Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Breakfast in a bite

We all know the saying, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." I agree, but rarely can find time to eat before I have to head out to work. I much prefer getting as much sleep as I can, and I'm often getting up at the last second. I am also on a low carb diet, so my breakfast options are limited.

That's where this awesome recipe comes in! Think of these as egg muffins! I make these the night before so I can grab one or two on my way out the door! Grab a muffin pan, some eggs, and any toppings you want - I used minced garlic, diced turkey bacon, salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 350. Spray the pan with cooking spray. Crack open each egg and pour into muffin pan, taking care not to break the yolk. I usually make six eggs at a time - they are only good refrigerated for a couple of days. Sprinkle whatever toppings you choose carefully over each egg. Stick the pan in the oven and bake for at least 10 minutes. I love runny yolks, so 10 min is fine for me. If you like a firmer yolk, cook for 15 minutes.

Once out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes so they slide right out of the pan.Store them in tupperware and eat them for breakfast the next day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Journey with DCI - Week 5

I am very pleased to report that after 5 weeks of DCI, my acne is almost completely gone! I have no more cycstic acne. I have a few little red spots left, but that's it! Awesome! I am very excited that I have seen results like this - because I have only had a clear face after using ProActiv, and I'm too lazy to do that entire system.

I have yet to see AF, but I'm still hopeful. I wasn't expecting my acne to go away so fast, so I'm hoping that in the next month or so she'll show up.

I bought a couple of infertility books last night that seemed pretty all-inclusive. I can't wait til they get here so I can start reading. Oh, and I bought a gym. It's a Weider Total Body Works 5000. It's one of those that you use your own weight to work out with. I've used one like it before and loved it. We are rearranging the dining room tonight so we have some room for it as well, so I can watch tv and work out. My new weight goal is to reach 240 (on my scale) by our anniversary on Halloween. I have about 15lbs to lose, but with all the exercise I'll be getting between now and then, I think I can do it!

I'm so excited and I feel so energized that I'm finally getting my life together!

I hope everyone else is doing well! Sending you lots and lots of baby dust!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Helpful advice to a friend with PCOS

I was reading comments yesterday on a PCOS facebook fan page. I was in shock to discover that all of these women posting thought that the only thing they could do to deal with their PCOS symptoms was to take Metformin. Although Metformin does work well, it comes with some nasty side affects, like painful stomach problems and the inability to stay out of the bathroom for more than 5 minutes at a time. So I commented on the status, reassuring these women that Metformin wasn't the only option. In less than 20 minutes, I received a long message from a girl roughly my age that was heartbroken because Metformin was making her sick and the doctor told her the only way she would ever be able to have children would be through fertility drugs after she lost almost 60 pounds. Now while I do agree that losing weight makes it a little easier to have a baby, it's definitely not absolutely necessary. I know several women that are larger than me that have been able to get pregnant and have beautiful, healthy babies.

I wanted to post my reply to her here so others could benefit as well.

Hi Liz,

There are a lot of different alternative remedies, and I will be honest, sometimes it takes some trial and error to find what works best for you.

I want to talk about Insulin Resistance (IR) first, since no one has told you about it before. This, by far, is the most difficult of all PCOS symptoms to handle. The fertility issues can be dealt with using fertility treatments, but IR is a whole different story. Unlike diabetics who cannot produce insulin, we produce entirely too much. When we eat carbs and sugars, our pancreas releases insulin into the blood stream. That insulin travels through our system to reach our liver and muscles. In a normally functioning human being, the liver and muscles start sucking the sugar out of the blood when it receives insulin. As the amount of sugar in our blood goes down, the insulin levels go down. In women with PCOS and IR, our muscles and liver don't react properly to the insulin, and do not suck the sugar out of the blood. Because of this, insulin is continuously released by the pancreas and we get fat. It sucks.

Obviously, the best way to combat this is with a low-carb, low-sugar diet and exercise. This is where so many people have issues. I, for one, love pasta and chocolate, both of which are very bad for me. Instead of trying to cut them out completely in the beginning, switch to healthier versions, such as whole-wheat pasta, and dark chocolate. These have less sugars. Also try to switch to sugar-free desserts. Most of the time you can't even tell the difference in the taste. Eating several smaller meals a day instead of 3 large meals can also help, because you are not introducing so much sugar into your blood at once. As for exercise, try taking a walk around the park, or go swimming. It doesn't have to be some crazy workout schedule like body builders. There are also some alternative remedies that assist with getting rid of this weight.

