndrome, it is my joy to watch women reverse their PCOS as they learn to nourish their body in a whole new way. With the power of our beliefs, our mindset, and our environment, and the understanding of our genetics, we can heal at the root cause.

Welcome back to the PCOS Repair Podcast, where today we’re starting a four-part series where we’re going to be talking about really all the stages of learning about PCOS and learning about your root cause, what’s going on with you specifically, all the way to creating a lifestyle that works for you and your body. So if you haven’t already, hit the subscribe button because you’re going to want to get notified each week when the next episode becomes available because we’re going to build off of each of these weeks that we are starting with today. Okay, so first of all, when you start having certain symptoms, whether you went to your doctor and got your diagnosis, or you’re considering making an appointment because you’re starting to wonder if you have PCOS, wherever you are in that beginning stages or wherever you were in those beginning stages, your body was giving you clues that something wasn’t working quite right. It may have been something as simple as acne early on in adolescence that wasn’t going away when you thought it should. Perhaps it was not having a regular cycle. Even if you weren’t trying to get pregnant, you knew that not having a regular cycle was a sign that maybe you should see your doctor.

Maybe they diagnosed you with PCOS, maybe they just gave you birth control, and that led to many years of suppressing the issue and then maybe further down the line, you were trying to get pregnant, or you were struggling with other symptoms, and you revisited the topic with your doctor of what is going on with my body, and then got a diagnosis of PCOS, or perhaps you’re being worked up for a diagnosis of PCOS. Let’s look at what exactly, again, creates the criteria for a diagnosis of PCOS. Basically, we have a slew of symptoms. It can be anything from irregular cycles to absent cycles, difficulty getting pregnant due to not ovulating. It can be really heavy or difficult periods may lead your doctor to start looking at this. It can be things like acne, hair loss, hair growth on the body. You can have further testing that shows abnormal lab values or an ultrasound with polycystic ovary appearance. Now, an ovarian cyst, and I’ve said this before on earlier episodes, but really important to distinguish an ovarian cyst is a single cyst. It’s more of a true cyst that can rupture and be painful, and that is very different than polycystic ovaries.

Polycystic ovaries are all of the little follicles that tried to become a full-grown egg that was ready to ovulate and be released but didn’t get there. So basically because you didn’t ovulate enough months, you’re creating a collection of half matured follicles, and they create a polycystic, a many cystic appearance but they’re not a true cyst. They’re actually a follicle that was trying to become a egg, but it didn’t mature all the way until it wasn’t released and it just hung out on your ovaries. That’s an important distinction because I think a lot of times when people hear they had a cyst on their ovaries, they think, Oh, I must have polycystic ovarian syndrome and having cyst on your ovaries or not having cyst on your ovaries, honestly, as we’ve learned more about PCOS, is relatively irrelevant. People can have and not have any cyst on their ovaries, and so their ultrasound may be normal and people who have cystic ovaries may not have any other symptoms of PCOS because there may be other reasons why. They’re not ovulating every month, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they have PCOS. It’s a little bit of a take it with a grain of salt a test, but the combination of your list of symptoms as well as your lab work that often will show things like an LH ratio that is greater than one to one.

Typically, we see a one to one ratio. You may have low digestion, you may have high testosterone and then there are a whole list of other symptoms that you may also be dealing with that are less classic for PCOS, you may have increased anxiety, you may have poor sleep, you may have poor energy, weight problems are often associated with PCOS they are a complicated issue when it comes to PCOS and we’re going to talk about that as we get into the root cause hormones. Some of the root cause hormones make gaining weight extremely easy, and it can create a really poor cycle where you’re downward cycling to where you’re gaining weight easier and easier, and that’s making your PCOS symptoms worse and worse but PCOS is not caused by weight gain. It’s also not cured by weight loss, but they do play a very hand-in-hand role together that we will talk about more as we continue this series. Okay, so you go to your doctor, you have these symptoms, they diagnose you with PCOS. They basically tell you you could take the birth control pill. You can come back when you want assistance getting pregnant, maybe give you an acne medication if acne is your problem.

