So It’s January first. We all know what that means, a new year a fresh start. A time where many re-evaluate their lives and Identify areas that you desire to improve. This year I took it very “seriously”. I allowed myself to relax a bit in December, with all the “rules” I tell myself to follow regarding fertility.
If you’re like me, you scour the internet daily searching for the answer to infertility. Reading about vitamins, minerals, super-foods, “do’s and don’ts”, what kinds of exercise to do, sex positions, lube, medications/herbs to avoid, old wives tails. I could literally go on forever, but you know, you’re here too with me.
What I’ve been SO disappointed about is the lack of actual research in regards to what is really significant, and which is of miniscule importance. Almost all of the “Tips and tricks” have some sort of decent reasoning behind them, so I usually just follow the advice, and see if it works for me. (Pst, none of it has and I’ve been doing this for almost a year.)
There are some “Rules” that I think are MUSTS, but most is just suggestion. So my goal for 2018 is to focus on the “Musts” and indulge with the suggestions. This means I’m not going to buy 100000 vitamins and crazy (expensive) super-foods. I am going to trust my doctor to tell me what is vital, and what is not. Up until now, I’ve had no post-doctoral educated guidance on my fertility. Hubby is tired of taking 25 vitamins a day. With that being said I probably will continue doing some of the suggestions that aren’t proven. Mostly in my diet making sure to include all the regular “super foods” like wild salmon, fresh farm eggs, grass-fed beef, broccoli, asparagus, garlic, grapefruit, chia/flax seeds, pomegranate juice, spirulina, decaf green tea with lemon, ginger tea, red raspberry leaf tea (CD 1 to Ovulation) and dandelion root tea the rest of the cycle, Pineapple core (1-5 DPO). Unless advised otherwise. I also want to try to take the Chinese medicine “warm womb” more seriously. This means keeping your feet warm at all times, ingesting only warm food and liquids during your entire TWW. In my opinion, this kinda makes sense to me, I am very cold all the time, I can see how this could be less than hospitable for implantation, and it really couldn’t hurt.
Goals to focus on:
- Exercise regularly. My goal is 10,000 steps per day, and minimum 30 “active” minutes per day. As you may know it is suggested by many to do daily, low to moderate workouts. This means if you’re ultra fitness insanity, you might consider toning it down. On the other hand if you’re only exercise is walking to the car/fridge, you probably should up your game! I was somewhere in the middle. I thought I was more active than I really was. I bought a fitbit Charge 2 last April, and was shocked how little I walked during my work day. I probably only did moderate exercise once a week. So I changed my habits:
**Parked farther away so I get more steps walking to my car.
**Walked on my lunch break, depending on time I would walk 1 – 3 miles, 4 x week. ** Started taking Zumba at the gym, I got a groupon for 25 classes, I didn’t really enjoy it though since I had to go after work, and really just wanted to go home, not go work out for an hour, and I suck at dancing so I felt uncomfortable. **Got and Online Yoga account, This I really enjoy and use frequently. I also got as a groupon for a whole year for like $10. **Now that it’s sub-zero temperatures, I stopped walking on my lunch break sadly. SO I have to and add my walking back in. I have a treadmill, in the basement, that is ancient and its gloomy down there and I hate it, but I walked 2 miles last night and am proud of myself. Watched netflix the whole time lol. My goal is 10,000 steps per day, and 30 active minutes per day. I strongly suggest getting a Fitbit charge 2, or other similar health tracker. It really adds accountability and non-bias recording. It makes you want to be more active, it gives you gentle reminders to get up and walk if you’re idle too long. It knows if you hit your goals, so there no pretending what “counts” for exercise. I love that it tracks sleep too.
- Eliminate Alcohol. This one is a work in progress for me. I used to be a bartender, alcohol was a major part of my life. All social gatherings were geared around alcohol. I’ve had to cut out many people in my life, and leave my job as a bartender to get away from the constant flow of alcohol. Peer pressure is real, I couldn’t say no, and when I start, I don’t stop. It’s a problem that runs in my family too. So I did eliminate alcohol last year, for 6 months straight. My current relationship with alcohol is only during my period, I usually will get a 6 pack and have 2 per night for 3 night. It’s suggested that alcohol is eliminated completely when you’re TTC, the reasons are unclear as if low amounts are OK. So my goal is ZERO!!
- Eliminate Caffeine. Similar to alcohol, it’s a blanket statement to eliminate caffeine when TTC. It may be ok in low consumption, but it may be harming to fertility, especially when there are other factors involed, its best not to chance it. I currently have caffiene 3x week, I have 2 cups of 1/3 caffinated coffee. I buy 3 bags of coffee – 2 decaf, 1 regular (organic) and mix them into a container and use that on my days off, which is 3 days per week. Im not sure how much this caffiene adds up to , but its more than zero. When I have my period I induldge in a Starbucks coffee. I’m going to ask my Dr. what she recommends in regards to caffiene consumption. I may have to go to zero!
- Eat Healthy. This is not much of a challenge for me, but I did let myself slip all of December, and put on a good 10 lbs. Being that I am of a healthy BMI already, my focus is to eat highly nourishing foods. I have been gluten-free for about 10 years now because of a sensitivity. Last year I went “Keto” – low carb/grain free/sugar-free. for health/fertility reasons. There are so many documentaries on why the standard American diet is extremely unhealthy, and how our food supply is covered in endocrine disrupting chemicals. I believe 100% that our infertility is caused by environmental factors.
- Self-care. It is very important to reduce stress when TTC. The best way to do this is to practice self-care. Identify multiple ways to relax on a daily basis, and do these things. Journaling, drawing/coloring, aromatherapy, crafts.
- Improve sleep quality. There is a sweet spot of sleep quantity, 7-8 hours is recommended. Getting less OR more harms fertility. ELIMINATE THE BLUE LIGHT at least 1 hour prior to bed time. No phones, tablets, TV. This is going to be hard for me. I am planning on charging my phone in a separate room. Luckily my fit bit has a silent alarm so I’ll use that to wake up. I may end up crate training my dogs. I currently have 2 Dobermans that sleep ON me every night, they frequently get up and change positions and wake me every time.
- Reduce spending. This is a goal of mine related to fertility because I need to create room in our budget for all of these new expenses relating to infertility treatment. Obviously a lot of this will come out of my savings, but I am going to cut out as much unessessary spending as possible.