How To Increase Fertility Naturally

how to increase fertility

Are you trying to conceive? Check out the latest resources on how to increase fertility naturally using scientific advancements for prenatal care.

We are born with our genes, but our environment shapes how those genes are expressed. For example, we can turn off genes that express for disease and turn on genes that express for health. This is achieved by simply changing things in our environment such as:

  • Food
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Getting adequate sleep

However, some people have certain gene glitches (like MTHFR) that make it harder for them to metabolize nutrients needed to create a healthy egg (or healthy sperm). The health of your egg and sperm is critical for:

  • Conception
  • Maintaining a healthy pregnancy
  • Giving birth to a healthy baby
dna testing

DNA’s Role In Pregnancy

The good news is we can use DNA like a blueprint to tell us where the glitches are. Furthermore, it can help determine what foods and supplements we can use to work around the glitch.

It is extremely important to ‘fix’ these glitches before IVF because you still need a healthy egg and sperm to get and stay pregnant. Even with medical manipulation. Therefore, DNA testing is beneficial for both partners since both partners contribute to the health of a baby.

Genetic Testing

Is Your DNA Sabotaging Your Pregnancy?

If you have already tried IVF without success and plan to continue using old eggs, you most likely will keep get the same devastating results. This is because those eggs may be adversely affected by gene glitches.

So, if you want better results with IVF or even better, a natural pregnancy without the need for IVF, the first thing you want to do is find out how your DNA may be impacting your ability to get and stay pregnant.

Only then will you be able to take the steps necessary to:

  • Turn on the genes that work for you
  • Turn off the genes that are working against you

Click here to read,  Get Your Body Ready For A Baby.

prenatal testing

DNA Testing

There are a number of DNA testing companies out there but not all of them are helpful. Some provide a supplement based on your results which can be particularly harmful.

You really need to work with someone knowledgeable about DNA to get the results you want. Only they will look at your DNA in conjunction with a full health history and other labs to pinpoint your true nutrient needs.

DNA alone will not give you the best results and you might end up taking the wrong form of supplements which will prevent you from getting the results you want.

What Is DNA Testing?

DNA testing generally involves a cheek swab or spitting in a vile. This process can take several weeks to get results. DNA from 23 and Me or Ancestry.com can be used in conjunction with a third party like Genetic Lifehacks to help you understand the data.

Companies like Maxgen Labs and ASG do testing that is relevant to your health. In addition they provide a report with suggestions for what to change in your diet and supplements. Furthermore, working with a qualified practitioner can speed up the process of getting to the right foods and supplements so you get to a baby faster.

dna gene testing

Final Thoughts

Knowing your DNA can provide answers to unexplained infertility and lead you to a solid plan for getting your body ready to receive, hold onto and nourish a healthy baby to term. Click her to download my free guide, 5 Things To Fix Before You Start IVF, or a one week prenatal meal plan. Also don’t forget to follow me on social media @themommymaker for even more tips and guidance on this incredible journey.

Do You Really Need Prenatal Vitamins?

prenatal vitamins

The first thing you hear when you mention wanting to get pregnant is, “start taking prenatal vitamins.” But how do you choose the right one? Furthermore, do you really need one?

When pregnant, the only nutrient needs that significantly increase are for iron and folate. You also want to ensure plenty of the omega-3 fat DHA to support proper brain development in the baby. Beyond that, nutrient needs aren’t much different from non-pregnancy.

Do You Need A Prenatal Vitamin?

No, because you can find regular multivitamins that contain iron and folate. There are even some that contain DHA. However, you might need more iron than is found in a regular multi so you can take that separate if you want. Here are some guidelines on what to look for in a supplement, whether acting as a prenatal or for everyday.

best prenatal supplements

What To Look For In A Supplement

Vitamin A

If you have a low functioning thyroid, diabetes, or autoimmune disease, you might need up to 5000 IU of preformed vitamin A. Most supplements contain beta carotene which can be converted to vitamin A. However, that conversion is impaired in people with health issues so I prefer the source be fish liver oil.

Vitamin D

A recent study found that 4000 IU of vitamin D supported a healthy pregnancy and reduced the risk of preterm labor. You most likely won’t find that amount in prenatal vitamins or a regular multivitamin so will need to get an additional source. Getting in the sun daily without sunscreen is also a good idea. Look for D3 or cholecalciferol as D2 or ergocalciferol is more likely to cause toxicity. It is a good idea to also take vitamin K2 if you take vitamin D. This is because K2 helps you utilize the vitamin D and get calcium into bones.

