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Preparing…

Disclaimer: Et viola; the boring disclaimer:
I think you already know that I’m not a doctor & am not giving medical advice.

Hope IS preparing. Faith IS preparing. Preparing is hope and faith. When we save money through 401k’s and other retirement funds or savings accounts, we are expressing the hope we have for an abundant future. The same is true when we prepare our bodies for upcoming races or competitions. We are prepping ourselves in hope of success and even winning. So when we are TTC there are many things we can do to prep our bodies, minds and spirits to ensure healthy fertility and swift conception.

I am a fond believer in manifestation so I often try not to overlook anything that will assist in my manifestations. For example, if there is a job that I really want, I literally train my mind so that I believe I already have that job. I make sure I am waking up in the morning at the time I need to, as if I already have that job. I answer the phone with the same tone I would answer the phone if it was a call for that client. I prep my skin to reflect the face I want to show when I am on location. In the past, the more thorough I am in “faking it until I make it” (in other words: manifesting) with something that I truly desire, the more likely I am in attaining said desire.

Clearly the most important part of manifesting is the mental and spiritual aspect, but adding tangible items to assist can greatly increase the chances of success. When it comes to TTC, items such as certain foods and herbs, help on a physiological level and aid the body in things like hormone regulation and uterine toning. And for some of us who have a difficult time conceiving, we will take any help we can get. Not only does using and ingesting things that assist in fertility help on a physiological level, but I believe that just the act of habitually using the items helps train the mind and spirit in preparation for conception.

Below is a list of things that I am either currently using, or that I have read about, to assist in prepping my body for fertility and conception, as we begin the IVF process. I will detail some of the items I am using (and put an * before it) and even link some of the items, in hope that it will help some of you on your own journey.

Supplements
*Pre-natal vitamins + DHA – This is pretty self-explanatory but taking a prenatal, especially with DHA is shown to improve chances of pregnancy. It also serves as a sort of “back-up plan” to our diets. While eating a healthy fertility diet is of the utmost importance, it is always a good idea to include a whole food prenatal multivitamin in our program as well.
*Iron supplementing – Researchers have found that women who take iron supplements have, on average, 40 percent less risk of ovulatory infertility (an inability to produce healthy baby-making eggs) than those who don’t take iron supplements. And the higher the dose, the lower their risk. Also, be sure to choose a whole foods-based iron supplement for proper absorption. This type is usually in liquid form and have a short shelf life, which makes it pricey – but worth it! (I use this)
*COQ-10 (Ubiquinol) – Ubiquinol has been shown to inhibit DNA oxidation (damage from free radicals), thus protecting the genetic code. A study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that supplementation of 600 mg of CoQ10 daily by older women improved both egg quality and fertilization rates. Note: there is a difference in ubiquinol vs. ubiquinone, which is important to know. (I use this)
*Alpha Lipoid Acid – An amino acid for healthy eggs AND sperm.

Foods
Now, my diet isn’t perfect, but it has been really great in the past. Today, however, I am working on getting back on track in eating as healthily as possible. Though I used to be full-on vegan, today I consider myself “flexitarian” meaning I eat what I feel like my body wants and needs. I may have red meat once per month, if at all and I eat fish and chicken/turkey 1-3 times per week. Otherwise, I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, allowing eggs and very little dairy, which I try to keep to greek yogurt only. I will “cheat” and eat cheese occasionally. I LOVE cheese!!

*Eggs – I am hoping that I have healthy eggs and I heard that one of the best fertility foods are, ironically enough, EGGS! Good thing I love eggs. I usually eat them hard-boiled or scrambled in a little coconut oil. They say 1-2 per day, but some days I eat 4 or 5 and I have heard that there is nothing wrong with that!

*Fertility Smoothies – I love the information on Natural Fertility Info’s website. There, I learned a lot about the best things to eat for fertility and also found a lot of great recipes. Including the smoothies at the link above. “Starting the day with a smoothie guarantees that you are going to be getting the most important components of the Natural Fertility Diet consistently.”

*Seeds and nuts – From Natural Fertility Info:
“Eat nuts and seeds in their raw form as essential fatty acids and zinc are sensitive to heat and can be destroyed if cooked. I have listed amounts of nuts and seeds and their nutritional density so you can see how packed they are with nutrients.

The best seeds and nuts for omega 3 are:
Walnuts – 1/4cup = 2,270mg
*Flax seeds – 2 Tbs = 3,510mg
*Hemp seeds – 3Tbs = 3,000mg
*Chia seeds – 1Tbs = 2,300mg
The best seeds and nuts for zinc are:
Pumpkin – 1/4cup = 2.7mg
Sesame – 1/4cup =2.8mg

The best seeds and nuts for vitamin E are:
*Sunflower Seeds – 1/4cup = 18.10mg
*Almonds – 1/4cup = 8.97mg

The best seeds and nuts for iron are:
Pumpkin seeds – 1/4cup = 5.16mg
Sesame seeds – 1/4cup = 5.24mg”

*Healthy Fats and EFAs (flax, avocado, coconut oil…) I make sure to eat about 3 of these a day in some form. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is a staple in our house and our cooking oil of choice. I love avocado and eat them as often as I can…some days I will eat 2! Golden flax seed meal is an ingredient in a homemade apple sauce that I make most mornings. It is super easy and really yummy: simply blend the following: (I use a Bullet Blender and it blends perfectly) 1 large organic apple, 1 tbsp flax meal, 1 tbsp chia seed, 1 tbsp honey, 3/4 cups water. This is great for cleansing and digestion and you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon for added benefits.

