Endo Eats: What to Eat When Endometriosis Strikes

by | Feb 5, 2014

It’s no secret. Endometriosis sucks.

But it is a part of my life and something I must tackle and deal with head-on.

I remember the first time my doctor told me I had to change my diet: “no sugars, no processed foods, no caffeine, no wheat, no alcohol,” she said.

She might as well have said “no life.”

What was I supposed to eat then? A slice of lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil?

Those first few months- let’s be honest, years- were what I like to call my “denial time.”

I knew what was bad for me. I knew it made me feel sick. But it was just oh so good.

According to the Mayo Clinic:


Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant).

When you are making lifestyle changes it is ok to move like a turtle. Change things one by one. Increase your activity level slowly too- maybe just go on a ten minute walk a day. You might think, how will that help? Well it does! It’s a start. Then increase it to 20 minutes a day, then try a light run or roller blading or swimming. Every little bit helps.

Move like a turtle

When it comes to eating, move slowly like a turtle too. But start making the changes your body needs.

2012 was a terrible year.

I underwent three surgeries. I was in constant pain.

To stop the pain, I turned to eating. I wasn’t exercising and I was making excuses. The truth was I was so used to being in pain, I didn’t know where to start.

Every day I felt fatigued. All I wanted to do was sleep. I watched as I gained weight and wondered if it would ever come off.

I felt helpless.

But I want you to know (and maybe you are going through this too) that it does get easier and there is help.

It starts by looking within yourself.


I started off slow- like a turtle. I made some necessary changes and slowly, over a period of a year, I watched the results slowly come.

Nowadays I have so much energy, I am active, I eat healthy, and I have a new lease on life.

Here are the steps I took:

1. Increase Fruits & Vegetables

The first thing I decided to do was increase my intake of fruits and vegetables. This was easy for me because I happen to love fruits and vegetables.

Asian Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili

Click here for the recipe for Asian Sweet Potato and Chickpea Chili (I used sweet potato instead of butternut squash but everything else is the same).

Arugula, radish and tri-colored olive salad

Stick to simple ingredients, things that come from the earth: arugula, tri-colored olives, radishes, drizzle with olive oil.


Local, organic fruits- I cannot tell you how much better I started to feel once I switched to organic fruit. You already have enough toxins in your body, don’t add more by consuming pesticides. Try to eat at least 3-4 servings of fruit a day (or more) and get a variety! When you feel like snacking- turn to fruit first.

2. Remove Meat and Soy


We had our second meat-free Thanksgiving this year and it was glorious! The menu included:

  • Field Roast with baked root vegetables (tri-colored organic carrots, sweet potato, onions, and celery)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Vegan mushroom gravy
  • Green beans with slivered almonds
  • Homemade organic cranberry sauce
  • Wilted kale with onions

Why remove the meat?

Well every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, not only did I gain weight but I would start to feel miserable. I would feel emotional, depressed, and bloated. At first I thought it was the increase in alcohol over the holidays (this is part of the problem).

The doctor’s diagnosed me with IBS. In my opinion IBS is the stupidest diagnosis you can ever get. It doesn’t tell you what to do. It is a blanket diagnosis they use to get you out of their office.

What they are really saying to you when you have IBS is: “You are eating something wrong. Stop eating it.”

It took me YEARS to figure out that what was bothering me was MEAT.

Meet Your Meat:  “

According to Science News, 80 percent of all U.S. feedlot cattle are injected with hormones.” – Sustainable Table

As someone who suffers from hormone imbalance, the last thing I need (or anyone needs for that matter) is to eat something that is being pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics.

So I decided to shift to a pescetarian diet. I started by cutting out red meat, then turkey, then pork, then finally (and most difficult of all) chicken. I kept fish in my diet for health reasons and still eat it occasionally today, though I am happy to eat mostly vegetarian.

What can you eat as a vegetarian? Everything.


I cannot stress how good beets are for you. Eat beets. Eat them a lot!

Homemade caprese salad

Homemade caprese salad

Homemade caprese salad: organic tomatoes, mozzarella, basil from our backyard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil.

When I first started eating pescatarian I made the mistake of eating a lot of soy.  

While substituting meat for soy might work for some people, it does not work for me. I wondered why I was still feeling sick? Why was I still feeling emotional and bloated?