Ok, as for the rest of the PCOS issues, this is where the alternative remedies come in. I have tried several, but not all of these. Like I said earlier, it takes a little trial and error to find out what's best or you.

D-Chiro-Inositol (found at chiralbalance.com for about $50-$60 a bottle) - If you weight more than 130lbs, you would take at least 1200mg a day, or two pills. Under 130lbs should take 600mg a day. This has lessened my facial hair, eliminated my painful cystic acne, and I don't crave sugars as much anymore. This is currently the only thing I am taking. I've lost 10 pounds just from the reduction of sugar cravings. Many, many women on DCI often find that their period comes back within the first or second month. I'm on month 2 of DCI, and I haven't had a period yet, but I have been having cramps, which I haven't had since the last time I had a period, April of 2009. Many women also get pregnant after being on it for a few months, after their cycles return to normal.

Insulite System - (pcos.insulitelabs.com) This is an intense regimen of pills, but it works. I did it for a while and saw some great results, but it is a little expensive, and it can be hard to follow. It costs $97 a month for 4 bottles of pills, as well as a suggested diet and fitness plan. If you do this system, you will take 18 pills a day. That became too difficult for me.

Natural Progesterone Cream - This is to help bring on your period. Apply 1 tsp of NPC several times a day for 14 days. At the end of 14 days, you should get a period. Then, you start counting your cycle days, starting with the first day of your period as cycle day 1. on Day 14, begin another 14 days of the NPC. Again, you should have another period. This is a natural hormone supplement designed to get you on a 28-day cycle.

FertilAid for Women (fertilaid.com - or Fertility Blend: fertilityblend.com)- This is a supplement designed specifically for women trying to get pregnant. It has a mix of herbs that are known to increase fertility, such as red clover blossom and chasteberry. However, if agnus castus gave you a rash, I would not recommend that you take this supplement, as chasteberry is the same thing as agnus castus.

FertiliTea (fertilitea.com)- If you like drinking tea, you might like this. I absolutely love it! It is essentially the same ingredients in the FertilAid pills, but in liquid form! It tastes great. However, again, because of the rash you got from agnus castus, I would not recommend FertiliTea, but rather Preconception Tea (http://thefertilityshop.com/fertility/preconception-tea-p-75.html). It does not have agnus castus in it.

There are still a lot more options than just the ones I listed. I highly recommend signing up on SoulCysters.net. All the girls on there are so helpful, and really supportive of our situation, because they are going through it too. Another website you can use for research is pcosfaq.com. Mary created that site as a compilation of all the research she had done about alternative treatments.

Feel free to send me a message anytime you have questions, and I'll do my best to answer them!


I'm beginning to think that I might have a future in promoting awareness. Anyone know how to make money doing this? I'd love to know that my job is helping people like me, ones who used to think that life was hopeless, and felt that we had to succumb to this disease instead of fight it.

My Journey with DCI - Week 4

I know this week is a little late, but I wanted to wait until after I went to the doctor Wednesday to post. I had blood work done a few weeks ago, and I was very curious about the results. I had a basic metabolic panel and a liver function panel. As with most PCOSers, our liver can become a concern due to Insulin Resistance. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about that for a while. Everything came back perfect! All results were within range, and I was excited to find out that my fasting glucose level was 89. Score!

Even better still was my weight. I have lost 4 pounds since I started on DCI last month! I started at 256 and I am now 252. Thats a total of 10 pounds in the last 3 months. There have been no intentional dietary changes - I'm still addicted to Chipotle and Jack in the Box's Chicken Teiyaki Bowl. However, I have been craving better foods lately. At midnight Monday, I was starving... And I didn't want junk food. I wanted a veggie plate full of broccoli, tomatoes and ranch dressing! Well, my wonderful husband brought me a veggie plate for lunch yesterday and it was awesome!

I am going out this weekend to buy some sort of home gym system. I have yet to decide which one, but of course I will keep you updated. Just recently I have felt happier, and more aware of my actions, and what I need to do to change them. I've been a little more motivated than usual, and I hope it stays this way! If so, I could be looking at more than 4 pounds lost by next month! My new goal is to be down to 240 by our one-year anniversary, Halloween! I just might be able to fit into one of the costumes in my closet if I do!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is this what happy is supposed to feel like?

