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Lunch Recipes For PCOS

Top 10 Indian Lunch Recipes For PCOS Management

A key aspect of PCOS reversal is fixing your nutrition. By that, I don’t mean adopting fad diets but simply realigning the ingredients that go into your meal preparations.

What good is a diet if you can’t make it a part of your lifestyle long-term? A nutrition plan including only salad's and soup's cannot be a sustainable lifestyle change. Especially because we have grown up eating daal- chawal and phulka- sabzi.

Here is some good news for you, you do not have to give up ghar- ka- khana for disease reversal. The very opposite, by just changing some cooking principles, your home food can actually be your strongest tool.

Before we discuss the recipes, let’s first understand in detail how dietary choices lead to PCOS.

Types of PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a disorder where women experience hormonal imbalance, leading to irregular periods, excess acne and body hair, and weight gain. Read more in detail here:

Let’s take a look at some of the PCOS types:

  • Caused by inflammation.

In the most lay man's term, inflammation is when your body is attacking itself.

Acute inflammation is the body’s natural process to safeguard when you hurt a toe or catch a fever. However, chronic inflammation may indicate the presence of excess fat or toxins in the body.

This can impact ovulation in a woman’s body causing hormonal imbalance. Examples of inflammatory PCOS are vitamin deficiency (especially zinc and iodine), unusual blood count, and thyroid disorders.

  • Caused by insulin resistance.

A person experiences insulin resistance when their body’s cells are unable to adequately breakdown glucose. Insulin is a necessary hormone to maintain a healthy blood sugar level and insulin resistance gives rise to increased levels of blood sugar in the blood. It is a pre- diabetic state.

Obesity is the leading symptom of PCOS and most obese women face insulin resistance. Obesity is caused by poor diets that largely include fatty and sugary food items.

Insulin resistance can make ovaries produce excess male hormones called ‘testosterone’. The result of this we all know is PCOS. Unresolved PCOS in this case can lead to diabetes later in life.

  • Post- pill induced PCOS.

Consumption of birth control pills is known to affect ovulation, impacting normal hormonal function. When some women, who regularly use birth control pills suddenly go of the pill, can sometimes take years to restore normal function.

Unless you take the pill from the perspective of it being a birth- control, PCOS can very well be managed by nutritional and lifestyle changes alone. In most cases, you do not have to take the medical route to treat your PCOS.

Dark secrets of the Indian dairy industry.

One food group I insist my clients drop immediately when struggling with PCOS is dairy. Be it paneer, ghee, cheese, dahi or plain milk, it most definitely is making your symptoms worse. Here is why...

The population in India has been increasing exponentially. After a point, it has got to become difficult for the dairy industry to naturally milk the cows and buffaloes to meet the growing demand for milk.

Moreover, due to western influence, the demand for dairy by- products such as cheese, butter, cream, mayonnaise, etc. has increased.

Gone are the day's when our dairy consumption was only limited to a tbsp of ghee with our meal or simply a glass of watered down buttermilk post lunch. Dairy now is everywhere and in all forms. This is not how our ancestors ate!

To meet this increasing demand, the milk available in the market today is often adulterated.

Items like sugar, urea, paint, glucose, caustic soda, formalin, pesticides, shampoo, aflatoxin M1, hydrogen peroxide, chloroform, sodium thiosulfate, maltodextrin, vegetable oil, and detergents are often added to cow's milk before it can make it's way to your plate.

Dairy farmers adulterate the milk to increase the quantity and thickness. watch this to understand:

Furthermore, cows and buffaloes need to produce babies to provide milk. They are artificially inseminated so that the cycle of pregnancy continues and they are able to produce milk throughout their life span. Repeated pregnancies often put's physical and emotional stress on the animals, leading to diseases and the use of antibiotics.

The living conditions of these animals are deplorable and they often fall sick and suffer from stress. They are constrained to tight spaces, thanks to the ever rising cost of real estate, and stand all day in their own urine and dunk. This leads to infections and more drugs given to the animals.

But let's say you get your milk from your own dairy form and it is of the purest form. Is it then ok to consume milk?

The answer is still no.

Milk, naturally, its very high in saturated fats and growth hormones. Both of these can worsen insulin resistance and inflammation.

Read more in detail - 5 Reasons to Not Consume Milk in India.

How is dairy linked to PCOS?

Milk is carcinogenic and high in sex hormones. The very opposite of what you should be consuming for PCOS management. Dairy is also directly linked to insulin resistance and estrogen dominance. Two keep issues that makes PCOS symptoms worse.

Besides that, acne is the leading symptom of PCOS and dairy is known to worsen it further. A study conducted by Harvard found that largely, people who consume milk, have a lot of acne. They were suggested to go on a dairy-free diet to help overcome their acne problem.

Whole food plant-based diet for PCOS management.