Not a lot of other assistance other than recommending weight loss. So where do you go from there? What is actually going on? You have this list of symptoms, now you have a name for them but what are those symptoms telling us about our body? So PCOS is one of those chronic disorders, chronic, meaning ongoing, not going away disorders, that medicine doesn’t really have a great way of dealing with. The best way to approach PCOS, if you want to improve your symptoms, if you want to improve your quality of life and how you feel in your body, have better energy, easier weight loss, better fertility, all the things, really it comes down to creating a lifestyle that supports your body because the medications available for us for PCOS are, at best, band-aids. There’s a couple that may have some helpful benefits, but they’re going to be minimally beneficial if we don’t create a lifestyle that really supports our hormones overall. The unique part about this is that while all of these collective symptoms at the tip of the iceberg, like what we see at the surface, look really similar, which is good because it paints the picture of PCOS, which allows our doctor to give us that diagnosis, so at least we have an idea of what we’re dealing with.

But what we’re looking at is the tipy, tipy, tipy, tip of the iceberg. There is so much more going underneath, and this is where the true variability comes in. A couple of years back, there were some research articles published about finding some genes that were associated with PCOS. This gave some really great insights into what is going on beneath the surface. How come each person has a very unique picture of how their PCOS plays out as well as a very unique experience with what works for them as they heal their PCOS. What did these genes tell us about PCOS? Basically, there is not one gene that’s really important to understand. There is not one gene for PCOS. There are many genes and they affect how our body deals with inflammation, how our body deals with blood sugar and insulin regulation but there wasn’t just one of each of those. There was many, many genes that we saw, but we saw those commonalities in the research that was done. So what does that mean? And does that mean that we can’t do anything about it? We are just stuck with it? Well, a couple of things here that we want to keep in mind.

One is that our genetics have many different types of genes. We have genes that say the color of our hair, that’s not going to change. We also have genes that can be turned off and turned on. I can’t just turn off the color of my hair, it is what it is. It’s going to be dark. I can’t change my eye color. Now, my eye color tends to look a little different depending on what I’m wearing, but my eye color is my eye color. My skin tone is my skin tone. Those are things that I can’t change. Genes that come in when it comes to our longevity, our risk of getting certain diseases. So when your doctor takes your family history, they’re trying to assess your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, so that they can continually monitor you in an appropriate way. Some people with really strong certain histories weren’t more close monitoring of certain health issues to make sure that you’re not developing something that is very prevalent in your family history. However, does it mean that you will for sure get those things? No, it doesn’t and the reason is that your lifestyle, your other genes, so many other factors come in, and they determine whether or not you get that or not.

So just because a relative had heart disease and diabetes, depending on how you eat, how you exercise, how you create a lifestyle free of stress, or getting enough sleep and all the things that support health, you may not ever have any of those problems. You may be able to go many, many, many years past when your relative developed that disorder. This is where genes have tendencies. PCOS genes put us at a higher tendency to react to our environment in a way where we start to see symptoms of PCOS. Can we cure PCOS? No, we can’t go in there and change our genetics, we have the body that we have. However, we can change our environment to create a bubble, so to speak, where those genes don’t turn on, or if they’ve already turned on, they turn off and our symptoms go away. Of course, there’s variations to the degree that we can turn them off. Some people have a lot easier time turning them off, some people have a harder time, it depends to where our starting point is, where our health is currently, what our current habits are, and time frame. Some people it twitches around really quickly.

Some people it takes a lot longer, some people it’s a several-year process where they see significant improvement along the way, but they still have a lot of gains to make over time. Again, everyone’s situation is so unique. Then I want to talk about the fact that not only have we discovered this PCOS gene, but one of the reasons why PCOS may be really on the rise. When I was first diagnosed with it, this was nine-plus years ago, I think nine years ago now, they said 1 in 10 women. Now, I’m hearing statistics of almost 1 in 6 and this may have a lot more to do with the fact that overall, as a population, our health is declining. I think the foods, the lifestyle, the stress, the demands on ourselves are so different than they were one generation ago that we are creating a situation where we are moving towards inflammation and diabetes at a faster rate as a species, but at the same time that it has a lot to do with our environment. So the question from a epidemiology standpoint, not is individually relevant, but something that I wonder about is, do more of us have these gene tendencies than we realize or are more of us getting these symptoms of PCOS even without the genes because of the mainstream lifestyle that people are living? and what can we do to change this so that we can turn those genes off? We are going to be talking about exactly that a little bit in today’s episode, but even more in the following episodes of this four-part series. Again, make sure that you’ve hit the subscribe button. Make sure that you’re going to get the notifications when those additional episodes come out, because this is going to be a several-step process to first of all, understanding why PCOS happens, how to discover what’s going on in your body specifically, how to heal your specific situation with PCOS, and then ultimately how to create a sustainable lifestyle. Those are the four parts that we’re going to be going over.

