How I reversed my polycystic ovary syndrome: A woman’s story
This wellness coach reversed her polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosis through diet and exercise – and now, she’s showing other women how to do it, too
When wellness coach Nicole Granato was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome at 21, she was shocked. “I had never had regular periods, but I thought it was part of my body changing. I was still so young, you know? I figured my body was still figuring itself out.” But at a routine trip to her ob-gyn, it became increasingly clear that something was wrong. “I had told her about my periods being all over the place, and she asked me if I planned on having children someday. I said yes. She ran a few tests and pretty soon, I was diagnosed with PCOS.”
Immediately, Nicole wanted to know what her options were. “I was told it was incurable, and the best way to deal with it was by using hormonal birth control which would manipulate my hormones. My chances of having children were incredibly low, which was a huge blow to me. It was very distressing to hear all of it, especially as I was so young. It was just so unexpected.” Reluctant to use hormonal birth control, Nicole thought about her options carefully. “I spoke with a lot of specialists and eventually decided to deal with my PCOS naturally,” she says. “My first goal was to get my period back regularly.”
Already a certified wellness coach, after the diagnosis, Nicole became hyper-aware of her health. “I became much stricter,” she says. “I started drinking a morning tonic, I did a candida cleanse, I took herbs (the same ones that are now in my own formulas).” The diagnosis, she says, changed her perspective on her body. “Instead of feeling frustrated at being sick, I started to shift my thinking to: what can I do for my body to heal it? What does my body need?” Now, she says, it’s the same kind of shift in thinking she encourages in her clients. “It kind of sounds crazy, but as soon as I tell clients to do this, so much changes for them. It’s amazing.” After a few years, says Nicole, she went from seven cysts on her ovaries to – count them – zero. “I’m so happy that I was able to aid my PCOS naturally,” she says. “Technically, I’ll always have it, but with diet and exercise, I can manage it and keep my symptoms in check.”
Today, Nicole is well known for her wellness programs. She specializes in women’s health and her particular passion is helping women fall pregnant. “I’ve worked with women who are trying to get pregnant for years, and on average, after they see me, it takes about six months for most of my clients.” While not every client has trouble conceiving – Nicole also works with women who might not be having fertility issues but are keen to get their bodies in the best shape to prepare for pregnancy, and then breastfeeding – each is treated individually. “I put everyone on a nutritional plan depending on what their needs and deficiencies are,” says Nicole. “And the plan you start with might not be the one we stick with. For example, the changes your body goes through during pregnancy are huge – you want to make sure your body is as prepared as it can be. Your nutritional needs change, and my work reflects that.”
While Nicole’s personal health is now under control, she maintains a healthy, balanced diet. “It’s really just about fresh, whole foods,” she says. “I really believe that eating well is the key to overall health.” A lover of healthy fats (“I have avocado with pretty much every meal!” she tells me), grain bowls and veggie bowls, she tries to curb her eating in the evening and encourages clients to, as well. “Something light is ideal at night: soups are great in winter, or sometimes I’ll just eat a bowl of sauerkraut! It sounds odd but I love it – and it’s great for the gut.”
While she’s an avid horse rider and tries to walk “almost everywhere”, Nicole is adamant that too much exercise is not a good thing. “I think one of the worst things women can do, in particular, is exercise too much. Gentle, frequent exercise is great – something that gets your heart rate up, but doesn’t stress it out. Walking, yoga, swimming – these are all great options,” she says.
And while there are many so-called health experts out there who preach extremism, for Nicole, it’s all about a life in balance. “The health industry these days is kind of neurotic – there are so many different opinions and ideas out there, and I honestly think it’s doing people a disservice,” she says. “My whole philosophy is about helping people do simple things every day to help themselves. It’s all about taking care of yourself, from the inside out.”
Nicole Granato is a certified Health and Wellness Coach with a passion for helping people enhance their overall quality of life. While leading a health lifestyle is important, there is so much more to it than just diet. Health and wellness is about living with vitality and feeling full of life! Nicole firmly believes that looking great is just the perks of health. Feeling great, on the other hand, physically, emotionally and mentally is a world of a difference that everyone deserves to experience.