What I Ate Wednesday {PCOS Edition}

What I Ate Wednesday {PCOS Edition} 9/30/2015

Our eating has been a little different this week since we are visiting family all week. Fortunately, my parents don’t eat grains and eat very little dairy, so it’s been really nice having good foods at my fingertips without being the one having to cook them! Unfortunately, most of the meals I ate yesterday were not very photogenic, so I apologize in advance for that.

What I Ate Wednesday {PCOS Edition} 9/30/2015


7:30am- Two slices of GF toast with peanut butter and jam. This was an extra special treat since we very rarely eat bread at our house. When I do make bread I use this recipe from Against All Grain.

What I Ate Wednesday {PCOS Edition} 9/30/2015

12:00- Venison burger, sweet potato fries, and kale salad with poppyseed dressing. These were leftovers from a cookout we had at my sister and brother-in-law’s house on Sunday.

2:30- {not pictured} Pumpkin latte from Books-A-Million. This was another special treat, but I forgot to ask for decaf and I think it kept me awake Tuesday night. I had the hardest time falling asleep!

5:00- {not pictured} A few handfuls of red grapes

What I Ate Wednesday {PCOS Edition} 9/30/2015

7:30- A bowl of refried beans. They look gross, but they taste so good!  I sprinkled a tiny bit of cheese on top, because I’m on vacation! (:


Bottle Feeding, Formula, and Mom Guilt

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dryer Yes, this is a picture of Bonnie sitting in the dryer. The dryer. She insisted, and I’m learning to pick my battles. So we sat in the laundry room for twenty minutes so that she could feed her baby. Apparently it’s more fun to bottle feed in the warm dryer. Bonnie’s favorite pastime lately has been “feeding” her baby with the bottle, which is so ironic since Bonnie resisted a bottle all the way through infancy. Those of you who have been reading the blog since our daughter’s birth know that we tried, and tried, and tried getting her to take a bottle. I have a good friend whose son was bottle-fed almost from the get-go. She let me borrow so many different bottles, as we tried to find one that Bonnie would use, but it was useless. She wanted boob or nothing. And then we started weaning her at ten months old so that we could pursue fertility treatments again. So, out came the bottle. And she took it. It was seriously a miracle. She took the bottle for two months, until she switched to a sippy cup at a year old. Unfortunately, we never had all that much luck with formula. We used up all the frozen breast milk we had, and then we started sneaking a scoop or two of formula into her almond milk (the only kind of milk she would drink after I stopped nursing her.) We got through an entire box of formula this way: sneaking little scoops into her milk here and there. And then she turned a year old, and was doing well enough with real food that we felt comfortable saying goodbye to both breast milk and formula. When our second frozen embryo transfer ended in miscarriage, I began struggling with guilt. I struggled with guilt over the loss of our babies, wondering if there was anything I could or should have done differently. But I also began struggling with guilt over the fact that I quit nursing our daughter earlier than I really wanted to so that we could proceed with an intense fertility treatment that didn’t even work. Watching her sitting in the dryer, bottle-feeding her baby, it hit me that she’s perfect. She’s bright, intelligent, and wonderful. She is so full of life, and her imagination is developing wildly. IMG_1531 No, I did not nurse her until she was ready to wean herself. No, I never taught her to take a bottle. Yes, I fed her formula after I’d vowed not to. But she could not be any more perfect. I am a HUGE advocate of breastfeeding, because my experience with nursing was incredible. Of course breast milk is ideal, just like getting pregnant naturally (and freely) is far more desirable than undergoing expensive, invasive fertility treatments! But just like there is nothing wrong with fertility treatments (on the contrary) there is nothing wrong with formula. It provides an alternative for mothers who cannot breastfeed, whatever the reason may be, just like fertility treatments provide an alternative for women who are unable to get pregnant naturally. And for all you new mommas, and mamas-in-waiting, StoreBrandFormula.com is offering a sweepstakes AND free formula coupons. When we tried formula with Bonnie we obsessed over which kind would be best for her, but all formula brands sold in the United States must meet the same standards. Store brands have been clinically proven to be as well-tolerated as their name brand counterparts, yet they cost up to 50% less than those name brands. Most pediatricians even say that the brand of infant formula you use really doesn’t matter. So if you can save up to $600 per year on formula costs by choosing store brands over name brands, then why not? {You can find more info on store brand formulas by checking out their Facebook page, following them on Twitter and/or Pinterest, spending some time on their YouTube channel, or adding them on Google+.}

And now please tell me I’m not the only one who experiences mom guilt over bottles, nursing, formula feeding, and everything else under the sun! For a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, what is something that you all have struggled with mom-guilt over, and how the heck do you overcome it?  


