Day 1 – It’s all about baby steps

The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. – Ann Wigmore

So day 1 of actually putting my plan in action is in the bag. For the most part, things went according to plan although there were a few bumps in the road. Here are some of the highlights/lowlights:


My plan to get up early and have  a workout did not happen. When my alarm went off on my phone, I apparently picked up my phone, put it underneath me and went back to sleep. I know that I did this, because that is where I found it an hour later when I actually woke up. It was still early enough to do a short workout (6am), but instead I lay in bed for the next hour and played video games on my phone lol. Getting up early just wasn’t in the cards today apparently.

After work, I was feeling a little guilty about this though, so I decided to walk to my book club from work. Using google maps, I figured out it was a little over 2km. I also decided to time myself to see how long it took me (and so I could see how much exercise time I could log in my tracker). It took me a little over 1/2 hour, which means my normal walking pace is about 4km/hour. Is that fast?


For the most part I managed to eat “on plan” all day, and tracked every morsel of food that I put in my mouth. That included the two pieces I had of beef tenderloin I had at my book club. Even though I had already had dinner, they just looked too good to not try. They were small pieces though, and I still made sure I put them in my tracker on my phone.

I also had a Peanut Butter cookie from Starbucks this morning. I know, I know, I wasn’t suppose to have that…but they are so yummy. Oh well at least I put it in the tracker. Do you know those things have 480 calories?!?! YIKES! I won’t be doing that again. Once I found that out, I immediately started looking up flour-less peanut butter cookie recipes. I found a few that looked promising, so will keep you posted.


Apparently I did not pack enough food for work today. By mid-afternoon I found myself getting very hungry and I was out of snacks. Tomorrow I will be sure to pack some more veggies and fruit for afternoon snacking.

When walking to book club I stopped just before and picked up dinner. I decided to get a Greek Burger from GBK. This place is great because instead of a bun, you can get your burger  in lettuce wraps. Sounds weird, I know, but was really good and very filling. So filling in fact, I didn’t even eat my whole burger. I ate all the lettuce and toppings and 1/2 the beef patty and realized I was full. So I did the unthinkable  – I stopped eating! I know, crazy but true. I still couldn’t bring myself to throw it away though, so I dug out a lunch tupperware container from my purse and brought it home. I figure it will make a yummy snack or nice addition to breakfast tomorrow.

When I got home tonight, my new box of organic veggies from Mama Earth Organics had arrived YAY! I love fresh veggie day 🙂 I know, I’m weird…but sometimes it’s the little things in life right? I immediately cut up and put all the veggies away so they are all ready for eating. Tomorrow I think I will add Kale to my lunch plan!

So, all in all not a perfect day, but not a bad day. I know it’s only day 1, but I am proud of myself . This journey is not about perfection, it is about making progress. I have demanded perfection from myself for far too long, and only disappointed myself. Today, I will acknowledge the things I did right and learn from the things I did not do so well (notice I did not say wrong.) Especially that peanut butter cookie…480 calories, seriously?!


Less talk, more action

So far I have done a lot of talking on this blog, but have been struggling with implementing my changes. I realized the other day that, despite telling myself I wasn’t setting a start date, I had done exactly that. It was May 1st (Wednesday). However, after a couple of off plan days, I have decided that I am just going to start tomorrow.

So, tonight I took the night off from work and school work and spent the night cooking. I have been a busy little beaver. My fridge is now full of prepared and semi-prepared meals for the week ahead. I have cooked golden beets, peeled carrots, cut peppers and some raw and pre-cooked spinach. I also cooked some chicken and some turkey sausages that I can either pop in the microwave and have with veggies, or can just cut up and put on salad.

Individual Crustless Mini Quiche

Individual Crustless Mini Quiche

I have always a been a big believer of having breakfast in the morning. However, either because I am running late or am too tired, I haven’t been bothered to make it myself. So, I have been picking up an egg white & turkey bacon sandwhich at Starbucks, and just taking the egg and bacon off the english muffin. I know that for me this is not a well-balanced breakfast. First of all it is processed food. I have really begun to hate processed food, I can difference in the taste. Secondly, I am not getting any fruit or veggies with that meal, and end up hungry an hour or so later. So tonight I also made a 1/2 dozen mini crustless quiches, packed full of feta cheese, asparagus, leeks and peppers that I can just grab in the morning. They will be perfect either cold or heated up, with some spinach and a few berries.

