Food as Medicine
I always say, life is about being realistic and being balanced. Before jumping into anything not sustainable you need to do a plan that works for you and include food and exercise that you enjoy, and most importantly, you need to know why you are doing it.
“If we don’t know why we are doing something, then we lose desire and motivation to do it”
Let's look at quinoa for example. There is so much talk about this little super-food these days. But why? Because it is grain-free, which makes it less inflammatory and easier to digest. It is a complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids) which is a building block for cells and blood. It is packed with nutrients such as Iron, Lysine, Magnesium, Vitamin B2 and Manganese; all of which are necessary for cell development and follicular (eggs in our ovaries) development and to help thicken the lining of our uterus to aid embryo attachment. Now, that means something. We now have clear reasons as to why quinoa is a great fertility food, yes?
Very importantly, try to avoid overly processed foods that are completely denatured and create inflammation and affect our ability to absorb nutrients by putting undue pressure on our digestive systems; such as white bread, pasta and most packaged foods.
I believe that homemade treats such as biscuits, cakes and slices, in moderation, are fine, but if you are eating enough breakfast and lunch, you shouldn’t get any sweet or hunger cravings. Try to sweeten with fruit rather than refined sugar as much as possible and instead of packet juice, always squeeze or whizz up the real thing.
Eat loads of dark leafy green vegetables they are an excellent source of so many nutrients; fibre, folate, and carotenoids, vitamins C and K and the minerals iron and calcium and also act as antioxidants in the body, which is all cleansing and nourishing for the gut. If our digestive system is strong and we are providing the body with nutrient-dense food, our body will work optimally. Try and add spinach, parsley, kale, cabbage, celery, broccoli and Asian greens to meals as much as possible.
Balance out each meal with protein as well as carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are broken down in the body by protein. If you combine carbohydrates and protein in the same meal the sugars won't be stored as readily, so fat won’t be stored and the body can work optimally creating more blood and energy for the body. Complex carbohydrates are potato, pumpkin and other vegetables.
Protein-rich foods are meat, fish, eggs, quinoa, nuts: raw and organic with no added salt, seeds: particularly pumpkin seeds known to improve egg and sperm quality, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans and tofu.
“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a pauper”
The largest meals should be breakfast and lunch while we are most active, need some energy and can burn the carbohydrates off. Overnight is a time for cleansing and need the least energy.
As an example, for breakfast you are much better to have a tomato, spinach and mushroom omelette than a green smoothie.
For lunch you are much better to have leftover dinner than a salad sandwich.
For dinner, meat and veg is the most common choice in Australia, and it is a good one but keep the portion size down, or try to think of soups in winter and salads in summer.
It is important to work out a practical eating plan a week in advance so that you can take it to the butcher and fruit and veg shop to do your shopping, or better yet, get an organic box delivered to your door.