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Making Healthy Choices – Considering Soy

In August this year, I published a post about food fads. I mentioned the obsession I had with nutrition and eating while trying to conceive. One of my big concerns was soy.

Recently a friend of mine came across an article in The Seattle Times about the vices and virtues of this nutritional element. In the article, author Nicole Tsong discusses what’s good and bad about soy. Although the article specifically addresses soy, points are made that can be applied to many choices we consider about what to include in our lives. It struck me as good food for thought.

Here’s the link to Nicole’s article:
Let’s talk about the virtues and vices of soy, by Nicole Tsong – The Seattle Times, November 14, 2012

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Food Fads and Your Fertility

When I was trying to conceive and trying out every conceivable possibility (pun very much intended), nutrition and daily diet were on my mind constantly. I am still very food conscious, and I admit that I do not always choose the very best option — often it’s the yummiest-most-satisfying-at-the-moment option. But back when I was trying so very hard to make pregnancy happen, I wanted to know everything I could about the most current nutrition information. I thought perhaps you might be feeling that way too.

I recently came across this article from the Healthland section of Time: Is Your Problem Gluten? Or Faddish Eating? It has a lot of links to other articles on interesting questions and consideration of current nutritional and food trends. It’s not written specifically for enhancing fertility, but I believe that it still contains important considerations. And nutrition does impact overall health, which includes fertility and the ability to grow, carry, and deliver a healthy baby.

I remember being very concerned about using soy as a protein. I had been a vegetarian for many years and into the beginning of my fertility journey. I had also been strictly avoiding cow’s milk and doing most of the substitution with soy milk for multiple years. I was so confused about GMOs and the information about why you should avoid soy, while at the same time receiving information about all the benefits of soy. As with many things, it’s all in the nitty details. It sure did make my head spin and cause me stress.

Please comment here about what you think — what is confusing you on your journey and what do you think of the article? Also, what is your approach to diet and nutrition as you pursue parenthood? What have you found in the area of nutrition to be most supportive to your overall wellbeing and specifically to your fertility?

Increase Fertility, Naturally: From Experience Life Magazine

Kristin Ohlson, a regular contributor to Experience Life Magazine, has written an up-to-date, concise primer on preparing your body for conception. Her article Increase Fertility, Naturally gives 9 practical strategies for cultivating a healthy pregnancy. She starts out with the reminder that, according to RESOLVE, one in 10 of us will experience infertility.

Each of the 9 suggestions (with accompanying explanation) is valuable. If you take all 9 and implement them as a package, you’ll be setting a solid foundation for trying to conceive. Of course, there may be other issues to address, but don’t sneeze at this set of 9. It’s a perfect place to start to ensure you’re creating the best possible conditions. The article is also sprinkled with useful references.

My personal favorite is Number 7. Look Beyond the Numbers.

On the web version of this article, Kristin has included a 10th (a Web Extra) to help men create the best conditions for the swimmers too.

For those of you experiencing a deeper level of frustration on the fertility path, I’m offering a complimentary guide Freedom from Infertility Frustration: 6 Steps to Relief. Visit Whole Vision Coaching to have the guide sent to you.

Coach Louise and Coach Julie

Dear blog reader,

Coach Louise began this blog with the intention that it be a place to share stories, ask questions, get support in a safe place of understanding and compassion, as well as a source for information on the topic of infertility, miscarriage, treatments etc. I am so excited to be taking over the administration of the blog and continuing on the mission of supporting you on your unique fertility journey. If you’d like to know more about me and what I offer, please click About Julie or visit Whole Vision Coaching. I’m so glad you’re here. Most importantly, I really want you to understand that you are not alone and this part of your adventure does not define who you are.

Having experienced the frustrations of unexplained infertility personally, I recognize that the experience can be isolating when the people around you don’t necessarily understand what you are going through. It is also often the first crisis couples come up against where there is really no control over the outcome. I want to connect with you and give you as much support as possible to lead a life full of joy and balance no matter the outcome of your pursuit of parenthood. I can also help to guide you and propose different alternatives that you might not have considered yet from a purely objective point of view.

Ultimately, I can offer you a space like a comfy sofa that you can fall into to feel comforted and reassured and so much more while on this unexpectedly challenging journey.

With love,
Coach Julie

Part 3 – Healthy Body Image: 6 Places to Start

In Part 2, we looked specifically at just six areas of life experience that are influenced by body image and self-esteem. We closed this examination with the hopeful idea that accepting self as is today is the place to start, even if there are things we want to change.

But how do you accept your self as you are today? Can you find a way to reopen your heart to your present self? Below I offer six suggestions. These activities are immediately fulfilling and longer lasting than the perfect body.

Self-care
Groom and dress yourself lovingly every day. Simple things like applying lotion after a shower to arms, legs, and torso in a gentle, massaging way can help you reconnect and feel good about yourself. Wear clothes that fit well, in colors and styles that you like and feel good in. Limit or completely eliminate getting on a scale. Tune into how you feel more than what you weigh.

Hobbies
Schedule some time every week, or at least every month, to engage in an activity that you find fun and that reignites your creative juices.

Friendships
Reach out to people you know and like; create opportunities to get together and share some fun time. Don’t worry about bothering them or how busy they may already be; and if they are not available, do not take it personally. Just keep reaching out to people you know and like and find someone who can join you for an activity as simple as a walk and chat, for example.

Self-appreciation
While facing yourself in the mirror, declare your appreciation for the things you do well and the qualities that you like in yourself. Start out with one day a week and work up to making it a daily practice. Find at least one positive thing to say to yourself in the mirror each time.

