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If I can help just one person | PCOS

[Note: I keep this article up to date!]

PCOS – my journey

I have Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is an endocrine disorder and affects millions of girls and women even though they might not even know it. The stats say that one in every ten women of childbearing years has this hormonal disorder, yet it’s rarely talked about. Many doctors don’t know much about it. While it does affect the ovaries, it may not present that way in some women. The truth is, our hormones play a HUGE role in everything we do. That is how the endocrine system works. So if you have hormonal issues and you know it’s not PCOS, this information is still helpful for you!

In 1997 when I was 16, I looked like any other normal teenage girl (this is my prom dress)

Unknown to me and to millions of Americans, 1997 was the year that GMO foods were introduced to our food supply and unlabeled. Like other teenagers, I ate things like microwave pizza, hot pockets, ect. Something was triggered and in a matter of 3 months I had gained 65 pounds and no doctor could understand why. Aside from those occasional treats, I was a generally healthy eater.

In addition to the weight gain came extremely painful and unpredictable periods, excess hair growth, and acne. Doctors told me to go on a diet, but nothing worked and I had no name for what was going on.

This is me when I was 21 at a friends wedding.

After I was married and my husband and I weren’t able to conceive (5 years of infertility!), we were referred to an in-vitro specialist on Oahu and I was given a name to what I had – PCOS. I was so thankful to have a name for it. When I got back to Maui I dove head first into everything I could find on the subject – there wasn’t much out there in 2005. Soy was a big trigger and I eliminated it from my diet along with stopping the use of all plastic cups and containers. The in-vitro worked and I had my daughter in 2006.

Over the years, I have kept up with anything and everything PCOS related to try to conquer it. After eliminating all processed foods, the weight started to come off slowly, the acne started to go away, and I felt healthier and had two more babies on my own without medical intervention.

With all the GMO information coming out, I have figured out the last piece of the puzzle. The GMO laden, processed foods introduced into my diet in 1997 triggered my PCOS. It wasn’t that I was eating horribly (some doctors accused me of eating candy bars all day!), it was a lack of information. After eliminating the processed foods, grain-fed meats, and regular soy from my diet, I am the healthiest version of my adult self I have ever been. Despite reports from big companies that there is no difference between GMO and non-GMO products, I can tell you from experience that there is a huge difference in the body. My own body was a science experiment and if I can help one woman or one teenage girl figure out what’s going on, then it’s all worth it.

It’s also really important to note that supplementation is vital. Our soil content isn’t what it used to be. Even food labeled organic can contain herbicides and test positive for heavy metals in our soil.

Here are my tips to overcome PCOS and balance your hormones

  • Eliminate plastic cups and containers that touch any food or liquid you consume
  • Avoid GMO products. Buy organic whenever possible.
  • Eat only grass fed meats and wild caught fish/seafood *it’s more expensive, but your health is worth it. (I happen to be pescatarian)
  • Eat only grass fed butters and healthy fats like avocados and coconut oil (do not cook with olive oil – raw only) – do not buy canola, vegetable, or corn oils – they are dangerous to your body
  • Don’t forget that your skin is your biggest organ. All the chemical-ridden cosmetics and skin care are going right into your blood stream.
  • Remember that processed foods contain GMO ingredients and that diets that advocate for high protein/fat tend to have more hormones in the food.
  • Sugars – try to avoid as much as you can. This is a tough one! I use Stevia or black strap molasses in my coffee and in moderation. Refined sugars are inflammatory triggers.
  • Carbs – Ok you ready? Some carbs are your friend. Notice I said SOME (ie: not a plate full). You’re going to be surprised that white rice is better for you than brown. “Whole grains” are a no-no. Corn is also not digestible as are wheat flours that aren’t fermented. REAL sourdough bread is digestible. Whole grain anything (bread, pasta, ancient grains, are a NO because they are super inflammatory to our body).
  • Certain foods trigger inflammation with their skin and seeds. 
  • It’s important to recognize that while this disorder appears in females, men are starting to be affected by all the estrogens in GMO foods resulting in larger bellies, breasts, and love handles.
  • *gasp* I do not use a microwave. Period.

There are a variety of PCOS books on Amazon. There’s also a helpful 2 minute self-assessment quiz here.

  • If you need help, ask! You can always email me mariah@mariahmilan.com and I will share everything I’ve done with you!

If you need help with products that I highly recommend:

PCOS Support Triange

Hydrolized Collagen with Apple Cider Vinegar

Grass-Fed Collagen Protein

Love, Happiness, and HEALTH everyone!

 

The below images are current – a whopping 89 pounds from where I was. Note that the pounds are not even important. The leanness and muscle mass kept with fat loss is key.

PCOS champion and strong mama How I overcame PCOS Maui Photographer Mariah Milan

This post is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure. I am not a doctor.

Comprehensive List of PCOS support resources for those dealing with polycystic ovarian syndrome from someone who's had it for over 20 years.
  1. Nicole says:

    Wow, Mariah! Congratulations on overcoming PCOS and thank you for sharing your story, you are in inspiration! I look forward to learning more about some of your favorite GMO-free recipes/dishes in the New Year.

  2. Karen says:

    According to the ClearBlue Easy Pregnancy test website, you can test 19 days after you had inrtrcouese to get an accurate result.Now keep in mind that you can get a BFN and be pregnant. If you get a BFN, wait a couple of days and retest. Each womans’ body secretes the HcG hormone differently. You know, some faster than the other. So I wish you luck and hope you get your BFP. BABY DUST TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Alaina says:

    Hi, I came across your post from pinterest. I have pcos and I’ve gotten very serious about my diet. I was wondering why women who have pcos should not eat or drink anything from a plastic container. Thank you for your post. Its inspiring!!

