#2 – Explaining PCOS to your loved ones

In this episode of A Cyster & Her Mister, we discuss how to approach talking about PCOS and being gluten & dairy-free with family and friends, a topic that’s especially relevant during the holidays!

We answer questions submitted from other Cysters and read funny comments & DM’s from Instagram! We also share with you our recent dinner party, the foods we made, & how we were able to host a PCOS friendly evening without our guests even noticing!

Join us in The Cysterhood, a community of woman learning how to manage PCOS & lose weight, Gluten and Dairy Free! http://bit.ly/The-Cysterhood

TALLENE: What’s up sisters? 

SIRAK: What’s up everybody? We’re here, it’s episode two. Yes, we’re back!

TALLENE: Thanks for listening! 

SIRAK: Yeah, guys thank you for listening to episode one! We really love the feedback; we appreciate all the great comments you guys gave us. We’re gonna be going off now with our second episode. Tallene, why don’t you tell the Cysters what we got going today.  

TALLENE: So, of all the lovely messages I received from all my Cysters, I have been receiving a lot of messages especially now that it’s the holidays, DMs on Instagram, from Cysters telling me how hard it is to go gluten and dairy free because of the lack of support in their households. Whether it’s from their families or their spouses or their friends, husbands, yeah.  

SIRAK: Boyfriends, girlfriends, any close loved ones, you know. It’s a hard time for them to understand and you know it feels like you’re alone. 

TALLENE: Yeah sometimes when people don’t understand something, they kind of get dismissive about it. 

SIRAK: They don’t believe it, they’re like “No, that doesn’t make sense or it’s nonsense.” Well we’re gonna dive deep into that, how you can deal with when you don’t get that support, and how

you can find support in the right people and in the right places. 

TALLENE: Exactly, and also, how you can lean on yourself especially in a situation like this where you’re changing your diet. You don’t necessarily have to change the people around you, 

just yourself and so really focusing on that is gonna help you get further on your PCOS journey. 

SIRAK: Besides that, we got a couple of other fun topics like some news regarding PCOS health… 

TALLENE: We’re gonna go over news about PCOS, why it’s causing inflammation.  

SIRAK: Answer some DM questions that we got from last week and you know really

answer some popular questions. First let’s talk about that great dinner!

TALLENE: Oh my goodness!!

SIRAK: So we had a pretty chill week up until Sunday, you know, let’s invite some friends over and

TALLENE: Yeah, we decided to be adults and in fact I know we’ve been hosting a lot of

dinner parties; it’s so fun, I like it! Like you can really create a different type of relationship with your friends when you’re in your own household because ,I don’t know like, you light the candle and you make a nice dinner. Like instead of going out, going to a bar, or something, it’s a lot more intimate. 

SIRAK: I mean it’s a great time for everybody, especially if you got the right food, the right atmosphere/ambience. Obviously the most important thing is having the right friends over so luckily, we’re good on that department. We have great friends and they came over. Tallene made a great appetizer, I mean first of all, you’re going to someone’s house. You want to have a nice

dinner, a good time, when you go to that person’s house, but are you expecting bacon-wrapped dates?! Probably, not right?!

TALLENE: Fresh out of the oven!

SIRAK: Had our bacon-wrapped dates on the table ready for a person to eat within five minutes! 

TALLENE: “Oh what a nice apartment, oh my god bacon-wrapped dates!” Yeah immediately you know what though, some of them had cheese stuffed in them and some of them didn’t. I just tried to make the dinner mostly gluten and dairy free but like also with an option of people who want cheese.  

SIRAK: But our friends were talking about later, “Oh wow we just had a fully gluten and dairy free dinner and nobody even realized or thought about it.” We will tell you guys what we had exactly but yeah really nobody thought, “Oh wait, how come there’s no bread or there’s no this or that.” Yet dinner had every essential food in there. Yeah, well what did we make, I mean Tallene did 90 percent of it, I did some of the stirring, maybe some of the salt. 

TALLENE: He salted, he’s my salt bae! 

SIRAK: Hold on, I didn’t! I did the meat yes and the marinade.