Now that you understand that genetic aspect or that how our body is relating to our environment, that these genes can be turned on or turned off, now let’s talk about what those root causes are. From the tip of the iceberg, we are seeing those symptoms. Those symptoms are things like irregular periods, acne, hair loss, facial hair or body hair, anxiety or mood disorders, depression, poor sleep and fatigue, fertility problems, weight problems, to name a few. As we go further into the down underneath the surface of that iceberg, we start to see the medium root causes. The medium root causes are going to be those hormone imbalances, these are going to be a lot of our androgen hormones. These are things where we have to test for these, so they’re not super obvious. We don’t know exactly what’s going on when we start to have an irregular period. This is where we start to differentiate between, Is there another disorder going on? Something like a thyroid disorder, or are we dealing with more of a PCOS disorder? But we’re having to run some tests to determine why are you not ovulating? Why are we having these symptoms? Why is your cycle irregular? Here, we’re going to start seeing on lab work that you may have elevated testosterone, the LH ratio that’s not one to one. We’re testing to make sure that there isn’t something else going on, like your thyroid looks good and so forth. Now, we see that these hormones are imbalanced. You may have high testosterone, you may have low progesterone. Why? What is causing these hormones to be imbalanced? We’re going to go deeper into the root cause.

This is where we start to look at what is going on with your cortisol? What is going on with the insulin response, what is going on with inflammation, how is your body responding to its environment at a very deep metabolic level? This is something that most doctors don’t really get into, with the primary reason being women with PCOS are typically being diagnosed somewhere in their late teens to mid-30s. At this point in life, our body is really quite resilient, and most of us have not crossed over the threshold into what our lab work would consider actual disease. That mid-level one that we talked about with the hormones, the androgens, thyroid issues, those ones will maybe start to show up on labs but what we don’t see yet is an elevated hemoglobin A1C, indicating that your blood sugar is too high, that you’re prediabetic or that you’re diabetic. That may happen later, but in that frame of time that most women are being with PCOS, those labs are going to be normal because you’re young and your body is resilient. It is making up for the imbalances. Now, if we did an insulin tolerance test, we may start to see some indication of elevation but what we may be dealing with is simply that our body is being hyperresponsive to our insulin because our body is being sluggish about our glucose management. If this is the case, you may be dealing with what I call the insulin effect because technically you’re not insulin-resistant yet. You may be dealing with a early degree of insulin resistance, but you don’t meet the criteria by lab values to be unhealthy in regards to, We need to start working on this. However, those values of labs don’t equal healthy. They equal, this is the threshold that medicine has determined that we start taking it seriously. Our body starts to struggle long before that threshold. That’s where we start to see the symptoms of PCOS occur. Same thing with inflammation, same thing with poor absorption of nutrients because of gut issues, same thing with our bodies hanging on to too much glucose, storing things and not being able to burn fat regularly, leading to elevated insulin levels, cortisol elevates our insulin, insulin elevates our LH, all of these things mess with our androgens, messing our cycles up, messing up our ovulation, messing up our fertility, increasing acne, increasing hair growth, etc, etc, etc.

The tricky part comes into, this is happening in different ways, different reasons, and different quantities in every woman. Well, we have four main categories of PCOS root causes: inflammation, the insulin effect, my term, I don’t know that anyone else uses that one, a hormone imbalance may be caused by something like being on birth control or some even a nutritional deficiency where your body has just shut down its hormones because it doesn’t feel like it’s a safe time to get pregnant. So usually that’s oftentimes we see coming off of birth control, but it doesn’t have to be where our body has just deemed it not time to get pregnant and has actually shut down our fertility. Whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant or not, that may be why your cycle is missing. The fourth category is a stress response. We are dealing with a deep metabolic cortisol issue that’s leading to an insulin issue that’s leading up the cascade through a stressed response to something in our environment. Something in our environment, something in our life is causing our body stress, and it doesn’t necessarily correlate to you feeling stressed, but something is causing your body stress.

