107 episodes

It can be ridiculously confusing living with PCOS, you're constantly reading conflicting advice. Each week, I, Clare Goodwin, will be helping to simplify this for you by sharing with you some actionable steps to take and breaking down the latest research so you can actually understand it. I'll also share some real life stories of women who've improved their PCOS symptoms to give you that weekly boost to just keep putting one foot in front of another. If you have PCOS and you want some real talk about what to do, hit that subscribe button now.

The PCOS Nutritionist Podcast Clare Goodwin

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 22 Ratings

It can be ridiculously confusing living with PCOS, you're constantly reading conflicting advice. Each week, I, Clare Goodwin, will be helping to simplify this for you by sharing with you some actionable steps to take and breaking down the latest research so you can actually understand it. I'll also share some real life stories of women who've improved their PCOS symptoms to give you that weekly boost to just keep putting one foot in front of another. If you have PCOS and you want some real talk about what to do, hit that subscribe button now.

    How to match up your exercise with your cycle (even if yours is 60+ days long!)

    How to match up your exercise with your cycle (even if yours is 60+ days long!)

    Do you find that some weeks you’re hitting personal bests, smashing your exercise goals and making progress with your fitness and other weeks you struggle to find the motivation, you can’t quite hit those personal bests you set and you fatigue far quicker in your workouts than usual?
    If this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. We expect ourselves to be able to smash through spin classes, HIIT classes and lifting heavy weights all month long. But that’s actually not the most effective way for us to train as women!
    The thing is as women, we aren’t small men, as Dr Stacey Sims puts so fabulously. 
    So we’re not working with the same stock standard hormone levels day-in day-out. Your husband, partner, friend or brother may be able to lift heavy or cycle really hard on any given day as long as he’s had enough rest. Whereas some days you’re keeping up with him well and others you just don’t know why you’re finding it so hard to push yourself like you usually do.
    Cycles and menstruation are usually seen as a disadvantage to our fitness and athletic performance but they’re actually our greatest power!
    If we can create an exercise regime that fits around our cycle, we can make waves with our fitness! It’s just about understanding what your hormones are doing and pairing up your exercise to suit. “But Clare, how do I know how to do that?” you ask? Well luckily for you, that’s what today’s episode is all about!
    Some of you have been curious about training and exercise with your cycle - and I can understand why! It’s something we’ve not really touched on yet on the podcast but it’s a really interesting (and important) topic. 
    Regardless of if you’re an athlete or not, plug in your headphones and listen to this episode! If you want to learn more about how to harness the power of your menstrual cycle (in this case in your exercise) to be the healthiest version of yourself as possible, you’ll want to tune in.
    This episode is for you if:
    You struggle with training at some times of the month and not othersPeriod pain stops you from exercisingYou want to know how hormonal birth control will impact your trainingYou train competitivelyMotivation for training fluctuates throughout the month for youYou’re going into perimenopause or you’re a menopausal woman and want to know the impacts on your exerciseYou wonder why you can’t train as hard as your male counterparts on some days but are fine on othersYour cycles are regular (23-35 days)Your cycles are more than 35 daysYou are on hormonal contraceptionSome things we cover in this episode:
    The different phases of your menstrual cycle and the hormones that are present in eachWhen your hormones are at their highest and lowestWhy you get light headed, fatigued and have to stop training at certain points of your cycleWhen in your cycle to do more exercise and when to do lessBest exercises to relieve period crampsExercise on your period - good or bad?How to match your exercise with the different phases of your cycleHow to schedule your exercise if you’re on hormonal birth controlIf you have long cycles, how to match your training with the phases of your cycleHow to schedule your exercise if you’re in perimenopause or menopausalResources and References:
    ROAR by Stacey SimsRundown? Underperforming? Research Shows You’re Likely UndernourishedDr Sim’s website

    • 53 min
    Getting back into routine after ‘slipping up’

    Getting back into routine after ‘slipping up’

