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  1. #1
    Registered User wildwoodflower's Avatar
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    Default I'm a VEGAN. WTF do I eat with PCOS?

    Any other vegans out there? I'm gluten avoiding wheat, all refined sugar, don't drink alcohol. However I feel like my diet isn't working. what do pcos vegan eat?

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    Green Fields~Golden Sands DiamondInTheRough's Avatar
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    What about beans/legumes? Why are you Vegan?
    Hidden Content Married SAHM - Me(35) DH(40)Hidden Content
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    Registered User JulieofDenial's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if you are trying to lose weight. If you aren't overweight, and you aren't insulin resistant I wouldn't be worried about what you should be eating. You're probably eating it. On the other hand if you do need to lose weight then I suggest measuring portions, writing down what you eat, and counting calories. I was a vegetarian for several years, and I gained a lot of weight during that time period simply because I was eating too many calories. Convenience foods that are vegetarian tend to be fairly high in carbohydrates which are not particularly good for keeping weight off since they are digested quickly, and seem to cause cravings.

    As for going 'gluten free' you probably won't have any health benefits unless you are allergic to wheat, or have celiac's disease. If you have celiac's disease you'll likely be losing weight because you'll be suffering from severe diarrhea. If you have a wheat allergy... Well, that's not going to make you gain weight either. If you do think you have one of these bear in mind you can only be diagnosed with them by a doctor. Gluten-free foods don't necessarily have any fewer calories than those that contain gluten.

    Part of the misconception about gluten and weight-loss comes from a new trend of people who claim 'gluten sensitivity' to mask eating disorders like anorexia and orthorexia. In other words they use it as an excuse to avoid eating.

    On the other hand avoiding refined carbohydrates, and any other high starch, low calorie foods won't hurt you. It can be good for you. Still the only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories, and exercise.

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    Registered User S-piper's Avatar
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    Echo the gluten free only if you have a diagnosed intolerance. A gluten free diet is good for helping people with gluten intolerance feel better and be healthy. It's main purpose isn't weightloss, despite celebrity hype to that effect.
    Many pre-made gluten free foods are not good for people with metabolic syndrome because they have just as much or even more (to make up for the bad taste) sugars than normal foods. Some that are a problem are breads and cookies. Now, naturally gluten free foods like fruit, vegetables, and oatmeal are healthy and will help you lose weight. Most also have a beneficial effect on blood sugar.
    So if you want to eat less wheat-based foods then that's okay, but I wouldn't worry about religiously avoiding gluten unless you have an intolerance.

    As for PCOS friendly vegan protein sources:
    beans and legumes
    lentils
    nuts
    seeds
    soy products like tofu and tempeh - I would not recommend relying too heavily on soy though

    Vegan and vegetarian recipes tend to have a lot of unbalanced carb, I've also noticed they often tend to add breadcrumbs to everything so you may have to modify some. Here's somethings I've found:
    - Know what is and isn't a protein. For example: eggplant and portabello mushrooms, while yummy on sandwhiches, aren't meat substitutes nutritionally because they have a limited amout of protein. They should be considered vegetables.
    - For filler consider the gi of whatever flour you're using. Oatmeal has a lower impact than wheat or rice flour.
    - By and large, it just isn't okay for someone with PCOS to eat a big plate of pasta as a meal (unfortunately we do better with it as a side dish). Be it wheat, rice, or qinoua. About the only kind that's acceptable for us to eat in uncontrolled amounts spaghetti squash or (maybe!) tofu pasta. So while other vegans might say it's perfectly healthy, remember, not everyone is the same. We don't all have the same nutritional needs.
    A good example is people with PKU. A PKU diet is, by necessity, vegan but someone with PKU could also rarely eat meat subsitutes because they can only have small amounts of protein.
    In the same vein people with PCOS, usually, just shouldn't have as many carbs in one sitting as people without.
    Last edited by S-piper; 09-01-2012 at 05:54 PM.

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    Registered User JulieofDenial's Avatar
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    S-piper did a good job of filling in the blanks in my post. I want to add one more think: Make sure you watch your beverages. The reason for that is because when you have something to drink, whether it is water, coca cola, coffee, orange juice, or soy milk, while it is in your stomach your body recognizes it the same way as it recognizes water. Once a beverage is in your stomach it quickly gets flushed down your digestive system where your body starts breaking it down to burn as fuel, or store as fat. Because it doesn't stay in your stomach for any length of time it does nothing to sate your appetite. In fact it might even make you more hungry if you drink a large portion because it stretches out your stomach, and as a result makes it feel more empty. Even something that has nothing inherently bad about it, like carrot juice, will add a lot of calories to your diet. A glass of carrot juice has 3 times the calories of a large carrot.

