Five Foods every Woman with PCOS Needs in her Diet

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23; NIV


Five Superfoods every woman with PCOS needs in her diet

Growing up, my family had a list of go-to dinners that we would stick to religiously. On this list were things like spaghetti, burritos, burgers and a lot of very fattening, carb- filled foods. We hardly ever strayed from this list unless my mom really wanted to try out some new recipe for mac n’ cheese. Yet again, carb- ridden, cheesy goodness!

When I went off to college over 2,500 miles away, my mindset regarding what to eat changed a little bit. Freshman year, I still relied heavily on what the dining hall provided. Most days, I would reach for pizza or burgers because it had been pounded into me to reach for what tastes good, not what is good for me.

I still struggle with making the right food choices but now that I live in my own apartment I shop for and cook my own meals. It has, thankfully, made me think about what I put into my body. Do I still splurge? Of, course! But I am slowly branching out and trying things that I had never even heard of back home.

As a woman with PCOS, I recognize the importance of making the right food choices. Thankfully, many of my favorite foods ared actually pretty good for you. There are several lists of “PCOS Superfoods” out there, but I have decided to compile a list of my favorites.

So, without further ado, here are my top five PCOS Superfoods!

1. Avocados

I love mexican food and in my humble opinion, a taco is not a taco unless there is an avocado in it. Thank goodness that this wonderful fruit is anti- inflamatory in nature! According to PCOS Diet Support, “this anti-inflammatory property is important in terms of PCOS as we are prone to chronic inflammation.”

Inflammation increases a woman’s resistance to insulin, therefore tampering it down is perhaps one of the best ways to control PCOS symptoms.

2.Cinnamon

Who does not love sprinkling a little cinnamon into their hot cocoa? Am I right?  “Once Upon a Time” has certainly taught me the value of the wonderful drink that is cinnamon hot cocoa! Seriously, try it!

cinnamon hot cocoa from granny's diner, steveston B.C.

That being said, cinnamon is something of a super spice. Not only is it versatile and can be used in all types of dishes, it also has been shown to lower blood glucose in people with Type 2 Diabetes. For women with PCOS, this is important because the consumption of cinnamon helps to lower the body’s demand for Insulin.

PCOS Diet Support states that “Insulin acts on our ovaries to produce testosterone so if we can manage our insulin levels, we’ll be able to better manage our testosterone.” Once again, kicking our Insulin into submission could be the key to beating PCOS.

How much cinnamon per day does it take? Only three grams!

3. Coconut oil

I just recently began using coconut oil, so there is still much experimentation to be done in my household. I mostly use it on my skin, as it is a natural moisturizer but cannot wait to use it in more of my recipes.

According to Natural Alternative Therapies, “It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production and it has dozens of other benefits, such as weight loss, inflammation reduction and even antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.”

Sounds like a win- win to me!

4.Sweet Potatoes

All in all, sweet potatoes are a healthier carb than other types of potatoes. They are on the low glycemic index, therefore promising low sugar but a tasty outcome! My preferred method for eating them are as sweet potato fries. I just love the combination of sweet and salty!

5. Black Beans

Black Bean Brownies with strawberries

According to Top 10 Home Remedies, “black beans are rich in fiber that helps regulate blood sugar levels, which helps reduce fertility issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome and immunological issues while promoting a healthy hormonal balance.”

Sounds good to me!

I love using black beans in all of my cooking. If anything, I just use them as a side dish. They are also extremely versatile. In a moment of weakness, I decided to make brownies using them, and it turned out amazing!

That is it for my five favorite PCOS Superfoods! What are your favorite PCOS super foods? How do you incorporate them into your everyday diet? Let me know in the comments below!

Blessings,

Brianna

Sources:

http://www.pcosdietsupport.com/diet-tips/pcos-superfoods/

http://abc.go.com/shows/once-upon-a-time

http://www.natural-alternative-therapies.com/natural-remedies-for-pms/

http://www.top10homeremedies.com/superfoods/top-10-superfoods-boost-fertility.html/2

http://hip2save.com/2014/03/07/black-bean-brownies/

Advertisements

Eating Gluten Free in D.C.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-12; ESV

Last Saturday, my friend Claire and I took a day trip to Washington D.C. Despite our disappointment at the lack of cherry blossoms, we had an amzing time hopping from one museum to the next. Yes, we’re nerds.

After spending over an hour in the Holocaust museum, we met up with Claire’s parents to find a place to eat. I pulled out my phone and opened up my handy- dandy new app, “Find me Gluten Free”. It’s pretty amazing! The app uses my location to indicate which gluten friendly  restaurants are closest to me and shows ratings from other gluten intolerant patrons.

We decided to go to a Meditteranean eatery called Roti and I was really excited to try their gluten free pita bread. We walked the half mile from the National Mall to the food court at L’Enfant Plaza only to find that Roti was closed. On a Saturday!

Apparently that is a thing in D.C. Many eateries close on the weekend because the offices and places of business around them are also closed.

Upset about not being able to eat pita bread, we looked around for another place to eat. Next door to Roti was a place called Brown Bag. I remembered reading about this place in my “Find me Gluten Free” app as well, so I asked the manager if they had gluten free options. Not only were all of their salads gluten free, they also offered rice noodles for their pasta and gluten free bread for their sandwiches!

Gluten free Reuben sandwich from Brown Bag, Washington D.C.

I chose the Reuben on the gluten free roll. Paired with a bag of barbeque chips, it was a very filling meal and boy had I missed a good old reuben! I am not entirely certain about the risk of cross contamination (it is probably very high) but for me it was a great meal!

Later on that night, Claire and I headed over to the very famous Georgetown Cupcakes for dessert. After waiting over an hour in line, we finally got to order. Each day of the week, the bakery creates a unique gluten free cupcake. On Saturday, they bake a chocolate peanut butter cupcake. I ordered two, saving one for the next day.

Gluten Free chocolate peanut butter cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes, Washington D.C.

I noticed that Georgetown kept their gluten free cupcakes separate from the rack of regular cupcakes. When I ordered, they also asked if they needed to change gloves or separate my cupcakes from the regular one I ordered for my roommate. I was very pleased to notice that they offered to take this extra precaution even though they were extremely busy. By the way, they were delicious!

All in all, I was very pleased with the gluten free options in and around our nation’s capital!

Sources:

http://www.findmeglutenfree.com

https://www.georgetowncupcake.com

http://roti.com

http://brownbagonline.com

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter mypcosadventure

It is Easter! Spring is in the air. The weather is slowly warming up. Flowers are blooming. I absolutely love this time of year! Because it is Easter, I thought I would take the time for a little devotional. I have relied on God throughout my PCOS journey and continue to lean on him each and every day.

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Most Christians know this Bible verse. It is so easily recalled and quoted in church services. I believe that this verse holds a different meaning for everyone. For me, it is the reality that I can overcome my PCOS.

In this one, tiny verse I can read God’s promise that he will give me everything I need in life to fight my battles. He gives me that mental and emotional strength that carries me through every trial in life. This is not to say that I do not feel weak at times. But God is always there to pick me up.

For every Christian woman with PCOS, this verse should mean something to them. Something deeper than the physical strength that many seem to affiliate this passage with. For us, this verse should be a call to action! We need to read this and remember that there is a God greater than our ailments and he has brought us through before and he will do it again and again and again.

I think of the Chris Tomlin song, God of this City, and the lyrics that say, “greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done.” For me, that could be my anthem! I know that there will be struggles in my life. But those struggles cannot compare to the plans that God has for me and every single person on this planet!

Jeremy Camp’s song, Overcome, also reminds me of the victory we have in Christ! He, our savior, overcame death. So why can’t he help us overcome our trials?

This Easter, I hope that everyone can look back and see the amazing things God has already done. We celebrate his death and resurrection on this day, after all!

Decorate some Easter eggs, spend time with family, eat a cupcake! Celebrate this day that means we have freedom in Christ and absolutely nothing to fear in life.

PCOS, infertility, diabetes and weight gain have nothing on the almighty power of Jesus Christ!

God bless!

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP-JdZs4V54

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEFGr1S8SkA

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=philippians+4%3A13&version=NIV

What to do after a PCOS Diagnosis

” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

-Romans 15:13 (NIV)

What to do after a PCOS DiagnosisWhen I was first diagnosed with PCOS, I was fifteen and lacked any knowledge whatsoever on the topic. All I knew was my aunt had the same thing and it caused her to to go into premature labor with her first baby and lose her second baby. Knowing this scared me. After all, the idea of losing a child or being unable to have one was (and is) the worst possible scenario I could run through my head.

