Up to 10 percent of women of childbearing age experience polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and/or endometriosis. These issues are incredibly common, yet treatment options are extremely limited. Most women with PCOS and endometriosis seek out alternative solutions to help them cope after exhausting other options.
We sat down with The Hormone Diva Robyn Srigley, Holistic Nutritionist and hormone expert and she shared the strategies she uses to help clients completely transform their health using a food-first approach.
Robyn's own PCOS diagnosis and subsequent disappointment with the available treatment options is what sparked her interest in this work. Since then, she's been helping women all over the world manage PCOS and endometriosis naturally, with amazing results.
"I call my approach the “Four Roots” which is what I take all my clients through, and it refers to the four major root causes underlying all of their symptoms. Pretty much every symptom that comes with PCOS or endometriosis can be attributed to one of these four root causes. Under each of the four roots, food comes first and I might recommend one supplement for each root cause to keep supplements minimal."
Robyn walks her clients through each of the four root causes and provides a game plan for addressing each of them.
Root Cause #1: Insulin and Blood Sugar
By the time her clients find her, most of them have already tried multiple diets. The keto diet is especially popular for PCOS, but Robyn doesn't use a highly restrictive diet approach with her clients.
"I almost never recommend a keto diet for clients because what I find is that while it might be beneficial in the short term, after a few months they seem to start experiencing fatigue and cravings. Often it’s just not sustainable for them to stay on that diet. Instead, I give them The Hormone Diva Plate Formula, which teaches them how much protein, fat and fiber to put on their plate. This way, whether they are at home, at a restaurant, or on-the-run they can put together a meal that is hormone balancing without needing to count anything or weigh their food."
Robyn uses That Clean Life to create a two-week sample meal plan for all her one-on-one clients. These sample plans give them an idea of how the plate formula looks in action and keeps them inspired.
"I love the meal prep recipes in That Clean Life with a protein, a starch, and a green vegetable all in one recipe! Recipes like that are easy to make and work really well for busy clients. For breakfasts, I love all the warm grain-free 'porridge' type recipes."
One of Robyn’s go-to recipes is the Chocolate Banana Cauliflower N'Oats which you can add to your client's next meal plan here.
Root Cause #2: Stress and Mindset
Even though Robyn is a nutritionist who specializes in women’s hormones, she intentionally puts Stress and Mindset before gut health or hormone balancing in her program.
"The idea is that getting them to develop some kind of a daily routine that allows them to manage stress. There will always be stress, so instead of talking about stress reduction, I help them to actually manage it. We talk about the reasons stress causes hormone imbalances, inflammation, and poor gut health and create a daily routine based on what works for them personally. This is usually the piece that isn't properly addressed and the reason so many women aren’t successful in their attempts to reduce their symptoms. PCOS and endometriosis both have a huge mental health component, so it’s really important to address that."
Robyn works with her clients to help them identify the activities that make them feel happy, relaxed, and calm and how they can incorporate more of those activities into their day-to-day. It’s a personalized approach and her clients see amazing results from addressing this root cause.
Root Cause #3: Inflammation and Gut Health
Robyn teaches her clients the basics of good gut health, removing problematic foods and adding in probiotics and fermented foods.
"Blood sugar and stress both impact inflammation, but there is a lot of chronic low-grade inflammation with PCOS and endometriosis, which often starts in the gut. For endometriosis especially, it’s really important to address leaky gut to reduce the immune response that’s causing endometrial tissue to grow all over the body."
Since her approach is food-first, Robyn stresses to her clients that both fermented foods and probiotic supplements are necessary for great gut health.
That Clean Life allows her to search for recipes containing fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and coconut yogurt to show her clients how much fun it can be to incorporate them.
Root Cause #4: Sex Hormone Imbalances
The final root cause Robyn addresses with clients is sex hormone imbalances. This comes last because it’s important to develop good habits and address the other areas that contribute to hormonal health. By the time blood sugar, stress, and inflammation are addressed, many imbalances start improving.
“Most of the clients I work with do not have a 28-day, regular cycle so we need to figure out what is going on and conventional testing doesn’t always give them the right information because they can be tested at the wrong time. I teach them how to track it properly so they know what's going on. Then we figure out if they have low progesterone, high levels of androgens, estrogen dominance, and what we can do to remedy that.”
Robyn also talks to her clients about medications they are on or considering and how they may or may not fit into their plan based on their goals and challenges.
“Part of this last root is also learning to track their cycle, learning about the patterns of how they feel at certain times in their cycle is really empowering."
At the end of the program, clients' long-term plan includes food recommendations, a customized monthly supplement schedule, lifestyle tools, and referrals to complementary care like acupuncture.
Transforming Client’s Lives
Like most professionals, Robyn wanted to keep her practice general in the beginning, but since niching down to PCOS and endometriosis only, her business is thriving. Because her work is so targeted and specific, Robyn’s clients see amazing health transformations.
“Recently I worked with a client who had both PCOS and endometriosis. She wanted to become pregnant but wasn’t having a regular cycle or ovulating. She had tried everything from acupuncture to seeing a naturopath, fertility treatments, all of it. Within eight months she was able to get pregnant naturally! So many women are told that their chances of having their own kids without fertility treatments are almost non-existent but there are so many things that can be done to support fertility."
Love the knowledge that Robyn shared? Leave her a thank you in the comments and stay in touch by following her on Instagram