The Keto Diet Podcast Ep. #056: Keto and PCOS

Keto and PCOS #healthfulpursuit #fatfueled #lowcarb #keto #ketogenic #lowcarbpaleo #theketodiet

Interview with Rainelle Krause, chatting about all things PCOS including how she used keto to overcome PCOS, weight gain related to PCOS, her experience with carb ups, and so much more.

One of the topics I get asked about most is HORMONES. Hormonal imbalances can cause a lot of dysregulation in the body, which many don’t tie to hormones! One of the ways hormonal imbalance can present is in the form of PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I’ve talked about PCOS before on the podcast, but we’re revisiting the topic because it affects so many women, and the keto diet is just one of the many tools that can help alleviate symptoms of PCOS.

Of course every body is different, but I love talking with people about what led them to keto, how keto has impacted their wellness journey, and how they’ve adjusted it to work for their needs and goals. Today, I’m talking with Rainelle Krause who has battled PCOS for a very long time and found some relief with keto. I think this episode is beneficial to anyone currently struggling to balance their hormones. Rainelle is so easy to talk to, and she has dedicated so much of her time and energy researching how to promote healing in her own body … now she’s sharing her experience in hopes that other women will benefit from her story.

In today’s podcast, our guest Rainelle Krause is sharing her experience with PCOS, keto, and yes, even carb ups!

Let’s get to the interview!

For podcast transcript, scroll down.

SHOW NOTES + LINKS

TIMESTAMPS

  • PCOS symptoms resolved with keto (13:01)
  • Overcoming weight gain with PCOS (17:40)
  • Carb ups and PCOS with insulin resistance (23:05)

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TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE

Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to Episode Number 56 of The Keto Diet Podcast. Today, we’re chatting about PCOS symptoms resolved with keto, overcoming weight gain with PCOS, carb ups and PCOS with insulin resistance, and so much more, so stay tuned.

Hey, I’m Leanne from HealthfulPursuit.com and this is The Keto Diet Podcast, where we’re busting through the restrictive mentality of a traditional ketogenic diet to uncover the life you crave. I’ve spent the last four months completely redoing my best-selling ketogenic program, The Keto Bundle. The Keto Bundle combines my two digital programs, The Keto Beginning and Fat Fueled, to provide you with clear step-by-step, how-to on successfully adapting to a ketogenic diet, avoiding common ketogenic struggles and healing your body fully and completely with a ketogenic diet.

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Hey, happy Sunday. The show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e56. The transcript is added to the post about three to five days following the initial air date of this episode. Let’s hear from one of our awesome partners.

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If you have an idea for a podcast episode or want to submit praise over and above the review, which you can leave by going to HealthfulPursuit.com/review, you can reach me at info@ketodietpodcast.com. Those reviews are really, really important. It helps more people find the show. It helps me rate better so that I’m a higher rating, and I could just tell all my friends, “Hey, I have a high-rated podcast.” I’m totally kidding, it’s just so that more people can find the show, and the more reviews we have, the more it shows up in people’s feeds.

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Our guest today is Rainelle. She’s a freelance opera singer, an aerial skills performer living in Fort Worth, Texas. She has suffered from skin and endocrine problems her entire life, culminating in PCOS, cystic acne, and weight gain when she had to go off hormone birth control in college. While initially following a paleo primal diet helped a great deal, after years of experimentation and research, she found Healthful Pursuit, and Rainelle says it has been the final bit of information that she needed that she needed to really be happy and healthy with her body.

Rainelle is a beautiful individual who shared a lot of great information about her PCOS experience, so if you have PCOS or you know somebody who has PCOS or just hormone dysregulation, Rainelle is a very inspiring individual that I think you’re really going to love, so without further ado, let’s cut over to this interview.

Hey, Rainelle, how’s it going?

Rainelle Krause: It’s great. How are you doing?

Leanne Vogel: I’m so good, and I’m so happy you’re here today with us.

Rainelle Krause: Me too. Thank you so much for having me on.

Leanne Vogel: Oh, yeah. You bet. For listeners that may not be familiar with you, why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Rainelle Krause: Yeah, absolutely. My name’s Rainelle Krause, and I live in Fort Worth, Texas, and I’m an opera singer by trade, so I have my Masters in Music from Indiana University. I’m also an aerialist, so I do aerial silks, and I’m working fusion art right now doing legitimate operatic singing while I’m up in the air also doing a legitimate acrobatic routine.