So we just concluded that dairy is harmful to PCOS patients but is it possible to completely eliminate it from one’s diet? It is actually easier than you think. There is literally no nutrient in dairy that you cannot otherwise get from plants.

For instance, dairy is promoted to help support stronger bones. However, countries with the highest dairy consumption also suffer from worse bone health. Plant based calcium sources like nuts, seeds and leafy greens are better absorbed by the body and promote better bone health.

Switch your morning cup of chai or cow's milk for a glass of nourishing green smoothie instead. Add some spinach, fruits, nuts and seeds with plant- milk like almond or soy milk instead. Soy products are excellent for PCOS management. They are rich in phytoestrogens, the kind of antioxidants that fight the bad oestrogen's in the body.

If you look carefully, a lot of the items in our daily meals are already dairy free, for example, daal, chawal, parathas, roti, sabzi, idli, dosa, chutneys, sambhar, curries, pulav, etc. - if one refrains from adding any ghee, butter, or paneer to them.

Scientifically, the best approach for PCOS management is a Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) - free from animal products and oil's.

WFPB diet helps to manage PCOS symptoms because it is rich in fiber. Fiber help's flush out excess sex hormones from the body and helps in the absorption of micronutrients. These micronutrients help repair your cells among many other functions.

Sustainable lifestyle changes vs. nutritional changes.

It is quite motivating to start a new nutrition plan or fitness program. But what keeps you going forever is only sustainable lifestyle changes.

Let's take an example to discuss this.

Let's assume you decided to take charger of your health and decided to eat clean from now onwards. But you work from 9 am- 9 pm and are often exhausted by the time you come back home from work.

Now mostly you would order form out, but because you are on this recent health kick, you decide to make a salad for yourself real fast and eat the same before bed. The salad obviously does not fill you like a hot meal would, but hey, you are on a health kick, remember.

Week 1, you start having a salad before bedtime and go to bed hungry and grumpy. You are angry and throw your frustration on people around you. Your family members, who also only get to see you once a day at night, and the once who love you the most get to experience the worse of your behaviour.

Thus, after a few weeks like this, you eventually give up, thinking, dieting is not for you.

But your mistake was not to eat healthy, it was about expecting your body to make a short term change experience long term health.

What would a lifestyle change be instead? Simply hire and train a house help to keep a nourishing warm meal ready for you that is tasty and healthy. Granted, you will have to train your house help for a few hours, but it will be worth it.

Even a warm bowl of vajra daliya or minestrone soup is better than a raw salad and equally low calories+ nutritious.

So think again, are you making nutritional changes or lifestyle changes?

Confused about where to start? My PCOS/PCOD Holistic Healing Protocol Program has helped hundreds of women battle and overcome this disorder. I have detailed step- by- step lifestyle changes to make every week that will empower you to make switches that are sustainable and easy.

Foods to include for PCOS management.

PCOS and its medications can put you at risk for certain types of cancers such as ovarian, endometrial, and breast cancer. Let’s now talk about what your lunch plate must comprise to avoid risk's of any other diseases:

  • Cruciferous vegetables:

    If I were to select just one food for really any disease prevention, it would be cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli, help bring down inflammation in the body. They also contain ‘sulforaphane’, which activates the bodies master antioxidant called glutathione.
  • Soy products:

    Studies show that the inclusion of minimally processed soy products such as tofu, tempeh, soybeans, etc. can reduce the risk and also prevent a recurrence of breast cancer. Replace the paneer and meat in your meals with these soy products to safeguard yourself from a troubled future.
  • Herbs

    Herbs such as Marjoram, Spearmint, Dong Quai, Chasteberry or Vitex, Shatavari, Cinnamon, Saffron, Fennel Seeds, Ginger, etc. are very effective for PCOS management and cancer prevention when included regularly.

    Read more in detail - Top 10 Herbs for PCOS Management
  • Flax seeds

    Flax seeds contain ‘lignans’ - a phytoestrogen that helps lower excess estrogen in the body when needed. Regular consumption of grounded flax seeds will help reduce PCOS symptoms.

My top 10 go- to lunch recipes for PCOS management.

You have just got a sense of what foods one must include in meals, so let’s take a look at some delicious recipes -

  1. Soy Bean Sundal:

Here is the recipe

Are soybeans part of your pantry? If yes, then that’s great. This is an easy recipe that can be prepare real quick if you have your beans soaked and cooked. These beans are rich in several vitamins and minerals. They also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect you from many diseases.

Team this dish up with sambhar, brown rice, and a side of raw salad to complete a wholesome meal.

  1. Potato Cauliflower Curry:

Here is the recipe

Our traditional aalo- gobi is an excellent way to get your cruciferous vegetables in for the day. This easy to prepare dish is best paired with a lentil curry and brown rice or daal's not he side.