After I calmed down, I began to take the necessary steps towards making myself more knowledgeable on the topic of PCOS.

DO Your research

Being the good high school student I was, I already knew how to research the things I was interested in. So, with my health and future in mind, I began to do research on PCOS. I even did a presentation in my biology class on PCOS. I became so well aware of my PCOS that I could understand exactly what was going on inside of me.

I highly recommend every woman with PCOS does her own research. There are many great sources out there in order to easily understand this issue. One great site is pcosfoundation.org. This website provides resources and factual information regarding what we go through everyday.

Get a support system going!

I believe it is the most important thing for a woman with PCOS to have someone to turn to in the tough times. For me, it is my mom. She was there when I was diagnosed and she continues to be there every moment I feel down. When I have questions regarding my symptoms, I like to turn to women who know what I am talking about.

As a member of the Facebook group “PCOS Talk” I can ask the intimate questions and also lend a helping hand to other women with questions. Often times, it is as simple as asking which medication works best. Knowing that there is a group of women out there who can answer my burning questions makes me confident that I am not going to be in the dark.

Soulcysters.com is another great resource to get in touch with women, hear their stories and share yours!

Talk to your doctor

It may sound cliche, but talking to a doctor that you trust to help you and make the right decisions is the best thing you can do for yourself. No matter how much research you do on the topic of PCOS, no better resource is at your hands than the very knowledgeable doctor just one phone call away. When I was first diagnosed, I saw my Endocrinologist twice a year. Now I only see her once a year but every time I do I feel encouraged to keep fighting for my health.

Here is a great article on which doctors best treat PCOS!

Sources:

http://www.pcosfoundation.org

http://www.pcosjournal.com/who-treats-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome/

http://soulcysters.com

Three Reasons why you should be Honest about your PCOS

Three Reasons Why you Should be Honest about your PCOS

Telling those closest to you (and those not so close to you) about any health condition can be awkward. You question whether or not they want to know. Maybe you are divulging too much information for their liking? Perhaps they just do not care. But there are several reasons why sharing your PCOS and any other health condition may just be the best thing you can do for yourself and for others.

1.Those close to you become your support system

It should be easy to do. Sharing your deepest fears and worries with those you love and who love you back? But many may fear rejection when they open themselves up. Telling anyone about your faults allows them to analyze you and see you in a far different light than they may have seen you before. But not opening up to those closest to you can ultimately breed distrust and contempt. When someone truly loves you, whether it is a parent, best friend or significant other, they want to know everything about you- even your faults.

With that in mind, telling family and friends that you have PCOS helps them help you. My mother is my greatest support (closely followed by my grandmother) when it comes to dealing with my health condition. She was there when I was diagnosed at the age of 15 and continues to encourage me from 2,500 miles away now that I am in college. Our phone conversations typically end up with her asking me if I am keeping up on my medication and whether I need a refill or not. It may be a silly little question but it reminds me that she cares enough about my health to ask.

I have a whole army of friends and family members who hold my hand through the tough moments. They encourage me so much that I know that they will continue to be there when things become even harder.

If you do not have anyone to help you through the tough times, there are many great resources for women with PCOS. One of my favorites is pcosdietsupport.com. Not only does this site help with finding the right diet plan for you, it helps battle mental health issues as well.

2. You crush stereotypes and preconceived notions about yourself

One defining factor for PCOS is weight gain. Not every situation is defined by weight but it is true that women with PCOS have a much harder time losing weight than a woman who does not have it. That being said, I am sure I am not the only one who has gotten the stares that just ooze judgement.

According to myfertilitycare.com, “the disease can cause obesity because many PCOS patients also become resistant to insulin, the hormone that orchestrates the body’s storage of food as fat.”

The truth of the matter is that women with PCOS tend to look different. Whether you have acne or are overweight, society perceives you as being responsible for the way you look. But that is not the truth! I will be the first to admit that I am not the healthiest eater but even after eating healthy and trying to lose weight it becomes really difficult to shed the pounds. That just seems to be how it is with PCOS.