    What do you find the hardest about tweaking your lifestyle to best suit your PCOS?
    Maybe keeping the lifestyle changes up when you’re stressed is really difficult for you or you struggle to get back into routine after ‘breaking your changes’. Or maybe you have a hard time with creating balance rather than being all or nothing. Maybe you just feel guilty for the times where you are just allowing yourself to enjoy foods that aren’t the best for your PCOS.
    Everyone talks about WHAT to do but no one talks about HOW to actually implement those changes. The good news is you’re not alone.
    My lovely colleague Sophia and I put a question box out on instagram the other week about the topic of habits changes. We spent a whole hour answering your questions on the podcast a couple of weeks ago and we still had so many more questions to cover so we wanted to continue the conversation about how to actually make the changes.
    It can actually be really tough to implement changes into your lifestyle without feeling this massive weight on your shoulders about being perfect, not slipping up, feeling like you’re the only one doing this and everyone will think you’re being difficult and feeling really awful about yourself when you ‘fall off the wagon’.
    The truth is, there is no wagon. We shouldn’t have to feel like we have to be perfect to be successful with our changes and if we aren’t we’re automatically a failure. But it can be pretty damn difficult to not let that little voice in your head tell you otherwise.
    I really want to continue this conversation because I don’t think the implementation side of making lifestyle changes is talked about enough. 
    If you’re struggling with this and feel like you need guidance on not only what to do but also how to implement changes effectively, then come join us in The PCOS Protocol. We have an awesome community of women who get what you’re going through and we help guide you through making lifestyle changes, without that intense all or nothing approach.
    This episode is for you if:
    You feel guilty when you eat ‘off plan’ because you feel like it’s ruining your progressTracking macros, portions and food isn’t something you want to do because it’s triggering to you or you have a history of dieting and disordered eatingYou struggle to get ‘back on the wagon’ when you slip upStress makes you slip up with changesYour job and lifestyle is quite stressfulEven though you don’t want to you and you know it’s not great for your root cause, you find yourself getting ubereats or takeaways because it’s ‘easier’You struggle to say ‘no’ to some foodsSome things we cover in this episode:
    Feeling guilty for the times where you do enjoy food that’s not the best for your root causeDealing with the blood sugar rollercoasterNot wanting to track macros and everything you eatStruggling to say no to foods you’d usually say yes toWhat to do if you’re struggling to stick with changes for more than a few daysDealing with the convenience of takeaways versus making something that’s good for your root causeGetting back ‘on track’ after a planned ‘cheat’How to manage your lifestyle changes in periods of stressPicking yourself up after slipping up with your lifestyle changesResources and References:
    My Book: Getting Pregnant with PCOSLinks to our programs:
    The PCOS Protocol

    • 47 min
    What to do if you’ve been told there’s nothing you can do for your Lean PCOS

    What to do if you’ve been told there’s nothing you can do for your Lean PCOS

    You’ve likely heard one of the key symptoms of PCOS is weight gain. But what if you don’t have weight gain with your PCOS? I’d be a millionaire if I had a dollar for every time someone with lean PCOS told me their doctor or specialist said they ‘don’t look like they have PCOS’ because they aren’t overweight. The really frustrating thing is that PCOS really is viewed like a ‘fat girl syndrome’ and the approach for Lean PCOS people usually goes something like this:
    You don’t look like you have PCOS so don’t worry. There’s nothing you can really do differently since weight isn’t an issue (so these symptoms are kinda just the way you are and you have to deal with them). Take the Pill, come back when you want to get pregnant. 
    Not only is this not true (there are absolutely changes you can make for your symptoms regardless of weight) but it also really invalidates the symptoms you’re dealing with - which is the whole reason you went to see your doctor in the first place! Being told your symptoms are just ‘the way you are’ because weight gain isn’t an issue and that there’s nothing that can be done is a massive slap in the face. 
    No one should feel like their symptoms aren’t valid. Period.
    This was the case for today’s guest, Rachel, who was having trouble with her symptoms but wasn’t given any advice because she didn’t fit the typical ‘overweight PCOS’ mould that many doctors are used to seeing. If you have a ‘do-er’ get sh*t done attitude like Rachel does, you can understand why she wasn’t satisfied with this answer. But if you have lean PCOS like her, you’ll also understand the struggle of not being able to find reputable information on how to manage lean PCOS because there is a lot of focus on weight. She struggled with not being able to understand why she was getting all of these symptoms because she didn’t resonate with the weight gain that much of the information out there on PCOS focuses on. 
    After understanding her root cause, Rachel got her first period back in months, had more energy, was sleeping better and felt much less bloated. It’s been so amazing to see the shift in Rachel after helping her understand WHY she’s getting these symptoms and what she could do about them - especially after feeling extremely lost after being diagnosed and not being given any direction.
    If you’re struggling with lean PCOS and you feel like this is just the way you are - it isn’t! Have a listen to Rachel’s episode and I guarantee it’ll change your whole perspective on lean PCOS.
    This episode is for you if:
    Weight gain isn’t an issue for youYou’re dealing with hangry attacks, sugar cravings and blood sugar crashesDoctors have told you that because you don’t have weight gain, you don’t fit the PCOS mould and there’s nothing you can do for your symptomsYou have an irregular cycle or have been without a period for months or yearsLow energy, struggling to sleep and fatigue are big symptoms of yoursYou often feel bloatedResearching online about lean PCOS has gotten you nowhere and you struggle to find information about lean PCOSYou know you’re insulin resistant or suspect you might beSome things we cover in this episode:
    How you can have lean PCOS and insulin resistanceFinding a community of women who ‘get it’Why your period is irregular, what that means and what to do about itThe information landscape for people with lean PCOSFatigue and energyNot getting help from your doctors because you’re leanFeeling lost with your PCOS diagnosisResources and References:
    My Book: Getting Pregnant with PCOSLinks