And finally, the piece-de-resistance, Quinoa Mac & Cheese. I got the recipe from a website called Moni Meals. I took one of the commenters suggestion, and used plain greek yogurt instead of milk and added a little feta cheese. I also used red peppers and tomatoes in the mix, as well as put a few tomatoes on top. Finally, I sprinkled the whole thing with some chili peppers. I have only had a few bites, but OMG it was super tasty! This will be perfect for lunch, but also for those nights I get home late from work and don’t feel like making anything. I can just heat this up with some steamed asparagus and I am good to go.

Quinoa Mac 'n Cheese

Quinoa Mac ‘n Cheese

Tonight, I am going to bed early. I have a mountain of work to do, but like I said I am taking the night off. I will go to bed, get lots of rest and then get up early so that I have plenty of time for yoga and a quick workout.

So, I am all set for the week. Friday I am off to a bed and breakfast for the weekend with DBF. I have already told the owners that I am grain and sugar free, and they have promised to have meals that I can eat. The B&B is overlooking Rice Lake, with a huge wrap around porch. So, I am going to bring my yoga mat and get up and do some yoga before anyone else is up. Plus we have plans to be out all day exploring, so I will get plenty of exercise. The only thing I need to do is make sure I pack all my supplements and bring a long some healthy snacks just in case.

Finally, I began journaling my negative thoughts today. Wow am I mean to myself! It’s hard to keep doing it, because I would just rather not know. Sometimes keeping your head in the sand is less painful, but you just don’t get anywhere that way. So, I will keep doing it no matter how hard it is.

Actually putting things into action makes me feel a lot better about where I am at. Tomorrow is the first day in a few months that I plan on keeping to the program. It will be hard, but I have done it before and I know I can do it again!


Foodie vs Food Addict

“Freedom from obsession is not about something you do; it’s about knowing who you are. It’s about recognizing what sustains you and what exhausts you. What you love and what you think you love because you believe you can’t have it. (p. 163)” 
― Geneen Roth, Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

I have been reading a lot lately about food addiction. I wanted to explore my relationship with food, as I have always thought that it was pretty unhealthy (my relationship with it, not food in general.) The more I have been reading, the more I have begun to realize that while I do have  issues with food, I’m not completely delusional, it’s not really as bad as I think.

My first time cooking Quinoa – why didn't I try this sooner?

My first time cooking Quinoa – why didn’t I try this sooner?

I am what I would consider to be a Foodie. I know big surprise the fat girl likes food. But being a Foodie is about more then just liking food. It is about appreciating quality food, quality ingredients, being aware of how things are prepared, trying out new and different restaurants/food experiences. This is what makes me a foodie, not just the fact that I can eat a lot. I will point out that not all Foodies are overweight (in fact most aren’t), and not all overweight people are foodies.

According to the questions on the Food Addicts Anonymous website, I am definitely a food addict. I have poor impulse control when it comes to certain foods, especially sugar; I eat in secret; I am ashamed of my weight; I am embarrassed to eat in public…the list goes on. I have always known this about myself, but I will admit it is very hard to actually look at the questions and realize that you can answer yes to almost all of them.

I often wonder where this comes from, this addiction to food. Is it the same dis-ease (yes I purposely hyphenated the word) that causes me to drink too much, to smoke too much? Is it hereditary? My sister seems to have a relatively sane relationship with food, although like all of us Crozier’s she has a sweet tooth. Though hers seems to be less pronounced then some of ours, or maybe she just has more will power. My father, although he doesn’t always make the healthiest choices and eats a lot of sugar, doesn’t eat all that much. When we go out for Indian food as a family he and my sister often share a dish, while I will have my own. So it’s not nurture-based, I didn’t grow up in a family of overeaters.

I have also been reading a lot about insulin and resistance and some common complaints by women who are diagnosed with it. Many of them mimic food addiction:

  • Frequent hunger and after eating don’t feel full for long
  • Constant craving for sweets or other (refined) carbs – often feel can’t be trusted around them
  • Irritability if go too long without eating
  • Severe intolerance to low-calorie/low-carb diets

While nobody knows whether these symptoms are the cause or result of insulin resistance, the connection is interesting to me. It makes me wonder if some of my food addiction behaviours will lessen just as a result of getting my insulin levels under control.

Although I do overeat, and definitely eat way too much sugar, I really do have a healthy respect for food. I appreciate it’s power to fuel our bodies, to heal us, to nurture our spirits. And this is where the Foodie part of me conflicts with the food addict.

I love to cook. It is really one of my favourite things to do. I often think I probably should have been a chef. I will often look up recipes, just to get the basic idea of ingredients and seasoning, and then I will experiment and play with it. Sometimes, I will just cook without any recipe at all, just start adding ingredients and tasting as I go until I discover a flavour that I think works (this is how I created my turkey/veggie chili).

