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veg/vegan mama's who have healed their PCOS thru diet...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
i was just wondering if you have a few minutes, could you please tell me exactly what you eat now. i'd be interested in seeing examples of food diaries, especially.

and if you can tell me what symptoms you had when you had pcos, and how that's changed thru veg/vegan diet, that would be most helpful as well

post #2 of 10
Well, I don't follow this diet exclusivly- even though I know it would work and I know I should

But, I was diagnosed (starting having symptoms) with pcos in 1998. Went vegan and lost ALL symptoms. (symptoms being +40lbs that I could not lose, facial/body hair, low metabolism, tired all the time...etc). Not only vegan but NO processed crap (no white anything --flour, potatoes, rice...).
post #3 of 10
I don't know if this will help, but I'll post anyway. I don't think I had PCOS, but from puberty until about the age of 23 I had really, really irregular periods (probably anovulatory), bad acne from about the age of 19, and unexplained fatigue. For most of this time I was on what you'd call a "junk food" vegetarian diet. I ate LOTS of dairy and refined carbs, not too many fresh veggies. When I was 23 (about 2 1/2 years ago) I stopped eating refined sugar and flour and most dairy and eggs and upped my intake of raw food and fresh veggies. For about a year I've been a strict vegetarian.

After I improved my diet my cycles went from 6-8 months long to 2-3 months long (still irregular, but much better) and I was ovulating. I think they would have gotten even better with time, but I got pregnant less than a year later. My acne has completely disappeared and I no longer have any problems with fatigue (despite being a new parent).

What I eat...let's see...

For breakfast I like to have smoothies made from raw tahini or hemp seeds, dates, a banana, and raw carob powder. Or healthy cereal with almond milk or rice milk. Or sometimes just fruit and herbal tea. On weekends sometimes I make vegan pancakes or french toast.

For lunch/snacks I like to have salads, raw veggies with hummus or tahini dip, and I've really been craving peanut butter sandwiches lately.

Dinner: Black bean burritos with leaf lettuce and LOTS of guacamole, brown rice or quinoa with raw veggies chopped on top with tamari and other sauces and sometimes tempeh, whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce (I often crumble tempeh in the sauce like ground beef), BIG salads with sunflower and hemp seeds sprinkled on top...

There are SO many resources on the internet. I'd suggest doing a google search. vegweb.com is one of my favorite sites for recipes. This forum is also great if you're looking for ideas of what to eat, especially the "what's for dinner" threads. If you want people to post food diaries, I'd suggest starting a new thread called "vegans: what did you eat today" or something like that. You might also be able to find old ones by doing a search.

Good luck! I highly recommend getting off junk food completely and most (if not all) dairy. I'm sure it would do wonders for your condition.
post #4 of 10
I wanted to jump in and tell you about the McDougall plan. It is a starch-based plant diet that excludes dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and any added oils (like olive or vegetable oil). I'm posting a testimonial I wrote after I had my son in February. You can read about his plan at www.drmcdougall.com but I highly recommend getting the McDougall program for Women. Unfortunately, it's currently out of print, but you can get it on amazon or half.com for a good price. You could also start off with the Dr. McDougall Program: 12 Days to Dynamic Health. Dr. McDougall got his start when he was working as a plantation doctor in Hawaii and noticed the the first generation immigrants working were in fantastic health and each subsequent generation's health deteriorated as that generation assimilated more into Western culture and food habits. I also recommend the discussion board hosted by VegSource (you can get to it from Dr. McDougall's website). Here's an exerpt of what I wrote back in March or so regarding my experiences with PCOS and childbearing.

For those of you not familiar with my history, I started McDougall 2 yrs ago after I was diagnosed with PCOS. My assinine doctor told me that because of my genetics, I was predisposed to having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and problems with fertility. I knew that was a farce because NO ONE in my family has any of those problems. I read the McDougall program for Women and decided to start eating this way. At the time, I weighed 243 lbs and am 5'8". My blood pressure was hovering around 180/100 most of the time.

I lost 15 lbs in the first month and then slowly lost more weight until I plateaued for about 8 months and stuck at 200 lbs as of last May...In June of last year, I suddenly lost 15 lbs and my appetite. I was never sick or uncomfortable, just very much NOT HUNGRY. I was also a bit dizzy. I put two and two together and took a home pregnancy test that showed I was pregnant.

We went to the doctor and they did an ultrasound that showed me 10 wks pregnant!! I had experienced no morning sickness or other problems. They also tested my blood sugars at that time (they were normal) and my blood pressure was 110/60 where it stayed the entire pregnancy.

I did get my appetite back, voraciously, and my biggest 'craving' was peanut butter so I bought organic peanut butter with nothing added and ate that on millions of pieces of toast and celery. I didn't fall into the trap of 'eating for two' necessarily, but I did eat a lot and eat well. I had no real problems passing up non-McDougall food (except for the occasional cake or brownie at work) and tried to eat a lot of raw veggies, even though they tasted like cardboard.

I had gained 29 lbs by my 36 week appointment and maintained that weight until I delivered Cameron at 42 weeks. I would have liked to gained less, but after talking to several people who gained 70+ lbs, I feel pretty good about myself.

Cameron was a big boy, almost 9 lbs. He wanted to stay inside my tummy for a bit longer than the doctors had planned, but I have also been told by several people that healthy women have babies that tend to stay in longer because there are no medical conditions forcing eviction.

It is really nice to have my body 'back' after pregnancy. DH has forbade me to start working out til 2 wks post-partum (that includes horseback riding, which I'm dying to do) so next Sunday, I get to start walking a lot and working on strengthening my back (chronic back problems, much worse since baby came). My goal is to get down to my ideal weight which is 160-170. Once I am at 180, I can start running again (worried that doing it while heavier will further damage my knees) which I'm SO excited about.

I am a walking poster-child for the McDougall diet. My baby will be the same. He is thriving on breastmilk and 2 days after leaving the hospital, he was back up to his birth weight (had gone from 8lb15oz to 8lb7oz while in hospital). He is going through a growth spurt now as well and wants to eat about every 2 hrs or less during the day. When he weans, he will be raised according to the McDougall program and hopefully choose that once he's older. My fears about DH forcing him to eat meat when he's older have been calmed as DH told me last week that he was so happy we would be raising such a healthy baby, even if it meant he was a vegetarian.
I should also add that the reason I went into the Doctor was I hadn't been having periods regularly, I would go 4-6 months in between them. That is partially why getting pregnant went so unnoticed is even after becoming healthier, they weren't ALWAYS regular yet.

I hope this might help someone. If you are unable to buy the book, at least, get on the VERY active discussion board and look around. It's a very supportive place!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
thank you for your input. i've used a totally different nutritional philosophy to heal my own pcos, and really couldnt fathom how a veg/vegan diet could give the same kind of results. this has been really interesting for me.

do any of you have to deal with reactive hypoglycemia or high insulin levels?
post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by moss View Post
do any of you have to deal with reactive hypoglycemia or high insulin levels?

No, before I started the McDougall program, I had insulin resistence. My fasting blood sugars were around 189-200. After about 6 months, my blood sugars were pretty much regulated at 100 or so, fasting.

The McDougall program for Women and the doctors 12 days to dynamic health both talk about why high starch diets are more effective on blood sugars than high protein diets.
post #7 of 10
What's PCOS?
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by scoobers View Post
What's PCOS?
polycystic ovary syndrome
post #9 of 10

Healthy lower carb

Well PCOS is not a syndrom that you can actually "heal" but with work you can be almost symptom free. I was dignosed when I was 13. my main symptoms have been excessive hariness, weight gain, depression, acne, irragular/painful periods, and skin tags.


I dropped 40lbs and got pregnant ( after 5 years of not using any birth control) I've healed most of my symptoms and feel a lot better. I get electolosis for my face, and the results have made me feel much better about my self!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
i've taken a similar route as sarain's to deal with my pcos. my symptoms were: weight gain, string of pearls appearance of my ovaries found on ultrasound, insulin resistance, rebound hypoglycemia, acanthosis nigricans, facial hair, acne thinning hairline, dyspareunia (you can google that one, it's not fun, trust me!), and periods that although they were regular, were anovulatory. it took me years and years to get pregnant. anyways, as long as i'm eating properly and getting enough physical activity, i feel good, and my symptoms are gone. my patch of acanthosis nigricans fades to barely visible when i'm my lifestyle is on track, it's my visual cue that all is well on the inside too. anyways, i'm really happy with where i'm at now, just curious about how totally conflicting nutritional philosophies could bring about healing in such a complex syndrome.

from fireshifter's description of the mcdougall plan, that's pretty much how i was eating when i was unwell. high carb, low protein, low fat (i was veg for a long time). but the carbs i was eating were mostly refined, and i didnt eat very many vegetables

i think maybe the common thread here, is getting off of junk/refined foods and eating lots more vegetables.

ps, i've tried going high starch/low protien and it just doesnt work for me at all. i get really lethargic, and have rebound hypoglycemic episodes.
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