Soy is a phyto-estrogen, so it can mimic estrogen in the body. As someone who has fluctuating estrogen levels anyway, this was just making my hormone imbalance worse!

If you have endometriosis or PCOS (like me) I recommend you stay away from the soy and only eat it (or drink it) occasionally. Pick up almond or coconut milk instead.


3. Hydrate!

Coconut water, green tea

Coconut water, green tea

Things to drink:

  • Coconut water (straight from the coconut or brand names like Vita Coco or Zico)
  • Green tea
  • Water (filtered)
  • Homemade freshly squeezed juice or lemonade

Your own infused fruit water (just slice up fruit and let it sit in the water overnight)



Cold-pressed raw juices packed full of nutrients like from my favorite store Raw Juce in Boca Raton, FL. Their juices are made fresh every day and include ingredients like beets, ginger, pineapple, apples, lemon, kale, and more. I highly recommend you try them out- the juice is just so good! And if you replace one meal a day with a cold-press raw juice, you will see a significant difference in your complexion, energy level, and digestive system.


4. Increase Good Fats, Try Gluten Free

image (6)


Peanut thai stir fry.

Other nuts to eat: walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts…go nuts for nuts!


Home made avocado toast. Simply mix avocado, lime juice, garlic salt, and top with sprouts and cilantro.

Avocado and coconut = good fats. Do not over do them in your diet, but enjoy them.

Gluten free pancakes

Gluten free pancakes

Just because it’s gluten free, doesn’t mean it tastes bad. Take these pancakes (above) for example from my favorite South Florida restaurant, Green Bar & Kitchen.

Green Bar & Kitchen is 100% gluten free and vegan. I love this place. They show you that you can eat gluten free and vegan and still enjoy every last bite! It doesn’t hurt that the owners are just so adorable and fun. If you are ever in Fort Lauderdale, please check them out.

5. Enjoy Life!

To do list:

  • Go on vigorous walks
  • Take up an active hobby
  • Dance, run, laugh
  • Forget the pain/ tell Endo to eff off
  • Make friends
  • Increase your heart rate at least three times a week (aerobic exercise)
  • Do yoga
  • Meditate- look within
  • Write
  • Turn off the TV
  • Start being your own best friend
  • Love yourself

image (8)



image (9)


  1. Deborah

    Hi! Great Blog.I have endometriosis too and am trying to change my diet To cope with the pain and bloating. I love fruits but I am not really fond of vegetables, especially greens. Any juicing recipes that I can try?

    • Sookton

      Hi Deborah, veggies are very important for an endo diet. But if you don’t like the taste of them, you can hide them in fruit smoothies. My favorite is this: frozen blueberries, strawberries, mango, mixed with one ripe avocado, a bunch of kale or spinach and water. Blend it up in your blender and you won’t even taste the greens! You can also try this awesome recipe for vegan chocolate mousse with avocado. You can’t really taste the avocado either. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11379/the-best-vegan-chocolate-mousse-youll-ever-put-in-your-mouth.html. Good luck! Please email me if you have any other Endo questions: sookton@yahoo.com

  2. Sar

    I really enjoyed reading this article. So nice to read these words written by someone who totally understands the huge negative impact endometriosis can have on all aspects of life. I found comfort in your words somehow, made me feel not so alone. It’s difficult to explain to others how having endometriosis can make you feel. I often feel so tired, low, in pain,… I am now also trying to change some dietary elements, cutting out caffeine ( not easy, love my lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites etc… ) more veg, fruit, no soy, etc… I had an operation to move endometrial tissue and a chocolate cyst three yrs ago but pain is coming back and also think I might have a cyst again on my left ovary ( same pain as 3 yrs ago). But I am determined to fight back and make my life more enjoyable. Thanks so much for your words! Sar 🙂

    • Sookton

      Sar, so sorry to hear you going through this pain. Trust me, I do know what you’re going through and you’re NOT ALONE. My aim is to write a book for all the girls out there with endo and PCOS. I want to include healthy recipes, helpful tips, statistics, and interviews with real girls. Would you be interested in contributing if I do this? Let’s keep in touch! Please add me on Facebook: Suki Eleuterio. Hope you’re feeling better from day to day. Keep focusing on your food and exercise but also keeping a positive mind 🙂 Take care! Suki


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *