“…a normal menstrual cycle is a barometer of our overall health.”
Nutritionist Steph Lowe returns to Sparta Chicks Radio this week!
Steph is a triathlete, Sports Nutritionist and the Founder of The Natural Nutritionist, a business based in Melbourne, Australia dedicated to teaching how easy real food living and performance can be.
The foundation of her approach is a lower carb higher fat (or LCHF) protocol, which she also describes as JERF (just eat real food).
Steph was first on the podcast in August, 2018 (episode #69) where we had a wide-ranging and, in some ways, high-level discussion around the topic of nutrition - specifically the benefits of adopting an LCHF lifestyle and the impact of LCHF on everything from your hormones, weight, PMS, mood, immune system, gut health and even 3:30itis. (You can find that conversation here).
This time I asked Steph to return to the show so we could ‘deep dive’ into one specific health issue that affects millions of women; Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and the impact your diet and nutrition can have (both in contributing to the disease and reversing it).
I know many of my clients over the years (and still to this day) have PCOS or some hormonal imbalance so this was an important conversation to have.
Even if you don’t have PCOS, please don’t switch it off!
Our discussion around PCOS is really part of a broader discussion around the topics of hormones and menstrual cycles.
As Steph says, “…a normal menstrual cycle is a barometer of our overall health.”
So if your menstrual cycle isn’t normal, then it’s something you should explore. I learn something new every time I speak with Steph, and I know you will too.
In this conversation, we discuss:
* what PCOS is and how it is diagnosed,
* the difference between PCOS and PCO,
* why it’s important for pre-menopausal women to track their cycle and other indicators such as mood, energy and fatigue,
* other signs and symptoms of PCOS,
* the medical condition that underlies PCOS (being insulin resistance)
* the role that nutrition plays in both contributing to PCOS and reversing it,
* how cravings and 3:30-itis don’t come out of the blue (it happens for a reason!)
* the risk factors for PCOS,
* the impact the oral conceptive pill has on your gut health,
* why stress is a risk factor and the role it plays in PCOS (and the importance of rejuvenation and recovery as part of your treatment protocol),
* how to find out if you have insulin resistance,
* the most important thing you can do (regardless of whether you have PCOS or PCO),
* what to do before you consider using supplements (and what you need to know if you decide to go down that path),
* the importance of movement and exercise in managing the underlying condition that causes PCOS, and
* Steph’s advice on how to stop self-sabotaging yourself if you have PCOS.
Notes and resources:
The app recommended by Steph to track your cycle; Clue.
Blood tests recommended by Steph: HVA1C (healthy range of 5.3; precursors to insulin resistance at around 6%) and Fasting insulin (3-5 ideally).
Katee Pedicini on Steph's podcast, the Real Food Reel, discussing the importance of rejuvenation and recovery (episode 201)