Leanne Vogel: What? That is awesome. How did you know … okay, totally side question, how did you know that you were good at this?

Rainelle Krause: I’ve always sung. My parents have many, many embarrassing home videos of me singing as a child, and then with the aerial stuff, actually, I wasn’t athletic as a child at all, like really not at all. About, I want to say, four years ago, I did an opera training program out in LA, and they recommended, one of the instructors told us one weekend that we should go take an aerial class for fun. I was like, “Yeah, okay, sure,” and I didn’t. Then she asked me on Monday. She was like, “Did you go? Did you have fun?” I was like, “No, I did my laundry and slept,” and she was like, “Well, you should go,” and so I went the next weekend and had an amazing time, and the aerial instructor knew that we were all singers, there just to have fun.

At the end of the class, she tied a knot at the bottom of the silks so you had kind of a loopy hammock type thing, and she had us lay back and invert so we were upside down, and then she had us try singing. So we went down the line, one by one and people either loved it or hated it, and I loved it, and I thought, “If there’s any way that I could combine these, how amazing would that be? And how many different artistic collaborations could I do? And where would it be useful within the field of opera?” That’s how that got started.

Leanne Vogel: That is so cool. Wow. I always like to know how people find what they’re good at when it’s just not something you learn in school.

Rainelle Krause: Right.

Leanne Vogel: How did you find keto? What was that process like?

Rainelle Krause: About seven years ago, I was getting married and looking to lose weight, like I’m sure many people do. I wasn’t going to go crazy about it, but I really wasn’t happy with my body, and so I started looking around online for different things, and I had remembered that a couple of relatives of mine had done really well on Atkins, and so instead of going to the Atkins’ website or doing any of that, I actually got his book from the 1970s and read the original version of the diet, which was very ketogenic. That’s how I started with that, and I lost a good bit of weight, and then the thing that really clicked for me was that I had been suffering from PCOS. I wasn’t getting regular menstrual cycles. I was getting them, kind of, but not on any sort of a regular schedule. My skin was really bad, I had a little bit of hirsutism, not nearly to the degree that some women do, but enough to bother me, and I just wasn’t very happy.

About three months into a ketogenic eating style, my period was regular and my skin was clear, and I was like, “Oh, well, this is different. This has never happened before in my life,” and no doctor had been able to help me ever after, I mean, hundreds and thousands of dollars spent on skin care products and doctor’s appointments and one thing after another, and all of a sudden here, things are fixing themselves. Then I got really into nutrition. I started reading the Mark’s Daily Apple website, and I started visiting nutrition forums, and I started really digging around in that corner of the Internet as sort of a hobby while I was also in school getting my degrees and everything, but when I wanted some light reading, I would just go look at nutritional studies or see what people on ketogenic forums were talking about.

Leanne Vogel: That’s too fun. How did you get diagnosed with your PCOS? What was that process like? That sounds like it was a long time before finding keto.

Rainelle Krause: Well, somewhat. It all kind of happened at once-ish, but I had a really good physician’s assistant, and she was the one who actually mentioned it. She looked at the list of symptoms that I had going on, and actually, I had needed to have an ultrasound for an unrelated procedure, and she saw that my ovaries were just covered in cysts, which that’s not necessarily indicative of PCOS. There are plenty of women have PCOS that do not have cystic ovaries, but some of us do, and mine were definitely there, and so she looked at that, and she’s like, “Hmm, with all of these together, I’m betting that you might have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.”

She sent me to an endocrinologist who was less than helpful. He basically said, “Eh, it’s kind of borderline. I don’t really think you have it,” and he kind of brushed me off with it, but I started reading and researching on my own, and by the time that I had another appointment with the physician’s assistant, I had already adopted a ketogenic style of eating, and many things had started to resolve themselves, and she was like, “Well, considering how well this is working for you, I would say that it does point to the fact that you most likely do have polycystic ovarian syndrome, but you’re managing it very well.”

Leanne Vogel: What sort of symptoms, you chatted about the acne, were there other symptoms that went away by eating keto that you experienced with PCOS that were mitigated by eating this way?

Rainelle Krause: Well, I was able to lose weight, which was great. Nothing really had helped before that. I mean, in high school, I did severe calorie restriction, which is not sustainable, and I felt like crap, and then I got to college and realized that I liked food, so I started eating again. Then I just, I put on weight, and I just couldn’t shake it, and I was pretty active. It’s like walking across the college campus every day, toting loads of books. I was taking various martial arts classes, and it just wasn’t working, and I couldn’t figure it out.

