PCOS is a very complex web of metabolic abnormalities and idiosyncrasies that we are only now just beginning to understand. Many of these metabolic insufficiencies can be overcome simply by changing the way we eat.
The following recipe for a breakfast smoothie contains many elements which are extremely helpful in minimizing the effects of PCOS through managing some of it’s underlying causes. By incorporating this smoothie into my usual healthy, low GI diet and maintaining a healthy amount of daily exercise, I found that I began to shed weight very quickly, losing 3.5 kg by the end of the first week and another 1.5 kg by the end of the second.
This is by no means a ‘get-slim-quick’ solution, however I think that in addition to my already healthy, low GI diet, regular exercise routine and nutritional supplements, this was the missing link for me and I’d love to share it with you.
- 50g (between 1/3 and 1/2 cup) soy lecithin
- 6 frozen strawberries
- 6 ice cubes
- 2 tbsp carob powder
- 1 tbsp LSA
- 2 tbsp whey powder
- 1 tbsp psyllium husks
- 1 tbsp wheatgerm (690mg/100g inositol)
- ½ tsp stevia powder(or however much … to taste)
- 1 cup low fat dairy milk (or if you prefer soy, rice, oat or almond milk)
- 1 cup water (to thin the mixture if it’s too thick)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
If you have IBS or any gastrointestinal problems, as many women with PCOS seem to, you might replace the psyllium husks with 1 tsp of slippery elm powder, though please note that:
SLIPPERY ELM MUST NOT BE TAKEN IF YOU ARE TRYING TO CONCEIVE OR ARE IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY.
Put all ingredients in a blender (put the milk (and water if you are adding it) in first, so that the dry ingredients don’t clog the blades) and blend the fury out of it for 2 minutes. Serve and drink!
This smoothie should be fairly filling. I have found that it will replace at least one meal and one snack during the day for me. It is also reasonably high in carbohydrate content, and contains 683 calories, so you will need to factor this in when you are making your food choices for other meals, however it is a very low GI formula and will be absorbed by your body at a very slow rate.
You could replace the strawberries with raspberries for a more complementary flavour, replace the skim milk with water to reduce the carbohydrates or omit the whey powder or use a whey protein powder instead to reduce the carbohydrate content.
To give you all a brief glimpse into the goodies inside all these ingredients:
- Soy lecithin, strawberries, wheatgerm and carob have a substance called d-chiro inositol in them and women with PCOS have been shown to over-excrete this substance before it can be used by the body and some also are unable to produce it in their bodies from it’s precursor d-pinnitol.
- Cinnamon & stevia have both been shown to improve the insulin sensitivity of cells, thus lowering blood sugar levels after eating.
- Psyllium Husks and wheatgerm are an excellent source of dietary fibre which helps to regulate blood sugar by slowing the rate at which food is digested, effectively lowering the glycaemic index of whatever you eat.
- LSA or a ground up mixture of linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds that are high in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, namely omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids in a beneficial ratio.
- Whey powder is a source of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), the building blocks of protein, which have been shown to improve insulin resistance as they regulate insulin signalling and also to facilitate weight loss through a higher loss of body fat without sacrificing lean muscle mass.
In the coming weeks I will go through the ingredients in more detail, one by one and explain what they contain which makes them helpful for those of us with PCOS.
About the Author:
Anne Seccombe is a Consulting Nutritionist specializing in the treatment of PCOS. She has a background in nursing, naturopathy, clinical and orthomolecular nutrition, and science research and was diagnosed with PCOS herself in 2003.
It is not possible to provide accurate and meaningful information specific to an individual and their health without a thorough professional consultation. This information in this is generic in nature and is not intended to provide specific advice to any individual. The information contained in this article is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional health advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
To ensure you get the best possible care, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional and especially before either beginning or discontinuing any treatment for any health condition. Nothing contained in this article is intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition.
All content is Copyright to Anne Seccombe 2009