***If eating meat: choose grass-fed, organic only. If you don’t, the animal you are eating is fed hormones and antibiotics regularly, which can impact your hormonal balance and immune system.

Herbs
*Vitex – Vitex, or Chaste Tree or Chasteberry, is native to Greece and Italy and has a long history of use for supporting fertility and hormone balance. (More info here)
Nettles – A wonder herb with a host of benefits!
*Maca – Known for helping balance hormones and reverse hypothyroidism. It is an endocrine adaptogen, meaning that it does not contain any hormones, but rather it contains the nutrients necessary to support normal hormone production. (More info here)
*Ginger – One of the oldest and most popular natural remedies. It is also very easy to find in most places and extremely versatile. It is one herb I always keep on hand (raw root, tea and powdered forms) for its uses in upset stomachs, respiratory issues and even skin problems! (More info here)
*Dandelion – A source of a variety of nutrients and the leaves and root contain Vitamins (like A,C, K and B-vitamins) as well as minerals (including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and choline). The various parts of the plant have a long history of use as an herbal remedy, and every documented population in areas where it grows naturally has used it medicinally. (More info here)
Shatavari – Shatavari is highly regarded as an herb for women’s health and it is the most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine for problems connected to women’s fertility. The name Shatavari is from an Indian word meaning “a woman who has a hundred husbands”. (More info here)
*Red Moon Tea from Grey Mountain Herbs (GMH). My friend Nick owns GMH, an amazing herb and tea company in Provo, UT (they ship!!). When I did some graphic design work for them Nick sent me a sampler of many of their teas. I love ALL of the teas but was extra excited to see the Red Moon Tea, a fertility tea that has some great ingredients (Raspberry Leaf, Cramp Bark, Nettles, Goji Berry, Wild Yam, Dang Gui, Bai Shao, Skullcap, Corn Silk, Honey-Fried Licorice)! It is a super fresh and fruity tea that is great both hot and iced. Check them out and tell Nick I sent you.
*MaterniTea – This company is out of Australia, BUT they ship internationally. My sister met the owners of MaterniTea on one of her trips to Colombia. She was so excited about the tea that she told our other sister and I about the tea (we are both TTC). My birthday is coming up, so my two amazing sisters gifted me the MaterniTea Program. I have only tried one of the three teas so far, but plan on doing a full review of all three in the near future. So far I am really happy with the products. The packaging is beautiful and the ingredients are on point!

Crystals
Disclaimer: Et viola; another boring disclaimer:  I think you already know that I’m not a doctor & am not giving medical advice. Crystals for fertility should be used as a compliment to & not as a replacement for regular medical care & consultations. I am simply sharing what is working for me.

Use crystals on their own or bundle together 3 or 4 of them. You can simply rest with the stones on your belly or over your ovaries for 10-15 minutes a day or you may hold them while meditating. Try to visualize the baby inside you & your healthy pregnancy the whole time. You may also like to keep this little bag with your crystals in a pocket, bra, in your purse or pillow case while you sleep just to keep the good vibes nearby all the while. Personally, I keep moldavite under my pillow every night and sometimes I carry a little bag in with the moldavite inside, in my purse, during the day. I use crystals in meditation often and have found them to boost me in the ways that I am hoping. For more information, please see here or please do research on your own.

Below are a few stones that I am using, or have heard of using, for fertility…

Moon Stone – One of the most recommended stones for fertility issues. It can actually be worn during and after sex to help impregnation to occur. It boosts feminine energy and is a stone of love. By focusing on love, instead of pregnancy during love making, chances can be increased with this stone. May be useful in regulating the menstrual cycle if issues are present there.
Moldavite – Evokes strong positive energy to the person in contact with it. Although recommended for experienced crystal users, Moldavite can have supreme benefits to those seeking enhanced fertility or support through pregnancy.
Pearls – Can be worn to promote female fertility, and don’t let the fact that some celebrities are doing this put anyone off. Pearls have a lovely soft, feminine energy so I say go for it if you already have a pearl necklace or bracelet – put them on and wear them proudly. They are, of course a more expensive option so choose another equally good crystal if you don’t already have pearls handy.
Carnelian – Awakens the sexual side of us, and is a stone of passion. For this alone, we may find it useful in encouraging more spontaneous love making. A very useful stone, it is said it can stimulate all areas of the woman’s reproductive system, whilst balancing hormones and guarding against miscarriage.
Garnet – A stone of love and passion. It stimulates life force, boosts sexuality and fertility.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations work for anything in life and it goes back to what I said at the top of this post about “faking it until you make it”. Affirmations are a key component in manifesting. The thing is, we ARE what we think and what we say. So negative self talk or pessimistic thinking will not lead us to success. In order for you to manifest an idea into reality, you first have to create a thought, then you have to express this thought either verbally or mentally in the form of a sentence or an image and then you have to choose the actions necessary to manifest it. Rather than be our own worst enemy, we must be our own best friend. This is all especially true when it comes to preparing our bodies for pregnancy. We must believe we are strong, heathy and capable of not only being amazing mothers, but also capable of conceiving. First we have our dreams and then we believe our dreams. Positive affirmations assist so well in the act of manifestation. Below are a few affirmations to help guide your in your own fertility quest. Feel free to come up with some of your own to suit your personal journey.

I trust my body.

New balance is coming to my body now.

My reproductive organs work in perfect harmony with my body to allow an easy conception.

My hormones are perfectly balanced.

My body knows how to conceive a healthy baby.

I allow new beginnings in my life.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the next post which will cover the initial steps in our IVF process which are coming up in less than 2 weeks!

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