How do I manage my PCOD/PCOS during COVID 19?
These are tough times aren’t they?
As a PCOD/PCOS warrior, you are more stressed out because of the uncertainty of the times, be it social, emotional or financial, and we all know stress is not exactly the friend our PCOD/PCOS body needs, at all.
Before we start, let’s look at the basics ( especially for the new ones on board)
What is PCOS ?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that is very common among women of reproductive ages 16-35years.
Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels.
The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
The syndrome is present throughout a woman’s lifespan from puberty through post-menopause and affects women of all races and ethnic groups.
Science has yet to find a cure for the disorder, though one can manage it effectively through a balanced diet that eliminates all the trigger inducing foods and replaces them with food items that actually nourish your body with the right nutrients without depriving you of any of your favorite foods.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can manage the disorder at home with natural, easily available items from your kitchen. The biggest factor in managing PCOS/PCOD is weight loss. You can easily manage it by making very simple, very small changes in your lifestyle.
Like we always say, the first step is to fix your sleep and eating timings. But before getting on to the task, you can perform 2 very small rituals every day on waking up
Step 1 : Oil Pulling
Start oil pulling as soon as you wake up. Do this before brushing your teeth. What you have to do is take a teaspoon of cold pressed coconut oil or olive oil and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes.
Oil pulling causes the bacteria and toxin in the mouth, that generally go in with the saliva, to be ‘pulled out’. This way it eliminates the toxins and allows hormones to function in a more natural form.
Start with swishing the oil for about 5-10 minutes in your mouth. You can do your other morning chores while doing this.
Just be sure not to ingest any of this or leave it in the mouth for too long as the body starts reabsorbing the toxins.
Spit it out in the trash and rinse your mouth with warm saline water.
Brush your teeth and cleanse the tongue as normal.
Step 2 : Eat within 30 minutes of waking up
Once you’re done with the oil pulling, start your day with a litre of water or coconut water or a detox water , have your soaked nuts and seeds and have a fruit.
Make sure you have something within the first 30 minutes of you waking up.
Foods triggers that worsen PCOD/PCOS symptoms
Caffeine in any form is a big no- no for PCOD/PCOS patients. Try and avoid chai or coffee, or high sugar energy drinks in the morning.
Do not start your day with either or them.
You can however, have herbal tea or fruit infusion teas with your breakfast. You can have morning tea, jeera water, wheatgrass juice, spirulina water and lemon honey tea.
They will help cleanse the liver and will give you the energy boost in a more healthy manner.
Caffeine spikes the energy levels and hormonal activity in an abnormal manner.
The crash is worse.
Herbal teas and waters slowly release the energy and keep it regulated.
Check out our recommendations for the caffeine free pcod healing drinks and recipes here.
Avoid having high sugar and hidden sugar laden foods in the morning for breakfast.
Stay away from packaged breakfast cereals because they are loaded with artificial sugar and create havoc inside your body spiking the hormonal activity.
Sugar also creates more inflammation in the body which is bad for your immune system and for other organs in the body. You can however have fruits like bananas, papayas or watermelon. Restrict the quantity to only one bowl.
Have a fig, dates , pind khajoor in limited quantities. One to two of these are good for consuming in the morning or later, as desserts in place of the cakes, biscuits and other high carb, high sugar foods.
If you really want to have some sugar, have mishri as it is healthier or gur.
Check out the pcod friendly low sugar dessert recipes here
What to include in your diet as a PCOD/PCOS warrior
- Protein :
Get lots of fresh plant based protein in your diet.
Eggs, vegetable quinoa, amaranth muesli, moong dal cheela and almond milk help in accelerating a healthy weight loss, give you satiety and the feeling of being craving free for a longer period of time.
They maintain muscle mass and don't let your blood glucose levels shoot up .
Proteins also help in maintaining hormonal balance.
- Nuts and seeds:
Almonds, walnuts, cashews, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds are rich sources of good fats, Vitamin E, magnesium and other nutrients which are important to maintain the hormonal balance.
Regular intake makes your skin glow with health, increases serotonin aka the ‘happiness’ hormones and helps in the management of depression.
Food can only go so far in helping you manage PCOD/PCOS.
The biggest impediment however is stress.
You can eat as well as you can, but if you’re stressed and cannot manage it, it will not let the nutrients work their magic into your healing process.
So make sure you are meditating and practising mindfulness on a daily basis.
Another stress reliever is, exercise.
You do not have to force yourself to go to the gym if you don't like it.
Do things that you like. Running, playing basketball, badminton, tennis, swimming, jogging, walking, MMA, yoga any high intensity/impact activity that you prefer.
Get the sweat on and watch how doing this once a day helps you heal faster.
If you liked what you read and if our suggestions helped you understand the healing process better, and, if you think you’d like to subscribe to our PCOD/PCOS Healing Nutrition Program, click here