(6) Chevese Turner on mental health, grief, and loss

This Chapter of the PCOS and Food Peace Podcast is brought to you by Julie’s PCOS and Food Peace course. Get 25% off using the coupon code ‘podcast’ at check out. Get all the details here:

Did you enjoy the podcast? Leave us a rating, review, subscribe or share the podcast! Doing these small acts of kindness help the show grow and connect more with the concept of Food Peace.


Thank you to Theralogix, the makers of Ovasitol, for sponsoring the podcast.

  • Ovasitol is an inositol supplement with a blend of myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol, in the body’s optimal ratio of 40 to 1.
  • Inositols are nutrients that help to decrease insulin resistance, promote menstrual regularity, restore ovulation, and balance hormone levels.
  • In convenient powder form, Ovasitol can be enjoyed in your favorite beverage or smoothie.
  • Available in both a canister and convenient single-serving packets, Ovasitol contains 100% pure inositols, with no additives.
  • Read our blog post about what Inositols can do to help your PCOS.
  • Order online today at theralogix.com. During checkout, use “PRC” code 127410 for an exclusive PCOS and Food Peace Podcast discount.
  • Enter to win a 90-day supply here! (We will be picking 4 random emails from those who enter during September 2018. All will be notified via email.)

Mental Illness + PCOS

Stigma surrounds mental illness. It prevents people from speaking openly about their mental health, seeking treatment and living their full lives.

This stigma falsely tells the world that mental illness is a secret that should be shamefully swept under the rug. 

In response to society’s stigma around mental health, I would like to quote the great Dr. Brene Brown:

“If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.”

There are many parallels between PCOS and mental illness. There’s shame and secrecy around both PCOS and mental illnesses. Both cause people to feel the need to defend the legitimacy of their experiences. So much effort is spent trying to explain your experience you may even begin the question the validity of your own perception. This may also be the case for the many people that experience PCOS and a mental illness.

You may be surprised to learn that mood disorders are very common in people with PCOS. People with PCOS are likely to experience:

  • Higher likelihood of having anxiety and depression
  • High rates of bipolar disorder
  • Increase likelihood of binge eating and having food cravings
  • Increased rates of disordered eating
  • Problems related to compulsivity, somatization, obsessive compulsiveness, interpersonal sensitivity, and hostility
  • Overlooked diagnosis for depression

Want to find a way to treat your PCOS without dieting?

Grab a FREE download from Julie here.

Why do people with PCOS experience increased rates of mood disorders and other mental illnesses? 

The cause is unknown. Many researchers suggest the causes are actual PCOS symptoms. They argue that facing infertility, menstrual irregularities, and other PCOS symptoms may cause psychological disturbances. Other research suggests that the problem is in the hypothalamus-a part of your brain that regulates moods and has a central role in PCOS.

Although the exact cause is unknown, research suggests people with PCOS are more likely to experience some sort of mental illness.

If you have PCOS and suspect you may also experience a mental illness, don’t let the stigma around mental health stop you from getting help. Keep in mind your relationship with food and body may need extra attention.

To help manage my mental health, I try to avoid content that promotes unhealthy relationships with food. I manage my anxiety with meditation, somatic experiencing, guided imageries, listening to music, and lots of self-compassion.

By seeking treatment, voicing our concerns, and openly discussing mental illness, we are fighting back against the stigma.

Want a deeper dive into non diet approaches to your PCOS that promote health and healing? Click here for details.



Balen, A. (n.d.). Polycystic Ovary Versus Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Contemporary 

Endocrinology Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, 37-49. doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-108-6_4

Blay, S. L., Aguiar, J., & Passos, I. C. (2016). Polycystic ovary syndrome and mental

disorders: a systematic review and exploratory meta-analysis. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, Volume 12, 2895-2903. doi:10.2147/ndt.s91700

Dokras, A. (2012). Mood and anxiety disorders in women with PCOS. Steroids, 77(4),

338-341. doi:10.1016/j.steroids.2011.12.008

Mccook, J. G., Bailey, B. A., Williams, S. L., Anand, S., & Reame, N. E. (2014).

Differential Contributions of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Manifestations to Psychological Symptoms. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 42(3), 383-394. doi:10.1007/s11414-013-9382-7

Morosi, A., & Jeanes, Y. (2017). Food cravings, binge eating and emotional eating

behaviours in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,76(OCE1). doi:10.1017/s0029665117000155

Podfigurna-Stopa, A., Luisi, S., Regini, C., Katulski, K., Centini, G., Meczekalski, B., &

Petraglia, F. (2015). Mood disorders and quality of life in polycystic ovary syndrome. Gynecological Endocrinology, 31(6). doi:10.3109/09513590.2015.1009437

Rassi, A., Veras, A. B., Reis, M. D., Pastore, D. L., Bruno, L. M., Bruno, R. V., . . . Nardi, A.

E. (2010). Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Comprehensive Psychiatry,51(6), 599-602. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2010.02.009

Omega-3 + PCOS


This article was written by my previous Nutrition Grad Student, Kimmie Singh. She is a fat woman of color who experiences PCOS. You can find out more information about her work now as a dietitian here.

