This is my new series talking about the trying to conceive process (TTC). It's chock full of crazy thoughts, feelings, and a bit of TMI. To recap my first post on the subject, we've been trying to conceive for almost a year now and am I ready to talk about it and share what I'm doing about it. Before seeing a fertility doctor and starting fertility meds, I really want to try and do everything I can to conceive naturally. Here's the plan. For all TTC posts, click here.
Healthy eating and exercise ebb and flow for me. I've had a particularly busy year at my job, so I found myself eating out all of the time (or worse, eating fruit snacks and granola bars for dinner) and completely quitting any form of structured exercise. I could make the time, I just chose to use that time to work instead.
As it began to dawn on me that maybe this whole TTC thing would take longer than I thought, I decided to make health and fitness a priority once again. Not only would eating healthier help me get pregnant (according to what I've read), I also figured it might not be a bad idea to make my body as healthy as possible if we were to conceive. Healthy mom, healthy baby, right?
So I've been doing my best to make the following changes. Most were recommendations from Making Babies, a book providing a holistic fertility improvement plan based on your fertility type. There's a questionnaire you fill out in the book (or take online) to determine your type. I'm firmly in the Stuck Fertility Type category, and have been loosely (no pun intended) following the plan prescribed for that type. Here are a few things I'm doing.
- Choosing Organic. Now, I normally buy organic when it's not terribly more expensive than conventional, but I'm not militant about it. Because of this program, I am focusing on it a bit more, mainly making sure that most meat, poultry, and produce I buy is organic. Shopping at Trader Joe's and Costco have made it a bit more affordable.
- More Veggies/Fiber/Daily Juice. My plan said to aim for about 60% veggies and fruit, 30% complex carbs and 10% protein, drinking one cup of fruit or veggie juice a day. I've started making my favorite all-time smoothie recipe from Oh She Glows, Back on Track Green Monster. It's delicious and I never get sick of it. I can even make it the night before to grab and go in the morning. It's chock full of good stuff like: cucumbers, kale, apples, lemon, ginger, etc. It's been hard to not eat as much protein as I normally do, but I'm doing my best.
- Hot Water + Lemon. Stuck types are prone to liver function issues and drinking this first thing in the morning is supposed to help with that. I just add the lemon to my morning tea or drink it alone with a few sprinkles of ground ginger. If don't drink this, I can eat a pickle instead, according to the book.
- Limiting Caffeine. I don't drink coffee, but I do love tea, but I've been limiting it. I tend to stick to low caffeinated teas or Fertility Tea, which is caffeine-free.
- Cooking at Home. This is not a suggestion of the book, but it obviously goes hand in hand with healthy eating. I've found that I really enjoy cooking out of cookbooks and here's a shocker: recipes in cookbooks are so much better than the ones that catch your eye on Pinterest. My favorite new cookbook, Skinny Taste, has been a staple for our weekend meals. Also, looking into getting an Instant Pot for the days where I don't get home until 8pm.
Exercise + Lifestyle
- Moderate Steady Cardio. Stuck types, according to the book, should focus mainly on moderate steady cardio to relieve anxiety. I try to get this in anyway I can; there's a fantastic walking trail near our house that we do a couple times a week, I'll zone out on the elliptical or treadmill with a book and of course, we a hike all the time. The book said to focus on exercise that is repetitive in nature to quiet the mind and body. Yeah, the book is a little kooky, but TTC makes you a little kooky.
- Exercise with a Meditative Component. The book talks about yoga and hiking and while I don't really do yoga much anymore (I should), hiking is one of our favorite weekend activities.
- Reduce Stress. Laughing for days at this one. Not only is TTC stressful in and of itself, 2016 has been...a rough year for me, in various aspects of my life. But, I've been working on the stress management and have been pretty successful. Acupuncture has been a godsend. I am already counting down the hours to my session this weekend.
- Avoid People You Find Frustrating or Annoying. Yes, the book actually says this. I quit Facebook a few years ago, so CHECK.
I don't know if any of this will work. I mean, I'm sure you can easily think of 10 women who were severely unhealthy and got pregnant faster than you can Maury Povich, but being the control freak that I am, I want to feel like I'm doing something to help our chances. If the only outcome is that I become a healthier human being, then obviously, I have nothing to lose. Also, a plan that tells me to eat pickles is obviously a good plan.