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8 Gifts for the New Mom in Your Life

Did any of you get the chance to read Caroline’s post on jealousy and envy? It’s so good. And so convicting. It’s something I struggled with badly before having Bonnie. Now that I have her, I am no longer jealous of others moms, but I find myself envying people and families for other reasons. I envy classmates of Andrew’s who seem to have such an easy time with school work, or who seem to know exactly what they will be doing when they graduate, etc.

Jealousy is something Satan can use to gain a foothold in our life, and he can sneak in before we even realize it. When we were trudging through unsuccessful fertility treatments, I had to pray bitterness and jealousy away daily. I’d see friends getting pregnant and having babies, and it would hurt my heart for myself. Eventually, God convicted me that even women who can easily have children have their own battles to face, and their own burdens to bear. Realizing and remembering this made it so much easier to rejoice with [pregnant] friends who rejoice, and to mourn with those who mourn.

I had the wonderful chance to rejoice and catch up with a dear friend earlier this week. Mallory was one of my closest friends in college, and although we haven’t stayed in touch all that well, she holds such a special place in my heart. She was a role model to me in so many ways, and I still admire her, and am so grateful for the things I learned from her years ago. We’ve hardly seen each other at all since college, so spending a couple hours with her this week, and getting to meet her beautiful new baby was so refreshing. Mallory has such a beautiful heart, and Zara Mae is beyond blessed to have Mal as her mother.

Though Andrew and I are on a small budget, I thought long and hard over a little something I’d like to bring Mallory. I wanted to give her a gift I wished I’d had as a new mom, but never would have thought to buy for myself initially. My wheels started turning, and here are eight gift ideas for the moms in your life. These are things a new mom may not think to register for, or to buy for herself, but will eventually get lots of use out of!

8 uncommon gifts for the new mom (or soon-to-be mom) in your life

1) Praise Baby lullaby CD: Bonnie sleeps with music on all night. She has one CD that she listens to on repeat during nap time and at night, and she never sleeps without it. It’s so important to hide God’s Word in our children’s hearts from a young age, and music is a great way to do it. Another CD I really love for this is Hidden in My Heart: A Lullaby Journey through Scripture.

2) Blessings Every Day devotional book: During our visit, Mallory and I talked a lot about the huge responsibility we have as parents to teach the Truth of Scripture to our children. For me, it’s been crucial to get into the habit of reading and praying with Bonnie now, even though she is too young to grasp it. It’s so important for us, as parents, to develop the habit of reading the Word to our children, and of modeling for them day in and day out.

3) The Mommy Hook: These are amazing. Every mom needs one, even if she doesn’t think she needs one.

4) Aden + Anias muslin swaddle blankets: These are all the rage, so the new mom (or mom-to-be) in your life might already have these, but you can’t make a baby or new mom list without including these awesome blankets. We use ours daily for one thing or another!

5) Car seat ornaments: By the time Bonnie was about 6 weeks old, she was old enough to know that she HATED her car seat. And I don’t really blame her. Babies probably feel alone since they have to be rear-facing. And they probably feel bored, because they’re staring at the backseat of your car! We finally got a couple of these for Bonnie, and they helped tremendously.

6) Shatter-proof Car mirror: Gives peace of mind to Mama, and a little entertainment to Baby.

7) Thrive Market membership: The less a new mom has to go to the grocery store, the better!

8) One Line a Day Memory Book: It’s simple, it’s quick, and gives Mom an easy way to look back on her life with her sweet babe!

And I just can’t end this post without sharing this picture of Mallory and her princess, Zara Mae! Zara was brought into this world three weeks ago, via emergency c-section. She spend several days in the NICU, and spent yesterday at home, connected to a heart monitor after lots of poking and prodding from her cardiologist. She is a miracle; a perfect miracle. Her mom is pretty great too! (:

8 uncommon gifts for the new mom (or soon-to-be mom) in your life

It does our hearts so much good to rejoice with friends who rejoice! My heart feels so full after spending time with these two this week.


What I Ate Wednesday {PCOS Edition} Pilot Post

WIAW {PCOS Edition}

I am beyond honored to receive emails daily from women who are battling PCOS. Besides fertility, there is one thing we all seem to be majorly concerned with. We are obsessing over our diets. And for good reason, because for better or worse, our diet impacts our PCOS symptoms, our weight, and our fertility. Investing in your PCOS diet costs a lot.

