Hi everyone! Thank you for your lovely responses on my weight loss article. Helping out people with both Hashimoto’s & PCOS issues has now become my main aim with the blog, so I’ve now started a series called #morningOm on my Instagram ,in addition to this PCOS and thyroid diet post and my PCOS Facebook Support group. Through #morningOm, I deliver snippets of advice on breaking myths and clearing out misinformation that most people have about diets, whether you have Hashi’s/PCOS or not. You can view the past ones on my Weight loss and Om highlights.

Phew, ok. Now on to real business. When I first started taking my Hashimoto’s seriously, I did experiment a lot with meal plans, bone broth, autoimmune protocol (AIP) diets, and more. AIP is extremely limiting when it comes to Hashimoto’s as it’s like a modified paleo diet. (Did I mention I tried that too? See more here.) After which, I gave up because I couldn’t hold myself accountable and saw a nutritionist. I tried a fat first diet which worked for 3 months, which then backfired. Gave up for a little while, when my waistline began to consistently expand. Lost hope. Felt low body image and self-esteem. I then binge ate as a product of feeling crap about myself. I was tired all the time. I felt like an empty hollow of a woman and I really didn’t feel like myself at all. Most of all, I was tired and the daily fatigue was making me a person I was indeed not. Not one I wanted to be.

The following diet is what worked for me. Let me tell you, it was really hard work, because I had to do two major lifestyle changes – meal prep everything from scratch and stop with my weekly cheat meals.

Here’s the thing, cheat meals are great for shaking up your metabolism when you’ve reached really close to your goal weight. Not so much when you’re 20kgs away. It becomes a shitty cycle; you eat and gain the weight you spent time losing and then go back to eating healthy, lose that weight and start the process all over again. That cycle had to stop. I had to also stop using my tastings as excuses for eating badly, so that’s why you haven’t seen any restaurant reviews from me lately. It’s not worth it, and I’m looking to transitioning that section to something else. Watch this space.

On to my diet, friends!

Breakfast

Chia seed fruit bowl
Fruits are a great accompaniment to your breakfast meals

While most people think it’s the most important meal of the day, I’ve never honestly been a breakfast person. Even though I do have breakfast, it’s often a light one. Here are some options if you, like me don’t enjoy large, elaborate breakfasts.

Breakfast options on the PCOS and Thyroid diet

1. Overnight oats

The easiest and simplest option if you are truly not a breakfast person. I throw in a 1.5 tablespoons of oats, chia and a splash of coconut milk & water and keep it in the fridge overnight. Perfect for a quick breakfast along with a fruit. I often choose between berries, a banana, an orange or apple.

2. A crepe/pancake

I usually make these breakfasts when I have a spot of time. It could be sweet or savory. A savory version would include about a tablespoon of oats flour with some salt, water and a quarter of a chopped tomato and onion along with a little chilli then cooked on a pan. Otherwise I do a sweet version with mashed banana and a tablespoon of oats flour. Cook in 1 tsp of olive oil.

3. Smoothie

There are so many different versions of these that I consume. I vary between a glass of strained bottle gourd juice, a kiwi, mint, chia & coriander smoothie, a banana coconut milk & oats chia smoothie or even a berry-oat-chia smoothie. Having a Nutribullet is super useful for these cases as you can blitz these things together and just get out the door!

4. Fruit

A fruit is a must-have during my breakfast. Choose low glycemic load fruits, including bananas, apples, mangoes and oranges and you’re good! If you truly don’t have time for breakfast, this is the way to go, along with a cup of coffee or green tea.

Lunch

Soup with a lot of veggies can be a very wholesome meal!

For lunch, I go with some staples but change up my vegetables a lot. I’ve only recently introduced brown rice, but I have essentially removed starchy food from my diet like potatoes, white rice, yams & sweet potatoes. Why you may ask? The main reason is they are typically difficult to digest for a person with Hashimoto’s & PCOS. I have also removed cruciferous vegetables from my diet. Historically, doctors have said to remove crucifers from your diet if you have Hashimoto’s (again, they do keep you full for longer and are nutritious, but notoriously difficult to digest), but modern research and literature might tell you otherwise. I’d advise removing it for the first month and then making reintroductions one by one every week. This is a long process, but it’s a sure shot way of knowing if these foods suit you or not.

I make my food from scratch. It’s usually 1 cup of cooked veggies in a desi style (I include spices like turmeric, chilli powder, garlic, ginger) in 1 tsp of olive oil accompanied by 15 gms of quinoa or 2 oats rotis (flatbread). I would avoid using mustard seeds if you have Hashimoto’s or PCOS. You can choose how you want to cook your veggies according to your heritage. Usually, we find the food that our families eat suit us best. However, watch your oil intake!

I removed lentils and legumes until recently, as they are quite hard to digest for me and often leave me bloated. Occasionally, I do help myself to a dal-based oats/quinoa khichdi or even some hummus for a snack, but maybe once a month if I feel like it.

I make the oats roti/flatbread with nothing but gluten-free oats flour, a little salt and lukewarm water. Knead this and prepare as you would a chapati/roti with a rolling pin. Cook it on a tava/flat pan.

I do eat plant-based vegan, with the exception of twice a week when I include 40-50 grams of grilled chicken or fish or even a chicken or fish curry with either quinoa or oats rotis. The reason I eat so less animal-based protein is because I tend to bloat with them and couldn’t digest them as easily. I would recommend staying vegan if you’re starting out on a diet of this nature for the first month before trying to incorporate animal sources of protein. I also make a wholesome oats/quinoa/buckwheat ‘khichdi’ or a soup if I’m tired of eating the same thing.

One thing I’ve also started to do is include a plain cucumber, tomato and lettuce salad with my lunch and dinner. This ensures that I feel satiated. I follow each meal with a ginger tulsi tea.

Dinner

Dinner is usually a lighter version of lunch, with one roti, followed by a caffeine free ginger tulsi tea.

Snacks & Cravings

Walnuts are serious brain food| PCOS and Thyroid diet
Walnuts are serious brain food

While I wasn’t and never have been the biggest fan of nuts, I’ve started to incorporate 5-6 of them as a snack on my PCOS and thyroid diet. My favourite are brazil nuts, which are an excellent source of selenium. These creamy nuts are filling and super tasty. I also change it up with almonds (only at a later stage, because it came up on my intolerance test), walnuts and hazelnuts.

While I do love nut butters, I’d only help myself to a teaspoon as it usually is pretty calorific. In the end, I didn’t quite feel full, but once in a while if you want to switch it up, it’s totally ok! Watch your quantities, folks.

My other big snack is (surprise!) fruit. I consume it usually as an evening snack, it’s usually a time when I get sugar cravings. I don’t consume any other type of refined or unrefined sugar. It’s very rare that I consume raw stevia leaf as part of my meals, but that’s about it.

Pre & post workout

For pre-workouts, I consume a banana and coffee. For a post workout drink, I have coconut water. I don’t consume any protein shakes.

Hope these tips on what to eat on a PCOS and thyroid diet have been useful for you! All these tips have been provided with the help and guidance of my nutritionist, Chopra Wellness. Do let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. Please note that this diet has been prescribed to me based on my previous eating habits, my blood work and an intolerance test.

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Note: This post may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you. My advice doesn’t replace a dietician/a medical service provider’s advice. It stems out of my personal experience.

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