TALLENE: But yeah, the appetizers, so first I tricked them into thinking that they’re not having a gluten and dairy free meal. So I have a cheese platter out with gluten-free crackers that you wouldn’t think have gluten and then I have the bacon-wrapped dates I know which ones have cheese in them so me and my sister can eat it because she’s gluten and dairy free now. Then there’s like the ones which do have cheese and so they would pick from there, so that was fine. Then we sat down, and I had made ratatouille, you know, like the cute Disney movie. I made that dish in that movie, that French dish with the zucchini and the tomato sauce. Yeah, I would say this time the tomato sauce was a little different, like I really like the tomato sauce this time. 

SIRAK: For ratatouille, you put so much work into it, it just never ends up being the talk of the table because everything else is more exciting. Ratatouille is like, no one respects it but there is so much work that is put into it. 

TALLENE: People respect it, it was beautiful! I put it on this cast iron and like I put it in the center of the table. I get it it’s not like this crazy thing, but it doesn’t have to be crazy like

everything else. 

SIRAK: Oh, look at this! We have a phone call ladies and gentlemen! I tell you, I put my phone on silent and it is nowhere near me.  

TALLENE: So, after the ratatouille, I put that out and then I had sautéed brussels sprouts like everyone likes a crispy brussel sprout and I put a little bit of pomegranate molasses on it

like instead of balsamic vinegar. It just slayed okay, I mean I sautéed it and then I put it in the oven so it’s extra crispy and burned. And then I made Hasselback potatoes, which is so easy. You just slice and slice, not all the way through the russet potatoes though. They are like a really good serving of carbs I feel like if you want it to batch cook something for yourself for

the week, like a carb for the week, I would make a bunch of russet potatoes. 

SIRAK: Brussel sprouts like a fibrous food or veggie, you can make a lot at a

time for yourself. It’s delicious, just don’t go overboard with the olive oil, or else it’s too much fat. You want that nice flavor but too much also makes it like too soggy. 

TALLENE: I know some restaurants just do that. Then we had some ribeye on the side, Sirak went ham on the grill yeah. 

SIRAK: Well, we had a combination of ribeye for the people that wanted some, you know, fat in there. For more fat, there were steaks and we had some sirloins that were a little bit more lean and yeah they were great. I used a marination that had like a combination of garlic and some olive oil, Worchester sauce, salt…

TALLENE: People loved it and I didn’t take one photo of the freaking dinner table! 

SIRAK: Tallene always gets annoyed by this. She does great food but she can’t take a picture for her records. 

TALLENE: I swear to God, like I just get distracted, you have all these guests there. I showed you guys the process of me making it on my story and then you can re-watch the recordings in the Cysterhood, in the recipe section but you can’t see our dinner table because I was a fool!

SIRAK: It’s alright, we’ll have results for the other ones! It’s alright.  

TALLENE: I know, it was great though!

SIRAK: We had a great time with friends. 

TALLENE: So anyways, I did tell one of our guests, Christina, I told her why I was gluten

and dairy-free because she asked and she’s like super open and accepting to these things. I feel like every time I explain it to someone, I try to say it better so that it’s not as confusing or like it

doesn’t throw them off, where I don’t look like I don’t know what I’m talking about. So I like, try to keep it simple and I want to relay that to you guys because I’m sure over the holidays or just you know, whenever you’re at a party or something you’re not eating everything and

somebody asks you why you’re not eating gluten. You can say like something and if they

really want to know the details, you can talk about research. So for example, there is research out there about gluten triggering this enzyme called Zonulin, in your stomach when you eat gluten and that Zonulin causes the lining of your stomach to loosen up like the junctions that hold your stomach together, loosens up and causes bacteria and food particles to get into your system, your bloodstream.  

SIRAK: Do you want to explain that the first time talking to a person though? 

TALLENE: Well, not the first time but honestly, she was so receptive to it and kept asking questions, so I wanted to explain her and you know when somebody is like either receptive

and super interested or maybe they’re like, that doesn’t make any sense. There’s you know the “That’s a fad”, you can say this to them. So anyways once those junctions are loose in your stomach, you have chronic inflammation that gluten and dairy causes. I mean you can cut to the chase, like you can not tell them the Zonulin part, just say it causes inflammation and that makes you more insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone and when your cells are insulin resistant, that hormone insulin is floating around in your bloodstream triggering high testosterone and all of these other symptoms. Tthat’s why the first line of approach that I try is going gluten and

dairy free for at least a month. 