1) It costs a lot of time: It can take months to figure out what foods work for you and what foods don’t. It isn’t easy.

2) It costs attention: You aren’t going to figure out the best PCOS diet for your body unless you devote attention to both the food you’re eating, and the way your body feels after you eat it. You must be mindful of what you eat, when you eat it, and how you feel before and afterward. This isn’t easy.

3) It costs money: Food costs money. There is just no way around it. Buy things you are going to eat, and that are going to heal you. Don’t buy things that aren’t going to help your body, and don’t buy things you aren’t going to want to eat. This isn’t easy either.

Settle in for the long haul. Make slow changes that will last you a lifetime. Give yourself grace, and enjoy the journey! The cost is worth it.

Figuring out what to eat for my body has taken me years. Literally, years. It’s taken me longer than it should have because, in the beginning, I was unwilling to pay the price (of time, attention, and money.)

After being diagnosed with PCOS I began scouring healthy food blogs. I’d never cared much about what other people ate, but suddenly I was obsessed about what other women were eating in order to keep themselves (and their hormones) healthy. I had skimmed “What I Ate Wednesday” posts before being diagnosed with PCOS and thought they were plain silly. Why do I care what foods another human consumes in a day? But post-PCOS-diagnosis, I would Google search and Pinterest search specifically for “What I Ate Wednesday” posts. I needed some guidance. I needed practical ideas of what to eat day to day to improve my symptoms and my chances for conception. I wanted to see what real women were doing to manage PCOS symptoms, manage weight, and improve fertility.

Here I am, a few years down the road, and I don’t know that all those food posts helped me much, because many of them were from food bloggers who were also skilled in the culinary arts. Their recipes seemed so inaccessible to me, which made their entire lifestyle seem unrealistic. And NONE of them were PCOS-specific.

So today I am, quite insecurely, sharing a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. I’m calling this the “pilot post” for an idea that’s been on my mind for over a year. The feedback I get from this post will determine whether or not this becomes a weekly post. I don’t want to go through the trouble if it isn’t something that is needed. And honestly, it’s kind of scary sharing everything you eat in a day with the internet. It seems so personal.

Before going any further, I want to give some quick facts about my (and my family’s) diet, so that you’ll know what to expect from my WIAW post(s.)

1) We do not eat gluten, and eat little to no grains.

2) We eat almost no dairy. 

3) We do NOT eat Paleo. We do eat legumes, and we occasionally eat white potatoes.

4) We do not eat processed sugar regularly, but we do eat honey and coconut sugar.

5) I am NOT a fancy cook. So any meals/snacks you see here are quick, simple, and probably boring if you’re skilled in the kitchen.

6) We follow the 80/20 rule. So there might be a day when I eat cookies (grain free, of course) for dinner. And today might be one of those days.

7) I am NOT a nutritionist or dietitian. Any recommendations or suggestions I post on the blog are simply based on my own experience with food and with PCOS. And just because I do or don’t eat something does not mean I think you should or shouldn’t eat it. Different foods work for different people. I say that all the time, because I really think it’s true. For instance, a large majority of women with PCOS are intolerant to gluten. You may not be one of those women, and that’s great. You know your body better than anyone else does!

The purpose of this post, and any like it in the future, is twofold: It holds me accountable, and it provides a resource for realistic, practical meals for real women who want to manage PCOS through diet and lifestyle. Fighting PCOS can feel overwhelming and lonely, especially in the early days when you are trying to navigate a sea of information. My hope is that these WIAW posts will help you realize you aren’t alone, and give you some idea of where to start on your journey toward overcoming PCOS.

WIAW {PCOS Edition}

7:30am: 3 eggs, scrambled in unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil, with 1 decaf cup of coffee with real cream (this is one form of dairy I’m not ready to part with!)

WIAW {PCOS Edition}

10:00am: Baggie of trial mix (mixed nuts, banana chips, raisins, dark chocolate)

WIAW {PCOS Edition}

12:00pm: Grilled lime chicken, leftover grilled veggies, kale salad

3:30pm: Another baggie of trail mix

WIAW {PCOS Edition}

7:30pm: I wasn’t very hungry, but was forced to taste test a couple paleo chocolate chip cookies I was working on, along with a cup of tea.

At the end of the day, I probably had more carbs than I should have, but I’m a work in progress! The photos are pretty awful… I will work on that if “What I Ate Wednesday” becomes a weekly thing.