  4. Thank you for your story. I too was diagnosed with PCOS, which though I was relieved to find out what was wrong with me, I was quite devastated. Im looking for ways to overcome my syndrome and especially losing the weight and have a baby of my own soon. Here's to 2014! Thanks again.

  5. Thank you for your story. I too was diagnosed with PCOS, which though I was relieved to find out what was wrong with me, I was quite devastated. Im looking for ways to overcome my syndrome and especially losing the weight and have a baby of my own soon. Here's to 2014! Thanks again.

  6. Rena Camarillo says:

    Thank you for your story. I too was diagnosed with PCOS, which though I was relieved to find out what was wrong with me, I was quite devastated. Im looking for ways to overcome my syndrome and especially losing the weight and have a baby of my own soon. Here’s to 2014! Thanks again.

  7. Rena, I'm so glad you found my page – I hope that it's helping with some answers for you. If you ever need any help or advice please contact me! 🙂

  8. Rena, I'm so glad you found my page – I hope that it's helping with some answers for you. If you ever need any help or advice please contact me! 🙂

  9. With food like you described so hard to access and afford now a days, how does that work for most people? I have access to some but really, it's slim pickins on what is truly grass fed and what they label as "organic" here in SOCAL. I was diagnosed back in May and now I'm pissed off and sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm the biggest I ever thought I ever could be and I feel awful and look even worse.

  10. With food like you described so hard to access and afford now a days, how does that work for most people? I have access to some but really, it's slim pickins on what is truly grass fed and what they label as "organic" here in SOCAL. I was diagnosed back in May and now I'm pissed off and sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm the biggest I ever thought I ever could be and I feel awful and look even worse.

  11. Megan Siebe Hayward says:

    With food like you described so hard to access and afford now a days, how does that work for most people? I have access to some but really, it’s slim pickins on what is truly grass fed and what they label as “organic” here in SOCAL. I was diagnosed back in May and now I’m pissed off and sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m the biggest I ever thought I ever could be and I feel awful and look even worse.

  12. Mariah says:

    Megan, it’s not an easy thing and I’m still dealing with it day to day. Safeway has really changed in that they now have a lot of grass fed beef and it’s not very expensive (a lot less than Whole Foods actually!). I am experimenting a bit with the Bulletproof Diet currently (www.bulletproofexec.com) and so far so good. I’ve also changed all wheat and oat products to strictly sprouted grain (Alvarado Bakery products and Ezekiel) and am seeing tremendous changes to my energy. Please feel free to stay in touch! mariah@mariahmilan.com

  13. Mariah says:

    Alaina many apologies for my late response – I’ll email you too. The reason why we want to avoid plastic containers is because they contain forms of estrogen. Being that we are already estrogen dominant, we are only adding to the problem by using plastic. I hope this helps!

  14. I had a vaginal ultrasound last week and found out that I, too, have PCOS. I have an almond – sized cyst on my right ovary, as well as 8 other smaller ones. I have researched PCOS and what I can do to lose weight. What are your other tips for losing weight and what is your skin care regimen? I never had acne as a preteen/teen and now at 25 my face is covered with pimples and they hurt like never before. Thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to hearing from you

  15. I had a vaginal ultrasound last week and found out that I, too, have PCOS. I have an almond – sized cyst on my right ovary, as well as 8 other smaller ones. I have researched PCOS and what I can do to lose weight. What are your other tips for losing weight and what is your skin care regimen? I never had acne as a preteen/teen and now at 25 my face is covered with pimples and they hurt like never before. Thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to hearing from you

  16. Christan Stevens says:

    I had a vaginal ultrasound last week and found out that I, too, have PCOS. I have an almond – sized cyst on my right ovary, as well as 8 other smaller ones. I have researched PCOS and what I can do to lose weight. What are your other tips for losing weight and what is your skin care regimen? I never had acne as a preteen/teen and now at 25 my face is covered with pimples and they hurt like never before. Thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to hearing from you

  17. Megan, Safeway stores have now started carrying grass-fed beef and I usually go in and buy the ones that expire the following day at 50% off and then I freeze them. Same with organic chicken. Think of the good food as an investment in your good health. Please friend me or respond if you need any guidance!

  18. Megan, Safeway stores have now started carrying grass-fed beef and I usually go in and buy the ones that expire the following day at 50% off and then I freeze them. Same with organic chicken. Think of the good food as an investment in your good health. Please friend me or respond if you need any guidance!

  19. Christian, So sorry to hear!! Losing weight is a constant battle – I'm staying away from refined carbs and sticking to organic foods as much as possible. Bread companies like Alpine Valley Bread Company and Ezekiel are my go-to's for bread items. I did try Paleo for quite some time but without any grains I didn't feel good. To clear acne I started with Carley's Skin Care and I also use doTerra skin care and Zendocrine oil along with Clarycalm oil on my abdomen daily. Please friend me if you'd like to keep in touch and wishing you the very best!!

  20. Christian, So sorry to hear!! Losing weight is a constant battle – I'm staying away from refined carbs and sticking to organic foods as much as possible. Bread companies like Alpine Valley Bread Company and Ezekiel are my go-to's for bread items. I did try Paleo for quite some time but without any grains I didn't feel good. To clear acne I started with Carley's Skin Care and I also use doTerra skin care and Zendocrine oil along with Clarycalm oil on my abdomen daily. Please friend me if you'd like to keep in touch and wishing you the very best!!

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