The weight gain was a big … it was a big key to it to noticing what was going on, and then also, I’ve always had really severe acne. I’ve been on Accutane three times as a child and as an early teenager, and nothing had ever really fixed that before. Come to find out because of PCOS, it’s a hormonal root of the problem.

Leanne Vogel: Good luck finding a dermatologist to agree that hormones affect your skin.

Rainelle Krause: Oh, yeah, no. For 10 years, it was like, “Diet and hormones don’t really have anything to do with it. Here’s another topical.”

Leanne Vogel: It’s so ridiculous. I have been on Accutane twice, and it didn’t help. It just made my skin really dry, and then when I went off of it, the acne came back. It’s-

Rainelle Krause: Yep, yep.

Leanne Vogel: … just nuts.

Rainelle Krause: Story of my life.

Leanne Vogel: Outside of a ketogenic diet, are there specific supplements that you take to help with PCOS, or do you find that because you eat keto, basically, PCOS doesn’t bother you, or are there still things you deal with that are helped with supplements or whatnot?

Rainelle Krause: I’m lucky that my case of PCOS wasn’t really bad, it wasn’t super stubborn. I mean, I do still deal with it in a fact that if I screw up my eating it comes back to bite me like really quickly, so that’s one thing that is … sort of helps keep me on a straight and narrow is that my skin and my menstrual cycle will tell me pretty immediately if I’ve done something that is not great for my body. I’ve got that, but I take a vitamin D supplement. Just, I feel like most people don’t get enough vitamin D anyway, but for me, it was incredibly helpful.

I had some various pH issues going on like vaginal flora things that got totally resolved by just upping the amount of vitamin D in my diet and upping my leafy greens, which is very easy to do on keto, so that was nice, but other than that, I mean, I’ve tried various other things. I’ve looked at dong quai, I’ve looked at ashwagandha, I’ve looked at a bunch of other herbal supplements that are supposed to be good for PCOS but nothing really made enough of a difference for me to stick with long term. I’ve noticed that the biggest thing that helps me is keeping my macros in line and eating really nutrient-dense foods along with that.

Leanne Vogel: What are your favorite nutrient-dense foods?

Rainelle Krause: Oh. I’ve been on a big saag paneer kick. It’s a, basically like Indian creamed spinach. You can make it with coconut milk if you’re dairy-free. I’m really, really lucky that I can handle some types of dairy in certain amounts. I’m not going to eat yogurt for an entire day, but yogurt in small amounts doesn’t bother me, so I’ll add that to my creamed spinach with a whole bunch of really intense spices. I’m big into big flavors when I cook. In fact, I recently hosted a dinner party of all keto Moroccan food, which was really good and really easy.

Leanne Vogel: That sounds delicious.

Rainelle Krause: It went really well. Yeah, I did a baked cauliflower rice. It’s my favorite way to do cauliflower rice because it gets toasted and a little nutty tasting, and then you can season it with garam masala and cardamom and whatever else you want to throw in there, but it’s a really easy way to get that going, and it’s wonderful for topping with curries or stews or whatever it is that you want.

Leanne Vogel: Oh my gosh. I’m so hungry right now. I love that sort of food.
More on my interview with Rainelle Krause after this message from one of our podcast partners.

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We chatted a little bit about weight and how it was such a struggle for you before going keto. Now, do you find that with your PCOS being managed by a ketogenic diet that you’re at a pretty comfortable weight for your body or at you still finding that there’s challenges with that?

Rainelle Krause: Well, there are some challenges just because I’m an aerialist, so it’s like I’m surrounded by very tiny people with gymnastics backgrounds, which I did not have. I learned how to be an athlete as an adult, and because of that, I’ve had to deal with various injuries that come with getting older and not having as good of an athletic background as some of my colleagues do, and just my body type. I don’t have a traditional gymnastics or ballet body type, but I am at an absolutely perfectly healthy weight. My cycle is very regular.

The biggest change that I noticed, actually, when I found your work because I had been looking around for a bunch of different things, and I had been reading about the importance of carbohydrates for the athletic woman, and I was just starting to look for women-specific information just because I knew that it had such an effect on my body, and so I found your work, and I gave it a shot for a month.