In those root causes, you can see how each person’s lifestyle is going to affect those and creates such a different picture of what’s going on. That’s where it’s really important to recognize that, sure, your doctor may have given you the diagnosis of PCOS, but that’s only step one. Now we need to figure out what is going on, what is your unique story of PCOS that your body is trying to tell you. As we learn to listen to your body, as we learn to understand what’s going on, then we can start to address your specific PCOS root causes and adjust your lifestyle to help your body be healthy, heal, and to thrive. The starting place for this is going to be to take the PCOS Root Cause quiz. The questions of this quiz are going to help you start to understand and learn how to listen to your body. What symptoms are you looking for? Because the symptoms of PCOS are the tip of the iceberg. What are the symptoms that indicate what’s going on deeper? They’re there, but they’re different. The questions of this quiz are going to help you to start getting in tune with other areas of your body and what your body is telling you that you want to pay attention to.

The answer to the quiz is going to give you a pretty good idea of where you’re at with your current PCOS root causes. These can change over time, and you can definitely have more than one but the cool thing when you take the quiz is it’s going to tell you the one that you are scoring the highest on so that you’re able to say, Okay, this is where my focus needs to be. In next week’s episode, we are going to get into the root causes a little bit further and talk about what’s going on in your body with each specific root cause. So after you’ve taken that quiz, you’re going to learn a little bit more about those root causes in our next episode. Again, hit that subscribe button and if you haven’t already, make sure you take the root cause. If it’s been a while, take it again. The link will be included in the show notes for this episode and if you have any questions until next time, you know where to find me. I’m over on Instagram @Nourishedtohealthy. I love to hear from you, so feel free to pop into my DMs anytime and we can continue the conversation about PCOS and starting to realize your unique picture of what’s going on with your body with PCOS, that is step one, very important step one, as you begin your healing journey to healthy hormones. All right, until next time. Bye for now.

Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely reverse our PCOS symptoms? I believe that although PCOS makes us sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful. When we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves this is why I’ve created a guide for you to get started my PCOS Fertility Meal Guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.

Take The PCOS Root Cause Quiz

   What Do Your Symptoms Mean?

  Discover your current PCOS Root Cause

Start to reverse PCOS at the root cause. 

Results are not guaranteed. Please see Medical Disclaimer for more detail.

Similar Podcasts You Will Enjoy

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Discover the PCOS Lifestyle Equation, a powerful guide to managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall well-being. Learn essential insights, practical strategies, and personalized approaches to feel better in your body, lose weight, improve fertility, and boost energy levels.

About Show

Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!

I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.

If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.

So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now

Episode #65: Decoding Labels: Navigating the Confusion of Healthy Choices for PCOS

Episode #65: Decoding Labels: Navigating the Confusion of Healthy Choices for PCOS

Episode #65: Decoding Labels: Navigating the Confusion of Healthy Choices for PCOS

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

Decoding Labels: Navigating the Confusion of Healthy Choices for PCOS

What you’ll learn in this episode

In this episode we’ll be diving into the often confusing job of understanding nutrition labels. If you’ve ever felt confused by food labels when trying to make healthy choices, this episode will help. I’ll guide you through the ins and outs of decoding labels and making choices that can work wonders for your hormone health.

Food Labels Made Simple 

It doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. Understanding what to look for when scanning food labels can be quick and easy as you compare options at the store. We’ll explore the key elements to consider on food labels, including calories, macros, and ingredients. And how to use these to find foods that will nourish your body and promote hormonal balance.

Hidden Harmful Ingredients

We’ll talk about the sneaky culprits lurking in our foods. You’ll learn to spot them on ingredient lists, and I’ll explain why they can affect your insulin levels, a vital factor in managing PCOS. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make healthier choices and avoid those hidden pitfalls. 

