I have been meaning to fill you in on my appointment with the dietician. I met with her about a week and a half ago, and have followed the guidelines she gave me to a tee. I can already tell a difference in the way that I feel (energy level, mood, ability to focus… those are the biggies). I do have a staph infection, which is kind of taking the wind out of my sails a bit, but apart from that, I feel noticeably better than I have in quite a while.
As I mentioned before, she recommended that I DO eat both dairy and gluten, as long as I eat the right kinds. And in addition to the kinds of
foods I eat being important, the time of day that I eat is also important. I learned that they go hand in hand and are both equally important if I want to manage PCOS through diet.
The dietician suggested that I eat 4-5 times per day. She also told me not to wait longer than three to four hours between meals. This will help keep my blood sugar steady.
So here is what a normal day should look like:
- 8am- Breakfast
- 12pm- Lunch
- 3pm- Snack
- 6pm- Dinner
**If necessary, a snack is optional, either between breakfast or lunch, or after dinner.**
Prior to meeting with the dietician, I usually ate a snack between breakfast and lunch; however, she urged me to eat a filling breakfast (that includes protein) so that I am not even hungry until lunch. After reviewing my food journal, she explained that my breakfasts are mostly carbs (I eat a lot of fruit smoothies, with a hard-boiled egg on the side). She explained that, obviously, my smoothies are completely composed of carbs, and one small hard-boiled egg is not nearly enough protein to have for breakfast.
Here are some of the BREAKFAST suggestions she gave me:
One cup of oatmeal (either the pre-packaged kind [as long as it is follows the sugar/fiber rule she gave me, which I will share with you momentarily] or steel-cut, or quick-cooking). Topped with 2-3 tbsp of walnuts and/or almonds (those are the two best nuts) with a small bowl of berries on the side (or other fruit, but berries are best). She also suggested sprinkling flaxseed over the oatmeal.
Whole grain/high fiber cereal (as long as it follows the sugar/fiber rule), topped with walnuts and/or almonds, with a side of fruit, or half a banana. She recommends 1 1/4 cup of cereal. She also recommends combining three or four different kinds of cereals (higher sugar blends with lower sugar blends). I have been eating mine with almond milk.
Six to eight ounces of Greek yogurt topped with KIND granola (found in the nutrition section at Kroger).
One egg plus two egg whites, on a whole wheat English muffin, with turkey bacon.
One cup of cottage cheese with fruit and a tbsp of nuts.
LUNCH and DINNER might look a bit like this:
Lean sandwich on whole wheat bread (deli turkey, ham, roast beef, chicken, tuna/egg/chicken salad, peanut butter and low sugar jelly, grilled cheese.) Only use lite mayo; however, mustard is preferred. Side items might include: fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit, side salad, broth based soup, bean based soup.
Salad with protein (meat, eggs, beans, or nuts). Vinaigrette dressing or light creamy dressing. Side items might include: fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit, side salad, broth based soup, bean based soup.
Cottage cheese and fruit with whole wheat crackers and cheese, or 1/2 C. to 1 C. of carrot sticks with 1-2 tbsp of peanut butter or 2-4 tbsp hummus.
SNACKS should contain a protein and a carbohydrate:
Whole grain crackers with cheese, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, or 2-3 tbsp of hummus.
One KIND bar.
Greek yogurt (topped with KIND granola, flax, or nuts).
One ounce of cheese and a piece of fruit.
Apple or half a banana with 2 tbsp of peanut butter.
1/4 C. of nuts with fresh fruit.
1/2 C. of cottage cheese and fruit.
1/2 C. of whole grain/high fiber cereal and milk.
**The starch (carb) should be limited to ONE choice at both lunch and dinner. For example, do not have a sandwich AND crackers. Instead, choose one or the other.
Carbs should include: 100% whole wheat or whole grain breads, cereals, crackers, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, non-starchy veggies, fruits. Whole grains help lower insulin, so they are good if eaten in moderation, and if eaten at proper times during the day.
The idea is to eat a lot of protein and lots of healthy fats (found in nuts, nut butters, olive and canola oil, avocado, hummus).
Refined carbs should not be eaten (white breads and crackers, sugar-based cereals, white rice and pasta, packaged cookies, cakes, snack chips, etc.)
Some tips for buying packaged foods:
– The word “whole” should be the first ingredient on the food label.
– Dietary fiber should be greater than 3 grams per serving.
– Sugar should be less than 10 grams per serving.
The sugar/fiber rule:
Multiply the dietary fiber by 10. That factor should be GREATER THAN the total carbs in the product.
The picture is a bit hard to see, but both cereals work. The first one has 10g of dietary fibers, and 23g of carbs. If you multiply 10×10, you get 100, which is greater than 23. Since this cereal only contains 6g of sugar (remember, anything less than 10 is good), it is a keeper. The second cereal only contains 5g of sugar. It has 5g of fiber, and 5×10 is 50, which is more than the carbs the cereal contains (39). Make sense?
This cereal is a no-go. It contains only 1g of fiber (the dietician recommends at least 3g per serving). If you multiply 1×10, you get 10, which is less than the 27g total carbs that the cereal contains. Finally, this cereal contains 10g of sugar, which is right on the border line!
This same trick works for breads, quinoa, anything grown from the ground.
As far as drinks are concerned, they should all be sugar free or low calorie (less than 40 calories per 8 ounces). Sweeteners like Splenda, Truvia, Equal, and Sweet n’ Low do not raise blood sugar or insulin, so they are acceptable. Regular sodas should be avoided, but diet sodas are okay in moderation. Coffee is a go, but I will continue sticking to decaf.
In regards to exercise, the dietician recommends exercising for about one hour, five days per week. Exercise acts like Metformin to help lower insulin levels. Although I typically do exercise five days a week, I have not done so this week. Andrew has been on his spring break and he has really thrown my normal schedule through a loop. But next week I will be back to my five days a week!
There is all the info I learned! The appointment was actually very enjoyable and encouraging. I am glad I went.