SIRAK: Yep well, okay so this I think is a great topic to jump from to what we talked about earlier in the podcast is you know explaining this to your loved ones and getting the support that

you need and the support that you deserve from them when you’re going through PCOS

and the different symptoms. So I think first off, tell me, what you said right now is the reason you’re going gluten and dairy free and why it has such a big impact on PCOS. You know, like explaining what you just said to somebody is really difficult especially at first or even a

second time and you know like you just gotta simplify it right away. Like even me, when you tell me about it, you got to simplify the first time. You’ll first tell them, when I eat gluten and dairy, for me, its leading to inflammation and causing these symptoms. That’s kind of what PCOS is like, the basic picture for people like that. Then obviously you want to boil into the details and explain to them what we know, what it really entails…

TALLENE: Yeah I mean, that was a pretty in-depth explanation and if you want to rewind and relisten and try to reenact how you’re gonna say it to someone you can do that, or you can just cut to the chase like you said and just be like, I have a lot of inflammation in my body. Studies show that cutting out gluten and dairy is gonna help with that so I’m giving it a try and for example if you’ve done it for a while you can say, “I’ve seen some great results” and there I mean people in my DMS are blowing it up because they are seeing great results that I’ve always posted in my stories. I don’t even care if I’m annoying people like, some people just oppose to everything… 

SIRAK: So in your experience, like, what’s your experience been with getting support for PCOS in your journey from when you first got diagnosed? Did you always have support from your loved ones or was it difficult getting it at first? 

TALLENE: Of course, it’s difficult explaining it at first but my mom was really active in coming with me to go to naturopaths and these naturopathic doctors were all saying you need to start cutting out gluten and dairy. My mom was is like really involved in how we eat at home, like most Armenian moms are. Your Armenian mom too, and so they cook all of our meals and they really want to make what we can eat, what we like, and nurture us and put healthy food

on the table. So she was like really involved and she swapped out the bulgur and tabbouleh and put quinoa instead. Then she always made like gluten-free pasta and like everyone would eat it or she would make two separate ones sometimes. 

SIRAK: It’s funny because my mom was like the opposite when I tried to do keto for a while. I did it for two months, but she didn’t understand what carbs really were and like every time she would try to substitute like rice but she would substitute it with something else like a bready thing that would have even more carbs. I just can’t explain to her every dinner and argue with her. I’ll just not do keto until later in my life. 

TALLENE: The first time I went to your house for dinner, when we were dating, she was like

really excited and she made all of these things like this Armenian dessert. She made it gluten-free,like just anything that had carbs, she like turned it into gluten free for me. Its the sweet cookies that are drenched in sugar but the bread filled with cheese, I don’t know what it would be considered or compared to in English, but you cannot make things with certain phyllo dough like, certain doughs, you cannot turn them into gluten-free so I’ve had to give them up. Yeah it was hard at first like baklava and stuff like that. So delicious but I mean don’t you think that the pros outweigh the cons? 

SIRAK: Yeah I don’t even have those things anymore and I don’t even have PCOS. Yet I

have I hate sugar and Tallene knows this. I will not have anything with excess artificial sugar. I just think it’s like the worst thing, obviously natural sugar is ok. I totally understand and I get you have to have sugar but like chocolate, snicker bars, and cokes and stuff like that…when I see people having it, I almost lose it. I have to be respectful though. 

TALLENE: People have the right though!

SIRAK: Of course, of course. 

TALLENE: You have something that makes them happy but you have to think of the long term.

SIRAK: You had support from your mom from the start, how about like your dad or like your sister or people that you dated? 

TALLENE: Um, so my mom was super supportive, my sister, my dad, well sometimes he would

tease me but like whatever. He’s just trying to make light of it so I’m not taking it so seriously but in college people were like, “Oh wow you eat so healthy” and I’m just like, I’m just eating chicken, rice, and vegetables right now or tacos. This is not a big deal you know, just because I’m not having pizza or bread or something, I’m having rice like it’s whatever.  

SIRAK: I mean the point is even if you’re eating gluten and dairy-free, doesn’t mean you can’t have an unhealthy diet right. Yeah people can show you like a lot of bad stuff out there, but you still have to make selective decisions just like anybody else. It’s not that difficult to find something that’s unhealthy for you that’s also dairy free.  

TALLENE: I know there’s so many good like cookies and stuff out there but then that’s just the

bottomless pit of wasting money. So you now you’re buying all of these snacks and chips and blah blah blah and like spending like $50 more at the grocery store than you need to. 

SIRAK: I mean, those bean chips that I’m sure that are on her on her IG story on PCOS Weight Loss. Well, one they’re a little expensive like for what you’re getting. They’re delicious and very

nutritious and I mean, when you eat them, you’re getting something that’s filling. It’s not an empty chip like what you get with corn chips with like those Doritos or other stuff. You know, which are not good for you but with these, it’s full of beans and it’s at least giving you protein and a little bit of carb and it’s something. But, like you can eat like two- three bags easily I know if you’re me because it’s so freakin good and you’re like for once oh my god I can eat something like a Dorito bag and not feel that bad about it. You know, but like you can obviously get a couple thousand calories from just eating a couple bags of chips. 

TALLENE: Not just that, but also just the money you spend on. I realized like I bought so many, I bought like three or four bags one time and we finished it in a week. I was like, I cannot buy four bags every single week!

SIRAK: It’s not good for you after dinner you know. One of the things that we try to do is like not have anything after dinner. 

TALLENE: I try to get full off of dinner or have some tea afterwards. 

SIRAK: Just a tip for you guys or you girls and everybody that’s not there. Try to not eat after dinner because you want to let your stomach rest and digest. That way, you can have a better sleep and just your whole metabolism and all, overnight will be balanced and won’t be impacted by anything you eat before because your body is not working hard to digest instead it’s repairing all the inflammation in your body. 

TALLENE: Yeah exactly, you’re giving yourself a break to regenerate yourself and

also eating at night like if you have cravings, consider what you ate throughout the day so maybe you didn’t have enough carbs at lunch, like maybe you just had this light salad and then you

know you’re having this big dinner which you’re getting a surge of the insulin hormone from. Insulin’s gonna store that big dinner for energy that you’re gonna burn the next day or so on and if you had a light meal at lunch and then a huge dinner, you will have this huge influx of insulin so even when you’re done storing your dinner as into your cells you would still have insulin floating around and maybe that’s why you’re still of craving a cookie after dinner. You’re like oh I just ate dinner, why do I want to eat more? 

SIRAK: If you have to have something obviously there are times where you’re just so hungry that you just like I have to have just one bite or two bites. Just have something that’s not gonna spike up your insulin you know. You don’t have to have like a piece of bread or something like that. Have something that has a slight fat content so your body can slowly digest it, yet doesn’t get a big impact for that moment or for those next couple of hours. We’re getting a little off topic talking about the support, so you got a lot of support from your family which is great. It sounds

like your sister, your dad, and your mom from the get-go were understanding but obviously not everybody gets that. I mean, is there something you would recommend, like let’s say strictly for family members, to explain to them or help them understand?  

TALLENE: Yeah, I mean there were people who were like naysayers okay that kind of made me feel bad or embarrassed for being gluten and dairy-free. We would for example, we’d go out to

dinner and I wouldn’t get a lot of the fluffy doughy cheesy things that is in Armenian cuisine and they’d be like, “Oh she’s so healthy, what is she doing?” and I’m just like, “Leave me alone, I’m

fine, I’m full, everything’s okay. I’m just not eating one of these things. I swear to God.” 

SIRAK: That’s a good example!

TALLENE: Yeah they really do, they sometimes just don’t understand and then it’s a whole

conversation. The entire table is talking about it and I’m just like, what happened? Get over this, I’m fine! 

SIRAK: Yeah that would make me pretty frustrated. 

TALLENE: Yeah like, now I just like smile and nod and, like, laugh with them if they’re laughing about how healthy I am or whatever they’re saying. I just go with the flow because it’s not gonna change my life, I’m not gonna change my diet because of what they’re saying or they’re laughing at me. I’m happy and that’s all that matters, and they don’t get it. I don’t feel like explaining it at the dinner table and so let’s move on. 

SIRAK: They’re not there when one, you’re at the doctor’s office or two, when you’re feeling bloated or three, when you have these side-effects like acne. They’re not there, they don’t see

what happens when you do certain things, they think, “Oh, just have one bite of this sugary dessert that’s full of gluten and dairy, plus it has 60 grams of sugar.

TALLENE: I mean, desserts are so drenched in sugar! Instead I can’t do it drenched like baklava.

SIRAK: I get yelled at for rejecting these things.

TALLENE: I know and I’m just like seriously?!

SIRAK: I haven’t had one in such a long time too.  

TALLENE: I just, if it’s gluten and dairy-free, I’ll take it, bite it, just to be like thank you, because I know that…

SIRAK: That is Tallene’s thing, she will take a bite and like, I go in the pantry sometimes I’m like you know, lemme get a piece of like dark chocolate that we have in there or whenever you know I’m feeling a little tired or something. I open a freaking jar and there’s a half bitten chocolate almost every single time! It’s Tallene! Like a freaking rabbit or maybe rat goes in the goddamn pantry and grabs the chocolate sometimes.  

TALLENE: You know the Trader Joe’s chocolate. 

SIRAK: She would take multiple bites of different chocolates, like “I know this dark chocolate,  oh this one is 60%, oh this one 65% from this African country…”

TALLENE: That’s my favorite thing to do is to nibble on all the different flavors. 


SIRAK: I don’t know if I have a rat problem or if I just have a person who can’t make up

their mind.  

TALLENE: Yeah I can’t make up my mind especially with the See’s Candies chocolate like, when we first moved into this apartment, people brought that as gifts. The See’s candies chocolate and I cut them all in half and I like bit half of them. They’re still in the pantry and they’re all sliced up and disgusting!

SIRAK: How come I never had one?

TALLENE: It’s been six months they’re trash now, okay though, well, so anyhow so rewind back to the dinner table where everyone’s mocking you. So yeah just stand your ground, smile, laugh, 

and move on. You have to be strong you know there’s a lot of things that are gonna happen in your life and people are gonna talk and they’re not gonna understand you and every single time you have to try your best to brush it off and do you boo yes pretty much. 

SIRAK: So we talked about support from family, lastly why don’t we talk about support

from your loved one, like your boyfriend, your husband you know, your girlfriend. What if they

are not understanding what if, let’s say from the first date I mean we talked about this in our introduction podcast. Me and Tallene on the first date, she told me about her gluten sensitivity and later on the dairy sensitivity and how it’s connected to PCOS and so forth. 

TALLENE: You were super understanding, and everything was fine from the start.  

SIRAK: We even had fun about it that even you know I ordered some special drinks. I even talked about it with the waitress and I asked what’s gluten free as far as drinks but not everyone’s gonna be like that.  

TALLENE: Yeah it’s true, especially if you’ve been with someone for so long and then you change your diet. Like, what are you doing, that’s such a fad, what do you do you know? Maybe

they’re not accepting or maybe they are cuz they’ve seen you struggle so much. 

SIRAK: See I take you to the movies and we’re gonna get popcorn and I wanted cheese on my popcorn… 

TALLENE: Yeah like you can get nacho powder or something like that, you know, however they flavor it.  

SIRAK: Okay I get cheese on my popcorn and you’re like I can’t because butter is dairy. But I want butter in my popcorn and you’re like, you know I can’t have butter! It’s gonna you know cause this and do that and I will feel like this. But then they’re gonna be like, I always have it, so in the whole movie I’m gonna be like, there’s no butter in my popcorn. We’re gonna go home, you’re gonna sit asleep on the couch… 

TALLENE: Here’s what you do, you say, okay I’m gonna get myself a popcorn, I don’t need butter, it’s dairy. That’s it, take responsibility for yourself, don’t even ask them to do it for you or help you out. Whatever if they don’t step up to the plate and say no no no I just won’t get butter we’ll share it. That’s it, fine, if they don’t fine.

SIRAK: Obviously it’s not your fault that you have PCOS, you didn’t do something to get PCOS, just but you kind of have to, you know, take a little bit of “well I’ll just have my own popcorn then.” It’s on you, don’t even worry about it, that’s it.

TALLENE:  I would go to restaurants with my friends and they would try to choose gluten and dairy-free restaurants. They were so nice but finally I was like you guys stop, like I can find something on any menu and make it gluten and dairy free. Yeah it can be anything, a salad, it

doesn’t matter, I’m going out with my friends. I’m not here for like a crazy dining experience and I don’t want to inconvenience people you know. So I just try to like make it work and make

people forget that I’m even gluten and dairy free.  

SIRAK: Honestly, I almost forget, like sometimes the only time I ever think about it is if we’re gonna go into Italian restaurant, it’s hard. So yeah that’s the only time where it comes to mind but almost every time, I  don’t even think about it maybe, Chinese food or something like along those lines where I don’t think, you know, we’ll be able to find something. 

TALLENE: If my friends are like, “Let’s get pizza or whatever, I’m gonna meet them. Of course, they wouldn’t say let’s get pizza because they know me but I would go.  

SIRAK: I only eat pizza in Italy now. That’s right, yeah I’m a bougie boy and I went to Italy. I have I had my Naples pizza. 

TALLENE: Yeah no, I love pizza, or I used to love pizza but I had to give it up and if I was going to meet my friends at a place that only sells pizza, I wouldn’t go hungry I would just go. I’d

have something before like a beef jerky in my car or before I leave the house, I’d make sure I’m not starving and then I would just go chill with them. Have a glass of wine and act like that

or maybe order a salad and move on yeah. You know, so it’s one meal it’s not all of your meals. You’re not gonna be miserable forever like, it’s just one meal, let it go.  

SIRAK: So I think to recap regarding the loved ones, I think you got to go back to what we said earlier, start simple but also take responsibility for just yourself. Let them have their own thing

and in the future maybe they’ll consider just switching it up. Make it easy for you and you know, from there, we’ll forget about it and we’ll just do our thing and we just have fun. Yeah you know, that pretty much does it for support and I think you guys just try to you know, find the people that will support you and put yourself around people that would normally support you.  

TALLENE: If they don’t try to, explain yourself to them and if they don’t accept you, then you know what, try not to talk about it with them and then change the subject. That’s it, like this you know everyone is not going to understand your PCOS lifestyle. This is all something for you, you’re not doing it for someone else and that’s all that matters. So let’s go over some of the


SIRAK: Oh this is a fun topic I already got the paper out and there’s some very good

questions and everything.

TALLENE: I made an Instagram story and I asked, what are people saying to you when you tell

them that you want to eat gluten and dairy-free. Like what are people’s reactions in terms of negativity and so I have like, a top list here:

-You’re eating nothing, your life must be so boring. Okay you know, what would you say to that?

There’s actually there’s a lot of delicious things that are gluten and dairy free. 

SIRAK: That one, I don’t think people really know what you can eat. Maybe they just

don’t know about roasted brussel sprouts so they are mean. I mean there’s french fries, baked potatoes yes that’s right, baked potato, sweet potatoes, rice, curry chicken and white rice. There’s also brown rice if you want.

TALLENE: Tacos! 

SIRAK: What’s the next one that people say?  

TALLENE: Ok, alternatives are too hard to find and too expensive. It’s a waste of your money. 

Okay, it’s my money and well, there’s plenty of alternatives, you don’t even need to buy an alternative.  

SIRAK: That was like 10- 15 years ago when people didn’t know.  

TALLENE: Honestly, you don’t even need to buy like gluten free pasta, you can just have rice, you can have potatoes, you don’t have to even spend the extra dime on the gluten-free items. Am I right?

SIRAK: I mean for most things, yes, it is a little bit expensive sometimes, but like again, it’s

your money and it’s not like it used to be before. It’s a lot cheaper and you can easily find it now.

TALLENE: So then let’s see, one Cyster says it’s too hard and I’m struggling to make different meals for everyone in my family. So some people have to cook for their kids, for their husband, and for themselves. The kids eat differently, and the husband eats differently. That’s hard. 

SIRAK: I don’t know about you personally, but I feel like with this one, maybe you should just cook those things for those people. Let them eat what they would normally eat, you just don’t

eat those things. 