In fact that has been one of my favourite parts of this whole journey, discovering new ingredients, new flavours, new tastes. The world of food and cooking is amazing adventure, all you need is time, patience and the love of experimenting. I enjoy trying new restaurants, or new food events around the city. I love going to farmer’s markets and exploring. Seeing what is fresh, what is in season and what great deal’s I can get. I am, right now, counting down rather impatiently for the opening of my local Farmer’s market in May.

So, the challenge now becomes, how do I incorporate my love and appreciate for food (my Foodie nature) with my new lifestyle changes with regards to what and how much I eat (food addict/PCOS nature)? I really don’t want to lose that side of me in this process of changing my eating habits, because it really does define a part of me. Cooking and experimenting with food helps to feed my spirit. And the more I read, the more I realize that it will also help to heal my body. Not just in the obvious way of eating less sugar will help to restore my insulin resistance to normal levels, but also there are certain food that can help with hormone imbalance, moods, muscle tension, etc…

Which is why I have decided to expand the parameters of this blog, kind of. Not only am I going to look at and discuss the emotional side of this journey, but I am going to explore and discuss how and what foods are helping to relieve my physical symptoms. My hope is that by exploring both I can relieve myself of the unhealthy parts of my relationship with food by helping the healthy parts to grow and flourish.

The beginning of the plan…

Wow, what an emotional couple of days, but also a productive couple of days.

9781587610233I have been reading this great book that my specialist suggested to me, called The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have to admit, I spent much of the first chapter in tears. The relief that was flowing through me was almost too much to bear. The stories of the other women, the symptoms that I have had for years (some of which I haven’t shared because I never realized they were relevant), it was so amazing to know that I am not alone. To know that other women have suffered from what I have suffered and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That there is a solution.

I have also been busy getting organized, starting to lay the groundwork for my plan. and cleaning and organizing my personal space. You know that saying a chaotic space is the sign of a chaotic mind? Well, I have a chaotic space…and I guess that means a chaotic mind lol. So I have been spending some time lately getting organized and purging some things. I set up a dedicated “office” for the first time ever. I was in design school for 4 years and have been working/freelancing for 5 years and have never had a dedicated space to work in. I always just worked on my laptop wherever. It’s still a work in progress, but at least the desk and computer are set up. And I finally set up an area in my basement where I can work out at home. Again, I always just had all my equipment scattered all over the house. I also finally threw out some garbage that has been sitting piled up around my house, the woman who cleans my house won’t know what hit her next time she comes lol.

The beginning of an office

The beginning of an office

Throwing out some garbage, that sounds like a metaphor for my life actually. I am physically purging my space, and hopefully as a result I am purging some of my emotional “garbage” as well. Actually, not hopefully, I know I am.

I have also started my health plan. Some of it is stuff I have already trying to incorporate, and some of it is more specific. This is what I have so far:


  • Continue to eliminate wheat and sugar from my diet. The book I have been reading suggests applying an 80/20 rule. Eating “clean” 80% of the time and allowing yourself treats the other 20% of the time. I like this idea, because it gives me room to occaisionally eat pasta, or a pint from Ed’s Ice Cream (the BEST ice cream) and not have to play that mental game where I beat myself up for days. You know the one. Where you are really good at sticking to your diet for days/weeks and then eat something that is not considered on “plan”. This then leads to an emotional boxing match, where you call yourself weak, a loser and say things like “you can’t do this, why not just give up” and then you often do just that. Well, if this is going to be a lifestyle change, and not just a diet, I need to leave room for the idea that I will occasionally want to eat ice cream and just allow myself that ahead of time.
  • Eating regular meals at roughly same time every day. I am learning that when I eat is just as important as what I eat. One of the main issues with PCOS is Insulin Resistance. Therefore, it is important that I try to keep my blood sugar levels as even as possible. This not only means not eating foods that will spike my blood sugar, but also making sure to eat regularly throughout the day so that they don’t plummet either. It’s similar to how a diabetic has to manage their insulin and blood sugar levels, which is why Diabetes is often a secondary condition of PCOS.


  • Dedicate myself to practising yoga 2-3 times a week. This is the first stop on my exercise regime because yoga has so many more benefits then just getting me physically active. It also helps with my neck and muscle issues, as well as helping me get and stay emotionally grounded. I can’t afford to go back to class right now, but I have enough knowledge and the equipment that I can do it at home.
  • Start working out with a personal trainer. My sister is a certified personal trainer, though it’s not her full-time job anymore. She has agreed to work with me once a week to start developing a workout plan I can do at home using my new home gym.