I was like, “All right, I’ll try this carb up thing, I guess. I don’t feel great about it, but we’ll see what happens,” and I’d say within a month to two months, all of my PMS went away. I mean, all of it, and I had two weeks of miserable bloating and really painful breasts and cramps and mood swings. It was really terrible, and actually, as an opera singer, that bloating goes into your vocal chords too, makes it really different to sing, creates a change in the sound, and so having that reduced was amazing, I mean, from a life perspective. I mean, and my husband was much happier without the mood swings, and especially from a career perspective that I have a more reliable, steady instrument.

Leanne Vogel: Totally. That is so cool. I didn’t know that bloating affects your singing.

Rainelle Krause: Yup, totally does. Actually, it affects a lot of athletic performance. It’s not something that a lot of people think about, but any sort of athlete or … I mean, especially if you think about it, vocal chords they’re so tiny. It’s like when they swell up, you have serious issues.

Leanne Vogel: Huh, very neat. Because of your experience with PCOS and how you found it and you kind of … It’s quite miraculous, really, that you were like, “Oh, PCOS. Keto diet,” like you didn’t struggle for many, many years trying to find the best thing to do, but because you did a lot of research, I’m wondering if you dealt with hair loss or thinning or you know PCOS individuals that have dealt with that and how that was mitigated, or do you find you don’t even deal with that because you’re on keto and everything’s hunky-dory?

Rainelle Krause: Well, so the interesting thing is I had never really had much hair loss from my head, and then I started this ketogenic diet seven years ago, and I went really hardcore. I had a wedding to get ready for, and I wanted to be pretty on my wedding day, and so I went really hard, and it was working. I was, “Well, if it’s working, I’ll just keep going with it,” and so I stayed on that pretty strict ketogenic diet, like really strict, for maybe a year and a half. Then I got pretty thin to the point where my parents were like, “Are you okay?” I was like, “No, I’m fine. I’m eating a ton of food. I feel great. My sleep is good,” but little by little, I noticed that my hair was thinning out, and my sleep wasn’t so great, and my PMS started to get bad.

That was what initially started my looking around for other dietary options. It’s like, is keto the thing for me? I went off of the ketogenic diet for a while and kept it low-carb paleo, and then I went low-ish carb primal, and then I looked at Paul Jaminet’s work with the Perfect Health Diet. He recommends a much higher amount of starchy carbs for mucosa health and for hydration and for digestion and all of this various types of insoluble fibers and how it’s really healthy for you. I gave that a whirl and had a horrible time with it, it was really not okay. I’m sure that it works really well for people who have normal hormonal responses to those kinds of foods, which is not me, and so that’s when I swung back and started thinking, “Well, maybe I should try ketogenic again, but I don’t know,” and a lot of things were up in the air. I was okay, but I wasn’t really happy with where my body was.

Leanne Vogel: With the hair loss and thinning, that happened when you were doing the ketogenic diet the first time with more of a-

Rainelle Krause: Yes.

Leanne Vogel: … restrictive mentality, and now, doing, like you mentioned, that you’re doing carb ups. Would you say that outside of the carb ups, you’re doing the same sort of keto, or because it’s so nutrient-dense, it’s different than the first time you tried it?

Rainelle Krause: I was doing pretty nutrient-dense keto the first time around. I got, like I said, I got really into looking at nutrition blogs, and I got really into the primal/paleo side of things pretty early on, so that was nice but no, just having carb ups in my diet, I have found keeps my skin really nice and clear and keeps my hair really nice and full. I have really good hair, which is nice.

Leanne Vogel: Totally, it is. It’s the best thing. I love having a lot of hair. When I went keto the first time kind of a more restrictive mentality and not eating enough, I had crazy hair loss, and that was not okay for me. I just, I love having thick hair. It’s really great that you mentioned carb ups because a lot of the times, people ask me on PCOS, because we have insulin resistance, should we be doing carb ups, and I’m always like, “Try it out, but if you don’t feel good, then perhaps stop.” Have you found that your, did you have any of the insulin-resistant type of symptoms beforehand or not so much?

Rainelle Krause: When they were first diagnosing me with PCOS and I went to that endocrinologist, he ran a couple of insulin tests and basically, it came back inconclusive, but there is a history of diabetes in my family. I know that my mother, I believe, had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic at one point, which she actually got back in hand with a low-carb diet, which is great, but-

Leanne Vogel: Yeah, it is.

