When I was initially diagnosed with PCOS, I was referred to a specialist who creates nutritional plans to assist PCOS patients in getting their health under control and losing weight. During my time seeing her, there were a couple huge things I learned - never drink juice, always eat a protein with a sugar, and steer clear of any kind of hormones or additives.
It was the last one that really changed my world. To be honest, I had been so focused on my bodies inability to create and process hormones that I didn't stop to consider that the additional hormones I consume may also have it all out of whack. Now, although this idea is controversial (as so much of PCOS is, due to lack of research), it is definitely food for thought. I removed gluten as well as most other hormones and additives from my diet - basing it solely on meat, fruit and veggies (all fresh). It wasn't easy, or cheap, but it has paid off in huge ways. My body seems to be operating mostly normal, and I feel 100x better than I ever have before.
It makes sense, when you think about it. If our bodies are struggling to produce and process the correct hormones to begin with, what happens when we consume food injected with the same hormones that our bodies already produce in abundance? Well, I'm not a medical expert but I would think that would result in an over abundance of those hormones. The ideal solution is avoiding foods with hormones or additives, although I know it's not always possible. Finding food that is truly organic and natural is tough and expensive. We don't all have those resources or accessibility. We certainly don't all have the money. But there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and keep your body as natural as possible:
#1 - Avoid low grade, low quality meat. It's tough when you're on a budget, but the lower the quality/grade and the cheaper the meat is, the more its been processed. Try to get the best quality you can, or organic where possible. You'll have to do some research though - just because it says organic, doesn't mean it is.
#2 - Read labels (Probably the most important!). Read make-up labels, lotion labels, food labels. Know what your putting on or in your body. Lowering exposure to more than just hormones will help your body all around and make it feel pretty good.
#3 - Research meat companies. Find out what they use, how they use it, what kind of meat they sell, etc.
#4 - Go local. I recommend going local with everything you buy. It's not always easy, but in the long run it's cheaper and healthier. You can arrange a meeting with a farmer, go out and look at his farm and ask all those important questions, and then for a couple hundred dollars buy a portion of a cow that you can freeze and use all year. Your money is going towards his family, and you're getting something you can be proud to feed your family. Your body and heart will feel good. **If you are in a position to raise and butcher your own meat, do it. It's the only way you can be sure of what you're putting in your body!
#5 - Go wild. If you like it, or can learn to like it, try some wild game. You can be sure it's free of antibiotics and hormones, and it's still tasty. It's even cheaper if you know someone who will hunt it for you or can hunt it yourself.
#6 - Only eat items with ingredients that you recognize. If most of the ingredient list are words you've never heard of, maybe you should avoid it. Stick with foods that have fewer ingredients, and mostly things you know to be food. If your crackers have only three food ingredients on a list of twenty, your body probably won't be able to process it.
Even if you can just lower your current exposure to hormones and additives, it will help. The less chemicals we put into our body, the better our bodies will function on doing what they do best.
**** Please note: This is based on my personal experience only. It's not backed by medical knowledge or experience. ****