Lunch: Caesar Salad with Salmon and blooming Broccoli Florettes

Caesar Salad with salmon and broccoli florets

There’s something about eating a flower from a healthy plant that just makes you want to smile. It’s yellow, warmed and grown by the sun and will make you want to draw a big ol’ yellow smiley face as you proudly put GOOD nourishing food in your body. It’s been about 6 weeks since I planted my broccoli starts into the garden.  I purchased six small tender plants and they are beginning to produce their first crop. I meant to get out two days ago to trim the floret heads that were forming (they were so little and cute), but the busyness of life got in the way and as I looked out at our little garden this morning I saw that about four plants had started to bloom — those yellow flowers were like a neon sign saying, “We’re ready! Hurry! Come pick us before we are gone!” So out with the scissors I went and just trimmed the stalk right above where new growth shoots were already forming. The great thing about broccoli is that you can get several cuttings off of one plant in one season. And I didn’t realize at first that you can eat not only the broccoli florets, but the leaves and when it is at the flower stage as well.

Did you know that Broccoli is a good source of Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.  I can just hear you saying, “Okay, great Erin. But translate that into how that helps me with my PCOS.” Women with PCOS typically have inflammation issues going on in their body and are at higher risk for ovarian cancer. This is where what you put into your mouth really matters — your liver and cells are counting on you to eat a food like this because it has (big word warning) isothiocyanates (also referred to as ITCs). ITCs are compounds that actually help shut down inflammation responses in the body. unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-detoxification components in broccoli make it a unique food in terms of cancer prevention. What’s more, broccoli is also a rich source of one particular phytonutrient (a flavonol) called kaempferol. Especially inside of our digestive tract, kaempferol has the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances (by lowering the immune system’s production of IgE-antibodies). By lessening the impact of allergy-related substances, the kaempferol in broccoli can help lower our risk of chronic inflammation. In fact, if you eat only an average of 1/2 cup of broccoli per day—only 22 calories’ worth of broccoli—scientists have shown it will have some measurable benefits.

Caesar Salad with Salmon and Broccoli Florets

I know there might be some of you out there that were once like me and digging in your heels saying, “I don’t like vegetables!” Well, my dear cyster, this is what helped me change my thinking when I put it in context… which is worse, enjoying some crunchy green stuff on top of your salad or going thru chemo treatments? Harsh maybe, but if you have weight around your middle, this message is for you as you most likely have inflammation happening inside your body. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I’m here to coax you out of denial so that you can change your life one bite at a time. When you reason it out, the choice seems really clear — eat broccoli. Raw or cooked, it needs to get in your tummy to nourish your body. (Note: if cooking, steam at temperature of 212°F (100°C), with a cooking times of 5 minutes at the most for optimal nourishment.)

But enough about wonderful broccoli — let’s get back to what’s for lunch … today we put together a simple Caesar Salad with romaine picked fresh from the garden this morning, freshly grated Parmesan flakes (low to almost no lactose), and salmon (leftover from dinner the night before.)  I was reminded that I had harvested those pretty blooming broccoli florets (they were still soaking in a ice bath on the counter) and threw the broccoli florets with flowers on top as a crunching vitamin packed topping! It looks so pretty I wish you could see it in person!  And the flavors were fantastic! 

Cutting harvesting romaine lettuce tips

Tip: When you harvest lettuce of any type, take your cuttings early in the morning when it is still cool out and then water your plant and place your cuttings into a bath of ice water with some organic apple cider vinegar. The vinegar did flush out a little spider that was hiding in my romaine, so it’s always a good idea to wash your cuttings outside.

Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. It is a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of choline, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium.  It’s also a food that will fight inflammation in the body, so try to eat Salmon about 2x a week (easy if you do a dinner one night and then left overs another time at either lunch or dinner.)

In short, eat this! It’s tasty and good for the cells and organs in your body! 👏💗👍 

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Lemon Water

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Get in the habit of buying a big ol’ bag of lemons from the grocery store. I get mine from Sams or Costco. Lemon offers a lot of nutritional bang for the buck.