Fighting PCOS with Food {On the Go and On a Budget}

Follow these tips to fight PCOS while you're on the go and while you're on a budget.

Bonnie and I are packing up for a vacay! I have the next two weeks off from keeping babies, and I am going to Nashville, which is where my parents are, and where my sister’s family is too. We moved away four years ago, and this will be the first time I’ve been able to go home for two whole weeks. I am beyond excited. Andrew won’t be able to go with us the first week, but he will meet us there the second week. He has several meetings lined up, as well as a chiropractic screening, so his trip will be all business (mostly.)

Words cannot describe how tired I am of Atlanta. I hate, hate, HATE IT! The people are rude (not all, but many.) The roads are congested, and there is constant, excessive road construction going on. Gas prices are more expensive than in Nashville. The Aldi stores don’t have nearly as good a selection as the ones in Nashville. We’ve had a hard time getting plugged in to a church here… this list could go on, but I will stop, because it sounds ungrateful. I really believe it’s a God-thing that we are here, but I am so over it. On the bright side, they have great farmers markets, flea markets, and thrift shops. And on the even brighter side, we have nine months, to the day, until Andrew’s graduation. And only six months of classes. God has seen us through these past four years, and He’s brought so many good things into our lives while we’ve been here too, e.g.: Bonnie Claire.

Packing for a two week trip, with a 15 month old, is something I’m a little nervous about. Of course, I’ve made a packing list, and in the end, I’m sure I’ll overpack, especially when you take into account the FOOD I’m bringing with us! Eating on the go when you have PCOS can be difficult. And a two week trip could be enough to derail me.

It’s so easy to let you healthy eating fall by the wayside when you’re on the go, and then so difficult to get back into the swing of things once you get home. I’ve fallen into this trap many times over the past few years, but have learned that if you’re armed with good foods, you’re less inclined to eat the bad ones! So here are some pointers from someone who’s learned PCOS diet lessons the hard way… time and time again!

Follow these tips to fight PCOS while you're on the go and while you're on a budget.

1) Pack your own snacks. Homemade protein balls or bars, KIND bars, dried apricots, nuts, trail mix… These are some of my faves these days. Trail mix is a great snack option, but you’re better off making your own, as it’s hard to find trail mix that is actually healthy, since most store-bought varieties are dressed up with sugary candy. Use nuts of your choice, a bit of dried fruit, and a bit of dark chocolate. You can buy Larabars and Kind Bars in bulk from Costco, or from Amazon, but you’ll find better deals (and huge selections) through Thrive Market. If you order anything through Thrive Market, be sure to order a couple weeks in advance to be sure that it arrives on time.

2) B.Y.O.B. This stands for, “bring your own blender.” Unless you are staying with friends or family who have a blender, it may be a wise idea to bring your own. This way, you can avoid the potentially unhealthy and limited breakfast selections at your hotel’s continental breakfast bar, and make a smoothie in your room! A smoothie is a great fall-back option for any meal or snack! Just be sure to include some protein in your smoothie, and stay away from sugary juices. Here is a list of a few easy, well-balanced smoothie recipes to get you started.

3) Plan some meals. If you are staying with friends and family who are in charge of the menu, this may not be a good option. But a lot of times when I go home, since my mom does not love to cook, her meal plan is wide open, and I can plan some for the family. This is great for helping me stay on track! Be realistic with this one. Do not plan EVERY meal. Plan on eating some meals out, and plan on someone else being in charge of some meals, since it’s kind of rude to take over someone else’s kitchen completely.

4) Plan on going to the grocery store shortly after you arrive to your destination. Grab things for your smoothie (a bag of spinach or kale, avocados, a few bananas, nut butter, seeds (I like chia and flax.) And grab extra snacks if you are worried you did not bring enough. Buy veggies and hummus to have on hand for emergency situations. Make sure you take your meal plan with you so that you can get all the ingredients you need in order to make your meals a reality! I suggest finding an Aldi, since Aldi is your most cost-effective option.

5) Hit the kitchen. After you’ve done your shopping, do as much prep work as you can. This way, cooking will take up less of your time throughout the week, and you will be more likely to actually follow through with your meal plan. Clean and chop your fruits and veggies, make a big batch of baked chicken, etc.

6) Bundle of bananas- Either pack bananas or buy then when you arrive at your destination. Although bananas fall pretty high on the glycemic index, they are a great snack option if you pair them with a nut butter. This gives you carbs, balanced with a bit of fat and a bit of protein. And they fill your belly up so that you’re less tempted to indulge in worse alternatives!