Lastly, I’ll show you the importance of reading food labels carefully, beyond just calories and macros. Uncovering hidden additives and preservatives can be a game-changer in your PCOS journey. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about what you put on your plate.

Happy listening!

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

rate the podcast

Spread the Awareness

If you have found this podcast helpful please take just a moment to rate it and leave a review. This helps apple, spotify or whichever platform you use know to share this podcast with other women. I truely appreciate your help supporting as many women as possible

Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

One of the most difficult in this is trying to figure out if a food that you’re thinking about eating or purchasing is actually healthy because the package may say, Healthy this or Gluten-free or dairy-free or keto or whatever marketing slogan that makes it sound healthy. But how do we determine if it actually is healthy? Or more importantly, is it something that’s going to help nourish our PCOS hormones rather than harm them? In this episode, we are going to get into how to read a label, what to look at, what to pay attention to, and how to choose foods easily and with confidence so that you can nourish your PCOS hormones to the best of your ability even when you’re buying packaged foods. So let’s dive in.

You’re listening to the PCOS Repair podcast where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalances in your hormones naturally with a little medical help sprinkled in. Hi, I’m Ashlene Korcek and with many years of medical and personal experience with polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is my joy to watch women reverse their PCOS as they learn to nourish their body in a whole new way. With the power of our beliefs, our mindset, and our environment and the understanding of our genetics, we can heal at the root cause.

Welcome back to the PCOS Repair Podcast where today we’re going to be going through and decoding what is going on on those nutrition labels and how to determine if a certain food product is a good choice for your PCOS hormones or not. Now, first and foremost, this is a lifestyle, there are going to be times where we know what’s on that nutrition label and we know it’s not healthy for our PCOS hormones. That’s an entirely different topic about making choices and having planned involveances and enjoying our lives fully but what I want to talk about is making sure that you are fully equipped with the information that you need that when you go to the store, when you’re looking at a package and thinking about eating something, you know just a quick and dirty way of looking at the label and determining if it fits into what you want to be consuming today to meet your goals and to achieve the success in your PCOS wellness that you’re looking for. Okay, so first and foremost, let’s break up the nutrition label into a couple of parts. This would be easier if it was a video, but for now, just try to visualize it with me. If you need a visual, grab a nutrition label and we’ll walk through this together. A couple of things that I always look at first is servings. What is the serving size of this product? If I’m looking at a packaged item that looks like a single serving, is it indeed a single serving? I remember back when I was growing up, Snapple had these little prizes under the Snapple caps. And so all my friends, Snapple was new, Costco carried it and so everyone was buying Snapple and we were all so excited to see what prize we won or if we got whatever code or whatever we needed to win under the Snapple caps. But I remember thinking that they probably weren’t super healthy. I was in high school, so I was loosely aware of calories and about nothing else. I remember looking at the calories and being like, Well, that’s not horrible. Then one day I realized that were like 2.5 servings in that can that I had been drinking or that bottle that I had been drinking. The entire thing of thinking there was only that many calories in it because I didn’t read the fine print of the serving size.

First thing I always look at is what is the serving size? Or especially if it’s an individual, if it looks like it’s an individual serving that you’re being given, how many servings are actually in that package? Because that’s going to give us a really important glimpse on quantity. Because when we look at something and we’re thinking, how much are we really going to need of this? If a salad dressing is only giving you a teaspoon instead of two tablespoons, which is normal, then we need to recalibrate because I don’t think I’ve ever put just a teaspoon of salad dressing on my salad. Next, I always glance at the calories. Now, I don’t care as much about calories, but it gives me a really quick way of seeing how calorie-dense is this volume that I’m going to be eating at the end of the day, I don’t want to be hungry, so I want to be able to choose food so that I allow me enough volume of food to consume that I’m not going to be hungry as I reach my calorie goal for the day. Now, I’m not hard and fast about a calorie goal, I do have a general ballpark that I aim for based on my current body composition that changes over time. I’m always recalculating that but I do have a basic calorie goal. I want to make sure that as I’m choosing food, I’m choosing foods that are low enough in calorie and high enough in volume that I will actually get enough food inside of me to feel satisfied for the day. Then I look at the macronutrients. These are going to be your protein, carbs and fats. A lot of times they are bolded on the label so they are easy to see the total carbs, total fat, total protein. Depending on the source of the fat, I don’t care if this is on the higher side. I’m looking at like natural peanut butter. I know it’s going to be higher in fat. I’m okay with that. What I want to make sure is that the carbs aren’t too high because if the carbs are high, I’m really going to dig in there and see why is something that I wasn’t expecting the carbs to be that high on leading to that high of carbohydrates? Is there some hidden sugar in here?