When people know that you actually suffer from a medical condition, they may start to see you as the strong woman you actually are rather than someone who is too lazy to try to live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Someone else may just have it too

Last semester, I sat next to two amazing women in my English class. We hit it off so fast and I began to open up to both of them about my PCOS. After telling my story to them, my friend Claire looked at me and mentioned that she had some of the same symptoms I had just described to her. After encouraging her to speak with a doctor on the matter she came to me and said she had been diagnosed with PCOS. I was in no way excited that she had it, but knowing I played a role in her figuring out what was going on with her body felt pretty amazing!

“Unfortunately, women with PCOS often don’t know they have it. To complicate matters, there’s no one simple blood test or scan that produces a PCOS diagnosis.” according to diabetesstopshere.org.

Because diagnosis is hard, doctors tend to overlook the symptoms. By making someone aware of their symptoms, they are more likely to ask the right questions to lead to a proper diagnosis.

I doubt that I am the main cause of her figuring out she has PCOS, but I know I played a role. Claire has been treating her PCOS since September and says she is already seeing improvement. Why would you not share if you could change someone’s life like I did?

Sources:

http://www.pcosdietsupport.com

http://www.myfertilitycare.com/drT_pcoArticle.asp

http://diabetesstopshere.org/2012/09/11/pcos-the-cousin-of-diabetes/

Gluten Free Buffalo Chicken Recipes

When the Frank’s  Red Hot commercial states, “I put that **** on everything,” I tend to take it very seriously. Growing up in a family that values spicy food, there is always an opportunity to add a little kick to my meals.

When I was younger my dad really enjoyed mixing Frank’s buffalo sauce with cream cheese and chicken on the stove. He would then smother it between two slabs of white bread. Even though I always thought he put a bit too much hot sauce into the mixture, it was good. Really good!

Now that I am a bit more aware of what I can and cannot eat, there are no more buffalo chicken sandwiches to be had. But it does not stop me from enjoying things very similar on occasion. Being creative in the kitchen and relying heavily on Pinterest inspiration, I have learned to reinvent the wheel and create some really delicious buffalo chicken recipes.

Buffalo Ranch Tacos

Gluten Free Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tacos with Frank's Red Hot

The first is a great lunch or dinner! Easy to put together and delicious to eat, if you like spicy I highly recommend you try this one. Although it is not necessary, sprinkling a little bit of sharp cheddar cheese on these tacos adds even more flavor to an already amazing dish.

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (or canned chicken if you are in a hurry)
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot buffalo sauce
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • Ranch dressing to taste (I use Newman’s Own, cause it is delicious and gluten free)
  • Corn tortillas

Directions

1. In a saucepan, comine chicken, butter and buffalo sauce. Heat through.

2. Microwave tortillas for approximately 20 seconds to soften.

3. Spoon filling into tortillas then drizzle with ranch dressing. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip with Frank's Red Hot

This recipe is a great snack at parties! Paired with tortilla chips, you cannot go wrong.

Ingredients

  • 2 (13 oz.) cans chicken (or the equivalent in fresh shredded chicken)
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • tortilla chips

Directions

1. In a saucepan, combine chicken, buffalo sauce, cheese, cream cheese and sour cream. Heat through. Mix in scallions.

2. Spoon dip into a serving bowl and pair with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

It is literally that easy! I hope you enjoyed these recipes and that you find a way to make them your own.

Special thanks to these guys for their recipe inspiration:

http://onceamonthmeals.com/gluten-free-dairy-free-buffalo-ranch-chicken-wraps/

http://www.bombshellbling.com/buffalo-chicken-dip/

Other sources:

http://www.franksredhot.com

http://www.newmansown.com/products/newmans-own-ranch-dressing/

Top 5 Treatments for PCOS

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

– 1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV

There are many ways that a woman can treat her Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. When I was diagnosed, I found out there was no cure for PCOS. More often than not, doctors like to prescribe a variety of pills or natural remedies that may or may not work and, upon the next office visit, will ask whether you feel better or worse taking those pills.

Top 5 Treatments for PCOS

My family and I decided early on that we would let an Endocrinologist handle everything that goes on regarding my PCOS. My regular doctor at the time, whom we loved, had no knowledge regarding what I had. She did help us find the Endo that I now see on an annual basis, though.

