Welcome to Episode 7 of Season 5 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast:
Creating Your Own PCOS Mini-Retreat at Home
On today’s episode, I just wanted to share a little secret that has really helped me keep my PCOS symptoms in remission and has been a lifesaver when trying to balance having a full practice and being the mom and stepmom to four amazing preteens. I am a recovering workaholic and one of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced, besides having PCOS, has been to say no to things that take away time from my health goals and family. A few years ago, I made the bold decision to reduce the time that I was spending seeing patients in my office in order to spend more time with my kids and be able to have a little extra time to devote towards my own health. I’m very fortunate to have an amazing husband who is very supportive of my need for self-care and a tremendous staff at Florida Complete Wellness who takes care of our patients just like their own family.
So I’m excited to share my self-care routine that I’ve actually turned into a PCOS mini-retreat when I have a little extra time once or even twice per month if I’m lucky that’s easy to do in the comfort of your own home. I really believe that it’s taken my stress level down a few notches and I always feel so refreshed the rest of the week when I implement it.
I would love for you to just block out a day during the month (maybe you even call in sick one day to work or make it a personal day!) and take your own private PCOS mini-retreat without even stepping on a plane or checking into a day spa.
But if you go a step further and check yourself into a resort because you just can’t get any time to yourself otherwise then go for it! Either way, I encourage you to give it a try!
Ok, so I won’t keep you waiting…here’s how I create my own PCOS mini-retreat from home:
I start prepping the Day before by making sure I’ve planned out all of my meals and family’s meals and get any shopping done that I might need. If you’re like me and meal prepping is not your strong suit, I encourage you to listen to Season 4, Episode 6 on Confronting My Weakest Link…you guessed it…meal prep!
Night before: turn off all electronics by 8 pm and sink into warm bath with essential oils and sip some chamomile tea if needed.
Sleep is a biggie! Many of us are going through the day tired and worn out due to insufficient sleep. But as women with PCOS, sleep is especially important and here’s why:
We know we need enough sleep, but did you know:
“Inadequate slumber over extended periods of time also may interfere with immune function, including the proper production of white cells and hormonal regulation, which is why insufficient sleep is linked with chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This also leads to impaired immunity and elevated levels of hormones such as insulin, increasing the risk of gaining body fat (most often in the midsection) and of developing systemic inflammation and type 2 diabetes. It also leads to changes in the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which regulate hunger and satiety.” –David Katz, M.D. from the book, “Disease-Proof.”
So how is your sleep?
If you’ve tried several things with no improvement, it would probably be worthwhile to have your hormone levels checked by someone that specializes in this field. Many times, a doctor of oriental medicine or functional medical doctor can do this and get you on the right course to sleeping better and feeling better.
For many women with PCOS (myself included), just by eating healthier, they find they start sleeping better. Add exercise to the mix and it can help even more. As a bonus for this week’s episode, I’d like to invite you to grab my special sleep handout that’s available as a free download for this episode. You’ll also get notified whenever I release a new episode of this podcast and and receive my top 15 recommendations on how to improve your sleep. Adopting habits that create quality sleep can change your life!
So after a restful night’s sleep, it’s time to start my PCOS mini-retreat!
I start my day first thing in the morning – before anything else, especially coffee – with a large glass of fresh water to rehydrate my body and my brain after the night’s fast. You’ll be surprised how awake you feel when your brain gets watered! Continue to drink water regularly throughout the day. Recommendations vary on the quantity of water we need, but drinking ½ your body weight in water per day is the ideal. Think about it: a 250 pound man has a lot more muscle mass, bone mass, and tissue mass – a lot more cells – to hydrate than a 120 pound woman or a six year old child. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, aim for approximately 80 ounces of water per day. If you haven’t been drinking much water, you can start gradually and aim for ½ that amount to start with and increase as you can.
If you just don’t like water, due to the lack of taste, consider adding some real fruit to your water. Limes, lemons and grapefruit are all amazing additions to a glass of water. I like to add an electrolyte tablet called Nuun sometimes for flavor. You can either put lemon or lime slices in your water or squeeze some lemon, lime or grapefruit juice in your glass. Refreshing and delicious!
The easiest way for me to remember to drink more water is to always have a full water bottle with me – at my desk, in the kitchen and when I leave the house.
A great app called Water Your Body is an easy to use and fun way to track your personally recommended amount of water. After answering a few personal questions, like your current weight and activity level, the app calculates the water you need. You can set timer reminders to help you remember…and you’ll win trophies for consistency.
