I have had so many of my PCOS cysters tell me that they feel like their body has betrayed them. As a woman, we are supposed to get a period each month, and then when we want to become pregnant, we should be able to carry a child. Easy, right?
But then problems arise. We diet and exercise for months without seeing a single pound drop, and even sometimes gain a few pounds. We have periods that last months, or that don’t come for months or years. We try for years to have a baby, and all we get in return is a pile of negative pregnancy tests and crushed dreams. It’s pretty easy to feel betrayed!
Why can’t our bodies just work the way they were supposed to?
The truth is that your body is working exactly the way it is supposed to. Although, a better way to say it is that your body is breaking in exactly the way it is supposed to.
Think about this. We are really just another animal wandering this planet. Our biological systems work like other animals, and they have checks and balances in place. If the environment around us isn’t safe, or if it can’t nutritionally support life, there are signals within our bodies (hormones) that are affected, and those signals can actually shut down reproduction. Two of those environments are times when food is scarce, and times when danger is extremely high.
Today I’m going to talk about just one of those environments, the one where food is scarce, and we’ll discuss the other next week.
“But wait, I don’t live in a time and place where food is scarce!”
It’s true, in today’s world we are completely surrounded by “food.” Unfortunately, what our bodies actually need is nutrition, not just any old food. Our bodies build our hormones using the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that we consume. But just like you can’t make a vanilla pudding out of pickles, if you don’t give your bodies the correct ingredients (vitamins, minerals, nutrients), they can’t correctly manufacture the hormones we need. When our reproductive hormones get out of whack, infertility is often the result.
Isn’t that a pretty incredible system? Our bodies are smart enough to know that when there isn’t enough nutritious food in the world around us, that it’s time to shift focus from reproduction to survival. Unfortunately the food most people eat today is nutritionally void, clearly giving our bodies the message that food is scarce and it’s time to shut down reproduction.
We are nutritionally starving to death, even though we’re surrounded by fake, food-like products.
So how do we fix it? The simple answer is to eat lots and lots of nutritionally-dense foods. We need to have healthy fats (olive oil, avocado oil, avocados, butter from grass-fed cows, ghee, nuts and nut butters, etc.), healthy proteins (meat from sustainable, healthy sources; pastured eggs; nuts and nut butters; beans; clean protein powders; etc.), greens (of course including lettuces and leafy things, but also cucumbers, broccoli, and even cauliflower), and fiber (lots of fruits and veggies, chia seeds, flax seeds, avocadoes, etc.). We need to reject the fake foods that are such a large part of the food landscape in the U.S. today for foods that nourish us.
Once you send your body the message that nutrients are abundant, hormones come naturally back into alignment and fertility is restored.
I’ll be giving the longer answers about how to increase the nutrient density of our food in the coming weeks, so keep coming back!
If you would like relief from your PCOS and hormone imbalance, I’m officially inviting you to the 5-Day Eating for PCOS Relief Challenge! We are going to dive into using food to naturally heal your hormones and restore fertility. Are you interested? Click right here to find out more and register for the program.