Endocrinologists are most widely used to treat Diabetes. Their knowledge regarding that disease is priceless. Because PCOS and Diabetes are so closely related, they are often seen as those with the best knowledge in that particular area of medicine. But for my Endo, it is still a lot of guess work. She has kept me on two different medications since I was 15, and they seem to have worked. But other women with PCOS have tried the same combination and have failed to see positive results.

So, the question is, what does a woman with PCOS take in order to treat herself? Here is a list of the top 5 PCOS treatments:

1. Metformin: One of the medicines I have taken since I was diagnosed is Metformin. According to Mayo Clinic, Metformin is “an oral medication for type 2 diabetes that improves insulin resistance and lowers insulin levels.” The theory is that if one can lower Insulin levels, then they can level out thier hormones and begin to lose weight. It also helps regulate a woman’s meunstral cycle. Taking this medicine can be quite scary at the beginning. Many women, including myself, experience nausea during the first month of taking this pill. I quickly learned not to take my Metformin in the morning. Rather, I took it at night after eating something. Since that first month, I have not experienced any negative side effects.

2. Spironolactone: This is the second medication I use. Spironolactone is widely used to combat the testosterone levels in women with PCOS. Also said to fight hursutism, this medicine greatly reduces the amount of time spent shaving every week. It also helped me with my acne, which had been a consistent problem from the time I was 10 years old. Once I began taking this medicine, my acne began to go away. Since then, I’ve only had the occasional break- out.

3. Birth Control: Two of my doctors have asked me on multiple occasions whether I want to go on birth control in order to treat my PCOS. My answer has, and continues to be, a resounding NO! I have my own reasons for not wanting to use birth control. But for some women with PCOS, this is their treatment of choice. I have nothing against them, it is just not my thing. According to Women’s Health, this pill will control meunstral cycles, reduce male hormones and help clear acne. Apparently its my two pills in one. But there’s also a warning attached to this medication: “Keep in mind that the menstrual cycle will become abnormal again if the pill is stopped.” Case in point why I have chosen to steer clear from birth control pills.

4. Fertility Medication: I have little knowledge regarding this type of treatment. Unless one is actively trying to get pregnant, I doubt this is the right option. Women’s Health states that this would help a woman with PCOS actually ovulate, because, you know, that is important if you want to have a baby. Any woman with PCOS knows that having their meunstral cycle and ovulating are two very different things. Both do not always happen.

5. Diet and Exercise: PCOS tends to make women fat. Does not mean they all are. But I am. My doctor loves to tell me that by losing weight, I can see better results with my hormone levels and my meunstral cycles. It is true. I lost a lot of weight a couple years ago and found my cycle to be more regular. Since then, I have gained much of it back. Blame college! The funny thing is that my hormone levels are normal. If one were to look at my blood work ,they would not see an overweight teenage girl. I am very healthy, according to my labs. Its the “cover of my book” that needs some revising, if ya’ know what I mean. Although I wholeheartedly agree that weightless is important in the struggle against PCOS, the bigger picture should be focused on what can be done to combat Insulin, Testosterone and other hormone levels effected by PCOS. That is why I advocate for a Gluten free diet. PCOS Diet Support provides some great insight into why PCOS and Gluten do not mix.

As far as treatment goes, every woman is different. What works for me will not work for one of my best friends who also has PCOS. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to research and read out bodies, so that we know what works and what does not.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/basics/treatment/con-20028841

http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html

http://www.pcosdietsupport.com/diet-tips/pcos-and-gluten/

My Interview with a Fellow Blogger

Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. 

-2 Corinthians 2:17, NIV

I recently had the chance to ask a friend of mine how blogging has effected her life. Because I am new to the blogging universe, this was the perfect opportunity to ask the questions that have been on my mind since I began.

Graphic from Carrie's new website, which will launch soon.

Graphic from Carrie’s new website, which will launch soon.

Carrie Henning is the author of carrieisreborn, a wordpress blog that has seen a lot of love from the woman who puts her time and effort into making it something great! Carrie has provided some terrific insight into what it is to be a blogger.

Through her blog, Carrie shares her Christian faith and opens up about what she is learning from God each and every day.

As a Christian myself, I feel a cameraderie with Carrie. Ultimately, both of our goals are to glorify God in everything we do. That especially includes what we write in our blogs. Even if my blog is about PCOS, I am not one to shy away from sharing Christ through it all.