Even if the label says no sugar added. The next thing I’m going to look at is the protein. I want things that have protein in them, unless I’m truly just trying to get a fat or I’m just having vegetables, in which case it’s not going to have a nutrition label and we’ll get to that. Anything that I’m eating that has a label, ideally if I’m trying to nourish my PCOS and not just get a planned indulgence, I want to make sure that it has probably somewhere in the ballpark of 10 grams of protein per serving at least but if you’re having something smaller, like if it’s something like pumpkin seeds that you’re going to sprinkle on top, maybe 5 grams of protein is adequate, especially if the carbs are low and you’re using it more of a fat. Something like a Mayo or a salad dressing, I’m going to expect that to be pretty much all fat, no protein. That’s an exception to that rule but I’m looking for plus or minus healthy fats, but protein outweighs carbohydrates at the minimum being equal per serving size.

The next thing I’m going to look at is the ingredients, so those are the main areas I’m looking at. I’m looking at how many servings, the size of the servings, so what volume of food do I actually get to enjoy if I choose this request? What are the calories? Is it a calorie-dense item? Again, that goes back to the serving size volume. How satisfying is this really going to be? Then I’m looking at the macronutrients, which is going to be fats, proteins, carbohydrates. Then I’m going to look at the nutrition. It’s really important, as we have this conversation, to also mention marketing. I can’t tell you how many times in the last week I have seen things be so misleading. Brands, simple truth. You think, okay, great, they’re just going to tell me what it is, right? and it’s pure olive oil and then you look on the back and you’re like, okay, this olive oil spray, the first ingredient is canola oil, which is an inflammatory fat. I think I’m not buying healthy olive oil spray because I know they make pure olive oil spray but this particular olive oil spray has more canola oil in it than it does olive oil and yet the label says, Simple truth, pure olive oil.

Clearly, we can’t just read the pretty label on the front. We have to read the nutritional label on the back. The other one that I’ve been seeing a ton is no added sugar, sugar-free. When you turn it around on the back, there’s just no cane sugar. There’s all sorts of other things that are essentially sugar but somehow because it’s not actually called sugar on the label when they put it in the ingredients, they are discounting it as sugar. If you go back a couple of episodes where I talk about types of sweeteners for PCOS health and which ones to choose, which ones to avoid, etc, I have a list on that episode web page that goes through all the names of hidden sugars, or at least a lot of the names of hidden sugars to help you determine which ones are in there. That is why I always look at the carbohydrates and see, is it higher than I think it should be? Because that always clues me in the need to be looking for those hidden sugars. As we talk about nutrition labels, I think it’s really important to point out because it can be so tedious and cumbersome to check all of your nutrition labels.

In order to beat the overwhelm and to actually have the healthiest PCOS nutrition possible, you really do want to focus on those whole foods. Are going to be foods that really don’t have a nutrition label. Aside from dairy products and some things that you find in packages that are otherwise primarily whole foods, the majority of this is going to be meat, vegetables, and fruit. Then of course, you may get some yogurt or something like that. On top of that, those are going to have nutrition labels. You definitely want to check those nutrition labels, any dairy-free milk or any packaged item in general. You just want to do this quick scan of what’s in it. As we start talking about the ingredient list, the ingredient list should be short. It should have recognizable items listed in the ingredient list. It should be real foods. Even though this is technically you have a nutrition label, so it’s a packaged food, it should be filled with whole foods that you recognize. Some of the things that are really not great for our PCOS are going to be preservatives, additives, unrecognizable foods that are inflammatory and messing with our microbiomes and our gut, which then increases our inflammation, increases our insulin resistance and therefore is adding to our hormone imbalances, our decrease in metabolic health, and more of a struggle with losing weight or maintaining our weight, which then creates a further vicious cycle for our insulin resistance, for increasing inflammation and for further disrupting our hormones.