    • 1 hr
    How to make sustainable lifestyle changes without guilt for not being perfect, food FOMO and feeling demotivated

    How to make sustainable lifestyle changes without guilt for not being perfect, food FOMO and feeling demotivated

    Struggling with trying to not be a perfectionist when it comes to lifestyle changes? Finding it hard to stick to changes because those around you aren’t living as healthily? Not seeing results and it’s demotivating you?
    Change is damn hard. Whether you’ve been working on your PCOS for a couple of months or a few decades, switching up your lifestyle and trying to find out what works for your symptoms can be a mission. It’s hard to find the balance between living a life that’s healthy for you and your PCOS root cause and not being too restrictive.
    If you’ve been a part of my community for a while, you’ll know I preach the 80/20 approach when it comes to working on and managing your PCOS symptoms. The reason being is because being 100% all the time doesn’t work (I can tell you from my personal and clinical experience) and because I want you to be able to get away with as much as possible! Because life is for living and we don’t get anywhere when we’re extremely restrictive on ourselves - it does more harm than good.
    But how do you allow yourself to only be 80% rather than letting your perfectionist tendencies take over? How do you not feel guilty for that 20% of the time? What about when you feel like a burden when out with family and friends? Or will people judge you or think you’re weird for not changing an aspect of your lifestyle? How do you stay consistent when you’re not seeing any changes physically? What if those around you aren’t living a healthy lifestyle?
    I put out a Q&A box on my Instagram a few weeks ago asking you all what you found hardest about lifestyle changes and living that 80/20 approach that I always talk about - and WOW, I had the most responses I think I’ve ever had! There were so many that we’ve decided to split this into two separate episodes. 
    I also think this part of improving your PCOS - the actual habit change part - isn’t talked about enough. So in today’s episode of The PCOS Nutritionist Podcast, my wonderful colleague, Sophia and I, talk all about 80/20 and give you advice on your questions around habit changes (because we’ve both been through our fair share over the years!).
    This episode is for you if:
    You’re a ‘type A’ person and struggle with a perfectionist mindsetIt’s hard for you to define the line between being 80/20 and slipping into old habitsYou struggle with guilt when you let yourself enjoy that 20% of not eating for your root causeMaintaining the lifestyle changes while with friends and family is hard for youIt feels like a science to figure out what foods to eat and not eatYour doctor hasn’t been helpful in determining your root causeYou find it hard to stay consistent with your changes when you aren’t seeing resultsPicking up after ‘breaking’ or taking time off changes is really hard for youYou feel like an inconvenience to those around you with having a different way of eating and livingFinding time to prepare food and incorporate practices to help your PCOS amongst a stressful job, family and friends feels like too much to manageThose around you don’t have PCOS or a chronic condition they have to manage so it’s hard for you to stay ‘on track’Some things we cover in this episode:
    Food guiltHow to manage the feelings of food FOMODifferentiating between slipping into old habits and actually allowing yourself to enjoy that 20% of the 80/20 approachManaging your lifestyle changes when you have lots of stressWhat to do if you find managing the changes hard when out socialisingUnderstanding what foods to eat and what to avoid for your PCOSHow to manage those around you not having to make the same changesWho to turn to if you’re unsure of your root causeConsistency with kee

    • 54 min
    Are the PCOS symptoms I’m experiencing “ just the way I am”?

    Are the PCOS symptoms I’m experiencing “ just the way I am”?