Rainelle Krause: … yeah, it’s like, I never really got clear answers about it. The biggest thing that I saw was this connection to my skin, so it’s like there’s this whole cascade of hormones that results starting with a big, huge pump out of insulin, and then you get a bunch of free androgens in the system, and then especially if you’re overly sensitive to them, that all comes right out in your skin. That was the biggest thing that I noticed in terms of trying to keep my blood sugar more steady and trying to avoid major insulin swings was that I would either have clear skin or I wouldn’t.

I tried protein powder for a while. I was out on a gig, living in a hotel, I didn’t have a kitchen. I had a microwave, and I was trying to come up with easy ways to get with decent food and not spend too much money on it. I was like, “Oh, protein powder. I should totally do some protein shakes.” Turns out that whey is highly insulinogenic, which I found out by having a horrific breakout all over my face and my chest and my shoulders. It was really bad, but that was a light-bulb moment also.

Leanne Vogel: Oh, jeez. A lot of people don’t know that it will spike insulin so much, so I’m glad that you mentioned that. How do you think that PCOS relates to anxiety, depression, and mental health? Have you played around with that? Have you experienced that personally? I know that I’m asked that question quite constantly when it comes to PCOS.

Rainelle Krause: Right. Well, so, I mean, I’ve struggled with those things. I’m not sure how much of it is related to PCOS and how much of it is related to other factors, but the more that I read, especially these days, they’re thinking that a lot of depression is actually related to levels of inflammation in the body, which I think is really interesting. It’s like I’m not exactly a scientific expert on it, but there does seem to be a pretty strong correlation between the two.

One of the markers of PCOS is inflammation. Also, just, especially with the list of symptoms that PCOS comes with, it’s like really horrible, painful acne and hair loss in your head and hair sprouting in other places that you don’t want it to be, and it’s hard to lose weight. Those seem to be like that’s a normal response to that set of very aggravating, frustrating symptoms that so many people have issues getting help with, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there’s a correlation. I don’t know how much causation is there, personally, but yeah, that’s basically been my experience dealing with it and reading about it.

Leanne Vogel: Awesome, cool. I forgot to ask a bunch of stuff about carb ups because it’s very rare that I get speak with somebody that has PCOS that’s using carb ups, and it’s being beneficial because a lot of PCOS people are just super terrified of trying carb ups, so-

Rainelle Krause: Of course, yeah.

Leanne Vogel: … what do you eat, first off, when you do a carb up? That’s my first question.

Rainelle Krause: Well, if I’m being good, then it’s sweet potato or … I mean, especially because I’m so active, like I have no problem eating a sweet potato with dinner a few nights a week. There was even a period of time that I was doing carb ups at dinner every night as is shown, I think one of your books that you have this like-

Leanne Vogel: Fat Fueled.

Rainelle Krause: Yeah, the daily carb up recommendation, and so I tried that for a while, and it was great. I mean, like … Like I said, right now, I’m at a healthy weight, but being an aerialist and with shows coming up, I’m trying to get down to a really specific aesthetic, but also maintain my health. Now that I’ve seen how nice it is to have a regular period without PMS and have nice, clear skin and good, thick hair, it’s like, all right, well, I’ll get down to a point, but I’m prioritizing my health and my mood and all of those kind of things over a particular body fat percentage. That’s ridiculous.

Typically, sweet potatoes. Since I travel so much and I do end up eating out more often than I would like at times, like I’ll go to a sushi restaurant, and I’ll have a chirashi bowl, which is pretty much just raw fish and rice, and so I find that if I’m moderate in my rice consumption, that’s not an issue. Yeah, basically starchy stuff. Sometimes, I’ll do fruit. Fruit doesn’t really work really well for me, especially super sweet fruits. Berries tend to be totally fine. I recently had a ton of watermelon because it’s summer and it’s delicious, but I’ve been really careful to not go overboard with it.

Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I’m the same way. I can have a good sweet potato, but if I have a bowl of pineapple, game over.

Rainelle Krause: Yup.

Leanne Vogel: It’s just, let’s not even go there. That’s really interesting. How often … that was my next question of how often you do it, and it sounds like you started off daily, and now it sounds like you do it a couple times a week?

Rainelle Krause: Currently, yeah, but that’s always subject to change, depending on how I feel and what’s going on, how much training I’m doing, when I’m training. That’s the one thing that I really like about your work, especially, is that you get into the ketosphere, and with all of these fitness articles and people getting really intense about timing their workouts and their carb ups around their workouts and all this kind of stuff, and I was like, “My workouts are all over the place.” I do some weight lifting. I do a lot of aerial classes, which is a ton of body weight work. I mean, you’re basically just doing pull-ups the entire class, in addition to making art and also contorting your body and doing all this kind of stuff, but they could be at any time of the day. It depends on the day of the week, it depends on the studio schedule, so instead of worrying about micromanaging that, I just try and eat a decent diet.

I’ll start my day with a rocket fuel latte, or if I’m doing a morning workout, depending on how hard it is, maybe I’ll just have my rocket fuel latte, and then I’ll have a morning workout, and then I’ll have a lunch and then I’ll have a dinner, maybe throw in a sweet potato with dinner. It just depends on how I feel. Other days, I wake up, and if I know it’s going to be a really hard workout that morning, I’ll have a breakfast nice and early, give myself some time to digest, and then go hit the workout hard. It just, it’s … What I like about it is that I can sort of play. It depends on so many different factors, and it helps me not get bogged down and overwhelmed.

Leanne Vogel: Seriously, how much time did we used to be spend on being bogged down and overwhelmed about all those rules and things. That’s just too much time and energy. I mean, you probably have to miss an aerial class once a week just to calculate everything and make sure you’re on point, like seriously.

Rainelle Krause: Seriously, that is the one thing that I hate is logging anything, and I’ve done it because at a certain point, it’s important to know what you’re consuming and what your average breakdown looks like, but I can’t do that long term. It’s not … I don’t even cook that way. It’s like I’m going to cook a bunch at once, and then I’m going to eat some. I’m not going to spend time measuring out exactly how much is in this bowl of whatever it is that I’m eating because I’m hungry. I’m just going to eat it.

Leanne Vogel: Yeah, it’s too much energy. You mentioned how you feel and … Are there signs that you know that you need a carb up just intuitively? Can you put that into words? Some people can’t, some people can, so I always like to ask. You mentioned, “When I feel like a carb up, I have one,” but how do you, what does that feel like? Can you put that into words?

Rainelle Krause: Yeah. Well, I guess mostly, it just depends on what I’m doing in a week. For instance, I’ve got a big aerial festival coming up. We’re doing performances, and then we’re doing an entire week of workshops with guest instructors. It’s going to be a ton, a ton, a ton of energy for that whole week, and so in that time, just because I know I’m going to be gassed at the end of every day, I’ll probably eat a daily carb up just to help my body recover, help my muscles get ready to do even more work the next day because I know this is going to be a week of solid work with not very much rest.

If I’m not working so hard, then I’ll usually scale it back to two or three times a week, just because I’ve found over time that’s what works best for me. I find that with my skin, if I go too far with carb ups or I have them way too often or with the wrong timing or whatever, it takes about a week for the breakout to show up, and then it’s pretty bad and really noticeable.

Over time, as I’ve stepped back and observed what goes on with that, it’s like right now, in terms of how I feel, it’s not that I, I guess it’s not that I feel a certain way in my body. It’s more that I half pay attention to when I’m eating carbs in my week and what my body feels like. I aim for at least once a week, depending on what my goals are. Am I really trying to cut a lot of fat this week? Am I really trying to do whatever, but at least one carb up just to maintain good adrenal health and sleep better. I notice that my sleep is better on my carb up nights, and to keep my hair nice and thick and that kind of thing. Then I just, I’ll change it depending on my activity level.

Leanne Vogel: Amazing. Cool. That’s awesome.

More on my interview with Rainelle Krause after this message from one of our podcast partners.

A lot of us have a love-hate relationship with MCT oil. The reason why I don’t totally love it anymore is that a lot of people are reacting to it in their gut. They’ll add even just a teaspoon to their coffee and end up having a disaster-pants situation, or for others, it’s just a matter of not having a blender on hand, so you can never really add it to coffee or drinks with it getting everywhere or it leaving a film on the top of your coffee when you don’t have a blender to blend it up. All of these thing are just super annoying.

That’s why I stopped using MCT oil, and then I found a thing called MCT oil powder, and this stuff is amazing. You can add it to your coffee, just shake it up or stir it, and it turns all creamy. You can add it to your favorite keto smoothies or recipes, and it just makes things creamy, and it incorporates so easily. It’s not a mess. You can travel with it. It’s amazing, but not all MCT oil powders are created equal, and I learned this firsthand when I was playing around with a bunch of MCT oil powder brands, and they were spiking my blood sugar, and I was like, “What gives?” Turns out, a lot of MCT oil powders use fillers like corn fiber, sunflower lecithin, maltodextrin, and sodium caseinate to cut costs, and all of these ingredients will end up spiking your blood sugar.