    Humans were really only built to drink milk, and water. Everything else is an unnatural calorie source. The only beverages I consume on a regular basis are water, sugarless coffee and tea, skim milk, Metamucil, and, rarely, diet soda. Even when I make a smoothy I make it with whole fruit, and water.

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    Strong is the new skinny! ReallyHotMichelle's Avatar
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    @JulieofDenial

    1. Humans were never meant to ingest diary milk. Milk's main function is to deliver fast-absorbing nutrients to a calf and FATTEN it up quickly. Lean diary products are no better, have a higher glycemic index because there's no fat to slow down the absorption of lactose (the sugar in milk). Cow's milk is also highly inflammatory, which is a "no no" for PCOS. For PCOS, we want to lower inflammation as much as possible.

    2. Even when not officially diagnosed as celiac, most people who go gluten free feel better psychologically, clear up chronic rashes, dandruff, congestion, allergies, and brain fog, just to name a few things. The modern wheat plant is highly inflammatory since it's no longer the ancient grain it once was. It's been crossed with the genes from soy and other plants, as well as genes from animals... it's basically a franken food that our body doesn't know what to do with, and thus a major inflammatory response occurs-- also bad for PCOS.

    To the original poster-- if you feel good eating something, i.e., it gives you energy, lets you think clearly, and can be found in nature, then it's the fuel your body craves. If meat doesn't make you feel well, don't eat it. I know a ton of women REVERSE their PCOS with a Paleo diet, and a Paleo Diet started to reverse mine. But meat does not agree with my digestion, so I might have to resort to pescatarian (vegan + fish). People are starting to realize the dangers of cow's milk and wheat, so kudos for you for eliminating both of those!!

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    Strong is the new skinny! ReallyHotMichelle's Avatar
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    @wildwoodflower, can you let us know what your typical daily meal plan is like? Are there any foods you struggle with (i.e., if you make homemade yam fries do you eat the whole batch, etc).

    Also, even though you are vegan, you may be ingesting highly inflammatory foods, which can wreak havoc. I'm very curious to know what your daily foods are. For instance, I know vegans may/may not rely heavily on soy products for protein, but soy is very estrogenic in the body, which means that the body detects it as an estrogen, and thus doesn't make as much estrogen as it should... and thus free testosterone goes up (VERY BAD for PCOS!).

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    Registered User JulieofDenial's Avatar
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    @ReallyHotMichell

    1)When I said humans were only meant to drink milk I meant their mother's milk; not dairy milk. We are mammals too, and for part of our life we survive by just drinking milk. There is obviously a large percentage of humanity that's lactose intolerant, and isn't meant to be drinking any milk at all once they reach adulthood.

    2)There is no scientific evidence that a gluten free diet helps anyone other than those with celiac disease or a wheat allergy. It's not uncommon for someone who believes they are doing something benefit themselves to feel like it is improving their condition based. This is called placebo effect. I'm all for eliminating refined starches from your diet. These don't fit well into the healthy diet of a lot of people, but thinking that eliminating just gluten specifically from you diet is going to help improve your health unless you don't have either of those conditions, or lose weight is naive.

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    Strong is the new skinny! ReallyHotMichelle's Avatar
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    @JulieofDenial,

    Thanks for your reply. I was tested negative for celiac, yet when I eliminate wheat my IBS disappears, my skin rash clears up, and I start to get a cycle again. Is that a placebo? The tangible evidence from others who have had conditions clear up after avoiding gluten also cannot be a placebo. The medical is now realizing there is such a thing as gluten sensitivity: online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576200393522456636 (.html)

    Remember, this is not the natural wheat gluten we are talking about in the traditional sense. The wheat being served in America today is not wheat. It's a genetically modified seed that is no longer identifiable, and yet is still called 'wheat'.

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    Registered User JulieofDenial's Avatar
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    @Michelle

    I have read the article, and prepared a long response, but since this is Wildflower's thread I'm not going to go off on a tangent discussion with you about it here. I will respond to you in PM Michelle.

    Other than that... I'll only say, for those interested, that the disorder discussed there doesn't talk about generalized insulin sensitivity. It does, however, talk about a neurological disorder that seems to be caused by wheat gluten.

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    Registered User Dior's Avatar
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    I would eat blueberries, lots of green tea, tofu if you feel you can eat soy,nuts, gluten free bread with a organic peanut spread. Roasted veggies, sun warrior protien.