TALLENE: Sometimes, oh you mean, like cook them whatever they want and you don’t eat it. Yeah I mean, it’s hard to cook like three different meals and you know something you can’t force them to eat what you’re eating. But you can make certain things like taco night we can all eat corn tortillas or they could have flour and you can have corn tortillas. Choose meals that like,

won’t affect them if you modify it for yourself. 

SIRAK: You don’t want to take away stuff, for they can be like hey, where’s all the bread? What’s this almond milk? Hey I don’t think a lot of men want to drink almond milk. yeah I mean

or like at least, they’re not gonna understand it right away. 

TALLENE: Yeah it’s true, so a good example would be you can make soups that are gluten and dairy free, stews you can make like curry chicken with rice, this is one of my favorite meals that’s oftentimes gluten and dairy free if you find the right sauce. You can also find something where like they can put cheese on it but you don’t and it’s still a great meal. Everyone can share,  it just takes a few steps of planning before the meal. 

SIRAK: Alright, what’s the next one? 

TALLENE: You’re not allergic to wheat and dairy, stop being silly. It’s just a fad okay? Again, 

somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. 

SIRAK: There are fads, but you know this is a lifestyle change you try. Do this for six months to a year and then be like okay, I’m good now. I want to go back to eating whatever the hell I want

because everything’s fine now. No, this is a lifestyle change. 

TALLENE: You’re trying to do something good for yourself.  

SIRAK: Once you make the switch, you’ll never even think about it. 

TALLENE:  yeah once you get used to it right

SIRAK: You know what’s a fad, like the Atkins diet or even the keto diet, a lot of these things are just fads. I mean keto diet is great for some people but it’s not meant to be something you do 24/7 for the rest of your life. 

TALLENE: It has its benefits, it has its benefits. I mean, just let people do what they want to do. It’s a fad because maybe it works for some people and everyone wants to try it and see if it works for them. That’s why it’s a fad or whatever. Anyways, they think I’m crazy and I’m overreacting okay. Well I think they’re crazy and they’re overreacting with food like, you’re being so dramatic. Just eat, it’s pizza we’re all eating it or the next one, we grew up eating this stuff what the heck does gluten and dairy have to do with your weight loss. Again, people not everyone gets it. Maybe they don’t even want to learn and you can’t talk to those individuals, like they just don’t want to

hear it fine. Move on, it’s all in your head, but you love food. What would you eat? 

SIRAK: Grass! I’m gonna eat grass.  

TALLENE: Oh relatives think I’m too snobby for their food because I only eat what I

bring to gatherings. Like people take offense because you’re not eating the food they


SIRAK: That can be a little annoying. Is it all, “Here comes Janet with her casserole

and Tupperware full of Brussels sprouts and asparagus and eggs I guess.  

TALLENE: I guess like someone’s hosting you and they’re making this beautiful meal they enjoy and then…

SIRAK: I recommend just eat a lot before you go and like just try to nibble on whatever you can find over there yeah.  

TALLENE: Yeah well do that if you feel going to someone’s house, it’s inappropriate to bring a dish.

SIRAK: Put a protein bar in your pocket, go to the bathroom, eat it and come out. 

TALLENE: I’ve done that before! I have done that before, nobody knew it happened. Anyways

the solution to that just be really nice and gracious about it and thank them. Explain to them as many times as you have to and that’s it. Then walk away from it being like okay I did my best and if they don’t respect my decision that’s not my problem. That’s it. So the next question I

asked in my stories was what foods have gluten and dairy that you struggle to make PCOS friendly or give up? I’m gonna help you with these, so there’s lasagna. You can make it with

gluten-free pasta and dairy-free ricotta. It’s not gonna taste the same, so this is something that you might have to give up. 

SIRAK: True, but you know honestly, Trader Joe’s has so many gluten free pastas. I like them even more than regular pasta, they taste so good. I’m not saying this just for the podcast. I love them, I would rather have those ones.  

TALLENE: They are sometimes higher in protein too. 

SIRAK: True and more nutritious and better for your stomach. What else is there?