7) Prepare for difficult situations- If you are visiting with friends who are going to pull the desserts and coffee out at 10pm, ask your husband to hold you accountable and help you NOT eat this! If you know to expect difficult and tempting circumstances, you can better guard yourself against them.

8) Drink lots of water- It’s great to have a water bottle in hand to distract you when all your friends are chowing down on the junk food that you know would send your blood sugar on a wild ride. Keep your water bottle nearby, and when you are tempted to reach for that brownie, grab the water bottle instead. Or grab those veggies and hummus that you purchased at the grocery store… Snack on those!

9) Don’t beat yourself up if you mess up- And if you eat a few fun-sized Snickers bars, don’t let that derail you and make you think, “Well, I’ve ruined my healthy eating today… may as well polish off the bag.” I fall into this trap A LOT. One bad eating choice is OKAY. It does not have to ruin your entire day and make you feel crappy about yourself. A sweet treat during the day can still be part of an overall healthy diet. Just stop at one or two small candy bars and DO NOT eat the entire bag. Your eating habits do not have to be extreme. They do not have to be all or nothing. Keeping the 80/20 rule in mind while you are traveling, and even when you are not, is a great way to learn to give yourself grace. And if you tend to be extreme (letting one bad choice lead you to ten more that blow your whole day), the 80/20 way of thinking may be a good way to help break you of this.

10) Bring and eat foods that you LIKE.  Otherwise, making healthy choices and preparing your own meals/snacks is going to feel like a chore that you dread. Have fun with it, challenge yourself, and at the end of the day, you can feel good about your efforts, knowing that you treated PCOS with the best medicine: food. 

As far as shopping on a budget goes, you’ll do well sticking to Thrive Market and Aldi, but here are 10 additional tips for grocery shopping on a budget with PCOS. 


Fifteen Months with Bonnie


This month with Bonnie has been interesting, to say the least. In many ways, it’s been a battle of wills: Her strong will versus my soft-spoken nature. And honestly, it’s exhausting. She will do something she knows is wrong, look at me, say the word “no,” and laugh. When this happens (and it happens often,) she requires further discipline, and she often laughs at that too. It is so hard to know the best ways to teach her to obey. She’s very serious, and seems to enjoy learning, but apart from those two things, our personalities could not be more different. This means every day is a learning experience for both of us. She’s already taught me so much. And I’m already so thankful for this book, by Dr. James Dobson!


Bonnie knows lots and lots of words, with her newest being: shoes, tiger, horse, baaaa (when you ask what a sheep says,) whooooo (when you ask what an owl says,) and meow (when you ask what a cat says.) She can also buzz like a bee. She has a cute hand motion that she does with her bee noise that is just adorable. She loves her books, her babies, and her music. And I love watching her listen to music. She smiles and dances and claps anytime she hears it. She seems to especially like a cappella music, which makes me so happy since a cappella holds a special place in my heart too.


She loves to go for walks (the walks when she’s actually walking, more so than the walks when she’s in the stroller.) She will bring my shoes to me, go to the door, and say “bye-bye.” She can make it to the end of our street, but I usually have to carry her back home. Those little legs get tired! The funniest quirk she’s developed lately is that she wants to wear shoes 24/7. There was a day last week when I even let her fall asleep for her nap wearing them because she didn’t want me to take them off.


She took a terrible fall this month, when she pulled our 60+ pound metal fireplace screen onto herself. Her face caught the brunt of the weight, and she still has a black eye. When it happened there was so much blood, and it took so long to begin clotting that I was worried she would need stitches. Thankfully, we avoided the stitches, but the day after she got her black eye she fell and busted her lip on the concrete outside! It was a rough two days, to say the least.


In light of everything that has happened over the past month, August felt like the longest month of my life. But September has flown by, and I can hardly believe we’re already halfway to October! My prayer for Bonnie this month has been that God will give her a soft heart and a teachable spirit. My prayer for myself has been that He will give me a will strong enough to match my daughter’s, and a patient, peaceful spirit.


FullSizeRender-15 IMG_1559


The ABCs of What to Do if You Think You have PCOS

So, I said on Wednesday that I don’t have it in me right now to blog about PCOS. But I guess I was wrong about that. I also said I was having a bit of an identity crisis, and apparently I was right about that, since I don’t know what I want, or what I’m going to write about from one day to the next!

Thanks for being patient and hanging in there with me.