    Now some people don't buy into the blood type diet, but I would like to know what you are. I am a type A,and I know I lose weight when I eat vegan. If you are a O you need meat. I don't know about the other types. Dr Dadamo has a great website,and forum about blood type.

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    CrossFit Junkie TheBumbler's Avatar
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    I slept on it and, yep, still all hot and bothered.

    To the OP: The gluten free thing may or may not do much for fat loss. If you have hashimoto's, it likely will make a difference as if seems like chronic symptoms of autoimmune disorders are lessened when gluten is removed from the diet. I do think it's helpful to do a removal of all gluten for a period of time if you have pesky/annoying/weird stuff going on and want to see if it makes a difference. For me, removing gluten from my diet significantly improved the quality of my life. As for what else to eat, I shall leave that to others more knowledgeable in veganism. I am a paleo gal so aside from the vague rememberance of having read that sprouting things tends to reduce lectin content, I know not my stuff on this. But give the gluten thing a shot. The gluten will still be there if taking it out doesnt make a difference for you. Just don't replace the gluten containing things with a bunch of super processed non gluten containing crap. Crap is still crap, regardless of the gluten.

    Which leads me to why I'm still cranky...
    Julie of denial - Eating disorder, eh? Really? Nice to know that you have a better understanding of my body and my mental health than I do. Your comment was just insulting. I checked your blog out. If I ate how and what you ate, I'd be an inflamed, starving mess and courting injury the next time I had more that 200lbs on my back. Food is personal. Context matters. Your body is not my body.

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    CrossFit Junkie TheBumbler's Avatar
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    Okay, I got it out. Feeling better. We are cool from my end.

  17. #14
    Green Fields~Golden Sands DiamondInTheRough's Avatar
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    I eliminated gluten out for a period of time and felt really good - less bloating/IBS symptoms, etc. When I think about it, I consume very little gluten anymore as it is - when you cut out all the garbage from your diet, most gluten sources seem to go along with it.
    Hidden Content Married SAHM - Me(35) DH(40)Hidden Content
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  18. #15
    Registered User JulieofDenial's Avatar
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    To clear a few things up in general: My original post was relevant to eliminating gluten as it was relevant to weight-loss since it was my original belief, and still is, that wildflower asked about diet because she's trying to lose weight. I still think that might have been the case. However she hasn't posted to clarify what sort of advice she was looking for.

    @TheBumble From your picture you obviously aren't malnourished, or trying get down to a size 0. You look great. I'm not talking about you. I don't know you. Also I'm not sure what you can glean about my entire diet from my blog, but you are probably right in thinking that my diet wouldn't suit you. After all you're a powerlifter, and I'm trying to lose 140 pounds.

    When I say gluten sensitivity is often used to cover up eating disorders I'm not talking about the majority of people who cut out gluten from their diet.

    I'm talking about stuff like this:

    According to a slew of pro-ana (or Pro Anorexia) sites online, a gluten free diet is an ideal cover for “restrictive eating.” A commenter with the handle Ima_Be_Thin on Pro Ana Angels puts it as bluntly as possible in a thread called “best diet trick ever:”

    Hi all. I wanted to share my secret with all of you. I told everyone I was going to the Dr. because I was having stomach issues. I never went and then a week l8r I told everyone that it was suspected that I was gluten intolerant. It’s extremely common and Gluten is in EVERYTHING. It’s in almost all salad dressings, it’s in most marinades, soy sauce, breads, noodles, beer, oatmeal, almost All cereals just everything. You can’t eat out because you can get glutened through cross contamination as well. You can’t eat anything at fast food places except salad. Even Mc D’s chicken on salad has gluten. My sister has it and she lost a bunch of weight because there is nothing she can eat and it’s just such a common allergy no one 2nd guesses me. Hope u guys are all well and good luck!


    Forbes: What We're Not Eatting, and the Danger of Gluten-Free.
    And this:
    An interesting aspect of Orthorexia Nervosa is that people who have it experience feelings of superiority about their eating discipline. Eating is a holy ritual. Bites may be chewed fifty times or more. Perhaps only fruit or raw foods are consumed. Whatever dietary regime a person ascribes to, when they fall off the wagon with a dietary transgression, which may be as slight as eating a raisin or garlic or as major as downing a pint of ice cream, they feel guilty and defiled. This often leads to acts of penance which usually manifest as a stricter diet or bouts of fasting.
    Eating Disorders Online

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