The Nixie of the Mill-Pond

The Nixie of the Mill-PondThe Nixie of the Mill-Pond

Just check out that beautiful illustration. Nice lines. Nice detail. I’m going to have to find out who did that because it’s just great.

Once upon a time there was a miller who was prosperous, but everything comes in cycles and soon he was not prosperous. He became so poor that he barely owned anything he had. One night he was out by his mill-pond lamenting his life when he saw a nixie in the form of a beautiful woman with pale skin and long hair. She asked him what was the matter and he told her all his woes. She told him not to worry that she would make him rich again, just as long as he promised her the thing that had just been born in his house. The miller could only conceive that a puppy or kitten had been born in his house and was contented to promise that.

He returned to the house, but found that his wife had just delivered a baby boy. He was crushed at the thought of giving up his son. Nobody knew what to tell him. He kept the boy away from the pond, but the nixie did not come to claim her prize. The miller grew very rich without even trying. Year after year the boy grew and grew into a fine huntsman working for the Lord of the area. He married a nice woman and they moved into a little house. They were happy.

One day the huntsman was hunting and killed a roe. He did not realize he was near the area of the dreaded mill-pond. He simply bent down to the pond to clean the blood off his hands, but when he did that, he was taken under the water by the nixie. The wife was distraught. She did not know what had happened to her husband, but he had told his wife of the nixie and her doings, so she suspected strongly what had happened. She went to the pond and there found his hunting pouch. She knew what had happened.

She called his name. She ran around and around the pond calling out to him, but nothing ever changed. Finally, she sat down on the ground and went to sleep, she had a strange dream. She dreamed that she journeyed into the mountains, there she found a meadow with a little house. Inside the little house was an little old woman. When she awoke, she followed her dream. She climbed the mountain, she came to the meadow, and she found the little house. When she went inside the little old woman asked her what was wrong.

The wife told the little old woman all that had happened with the nixie. The little old woman gave the wife a golden comb. She told her to sit by the mill-pond and comb her long black hair. Then she was to put the comb on the side of the shore and she would see what would happen next. The wife returned to the pond and combed her long black hair. When she was done, she laid the comb on the ground. When she had done this, a wave came up and took the comb. Another wave came and just the head of the huntsman was visible in the pond, but then it quickly sank back down again.

Yet again, the wife dreamed of the old woman and went back. The next day the little old woman gave her a golden flute with much the same directions. The wife played the golden flute by the mill-pond in the moonlight and laid it down on the shore. A wave came and took the flute away. The husband was seen again, but this time half his body was out of the water.

The wife yet again went to the old woman after prompting from a dream. This time the old woman gave her a golden spinning wheel. She told her to spin by the pond in the moonlight and take the spinning wheel and place it on the shore. The wife did this after spinning all the flax into thread. A wave came and carried the spinning wheel into the pond. After this, the entire husband was above the water. He leapt out and grabbed his wife and ran, but the nixie knew what was going on. She caused a great wave to come out of the mill-pond that was threatening to carry everything away.

The wife called out to the old woman and the man and his wife were turned into a frog and a toad. They were separated and swept many miles apart from each other. When they finally hit dry land, they were turned back into humans, but they didn’t know where they were. They had been carried so far away by the water that no one knew of their home land.

Each was obliged to keep sheep to earn their keep. They kept sheep for many years. One day they both drove their sheep into the same valley. They did not recognize each other, but were happy in each other’s presence, so they kept taking their sheep to the same place. For a while, they carried on like this. One day the husband took out a golden flute and played on it. He stopped to find the woman weeping. She explained that this was the same flute that had played when she saw her husband rise out of the mill-pond in the moonlight. They looked at each other and saw who the other was. They rejoiced and no one can say that they’re not happy.

The End

The Nixie of the Mill-PondObservations

In some stories, this nixie is a full-on mermaid. This is one of the more familiar stories in the Grimm’s anthology.

This was kind of a sweet love story. They were separated and then they found each other again. It actually reminds me of an episode of Doctor Who, Rory and Amy get separated by years, but Rory searches for Amy. Rory and Amy were always looking for each other. I miss them.

A word about the miller’s wife. Apparently, she didn’t know she was pregnant. It happens. People like to say that there is no possible way a woman could be pregnant for nine months and not know it. Seriously, it happens. There wouldn’t be an entire show about it if it didn’t happen. I’m talking about the show I didn’t know I was Pregnant. Most of the women on the show have a condition called PCOS or Stein Levanthal syndrome, we’ve talked about it before in relation to several books and the first part of my I hate Aldous Huxley series. PCOS is more of a modern-day affliction, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t occurrences of the disease back in the day. If the conditions are right, the syndrome will develop. This miller’s wife probably had something like that going on.

So we really can’t blame the miller for thinking there would only be a puppy or a kitten born in his house. He and the wife had probably tried for years to have a kid, but due to whatever condition his wife might have had, they didn’t have any kids. So they probably thought nothing of a few missed periods on the wife’s part because that was fairly normal, or maybe she was old enough to start menopause so they were like, “Well, that’s that,” but they never expected to end up with a baby.

This makes promising the new-born son away to a water nixie even more devastating because it’s the only kid and the long-awaited kid. This should have been a joyous, yet surprising, occasion for the miller and his wife, but instead it turned into an occasion of sadness.

The Nixie of the Mill-PondThemes

This is a woman-rescue story much like several of the other stories in the Grimm’s anthology and much like The Polar Bear King. The woman rescues the man through several feats, usually three.

I find it interesting that the woman has to have objects. She is not rescuing the man with her own skill, but with objects given to her. It keeps popping up in the Grimm’s stories. The objects are almost always solely feminine objects. Here’s a comb. Here’s a spinning wheel. Here’s a flute. Here’s a walnut with a dress inside. No one ever gives the woman an axe and says, “Go rescue your husband.” Notice it’s always the husband; it’s never just the boyfriend. In the stories where the man is the rescuer instead of the rescuee, the man is rescuing his potential bride. How often does the man rescue his wife? Think about it. Have we read a story about a man rescuing his wife? The closest thing I can think of is the story in which the wife was really not a good person and the man actually worked to get rid of his wife. The Grimm’s thought a potential wife was worth it, but not the actual wife.

On the other hand, all these women are going through Hell and back to rescue their husbands. That’s kind of a double-standard. In fact, in several stories we see the wife accused of terrible things like eating her children, but the husband just kind of sits by and goes with it. He doesn’t step in to the defense of his wife. He lets people tie her up to a stake in order to burn her. Would the wives in these stories let someone do that to their man? No way honey.

It says that a woman should be devoted to her husband, but that a man shouldn’t necessarily be devoted to his wife. He can always get another one. It’s ok for a man to go all-out to win a woman’s affection, but once he has it, “Meh.”


There are many elements of this story that I really like. I think it’s a really neat story in all the different manners in which it is told.

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Grimm’s Fairy Tales, PCOS

Cooking, Health, How To, Non-Fiction, PCOS, Self-help

#409 Permanently Beat PCOS: The Diet and Exercise Shortcuts by Caroline D. Greene

Permanently Beat PCOS: The Diet and Exercise Shortcuts by Caroline D. GreenePermanently Beat PCOS: The Diet and Exercise Shortcuts by Caroline D. Greene

Besides all of the bright pink, this book does possess some useful information. I don’t know why women who write about female related illnesses and conditions always have to use pink on their books. Teal would actually be the appropriate color considering teal is the awareness color of PCOS, but I didn’t design this book cover, so I guess it wasn’t my call.

Ok, this book is short, but it has some useful information. It’s kind of like a quick start guide. It’s a “for dummies” version of a “for dummies” version. There isn’t a whole lot of explanation as to what PCOS actually is, which saves a lot of space. This book is primarily concerned with being healthy while possessing the condition.

This book covers diet and some exercise. One of the things the book goes into briefly is the glycemic index. I have heard of the glycemic index, but I have never actually put it into practice. Considering as I’m insulin resistant, maybe it would be a good idea for me to think about the glycemic index, if not actually use it. The way Caroline explains it, it makes a lot of sense.

Caroline also details what types of foods are appropriate for a woman with PCOS. Lots of carbohydrates and sugars are off of the list. She also admonishes low-fat dairy options or no dairy at all because of all the hormone content in dairy. While this is good advice if you don’t know anything about added hormones in dairy, it’s bad advice if you know a little something about added dairy hormones and how that whole low-fat thing works.

She goes on to explain certain exercises you can do at home and also states cardio amounts and heart rate percentages. I’ve heard the heart rate percentage thing before, but, again, I’ve never really paid a lot of attention to my heart rate while working out. Maybe I should.

What I liked

I like that this is short. It’s kind of like a slap to the face. “Here’s your information! TAKE IT!,” and that’s it. It doesn’t have a lot of frills. It’s really nice for a person who just wants to jump in.

I know a lot of women with PCOS. It seems they really don’t know where to start. They just get blind-sided by a doctor who says, “Oh, you’ve got PCOS,” and the doctor never really explains anything. Maybe this poor women gets prescribed some nasty Metformin and some nasty BCPs, and that is it. She’s kicked out of the doctor’s office all on her own. This book is a good place to start for a woman in that situation. It’s not as detailed as it needs to be. It’s doesn’t include as much information as it needs to, but for a woman who literally doesn’t know what to do and where to do, this is a great place.

What I didn’t like

It’s too darn short. I get that this is a “jump-start” guide, but come on.

First of all, it’s obvious that Caroline doesn’t go the natural route and she doesn’t even suggest it. Her mention of low-fat dairy products is a big clue. Fat does retain chemicals, hormones, and other not good for you things so it totally makes sense that Caroline would say that eating dairy with low-fat is going to help you cut down on those added hormones. What Caroline fails to mention is that those hormones are in fact added to your dairy. You can buy hormone free versions of milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, and so forth. You don’t need to worry about getting the low-fat version.

Caroline doesn’t really mention vitamins at all. Look, if this book is all about how you should eat and exercise when you have PCOS, where is the information on vitamins? A multi isn’t going to cut it. It might help, but as of now, there really isn’t a multi created for women with PCOS. Women with PCOS need to know that their bodies inherently don’t produce as much vitamin D as other women and that they should be taking more vitamin D, for example. Caroline doesn’t mention anything like this.

Caroline is still promoting wheat in her recipes. Look, I get that not everybody has problems eating wheat. That’s fine, but seeing as women with PCOS are often diagnosed with hyperinsulinemia, it’s not a good idea to consume very much wheat or other carbohydrate laden grains. I get that Caroline probably has her own philosophy, but I don’t think it’s good practice to say, “Hey it’s ok to eat some wheat, even though it’s going to drive your insulin levels up and frustrate your efforts at becoming healthy.”

As far as the exercise section, this book is better than most, but I would appreciate it more if Caroline had actually laid forth an exercise program in this book. Seriously, why doesn’t somebody do that for women with PCOS? On Monday do A, B, and C. On Tuesday, do B, E, and F. On Wednesday,  do A, C, and D. After a week of doing this, increase it by 2. How hard is it to set an actual plan down on paper? I know these doctors, trainers, and Carolines have good intentions when they suggest exercises. Oh, you can do this. You can do that. You can run on the treadmill. Bladdy-bladdy-blah. Write something real down. Sometimes, people need an example. Write a plan down, then offer suggestions upon the plan. Let people choose if they want to follow that plan or alter the plan, but set forth a plan, that way people actually know the general structure of what it should look like. Don’t just list a bunch of exercises in a book.


Short and to the point, but lacking in some important areas and mostly the same as many other PCOS books.

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Cooking, Greene-Caroline D., Health, How To, Non-Fiction, PCOS, Self-help

PCOS, Thoughts and Ponders

I Hate Aldous Huxley

I Hate Aldous HuxleyI hate Aldous Huxley…it may be true that those are strong words and maybe I’m over-reacting, but right now…I feel quite upset by some of the words he left behind. Aldous Huxley is the author of the famous dystopian novel Brave New World. He was also once a teacher and mentor to George Orwell, author of 1984. The quote to the left was actually written in a letter to Orwell.

I have to admit, I have some sort of weird thing for dystopian novels. They fascinate me. I love looking at the way society acts and the way it could act given certain situations. I love analyzing all of it. I love all the different interpretations of broken worlds by various authors, artists and film makers. I really cannot get enough of them. Some of them are crazy scary and some of them are depressing, but that doesn’t take the interesting factor away at all.

I have mentioned before the intentions of authors. Author intentions can go a long way to my enjoyment of a book. If I know an author intended a book to be informative or an exploration of an idea rather than a general putdown of society, I can enjoy it more. The thing about Huxley is that I don’t really know where he stands. I do know that Huxley was associated with some not so savory people during his life, including one Aleister Crowley, who was a pretty weird guy. If you ever see a picture of him, you can just tell he’s not the kind of guy you want to bring home to dinner.

I have mentioned the intention idea before in relation to a dystopian novel. I do believe it was in relation to Ira Levin’s book This Perfect Day.   When I don’t know the intention of the author, I have ambiguous feelings about a book. I generally love dystopian novels, if I know that the author loves the idea of individuality and the beauty of what people can be. I do not love dysotpian novels when I know that the author is associated with groups or people who thought the idea of bringing people into subjugation in any way was a good thing. I haven’t done enough research on Huxley to know his true intentions. I just know a few things I’ve heard.

Brave New World is going to be my classic book for the month of November. I just finished the first chapter. It’s been a while since I have read the book, so I was blind-sided when I re-read the first chapter, shocked, disappointed, angry, sad and many other things all at once. Let me quote the passage that really upset me and then I will explain why it upset me so much.

“For of course,” said Mr. Foster, “in the vast majority of cases,fertility is merely a nuisance. One fertile ovary in twelve hundred–that would really be quite sufficient for our purposes. But we want to have a good choice. And of course one must always have an enormous margin of safety. So we allow as many as thirty per cent of the female embryos to develop normally. The others get a dose of male sex-hormone every twenty-four metres for the rest of the course. Result: they’re decanted as freemartins–structurally quite normal (except,”he had to admit, “that they do have the slightest tendency to grow beards), but sterile. Guaranteed sterile.”

Now, you may not be particularly upset by this passage. You may think, “Oh this is just some author’s musing on the possible outcomes of such a process. It’s not real. This is fictional.” This is not fictional. The process Huxley describes is fictional, as far as I know, but the disease that would result, is not. It’s real and it’s hell. It’s a living nightmare. I have a hard time believing someone would ever talk about subjecting people to something so terrible as a way to control the population and control humanity. This passage hit me like a ton of bricks.

The disease I am talking about is called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Stein-Leventhal syndrome. It is estimated that anywhere from 10%-15% of women in the United States have this disease. I know that percentage may not sound huge, but that is a whole lot of women who have to suffer. The thing about this disease is that the rates of occurrence have sky-rocketed in the past fifty years or so, most likely due to increased usages of estrogen and testosterone mimickers in plastics, chemicals, food additives and medications, but the official cause is unknown.

So what are the symptoms of this disease? Well, as Huxley explains the females can be sterile, they can be infertile, they have higher levels of androgens(testosterones) in their body, and they can grow some facial hair. That’s just a few of the symptoms by the way. Include menstrual irregularities, all manner of skin problems(acne, ketosis pilaris, hidradenitis suppurativa), insulin resistance, weight gain, inability to lose weight, almost inherent depression, higher risk of diabetes, higher risk of ovarian cancer, higher risk of cervical cancer, problems processing vitamin D and vitamin B12, and the list goes on. The list just goes on and on and on and on.

Women don’t know why they have this disease. They can’t point to any single factor and say, “That’s why it happened.” I strongly suspect all the artificial hormones floating around in our plastics and food additives as the culprit, but no one can confirm that. Some say it could be genetic. Some say it was caused by their birth control. Some hint at epi-genetics. Some hint at a father’s exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war. Hints are nice, but no one really knows, not anybody who is talking anyway. There is no cure. A woman who is born with this disease, or develops it during her life, will never get rid of it.

Here’s the thing, to someone on the outside, a woman with this disease can look fine, just like Huxley says. They look like a normal woman; their genitals are properly formed and so on, but Huxley has them classified as “free martins.” A free-martin is, “an infertile female mammal which has masculinized behavior and non-functioning ovaries.” This is so offensive that there aren’t really words to articulate the offense properly.

Women with PCOS have such a hard time. People look at them and think they’re normal. They cannot imagine why a woman with this disease has so many detriments. Surely, it’s all in her head. That’s what people think because they can’t see the hormone panels that say a woman has a closer hormonal makeup to a man rather than the woman she wants to be. This disease makes women feel like “its.” Women with this disease do not feel entirely female, but they’re not male either. Honestly, a lot of women with PCOS would be incredibly relieved if they suddenly sprouted some male genitalia, they would feel that they at least looked and felt the part.

I know so many women with this disease. It’s a pain and a constant reminder to them that something is broken within themselves. They’re not normal and they never can be and that’s probably the thing that hurts the most. The most they could ever hope for is to look normal, they can never actaully be normal. Every single day is a struggle. It’s a struggle to find the will to live. Why live when you don’t fit in anywhere? Why suffer through a life that constantly reminds you that a disease, you had no part in developing, is ruining your life? At least if you developed it after doing a bunch of cocaine, you would have something to blame, but no one does. It’s all nonsensical.

The pain this disease causes is very real. The suffering is very real. Huxley was describing an actual medical condition that scientists willingly inflicted upon people. Willingly! It’s all in the name of controlling who breeds. It’s all about controlling society. I cannot imagine seventy percent of women having this disease. I guess the upside to that would be that it would be more socially acceptable to ail from if it came down to that.

I am vehemently against any powers at be trying to control who breeds. That, my friends, is called eugenics. It’s wrong. You may not agree, but it is wrong. Who are you to say only certain characteristics are desirable in the human population? You’re not anybody to say that. Nobody alive is. Nobody who is dead is anybody to say that either.

I don’t like the idea of being a paranoid tin-foil hat wearer, but for just a bit, I would like to cross over into the field of tin-foil hats to explore the idea that Huxley brings up. Stein-Leventhal syndrome was first documented officially in 1935. That’s not quite a hundred years ago. We’ve created a lot of things in a hundred years. The population of Earth has certainly boomed. We have lots of new additives and all kinds of wonderful chemicals going into just about everything we touch. The question is, what if the people who created these chemicals and additives knew about the possible development of this disease and put their chemicals to use anyway? What if? Did they not care because of the money? Or…did they have some ulterior motive in mind?

I honestly hate to think about it because I don’t like to be that tin-foil hat wearer, but it’s always in the back of my mind. What if someone created this disease, on purpose? How awful would that be? How utterly awful would that be to find out that some person had done something so heinous? That would be such a terrible crime. If there were one person who had created such a monster, death would be too kind a punishment. It would be way too easy.

I have to think about people who have found out they were experimented on by the government, unbeknownst to them. It’s a huge blow to those people. They feel helpless and betrayed. To be accurate here, I am not talking about paranoid tin-foil hat wearer talk of government experimentation, but actual government experimentation involving the government giving people stuff like syphilis on purpose. Yes, it really happened, more than once. How awful would it be to realize that your suffering was the result of some big experiment. People were playing God when they shouldn’t have been.

In summation, I will never look at Aldous Huxley or Brave New World the same again. Huxley described something very real and something that is happening today and it hurts. He brings up the suggestion that such a thing could be man-made and that is so scary.

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PCOS, Thoughts and Ponders

Cooking, Harwin-Dr. Rebecca, Health, Non-Fiction, PCOS, Self-help, social commentary

#238 Conquer Your PCOS Naturally by Dr. Rebecca Harwin


A few weeks ago I was browsing the web. I was actually looking for recent news on PCOS. For some strange reason someone decided to name the new voting machines used in the recent election PCOS as well. I don’t know what they were thinking. I’m sure the acronym stands for something technical, but the results were kind of clouding up my search. I happened upon news about a PCOS clinic opened in San Francisco, which is a very nice thing, there should be more of those. Then a little further down the road I found Dr. Rebecca.

I went to Dr. Rebecca’s website to check it out. You can visit her website here. I’m always looking for new books on PCOS and unfortunately, nobody is really publishing new books on PCOS. Dr. Rebecca’s book is the first new to me book I have seen in a while. I was also intrigued by the idea of ‘naturally’ instead of heavily medicated. I got a hold of Dr. Rebecca’s book and read it.

If you go on Amazon and do a search for books on PCOS you will see the same old junk. It’s not that those books aren’t valuable, it’s just that they’re getting old and not a lot of new research has been published on PCOS. Not many women have taken the plunge to write a book on PCOS and the books on PCOS written by men are pretty much worthless. I know that is probably a little harsh, but a woman does kind of want to hear about a woman-only disorder from another woman, preferably a woman who suffers from the same disorder. In comes Dr. Rebecca, she actually has PCOS. That is what I’m talking about.

As you will notice the tagline on the book is not ‘with pills’, ‘with many doctors’, or ‘with witchcraft,’ the tagline is simply ‘naturally.’ I am a frequenter of PCOS forums and let me tell you, most women go the metformin and birth control route. Metformin is a nasty drug. It tastes nasty going down even though it’s a pill and it can make you very sick. At one point I was on about 3000mg of the stuff and I felt absolutely terrible all the time.

After I read my first book on PCOS is was more of a footnote that a woman could cut processed items out of her diet. There wasn’t really a lot devoted to the idea in this book that I read, but I did more research. Along the way I cut out various items like HFCS, MSG, and artificial dyes. Eventually I got more into natural remedies for PCOS. I don’t take prescriptions anymore. Not that I’m healthy, because I’m not, I just can’t being looped into big pharma all the time, call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever, if you will, but I hate being enslaved by chemical drugs.

Let’s get more into Dr. Rebecca’s book. There are 18 chapters in this book. The first chapter is all about what PCOS is. It’s an explanation. In my opinion, everybody should know what PCOS is. I get so tired of hearing disparaging comments from people about another woman because she’s over weight or has extra hair, as if it’s her fault. You’re awesome people. It seems to me that people are simply too stubborn to open their eyes and learn that the girl you’ve been making fun of probably has a medical disorder and you’re a jerk for making fun of her. When I took anatomy class in school PCOS was never mentioned and it should be. Half of the doctors you go and see probably don’t know half of what they should about PCOS.

The next chapter is about genetics. Dr. Rebecca is not saying PCOS is genetic. Dr. Rebecca talks about epigenetics and more of a nurture vs. nature approach, which is what I have thought in my head for a while. I do believe that if multiple women in a family have PCOS it’s not because they’re passing a full-blown PCOS gene around, it’s because they’re predisposed to eat the same things, live in the same areas, be exposed to the same toxins, and have had the same gestational circumstances. Dr. Rebecca explains epigenetics fairly well. I’m not an expert, but it seems easy to understand.

The third chapter is probably the most important. It talks about restoring hormonal imbalances. This is important. Most likely, if you have PCOS and you went to the doctor, first of all, he would send you to another doctor. That doctor would try to prescribe birth control to you and probably metformin. You might even get spironolactone, which is known to cause birth defects. The doctors aren’t going to tell you that this is all just a band-aid approach. They’re not going to tell you that your metformin can literally leech B vitamins out of your body. They’re just going to write you a prescription and that’s it. One time I asked the RE I see from time to time for vitamin recommendations. Do you want to know what he said? He simply said to take a multivitamin. While a multivitamin is probably a nice place to start, this doctor obviously doesn’t know about the benefits of certain minerals and vitamins specifically for women with PCOS. He also doesn’t know that women with PCOS are prone to having certain vitamin deficiencies.

Birth control is something some women swear by, but many times it makes the problems worse, or causes them. Birth control made my PCOS worse and possibly damaged my gallbladder. I do know women, however, who had absolutely no signs of PCOS whatsoever until they started birth control. They’re hormones were probably fine and then birth control threw them into a whacked up position.

There is another chapter about nutrient deficiency. This is important. I know a lot of you don’t take the time to read Michael Pollan books, but you probably should. The man is very smart. I like him. He does a good job at explaining how our food has fewer nutrients than it’s supposed to and all about Frankenfood. Monsanto does things to your food that would inhabit your nightmares. Dr. Rebecca also does a good job at talking about how our food does not have as many nutrients as it used to. One thing I didn’t really see what a direct mention of PCOS to a vitamin D deficiency, but Dr. Rebecca does say that many people are deficient in Vitamin D.

There are more chapters about stress, your gut, exercise, foods to eat, your thoughts, and extra hair. I don’t want to list each one out because you should probably read the book yourself.

Dr. Rebecca places a huge emphasis on chiropractic care, because Dr. Rebecca is a chiropractor. I know lots and lots of chiropractors. I know more chiropractors than any one person should. Dr. Rebecca has me pretty close to convinced to go and visit the clinic. I might have to start seeing some of these chiropractors that I know.

What I liked: I liked that this book has a more natural approach to PCOS. I really am tired of hearing about metformin and birth control as the only options to treat PCOS.

I like that Dr. Rebecca herself has PCOS and she has had to deal with what we women with PCOS have had to deal with.

I read a few reviews of Dr. Rebecca’s book before I read the actual book. There was one reviewer who was trying to say that Dr. Rebecca had the same information in her book that all the other PCOS books have. I don’t think this is true. In reality, I’m pretty sure Dr. Rebecca’s book is the first book I have seen that emphasizes a natural approach. Dr. Rebecca also talks about oxidative stress and doesn’t blame the disorder purely on genetics like some of the other information I have read does.

I liked the exercise section. It didn’t say to do straight cardio, which doesn’t really do a darn thing. I know plenty of women with PCOS who could run marathons around a skinny woman who never exercises even though they’re overweight. I also liked the input about strength training. I do wish there was a little more of it though.

What I didn’t like: From a purely cosmetic point of view, I don’t like the blank pages at the end of each chapter. I don’t know if that is in the printed version, but it was in the e-book version.

I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t more of Dr. Rebecca’s personal experience in the book. I really did enjoy what she did put in there, but I would have liked more.

Dr. Rebecca’s book seems to be the most complete, but didn’t address a few things which have become common knowledge among the PCOS community, primarily that conditions like Acanthosis Nigracans, Hidradenitis Suppurativa, and ketosis pilaris are very closely associated with PCOS.  I can’t beat up on Dr. Rebecca for this though because these things are still being researched. I was happy that she talked about metformin leaching B vitamins though, it seems plenty of people seem to neglect that.

There is also an ever-increasing idea that there are different versions of PCOS, or different severities. I haven’t actually read a book that addresses this idea yet. I was hoping that Dr. Rebecca’s book might have mentioned it, but the idea is still a little early. Women can be born with PCOS, women can display signs at puberty, women can display signs after the birth of a first child, a women can display signs after going on birth control and coming off of it. These are all perspectives I have heard from real women.

This isn’t anything on Dr. Rebecca, but I really wish someone would make a PCOS exercise book. I’m serious. I want a book entirely devoted to how to exercise if you have PCOS. I want exercise diagrams. I want durations. I want charts. I want program lists. I want explanations of benefits of one form of exercise vs. another. I’m sure there has to be a PCOS personal trainer out there somewhere. I do seem to recall that there is a German woman who has PCOS and does a lot of strength training, maybe I should email her and see what she has.

Overall: It really seems to me that PCOS research is moving so much more slowly than it should. So many women have PCOS, but don’t even realize it. They just let doctors continually tell them that nothing is wrong with them and it’s all in their heads. Those women need this book. They really do. I wish this disorder was spoken about more openly. There is still this huge taboo about having PCOS.

I am still wishing for a deeply personal memoir by somebody with PCOS. Women need to know what another woman is going through. They need the nitty-gritty, every detail should be there. Someone hurry up and write this.

I want to give another thanks to Dr. Rebecca for letting me review her book. I learned some things I hadn’t known before and I enjoyed the things I did know already.

Cheung-Theresa, Cooking, Harris-Colette, Health, Home, How To, inspirational, Non-Fiction, PCOS, Reference, Self-help, Social Commentary, Spotlight Books

Spotlight: The Ultimate PCOS Handbook by Colette Harris and Theresa Cheung


This book is quite large. It’s several hundred pages. That’s good, very good. This is good because PCOS is a disorder some doctors still refuse to believe exists. I know, I don’t know what they’re thinking either. I thought they went to medical school and all.

I have had this book for a couple of years and it is a great book. It’s not the most comprehensive. All information about PCOS is not included within its pages, but it does have quite a bit of information.

There are three parts to this book:

Part 1: The Lowdown on PCOS

In this section what PCOS is will be explained. It’s a syndrome. It’s something that can’t directly kill you, but can cause you to get other things that might kill you, like ovarian cancer or heart disease. There is a section about what causes PCOS, but nobody really knows what definitively causes PCOS. So far it has been determined, but not really mentioned in this book, that there are several variations of PCOS and several triggers. This is the part of the book where you’ll learn the stuff your doctor didn’t tell you when you were diagnosed with PCOS.

Part 2: Total TLC for your Body: Action Plan for your Health Now and in the Future

This section deals with a lot of information. There is a nutrition guide in this book which is ok, but it’s not awesome. The book also discusses exercise and the fact that high intensity exercise may not do anything for you when you have PCOS. A detox is discussed. This is the book that led me to try to reduce the amount of food additives that I had in my diet. This is what started the whole eat naturally thing for me. Herbal and nutritional supplements are discussed. If your doctor tells you, “Hey just take a multi-vitamin,” then your doctor is an idiot, I’m sorry. I know he probably spent a lot of money on medical school, but he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Your body needs more than a multi-vitamin. Different people have different needs, especially women with PCOS. This is explained in this book. There is a section on fertility and a section on managing your weight. I don’t think anybody has figured the weight part out yet.

Part 3: Taking Charge of PCOS: Nurturing your Emotion and Spirit

PCOS makes you feel like a man. I’m serious and I’m not joking. It can really take a toll on your mental well-being. If you suffer from PCOS from a young age, you’ll grow up feeling like you’re a freak and that you’ll never be normal. Don’t worry other women feel the same thing. You’re not alone. PCOS also leads many women to have unexplainable depression. The more research you do, the more you’ll learn that PCOS inhibits your body from processing the feel-good factors like it’s supposed to. Women with PCOS are prone to certain vitamin deficiencies that can lead to depression. Many women with PCOS go through fertility treatments for years. That can really take a toll on mental health. There is, of course, a section from real women who have used various tools to make themselves feel less freakish. We love inspirational stories.

What I liked: I really liked that this book is several hundred pages long. That means it has a lot of information. There are plenty of other books on PCOS that are thin. They don’t hold a lot of information. By far, this is the best book I have found for PCOS.

I liked that this book addresses both traditional and non-traditional ways to treat PCOS. Let’s face that fact that birth control pills and diabetes drugs aren’t for everyone.

What I didn’t like: The spelling this book is kind of weird to the American eye because it’s more British English rather than American English. It’s not a deal breaker, it’s just a little weird sometimes.

Do you want to know what I want? I want a PCOS book that is personal. I want a PCOS book that says, “Hey this is what I went through. This is the day I was on the floor crying because X,Y, and Z. This is the time I was teased in school. This is the time I had a miscarriage for the third time. This is the time I spent several thousand dollars on laser hair removal. This is the time I went to a medicine man in the middle of the jungle for my PCOS because I was desperate.

I want a book on PCOS that explains what it is, but also tells one person’s story. I want the whole thing. I want to know the beginning, the middle, and the end. I want true life stories. I don’t believe Jillian Michaels has PCOS for one second, especially since she’s always prancing around being all exercisy and thin.

Why can’t somebody write a book like that? I want a book like that. That book needs to exist. It needs to exist badly. Women with PCOS need something real to look up to. Victoria Beckham has PCOS? Yeah, ok, maybe in a million years. She doesn’t look like she has PCOS. If that woman has PCOS, but doesn’t look like she has PCOS, she needs to get busy writing a book about it. She needs to tell us what in the heck her secret is. How do you look awesome, but still have PCOS? Seriously, maybe we should make a petition or something. Victoria needs to release the details about this whole thing. We women need to know how she has managed all of this.

Ok, I’m rambling. Moving on, the book is a very good resource. It’s not an end-all resource, but it’s still a very good thing to have. If you have PCOS, buy it. If you have a sister, a daughter, a mother, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a bus driver, or whomever that has PCOS, but this book.


PCOS, Thoughts and Ponders

It’s PCOS Awareness Month

Usually I wouldn’t post about this but why not? It’s kind of stupid that a disorder that is increasing the numbers of its victims rapidly isn’t being talked about, so let’s talk about it.

I’m not going to go into specifics here, but I am going to try to post about some books that have something to deal with PCOS.

Just for fun, let’s look back at the books I have posted on that have a little, or a lot, to do with PCOS.

Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia is a memoir. It’s a real-life happening. Julie is a real person even if Amy Adams played her in the movie. In real-life, Julie has PCOS. She doesn’t go into depth about the disorder, but she does mention she has it. Good job Julie for mentioned it.

The Paleo Diet Solution

In this book Robb Wolf does mention PCOS. He mentions the wrong cause of it, but he does mention it. This way of life has often been hailed as a way to live with PCOS.

It Starts With Food

This book is a wonderful resource about your body and how it works. It’s something that helps you understand what in the heck your food is doing to your body. PCOS cysters are in the most need of this by far.

The Paleo Recipe Book

This book is full of recipes to make while on the Paleo diet.

Ultimately, I would urge women to do some research on what it is. If you don’t have PCOS yourself you know somebody who does. In honor of PCOS awareness month, I’m going to add a brand new PCOS category to one-elvenbooks.



Cooking, Hartwig-Dallas, Hartwig-Melissa, Health, How To, Non-Fiction, PCOS, ponder provoking, Reference, Self-help, social commentary

#196 It Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig


Yet again, this is more research on my part, but it’s also a very informative book. I went on this quest that led me from one thing to another until I finally ended up at this book. It took some visits to a PCOS forum. It took some visits to this website. It took some visits to a few other websites. Finally, it took me to Amazon where I bought this book.

Melissa and Dallas are fans of the Paleo diet promoted by Rob Wolf. They’re sort of his protegés in a manner of speaking. They love everything Rob has said, but they want to tweak that a little more and talk about more food allergies and food additives.

As you may or may not know, I’m kind of big of pure foods. By pure foods I do not mean angel food cake. Although, most of us will probably agree that angel food cake is pretty awesome. It’s just so light and fluffy. I’m talking about foods without additives that you can’t pronounce. I’m talking about foods that are simply that food instead of thirty other things. For example, bread should be pretty close to flour, water, yeast, and maybe sugar and eggs. That’s it. Not all these other weird things that end up in bread.

The premise of this book is to inform the reader of how their diet is all kinds of screwed up. The Hartwigs are not the only people to mention this. Rob Wolf has mentioned this, the guy from the documentary Fathead has mentioned this, Michael Pollan has mentioned this, and on it goes. There are just some things in our diets that are prevalent that aren’t good for us. There are people who say these things are good for us, but those people get kickbacks from the people who make the things that aren’t good for us. I know this attitude makes it sound like it’s this big conspiracy and I know you might associate the word conspiracy with all things “woo-woo,” but in this sense the word conspiracy is an apt word and it’s not “woo woo.” It’s cold hard facts.

Let me explain something, corn, wheat, soy and peanuts are huge crops in the United States. These crops are also subsidized by the United States government. Basically, the government will pay you to either grow or not grow a certain amount of these crops. Corn is so cheap to grow that Frankenstein scientists find all kinds of ways to use it. You know those cool little blue papers you can buy to blot the oil off of your face? Those are made out of corn. Guar Guam? That’s corn. Gum Arabic? That’s corn. High Fructose Corn Syrup? Definitely corn and definitely evil. Ethanol? You know that stuff your gasoline is diluted with? Corn. Some types of plastic bags are even made from corn. Corn is everywhere.

So we have all these people growing corn. They want to sell it. They make many things out of it. Oh No! We still aren’t selling all of our corn! Do you know anybody in congress? Yes, I know so-and-so. Call him up! So this little scenario happens. Some money probably exchanges hands. Then later on, we get rulings from the FDA saying so-and-so Frankenstein corn additive is completely safe. Yes, of course, it’s fine to give pesticide laden corn to the people. High fructose corn syrup is the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s our national hero. I’m not saying it happens exactly like this, but it does happen. We get recommendations that aren’t the best recommendations.

It’s up to us individually to choose what we eat. You can’t listen to someone else who says that eating five bowls of cereal a day is good for you. It’s got fiber!

Melissa and Dallas line everything out. They talk about how certain foods cause systemic inflammation, which in turn causes other problems like high blood pressure. It’s all about insulin actually.

Your body uses insulin to regulate the amount of sugar in your body. If there’s too much your body pushes out more insulin. The more insulin your body produces, the more your cells are like, “Hey we’re tired of insulin pushing us around.” Your cells get resistant to insulin. This just makes your body produce more insulin. Having large amounts of insulin in your blood stream is not a good thing. It does actually serve a very important purpose and when that purpose can’t be carried out correctly all kinds of things happen.

Melissa and Dallas challenge people to go thirty days without eating certain foods. They want you to go thirty days and see how you feel at the end of it. They want you to nix the grains including corn. They want you to get rid of the legumes including peanut butter. They want you to get rid of the dairy. They want you to get rid of the soy. No MSG. No sulphites. No added sugars. None. They want to see if you feel better after these thirty days. If you do, you can start playing around with adding some of these items back into your diet.

Melissa and Dallas don’t just say, “Because we said so,” they actually give explanations to each of these. Grains have a lot of carbs and basically break down into more sugar, which you really don’t need. There is also gluten which can wreak havoc for many people.

They don’t leave you hanging. There are recipes. There are tips. There is even bonus material that you can download from the website. I checked it all out.

What I liked: I liked the very explanatory approach that Dallas and Melissa take. It seems like each spoke of the wheel is explained properly. I don’t really have to worry about missing a part.

Most of the things in this book make a lot of sense.

I liked that Dallas and Melissa didn’t outright say that PCOS was caused by insulin resistance. They sort of hinted at it, but didn’t say it. Please don’t ever say this Dallas and Melissa. I know of plenty of women who have PCOS that are not insulin resistant.

The book was very informative. There is a lot there. It’s important stuff.

What I didn’t like: I really wish Dallas and Melissa would write one of these specifically for women with PCOS. I know they could do it. I know a large part of the women who are seeking this system out probably have PCOS. Why not make a more comprehensive and tailored book just for them? You should do this Dallas and Melissa.

If you have never thought about changing your eating habits before, this information is going to seem a little daunting. If you’re already a person that has cut some items out of their diet for whatever reason, this isn’t going to seem so weird to you. It’s not going to seem like that big of a deal.

Let’s say you’ve tried to whole eat less and exercise more thing, but haven’t really thought about what types of foods you eat. Sandwiches are awesome and cereal is the best breakfast food. Cake is also pretty good as well. This challenge is going to hit you like a ton of bricks. You’re not going to expect someone to say take all of this out of your diet. You may have never heard that MSG is bad for you. These things might come as something of a shock. I’m not saying you’re going to fall over dead from shock, I’m trying to make a point that you might not be as receptive to the ideas in this book if you’re not already moving towards the same mindset. Dallas and Melissa do try very hard to be very informative on a very basic level, but I think it’s still going to be a large challenge to most people to think about this information in a beneficial manner right off the bat.

You how sometimes you hear a person say something that sounds crazy to you and after that you just sort of tune them out? You may not realize you do this, but you do. Think about when some teenage girl you know starts talking about Justin Beiber. You may actually hear what she’s saying, but you’re not actually listening. I’m afraid people are going to do that with the information in this book. Do some Yoga, or whatever, to clear your mind before you sit down to read and think about this book.

Overall, this is a very informative book. I think somewhere along the line I would love to have an actual copy instead of the Kindle version.