Here’s a short list of what lemon will do for you…

  1. IT FIGHTS CANCER. Lemons are an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant Vitamin C and fights the formation of free radials known to cause cancer.
  2.  HAPPY SKIN. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen. Collagen is the support system for your skin. Adding lemon to what you eat/drink each day will help fight wrinkles, reduce acne flares, and improve overall skin texture.
  3. INCREASES IRON ABSORPTION. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in developed countries and the leading cause of anemia. Choosing foods that are high in Vitamin C with foods that are iron-rich will help your body’s ability to absorb iron. So if you’re drinking lemon water, whatever else you eat with iron (like spinach or chickpeas) will nourish your body.
  4. BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. Vitamin C will help your immune system fight germs that cause a cold or flu. Making this a daily habit — especially during the winter months — will give you the healthy edge against infections.
  5. HELPS YOUR DIGESTION.
  6. FLUSHES YOUR LIVER OF TOXINS. A happy liver means a happy lymph system. The liver is very active while you sleep as it is the body’s time to restore and regenerate. So, drinking enough water, especially first thing in the morning, will help stimulate proper stomach acid and bile production.
  7. INCREASES YOUR METOBOLISM. If you have PCOS, I don’t need to tell you how difficult it can be to move weight off your body. Researchers in Germany found that drinking enough water increased metabolism. “After drinking approximately 17 ounces of water, the subjects’ metabolic rates — or the rate at which calories are burned — increased by 30% for both men and women. The increases occurred within 10 minutes of water consumption and reached a maximum after about 30 to 40 minutes. (source)” It provides your body with plenty of hydrating electrolytes in the form of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
  8. HELP REDUCE BOTH JOINT AND MUSCLE PAIN. If you’ve got high uric acid, you may have gout symptoms. One way to lower uric acid is to add lemons to your cup or plates.
  9. REDUCE DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY SYMPTOMS. It is not uncommon for women with PCOS to fight depression as you battle the symptoms of PCOS. Depression and anxiety are often linked to not having enough potassium in your blood. Lemon water has a high potassium content so you may find your mood is happier as you fuel your body with lemon water.

According to the USDA National nutrient database, one raw lemon, without peel (about 58 grams) provides 17 calories, 0.6 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, 5.4 grams of carbohydrate(including 1.6 grams of fiber and 1.5 grams of sugar, 51% of daily vitamin C needs as well as small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

One fluid ounce of lemon juice provides 7 calories, 0.1 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, 2.1 grams of carbohydrate (including 0.1 grams of fiber and 0.1 grams of sugar) and 23% of daily vitamin C needs.

Be advised, that when I first started adding lemon to my water, I started out slow… it takes awhile to get used to the tart taste. Now, if I drink water without it, I taste all of the metals in the water. (Not kidding!)

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Drink lemon water for a week and then do this one thing… add a 1/2 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar. When I first started this, my nose argued with my taste buds. I didn’t really taste it, but I could smell it. Enter the magnificent 30 oz. Yeti. Filled my Yeti up with ice and put a lid on it with a straw. The straw helped me get it down fast and the lid kept my smeller happy. What I noticed is that after a couple of days, I became more accustomed to the taste.  You can gradually work up to add 1 tsp over a period of time.

If you have done “Trim Healthy Mama” then you’ve heard of Good Girl Moonshine. Same concept, but they don’t explain the medical reason why this is so important for your body. Here’s why Apple Cider Vinegar is so great to add to your water:

Here’s a short list of what organic apple cider vinegar will do for you…

  1. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL. One Japanese study found that a half an ounce of apple cider vinegar a day, lowered cholesterol in those who participated in the panel. A 2006 study also found that the acetic acid in the vinegar lowered bad cholesterol in rats.If you are not familiar with what cholesterol is — it’s a fatty substance that is made in the liver from certain fats in your diet. It acts as a crucial building block and is used to make healthy cell membranes, hormones such as cortisol, oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone, Vitamin D, bile acids and Coenzyme Q10 – a vitamin-like substance essential for processing oxygen and generating energy within cells. If you have too much cholesterol in your body that is unused, it will begin to coat the inside of your arteries — often referred to as plaque. Over time, this is what leads to the hardening of arteries.If your liver has been working overtime on a high fat/highly processed foods/sugary food diets, you will want to have your cholesterol levels checked. In the meantime, add some organic apple cider vinegar to your water and you’ll be fighting that bad cholesterol with every sip. Your liver will thank you.  Your arteries will thank you. Your heart will thank you. Need I go on?
  2. HELPS DIGESTION. Another great reason is it aids the body in digestion and stimulates the cardiovascular circulation while also helping to detoxify the liver. Look for the cloudy kind of unfiltered apple cider vinegar, where you can see a blob in the bottle — the blob is known as “the mother” and it’s full of probiotics and other beneficial bacteria that can help support immune function — and even aid in constipation.
  3. REGULATES THE PH-LEVEL OF YOUR SKIN & BODY. Research has shown that higher acid levels (lower pH level) lead to a lack of energy and higher occurrences of infection. Sipping apple cider vinegar throughout the day will bring a natural boost of energy and help your body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level.
  4. AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS. 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar sipped throughout the day can improve weight-loss according to a 2009 study by Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. It was found that those who had acetic acid over a period of 12-weeks experienced declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides (the bad cholesterol that you want to avoid.)
  5. KICKS CANDIDA TO THE CURB. Because apple cider vinegar is rich in natural enzymes, it has the ability to assist your body in getting rid of candida — yeasts that are attributed to thrush in humans. Candida is also blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.
  6. HELPS STABILIZE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS. According to Arizona State University, apple cider vinegar blocks some of the digestion starch and prevents at least some of that starch from being digested and raising your blood sugar. This is great news for those suffering with PCOS, because insulin is often over produced by the pancreas.

Be advised though… according to Tufts University’s director, if you have gastroparesis, a common problem with diabetes that slows stomach emptying, be careful. Early research has shown that apple cider vinegar may make this problem worse. If you have diabetes and want to try apple cider vinegar, let your doctor know and keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.

And never drink apple cider vinegar straight — it’s so acidic that it could harm your tooth enamel and your esophagus. Just dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons in water with a meal a couple of times over the course of the day. Start out slow. Take baby steps and ease into it and your body will thank you. Remember, one change a day, making better choices one bite — or drink — at a time.

— Erin

Sources: Medical News Today, WebMD, Wellness Mama, Dr Eric Berg, dailymail.co.uk, webMD, 

Lunch: Taco Salad with Quinoa and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Today’s lunch is Taco Salad!!! 👏

Tale extra 90/10 lean ground beef from hamburgers the night before, chop into bite-size pieces and tossed with some cumin, chili pepper and paprika (spices 2:1:1 ratio). Take kale/spinach/chard/carrot medley mix (Sams Club) and chop up and toss with a spicy ranch dressing along with feta and red and yellow bell peppers.

Tip #1: Always make extra when you are grilling meat. It makes it easy for lunch the next day to pull out and reheat.

Tip #2: You don’t use as much dressing if you toss your salad.

 

Place some left over quinoa and red pepper hummus (Sams Club) in two sides of your bowl and take bites along with salad as a mix in. It makes the salad more enjoyable to introduce new flavors between bites. Don’t forget to rinse your palate with your lemon and organic apple cider vinegar water! The citric acid in the water not only has health benefits, but will enhance the taste of what you’re eating!

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So filling and tasty!

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This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, corn-free, and low in lactose.

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#salad #tacosalad #paleo #thm #pcosbites #pcos #pcosdiet #pcostips #pcoslunches #quinoa #hummus #healthyeating #healthylife #eatingclean #eatinghealthy #pcosdiva #cysters #keto #ketogenic #ketogenicdiet

First Taste: Overnight Oats

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I’ve seen these “Overnight Oats” recipes all over Pinterest and on many a blog. I would stare at the photo of a jar filled with oats, almond milk, and chia seeds and like Goldilocks and the three bears, I would scratch my head as to why it was so popular to eat a cold porridge.

Maybe it was the repetition of seeing it over and over, maybe I was just wanting to try an easy option to break up my two egg and sausage breakfast pattern, but when I saw Angela Liddon’s (Oh She Glows — ohsheglows.com ) recipe for vegan, gluten-free, no bake/raw, oil-free, refined sugar free, soy free overnight oats, I decided to give it a go.

Here’s what I put in mine:

Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1 Mason Jar
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

PCOSbites

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 TBSP Chia Seeds

• 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

• 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats

• 3/4 cup Almond Milk

• 1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Add the above ingredients to one mason jar the night before you want to eat them. Stir contents and place a lid on top and put in fridge. In the morning, stir and add more almond milk if necessary. If too runny, she recommends adding more chia seeds. I did not do 1 large banana like her recipe calls for, but that is something a type O can eat. My oat’s consistency was perfect in the morning and I added:

• 1/3 cup Blueberries (I like my blueberries frozen)

• 1 TBSP Pure Maple Syrup (optional)

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enjoy PCOSbites recipe footer

This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, corn-free, and lactose-free.

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The first time I bit into this concoction I had that split second of thinking oats should be hot, but I quickly reminded myself it is suppose to be cold and soon began to settle in and enjoy my easy breakfast. What’s more, I felt great that I got three highly beneficial foods in at the start of the day: cinnamon, blueberries and chia seeds. Here’s a breakdown of why you should be eating this several times a week if you have PCOS:

CHIA SEEDS

1 ounce (equals 28 grams or about 2 TBSP) serving of chia seeds contains:

  • Fiber: 11 grams (If you subtract the fiber, which may not end up as usable calories for the body, chia seeds only contain 101 calories per ounce.)
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s)
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA
  • They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2

Chia seeds are awesome! The fibers are mostly insoluble (95%). Insoluble fibers have been shown to aid in lowering the risk of diabetes (78910).  Chia seeds have a high content of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids — they are even better than beneficial flaxseeds! Chia seeds also contain high-quality protein with all the essential amino acids, and are an excellent plant-based protein source (29). Chia seeds contain a number of beneficial plant compounds. The main ones are listed below (121437).

  • Chlorogenic acid: An antioxidant that may lower blood pressure (3839).
  • Caffeic acid: This substance is abundant in many plant foods, and may help fight inflammation in the body (40).
  • Quercetin: A powerful antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer (414243).
  • Kaempferol: An antioxidant that has been associated with decreased risk of cancer and other chronic diseases (4445).

And as you know with PCOS, gluten is not tolerated well in our body, so here’s the good news — chia seeds are gluten-free!

BLUEBERRIES

1 cup serving (148 grams) of blueberries contains:

  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 24% of the RDA
  • Vitamin K: 36% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 25% of the RDA
  • It also contains small amounts of various other nutrients.

Blueberries are made up of approximately 85% water — an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates. Blueberries are believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. They protect our bodies from damage by free radicals — unstable molecules that can damage cellular structures to our DNA that create aging and contribute to diseases like cancer. What’s more, blueberries can improve cholesterol levels.  Did you know that a daily 50 gram serving of blueberries can lower LDL oxidation by 27% in obese individuals, after a period of eight weeks (17)? Another study showed that 75 grams of blueberries with a main meal significantly reduced the oxidation of LDL lipoproteins (18). Blueberries have been found to lower blood pressure. In one study, obese individuals who were high risk for heart disease had a 4-6% reduction in blood pressure, after consuming 50 grams (1.7 ounces) of blueberries per day, for eight weeks (19). Other studies have found similar effects, especially when looking at post-menopausal women (2021). Research also suggests that anthocyanins in blueberries can have extremely beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism — this is GREAT for individuals struggling with PCOS. Blueberries have also been found to help with unitary tract infections. And finally, blueberries have been found to improve memory, so if you’re experience brain fog, these are your allies in lifting that fog!  So, bottom line, eat those yummy blueberries!

CINNAMON

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols (345). In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon was the clear winner, even outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano (6). Some studies even show that the antioxidants in cinnamon have potent anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower the risk of disease (3). It reduces levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remains stable (8).  Cinnamon can also reduce insulin resistance, helping the hormone insulin, to do its job properly (1011). First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal. It does this by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract (1213). Second, a compound in cinnamon can act on cells by mimicking insulin (1415). This greatly improves glucose uptake by cells, although it acts much slower than insulin itself. Numerous human trials have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 10-29% (161718). Many women with PCOS who are overweight or obese, are pre-diabetic so adding cinnamon to the food you consume each day is important. The effective dose is typically 1-6 grams of cinnamon per day (around 0.5-2 teaspoons). Just make sure you use Ceylon cinnamon whenever possible for greatest benefits.

IN CONCLUSION…

If you’ve never tried, cold overnight oats, I highly encourage them – especially if you have a tendency to need to dash off to work. But per my doctor, make sure this is only eaten 1x-2x a week at the most as rolled oats can act like gluten in the body.

They can also make an easy lunch option to pack if you have a fridge you can access to work. Drop it off when you get to work and they’ll be chilled by lunch. Let me know what you think if you try these. Or if you have some mix-ins you like, feel free to share!

— Erin

 

How Kelp can Help

When I read that kelp was highly beneficial for my body as a great source of iodine, I was a bit dumbstruck. How on earth was I going to get kelp into my diet? Sushi was off the list because of rice, and I knew that I did NOT want to take another pill. So online I went in search of an easy win. And this is what I came up with …

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I have found it’s easy to add to scrambled eggs, on top of a salad – you name it! You can’t notice the flavor at all which is a win for me after I had tried one of those kelp “snacks” which was just a flavored sheet of kelp.

I’m following the Blood Type eating plan, but many of these foods can be beneficial for those looking to eat better. The Blood Type eating plan focuses on limiting foods where the lectins in the foods react like poison, if you will, within your body. All plants have lectins in them to help protect them against predators. It’s not just insects, birds, and animals that can be influenced by these lectins in plants, but also our bodies. And, research has shown that each blood type reacts differently to different lectins in foods. The lectins can do several harmful things within your body. It can settle in an area and act like a glue. It can also act like the hormone, insulin and let in glucose to fuel the cell, but unlike the insulin, it won’t release and so the cell just continues to fill. If you want to learn more, you can watch this short video that helped me to understand what happens within our bodies with lectins. I was really skeptical when I first started eliminating foods that were on my “do not eat” list because of how the lectins in them reacted with my blood, but I can tell you that after only two weeks of eating according to this food plan, MY JOINT PAIN WAS GONE!  I’m now thinking there is something to this after personally experiencing more energy and no more chronic pain. So, if you have O+ blood type you’ll definitely want to add kelp to your diet as it is highly beneficial (it will help your body heal).

Update: I also found this dropper of kelp that you can add to your water or other liquids while cooking. I just add a dropper to my morning and afternoon water and I don’t even taste it! Awesome!

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