FREE PCOS Recipes, Meal Plans + Shopping Lists, Nutritional Video Lessons & More! (2024)

What types of foods will the PCOS meals include?

A quick summary of the food principles that make up the meal plans include eating as many nutrient dense whole foods as possible, especially vegetables and fitting in lots of animal protein and good fats. The PCOS meal plans are also low-carb and low-GI making this Challenge a perfect place to start if you’re looking for a low-carb diet for PCOS.

What types of foods will each PCOS meal plan exclude?

In your diet plan over the 30 days we will be intentionally avoiding gluten (wheat), dairy products, sugar, and high GI carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, pasta, breads, and breakfast cereal. While food intolerances and allergies are unique for everyone, eliminating these foods strikes the right balance between simplicity and efficacy against PCOS, as well as trying to make the Challenge achievable for as many people as possible.

Do the meal plans include snacks?

Unfortunately, the PCOS meal plans do not include snacks as these are of relatively less priority than the main meals I’ve provided. I do however have a $5 Challenge Companion Guide that includes 17 PCOS-friendly snack recipes, 13 PCOS-friendly drink recipes, and a fresh fruit guide that tells you everything you need to know to really get the most from the Challenge.

Will the meal plans suit vegetarians and vegans?

While I would absolutely love to support vegetarians and vegans (I was one myself for over ten years), advising how to obtain complete and sufficient nutrition on these types of diets is very complex. I’m not saying it can’t be done without meat, it’s just unfortunately too much information to fit into only 30 days. In the PCOS diet plan provided in the Challenge I recommend the regular consumption of meat as part of your long term recovery from this disorder. Eating unprocessed meat is the simplest and most effective way to ensure we get all the nutrients we need to treat PCOS and the scientific evidence supporting this is just too strong to pass up.

Should I avoid caffeine?

I chose not to cover caffeine in the Challenge as I designed the Challenge to be a starting point where we cover the basics and get you started on your journey without overwhelming you. My views on caffeinated drinks are that they’re likely to be more harmful than helpful when it comes to rebalancing your hormones since they can have an adverse effect on your cortisol levels. If they contain sugar, then that’s doubly true and if you struggle with stress, anxiety, or insomnia, getting off the caffeine seems like a pretty sensible thing to do. That said, some people are going to be able to handle caffeine better than others so it can come down to your personal situation and how the cost/benefit stacks up for you. You can click here to read where I talk about this some more.

I am still craving carbs / I feel crappy eating low-carb.

The reason I recommend the amount of carbs that I do is because it helps you not have significant cravings and helps prevent you from feeling crappy. What we are aiming for is long-term sustainable change so make sure what you’re doing is something that you can do sustainably long-term. It might be worth upping your carbs to the amount that I suggest in the meal plans if you’re not feeling very good and you find yourself wanting to eat sugar and processed carbs.

What are the best fruits to eat?

Generally berries and melons as they are lower in fructose but it really depends as even those can vary greatly depending on factors such as species etc. In general the sweeter it tastes the more sugar is in it. What’s more important is keeping your daily intake to 1-2 servings of fruit max. You can learn more about eating fruits within a PCOS diet here.

What if I don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals?

I have chosen the quickest and easiest PCOS recipes I could for this Challenge because I know how busy you are! Also by adding just one meal to the Challenge each week, the meal plans are structured to let you warm up to the Challenge rather than throwing you in the deep end of making 3 PCOS-friendly meals per day all at once and totally overwhelming you.

When do we get our first shopping list?

The first nine days are nutrition video lessons only. I’ll be sending out the first shopping list on Day 5 of the Challenge, giving you five days to prepare before the meals start on Day 10.

What sweeteners can we have?

It’s always tricky when answering questions about sweeteners. Nutritionally speaking, I think the best sweetener is no sweetener. But I know that’s not realistic for anyone living in the real world so here is a brief summary of my preferred sweeteners. If it’s suitable for the food or drink you’re making then whole fresh fruit is definitely your best choice. Dried fruit is another okay one as you still get the fiber and micronutrients, but the sugar content is obviously a lot higher. If fruit doesn’t work, then I’d recommend raw natural honey provided you’re not planning on cooking with it or heating it in any way. Even though honey contains a lot of fructose, the unique set of enzymes, proteins, flavonoids and other polyphenols it contains seem to have a protective effect provided these haven’t been destroyed by heating. Glucose-based sweeteners like brown rice syrup or corn syrup (not to be confused with high fructose corn syrup of course) are generally my go-to for baking and desserts as these are fructose free. Another option I’m fairly comfortable with is stevia or monk fruit extract. You probably want to find a pure product for these non-nutritive sweeteners though as many manufacturers cut them with all sorts of things that may not be good for you.

Do we need to quit sugar/dairy/processed foods/gluten from Day 1?

I leave this decision up to you. One of the benefits of starting now is that you’ll see more progress before the 30 days is up, but you also risk getting overwhelmed as it can be difficult to make these changes if you don’t have enough nutritional support. By transitioning you onto a full PCOS-friendly meal plan by Week 4, I hope to make this process easier for you as the meals I prescribe will reduce sugar cravings and help you feel fuller for longer. Obviously, it’ll also be easier to avoid gluten and dairy since you’ll have a full set of recipes that exclude these ingredients.

I generally think a one step at a time approach is always more sustainable but personal motivation can go a really long way too. Perhaps you’d prefer taking a middle-road that suits where you’re at right now?

Can I get the calorie count for each meal?

I haven’t included calorie counts with my recipes as I’m actively encouraging women that want to lose weight to NOT restrict their energy intake.

Limiting calories as a way to lose weight seems to be a real zombie in the dietary advice world – it just won’t die despite having been proven to be terrible for those seeking long term sustainable weight management. Studies have shown that just about everyone who tries “dieting” ends up gaining more weight in the long run, with the relationship so clear that having tried calorie counting in the past is actually one of the best predictors of long term weight gain.

I realize that this is still part of our dietary zeitgeist, but I’m hoping to separate Challenge participants from this idea as a means to achieving and maintaining their healthy body weight. It’s been clearly shown that it’s WHAT we eat, rather than how much that matters. As you will see during this Challenge, you can still lose weight while eating ’till you’re full and satisfied. You can still lose weight while eating a lot of meat and fat, and you can still lose weight without ever wondering about the calories.

I feel really strongly about sharing this message. I’m sure that this difference in attitude is why so many women with PCOS that do the Challenge are now having amazing weight loss success and are keeping it up long term. They’re making better food choices a new normal in their lifestyle rather than thinking about going on another weight loss diet.

I share more of my thoughts here in this blog post which you might find interesting.

I train a lot and feel like I should be eating more?

If you are doing high energy workouts you may need to increase the portion sizes prescribed in the meal plans I give you during the challenge slightly BUT stick with the same macronutrient percentages (for example you don’t want it to come only from carbs). In line with the meal plans I recommend around 3 – 4 ounces (85 – 115 grams) of wholefood carbohydrates (weighed cooked), around 5.3 oz (150 g) of unprocessed meat (weighed raw) with every meal and 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables per meal (breakfast you can be slightly more lenient with if you find it difficult).

FREE PCOS Recipes, Meal Plans + Shopping Lists, Nutritional Video Lessons & More! (2024)
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