Over the last couple of weeks, I have been inundated with questions about my diet and my day to day lifestyle, so I figured it was about time I just did a blog post on it!
Originally this post was going to be just about my diet, but then when I went to write it, I realised that was going to be much harder than I thought. I change my diet every day, and I am not a good enough blogger to write all that down haha.
Sooooooo I thought - Why don’t I just track an entire day and see what I actually eat and do!?
WELL, HERE IT IS!...A day in the life of Brigitte Warne.
I decided to track just a regular mid-week day, as the weekends tend to get a bit trickier and inconsistent (as I will often have events, or go out for dinner/ breakfast etc.)
I will tell you upfront now; I am the founder & co-founder of three different businesses so as you can imagine, my days get quite hectic. #stresscity
I eat a plant-based diet and try to limit refined sugars as much as possible. I also recently cut out gluten a couple of months ago too, which has really changed the way I eat. (I have done a separate blog post on going gluten-free if it interests anyone!)
Some of you have just read all that and are now thinking “WELL WHAT THE HELL DOES SHE EAT!?!?” lol I totally get it, I also often wonder at times how I manage to get so much variety considering the food limitations I put on myself. But the truth is there is so much amazing food out there, and it has not only helped me to reverse my PCOS, but I also feel AMAZING.
So here it is my diary! I have also added in some of my own notes in italic, mostly to compare back to when I hadn’t been diagnosed with PCOS yet, but knew something wasn’t right with me.
6.00 am I woke up feeling refreshed and full of energy. #brighteyedandbushytailed lol
I have always been an early bird, but when I came off the pill and started to experience PCOS symptoms, I found myself being constantly exhausted. Every day was a struggle to get out of bed, and no matter how much sleep I got, I just felt tired all the time. That was actually one of the biggest indicators to me that something wasn’t right (other than the physical symptoms). Since I have changed up my diet, lowered my stress and introduced some new herbs & supplements, I am back to being my vibrant, energised and happy self!! (and back to waking up at the crack of dawn, much to my husband’s dismay hahaha!!)
I let the dogs come onto the bed for a quick cuddle (the highlight of their day!!), and then I take a moment just to chill out and have a look at any emails I received the night before. (This is a bad habit of mine but still something I haven’t been able to give up yet #oops)
6.15 am Once I get up, I go check out my skin in the mirror and pray that no pesky pimples have popped up overnight. I found one under my chin #damnit haha I wash my face and cleanse using apple cider vinegar. Until a couple of months ago, before I knew I had PCOS, I would wake up to a full face of pimples, and I couldn’t even bear to look at myself... it was incredibly disheartening. So even though I still get the odd pimple now, it’s 100x better than it was.
I head to the kitchen and have a big glass of alkaline water with a herb mix my naturopath gave me to help kick start my body systems and help me wake up feeling alert (it contains mostly cinnamon which is fantastic for women with PCOS), and then I get ready to take the dogs for a walk to the beach.
I walk my dogs twice a day, and it honestly is one of the best parts of my day, however last year when I was really struggling to manage my symptoms (I hadn’t even been diagnosed yet) and letting stress/work get to me I started to cut my walks shorter and shorter. It had started to feel like a waste of time when I could have been doing other work-related things. I had no idea how much of a detrimental effect this was having on my overall health. Now I make a big effort to make sure I am present and mindful when I walk, which is such a nice way to start and end the day and has definitely helped my stress levels.
7.15 am I get back from my walk, and I am starving! I start getting breakfast organised, which today is going to be my superfood Maca smoothie (banana, spinach, blueberries, nut butter, maca, hemp protein and almond milk) with crunchy vegan granola and hemp seed on top!.... This takes me a total of 5 mins to make and tastes super yummy. SMLXL
I always take my other supplements (which I have done a blog post on) straight after breakfast. I find I feel a bit sick if I don’t have them with food.
7.30 YOGA TIME! My yoga studio is just around the corner, so no excuses not being able to go, and I love starting the day with some yoga!
Yoga was another thing I used to push to the side when I would get busy or stressed with work. Now that I know how much stress impacts my PCOS symptoms, I make a conscious effort to get to at least 2-3 yoga classes per week. I really believe it’s helped me to manage my PCOS and that if I don’t manage my stress, I really see my symptoms flare up.
8.45 am I get dressed and then it’s off to work! As I have a couple of business’s I try to mix up where I work from- today I am heading into my office/ studio near the city.