DH - Dear husband
AF- Aunt Flo
O - Ovulate
ICSI - intracytoplasmic sperm injection (expensive advance reproductive therapy)

In 2006 I was diagnosed with depression and bipolar II disorder. I was off my meds for several years, and just got back on them about 3.5 months ago. My psychiatrist decided that my depression wasn't bad enough to give me a second medication, so she just prescriped Equetro for my BP. It has worked fairly well, and I haven't had any intense mood swings. But... I don't think I'm happy. I sure don't feel happy. I feel, well, depressed. I can't get excited about anything. I don't want to leave the house, because it requires so much effort to get out the door. I don't want to cook because it hurts to stand for too long. I don't want to go to work because it means I have to get out of bed. All I do when I get home from work is sit on the couch and watch tv til I can force myself to go to bed. I know this isn't normal. I've done this for 6+ months. When I see a baby on tv or on FB, I have to change the channel. I've stopped talking to every person I know that has recently had a baby, because all they do is talk about the baby.

And my husband is depressed, too, although he'd swear otherwise. He has stopped talking to the friends he has that had babies as well. At first he just said, "I'm happy for you, but it's really a sensitive subject for me, could we talk about something else." After the guys kept rubbing it in his face that they were dads, her started ignoring all texts and phone calls from them.

I just really don't know what to do. I know that in order to increase our chances of having a baby, I need to lose weight and get my symptoms under control. I KNOW I need to do that. And when I'm thinking about what I want to eat, I'll tell myself I've got to be good and start eating better. Then what happens? I order the bad food anyway. I know I need to start exercising, but when I think about doing it, I start to panic because I don't have an inhaler for my exercise-induced asthma, and I freak out about having an asthma attack. On the weekends, when I remember that I need to take my herbal supplements for PCOS, I think about how I have to get off the couch, make sure I eat with certain pills, and I wait long enough after taking them before I eat again, and I just decide not to take them.

I know I need to clean my house. When I'm sitting on the couch and I look around at the mess, it just makes me sick. But when I get up and have half-a-minute's worth of motivation, I look at the mess again and realize that there is a lot more work to do than the time I have to do it, and I sit back down and don't do it at all.
Whenever I think about doing something, I always question myself and wonder, "What's the point?" I know that even if I get my symptoms under control, get AF back and start to O, it won't do us any good. DH has azoospermia, and we can't afford to take him to the doctor (or pay for insurance) to get it checked out, and determine why. We don't know if his problem is reversible, or if we will have to resort to ICSI. It's just this feeling of hopelessness and despair that I can't shake, no matter how I try.

Even though DH and I have talked about getting around his azoospermia by using a donor, I don't think I can bring myself to do that. DH said that he would love the baby as his no matter what, but how do I explain it to our child later on? "We don't know who your dad is, we just have his medical records." "Your dad is defective, so we used some other guy's sperm to make you." "Your dad is not really your dad." If someone ever told me that my dad isn't my biological dad, I'd be heartbroken. My grandparents aren't really my grandparents. My sister isn't my full-blooded sister. I couldn't handle that, and would never want to expect my child to, either.

I asked DH last night, "If you could go into NiNi's office with me, is there anything at all you'd like to tell her?" He said no. And this broke my heart. Why? Because I don't know if I'm just that good at hiding this pain and anguish, or if he doesn't pay enough attention to me to see it himself. So I rephrased my question to him and still got the same answer. "So you think that the meds I'm taking have done what they should and I don't need any adjustments?" Again, no.

I just can't handle all this anymore, and I didn't know who else to talk to. I don't know how to bring this up with my psychiatrist, because she'll just complain that I didn't bring it up a few months ago at our first session.

I want to start over. Go to a place where no one knows me, where I have a clean house, a job that includes insurance, where I can start fresh.

Has anyone else felt like this? If so, what did you do? What medications did you take? What can I do to be normal again?

My Journey - Insulite and DCI - Week 3

Sorry I didn't write last week. My great grandmother died, and it sent me in to a depressive spiral. I've managed to drag my self out of it enough to go to work, and now I can post.

I have been thinking about this a lot, and I've decided to stop the Insulite for a little while. 18 pills is extremely difficult for me to handle, especially since I keep getting new info on how to take it. The GlucX pills are apparently supposed to be taken 3-4 hours away from any other supplements we take. With the medications I am on for other issues, along with the other Insulite pills, there's just no way I can do that. And $100 a month is a lot of money to waste on pills that I can't take consistently.
So I'm going to stick to DCI for a little while. I'll continue to blog about it, and you can follow along if you want.