Today I’m so grateful to have my friend and fellow RD Liz Shaw on the blog to talk about her personal struggle with infertility and how we can use self care and optimal fertility nutrition to support new life.
I’m pretty content being a dog-mom for now – but so many friends and nutrition coaching clients have opened up about the challenges of growing a family. I had to speak out…or at least grab Liz away from everything amazing she’s doing to speak out for me. 😉 So here she is!
Hi there! I’m Liz, a So-Cal lady who relishes in the beauty of fresh food, outdoor adventures and fun with friends! I am so honored Steph has invited me to share with her loyal followers today a topic that is near and dear to my heart: fertility.
It’s no secret I struggle with infertility. I actually write a whole blog about it here, and have made it my passion project this year to help educate others on just how they can become an advocate for themselves (or their friends) who struggle with this disease. (And, yes, infertility is actually a disease!)
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist like Steph, I know the value in fueling your body with nutrient dense foods so that you are your healthiest self to welcome another being into your body.
But, ironically, as much as I truly believe in food as medicine, the real kicker is that a good majority of fertility cases are exacerbated by stress.
Thus, I hope to share two important tidbits of information with you today to help guide you (or someone you) who’s struggling with infertility.
Yes! Before we can get into the actual “fueling fertility foods”, we need to talk about ways to practice self-care and mindfulness.
By allowing yourself the time to really focus on you, your body, and your needs, you’ll be amazed by the wonderful things your body will do.
Some of the best ways I’ve found to practice self-care include:
This can be from an app, from a book or a spiritual reference. Whatever grounds you, try to allow yourself a few minutes a day to do so.
There’s definitely a happy medium to this because it’s a fact over-exercise in some cases can actually increase infertility, but, a nice brisk walk, a stroll along the beach (or mountain) can really be a game changer for your mood.
Sure, it may sound juvenile, but allowing yourself a few minutes to unwind, relax and just Zen out with a box of crayons, maybe a lit candle and a nice pretty coloring book can really do wonders on your mood!
I wouldn’t be an RDN if I didn’t share this with you! One of the most important things I’ve found is that diet can truly affect your mood and how you feel along this process. And, just as they say, “food is fuel”, food is most certainly a great source of essential nutrients that can fuel your fertility.
Though I do have a book coming out with a fabulous RDN colleague that’s all on Fertility Foods in summer 2017, I will share a few secrets with you now to get started! And, a double bonus, many of the wonderful recipes here on The Grateful Grazer will be 100% beneficial to fuel your fertility! (Caution- eating these foods will not make you pregnant (I WISH!). They will only help fuel your fertility and create a positive environment should bigger plans be at bay!)
These provide essential vitamins and minerals and help stabilize your blood sugars so you don’t see the hormonal fluctuations that may affect your fertility.
Much of the data surrounding fertility and nutrition stems from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS). The women in this study who consumed more of a plant based diet were shown to have the highest odds of conception! Woohoo for the plant based diet, yet again!
And, to support those Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the NHS also demonstrated a higher intake of dairy (specifically whole milk dairy) also supported higher conception rates.
Though there are definitely many more areas I could chat for hours with you about as it relates to fueling fertility, I will leave you with these tips and hope you’ll join me on Bumps to Baby to learn more! Thanks so much for tuning in and letting me share my passion for food and life with you!Here's what you need to know about #fertility nutrition from RD @shawsimpleswaps @bumpstobabyClick To Tweet
Liz Shaw is a nutrition communications consultant in San Diego, CA. She owns Shaw’s Simple Swaps and writes as a freelance nutrition expert for various national publications. She’s a frequent guest on local media discussing nutrition trends and how to lead your healthiest life yet!
Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT
Connect with Liz on Shaw’s Simple Swaps and find her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yummly. Follow Liz’s fertility journey on Bumps to Baby and on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.