You can see there’s just really a vicious cycle when we consume foods that are fillers, preservatives, not natural foods, inflammatory foods and so forth. When we stick with foods that are recognizable, whole foods, as much organic as possible, keeping it simple the majority of the time. Then of course, because it’s a lifestyle that needs to be sustainable, making room for also enjoying some other foods as well. When I look at the ingredients, what am I looking for? First of all, I’m looking at the first couple ingredients, and I’m usually skimming all the way down to where I know if I was going to make that, that ingredient would be miniscule. Anything beyond that, I’m less worried about, although I still take a look at it and I want things that are going to be normal things I would recognize, like olive oil, avocado oil, eggs, chicken, seasonings, dairy, like a milk or a butter or something that would be recognizable. I’m trying to think about what would I should be in a nutrition label, or like a whey protein. So I don’t want something that is an inflammatory fat. Those are going to be all of your vegetable oils like margarine, canola oil, safflo, oil and so forth.

What I do want to see is think that if I was going to go and buy them and create this package item myself, I could do it. I wouldn’t be going and grabbing a ton of things that were completely foreign to me. Almost like I’m reading a recipe and I’m like, oh, I know where to find that. Oh, I know what that is and if you don’t know what it is because if you were going to make a recipe, then it’s suspect. Anything that ends in trose like dextrose or fructose or anything like that. So basically anything that ends in -ose or succralose or something like that, be suspect. The other one is like dextran, so maldextran, things like that. You want to be very cautious of things like that. Those typically are sugars. Now, most nutrition labels are now if you go under the carbohydrate section, it will include total sugars and added sugars. You can quickly do a look there, although they don’t always include things there, especially if it’s a negligible amount. So I always do a quick sweep of the ingredient list as well. This is definitely something that is tedious, especially early on.

Overall, you’re going to start to pack your pantry in your shelves and discover the things that you buy over and over that you’ve already looked at. You don’t have to do this all the time to all your groceries. But I encourage you and invite you, challenge you to go through the foods that you’re using this week. You don’t have to go through your whole pantry. That sounds overwhelming but go through what you’re using this week. If you grab a salad, you grab a Mayo, if you grab a ketchup, notice how high sugar is on the list of ketchup and how many types of sugar. That’s another big one is that they will say to keep the sugar lower on the list of ingredients, because the way the ingredient list work is that the highest amount, the biggest volume of whatever ingredient is listed first in descending order. One of their best ways to look like there’s not a lot of sugar in it is to add three kinds of sugar so that they end up low on the list. But if you combine them all in volume and or just said sweeteners, it would be like the top of the list. That’s a dirty hidden way that they get more sugar in there without it looking like there’s as much sugar in it. Keep an eye out for that. This doesn’t have to be cumbersome, I think another place where this starts to become a little bit overwhelming is, well, what should I be looking for? What should I be trying to balance as far as what should my macros be? What should my calories be? These are things that really vary person to person and even for each person, really varies depending on what stage they’re at in their PCOS healing, where they’re at with their body composition, what their current goals are, etc but if you have an overall idea of where you’re at, your PCOS root causes and things like that and if you need help with that, that’s what I can help you do. That’s what I do for women all the time, but when you’re trying to look at the nutrition label, I think it’s really important to not just be looking at it going, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be looking at here. Again, serving size, how much of this do I really get to eat for what it’s telling me?

And then calories, macros, ingredients, it’s that simple. In calories, I look at it more as again, a volume. Do I get to have four of these or do I get to have one of these? And is that going to be satisfying or would I rather choose something else? I’m not looking at it like I’m counting calories and being all uptight about my calories. I’m really looking at it more like, Oh, man, I don’t give very much of this for how many calories it is. It doesn’t seem worth it to me thing. Almost like you would look at a price tag. Does this seem like it’s worth what you’re expected to pay? And does that change how you feel about wanting it?