It’s September. September is PCOS Awareness Month. I have to blog about PCOS at least once this month, right? So a list post is in order. This list is for anyone with PCOS, newly diagnosed, not officially diagnosed yet, or maybe even for those of you who’ve had PCOS for years.

I find that I have months when I’m on my “A game” in terms of mine and my family’s health, and then I also go through seasons when I just feel tired and over it. For those seasons, scrounging up tid-bits like what I’ve included in this post help me climb back on the wagon and keep going. I hope you find that these helps do the same for you.

The ABCs of PCOS--- 26 things to keep in mind if you have or think you might have PCOS

  • Ask questions- Ask your healthcare provider any and all questions you can think of.
  • Believe- Believe that this can be the start of something good. You’ve begun to identify the problem, so now the healing process can begin.
  • Cultivate- Cultivate relationships not only with you doctor(s), but also with other people in the PCOS community. There are support groups and resources out there that can be great encouragements for you. Find your niche in either an online group or a local PCOS community. The relationships you cultivate while fighting PCOS can be life-changing, in the best ways. And even more importantly than this, cultivate your relationship with Christ, who is our ultimate healer and sustainer.
  • Develop- Develop a healthy relationship with food. Figure out an eating lifestyle that makes you feel your absolute best. What makes you feel your best may not be what makes someone else with PCOS feel their best. Everyone’s bodies are different, so this can be really tricky, but it is crucial to managing PCOS symptoms. For some good, general guidelines, you may want to read this post.
  • Establish an exercise routine- Establish a routine that works for you. Again, this can be different for everyone. If you need some direction as to where to start, this post might be helpful. 
  • Find a doctor- Find a doctor that is a good fit for you. This took me a long time, but I’m so glad I didn’t settle. The doctor I did eventually find is the best. 
  • Go with your gut- While searching for the best doctor for you, go with your gut. With our first two doctors, I just didn’t have a good feeling about them. They didn’t do or say anything wrong; there was just something missing. You know your body better than anyone, and you’re a smart cookie, so go with your gut always. Also go with your gut when you eat. Pay attention to how different foods impact your digestion. And finally, go with you gut when/if you begin considering fertility treatments. Use discretion and don’t let yourself get pressured into anything you don’t have a peace about.
  • Help others- It is all too easy to get so caught up in your own struggles that you forget that other people have their own struggles also. Any time we reach out to someone else, we gain so much. We are all broken and hurting in some way. And as strange as it sounds, remembering this can be very redemptive, and it can help you give grace to those around you.
  • Ignore- Ignore the stereotypes associated with PCOS. You may not be overweight (though many women with PCOS are.) You may not be struggling with infertility (though many women with PCOS do.) Identify your symptoms and work on addressing those.
  • Join others in prayer- This could mean attending healing prayer services, or it could mean getting on your face before God with your husband each day. Never limit God, and never forget the power of prayer. It is a power unmatched by any doctor, any scientific research, or any scientific intervention.