Next I eat protein-based breakfast:
Ideally, I have a meal that includes protein, carbohydrates and fat (in ‘whole food’ form). This keeps me full longer and helps keep my energy sustained. This is so important because I notice when I skip breakfast, I will usually end up consuming more calories throughout the day. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to function optimally, so if by the end of day, you haven’t consumed what your body needs, you’ll end up with those later afternoon and/or evening snack attacks. To really bring this home I once read this quote by Diane Welland who wrote The Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Clean in which she said:
“Eating breakfast also does wonders for your weight. In fact, if you’re trying to lose weight, eating breakfast is the way to do it. Why?
It prevents you from noshing on high-calorie snacks or overeating later in the day.
Not only are breakfast eaters leaner than those who opt to skip this meal, but generally they eat fewer total calories per day.”
Here’s the rest of my own private PCOS mini-retreat schedule:
- Along with my mini-retreat breakfast which usually includes eggs, veggies and herbs with a greens drink called Greens First that I drink, I throw in a few cleansing herbs and key daily supplements. So for those of you who are curious about which herbs I like to take for my mini-retreat: I usually take my Pure One Multivitamin (PE) along with my Omaprem omega-3 capsules which is something I take everyday. I then combine this with 2 caps of Liver-GI Detox (also from Pure Encapsulations) which contains ingredients such as the amino acids glycine, taurine and methionine to support the detoxification pathways in the liver.
- Next I take my dogs on a brisk walk around my neighborhood and listen to my favorite podcast or audio book for 30-45 min. If the weather is too hot, I do a 60-minute workout at home (my favorite is Pure Barre on Demand) since I don’t have to leave the house on my retreat day and can work my schedule around it more easily.
- After my workout, I disable social media and notifications and take a moment to sink into a 15-20 min meditation session to help my brain unwind from the stress of the past few weeks and really get into retreat mode. I started with doing occasional meditation in my yoga class to really implementing it regularly into my daily routine and it’s made a huge difference in reducing “hamster-wheel brain” as I like to lovingly refer to it. It’s also made me a more patient and kind doctor, mom and spouse in my opinion.
- Next I shower using dry brushing with essential oils like grapefruit and bergamot and apply coconut oil from head to toe afterwards.
- Also consider taking a bonus break for hair and nails, massage or acupuncture;)
- Then enjoy the healthy lunch that I prepared the night before.
- Shake for dinner with water. On days where I have my largest meal for lunch, I also will prepare a lighter dinner.
- Spend the rest of the retreat time reading for enjoyment (non-clinical stuff), then add some stretching at night before bed.
Other Possibilities For Lack of Energy:
If you don’t feel rejuvenated after your mini-retreat and continue to struggle with low energy but can’t figure out why, you shouldn’t feel like it’s something you just have to ‘live with’.
By seeing a doctor that specializes in this area, you can probably figure out the cause and be on the road to feeling better.
There are many possible causes for fatigue (including, but not limited to) thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance.
I’m obviously a big fan of functional medicine because we look for the root cause of problems rather than looking to just treat the symptoms. There are also great oriental medicine and naturopathic doctors that deal with women’s health issues. Find someone in your area that best fits your needs that can help you.
So that’s my mini-retreat day when I want to pamper myself and feel amazing for the rest of the week. Be sure to go back and look everything over again. Write down 2 things you are ready to implement this week.
Tips for implementing your own mini-retreat day:
- Disconnect from social media and news notifications (or better yet, delete the apps for the day!)
- Take time to eat, drink lots of water, get some fresh air, take walks, and get 7-8 hours of sleep the night before.
- Let your family know that this time away will be focused on you and that you will not be available much throughout the morning or afternoon that you choose to plan your mini-retreat. It’s very important to limit distractions in order to give your body the rest it deserves and by stating this up front you will make sure no one at home is feeling neglected!
- Repeat your mini-retreat day on a regular basis!
So what do you think? Are you ready to plan your PCOS mini-retreat to give your brain, body and soul that much-needed rejuvenation? I hope you said “yes!” because this is an investment in your self-care that you won’t regret! If you’ve decided to go for it, pick a date and put it on your calendar in the next 48 hours, and when you do, head over to Instagram and DM me to let me know what your retreat will consist of!
If you enjoyed listening to this episode, you have to check out The PCOS Revolution Academy 90 day Reset, where we go through all of these topics in an easy to follow, totally online, step by step process so you can stop giving PCOS the upper hand. Join me over at thepcosrevolution.com/ to find out more about how you can sign up and also get access to some very cool freebies that I’ve created for you. I’d love to have you join me inside of the Academy. See ya there and have a wonderful week!
Links Mentioned In This Episode:
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Thanks for listening!
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Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice.