Image credit: Kelli Campbell I've officially reached that age where many of my friends are having children. I get a lot of emails and "hey by the way's" from clients and friends wanting to know what to eat to become pregnant. I've had clients come to me saying that they can't get pregnant and after working together they're coming back to say UM- now what do I eat to now feel so morning, noon and night sick! Proper nutrition is PURE MAGIC! If you want to become pregnant this is for you!
10 tips for Procreation!
1. EAT. REAL. FOOD.
At all cost avoid processed foods. AT. ALL. COST. To make a baby you need regular ovulation and aside from making you fat, processed foods decrease the ability to react to insulin which makes you prone to irregular ovulation. STAY AWAY from nitrates, nitrites, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Read your labels and don't buy anything that you don't know what it is. If you see Blue # whatever or Red # whatever put it down, put it down now and walk away. And dare I say it, the only thing white in your life should be sperm. HA! Get rid of white breads, white sugars and cereals. No more eating foods that have a mascot (ie sugary cereals).
2. Leafy Greens are your very best friend.
Leafy greens improve ovulation and you need to ovulate to make your little human so leafy greens it is! In men greens make healthier sperm so give those swimmers a salad, a side of steamed spinach and maybe some broccoli rabe. Plus leafy greens are little vitamin and mineral wonders. High in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and phyto-chemicals.
3. Beans are still the magical fruit.
Beans are natures gift via plant protein. Eating high amounts of animal protein can keep you from getting pregnant. It's a common misconception that babies need meat. Babies need protein and beans are the cleanest source possible. You get all the benefits of protein without the added hormones and question about how the animal was raised and processed. Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, any bean! Plus hummus, edamame and lentils are all excellent sources of plant-based protein.
More on protein in #7
4. Get Seeds on board.
HEMP SEEDS! HEMP SEEDS! HEMP SEEDS! They are a complete protein and powerhouse for your body. Use them in smoothies, on salads, handful as a snack! Also pumpkin seeds for their iron! Pumpkin seeds are so good dry roasted!
5. Oil Up.
Use olive oil and coconut oil to cook with (not at the same time obviously). Both help to decrease inflammation in the body. Inflammation leads to disease and related to trying to conceive it gets in the way of ovulation and conception.
Use coconut oil, almond oil or sesame oil on your body each night before bed or just before your shower. The process of oiling the body, especially the bottoms of your feet and all areas of lymph_arm pits, under your breasts, groin is SO supportive (and can help with #10).
6. Know when to use dairy.
Go with FULL-FAT diary food. Whole milk, ice cream, cheddar cheese, yogurt! Make sure it's all full-fat. I know what you've heard through the years about low fat and it's nonsense. To get pregnant you want to eat as close to nature as possible, whole foods, real foods, full-fat is natural and your body knows how to process it.
There's a delicate balance with dairy to stay in the healthy range so don't go overboard. Trying to get pregnant is not an all day buffet free-for-all. Have two half-cup servings of ice cream or other dairy per week (that means a pint of ice cream would last you two weeks).
7. Get to know your local butcher.
Babies need protein. Mommies need protein. A protein is consider complete when all nine amino acids are present so you CAN have a healthy pregnancy without eating meat, that said 9 out of 10 of the women I've worked with to get pregnant and through their pregnancy have said that they CRAVE meat. I've seen full on passionate vegans go back to eating some form of meat as support during pregnancy. The bottom line here is to be open and listen to what your body needs without judgement. While trying to get pregnant don't overdo it on red meat! If you feel like you want to eat meat stick to lean meats, chicken and fish. And absolutely during this time GO ORGANIC and get to know where your meat is coming from.
8. Take your vitamins.
Start RIGHT NOW taking a good prenatal vitamin containing folic acid, calcium and iron. Folic acid helps to prevent defects that affect the brain and spinal cord. Calcium is a biggie, the baby uses it for bone growth and you need enough to also protect your bone density. And Iron is of course for the blood which carries oxygen to both you and your baby! Also take your fish oils! So so important!
9. Chill out. Breathe. Do some yoga. Meditate. Walk. Think happy thoughts.
Making a baby is not a competition and despite what that little voice in your head is saying about your timeline there really isn't one. Relax and allow. Trust the wisdom of your body.
10. Sex. Have it. ;)
Preferably when you're ovulating. If you don't know when you're ovulating now is a good time to find out. Get to know your cervical fluid, it's a terrific gage of the cycles your body is going through each month. When your cervical fluid is the consistency of egg-whites it's go time! If you'd like a resource the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility is an excellent place to begin.
Sending you all my best as you embark on the journey to motherhood!