The ABCs of PCOS: 26 action steps to take if you have, or think you have, PCOS

  • Know your limits- If you’re battling infertility, and don’t think you can handle going to a friend’s baby shower, don’t go. If you recently experienced a miscarriage and don’t think you can hold it together at your sister-in-law’s gender reveal party, don’t go. Set boundaries. Do this out of love and respect for yourself, and also love and respect for others in your life.
  • Learn to listen to your body- Our bodies tell us a lot when we are paying attention. Pay attention to the way you feel after you eat certain foods. Pay attention to the way you feel after you do certain kinds of exercises. Pay attention to the way you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Meal Prep- Diet is incredibly important for any woman with PCOS, even if you aren’t overweight. The only way you are going to develop healthy eating habits is if you are surrounded by healthy, ready-to-eat foods.
  • Never overlook the small things- Celebrate even the smallest of victories. Enjoying those tiny victories will keep you motivated to stay the course.
  • Open yourself up to others- If you’re walking the road of infertility, find a support group and open up to them. If you can’t handle attending your friend’s baby shower, consider explaining to her why. If you’re struggling with uncontrollable weight gain, or hair falling out faster than you can unclog the shower drain, be open about those things.
  • Practice makes perfect- Maybe not completely, but the more you practice healthy choices, the more natural they will become. Start with small changes, and work your way up. Your body, mind, and fertility will thank you for it.
  • Quit being so hard on yourself- If you have a day when you eat horribly, or have a week when you don’t exercise at all, remember that you get a fresh start tomorrow, and embrace that. Making long-lasting lifestyle changes is hard and takes time, and learning to not only cope, but to thrive with a newly diagnosed illness is tough. Give yourself a little grace.
  • Research- Read stories of other women who have PCOS. If you begin to find this overwhelming, just choose a few PCOS-centered blogs to follow, or pick a few books to read. I love The Fertility Diet and The PCOS Diet Plan for anyone new to navigating through PCOS.
  • Supplement- You’ll want to do some research and figure out which supplements are right for you. I recommend a prenatal vitamin, antioxidants, Magnesium supplement, CoQ10, and L-arginine. For info on why, check out this post. Depending on your goals, you might also want to try Glucorein HOP. (Use discount code GREAT)
  • Tea instead of coffee- Many teas possess healing properties that coffee lacks, so if you do drink multiple cups of coffee per day, start replacing at least one cup with a cup of hot tea instead. If you’re looking to regulate your cycles and/or prepare your body for conception, you might try this tea, from FairHaven Health.If you absolutely can’t part with your coffee, switch to decaf. It is best for women with PCOS to avoid caffeine altogether.
  • Understand insulin resistance- Most women with PCOS have insulin resistance. Understanding insulin resistance, and the negative impact it has on your fertility and overall health will help you understand the importance of choosing low GI foods. Here is a short, easy read from Jillian Michaels that explains insulin resistance.
  • Visit a chiropractor- I get adjusted regularly, and so does my daughter. A good chiropractor can remove subluxations (nerve interferences) that are interrupting or inhibiting normal functions of the body. Chiropractic care may not single-handedly get you pregnant. It won’t magically heal your male-pattern baldness, or make those extra 30 pounds disappear, but it will help your body function more optimally. The keys to success here are to be consistent and patient, and to choose the right chiropractor for you. Different chiropractors use different techniques and methods, so it’s important to find one that is a good fit for you. For one woman’s experience with seeing a chiropractor for PCOS, click here. 
  • Watch your carbs- Even though there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet for PCOS, it it crucial that all of us get most of our carbs from veggies and fruits, rather than from grains and processed, sugary foods. Here are our PCOS-appropriate pantry staples. And here’s a post I wrote just 10 days into my grain-free diet.
  • eXamine your heart- Battling a syndrome like PCOS can seem defeating at times. Check your heart regularly, to be sure that no bitter root is growing there (Hebrews 12:15.) If your body is whole, but your heart isn’t right, it’s all for naught. I’ve learned that there are so many positives that come along with PCOS. When you find yourself feeling angry, bitter, unwomanly, or frustrated, find something to be thankful for. There is always so much to be thankful for.
  • Yearly checkup- If you aren’t actively trying to conceive, it is easy to let years go by without even a simple checkup with your healthcare provider. Be sure to see both your gynecologist and your general practitioner yearly. Make sure you have your GP check your blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Many women with PCOS have elevated triglycerides and low HDL. (HDL is the “good” cholesterol.)
  • Zero in on one issue at a time- Focus on one small thing you know you need to change. Once that change has become routine, then move on with the next thing. You are literally re-building your lifestyle. This cannot be done overnight. Settle in for the long-haul, and be patient with yourself. I’m learning more every single day, and the whole process can be really fun if you let it!

The ABCs of PCOS--- 26 things to keep in mind if you have or think you might have PCOS

PCOS will never define you. Your identity is in Jesus Christ Your value, your peace, and your purpose come from Him alone. Wholeness comes only through Him. But if you want to overcome PCOS, and live with it victoriously, it is important to be educated about its symptoms. It is important to understand your body, to listen to it, and to treat it well. Our bodies belong to God, and have been purchased at a great price; therefore, let us honor God by being kind to our bodies.

“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself. You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God.”

-1 Corinthians 6:19-20, The Voice translation

If you’re unsure whether or not you have PCOS, read this post for more details about what PCOS is, what the symptoms are, and how to manage them day to day. If you have any other questions, or if you just need a listening ear, please feel free to contact me. If you have questions I can’t answer, I may be able to put you in touch with someone who can. You aren’t alone in this. Quite the opposite actually: You are surrounded by a group of wonderful, supportive, strong women who would be honored to lift you up in prayer and walk with you through this journey.


Identity Crisis {Kind of?}

Today should be our ultrasound. We should be hearing our babies’ heartbeats for the first time. I wish more than words can express that an ultrasound were on our agenda for today. Until a few weeks ago, I took for granted that it would be.

