When working with clients who are trying to conceive, I try to support them in making changes that encourage optimal fertility. One of those changes is reducing foods that are known to cause inflammation. While every body is different, there are three main foods that are known to be inflammatory - these include gluten, dairy, and sugar. Removing these foods can make a significant difference in how your body functions and how you feel. It is often best to ease into removing these foods, so you may want to consider a month or two to develop new habits, find resources, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. During this time, aim for 90%, and then later you may decide to take a few months where you are avoiding these foods 100% of the time.
A few suggestions:
- Do it with a buddy - ideally your spouse, but a friend or another family member will help provide accountability and encouragement.
- Focus on what you can eat! There are so many tasty, nutrient dense vegetables. Fill your plate with them, and add in healthy fats, proteins, and fruits.
- You may want to begin during a time when you don’t have any major changes, travel, or other stressors going on, but don’t feel like you have to wait until the perfect moment.
- Reducing gluten, dairy, and processed sugars does not mean you have to go low carb. Listen to your body. You may want to add in gluten free grains, such as buckwheat, rice, and quinoa, but you should definitely ensure that you are consuming some starchy vegetables - roots vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and also squashes, such as butternut and other winter and summer squash.
- Take a deep breath or two before you begin to eat. This will signal your body shift into rest and digest mode.
- Buy more vegetables, and plan to take 2 trips to the store/farmers market for fresh produce each week (or arrange delivery via your local CSA, InstaCart, or Amazon Fresh)
- Pre-prepping is your friend! Rinse and chop foods before storing them in the fridge - it will make cooking feel almost effortless
- Batch cook a few items each week
- Use a crockpot or pressure cooker
Where to find recipes:
And if you are feeling uninspired or craving an old favorite? Pinterest is your friend!
Simply type in paleo, AIP, Whole30, or GAPS into the search engine and peruse options. Or if you want to recreate a specific recipe or style of food, type in what you are hoping to find and add one of the key words. For example, “paleo pasta” or “whole30 pad thai” and find something that appeals to you.
And finally, be gentle with yourself and enjoy the process!