PCOS and Omega-3 research is exciting stuff. Before we get to the meat of the research, here’s a quick breakdown on essential fatty acids basics.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the two essential fats. This means that your body cannot make this type of fat, and you must get it from your food. 

Our bodies prefer a certain ratio of these two fats. Changes in the Western food system have made omega-3 fatty acids less available. One reason: animals fed with soy and corn yield meat that is high in omega-6 fatty acids. Grass-fed animals, on the other hand, yield meat that is higher in omega-3 fatty acids.

Why did they change how animals are fed? Feeding animals soy and corn makes it easier to produce meat at a quicker rate and lower cost. I like to think of it as quality versus quantity of meat.

Some theorize that people with PCOS are more sensitive to this change in the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.

This research is still emerging, so that means there isn’t a clear understanding of exactly how this ratio influences PCOS. We do know a part of Omega-3, DHA, plays a role in repairing the damage from chronic inflammation.

People with PCOS can adjust their omega-3 intake through food and supplements to adjust the ratio.

Want to find a way to treat your PCOS without dieting?

Grab a FREE download from Julie here.

Some researchers suggest omega-3 fatty acid supplementation normalizes sex hormones (like testosterone), cholesterol, menstrual irregularities, blood sugar, and improves insulin sensitivity.

Have you ever connected your depression or anxiety with your PCOS? 

People with PCOS are more likely to struggle with depression. Numerous new studies find consuming omega-3 fatty acids may have a key role in the reducing it.

If you are interested in omega-3 fatty acid supplements, I recommend that you choose a brand that is third-party tested. Julie recommends the following brands: Nordic Naturals, Nature Made, and Kirkland.

Further, experiment with these foods that are omega-3 fatty acid-rich:

  • Olive and canola oils
  • Chia seeds and flaxseeds (I love adding these to my yogurt)
  • Fish like barramundi, trout, tuna, mackerel, salmon  and sardines.

Want to explore more non diet options to help manage your PCOS, promote health AND healing?

Click here for details on Julie’s PCOS and Food Peace course.




Bird, J. K., & McBurney, M. (2016). Seafood Intake of Americans and Meeting Omega-3 Consumption Recommendations. The FASEB Journal, 30(1).

Fesharaki, S., Khani, B., & Mardanian, F. (2017). Omega-3 supplementation effects on polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms and metabolic syndrome. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 22(1), 64. doi:10.4103/jrms.jrms_644_16

Office of Dietary Supplements – Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/

Nadjarzadeh, A., Firouzabadi, R. D., Vaziri, N., Daneshbodi, H., Lotfi, M. H., & Mozaffari-Khosravi, H. (2013). The effect of omega-3 supplementation on androgen profile and menstrual status in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized clinical trial. Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine,11(8), 665-672.

Phelan, N., Oconnor, A., Tun, T. K., Correia, N., Boran, G., Roche, H. M., & Gibney, J. (2011). Hormonal and metabolic effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome: results from a cross-sectional analysis and a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(3), 652-662. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.005538

Toward a Healthy Sustainable Food System. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2017, from https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2014/07/29/12/34/toward-a-healthy-sustainable-food-system

Zaree, M., Shahnazi, V., Darabi, M., Mehrzad-Sadaghiani, M., Darabi, M., Khani, S., & Nouri, M. (2015). Expression Levels of PPARγ and CYP-19 in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Primary Granulosa Cells: Influence of ω-3 Fatty Acid. International Journal of Fertility and Sterility, 9(2), 197-204. doi:10.22074/ijfs.2015.4240

How do I deal with all these feelings when not emotionally eating?

069 Image

Have you numbed out using emotional eating or binge eating yet now finding ways to stop? Sounds great, right?!? Not so fast: How do you tolerate these tough emotions? Will they ever end? Have you found alternatives to emotional eating, but are now dealing with confronting these emotions for the first time without the ability to use food as a buffer? Listen now for some tips on handling this part of the food peace journey.

This episode is brought to you by Pursuing Private Practice Masterclass. Ready to start doing things your way and kiss the corporate world goodbye? Details here and remember the super secret discount code BOSS for 10% off.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Intuitive Eating: a way of experiencing food WITHOUT food rules… following your inner wisdom to determine what and how much to eat.
  • Our relationship with food MIRRORS how we relate to the world!
  • Intuitive eating will lead to experiencing a more intuitive life in ALL regards.
  • Learning how to eat intuitively in response to hunger and fullness cues, learning to tolerate emotions without food, and learning how to type on the computer without looking at the keys are all similar experiences!! (Listen for the full metaphor… it makes sense, I promise!) It all may feel a bit obsessive at first, or carry a sense of hyper-awareness… but you’re learning a new skill, and that’s okay! It will calm down and feel more natural eventually.
  • Do we always need to feel all of our feelings?? Yes and no.
  • Manage your emotions like you’re making holes in a volcano! Find ways to release before you explode. Work with a therapist or counselor to help you find ways to release your emotions that work for you.
  • We must acknowledge and honor the trauma we’ve experienced! Work with a therapist to process this trauma.
  • Sometimes being aware ALL of the time of our hard emotions can be exhausting! Sometimes we have to distract ourselves from our emotions so that we can get things done. Just don’t let them build up or rely on these distraction techniques too heavily!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.