    My new home "gym"

    My new home “gym”

  • Walking 20-30 minutes a day. Every morning on my way to work, I get off the streetcar several stops early to pick up my coffee at the closest Starbucks. It is about a 20 minute walk from my office, though I usually just hop back on the streetcar. Now that the weather is nice, I will start leaving home a little earlier so that I can walk the rest of the way to the office. If, for some reason, that is not possible, on those days I will get off the streetcar early on my way home and walk the rest of the way.


  • Begin taking hormone therapy. My doctor prescribed me progesterone to help to begin regulating my hormone levels. It is not bio-identical, which I am not happy about, but I will begin taking the hormones while I continue to look for ways to get myself on a more natural regimen.
  • Continue to explore/research alternative remedies. I am continuing to read the book I mentioned above. I am also going to speak to my Naturopath at our next appointment about supplements or other homeopathic options that I might be able to add. I am already taking Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex and EstroSmart. But will see if there is anything else I can do.
  • Be kind and loving to myself. This is the most important one I think. Without it, none of the others are going to be possible. If I can’t treat myself with love and respect, then I won’t be able to keep this up long-term, and it has to be that long. I just need to keep reminding myself to be patient. Be patient with my body, and be patient with me. It’s taken years to get my in this condition, and it’s not going to go away over night.

So that is the plan, so far. I am looking at this plan as a living organism, in that it will continue to grow and flourish and that it is something I need to tend and nurture. I thought about setting a start date for all this, but I realized that I just need to start it now. It doesn’t have to be perfection at first, it just needs to be incorporated into my life. The only goal I am setting is that within the next month, I need to be doing something that works on each of these items. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and I need to pace myself so that I don’t burn out doing everything all at once and then give up entirely. Because giving up just can’t be an option.

Survey says…

So, you know that old saying “Be careful what you wish for” well…it’s true. I had my specialist appointment on Wednesday evening. As I mentioned the other morning, I didn’t expect to get an answer at that first appointment, but was just happy to finally be on a path to finding answers. Well, turns out that I did get an answer and it is definitely PCOS. The specialist was really great, she spent 45 minutes with me going over why it happens, what my options are and the plan going forward. A plan! How I love a plan!

When I left the office, I had a mix of emotions. Part of me was happy to finally have an answer, to know what is wrong and what we can do to try to bring my body back in to balance. But I was also feeling angry and overwhelmed.

Angry because for 4 years non-western medical professionals have been suggesting PCOS to me as a possibility, and for 4 years western doctors have been telling me that it’s not PCOS because of various reasons. Even my current family doctor who sent me to the specialist was convinced it wasn’t PCOS, but she was out of any other ideas. Yet, within 10 minutes of talking to this doctor, and having her review all my endless test results, she was certain it was. Even some of the test results that my doctor said were normal, she said were positive indicators for PCOS. Grrrrrr.

Oh well, it’s not worth staying pissed off. I have to let it go and move forward. But it is a good reminder, that you need to be your own advocate. If you know something is off with your body, yet your doctor’s keep saying everything is normal, keep pushing. Fight for your health, fight for you. Research, ask for tests to be done, ask for referrals to specialists. Your family doctor has a general  knowledge, we need to remember that.

As I mentioned, I have also been feeling overwhelmed since I left the office. Why? Well, as amazing as it is to finally have some answers, it does mean that I have going to have to start really taking the changes seriously. That this isn’t just gonna be some year-long diet that I do until I drop some weight. This really NEEDS to be a lifestyle change, otherwise my symptoms will never improve or will reappear. I need to learn patience. The weight is not going to come off quickly. There are going to be set backs. There will be some trial and error involving medication. I need to remember these are not failures, and give up completely, but merely bumps in the road that just need to be navigated.

The doctor reminded me that I am lucky. Many of the women she sees are suffering from serious secondary conditions that develop as a result of PCOS. They have developed diabetes, or are on blood pressure medication, or both. So far, I have not reached that point, but it would only be a matter of time. Especially given that both my Mother and my Grandmother developed diabetes in their 40s/50s. I wonder if maybe both of them were suffering from undiagnosed PCOS?

So, with a mix of emotions running amuck in my brain, I am doing what I do best – researching and making a plan. I am reading everything I can get my hands on about natural ways to control PCOS through diet, exercise and supplements. And, I am developing my personal plan. The doctor has hers, and I will have mine. I don’t have it all figured out, but will share it when I do. But the one thing it will be, needs to be really, is a loving way to nurture my body and my spirit. Details to come…

NOTE: I am adding this because I just thought of it. I would like to give special recognition to my dear friend Kelly Greer of Nutrigal. She was the first person who suggested PCOS to me over 3 years ago. If it wasn’t for her, I would never even known about it to suggest to doctors. She was right, my doctors were wrong. Thanks Kelly, I should have listened to you back then LOL.