Episode #77: PCOS Holiday Wellness

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PCOS Holiday Wellness

What you’ll learn in this episode

Fostering hormone health and wellness during the holidays is possible and can even be fun! As you navigate this festive season, I have some fantastic insights to share so that you can feel great in your body, make confident health choices, and enjoy the holiday season. Whether you’re gearing up for holiday parties, or family gatherings, or just want to make the most of this special time, this episode is packed with tips to keep you feeling fantastic. So, grab your earbuds, and let’s jump into the holiday spirit together!

Navigating the Holiday Health Hurdles

Perhaps you can relate, no matter how “simple” I try to keep the holidays, my calendar always overflows with festive gatherings and events. I love the holiday season and enjoy the festivities even in the obligatory events. While I’m not suggesting overwhelming your schedule to the point of stress and burnout, I don’t want you to skip embracing the holidays out of fear for your hormone health. That’s why, in this episode, I’ll share how I approach the holidays, allowing me to fully relish them while also caring for my hormones and feeling great.

The season brings forth numerous temptations and hurdles. From delicious food and treats enticing us at every turn to the inevitable reduction in time for workouts and sleep. The struggle to maintain balance becomes all too real. Be sure to tune into this episode so that you can enjoy both the season and feel your best! 

Simplify Health for the Holidays

The holidays are a short season and special time, so it’s totally okay if you don’t stick to your strictest health routine. You get to decide how you want your holidays to be and feel. It’s all up to you! In this episode, I want to help you figure out how to take care of your health in different ways, depending on what feels right for you. The goal is to keep your energy up and feel awesome in your body during this festive time.

In this episode, I share how to streamline your nutrition choices and strategically make your indulgences count, allowing yourself to savor those festive treats guilt-free while still nourishing your body with healthy choices in between. I will also cover how to incorporate movement into your holiday routine as a form of self-care. Whether it’s a brisk walk adorned with festive lights or quick home workouts, even short bursts can make a significant impact on your well-being during this bustling season

Thrive Through the Holidays

By tuning in, you’ll not only gain valuable insights into the factors that can impact your health during the holidays but also learn actionable steps to foster hormone health and wellness. So, join me on this journey to make your holiday season vibrant, health-focused, and filled with joy. After all, it’s time to embrace the holidays in a way that leaves you feeling energized, confident, and ready to fully savor the festive moments. Don’t miss out on the keys to a healthier, happier holiday season in this episode!

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


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Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year and in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how to stay healthy and to feel good during this holiday season. Now, if you’re listening to this later and it’s not currently the holiday season where you’re at, then I want you to just use these same tips to any special event. It could be for a wedding, it could be for travel, it could be for anything that’s outside of your norm, because really truly the tips are the same but right now at the holiday season, I want you to go into this holiday feeling good in your body, feeling confident about your health choices, and feeling in control so that you can not have that feeling of just surviving and trying to get through it. I know it can feel really stressful when you feel like you should be doing things a certain way and you feel like it’s all unraveling because the holidays are so busy and you want to be enjoying them, but at the same time, you feel like they’re more running your life as compared to you getting to fully bask in the fun and the spirit of the holidays. 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 talking about how to enjoy your holidays in a way that you feel good in your body and you feel like you are still able to invest in your health and live in the way that you want to in supporting your body and your hormones. First of all, I think that it’s really important to look at, well, what is it about the holidays that makes this difficult? For me, when I think about the holidays, there is just so much more on my schedule. I’m starting to look at my even November and my December and then even the beginning parts of January, of all the things, really good things that I’m excited about that need to be fit in. Then with all of those holiday parties and get-togethers and family coming into town, I want to make sure that I get my hair done and that I maybe get a pedicure or all other things that we would like to get done in there as well. The schedule gets a little crowded, which also then creates a difficulty in preparing and eating healthy meals because it starts to become something like, Oh, I’m just going to grab take out today, I’m just going to grab take out again, or I’m just going to quickly eat a protein bar, nothing against protein bars, but they’re more processed and not the most nourishing thing that we could be eating. So instead of eating fruits and vegetables, I’m grabbing another protein bar. It also can cut back on our ability to get exercise and movement in our day and a big one for me is I feel like it cuts back on my sleep.

