Episode #52: PCOS and Stress

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PCOS and Stress

What you’ll learn in this episode

In this episode, I’ll be delving into the fascinating world of stress management and its profound impact on your hormones. I’m here to guide you through essential insights and practical skills that will help you navigate the challenges of stress, allowing you to cultivate a more enjoyable and present life. So, grab your favorite beverage, find a cozy spot, and let’s dive into this transformative exploration together!

Understanding the Importance of Stress Management

Discover the vital role stress management plays in your quest for hormone balance and improved wellness. Uncover the significance of cortisol, the root cause hormone that can disrupt your hormonal equilibrium, and learn how decreasing cortisol response can positively impact your overall health.

Identifying Stressors and Cortisol Elevators

Explore a comprehensive range of factors that elevate cortisol levels and contribute to hormonal imbalances. We’ll delve into the impact of circadian rhythm, sleep quality, unwinding practices, caffeine consumption, rushing, stressful situations, living without margin, unresolved fears, anxiety, and the societal pressure to stay busy. By recognizing these stressors, you’ll gain valuable insights into areas of your life that may be sabotaging your hormonal harmony.

Strategies for Effective Stress Management

Equip yourself with practical skills and powerful strategies to manage stress effectively. Discover the importance of time management, setting boundaries, and practicing self-care to reduce rushing and exposure to stressful situations. Explore mind-body techniques, exercise, nutrition, and hormonal support to establish a holistic approach to stress management. Providing you with a toolkit for your personal stress management journey.

By tuning in to this episode, you’ll gain profound knowledge and practical techniques to transform your relationship with stress and reclaim control over your hormone balance. You’ll learn how stress impacts your body, how to identify stressors in your life, and actionable strategies to effectively manage stress and reduce cortisol levels. By implementing these stress management skills, you’ll experience the ripple effects of improved well-being, weight management, and even enhanced fertility. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity to embrace a new mindset and unlock the path to a more vibrant, balanced, and joyful life. 

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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Spread the Awareness

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Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

One of the biggest questions that I get when it comes to eating healthy for PCOS is what to eat, how to meal plan, how to meal prep, what recipes to use, and today I want to take a step back from that in this episode and look at the overall how to actually fit this into your life, because I think sometimes we focus so much on what recipe and what amount of this or amount of that, and we make it too complicated and so in this episode, we’re going to talk about how to keep it really simple so that it is doable, sustainable, and can get you the progress that you want because you can do it consistently. So with that, 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 talking about making our eating more simple so that we can have better success on our PCOS health journey because trust me, keeping it simple definitely equals eating better over the long run. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t try out a fancy recipe here and there, try something new I’m all for trying something new. It’s what keeps things exciting and fresh and that’s how we find all the amazing recipes that become our new favorites and become our new simple, but trying a new recipe, it’s a lot harder even than we may realize on the surface. We have to read the recipe, we need to make sure we have the right ingredients, we need to go shopping for the ingredients then we need to read the recipe a couple more times through to make sure that we’re doing it correctly. It may or may not turn out to our liking the first time, it may be close, but we want to tweak something, we try it again, we tweak, we try again and ultimately, we decide if it’s a keeper or something we want to toss out and not try again. But the reality is that in order to create a lifestyle of PCOS health, in order to enjoy long-term and sustainable good energy, healthy weight, and feeling good in your body, we have to have a way of feeding ourselves and nourishing our body, nourishing those root cause hormones that we can do day after day, meal after meal, snack after snack. So first step is we need to have a goal, a plan, some direction in what are we trying to accomplish. So that may look like how much protein are you trying to get? How many servings of vegetables? That’s a really good place to start because if you’re trying to get a certain amount of protein, it doesn’t just happen by accident, we typically have to say, I want this much protein at each meal or these two meals and I’m going to focus on getting at least this much protein so that way I have a minimum amount of protein that I’m consuming each day. I also want to make sure I’m getting my nutrients in, my vitamins, my antioxidants, all of the things that we find in our fruits and our vegetables. I’m going to make sure that I plan those into my day.

