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Sports Nutrition – helping athletes reach peak performance.  Click the “Sports Nutrition” link under the “Nutrition” tab to learn more!

The Nitty Gritty Show Soapbox: Body Comparisons

Jonene Ford takes The Soapbox again to express her opinion on “body comparisons”. Jonene Ford is studied health and nutrition specialist in the DC Area. Her thoughts on this are valued and come as a breath of fresh air.

3 Women Voices – Transform Your Body With Food and Exercise

If you struggle with losing weight, eating healthy, or improving your health, then you need to listen to Jonene Ford (a nutritionist and fitness coach). She is sharing important information that could help you finally transform your body to your desired fitness, and transform your mind and health to be the best person you can be.

The Nitty Gritty Show Soapbox: Expertise versus Opinion

Jonene Ford gets on the Soapbox to express some quick feeling on Expertise vs Opinion.

FOX 45 Interview – Meal Prepping

Jonene Ford with Ford Wellness joins us to talk about meal prepping to help you get in shape ahead of swimsuit season.

PCOS & Gut Health

PCOS & Gut Health

PCOS & Gut Health by Jonene Ford

As we know, the gut microbiome impacts every single organ, tissue, and system in the human body. This includes the endocrine system.  I’ve recently had an influx of clients diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and have been studying this endocrinopathy fervently over the last year or so. I’ve since developed a strong interest in the role of the gut microbiome in the treatment of PCOS.

PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder in women of child-bearing age.  It is commonly associated with several conditions and outcomes, including infertility, miscarriage, hirsutism, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and cardiovascular disease.  Women with PCOS also tend to have lower gut microbiome diversity than those without the condition.

Obesity may play a role in the onset of PCOS. In one study of fecal transplantation, fecal matter transferred from obese humans into germ-free lab mice produced an obese phenotype in the mice.  This result may suggest that altered gut microbiome could be a potential cause of obesity and/or PCOS (Torres,, 2018). Of course, more research would be needed to prove this, but still, the idea is thought-provoking.

One characteristic of PCOS is hyperandrogenism. This is evidenced by increased levels of total testosterone in blood chemistry results.  Women with hyperandrogenism also tend to experience unwanted facial and body hair (hirsutism).  Women with hypoandrogenism also were shown to have an abnormal gut microbiome. This correlation may be indicative of a connection between diminished gut microbiome diversity and imbalanced sex hormones.  It also suggests that androgens have an impact on microbiome diversity and that microbiome diversity plays a direct role in the development of PCOS in women.

In order to make a clearer assessment, other potential causes of microbiome imbalance would need to be addressed.  Other factors, such as lifestyle, diet, age, and drug, alcohol, or cigarette use can also impede the diversity of a woman’s gut microbiome.  However, the connections made in the research between PCOS and an imbalanced gut microbiome cannot be denied.



Lindheim, L., Bashir, M., Münzker, J., Trummer, C., Zachhuber, V., Leber, B., Horvath, A., Pieber, T. R., Gorkiewicz, G., Stadlbauer, V., & Obermayer-Pietsch, B. (2017). Alterations in Gut Microbiome Composition and Barrier Function Are Associated with Reproductive and Metabolic Defects in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A Pilot Study. PloS one12(1), e0168390.

Lipski, E. (2019).  Digestive Wellness, 5th ed. NY, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Thackray V. G. (2019). Sex, Microbes, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM30(1), 54–65.

Torres, P. J., Siakowska, M., Banaszewska, B., Pawelczyk, L., Duleba, A. J., Kelley, S. T., & Thackray, V. G. (2018). Gut Microbial Diversity in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Correlates With Hyperandrogenism. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism103(4), 1502–1511.

Salmon Steaks with Grapefruit

Salmon Steaks with Grapefruit

Salmon Steaks with Grapefruit (Serves 2)   2 tsp olive oil ½ red onion, peeled, halved, & sliced thin ½ cup (125 ml) fresh grapefruit juice & segments (remove white pith to avoid bitterness!) 2 (5 oz)(150 g) boneless, skinless salmon steaks Fresh grapefruit segments Click to Read More

Sausage, Spinach, and Apple Skillet 

Sausage, Spinach, and Apple Skillet 

Sausage, Spinach, and Apple Skillet  (serves 4)   Ingredients 4 links uncured chicken sausage (10 to 12 ounces/280 g to 340 g total) 1 tbsp olive, avocado, or coconut oil 1 yellow onion, diced 2 Granny Smith apples (peeled and diced) 2 garlic cloves, minced Click to Read More

Chocolate Chip-Chickpea Cookie Dough 

Chocolate Chip-Chickpea Cookie Dough 

Chocolate Chip-Chickpea Cookie Dough 

(makes 4 servings) 



  • 1 15-oz. (400 g) can of low sodium chickpeas, rinsed well and patted very dry
  • ⅓ cup (80 g) natural almond or peanut butter (smooth, not crunchy)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup (60 g) vegan chocolate chips


Place the first 5 ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until well-mixed. Scrape into a bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips (option: melt the chips and stir in).


This will keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long!

Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup)

Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup)

Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup) (serves about 6)   Ingredients 4 slices uncured natural bacon 1 lb (450 g) uncured Italian sausage with the casings removed (get your favorite brand: chicken or turkey) 1 large onion, chopped 1 tbsp Italian seasoning 3 cloves minced garlic 6 Click to Read More