TALLENE: Pizza- they have gluten and dairy pizza. Yeah that’s really it, you’re not gonna be

able to have Domino’s I’m sorry. You’re not gonna be able to have that delicious Domino’s Pizza it’s not PCOS friendly, but it’s fine. There’s so many other things you can have. Okay, stuffing

for Thanksgiving you can certainly use gluten free bread for that and make your stuffing. Or call the host be like, hey can I make the stuffing? Then there’s fish and chips, you can make it with

gluten-free flour. It’s not gonna taste the same but you can still make it with gluten-free bread. One time, we made fried chicken with gluten-free flour for the cup for cup gluten-free flour. Remember how at my parent’s house, when we were dating, we would have those cooking nights?

SIRAK: The Jamaican fried chicken! We did it gluten-free, it was good but I believe we made it too moist. 

TALLENE: Oh my gosh, it was so good. 

SIRAK: It was good, but still little too moist. It had to be a little dryer and crispy. I remember that was a great dinner. 

TALLENE: The recipe is in the Cysterhood! Okay, so then we have rice and curry

Dishes. Definitely rice is gluten-free, lots of curries are gluten-free and dairy-free too!

SIRAK: Oh I love this mac and cheese at Whole Foods! I love it guys, I highly recommend it. I

think Amazon has it. They sell like a packet or something. Like, I love mac and cheese, but obviously I avoided because it’s a little bit too much carbs and dairy. But this one is dairy free gluten free, it’s so good. It’s a great supplement for any dinner, obviously for the side just

look into it okay?

TALLENE: Then yogurt sucks, but definitely there’s dairy free yogurt. 

SIRAK: Just be careful with the flavored yogurts cuz a lot of those have sugar and they’re just full of artificial flavors and stuff.  

TALLENE: You can add your own berries on it too!

SIRAK: Try to look for, I think its Greek Yogurt, that’s supposed to be good? 

TALLENE: No no, that’s dairy. 

SIRAK: That’s right, that’s dairy. 

TALLENE: That’s a common question though.  

SIRAK: Get the Bright Kite almond yogurt. I highly recommend it, I used that to mix up with

some Ezekiel crumbs. 

TALLENE: Ezekiel is also not gluten free, alot of people think it is though.  

SIRAK: But it’s great for people who don’t have gluten sensitivity because it’s very low in inflammatory… 

TALLENE: Inflammatory compounds! Okay so that wraps up a lot of the questions that you

guys had. I mean not questions, but issues that you were venting to me on Instagram story and the DMs. 

SIRAK: Alot of the comments and questions that we got out of the podcast last week are a lot of things you wanted us to answer.

TALLENE: So I just want to go through the Wins, one of the best wins this week before we wrap this up, wrap it up on a positive note. 

SIRAK: Yeah so this Cyster, she did great this month. I say the Cyster of the week is Anita! I just want to say good job Anita! She says, 

TALLENE: “I just wanted to say your tips and tricks have helped me so much. I enjoy being a part of the Cysterhood and reading your articles. My periods are lighter and went back to normal one month after going gluten and dairy free. I have baby hairs growing back in! I do still have some fallout but it’s much less than what it used to be. Thank you Tallene, heart heart.” 

SIRAK: That is so good to hear, good job Anika and good luck! We’d love to hear the steps she took and like the little wins she had. 

TALLENE: Every step is a win, just that must be such a good thing when you see those baby hairs coming out. Like, I know the ones on the side up here… 

SIRAK: Yeah I know exactly what she’s talking about. Like not me personally, but I know Tallene told me like… 

TALLENE: It’s amazing!

SIRAK: When you see that coming out, it’s like this is joy. You never thought hair would give you joy like that.  

TALLENE: Its so hard to get your hair to start growing back and look at this! Other clients have told me that it’s so exciting. Hair is like a really sensitive subject, so this is great if you want to be featured in the Wins. DM me, tell me how you’re doing and I’d love to talk about you too, you’re all such an inspiration. 

TALLENE: That’s right guys, alright, thanks for listening! I hope you enjoyed

these tangents we went on and I hope you step into the next dinner party with confidence and grace!

SIRAK: That’s right guys, I hope you enjoyed it. This is episode two of a Cyster and her Mister. I’m signing out, we’ll see you guys next week. 

TALLENE: See you soon, bye bye!

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