Healthy food choices
Take time to buy, prepare, and eat nourishing and healthful food. Even if you are cooking for just you, act as if you are feeding someone very important and deserving of a great home-cooked meal – because you are.

Feel-good movement
Turn on some fun music that makes you want to move your body. Find ways to move that feel good, for example, swimming or yoga. What physical activities did you enjoy when you were a kid? Find ways to reconnect with that side of yourself.

There are many ways to practice self-acceptance and self-nurturance that will create the foundation from which to support your desired changes. You can have the life you want. Start today by appreciating who you are now. As you do this, you will be able to move toward the life you want for yourself with positive energy and an attitude of joy.

How to determine the quality of your eggs or sperm!

baby-in-vitro

Hi folks,

This is such a big question, but in truth there is a lot you can do improve the quality of either eggs or sperm!   It takes 3 months for follicles to mature into eggs, and also the same time for sperm to develop ready for ejaculation.    So it stands to reason that you want to give yourself at least a few months before you start seriously trying to fall pregnant to take care of things on your end!

Discovery Health did a recent documentary on men drinking a mix of fruit and veg smoothies twice a day for a few months, and the quality of their sperm increased dramatically.  These men were chosen as they were not successfully creating a pregnancy with their partner, and this was because their sperm was not up to scratch.   So even making that simple change can make the world of difference.   Often individuals, women and men included are not getting enough minerals and nutrients through their diet,  so this is a great place to start looking at how you can influence the outcome of fertility issues.

Minerals are also really important, so nuts like Brazil nuts are great because of zinc and selenium for men to produce healthy sperm.  Men, and women, need folic acid, so choose lot of green leafy vegetables to put into your smoothies, or juicing.   (if you’re juicing, which incidentally I love, make sure you are taking in enough fibre during the day, as juicing would not be enough)   Make sure you are mixing vegies and fruit as you want a really good mix of nutrients.  By the way asparagus has lots of folic acid!

I am by no means an expert but from my own experience and from all the reading and research I do, this seems to be a great platform to start from.

To add to the mix, do a little exercise too.  Don’t go crazy, and don’t do it in fits and starts – if you do that, it can potentially do more damage than good.   Fit regular exercise into your routine that gets the blood circulating.  Like walking or swimming.   For women, hard exercise is going to detract from the fertility process, so make sure you are moving but make it gentle.

Let me know how you get on!  Ultimately what this says to me, is rthat we really need to take good care of ourselves first!  Nature’s way of preparing us for taking good care of the little ones we will bring into this world!  And that we are able to do something before we resort to other methods and extremes.  Good luck!

Warmly,

Coach Louise

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Peas! a natural contraceptive…and more.

Did you know that!?   In fact I believe the Japanese have a contraceptive made thats main ingredient is peas.   I frickin’ love peas!  So when I found that out, I was thinking well no wonder I can’t get pregnant!  Ok its a bit more complicated than that.  But I was eating them like I normally do, like crazy!  Well, I wanted to share that with you, as I have my last big bowl of peas, soaked in butter, as I start the build up to my next IVF.  Yummy.   Migraine has me laid low today, peas are a comfort.   DH is away on a course, so I will indulge… butter is an indulgence for me too.  I have generally cut butter and margerines out of my diet, even from sandwiches.  Its amazing how quickly you can get used not having it.   My cholesterol is an issue, and if you get pregnant, you naturally get even higher cholesterol!    Well, I have to say I would welcome that if it meant being pregnant!  In the meanwhile trying to do what I can to lower it – except tonight.   The rainy weather is causing a pressure system which is probably causing my migraine.

Hmm that makes me think, I will have to start curtailing the types of painkillers I use, to really be ready to for the IVF.   Not looking forward to dealing with that.  It means constipation – bad!!  Was that more information than you needed?  too bad! hehe!   So its actually is harder to manage the migraines when having to get ready to go through the IVF.  When I fell pregnant on my 2nd IVF ( miscarried at 6 wks 5ds)  last year, I was migraine-free for the duration.  What a great side-effect.   See, there are so many reasons why I should be pregnant!   For those of you who don’t have any idea of what cluster headache / occular migraine is,  I can have between 1 to 5 (sometimes more) migraines in a week.  It is one of the worst kind.  (yes there are lots of different types of migraine) and this type is generally diagnosed more in men.    Wow wouldn’t that be amazing – to be pain free for 9 months AND to have a baby at the end of it!    For some people migraines can get worse through pregnancy, but it has the opposite effect for others.   I found I was one of the latter.

I went to my Resolve support group last night for the first time in ages.  It was so nice to connect with Michelle and Sue, who were the only others that came, which was perfect because they were ones I wanted to reconnect with.  So we were able to have a good chat.  I hadn’t been for about 4 or 5 months, and didn’t realise how much I had missed it.   It really is a place where you can totally be comfortable talking about your experiences knowing there is understanding, empathy and no judgement.   Generally speaking, when someone hasn’t walked in our shoes, it is very difficult for themno to understand what we are going through, and generally anything they might say, can be irritating or inappropriate….. so support groups are a blessing.   If you haven’t been to one, or joined one, and have infertility challenges, do yourselves a big favour – join one!  Especially if you are one of those who is not willing to share your experience with anyone you know.  It gives you the outlet to talk to others with confidentiality and stops you from feeling isolated, which can easily happen with this experience.

Well enough rambling from me…

Next week, I will be setting up appointments with a couple of new IVF doctors… thinking of the clinic in Shorthills, NJ, and Weills-Cornell in NY.  My old doctor says he has done all he can….  a fresh perspective is called for! I am not ready to give up yet.  Besides we only found out I had a couple of gene mutations after my 2nd IVF and miscarriage!  So not giving up yet!

love to all on this journey,

Coach Louise

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