Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Five Fertility Diet Tips to Start the New Year!

Incredibly, the end of the year has come. Tomorrow begins not only a new year, but a new decade!  For many, this is the blank slate we’ve all been waiting for—a time for change and fresh starts.

If you’ve waited until now to start a fertility diet in earnest, that’s great!  There is no better time to start than right now!  Clear the fridge and cupboards of food items that don’t help and stock up on plenty of organic, whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits and grains. For more information on preparing to go on a fertility diet, see this blog entry. Also review the more general fertility diet tips I wrote about back in May.

Because the first job in a fertility diet is to get rid of the “bad” (before you add in all the wonderful “good”), the top five tips all involve eliminating items from your diet:
  1. Cut out over-processed foods – at once!
    Your body definitely doesn’t need the preservatives, additives, chemicals, trans fats, sugars (in forms such as high fructose corn syrup – blah!) and similar other nasty items found in most processed foods.  My general guideline (not a rule) is if the product has more than five ingredients listed on its label, it’s too processed. Also, if I don’t recognize a listed ingredient, I don’t eat the item unless I’ve looked up the ingredient on the Internet and deemed it to be OK. “Dextrose,” for example, turns out to be basically processed sugar, so that product becomes a "no" (see tip #5).
  2. Cut out trans fats.
    If you cut out processed foods, you’ll be cutting out trans fats, too, as that’s where they mostly reside, but you could also get them from deep-fried foods at restaurants and in margarine (which is processed!), so watch out!  Trans fats also appear on package labels as “hydrogenated oil” or “partially hydrogenated oil.” They are not natural, your body doesn’t need them, and they pose serious health concerns, so check labels and don’t consume them.  There are healthy fats to eat instead. 
  3. Cut out alcohol, completely.
    See this blog entry to learn more.
  4. Cut out caffeine, as well as coffee (even decaffeinated).
    See this blog entry to learn more.
  5. Cut out processed sugar
    ...and all its friends: high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrose, cane sugar, brown sugar. Sugar has a negative effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to hormonal imbalance – something you don’t want when trying to conceive.  Natural sugars, such as honey and brown rice syrup, in moderate amounts are OK.  Here’s more info on sugar and fertility.
These tips will get you off to a really strong start in cleansing your body and preparing it to receive a beautiful baby. You may not need further motivation than that, but if you do, think about this: Before putting anything into your mouth, ask yourself if this is something good for your baby.  Will eating this bring him/her closer to you?

Remember, too, to give yourself time to transition, try not to eat “emotionally,” and get whatever support you need to help you through (a friend, fellow fertility friend, Resolve, the web).

From my heart: Here’s to a beautiful, harmonious and successful new year! I hope this is the one in which you find your path to parenthood, one way or another.

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