PCOS E-book Well-intentioned but overwhelming, contradictory, and guilt-inducing
I appreciate and respect the work that went into this book. Well-intentioned, for sure - but I can't say it improved my outlook. It contains a lot of contradictory information, for one thing. There is a researched and comprehensive section at the beginning that explains how different diets don't necessarily work for everyone - high carb, high protein, low-whatever - everyone is different! Eat healthy and eat whole, eat the best you can and you can eat just about everything that way. And yet "The PCOS Diet" buys into the demonization of entire food groups, as I've been seeing so many fad diets do lately. No grains! No dairy! No this or that. Avoid 'bitter-melon', it recommends in the fruit section. But then it recommends bitter melon as a nutritional supplement later on. Hmm.
Is it ok to make someone feel guilty for wanting a slice of whole wheat bread and some beans? There's an entire section on the importance of minimizing stress - well, no wonder so many people feel awful about themselves when having a slice of reduced fat cheese is "inappropriate" for their diet. It tells you stress will make you gain weight, and that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. Well, I can't say I feel a lot less stressed after reading that. Mostly, I just feel kinda depressed. What if someone doesn't have the time or money to make these meals, or buy the appliances for them? What if someone doesn't have a perfect diet day - what if they want a spoonful or two of peanut butter? Or cake on their birthday?
As a culture, and women even more so, we get a lot of advice thrown at us. Here is what's good, and what's bad. Moisturize with this, don't wear that, eat this - sometimes it feels like eggs are alternatively good or bad for you every other week. This book even touches on how women struggle with achieving perfection - I think being presented with such an overwhelming amount of life-altering advice personally makes my struggle with just accepting myself feel that much larger.
Of course I recognize this book isn't making anyone use this diet. And it has worked for other women. It does seem the authors mean it when they say that one size doesn't fit all. I happen to be doing better than I've ever been after I made some big dietary changes myself - whole grains, lower carb (but still included), no red meats, way more vegetables, and a whole lot more common sense. It works for me to enjoy my cheerios and greek yogurt almost daily - I know it might not work for everyone else. That's the beauty of finding what works for you. It's just tough when I'm made to feel guilty for it, over and over - unfortunately often with well-meaning books like this.