Having the right diet and eating the right foods is so important when you’re preparing your body for a baby. When YOU get healthy by changing the way you eat, your body gets healthier, creating healthier eggs, healthier sperm and an altogether better environment in which to start growing another human being.
In many ways it’s a bit like car ownership. One of the absolute basics about owning a car is that you put the right fuel in it. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? You put petrol in a petrol car and diesel in a diesel car. You’d be surprised. According to the roadside recovery people the AA, hundreds of thousands of people misfuel every year. The result is thousands of pounds worth of damage: new fuel tank, new fuel lines, new fuel pump, new injectors – in fact, the whole fuel system.
What if I told you right now that the car you drive is the last one you will ever have. You can’t ever have a new one – not even if it starts to go wrong – and it must last you for the rest of your life. If you absolutely knew that this would be the last vehicle that you well ever own, do you think you would take better care of it?
Why do people change their oil filters? Cars with clean oil filters run better & last longer. Why do we do frequent PREVENTATIVE maintenance? Isn't it because we know that it's a lot less costly to take care of the oil, filter, etc., than it is to replace an engine or transmission, or worse, replace the entire vehicle? Well, guess what? You ARE IN THE LAST VEHICLE YOU WILL EVER HAVE IN YOUR LIFETIME; it's your BODY.
When you are trying to get pregnant, it is incredibly easy to become hyper focused on detail rather than the bigger picture. Oftentimes, the clients who come to see me because they are struggling to get pregnant are uber-keen on taking bee pollen or eating macca or taking something else weird and wonderful. There are some foods that are better than others for boosting fertility BUT ONLY after you have done the ground work. They are the cherry on top. No one puts a cherry on top of a cow pat They just don’t.
My point is your general diet needs to be pretty good before you start getting into the detail or you are wasting your time.
When I’m working with women (and men) who are struggling with their fertility, there is one general principle I follow when creating bespoke plans for them. It is called the Low GL (Glycaemic Index) diet. It is designed to balancing your blood sugar levels and your hormones, and reduce inflammation in the body but it has benefits of the benefits include losing weight (if needed), feeling more energised, sleeping better and having clearer skin.
It is a very well researched diet both for health in general and for fertility. A low GL diet focuses on lean protein (animal and vegetable sources), plenty of non-starchy veg and salads, healthy oils like olive oil, hemp or flax, oily fish, avocadoes, nuts and seeds, and smaller amounts than you might be used to of starchy carbs like potatoes, rice, pasta, and so on.
Bespoke nutrition programmes
Once you have got to grips with the basics of the blood sugar balancing diet, I start to introduce you to functional foods.
‘Functional foods’ are foods that ‘do stuff’ in the body. They are foods that have special powers belong containing one vitamin or mineral or another. They are usually foods that have a high antioxidant content to fight free radicals that damage cells and twist your DNA (think preventing damage to the DNA in your eggs and sperm – this kit is delicate!)
The mantra is fruit and veg are good. To grow a healthy next-generation human and for your own health, you will want to make sure you eat plenty of them!
This may comes as the worst news you have ever heard if you are a fruit or veg dodger, and I’m sorry for that. I get that the thought of eating more fruit and vegetables to improve your fertility is uncomfortable. Of course it is. Making any kind of changes forces us a little out of our comfort zone. You have gotto feel uncomfortable to have anything be different in your life. New job, well that’s uncomfortable to start.
Brand new car – can’t believe I’m still putting it in first when I want to reverse.
Oftentimes in life the most uncomfortable moments are those when you have felt most alive. So GET UNCOMFORTABLE and make a change. Smoothies are a gift for this! Find out more in the free ebook 10 Ways to boost your fertility.
Again, something I suspect you won’t want to hear. When you want to get pregnant, you want to get pregnant now not in three months time. I get it. I have been there. BUT the ideal scenario as far as nutritionists are concerned is that their clients change their diet and ramp up their health for three months before they start trying for a baby.
That’s because three months is the life cycle (approximately) of the egg and sperm, so changes you make today will be for the benefit of eggs and sperm still to be released.
You’ll do what you do with that information. My coaching for you would be that, given you have absolutely no idea when you are going to fall pregnant – it may be this month or this month next year – start doing the nutrition work now and it will be worth it ‘just in case’ nothing happens immediately.
I see so many women trying to conceive who are fixated on their nutrition or exercise regime. Given these are two ways you can take control over the ‘fertility process’. What has been shown from clinical studies is that both health in general and fertility is improved when people (both women and men), look to the rest of their life as well and to see where improvements can be made:
Is there space in your life for…?
Since we have not actually met and I don’t know what your life looks like, I’m going to tell you about the thing many of my clients (when the first come to see me) need to focus on – silence and white space. Just ‘being’ and doing just to be and without any kind of ‘in order to’ or ‘so that’.
If you are very lacking in white space in your life, a great way to discipline yourself to start is with a guided meditation app. My favourite is Headspace, where you can listen free and simple press pause on your busy life.
Did you download a copy of my free ebook 10 Ways to boost your fertility? You can do it by clicking HERE.
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