Thursday, January 7, 2010

Defining a fertility diet

TODAY'S BLOG: Defining Fertility
Happy New Year! As mentioned previously, January is a great month for fresh starts, and last week I gave some top tips for a fertility diet. This week I want to talk a little about what diet means, and then next week: HOW to eat on a fertility diet (almost as important as what to eat).

How would you define a fertility diet, exactly? I think of it as a regimen for eating healthier, for maximizing your body’s health and reproduction, but not at all for losing weight—although a general, healthy diet can be applied for the purpose of weight loss too.

Last week I was reading an old article in Outside magazine (I’m a big fan), and saw an interesting article by John Bradley.  He picked 6 different dietary plans and for one year, went on each one for a period of 8 weeks. He checked his vitals (blood, cholesterol) after each one and reported back his impressions. Interesting, huh?  After all that, the general conclusion on what he learned was this:
“Lean protein, good fats, healthy carbs. More specifically: modestly sized meals consisting of lots of produce, a bit of lean meat now and then, and grains that haven’t been bleached and pulverized into submission. Also, olive oil is good, and snack on nuts and dates.”

Well, in broad terms, this defines a healthy, fertility diet too!

So, I encourage you NOT to think of dieting for fertility as traditional “dieting.” You’re not trying to starve yourself to lose weight or deny yourself pleasure, here! You are simply shifting to making healthier food choices, and you can create and cook some really tasty, pleasurable dishes with those food choices (see recipes to start).

As Bradley reported in his article, the first couple of weeks on a new nutritional regimen requires an adjustment, but after that it gets much easier, and the results are fantastic. A fertility diet will ease your cravings over time and optimize your health, reproductive system and energy levels. You’ll experience far fewer dips and peeks in energy, and it might even bring you a baby, as it did for me. I can't think of better motivation. So stock up on healthy foods and enjoy!

Next week: HOW to eat on a fertility diet and why you want to eat most foods warm. Have a good week, and take care of yourself.

Image: Polenta Pizza from our cookbook.