Did you notice that this recipe is oil-free? Oil- free cooking is rather easy to prepare and tastes the same as with oil. Want more recipes, read this:

  1. Tahini Yogurt Buddha Bowl:

Here is the recipe

Buddha bowl's are nothing but a little bit of every food group on your plate. These nourishing bowls give you an opportunity to meal prep in advance and have go- to food's ready in your fridge at all times.

I like to prepare the dressing once a week, and maybe even chop my vegetables. This way, all I have to do is cook my pulses and one grain for a quick meal.

  1. Thai Peanut Chopped Cabbage Salad:

Here is the recipe

On the days when the temperatures are soaring, salads are your best bet. Salads are not boring at all if you infuse them with different flavors. Try to make your salads as colorful as possible because we visually eat first. Pair the salad with a bowl of fruits.

My recommendation would be to chop your cruciferous veggies and leave them aside for at least 40 minutes so that the sulforaphane compound is formed.

  1. Beet Pasta Recipe:

Here is the recipe

Eating pasta can be healthy if you don’t load it with dairy cheese and olive oil. Replace white flour pasta in your pantry with a millet or lentil based pasta and increase the nutritional value of your dish.

But if you are someone that is attracted to colourful looking plates, but hates to eat your vegetables, then this pasta dish is for you. The bright beet pick sauce is appealing to look at and equally yummy!

  1. Rajma Chawal:

Here is the recipe

If you are not a fan of cold meals such as salads, here is a warm take. Just make sure to add steamed or lightly roasted veggies on the side.

This easy, Indian recipe is so good for your gut health. Your good gut bacteria, which also help reduce insulin resistance, feed on resistance starch. RS is found in abundance in lentils and pulses like kidney beans. We often neglect this food group and the only form of lentils we have is a watered down daal once in a while. Instead, make pulses a part of your daily menu.

  1. Chickpea and Vegetable Coconut Curry:

Here is the recipe

Another opportunity to add some beans to your menu. This easy creamy curry recipe is best paired with boiled quinoa or foxtail millets.

Instead of using the oil as mentioned in the recipe, you can always start with a dry tadka and then add water. Over a period of time, you will master it and never go back to using oil's.

  1. 1-Pot Cauliflower Dal Green Curry:

Here is the recipe

Always think of ways to include different kinds of green leafy vegetables in your meals. Green veggies are a powerhouse of nutrition. They not only energise you, but delay the absorption of fats int he body, thus, leading to a leaner physique. Ensure that you don’t overcook your greens, or else you might lose the nutrients.

Pair this daal with a whole-wheat paratha, plant-based raita, and a bowl of fruits topped with nuts and seeds.

  1. Brown Rice Pulao with Chickpeas:

Here is the recipe

Another simple recipe that doesn’t fail to include the key ingredients - veggies, grains, and legumes. It can’t get easier than this. This is a great way to pack lunches for the office but make sure to pack fruits as well.

Always start a meal with a fruit first. Fruits are a great appetite suppressor and excellent anti- oxidant source.

Replace the oil with any pre- homemade dressing from your fridge or simple low sodium soy sauce.

  1. Vegan Pesto Pasta:

Here is the recipe

A great way to ensure an intake of raw greens is to have a batch of pesto handy.

Pesto is so flavorful and versatile that you can add it to any dish of your choice, whether it is noodles, rice, or just a bowl of salad. Also, you can make it oil- free! Notice how we also sneaked some broccoli into this dish!

Try to prepare your pesto at home instead of buying it from the store as the store-bought ones have high oil content.

Liked this series? Also, check out:

Not just PCOS, but women on a WFPB diet start reversing PCOS-associated issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, infertility, and other physiological and psychological disorders.

There is no side effect of this way of eating, unlike other fad diets. So there must be no hesitation from your side to make this choice for your well-being.

My PCOS reversal program on an Indian diet comes with a cookbook comprising 111 recipes specifically curated for PCOS management. This will ensure that you are well equipped in the kitchen.

Looking for a PCOS Reversal through nutrition? Fill this form below to get in touch with me.

Let's Just Talk. No Obligations.

I do free consultations every Tuesday's and Thursday's. Either way you will get some actionable tips to reach your fitness goals faster.

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About Roshni Sanghvi

Roshni Sanghvi is an Indian plant-based sports nutritionist and body transformation specialist. She is the first Indian to represent on a national bodybuilding stage being on a 100% plant-based diet. Roshni is a holistic nutritionist, graduated from the prestigious NutraPhoria college of nutrition in Canada.

She is also an ACE-certified personal trainer, certified PlantFed gut coach, certified Bodyshred, and Animal flow instructor with a specialisation in disease reversal through food and lifestyle modification.

Her approach is more focused on helping you in adopting a healthy lifestyle. With her result-oriented holistic methods, she has managed to transform and reverse lifestyle diseases such as PCOS, Thyroid, Diabetes etc for 12k+ clients worldwide.