Then whatever else you eat, we don’t need to have grains in our day, we don’t need to have any of the processed foods in our day, but whatever else comes in, it’s there, it is what it is. But we made sure that we started from a place of nourishment. So what are you going to eat every day? Think about what you currently eat. Simple, low variety is always the most sustainable and when you think about what you’re currently eating, healthy or not healthy, there’s not a health judgment here. This is just looking at do you eat similar meals week after week, day after day. Do you have favorites that you go back to? Why do you go back to them? Is it because they taste a certain way? Maybe. Is it because they’re super easy to prepare or something that you can grab at the grocery store on your way home? Whatever the reason, that reason is really important. We are creatures of habit and that reason why you choose a specific thing gives us insight into what works in your lifestyle, what works with how much time you like to spend in your kitchen or how much time you don’t like to spend in your kitchen.

Those are all things that will give us insight into what type of meals are going to work for you on your PCOS health journey. So I’m guessing that you had a fairly similar breakfast each day of the week, maybe a little different on the weekends, maybe three or four things that you vary between the week and maybe week to week, you grab different things at the store and so there’s some variation week to week, but if you sat down and thought about what you eat for breakfast, I bet the list would be pretty short, maybe five or six things at most, but probably two or three primary ones. My point with this is that we really don’t need as much variety as we think we do and so I want you to pick out a few healthy breakfasts, maybe two to start with. Find two that you enjoy that are healthier than what you’re currently doing. They don’t have to be perfect. Ideally, breakfast is high in protein, really sets you up for a day of success, same thing with lunches and dinners. Pick out maybe one or two lunches, maybe three to four dinners. Maybe your lunches are the leftovers from dinners whatever you like to do and then pick out maybe two or three healthy snacks. This episode really isn’t to go into what those should be. Honestly, they’re going to be really unique person to person based on taste, based on root cause, based on all sorts of factors. But ultimately, again, they don’t have to be the most perfect healthy, try to make them a step or two healthier than what you’re currently doing, and we’ll go from there. Right now, perhaps, or maybe you’re already ahead of this, but perhaps right now, your normal habit is an unhealthy breakfast, an unhealthy lunch, or a combo of the two, maybe some a little bit healthy, some a little bit unhealthy. Whatever you’re currently at, it’s a habit. It’s really easy to grab whatever you’re currently grabbing, whether it’s a granola bar or bagel or a cup of yogurt, whatever you’re currently grabbing, it’s really easy to grab and head out the door. What if you could make your new healthy as much of a habit, as much on autopilot as your current less healthy. This is where it can feel really overwhelming, daunting like it’s hard to get started with something new and I completely agree. I’m someone likes to sit there and really plan it out and sometimes we don’t have time for that. If we want to get started, we just have to get started and that’s why I really invite you, encourage you to get started messy, don’t be perfect, just get started. You’ll learn as you do. But I think it’s really important to recognize we’re already feeding ourselves. We’re already spending time and money feeding ourselves. So changing to something healthy, it’s new. So because it’s new, it will take a little bit more time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be more expensive, especially when we keep it simple. A lot of times the packaged process labeled healthy foods are what’s really expensive. Buying produce in the grocery store, buying meat in the meat department, it’s not drastically more expensive to buy healthy versions of those foods than prepackaged meals or something that you grab on the way home from work, but it can feel really unknown and a lot of times we buy stuff and we don’t use it, and that definitely gets more expensive. So as we remind ourselves that we’re already feeding ourselves, it’s just a matter of shifting towards more and more and more healthy.

We can do it in slow baby steps or bigger steps, depending on where our comfort zone is with it and it’s about finding the new normal, that new habit of what we grab when we head out the door, what we quickly prepare when we’re tired at the end of the day and aren’t sure what we really want to make for dinner and we’re just trying to get something on the table so we can eat and relax for the evening. So this is where you can actually create healthy eating on autopilot. Just like right now, you feed yourself on autopilot and don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it. Or maybe right now you do because you’ve been listening to the podcast and you’re trying to be more conscious of what you eat. But think back a few years, you just ate and moved on with the day. Your new normal of healthy eating can be the exact same way. So here’s how we put our healthy eating on autopilot. Start slow, it doesn’t have to be even all the meals of the day. It doesn’t have to be from not very healthy to extremely healthy.

