Meals She Eats Book Summary - Meals She Eats Book explained in key points
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Meals She Eats summary

Tom and Rachael Sullivan

Empowering Advice, Relatable Stories, and 25+ Recipes to Take Control of Your PCOS

18 mins
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    Meals She Eats
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    PCOS 101

    You can’t charge into battle without gathering intel about your enemy. Similarly, you can’t fight PCOS without first understanding what it is. 

    As the syndrome generally affects the reproductive system, let’s start there. Women with healthy reproductive systems go through four phases of the menstrual cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. 

    The menstrual phase lasts anywhere from three to seven days, and this is when you get your period itself. When the bleeding stops, your body spends seven to ten days in the follicular phase. This is when your ovaries start working to produce eggs. The dominant egg is then released into the fallopian tube, at which point you enter the ovulatory phase of three to four days. From there, you go into the luteal phase. This lasts from ten to fourteen days as the egg in the uterus waits to get fertilized. When it doesn’t, your bleeding begins again.

    A healthy cycle relies significantly on hormones produced by the brain and ovaries. But with PCOS, a hormonal imbalance leads to an increase in the male hormone androgen, which prevents the production of healthy eggs. Without eggs, you won’t move into your ovulation, luteal, and menstrual phases.    

    This is why most women with PCOS deal with symptoms such as infertility and irregular or missed periods. Other typical signs to look out for include excessive body hair, hormonal acne, weight gain, and constant fatigue. 

    PCOS is often diagnosed via the Rotterdam criteria. Under these criteria, you need to meet at least two out of three conditions: irregular periods, usually 12 or more ovarian cysts, and increased androgen levels. 

    If you’ve been officially diagnosed with PCOS or have even an inkling that you have it, seek out a healthcare provider who can create a treatment plan that matches your goals. For instance, if you’re trying to conceive, find a doctor who would consider approaches other than the contraceptive pill. 

    Managing PCOS also involves changing your lifestyle – and that means adapting it to sync up with your cycle.

    During your menstrual phase, you're likely feeling about as energetic as a sloth, so focus on light activities like stretching and walking. In the follicular phase, you'll be more inspired and creative. That’s the time to get physical with trampoline workouts or rock climbing.

    Come the ovulation phase, you’ll be bursting with confidence. Channel that energy into something powerful like aerial yoga or even kickboxing. However, you’ll start feeling lazy again during the luteal phase – a signal to enjoy calming yoga or stand-up paddleboarding.

    In addition to getting some exercise, you might also want to look into purging your home of items that may harm your endocrine system. These include plastic food containers, tampons, and cleaning products with parabens, oxybenzone, and formaldehyde. Switch them for glass food containers, organic pads or menstrual cups, and toxin-free products. 

    But one of the most crucial things to look out for when managing PCOS is your food intake. Let’s dive into that next. 

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    What is Meals She Eats about?

    Meals She Eats (2023) combines practical advice on PCOS with easy-to-follow recipes to manage the disorder’s symptoms. Drawn from the authors’ own experiences, it shares lifestyle changes and strategies that have proven effective for them. 

    Who should read Meals She Eats?

    • Women with PCOS
    • Women suffering from period-related issues 
    • Anyone who wants to eat healthier

    About the Author

    Tom and Rachael Sullivan are the husband-and-wife team running the social media account Meals She Eats, on which the book is largely based. Rachael suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, and Tom makes her meals to control her symptoms. After going viral online, the couple went on to be featured on the TODAY Show, the Rachael Ray Show, and other media outlets. 

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