My favorite MCT oil powder that I was able to find is from Perfect Keto, and they’ve put together a nice little coupon code for listeners that want to give it a try too. You can go to HealthfulPursuit.com/MCT and use the coupon code HEALTHFUL all in caps, no spaces, for 15% off your Perfect Keto MCT oil powder. If you’re unsure of the link, simply check out the show notes of today’s episode to get all of the details.

Something that I found really interesting about PCOS is that it’s one of the most common endocrine disorders, yet it receives less than .1% of funding from the National Institutes of Health, which is crazy to me. What do you think, in your opinion, why don’t more people know about PCOS because I know that, as somebody who has thyroid dysfunction, I’m part of a lot of communities, and we talk about these sorts of things. Why do you think people just don’t care about this?

Rainelle Krause: Well, I think part of it is that a lot of the symptoms get minimized by the medical establishment. It tends to be, I think, that women have major issues with PCOS when they’re trying to conceive, and then it’s, “serious,” like, “now it’s a serious problem,” as though it wasn’t before when you were only dealing with debilitating cystic acne and embarrassing hair loss and weight gain that won’t budge. Are these not worthy things to be spending time on? Maybe the doctors look at the symptoms one at a time. It’s like, “Oh, weight loss. Well, just eat less and exercise more, and that’ll take care of itself,” or, “Oh, it’s just acne. I mean, how bad could it really be? It’s not that bad compared to what I see on a daily basis,” blah, blah, blah.

There’s also the fact that, frankly, and this is a major issue across the medical establishment, women’s issues have traditionally been minimized, even in medical trials and in looking at new medications and research. It’s like people … It’s just been assumed that the female body will respond the same way that the male body does, and that’s not true. I think, finally, we’re seeing a turning tide with that, and I’m very hopeful that more people will become aware of PCOS and how difficult it can be to live with and how difficult it can be to mitigate. Hopefully, the next five years, the next 10 years, I think we’ll see a big shift. I hope so, at least.

Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I completely agree with you. It was the same when I had amenorrhea, a lack of period. All doctors were like, “Uh, do you want babies?” I’m like, “No,” and they’re like, “Why does it matter? You don’t have a period. That’s so awesome.” It’s like, okay, cool. How do you even respond to that? It’s just like, I think a lot of the times also with these sorts of things is people will think that there’s a problem with their body or they’re not feeling quite right, they go to a doctor. The doctor says, “Nah, you’re fine,” and then they’re almost embarrassed or ashamed to keep searching for the answer, so I think it’s really cool that you took some time, pulled together a bunch of resources, and just figured out what’s PCOS and how do I manage this. Were there any resources specifically that during that time while you were reading all about PCOS that you felt were pretty good PCOS resources?

Rainelle Krause: Let me see. There were a couple of forums that I frequented. I didn’t really post, I just lurked, like a lot. I read a lot. I think it was, what, SoulCysters was maybe one of the ones that I had looked up, but mostly, I just started looking at nutritional studies, anything that mentioned anything about insulin resistance or low-carb diets or anything like that. That’s, was sort of my go-to

Leanne Vogel: Amazing. We touched on this a little bit ago, but I always like to ask our guest that are talking more about keto experience stuff what you feel is missing in the keto space specifically for women?

Rainelle Krause: Well, so frankly, since finding your work, I haven’t had a lot of reason to go into the ketosphere. I mean, I do occasionally. I go, and I’ll read things, and I’ll look at people’s workout tips, but at this point, I’m basically tweaking or recovering from a lack of willpower. Sometimes, we just need a piece of cake, and then I pay it for the next week. Then I get back on my keto bandwagon, and life goes on, but yeah, I mean, in terms of things that are missing, I think, still, there’s not enough widely-accepted, hard peer-reviewed sources on a ketogenic diet’s effect on women and the hormones in various states, any states.

It’s like, the ketogenic diet on its own is still somewhat controversial to the mainstream medical community and then you add on top of that this total dearth of women’s issues in that. I mean, I say that as a pretty glaring absence, but there are people filling the gap. Is it happening quickly? No. Is it enough? I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like it, but-

Leanne Vogel: Yeah, more, more.

Rainelle Krause: … you’ve got people like you out there, and it was a huge eye-opener for me to think, “Oh my god, I can eat a ketogenic diet and still have carb ups. This is like the best of both worlds, health-wise. Everything that I’ve read about the importance of carbs, now I have a way to include them in my diet,” and then it made such a huge change, like really quickly, so it was just further a confirmation.

Leanne Vogel: Oh, I’m so happy carb ups have been helpful for you. I know that when I started discovering the papers, probably the same things that you’re reading of carbs being beneficial, and then I was looking, “Well, what about this ketogenic diet thing, and they don’t work hand-in-hand.” Then I’m like, “I’m just going to try this. I’m going to read a couple more things.” Then it started working, and with my clients, it started working. I’m like, oh my gosh, this is awesome. I think I’m on to something, so it’s been really, really cool to watch that process. I’m really happy that you are feeling awesome on them, and that you’re also able to do it with PCOS, which I think even if those listening just hear that like, yes, Rainelle has PCOS and she’s doing carb ups, that’s a huge takeaway for this episode, and I love it.

Rainelle Krause: Oh, absolutely. I mean, and everyone is different, and everyone’s PCOS is at a different stage, but mine is, at this point, completely manageable through diet and exercise, and exercise, frankly, is a lot more fun once you lose that initial weight that wouldn’t budge. I mean, that was what got me active in the first place was that I started losing weight, and then I felt better and was like, “Oh, maybe I could try exercising.”

Leanne Vogel: Totally. I love it. Where can people find more from you?

Rainelle Krause: I have a website. It’s just my name, RainelleKrause.com, and I’m on Facebook. I’m just out and about constantly auditioning. I actually have my first big aerial opera gig in New Orleans coming up next June, which I’m really excited about. It’s a very brand new thing that should be really exciting. I can’t wait for it, but no, other than that, I’m just around the country and auditioning and doing gigs here and there and doing my thing, trying to be as keto as I can on the road.

Leanne Vogel: Oh, yeah. That is like a whole other level.

Rainelle Krause: Yeah.

Leanne Vogel: Have you tried MCT oil powder?

Rainelle Krause: I have not tried-

Leanne Vogel: Oh my gosh.

Rainelle Krause: … MCT oil powder. I didn’t even know that was a thing. I’ve got my MCT oil here at home, but I didn’t-

Leanne Vogel: Yeah, no, no, no, no, okay. This is a traveler’s tip because I’ve been on the road for the like last six months, and you can’t live on the road without MCT oil powder. It’s like MCT oil, but powder form, and you can carry it with you because it’s not going to spill everywhere, and you can add it to your liquids and it just incorporates into your coffee or tea or whatever because you know when you put oil in drinks when you’re on the road and you’re shaking-

Rainelle Krause: Yeah, it floats on top. It’s gross.

Leanne Vogel: … it forever, and it floats-

Rainelle Krause: Yup.

Leanne Vogel: … and it’s disgusting? Yeah, MCT oil powder just mixes in like almost, it’s very similar to the powdered coffee creamer. You just add it, and then it makes things creamy, and you’re like, “What magic is this?” Very similar, but it’s just powdered MCT oil. There’s nothing else in it. My favorite brand is Perfect Keto. They’re great, and they don’t have any extra additive garbage maltodextrin stuff. It’s the best, and I could not, like I don’t know how I traveled without it until I had it on my first book tour, and it was like abah?! What do you mean?! It’s great.

Rainelle Krause: Yeah, that’s amazing. I know what I’m going to be ordering as soon as I get off the phone with you.

Leanne Vogel: Yes. Awesome. It’s the best, so enjoy that, and yeah, it’s, yeah, I don’t know how I did it without it, so I hope you like it.

Rainelle Krause: Yeah, thank you.

Leanne Vogel: No worries. The show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e56. We’ll have Rainelle’s website in there and a couple of things that she mentioned throughout the episode as well as myself. Thanks so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate it.

Rainelle Krause: Of course, no, oh my gosh, I mean, your work changed my life, so I was like … couldn’t wait for the opportunity.

Leanne Vogel: Oh, that’s so cool. I’m so thrilled. Thank you, thank you.
And that does it for another episode of The Keto Diet Podcast. Thanks for listening in. You can follow me on Instagram by searching Healthful Pursuit, where you’ll find daily keto eats and other fun things. And check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides and other cool things over at HealthfulPursuit.com/shop, and I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.

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  1. I’m just starting out on keto. How do I figure my over weight for the calories with the macros? I understand the chart. Where do I start for my weight?

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