But God is doing such a mighty work in my heart. And I’m doing well. Really well, all things considered. I don’t know what God has up His sleeve, but I know that I’ve cherished these past couple weeks with Bonnie, and held tightly to every moment. I’ve enjoyed her so much. I believe I will meet all our babies in heaven one day, but for right now, I am able to embrace our family the way it is now, as a family of three.

September is PCOS Awareness Month. I’ve mulled over some good, PCOS-specific blog post topics, and have even spent time staring at my keyboard and computer screen, trying to write them. I’ve enjoyed reading other bloggers’ PCOS Awareness posts.

The thing is, I don’t want to blog about PCOS right now. I don’t want to blog about infertility, or about how to increase chances for conception. I don’t want to talk (type?) about any of those things. That is what this blog has become, and I’m so glad, but I don’t have it in me to write about them now.

As it turns out, letting go of trying to conceive has turned my attention and passions to other things that I’ve missed out on these past few years. Nothing major; just lots of little bits and pieces of life that I’ve been overlooking in pursuit of fertility treatments. I’m fully absorbed now in being a mom rather than in becoming a mom.

All of this to say that I’m not sure what things will look like here on the blog in the coming days, weeks, or months. I’m having a bit of a blogger identity crisis. This week, I am praying for direction with the blog, as silly as that may sound. It’s become an important part of my life, and has put me in touch with so many incredible women. Those relationships and this blog are not something I’m willing to let fall by the wayside.

I’m also praying this week for Andrew as he prepares (again) for his national board exams. He will spend all day Friday testing, from 7am to 7pm. He’s nervous, but I don’t think he could be any more ready. He’s studied diligently for months. He is on track to graduate in June, and we have so many decisions to make between now and then. We are preparing as well as we can, and trusting that God will put the right people and opportunities in our paths at the right times.

All prayers, specifically for my husband, are needed and appreciated! I am so blessed to have found such a wonderful community of powerful prayer warriors. Thank you all.



Toddler-Approved Fish Sticks {Grain free, Sugar Free}

Y’all, it’s Friday. And it’s the Friday before a long weekend. Good thing too, because our week’s worth of groceries that we bought last weekend are nearly gone. Other than staples that we almost always have on hand, our fridge and pantry are practically empty.

Aside from being out of groceries, I’ve struggled in the meal department lately.  I don’t particularly enjoy cooking dinner, and if it were up to me, I’d probably settle for a few pieces of toast slathered with almond butter and jam. By the time dinner rolls around every day, Andrew is just getting home, the other babies are heading home, and I finally have my whole family to myself. The last thing I ever feel like doing is making dinner.

But I do usually feel like eating, and I know I’d get out-voted if I suggested having toast every night. Thus, cooking is necessary.

And I’m actually not giving these fish sticks enough credit. They are toddler approved, PCOS approved, husband approved, and dog approved. My sister gave me the recipe, as she’s a far more adventurous cook that I am!

These are easy to throw together, and call for just a few ingredients that we almost always have on hand, even at the end of the week. Toddler-approved fish sticks {grain free and sugar free}

Toddler-Approved, Oven Fried Fish Sticks

{Grain free and sugar free}


  • 4 Tilapia filets
  • 1 C. almond flour
  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 2 tsp. Bragg Organic Sprinkle
  • 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a splash of water
  • 3 Tbsp. (give or take) melted butter or coconut oil


  1. While the fish is still frozen, slice the filets into “sticks.”
  2. Mix the flours, organic sprinkle, and parmesan cheese and then lay flat on a big plate
  3. Dip the fish into the beaten egg first, and then coat in the flour mixture.
  4. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  5. Brush each side of the sticks with butter or coconut oil. This helps both sides get brown and crispy.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees for approx. 15-25 minutes. Every oven is different, so you just need to keep a close eye. I cooked mine for fifteen minutes, and then put the oven on broil for the last five minutes to help them crisp up a bit more.

We used homemade tartar sauce for dipping, and ate our fish sticks with baked asparagus and cantaloupe. Bonnie loves asparagus and will even eat it uncooked. It’s one of the VERY few vegetables she likes. She likes fish a lot too, and will eat it no matter how it’s cooked. The same is true for eggs. She still loves any and all fruits, with cantaloupe and kiwi being her most recent favorites. She eats three full meals a day, and two large snacks. I’m kind of amazed by how much she eats. And it’s the cutest thing: When she eats something that she really loves, she says “oommmm,” after every bite. It’s seriously the cutest. She’s just incredible, all the way around.

And so are these fish sticks!