    Regardless of when you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, you’ve likely been dealing with the symptoms for a while. You feel like you’ve tried everything and your hope of getting on top of your symptoms is dwindling because you’ve exhausted all of your options. No one else seems to be dealing with these symptoms (or not to the extent that you are) but nothing you do is working for you. You’ve googled countlessly, commented on and read through PCOS forums and facebook pages and spoken to countless health care professionals to no avail. It’s exhausting! 
    You stop to think about it all and wonder “is this just the way I am?” and “I’m not getting anywhere regardless of what I do, so is it just the way things will be and I’ll just have to learn to live with it?”
    If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, I really encourage you to listen to today’s episode of the podcast with one of my patients, Erin. While she was only diagnosed at 16 with PCOS, she has been dealing with the symptoms like irregular periods and weight gain (that’s hard to lose) since age 10 and only in the last year has she realised: a) that these symptoms are related to her PCOS, b) it’s not ‘just the way she is’ and most importantly c) there is something you can do about your symptoms!
    I know you may feel like giving up hope - it’s damn tough to deal with these symptoms, let alone feeling isolated in it all, not getting much help from healthcare professionals and feeling like you’re just stuck feeling like sh*t (excuse my French, but true!).
    You don’t have to feel like this. Almost always, when we understand your root cause, we can help reduce and resolve these symptoms. I hope this episode gives you hope that this isn’t just the way you are and empowers you to take the reins of your PCOS so that you can feel well again!
    This episode is for you if:
    You are dealing with constant month long bleedingStruggling to lose weight is a problem for you (regardless of your activity levels)The symptoms you’re experiencing have been happening for so long, that you worry that this is “just the way you are”Your periods are irregular and you want to regulate themYou were told at 16 (or a similar age) that you’ll struggle to get pregnantYou’ve tried so many diets and programs that you’re not sure there’s any hope leftSome things we cover in this episode:
    Insulin resistant PCOSHow to regulate your periodsSupporting weight loss and how to do it in a sustainable wayHirsutismHaving extremely heavy periods and how quickly that can been correctedMigraines and how to figure out if they’re hormonalDoing so many diets and being hesitant to start something newThe ‘wagon’ and being ‘on’ or ‘off’When to test for your root cause and having that in black and whiteResources and References:
    My Book: Getting Pregnant with PCOSLinks to our programs:
    The PCOS ProtocolEggducated

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Could your PCOS be affecting your iron levels?

    Could your PCOS be affecting your iron levels?

    Feeling really fatigued, low on energy, cold and sore on top of all of the other PCOS symptoms you're experiencing? 
    Sometimes these symptoms could be to do with your thyroid or other health complications but one of the most common causes I see of this in PCOS is iron levels!
    Iron is one of the minerals in the body you’ve definitely heard of, especially if you’ve ever felt really tired, needing iron is one of the first suggestions that’ll fly your way. Our iron levels have a major impact on how we feel - if they’re too low or too high we can feel absolutely exhausted, short of breath, lethargic and sore in our joints. 
    Because of this, a lot of women end up supplementing without knowing if they need to. Sure, many women are low in iron for a variety of reasons but unfortunately iron is one of those nutrients we can’t mess with. 
    Having not enough or too much iron can cause absolute havoc in our bodies and worryingly, mess with our PCOS. 
    If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms above, you may automatically think your iron is low but in fact it could be the opposite. This is why I’m so hesitant for women, especially those with PCOS, to be blindly supplementing iron because they just assume they need it and why I always encourage the women in The PCOS Protocol to get their levels checked regularly.
    This episode is for you if:
    You’ve been told your iron is too highYou often feel fatigued and lethargicJoint pain and feeling out of breath even after little to no exertion is something you regularly deal withYou’ve been told your iron is too lowYou have gut issues like IBS, SIBO, IBD or CoeliacSome things we cover in this episode:
    What iron actually isThings that can change iron absorptionWhen is iron a problem?Iron and PCOSWhat causes high iron in PCOSWhat to check if you think your iron might be low or highResources and References:
    My Book: Getting Pregnant with PCOSLinks to our programs:
    The PCOS ProtocolEggducated

    • 38 min

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This podcast makes me feel I am not alone anymore. I don’t feel the medical profession helps us to get to the root cause of our symptoms and that we really have to fight for answers. I don’t want to be on the ‘pill’ to treat my symptoms. This podcast gives women like me the knowledge I need in order to get to the bottom of my symptoms as well as natural solutions which is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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