Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOs) is the most common endocrine disorder and cause of infertility in women. It causes a range of issues, such as: ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles, acne and hormones that are completely out of whack. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?🙄 I was diagnosed with PCOs five years ago and it’s been a massive part of my life ever since.
The holidays can be difficult for those of us with this disorder because the main way PCOs is managed is through diet; specifically a low carb/high protein diet with plenty of fiber. I don’t know how you like to celebrate but I like to indulge in carby, sugary goodness… but then my body hates me. I thought it might be helpful to put together a gift guide containing the best products and healthy (sort of) snacks that I’ve discovered over the years. Of course, you can buy a person with PCOs normal gifts but it would be so thoughtful to gift them items that they can enjoy and that won’t hurt their health. I will include links to where you can find these products. Let’s get started!
There’s a few miscellaneous items that I love and think every person with PCOs, or general fertility issues, should have.
- Heating Pad– One of the best ways to manage pain from ovarian cysts, fibroids and cramps is with heat. Heating pads help to increase blood flow which in turn, helps to reduce pain.
- Dry Brush– I recently wrote an entire post about dry brushing and its many benefits. It can help to increase circulation and reduce pain. It’s also great for general skincare and I find the process of it to just be relaxing.
- Castor Oil– Castor oil has a TON of benefits and I recommend reading more about them here. I love it, however, because it can help to reduce inflammation and increase circulation when used on the skin. Most people use castor oil in castor oil packs; you soak a cloth in castor oil, apply it on the skin and then apply heat over the cloth. I don’t like using a cloth so I apply the oil to my bare skin and then use the heating pad on top of my clothes, over the oil. You can read an article here that explains how traditional castor oil packs should be used and how to do it the lazy way (my favorite). Castor oil should NOT be used if pregnant or menstruating.
As I said above, a huge part of managing PCOs is diet. We usually need low carb and sugar free snacks. A great option, that I didn’t include in the picture above, is meats and cheeses. I particularly love summer sausage during the holidays. A cute charcuterie spread with some veggies would make an excellent, low carb gift.
- Skinny Pop Popcorn– This is my favorite kind of popcorn and it’s a great alternative to the typical, semi-stale holiday popcorn tins. The original and white cheddar flavors are my personal favorites. Four cups of the original flavor are only 150 calories and 15 carbs.
- Swiss Miss Sugar Free Hot Chocolate– Sometimes the sugar free options just aren’t as good as the original but when it comes to hot chocolate, I prefer the sugar free version. It tastes like delicious chocolate without a ton of fake “sweetness.” Each packet is 80 calories and 14 carbs.
- Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate– Dark chocolate, in moderation, actually has some health benefits! It contains antioxidants and can reduce inflammation. It can also lessen insulin resistance, something many women with PCOs struggle with. You can read all about the health benefits here. The higher the percentage of cacao, the better the dark chocolate is for you. I find anything above 70% to be too bitter for me but right at 70% is delicious. Three pieces of this dark chocolate in particular are 190 calories and 13 carbs.
- Planters Deluxe Unsalted Mixed Nuts– Nuts are a great source of protein, omega-3, zinc and vitamin E. They’re also delicious and so addicting that I will eat an entire container of them if I’m not careful. All nuts have different health benefits but they’re not the lowest calorie or carb snack you can find so I try to eat them in moderation. This particular type of mixed nuts is around 170 calories and 7 carbs for 22 pieces.
- Yogi Women’s Raspberry Leaf Tea– Raspberry Leaf Tea is probably the most popular herbal tea for women with fertility issues and just women in general. It has a TON of benefits. It’s an astringent which can help contract and shrink internal and external body tissues; like fibroids. It’s a uterine tonic, can help lower a fever and help with morning sickness. I highly recommend reading more about it here. I wouldn’t say this tea is delicious but it has a nice earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness. This tea has no caffeine, calories or carbs. I also recommend any of the other Yogi teas.
- Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion Root Tea– Dandelion Root Tea is great for supporting the kidneys and liver, which in turn, helps to balance hormones. It’s also a high source of vitamin A, B, C, D, calcium, potassium and iron. I recommend reading more about it here. Like the Raspberry Leaf Tea, this one doesn’t taste amazing but it has a mild, earthy taste. This tea has no caffeine, calories or carbs.
That is everything for my first ever gift guide! I tried to include all the items that I would love to receive as somebody with PCOs but I’m sure I missed some things. If there’s any products that you would recommend, leave them in the comments below. Also, let me know if I suggested anything you’d like to try! Thanks for reading and have a great day!