Does dieting drive you crazy? Hands up if following a really strict fertility meal plan is not working for you! Instead of depriving yourself of what your body wants, leading to even more stress, there is another way. Something I like to call the fertility anti-diet – how you can balance hormone health and improve fertility WITHOUT following a super strict, miserable, cookie cutter meal plan.
In this week’s episode of The Fertility Witch, I’m getting real about fertility diets and the better way to improve hormonal balance and reproductive health by eating what you want.
Hey, witches. Welcome back to The Fertility which podcast. First, I want to apologize for our two week absence. The past two weeks, my daughter was home from a ten day quarantine from preschool and then I was exposed directly to Cobb. So then I was quarantined with Cobid while also watching her and taking care of my own clients. So that was a lot. But we are back and I’m so excited to be here with you today. We are going to talk about how to reclaim your life while trying to conceive all about fertility diets. I’m sure you’ve seen them, you’ve heard them, maybe you’ve tried them, maybe you’re on one right now. Of course, there are a lot of really great foods to help boost fertility. We want whole grains. We need protein, vegetables that have really great minerals and vitamins in them. Things like asparagus there are so many foods that are great out there for boosting your fertility. What I see with my own clients and where they get tripped up and where people get tripped up in any sort of diet is trying to follow a diet so strictly that they become so miserable and they hate what they’re eating. They hate having to follow it. They feel like they are basically forcing themselves to eat things that they have no interest in eating. And that sucks. Who wants to live like that? Of course, there are ways to help boost your fertility with nutrition. That’s extremely important. It’s so important for over our health, our reproductive health, for all of our hormones.
But when we follow really restrictive diets, oftentimes that causes more stress over trying to do everything perfectly. It creates this one size fits all mentality that really rejects your own individualized needs. It doesn’t look at possible nutritional deficits that you may have. It could possibly cause nutritional deficits by concentrating on certain areas of nutrition that then some other areas get neglected, which can ultimately impact your hormones as well. It can create some social isolation, especially for women trying to conceive because they don’t want to go out with their friends and have that glass of wine or be tempted to eat the wrong things, not to mention the immense amount of guilt when you don’t follow that diet’s rules. And eating can go from being something that’s pleasurable to feeling miserable, feeling like you don’t even want to eat because you’re not going to get any pleasure from it. And Furthermore, deprivation eventually leads to more intense cravings and more binge eating. Unfortunately, diets like this are just not sustainable.
We know that these don’t work in the long run. We have research that shows they don’t work in the long run. And not just diets that are strict for fertility, just diets in general. Just like, raise your hand if you’ve been on a diet. Yeah, me too. So many of them. I’ve tried so many different diets. I know I’m not the only one out there. But in this case, in terms of fertility, if you are out there following a fertility diet that is really strict and you’re following a really strict meal plan and it’s making you miserable, I want to talk to you about how you can take that part of your life back while you’re trying to conceive. And that is through this anti diet movement that I am a really big fan of.
Intuitive Eating For Fertility Health
You may have heard of it as intuitive eating. This whole movement encourages you to follow your own intuition of what and how much you want to eat instead of following a super strict unrealistic meal plan. So there are a few different pillars of intuitive eating. And this is something I work with for my clients. I call it the fertility anti diet. And they are able to find pleasure in eating again, because eating is such a social experience for us, it’s such a pleasurable experience for us. So you will be able to actually still boost your fertility and still get really nutritious foods in that are great for your hormones and great for supporting egg health and also getting your partner in on it, too, to support healthy sperm. And you can do this without feeling miserable and following an extremely strict meal plan that’s full of foods that you don’t want to eat.
