Virginia Hamilton Furnari is Illume Fertility's former Brand Specialist and has a background in writing, marketing, and content production. In addition to helping mold the Illume Fertility brand through blogs, videos, and events, she was also a patient and has undergone many fertility treatments. Given her professional and personal involvement in the fertility community, she has immersed her mind, body, and soul in family-building education.
Every meal, every exercise, every anxiety… the way women choose to handle these everyday decisions plays into the overall management of our PCOS.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an endocrine disorder that causes hormonal imbalances in up to 15% of women. These imbalances spark an array of symptoms such as weight gain, acne, hirsutism (growth of hair you DON’T want), hair loss (thinning of hair you DO want), and insulin resistance. Long-term effects can include infertility, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
There is no cure for PCOS, even with advocacy on the rise.
Instead, women have to treat the symptoms. While medication is sometimes a helpful supplement, the best thing a woman with PCOS can do is to make lifestyle changes that promote a healthier mind and body.
Sure, it’s easy for us to say, “eat a balanced and healthy diet,” but what does that really mean? What choices should you make? What should your meals look like?
Well, we’ve got the nutritionist here to tell you all about it!
Watch the video above or check out these tips, straight from our Fertility Nutritionist. Specifically, we cover how to handle an overwhelming salad bar, however the takeaways can help you build any perfect plate - breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
The Perfect Plate Is All About…
Ahhh, balance. It works for both mind and body!
Envision your plate. You want to cut it in half, then cut one side in half again. In the two small portions, you’ll want to fill one with grains and one with lean protein. In the large half, load it up with veggies!
The Perfect Plate is a 25%/25%/50% ratio, grains to protein to veggies.
And the salad rule? Your green base (spinach, mixed greens, baby kale, etc.) is all bonus! So load it up!
Why is this important? The combination of types of foods allows the body to work with the nutrients at the same time, regulating blood sugar and ultimately helping your weight control. Fats, grains, vitamin-rich veggies, and lean proteins, altogether complement one another in breaking down fats, retaining nutrients, and flushing out the bad stuff. With insulin resistance being one of the biggest symptoms of PCOS, eating a balanced diet is a crucial step in symptom management.
Everything in Moderation
Our nutritionist lives by the motto, and she means it! The second you say “I’m not allowed to eat that,” that’s the moment it becomes a cloud that looms over you. You can obsess over it and let it wrack your brain, or you can enjoy it and move on.
A Little Goes a Long Way for Some
So, let’s talk fats.
As you’ll see in the video, our nutritionist is all about including them in your perfect plate! She suggests sprinkling whatever fat you choose over the top and remembering that “a little goes a long way.” Not only are they nutrient and calorie dense, but they are typically flavor dense as well. You literally need less to make a big impact on your salad or whatever other restaurant-worthy meal you’re crafting!
Food for Thought
Building the perfect plate can be a transferrable skill beyond the salad bar at college or a buffet restaurant. Open your own refrigerator or pantry to see how you can play with flavors, nutrients, and types of foods. Here at RMA of Connecticut, we are confident you can begin the PCOS management process right at home but are always here to help you if you get stuck.