I do think that a change of scenery helps me stay focused and motivated to work. I usually try to work from home 1-2 days a week as well just mix up my work environments.
9.00 am The first thing I do when I get into work is make myself a cup of hot spearmint tea, I always have a box of it on my desk and in my handbag. Spearmint tea is thought to help lower testosterone levels, and I have at least two cups a day, and actually really like the flavour.
10.15 am Once I have answered all my emails and made a few calls (trying not to get too stressed about the never-ending list of things needing to be done!) I head to the fridge to pull out some of my pre-made raw vegan chocolate that I made the day before for a sneaky snack. SOOOOO GOOD!
This chocolate is packed with goji berries, walnuts, hazelnuts, cranberries, and hemp seeds, so it’s definitely a good way to satisfy my sweet tooth and also pack my body with nutrients. It is high in good fats, so I try not to overindulge even though it tastes so delicious lol!!
10.30am-1pm I head off for a couple of meetings and make sure my last meeting is at my favourite wholefoods cafe so that I can treat myself to a satay veggie and lentil pattie wrap (I actually took the wrap off because it wasn’t gluten-free lol) and a turmeric latte with almond milk #treatyoself
I do find that eating out can be a little bit tricky when you’re trying to stick to a vegan, gluten-free and low GI diet, however, I find most places now cater for a lot of different dietary requirements; you just have to ask them. My other new obsession since I gave up coffee is turmeric or chai lattes with almond milk. Just make sure they are not using powdered sugar ones!!
1.15 pm Walk back to the office and finish up a couple more emails and a few more phone meetings. A few minor issues have come up, so I spend some time putting out a couple of fires. In the past, this would have stressed me out so much and inadvertently affect my cortisol levels, which is a very vicious cycle for PCOS sufferers. Now when stressful things happen, I just have to acknowledge the fact, but then continue to work through it, rather than let myself get worked up about. (Easier said than done though!!)
3 pm time to get up and make myself another tea and I also feel like something to nibble on. I usually always have hummus and seed crackers on hand, but I am feeling like something sweet, so I have another sneaky piece of my raw vegan chocolate to satisfy my afternoon munchies hehe.
My husband and I both love hummus so we usually buy a big 1kg tub once a week (which we easily finish off!) On the weekends if I get a chance I will also make a batch of hummus which is super easy and you literally just need chickpeas, tahini, lemon and salt for a super basic version!
5.15 pm Head home and take the doggos on their afternoon walk - My favourite time of the day! I have already started planning what I want to make for dinner and have pre brought all the ingredients, so I don’t even need to go to the shops.
I literally get so excited to make dinner (I am weird, I know! lol). We have just done a full kitchen renovation which has completely changed my life!! (We had the tiniest most revolting little kitchen before that I just didn’t want to step foot into!)
6 pm Dinner prep! I crack open a kombucha and start preparing dinner (for some reason I feel like I am having a cider or beer when I drink kombucha at night, it’s quite satisfying after a long day!) I am making my SUPER EASY plant-powered Dhal with a side of quinoa. You can literally make this meal with things you have in your pantry, or you can load it up with as much fresh veg as you want. Today I am adding peas, kale, carrot and tomatoes. It’s high in protein, low in fat and refined sugar-free. It’s also a great filling meal that even my hubby LOVES. You can also make it as thick or as soupy as you like! YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.
My biggest mission when cooking is to try to create something that will be not only healing and nutritional but also delicious enough that my meat-eating husband will give it the tick of approval! In this case, it does!
6.30 pm I can’t wait for hubby to get home, so I eat a bowl on the couch without him and go back for seconds when he gets home hehe.
7.30 pm MY SWEET TOOTH IS CALLING! Thankfully I have some of my Chunky Fudgey Balance Brownies leftover from the weekend, so I treat myself to two (oops - don’t worry, they are small, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan and paleo!! lol) and finish them off with a hot cup of licorice tea.
Licorice root is another great herb for PCOS sufferers. It is often combined with white peony for added benefits, but tonight I am having in the form of tea! I also find the tea really helps combat sugar cravings as it’s quite sweet.
8.30 pm I finish off a bit more work and also do some study (I am doing a course on vegan nutrition to further my understanding of the link between plant-based nutrition and PCOS.)
9.45 pm BEDTIME! I wash my face again and moisturise with a little bit of hemp seed oil. I also dab some tea tree oil on any pimples that have appeared (thankfully still just the one on my chin!) Peace out world, see you tomorrow!