The last thing, but definitely not the least thing. The last thing I want to talk about here, but maybe one of the most important things is the nutrition. Now, this one’s hard because sometimes they will list all of the nutrition and sometimes they don’t really, especially because most of the package feeds are going to be very low in nutrients and so most of the nutrients that you’re going to consume are going to come from unlabeled items like vegetables but it’s still important to just take a quick look and see what are some of the nutrients that this food contains. Is the list very long? Are the percentages very high? Other than sodium? Sodium is always high in the packaged food. We don’t really need to consume that much sodium. Salt is not unhealthy, but it’s very easy to overindulge in it. We just want to be mindful of is there any actual nutritional value to this packaged food that I’m buying? I think that it’s very eye opening if you look at a day. I do this for people inside of the PCOS detox program where we compare a typical day of not really unhealthy eating just typical American food. Typical American food where you’re probably trying to actually be a little bit healthy as compared to one of the days in the PCOS detox meal plan. What you would see if you went through that exercise is basically zero nutrition. Now there’s carbohydrates, fat and protein in the daily American diet menu, but there’s no real nutrition. There’s no antioxidants, there’s no nutrients, there’s no minerals, there’s no anything that your body actually needs to build and replenish and grow and thrive and build up your immune system and to continually regenerate and grow hormones and have everything be healthy the way it needs to be.

Whereas when we’re eating mostly whole foods, getting lean, healthy proteins, having some healthy dairy if you tolerate dairy, having a lot of vegetables and maybe some fruits, now we’re tapping into getting all of the nutrition that we actually need, especially if we vary that many from day to day. We don’t need every nutrient in its entirety every single day but over the average of the week, we do want to make sure that we met all the goals of our nutrition.

So there you have it, my friend. That is what I’m looking at when I do a quick glimpse at the back of a nutrition label. Is it nutritious? Is there even any value of eating this? That doesn’t mean I will put it back on the shelf, but it does mean, okay, I need to pair this with something that’s nutrient-dense. Now, some things aren’t supposed to be nutrient-dense like a salad dressing. I’m not getting my nutrients from the salad dressing. In fact, what I want to get from the salad dressing is my healthy fat. So seeing salad dressings from primalkitchen where they have really great ingredients and they have things like avocado and olive oil in them and they’re high in fat, low in carb or zero in carb and they’re basically some healthy fat like olive oil, avocado oil and seasonings. Its purpose is not to be nutritionally dense. Its purpose is to provide the macronutrient of healthy fat on top of nutrient-dense foods such as the salad with some protein on it and so forth. You have to look at the entirety of your meal and remember why you’re picking this particular item and seeing if it’s a good choice but you definitely want to make sure that you’re planning out a meal that has nutritional value and not just macros, because I think sometimes people really promote counting macros and yet their diet is actually nutritionally void. Then yes, pay attention to the macros. Glance at the calories more from a standpoint of volume you get to consume. Is it worth it? Is this a good choice? Is the other choice a better choice? Although calories to calories is not necessarily a better choice because sometimes they just take out the fat, makes the calories lower, but the sugar is higher. Again, I don’t really like calories as the main discerning point of whether or not I’m going to select a certain item or not. Then a quick run through the ingredients list and you are stalking your pantry and choosing foods that you can feel confident and good about in your PCOS healthy journey.

So if you have any questions about this, and I anticipate a lot of questions about various foods, you know where to find me. I’m over on Instagram @Nourishedtohealthy. Hit me up in the DMs and ask me your questions about nutrition labels. I’m happy to answer those there. Until next time, bye for now.

Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely reverse our PCOS symptoms? I believe that although PCOS makes us sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful, when we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves. This is why I’ve created a guide for you to get started. My PCOS Fertility Meal Guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.

Take The PCOS Root Cause Quiz

   What Do Your Symptoms Mean?

  Discover your current PCOS Root Cause

Start to reverse PCOS at the root cause. 

Results are not guaranteed. Please see Medical Disclaimer for more detail.

Similar Podcasts You Will Enjoy

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

Discover the PCOS Lifestyle Equation, a powerful guide to managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall well-being. Learn essential insights, practical strategies, and personalized approaches to feel better in your body, lose weight, improve fertility, and boost energy levels.

About Show

Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!

I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.

If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.

So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now