You can progress slowly. But this is the part where we fit healthy eating, nourishing your PCOS into your lifestyle, we make it unique to you. Do you work outside the home? Do you need to pack a lunch? Do you eat breakfast at home? Is it rushed? Does it need to be something quick? Is it something that you need to take with you because you start work before you like to eat breakfast? What types of snacks can you have ready in case you need something on the go? Or what snacks can you be aware of that would be easy to buy in your vicinity so that if you are ending up having to stay late at the office or are heading out to do something afterward and you forgot to bring something that you could quickly grab at a convenience store, even. What are some things that you can do easily that fit into your life? And that can start just by outlining where you might need some food. So where are you currently feeding yourself and how are you currently feeding yourself? Are you buying it out of the home? Are you preparing it over the weekend? Are you packing a lunch? What are you currently doing? Because that’s probably a really good place to start with how do you want to adjust that towards a more healthy option. Then, my friend, if you just make some very small notes on a notepad, on a piece of paper, on your phone, wherever you like to keep notes, you can create repeatable, tried and true, tweaked and adjusted, and created to be better and better and more suitable to what you want to achieve in your health and what works in your day to day, you can make your own meal plans to where they fit your needs. Now, I have a lot of people that take the meal plans that I provide them and they do just that. They take a starting point and they get rid of one or two of the recipes, they add some more of their favorites. They find that they like less variety in a week, but they like more variety from week to week, meaning they’ll do a lot more leftovers than I typically do in a week because I tend to find that I don’t love leftovers, which is odd because they really taste just fine, I don’t know what, I don’t get excited about them. I would much rather make it again later, which is a waste of my time. I know it’s my own mental thing, but I would rather be eating healthy first than deal with my mental issue around leftovers. so with that, that’s a good example of how you figure out, Okay, I’m not really a leftover person, so don’t plan leftovers into your meal plan. Plan a new meal and already prepped meal plan made for you can really show you how you would do that, but you’re going to want to tweak it and make adjustments to it to make it your own. So really, the bottom line is to keep it really simple. Have a very few breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinners that you go to. What are your go-to ones that you make over and over and over so that you can make them on autopilot? When you go to the grocery store, you don’t have to necessarily have a list. If you’re like, Oh, my goodness, I’m out of control this week. I just need to get to the grocery store and get some fresh food, get some things in my pantry.

These meals and snacks that you can make on autopilot, they are things that you can just go to the grocery store and without a list, know what you need to buy. Your pantry is already stocked to support making these meals. They become a new comfort food for you because they become normal. They become a habit. They’re something that feels normal and comfortable to you. That’s what we find in the foods that you’re currently eating that maybe feel hard to adjust from. Give it time because very quickly, much more quickly than you think, the new healthy foods will become your new normal and you can slowly add in and make them healthier and healthier as you grow on your PCOS health journey.

So here you have it, my friend. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be super time-consuming. I hope breaking it down like that for you was helpful in order to make it seem more attainable, make it seem less crazy, it can just be normal food that you eat, but you’re eating fresher vegetables, you’re eating less packaged, processed food, you’re trying to increase the amount of times that you bring food with you instead of buying food out but you’re doing it in a step by step way, finding two or three recipes that you create over and over that become really comfortable to you that you enjoy. You don’t have to eat a huge amount of variety, you definitely want to get a good variety of fruits and vegetables, so you’re getting all those nutrients and you want to get enough protein, but you can work those in to similar meals. You don’t have to live with a cookbook in front of you or a new recipe in front of you all the time in order to eat healthy, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

All right, with that, if you found this episode helpful, I hope you subscribe to the podcast so that you will be notified each and every week when a new PCOS health topic becomes available and until next week, I would love to connect with you over on Instagram. I would love to hear maybe two or three healthy options or if you’re having a hard time coming up with a couple of things and you’re getting stuck in those frustrations of, Well, I don’t really like healthy food, hit me up on Instagram, send me a DM, let’s chat about it because you know what? Sometimes it’s difficult to make those transitions from what you’re currently eating to something that’d be more helpful and sometimes you just need to share it. This is what I’m currently eating and I don’t know how to make it more healthy in a way that I would actually want to eat it. So with that, I hope to connect with you over on Instagram. You can find me @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.

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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