So when I think about what makes the holidays difficult, I’m busy, I don’t have as much time to eat healthy, I don’t have as much time to exercise and get out and move my body, and I start to decrease my sleep. I start to cut corners and get less sleep, maybe less quality sleep. I’m not winding down and having an evening routine the same way. I’m rushing more, so I’m feeling just that cortisol increase from the rushing. So these are all things that the holidays create that I feel like it affects my health negatively. So how can we combat those to where we feel like we are still investing and caring for our health while enjoying our holiday season.

Let’s start with nutrition. As you go into the holidays, for me, I like to scale back my expectations on nutrition in two ways. One, this isn’t the time that I’m going to try new fancy, healthy recipes. It’s also not the time that I’m going to make my most complex dishes. This is the time of year where I’m going to keep it simple, I’m going to cook extra and eat the same meal a couple of times in the form of leftovers, or sometimes I’ll make something and eat it in one way and then save parts of it. Like if I cook chicken, I’ll make extra. Then I have chicken for dinner, but then I’ll have extra to put on a salad the next day, that thing. I’m minimizing the amount of time that I have to work on healthy food and then I may have some healthy takeout options that I have ready for me that this is a good time of year to use those. I may use a lot more just quickly steam a vegetable and eat it with some frozen chicken and so I’m not having to cook as much and while these are things that I don’t do all year round, I try to cook things a little bit more fresh. You know what? Time and place and I’m still eating a lot healthier than if I stopped and grabbed a pizza on the way home. Those are things that I try to do is think about what are some really quick ways where I can just get some nourishment, not feel hungry, and move forward with all the other things that I want to enjoy in the holiday season.

The other part, part B, of my nutrition over the holidays is to think about where do I actually want to spend some indulgence. What are some of the things in the holidays that I really, really, really truly enjoy? and those are the ones that I want to make sure that I get to have. If there’s a holiday drink that you really like, or if there’s a certain dessert, or if you go over to certain relatives’ house, something that they make that maybe isn’t something you would normally consider on your PCOS healthy nutrition plan but this is the time of year you want to enjoy something, too. So think about those things, save your indulgences for those, make them count and then fully taste, enjoy, and be present while you enjoy them, and then continue on with your healthy eating in between so that you don’t slowly do this thing that happens, it’s less about a should or a don’t but what I find happens to me over the holidays is that every single day I start eating a little bit worse, a little bit worse because I’m getting busier. We have more outings, we have more get-togethers, we have all these things for the kids that always involve pizza and so before you know it, you’re like, I had pizza three times for dinner this week because I’m at a soccer thing or I’m at this and you’ll have your own version of this but all of a sudden, you’re like, Just don’t feel good. Your energy has tanked, you feel bloated, your stomach’s upset, you just don’t feel good, your energy is gone and you’re like, I don’t want to feel like this over the holidays. So enjoy the things you really want to enjoy and then fuel your body with the things that are going to make your body feel good. And if you start to feel icky, if your energy starts to slump, if you start to feel bloated or your stomach starts to hurt, take a day. Ideally, this isn’t the day that was going to be the day you had something you were looking forward to, I know it’s too long for you to eat, but take a day and just do a 24-hour super healthy to reset yourself. It’s amazing how quickly we can reset ourselves, and then you get to feel good again and feel good in your body so you can thoroughly enjoy your holidays.

The next one is movement. This time of year can get so, so, so busy but what I have found for myself and what I encourage you to try out is if you can just get a little bit of movement, if you can take it outside even. The fresh air is so amazing. I feel like when we turn our heaters on and without even realizing it, we are inside so much more as the weather gets cold. Especially if you live somewhere that’s a little dark and rainy like I do in Oregon. It’s amazing how much time we spend inside and how we don’t even step outside anymore and when I go outside, just last night, I went outside to take the trash out and we have a big, long driveway, so I have to walk quite a ways to take the trash out and we hadn’t taken the cardboard recycling out for a week or two and so I had several trips I needed to take out the cardboard recycling. I can’t tell you how much more refreshed and good I felt at five o’clock in the evening than I had all week and it’s just that fresh air and walking. I’ve been getting my exercise in, but a lot of it’s been cold in our gym in the morning. Just getting that fresh air and a little bit of walking around outside, it just felt good. It felt like my brain was finally fresh and clear and ready to think about things again. I encourage you to think of movement during the holidays, less of a should. One more thing that you have to do, and more of a coping mechanism, I’m doing this so that I can do all the other things. This is, for me, energy pill so that I can do all the rest and feel good and enjoy it. So sure, get some hard, good workouts in there if you can or if you normally do but if nothing else, walk the block. As Thanksgiving approaches and ends, all the Christmas lights are going to come out. So even just a walk around a neighborhood with beautiful Christmas lights would be a really fun way to both feel the holidays, to enjoy the holidays, but also to get just a little bit of movement, fresh air, and enjoy some of that cold, fresh air.

It feels really good, especially when we’re just inside the heated rooms all day long. All right, the next one is sleep. Don’t skimp on the sleep. I know that it’s so much easier said than done and there will be nights that you skimp on the sleep because late night parties and things like that but try to do your best to pace yourself. Okay, try to do your best to start setting aside things that you’re working on earlier in the evening so you can still have a little bit of wind-down time and this may in some cases mean that not everything gets done. So prioritize and let’s certain things go but don’t sacrifice yourself to get all of the Christmas things done or the holiday things done because when you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t enjoy the holidays and you should be able to get to enjoy your holidays too. Now, I know I don’t say should, but I want you to be able to enjoy your holidays too. So try to get enough sleep, prioritize, let certain things go if you have to, and pace yourself. If sometimes we can’t pace ourselves, try to minimize the amount of hours that it impacts of your sleep and do your best to take everything else.

d you have to finish up for a party you’re helping with or something like that, or a family is coming into town or something like that, then also try to find some time on the back end of that to really slow down and let yourself recover a little bit. Because otherwise, ultimately, we’re going to spend our holidays feeling sick or getting sick, and that doesn’t do ourselves or anyone else any good and that brings me to the last one is our mental health. Being able to take a step back and actually enjoy the holidays that are going on around us, remembering the reasons we celebrate all of these holidays, to remember why we actually want to get together with all the friends and family and to have some of the nostalgicness of remembering Christmases when you were a child and to just feel the magic of the season is really good for our soul and rushing and being busy all the time, it takes that away from us and so finding ways of being really present and removing the things that are toxic. Now, sometimes we can’t remove all toxic things because they come in the forms of people at work or at family members at certain gatherings, but for the best of your ability, separate yourself from it.

Focus on other people that you’re going to see there, focus on who you’re going there with that you enjoy, the things about it that you enjoy, learning to enjoy the decorations if nothing else, is a really important skill so that your mental health survives the holidays and better yet, thrives through the holidays. All of these things, your nutrition, your movement, your sleep, they’re all going to help your mental health, but also allowing yourself to have the space to be present and to distance yourself from the things that are dragging you down. Maybe it’s people, maybe it’s circumstances, maybe it’s things that just aren’t going super well right now, whatever it is, try to give yourself a little vacation from it, a little holiday from it, and let yourself have a different experience this holiday than maybe you have in years past of being able to fully enjoy it, to feel great in your body, and to be fully present.

With that, you’ll have your own way of doing this. You’ll have your own goals for your holiday and what you want to get out of it but I hope that talking through some of those things helps make it feel more doable to you. That it doesn’t have to be super complicated. In fact, it’s the opposite. The more we simplify it, the easier it will be, the more we can enjoy it, and the more we’ll actually be able to do it. So with that, I want to hear in my DMs. This week, you can find me over on Instagram @Nourishedtohealthy and what I would love to hear from you, I would love to hear if you found this episode helpful but more than that, I want to know, what is it that you’re going to do this holiday to make this holiday feel more vibrant and healthy to you so that you get to enjoy it better and be more present and look forward to it and enjoy the whole process of these couple of weeks of the holiday season. So with that, I can’t wait to see you in my DMs and chat with you there 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

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

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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