But the first thing that you want to keep in mind with doing intuitive eating for fertility is ditching that sort of diet mentality, right? It’s not a fad diet. It’s not a restrictive diet because diet mentalities are just full of guilt and blame. When you don’t follow that diet to a T and then you get your period at the end of the month, I’m going to guess that you blame yourself for eating that cookie or having that ice cream or that glass of wine. This is something I hear very often from my own clients. And I know a lot of other fertility practitioners and doctors who hear the same thing from theirs as well. But you are a whole person with complex needs, not some cookie cutter diet. That one is going to drive you insane trying to follow, but also doesn’t look at your whole needs and the specifics of your own body and what you need to heal and what you need to sort of fill in the gaps of any fertility health. So overall balance is key. I know there’s a lot of research out there and there’s a lot of talk out there about which diets are best for fertility. And people do look at Mediterranean diet. They look at high fats with protein and looking at things that are like not so much in meat protein but in plant protein, looking at keto diets. And lots of people have had success with that. And that’s wonderful. That’s really awesome. My only concern is when you’re going into a diet with this sort of diet mentality, and it’s going to drive you crazy and just up your stress, which is not what we need when we’re trying to conceive, right? I want you to be able to thrive and still be able to enjoy your life on your journey to having your baby. Next is trying to stop this food fight with yourself. When you can give yourself unconditional permission to eat, you can make peace with your food and make peace with your choices. When you tell yourself you can’t have a certain food, do you feel like you want it even more? Do you feel intensely guilty when you finally give in to eating that food? And do you end up eating more than you actually intended?
No More Food Police
This is because when we tell ourselves that we can’t or shouldn’t have something, we get intense feelings of deprivation. And oftentimes when we do crave something, it’s our bodies telling us that we need something. And sometimes that can be obviously thrown off by the amount of sugars that we eat on a daily basis. And then our bodies are just craving more and more sugar. But there are ways to intuitively listen to your body. And even when your body is craving sugar, it doesn’t mean that you have to go eat a bunch of cookies or cake or anything like that. But in this process and what I also do with my clients is, okay, we’re going to think about why are you craving that sugar? Where is that craving coming from? What do you want to give your body to feel nourished and to feel good? What do you want to give yourself permission to eat and not feel guilty about? And then we end up maybe having that cookie or two enjoying ourselves and not beating ourselves up about it. And then we move on to the next meal instead of thinking that we just ruined our diet for the entire day. That sounds so much better, right? Than just blaming yourself and beating yourself up all day for eating one thing that you think is bad or blaming yourself for the next thing I encourage all of my clients to do, and all of you out there to do is to tell the food police to fuck off.
So if you ever think that you are good for eating a salad and bad for eating some chips, I’m going to tell you that you are not alone. We have all thought those things, and we have all been taught to equate our food decisions with our own emotions and how we think about ourselves. I’ve said these things to myself so many times, and the food police in our culture would lead you to believe that your worth is tied to what you’re eating. And I’m here to tell you that it is not. Your food choices don’t make you good or bad. You are worthy of feeling amazing and enjoying your life. We spent all these years with these intrusive thoughts and diet culture and TV and movies and pop stars and having all these judgments in our heads about what we’re supposed to eat, what we’re supposed to look like.
So even in your own fertility journey, if you’re thinking in your head, oh, I just ate that. That was bad. I’m bad like that. I shouldn’t have done that. Or if you’re finding yourself using the phrasing, oh, I was bad today in terms of what you’re eating. I want you to think about this and I want you to tell the food police in your head and the food police in your friends group, in our culture to all just fuck off because you are not what you eat. Your worth is not tied to what you’re eating. You can rediscover satisfaction while still giving your body all these great nutrients that you need to support a healthy reproductive system and throughout this whole process also find more self compassion for yourself because trying to conceive you don’t need me to tell you how overwhelming and stressful and anxiety ridden it can be. Maybe you’re feeling angry at your body or yourself altogether.
Giving Yourself Permission To Eat, To Heal
This physical and mental challenge can be so difficult to cope with on a daily basis. And all this paired with a very restrictive diet that can lead to more emotional eating and more guilt and more anxiety is not going to help you solve the problem. But learning to be kind to yourself and giving yourself permission to eat, to enjoy your life, to give your body what it needs now that to me is something that is so magical and you’re trying to conceive journey. Your body is your home and you can give it what it needs and you can feel good about it and have a healthier hormonal balance without beating yourself up.
All right, so that is it for today. So happy to be back with all of you. I hope you found this to be helpful. If you like the podcast please like subscribe, give us a review and I really hope you also come and check out my new free guide that I made for everybody after my discussion the other week with Dr. Leah Gordon about all these different chemicals that are in our beauty products and our care products and so much of the things that surround us in daily life and how it is negatively impacting our fertility. So I made a guide that is how to become low-tox for your fertility and how to improve your fertility by going low-tox. So if you want to check that out and get your free copy you can go to thefertilitywitch.com/free and download it.
Alright. Thanks witches. See you next time. Bye.