More and more men and women have become obsessed with their food intake. Many are convinced that eating a clean, healthy balanced diet will boost their chances of conception and heal their infertility. However, being obsessed with trying to eat and do everything perfectly can create an imbalance in itself. If you cut gluten, sugar, and dairy from your diet and feel deprived and unhappy, I would say that you are out of balance
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we believe in living a balanced life. A balance life consists of eating and drinking to nourish yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The more balanced you are, the more receptive your body will become to conception with or without treatment at a fertility clinic. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect.
For the vast majority of women who attend my clinic, I advise that they change any poor dietary habits that they might have and follow a balanced TCM diet. My aim is to put more joy back into your eating experience while boosting your fertility.
Properties of Food through a TCM Perspective
TCM dietary therapy focuses not only on what you eat but also emphasizes the importance of the right combination of simple, healthy, unprocessed, whole foods that will nourish, cleanse, and regulate your body. It’s about finding a balanced diet that suits your individual case in which will help you and your partner create a better environment for conception and grow a healthy baby.
TCM categorize each food with unique energetic properties; hot, warm, neutral, cool or cold. For instance, if you are a person that runs hot (Yang), angers easily, has red eyes, tend towards having dry hard stools, then you need to balance your body with foods that have cooling properties such as cucumbers, lemons, mung beans, and peppermint tea. to optimize your fertility. Based on your TCM diagnosis, you can nourish your body through specific foods that matches your constitution, ie. have either cooling (yin) or warming (yang) foods depending on your personal make-up. These affect the the human body and fertility in different ways.
Cooling foods have calming effects that clear heat and toxins, relax the blood, and nourish the yin. These types of foods also helps build and conserve qi energy. On the other hand, warming food represents yang. Based on TCM, yang represents heat and energy. Red foods such as the Goji berry is believed to be capable of nourishing the blood, improving circulation, and reinforcing warm yang energy.
How to Eat to Boost your Fertility
Sit and Chew your Food
Instead of eating on the run or in front of a computer, sit, relax, and thoughtfully chew your food. Not only will this help digestion but it will help you be mindful of overeating.
Enjoy Healthy Treats
If you are following a specific healthy diet, you should give yourself permission to treat yourself once in awhile. A healthy treat will feed your soul without causing any negative impact on your physical health or baby.
If chocolate is your vice, I recommend indulging on some organic dark Belgian chocolate rate than a Mars bar. If you love the taste of morning coffee, I recommend drinking one small cup of organic, pesticide free coffee once or a few times a week.
Make ‘Treating’ meditative and therapeutic
Enjoying a tasty treat occasionally can be a meditative and therapeutic. It should not be seen as cheating but rather a source of nourishing the soul. To enjoy your meditative, therapeutic treat – close your eyes and savour the flavours. Smell the rich, heavenly taste of your coffee or chocolate and slowly enjoy its orgasmic experience.
Stop judging yourself in what you or others are eating
Do not feel guilty for your eating choices – it does not make you a bad person for wanting a sip of coffee or a bite of chocolate here and there. Labelling yourself or others as “bad” is unhealthy. This type of judgement is directly tied to guilt and shame. Both of which can negatively impact your health and mental wellbeing over time.
Share and enjoy food with others
Sharing food with friends, family, and colleagues affect our natural healing response. It brings out laughter and joy which leads to positive psychological, social, and spiritual benefits.
Eating Organic is the way to go
Even though it does cost a little more to eat organic, the benefits outweigh the risks . That is, eating organic has proven to have many benefits towards nourishing your system and minimizing your exposure to toxins, and hormones to our body. The good news is that you don’t have to buy everything organic. Check the Clean Fifteen which are foods that have the least amount of toxic load.
Regardless of your fertility needs, I highly recommend minimizing gluten containing foods as they may disrupt hormone function, increase inflammation, and increase body fats which can disrupt ovulation. I also recommend staying away from foods containing pesticides or additives. Foods with pesticides and additives have been shown to cause, miscarriages, stillbirths, and developmental defeats.
Eat warm food at regular intervals
Eating warm foods at regular intervals will help keep your energy levels balanced. I recommend taking cold foods or liquids such as smoothies at room temperature. Having it warm, eases digestive function. Instead of requiring energy to heat your food to body temperature, the food can be assimilated and broken breakdown more efficiently leaving more room for nutritional absorption. Furthermore, I recommend avoid eating right before bedtime as it would affect your blood sugar levels which can negatively impact your ability to grow a healthy baby.
Prepare and enjoy home cooked meals
Preparing home cooked meals allows you to have more control over the choice of ingredients and your daily intake. To enhance your body’s energy levels and nutritional intake, I recommend making warm hearty dishes such as slow roasted foods, stews, and soups.
However, if the hustle and bustle of life makes it difficult to cook during the week, I recommend making several eat and freeze recipes such as my traditional Chinese herbal chicken bone broth soup on the weekend. If you do need to resort to take away food, choose more health conscious establishments. Avoid deep fried foods and request for more vegetables. Eating healthy will make you look and feel better inside and out.
Throughout, Pathways to Pregnancy, I provide readers with information and tools that will better help you align your body to receive life. One of the most important lessons that I share, is the power of a balanced dietary lifestyle. A balanced TCM diet will help you to align your body become more balanced and receptive to fertility.