Her popularity has inspired Carrie to create her own website. Launching soon, Reborn and Rooted will be Carrie’s source of inspiring other women in their walk with Christ. Definitely be on the lookout for the amazing work she will be doing through her new blog!

Carrie is a woman with a beautiful heart and I hope everyone can find something wonderful to take away from what she had to say in our interview. So, without further ado, here is my interview with Carrie Henning:

When did you first begin blogging?
I began blogging in the spring of 2013. My dad was beginning to blog, and (since I love) to write, I decide to join in.
How long did it take for your blog to begin seeing visitors to its site?
It took a few posts to begin to see followers, but after a few, people started sharing my posts on Facebook and Twitter, which allowed the traffic on my blog to grow.
What inspires you to keep blogging?
Writing has always been a strength in my life, and I was always writing for myself. So why not share it with others? I love seeing the Lord use my posts to glorify Himself. It’s also cool because I get messages thanking me for certain quotes, ideas, etc. So the encouragement I receive from readers helps to keep me going, too!
What has been the hardest thing to blog about?
The hardest thing to blog about has been just my vulnerability. As I started to write more, I realized I needed to be more vulnerable and honest with my readers. So that was a hard lesson I had to learn.
What is your life Bible verse and why?
One verse I’ve clung to is 2 Corinthians 2:17, which talks about being reborn in Christ. There is so much power in being reminded that we’re made new, and when I read that verse, I get the same goosebumps every time.
How do you use your blog to help other people?
I use my blog to help others by sharing how the Lord has healed me, how God speaks through Scripture, and how we are loved immensely. I think every reader needs something different, and I enjoy seeing the Lord use my writing to reach that need, whatever it may be.
With your new website launching, what do you hope to accomplish?
I have so many goals for my website, it’s almost absurd. But I felt the Lord telling me that this was something I needed to do. My goals include creating curriculum for girls to download/buy to study the Word, discussing topics of the faith that need to be biblically addressed, and stuff like that. I just want it to be a place where people can look and see God’s evident hand working through everything.
Do you ever plan to stop blogging or move on to another topic?
I hope to continue blogging for a long time, but I know a time will come where God shows me a different path, and I’m willing to follow His lead. But I’d love to continue this for as long as I can!
How has your life changed since you began blogging?
I feel like I have such a great outlet for my feelings and thoughts. I find freedom in writing, and every time I sit and blog, I feel so great at the end.
What advice do you have for those just starting out with a blog of their own?
If someone is thinking about starting a blog, my advice would be “blog, even when you don’t have time to.” It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of life, don’t let blogging and writing get swept under the rug.
If you could blog about anything besides what you already do, what would it be? Why?
I’d love to blog more about Scripture. For example, creating Bible studies and guides.
What snippet of encouragement do you want other women to take away from you?
I hope that when women read my posts, they see a great hope. Not of myself, but a hope in Christ. I hope they see that even in the midst of pain and brokenness, the Lord sought me out and mended me; and He’ll do the same for everyone.
What is your favorite post that you ever wrote? Why?
My favorite post so far is one I did on the book of Hosea. It discusses how we are like the harlot in the story. We run from our Love and from our freedom, back to a life of bondage and sin. But how God is a faithful groom, who patiently awaits our arrival home.
How do you use social media to attract attention to your blog?
Any time I write a new post, I post a link via Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Through that it gets shared!
What is your favorite blog to follow? Why?
 My current favorite blog is She Reads Truth. It’s a site full of devotions, studies, and discussions on different topics. It’s such a great resource and encouragement!
What has been the most unexpected, but positive, thing to come out of your blog?Honestly, the feedback I receive concerning my blog has been the most unexpected thing. I never expected that one day, I’d be buying my own site, blogging for hundreds of readers, and all that. It’s been crazy seeing it unfold!
How have you continued to expand your blog as its popularity grows?
I recently purchased a personal site, rather than blogging off of wordpress. The ministry I have started through this has an official “.com” link and everything!

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Rice CasseroleAs a single college student, Ioften find myself looking for new recipes. This is one I tried recently and found that I really enjoy. I will give credit where it is due and admit that this is not mine. It is one of the many I find on “Pinterest”. But I thought I would share it because I like it so much.

