Trying to conceive is a stressful time for expectant moms. There are many factors that need to be considered to give the body the best chance of having a baby - from tracking ovulation to moderate exercise to proper nutrition. And here's the problem: it's difficult to balance everything and not build up stress in the process, because as you've probably heard, stress can be the main factor behind failure. Here are some quick guidelines to help you prepare for pregnancy:
Make small adjustments
Before I get to the nutrition tips, one thing is very important to me: when diet and restrictions become too onerous, start small - just make tiny adjustments! The ultimate goal is not to cause stress. Maybe start by adding one thing a day. I have observed that once you incorporate something into your daily routine that is pure goodness for you and your body, junk food becomes less tempting than it was before. So just add something, don't take anything away!
Here are 3 tips to improve your diet while trying to conceive:
For every milliliter of non-water fluid you drink, drink the appropriate amount of water. For example - I used to be a die-hard Coke Zero junkie. All that caffeine, let alone the wrong sugar, was NOT good for my body or for trying to conceive. But I craved coke and the days I was in "rehab" were miserable. So I made myself a rule. Instead of just drinking water every day, I compared the amount of water I drank to the same amount of Coke Zero. Eventually I only drank one Coke a day. And what surprised me was that water suddenly tasted better to me. This simple rule worked, my energy increased, my skin became clearer and I felt better all day.
- Proteins and vegetables
Add a protein shake with vegetables to your daily diet. It was hard for me to include a salad in my diet every day. Well I told myself it wasn't easy. Pull out the veggies, chop them up, mix them up, and then add a low-calorie dressing that tastes awful? Um, no thanks. So I found a hack that works like a charm and gives you the veggies you need easily. SPINACH!
I love vanilla based smoothies and just started adding spinach. The miracle is that the taste doesn't change that much. The smoothie is still very vanilla and delicious! A large handful of spinach with 250ml milk or in my case almond milk, 1 portion of MamiGut vanilla protein powder and a few ice cubes and BAM. No more stress of making a salad every day. I still made myself a salad occasionally, but at least I knew I'd gotten the veggies earlier in the day and didn't have to worry about them for the rest of the day. So an extra salad was like a bonus.
- Not all carbohydrates are bad
Don't stop eating carbohydrates. Just eat good carbs. I swapped white bread for whole grain bread. Brown rice instead of white. Quinoa instead of rice. And to make it taste delicious, I added vegetable broth to the water while cooking. With that extra flavor boost, I didn't need as much sauce or seasoning to make my meals taste good, and I wasn't starving. Also, carbs aren't as bad as some would have you believe - just eat the good ones and you won't go wrong!
I hope these 3 tips will help you create a nutrition plan that works for you There are now numerous studies that describe the benefits of a healthy and balanced diet (Vujkovic et al. 2010, Karayiannis et al. 2018, Chavarro et al. 2018), and even if there is no ultimate "fertility diet" yet, targeted nutritional advice can be useful if you want to have children.