Nutrition and Fertility

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In Honor of National Infertility Awareness Week , here is a re-post of an article I wrote on nutrition and fertility. Enjoy!

Adapted from The Fertility Diet (McGraw-Hill) by Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett

If you are currently having trouble getting pregnant, have you taken a close look at your diet lately? Recently, an article was released called the “Harvard Fertility Diet,” based on information taken from the Nurses’ Health Study. This was an 8 year study that looked at 10,000 women and determined that there was in fact a correlation between diet and fertility. Now, this diet does not act like a fertility goddess! Meaning, you won’t get pregnant overnight and there are no guarantees, but hey, what have you got to lose? There are no side effects to eating this way, it sets the stage for a healthy pregnancy, and promotes an overall healthy lifestyle. It’s also a way for you to feel as though you are taking an active role in your own health, while undergoing any treatment with your fertility specialist.

Avoid Trans Fats: Start looking at labels and avoid anything that says “Partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil.” Believe it or not, most margarine has trans fats! You’re better off using real butter, but in moderation.

Eat more unsaturated fats vs saturated fats: Unsaturated fats are healthy fats found in plant foods such as nuts, olive oil, and avocados. Fish is also a good source of unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are unhealthy fats found in animal products such as beef, butter, and lard.

Make one meal per day vegetarian: You don’t have to become a full time vegetarian, just replace the meat you’re currently eating at one meal with plant proteins such as beans, nuts, organic tofu or organic soybeans.

Choose complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber: Meaning eat brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. Avoid refined sugars such as white bread, cookies, white rice and processed foods.

Drink whole milk: Yes, I know this goes against what I said in #2 about avoiding saturated fats, but according to the study, “skim milk appears to promote infertility.” It is recommend that you consume a glass of milk, a small bowl of ice cream or a full fat yogurt once a day. Enjoy!

Make sure you get enough folic acid (400 micrograms a day): Eat your leafy greens, beans, oranges, and fortified cereals to get your daily fix. Or, take a whole food supplement like Juice Plus! Guaranteed to get nutrition from 20+ fruits and vegetables everyday! (For more information on Juice Plus and pregnancy, click here)

Load up on plant sources of Iron: Try to get spinach, leafy greens, nuts, dried fruit, or beans into your daily diet.

Stay hydrated: Make sure you are drinking plenty of water! Coffee and tea every once in awhile is ok, but avoid sugary sodas – per the study these, “seem to promote infertility.”

Maintain a healthy body weight: Being over or underweight can be a problem. The recommendations are to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 20 – 24.

Be active: Some physical activity can be good for you, especially if you are trying to lose weight. But be careful, as too much physical activity can promote too much lean body mass and interfere with normal hormone production and ovulation.

Always talk to your doctor before starting any new diet and exercise program. If you feel you need help with making diet changes, talk to a registered dietitian who can help you come up with an eating plan that is right for you.

What Can We

I love easy recipes that are nutritious and taste good! And I love being able to support local charities. I get really excited when I can do both, which is why I was thrilled to purchase the Kitchen Rescue Cookbook! Proceeds from this cookbook go toward supporting What Can We. photo (2)

 

 

WhatCanWe.org™ started in 2012 to raise awareness and funds for licensed, nonprofit animal rescues in order to help offset the financial hardships most currently endure due to overwhelming veterinary expenses.

Today, every 1.5 seconds a homeless animal’s life is terminated in a shelter.  That’s 40 animals every minute and nearly 2,400 animals each hour.  Fortunately, there is an army of benevolent rescue organizations that are on the front lines battling every day in an effort to positively change these numbers.

This is a beautiful book that not only contains tons of yummy recipes, but adorable pictures of owners and their pets as well! If you have an animal lover in your life, this would be the perfect gift!

 

photo 2 (1)This is a delicious and easy crock pot Chicken Tortilla Soup! You can make a big batch, and then freeze it in individual portions.

Ingredients:

3 cans chicken broth

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 red onion cut up

2 -3 carrots

2 zucchini

1 stalk celery (optional)

Cilantro – fresh (small handful) (optional)

Small can diced green chilies

1 jar Salsa (mild or medium)

1 – 14 oz. can Mexican tomatoes

Jack Cheese and tortilla chips (optional)

Directions:

Cut up vegetables, dice chicken an put into crock pot (uncooked) with all ingredients (minus chips and cheese)

Cook on low all day (approx 8 hours)

Top with tortilla chips and cheese if want

 

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Why I Stopped Making New Year’s Resolutions…

Happy New Year! It’s 2015! I can’t believe it. It seems like 2014 flew by. First off, I just want to take this time to tell you how much I appreciate you. I know your time is valuable and hopefully you have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy what I have to offer. I try to come from the heart and offer insights based on my own personal experience. Which is why today, I’d like to address New Year’s Resolutions. 10348596_10203050103604592_2510653650768517687_n

Have you ever actually stuck to any of the resolutions you have made? I know I never have. January 1st comes around, and I sit down with my journal, and excitedly write down all of my goals for the year… and then never look at them again. I don’t even remember half of what I wrote down last year! Well, there’s a reason New Year’s Resolutions don’t stick.

One of my favorite authors, Wayne Dyer, explains it this way: When you make a New Year’s Resolution, you are asking yourself to make a year-long commitment, which is extremely difficult!  Say you want to lose 20 pounds this year, so to do so, you resolve to give up sugar. You’ve basically just told yourself, “I’m not going to eat sugar for an entire year.” That’s just setting yourself up for failure, because honestly, who can do that?! Then, the moment you do eat sugar, you give up your resolution, attributing it to some personality weakness or character flaw. News flash: There’s nothing wrong with you! You just set an unrealistic expectation.

Instead, Dr. Dyer recommends attacking goals in a day-to-day mode. Instead of saying, “I’m gong to lose 20 pounds this year,” tell yourself, “I’m going to walk 20 minutes today.” Or, “I’m gong to drink 64 ounces of water today.” These mini goals are much more doable, don’t you think?

That’s why this year, I’m committing to, “One Simple Change.” In the coming weeks, you will hear much more about this, and I invite you to join me! Every month, I’m committing to One Simple Change. This month, I am gong to stretch for 10 minutes a day. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I’m giving you 30. Imagine, taking on one new habit a month. That’s 12 new healthy lifestyle habits by next year! Imagine where you will be in 2016!

Happy New Year!!!

PS. Now I want to hear from you! What One Simple Change you are you taking on in January?

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Tis the Season of Making Memories… Not Pumpkin Bread!

What is the first thing you think about when someone asks you, “What is your favorite thing about the holidays?” Often, I get answers such as, “Grandma’s Yams, Uncle Bill’s prize winning gravy or Mom’s World Famous Latkes;” basically, anything that has to do with food! It is not surprising that people put on weight over the holidays…. everything usually revolves around something edible or drinkable. There is the baking, the holiday parties, and office treats. Let’s not forget to mention things you wouldn’t normally, but now you absolutely HAVE to eat, because they put the word pumpkin, peppermint or eggnog in front of it. What if you focused on something else this holiday season? What if you focused on making memories instead of pumpkin bread?

You have five senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight. As we previously discussed, taste seems to get most of the attention around the holidays. If you think about it though, a lot of our memories are made using the other four senses as well. How about we give taste a rest and focus on the other senses instead? What would the holidays look like then? Let’s explore this idea:

Touch: Think about the things around the holidays that you can physically feel. Bing Crosby makes reference to “Jack Frost nipping at your nose,” in his famous holiday classic White Christmas. Some examples are:

Curling up with your loved ones under a cozy blanket, in front of a fire, on a crisp winter’s night.

Cuddling with your pet, stroking it’s fur and just relaxing after a long day.

Taking a hot bubble bath (I know I said to ease off of taste, but I think adding a glass of wine here will make you feel really good!).

Hugging and kissing your loved ones as often as you can.

Making homemade holiday decorations with your kids.

Smell: Sometimes the best part of baking all of those holiday goodies, is the smells they leave behind. You can be in the middle of a restaurant, get a whiff of cinnamon and apples, and it brings you back to the last Thanksgiving at grandma’s. Here are some examples of using smell:

Lighting candles or getting air fresheners in your favorite holiday scents.

Since we are so obsessed with everything pumpkin, peppermint, or eggnog, how about getting a bubble bath in one of those scents?

Standing in front of a Christmas tree and just breath deeply! Or go up to the mountains and take in the fresh air!

Try this Hot Spiced Cider recipe from Betty Crocker. Not only will it warm you up, but it will make your house smell amazing!!!

Hot Spiced Cider

There’s nothing like warm, spicy apple cider to break the ice when you’re entertaining on a chilly day.

PREP TIME: 15 Minutes

TOTAL TIME: 15 Minutes

SERVINGS: 6

Ingredients

6 cups apple cider

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 cinnamon sticks

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat ingredients to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 10 minutes.

Before serving, strain cider mixture to remove cloves and cinnamon, if desired. Serve hot.

From Betty Crocker Online: www.BettyCrocker.com

Hearing: Part of the fun of the holidays is turning on your radio and rocking out to your favorite holiday classics! Or how about when your child comes home singing the same version of “Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel,” that you learned when you were his or her age? This holiday season:

Listen to holiday music.

Tell stories to kids about the true meaning of the holidays. Or have everyone share their favorite holiday memory.

Take in the laughter and the excitement. Focus on the joy the holidays bring, especially to your kids.

Tell someone you love them everyday. Chances are, they will tell you they love you back, and that’s a wonderful thing to hear everyday, not just around the holidays.

Sight: At the end of the day, there’s nothing better then spending time and making precious memories with the people you care about most.

Visit with family and friends. For some people, the holidays are the only time they get to see certain people. Take advantage and really enjoy that time.

Take your children to look at holiday decorations. Decorate your own house.

Watch holiday movies.

Record home movies of your kids decorating the house, opening their presents, and anything else holiday related. These will be your favorite holiday movies for years to come.

Hopefully, these ideas will distract you from the non-stop eating that occurs from Thanksgiving to New Years! Also, remember that the holidays are also about giving.  When you find that you have over-done it in the kitchen, donate some of that extra food to the local food bank. Instead of sending your child to school with homemade cookies for his or her teacher, make a donation in that teacher’s honor.  Purchase $5 gift cards to any fast food place and give them out to people you see in need.  Take the time to be grateful for all that you had this year.

These things are what the holidays are really about. It’s about making memories with the people you love. Focus on these things and you will be so caught up in the holiday spirit, you won’t even think twice about Aunt Betty’s special fudge. You’ll just be so happy to see Aunt Betty!

Happy Holidays!!

I’d love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite holiday traditions that don’t involve food? 

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Holiday Goodness

I was so excited to find these yummy treats at my local Whole Foods! For those of us that avoid dairy, this is a tasty option to get into the holiday spirit. This morning, I made myself a Mint Chocolate latte: I steamed the Mint Chocolate flavor and added it to my espresso. Instead of getting a calorie loaded holiday beverage at Starbucks, this tasty beverage saved me money and calories: 50 calories, 2.5 g of fat, and only 6 grams of sugar! For a healthy holiday breakfast, try this recipe from my brilliant friend and Law of Attraction Coach, Tanna Marshall:photo (1)

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder*

1/4 cup Nog Coconut Milk

3/4 cup Regular Coconut milk or Almond Milk (or more depending on how much liquid you use)

Nutmeg

Ice

 

* I personally use a plant-based, Non-GMO powder from Juice Plus, called Complete 

Now I want to hear from you! What’s your favorite holiday find?

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