Michelle Palin on My Gluten- Free Kitchen has the original recipe. Since I cook for one, I did divide the recipe so that I did not end up with a massive amount of leftovers. Palin’s post shows how to make three casserole dishes worth and freeze it. I personally prefer the “make and eat right away” method.

Since I went gluten-free in September, I have been craving pasta type dishes. This one hits the spot because the basmati rice mixed with every other ingredient tastes like pasta. All in all, this recipe turned out very well. Because I am cheap, I used canned chicken. Nonetheless, it turned out great!

I definitely recommend using Sharp cheddar cheese for a little extra kick. Another thing I might add is that the recipe does call for mushrooms. But because I am no fan of fungus in my food, I left it out. The next time I make this dish, though, I may try adding some onions. After all, onions make every dish better!

For the woman with PCOS, this is a dish that avoids gluten, so you can feel a little better about eating it. Just ignore all the cheese you are stirring in with the milk and butter!

Without further ado, I give you the recipe!

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3/4  tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 head fresh broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Pre-cook your rice to yield 2 cups of cooked rice. Pre-cook your chicken and shred, to yield 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray one 8×8″ oven and freezer safe baking pan (glass, aluminum, foil, or Gladware oven pan) with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, add the cooked rice, sliced mushrooms, garlic, milk and half of the shredded cheddar cheese. Cook over medium heat until the cheese is all melted.
  4. Add the broccoli, chicken, salt and garlic powder and cook over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Remove from heat and pour mixture into baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top..
  6. Bake at 350° until casserole is heated throughout and broccoli is tender, about 30 minutes.

Once again, I owe all credit to Michelle Palin at My Gluten- Free Kitchen for this awesome recipe! I simply broke it down into college girl territory. 

Source

http://mygluten-freekitchen.com/chicken-broccoli-rice-casserole-gluten-free/

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and its lasting effects on my life

PCOS and its Lasting Effects on my Life

Banff National Park, Alberta Canada

My whole world flipped upside down when I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

At 15 years old, I already had many goals in life. I already knew that I wanted to have a career as a Journalist. I already knew that I wanted to have fulfilling relationships with both family and friends.

I knew I wanted to be a mom.

But PCOS threatened, and continues to threaten, my very ability to be a mom. Yes, there are many more side effects that I should be worried about- risk of Diabetes, heart disease, Ovarian Cancer. I am aware of those. But, to be honest, those do not matter quite as much as the risk to my own fertility.

So, from the time I was diagnosed I have struggled to find the answer. A cure- all. I live everyday to be a healthier woman so that I can welcome healthy children into my life one day.

“Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance,” according to webmd.com.

Hormonal imbalance in anyone can cause far too many problems to number. But to simplify my condition, I will focus primarily on the effects PCOS has on fertility.

Because PCOS causes Estrogen and Testosterone imbalance in women, it causes the woman to have irregular menstrual cycles.  Left unchecked, an irregular cycle can cause cancer. But the more immediate threat is to a woman’s ability to procreate. After all, if a woman cannot go through her natural cycle her body is not prepared to create new life.

“In women with PCOS, the ovary doesn’t make all of the hormones it needs for an egg to fully mature,” according to Women’s Health.

It is possible for a woman with PCOS to get pregnant. My own aunt has PCOS and has two children. But she also lost a child.

That’s the risk every woman takes with PCOS. If she is lucky enough to become pregnant, then she will have to fight to protect her unborn child from miscarriage or a premature birth.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome also comes with a litany of side effects that every woman dreads. Acne, weight gain,  extra hair on the face and body, and insulin resistance are all things I have experienced daily because of PCOS.

My whole life, I have suffered with my weight and acne. After I was diagnosed, I was glad to know that I finally had a reason for whyI struggled with these things. The first step to fighting anything is knowledge.

I have the knowledge to battle Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have the ability to become as healthy as I want to be- for myself and my future children.

The unfortunate fact is- according to Women’s Health- that one in ten women has PCOS and most do not even realize it. By sharing my own experience, perhaps others can come to realize that they, too, may suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

This blog serves as my voice to anyone who will listen. I wish to share my story. My struggles. I hope to provide insight into my gluten free lifestyle for anyone interested. I hope that in doing so, people might understand what I do on a day to day basis to remain as healthy as possible so that I can inspire others to make a change in their lives.

Sources

http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos-topic-overview

http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13584415/?claim=uj9xcsxjj9m”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>