Vitamin C

High doses of vitamin C might be harmful during pregnancy. Therefore it’s best to stay at 500 mg daily or less. Instead, focus on eating vitamin C rich foods like citrus, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Make sure it is natural vitamin E. If it says dl-alpha tocopherol, it’s not natural. Look for d-alpha tocopherol and put it back if there is an l by itself or with the d.

Folate vs Folic Acid

Folate

You want 600-800 mcg of folate and the methyl form (not folic acid) is probably preferable. This amount can be found in a regular multivitamin. But in both prenatal and regular vitamins, it can be difficult to find it in methyl form. So if you can’t find one than don’t worry so much about the form.

Iron

Most prenatals have around 27 mg of iron and most women’s multivitamins that contain iron have 15-18 mg. If you don’t have anemia, you really don’t need 27 mg of iron. Infact, studies haven’t found iron supplements (whether anemia exists or not) to prevent preterm birth, low birth weight, or infections during pregnancy.

Furthermore, excess iron can cause problems. So I think it’s best to stick with a regular multivitamin prior to pregnancy if you do not have anemia. Also, try to avoid ferrous sulfate as the source of iron. 

Iodine

Supplements will usually contain 150 to 225 mcg. I think the higher amount is preferable as iodine is essential for the healthy development of the fetus, but you can also use kelp flakes on food for an iodine boost.

Riboflavin

Getting adequate riboflavin is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, helps you utilize and absorb iron, can reduce the likelihood of pre-eclampsia, helps with blood pressure control, supports methylation – a process that is essential for good health, and it gives you energy. You need at least 2 mg daily and I recommend taking some with each meal. 

fertility diet

Final Thoughts On Prenatal Vitamins

Having said all that, finding a multivitamin, whether regular or prenatal, is quite a challenge. I found three prenatals that can be found in stores;

If you opt for a regular multivitamin, keep in mind the amount of folate you need and add extra folate if the multivitamin does not have the recommended amount. You can also add additional iron if needed and either DHA or cod liver oil depending on the form of vitamin A.

If the form of vitamin A is beta carotene, opt for the cod liver oil. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Women’s formula is a good option here, but it is low in iodine. Therefore, you would need kelp flakes, cod liver oil and possibly an additional iron supplement as it only contains 8 mg of iron. 

For both a regular multivitamin and prenatal, you can also add extra vitamin D with K2. If you need an energy boost, you might try getting some riboflavin with each meal with a low dose B-complex.

A good multi can help fill in the gaps and ensure adequate amounts of important nutrients, but it doesn’t replace a poor diet. So make sure you are eating real food and plenty of leafy greens. For more information click here to read, Get Your Body Ready For A Baby .

Calcium Without Vitamin K2 Is A Heart Breaker

What is vitamin K2

What is vitamin K2 and why is it so important? Well, when you think of bone health, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Calcium, right? Don’t get me wrong, we all need calcium, but it has a dark side that most people don’t know about. Popping calcium supplements may just break your heart.

It’s not enough to just take calcium, we need to aim it at the bones. If we take calcium willy nilly without paying attention to where it goes, it will end up in our soft tissues, like arteries and joints. The last place we want calcium is in soft tissues as it can increase risk for heart attacks, strokes, and pain.

Vitamin D is another popular nutrient that is really big in the research world and is now even being prescribed for hospitalized patients. The doses can range anywhere from 1000 IUs daily to 50,000 IUs weekly. Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium.

If you take calcium with vitamin D, you will absorb more of the calcium which might seem like a good thing. But, if you don’t have enough Vitamin K2 on hand, the calcium will end up where you don’t want it.

Everything You Need To Know About Vitamin K2

What Is Vitamin K2?

K2 activates a protein called matrix GLA. It removes calcium from soft tissues and it also activates osteocalcin which holds calcium to bone. So, if you have a lot of calcium, you need K2 to direct it.

Think of parking attendants at large events; they tell you where to put your car. K2 tells you where to put calcium. Contrary to some belief, when it comes to calcium, where it ends up is what counts. Not how much you have.

Below are some tips to support healthy bones without risking a heart attack.

calcium

Get Calcium From Food First

Good food sources for calcium include;

  • Sardines
  • Salmon with soft bones
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Sesame seeds
  • Dairy for those who can tolerate it
Limit Calcium Supplements To 500 mg Daily
vitamin k2

Take Vitamin K2

You can take up to 300 mcg daily of MK-7. In foods, K2 is found in natto (a fermented soy product), gouda and edam cheese. In addition, butter from grass fed cows.

Take Vitamin D If You Need It

It’s safe to take 1000 IUs of vitamin D daily and some people need 50,000 IUs weekly. Before taking high doses of D, you should get your levels tested and work with a physician. Supplemental D should be in the D3 (cholecalciferol) form. Not the D2 (ergocalciferol) form. Also, you should have your levels checked every year or two.  Learn how K2 + Vitamin D boosts your immune system.

Click here to read,  Top 5 Natural Flu Busters !

magnesium

Get Adequate Magnesium

Magnesium helps to convert vitamin D to it’s active form. A deficiency exacerbates inappropriate calcification, so you’ll end up with more calcium getting in your soft tissues. You especially need magnesium if you take a proton pump inhibitor for acid reflux.

Click here for more information about the importance of magnesium!

Final Thoughts

When it comes to bone health, Vitamin K2 is the nutrient you want to pay the most attention to. Calcium is only good if it is aimed appropriately. K2 is the bow that shoots the calcium arrow into the bone.

Fibromyalgia Pain And It’s Effect On Pregnancy

fibromyalgia pain

Are you suffering from fibromyalgia pain? It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects 3-6% of the world population with women in the childbearing years being the most affected. Fibromyalgia can make it more difficult to get pregnant and it can create some problems during pregnancy.

Ideally, you would want to get to the root cause of fibromyalgia before becoming pregnant. Fibromyalgia can be caused by;

hyperthyroid and fibromyalgia

Hypothyroidism And Fibromyalgia

Hypothyroidism is very common in people with fibromyalgia. Coincidentally or not, fibromyalgia increased when changes were made in the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Before 1970, low thyroid function was a clinical diagnosis, based on symptoms. However, now it is based on a single blood test, TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The problem is that one can have a normal TSH and be in a hypothyroid state.

Before pregnancy, insist on a full thyroid panel. Even if your TSH is normal. Look for any hypothyroid symptoms you may have such as;

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Brittle nails
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Hair loss
  • Low blood pressure
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Poor memory
  • Irritability
  • Muscle weakness
  • Puffy eyes
  • Inability to concentrate

Nutritional tests would also be a good idea. Catching these problems before pregnancy will improve your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

But What If You Are Already Pregnant?

Well first, congratulations! Second, don’t panic, because there are some things you can try to help manage fibromyalgia during pregnancy. We want to support and focus on the root cause.

nutritional Deficiency

Nutritional Deficiencies

The first thing to do is ensure a healthy diet . Eat real food and cook as much as you can from scratch. Reduce or eliminate sugar and refined grains. Get leafy greens in every day. Whole eggs, nuts, red palm oil (excellent source of vitamin E), and liver (once a week). When pregnant, food is the safest route for nutrients. 

Vitamins

You want to ensure adequate fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. You need to eat animal foods to get vitamins A (liver is the best source for A) and D. The best source of vitamin D is the sun. So, get outside every day that you can without sunscreen for at least 20 minutes. Vitamin K is found in leafy greens and a form called K2 is found in natto, a fermented soy food, and full fat dairy foods. These nutrients support the thyroid and a healthy inflammatory response.

Water-soluble vitamins are important as well, particularly riboflavin (B2), B6, folate, and B12. Eating the leafy greens will provide plenty of folate, but B2, B6, and B12 are best from animal foods (B12 is only found in animal foods); just one reason liver is so good; it’s nature’s multivitamin.  

Minerals

Minerals like zinc, selenium, magnesium, and iodine are likely to be deficient and they are critical for thyroid health and can help with fatigue.

  • Animal foods will provide zinc, selenium, and iodine.
  • Brazil nuts are also a good source of selenium, though they vary in content depending on the soil.
  • Seafood and seaweed are rich in iodine, but care must be taken due to heavy metal contamination. A good way to get iodine is with Maine Coast organic kelp flakes.
  • Avocados, nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate are good sources of magnesium as well as an Epsom salt bath.

One risk that does increase with fibromyalgia is intrauterine growth restriction where the baby doesn’t grow at the normal rate in the womb. Zinc deficiency may contribute to that risk so it’s important to ensure adequate zinc intake. Animal foods contain zinc in a form that is more absorbable. To increase zinc absorbability from plant foods, grains should be soaked, sour leavened, or fermented.

Legumes and nuts are also best soaked and then nuts can by dehydrated. The book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is an excellent resource for the proper preparation of plant foods.

Iron is another important mineral. You will most likely need a supplement while pregnant as iron is not absorbed well and the need for iron significantly increases during pregnancy. Again, animal sources like beef and liver are better absorbed than plant sources (dried fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, spinach). To increase iron absorption, you can eat a vitamin C rich food (citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, papaya, sweet potato) with the iron rich food.

thyroid health

Thyroid Health

Getting the fat-soluble vitamins, selenium, and iodine will go a long way to nourishing the thyroid gland. Managing stress is also important so include activities like yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi in your daily routine.

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) provide a lot of nutrition and are also good sources of folate. But, if eaten raw, they can interfere with thyroid function so avoid more than one serving of raw cruciferous a day. 

Eating the right fats and avoiding the wrong fats will support thyroid function. Good fats include;

  • Coconut oil is an excellent fat to use along with butter
  • Red palm oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil

Avoid fats such as oils from;

  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Cottonseed
  • Canola
  • Grapeseed

These oils contain fats that promote inflammation in the body which can damage the thyroid gland.

protein

Protein Intake

Protein intake is important to provide the amino acids tyrosine (a component of thyroid hormone) and tryptophan which supports healthy thyroid function and also helps with serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) production. Eggs, salmon, cheese and nuts are great for tryptophan. This is a difficult amino acid to get as it’s like the runt of essential amino acids and is absorbed last. Eating these foods with carbohydrate rich foods, like starchy vegetables, can improve the absorption of tryptophan.

Boosting glutathione, the master antioxidant in the body, can protect and heal thyroid tissue. Getting at least a half a gram of protein for every pound of body weight is a good start to boosting glutathione. Include glycine rich foods like gelatin and chicken broth.

If you use any protein powders, use grass fed whey protein (though I don’t recommend daily use of protein powders). Avocados and parsley are particularly rich in glutathione. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is a supplement that can be taken to boost glutathione and is safe during pregnancy.

Alpha lipoic acid is another supplement that can boost glutathione and it also supports healthy nerve function and may support pain management. It, too, has been shown to be safe during pregnancy.

gluten free

Go Gluten Free

This might be helpful if there is an underlying thyroid condition. Avoiding foods you are allergic to can help as well. Pay attention to how you feel when you eat foods to get a sense of whether or not they are supporting your health or hindering it. Cutting out gluten and other allergenic foods is critical if you have an autoimmune condition.

Gut Health

We are learning so much about our microbiome and how important it is to our health. It is important to get rid of allergenic foods when dealing with gut issues. A probiotic can help support a healthy microbiome and is safe to take during pregnancy. It can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. Eating sauerkraut with meals can aid digestion and is safer than taking an enzyme supplement since they haven’t been studied in pregnant women.

When looking for a probiotic, try to find one with multiple strains. Ginger is safe to take while pregnant if you experience nausea or digestive upset. Coconut oil, in addition to supporting the thyroid, can also support gut health. It is important to avoid GMOs and glyphosate as much as possible. So, use more organic foods. Gelatin and chicken broth are supportive for gut health as well as thyroid health.

toxic

Toxicity

If you have any kind of toxicity, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it until after the baby is born. It is not advisable to detox while pregnant and if you do, it really needs to be done under the care of your physician. 

What you can do is reduce exposure to toxins. Make sure you are not living with mold. Reduce your use of plastic (particularly plastic containers used for food and store receipts). Use the Seafood Watch app to find clean fish and seafood and the Healthy Living app to find clean personal care products.

Vaccines contain mercury and aluminum so you might want to discuss the appropriateness of vaccines for your condition with your doctor.

Practicing gratitude and eliminating negative emotions can also help reduce your toxic load.

Sleep

Fibromyalgia may make sleep difficult and being pregnant will just add to the problem. Try to get some early morning sun and have a regular schedule for going to bed and waking up. Ensuring that you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Use a body pillow for comfort and sleep in a dark room away from wifi devices; don’t sleep near your cell phone. 

Click here to read, “Top 10 Tricks For Getting The Best Sleep Ever!”

Adding gelatin and chicken broth to your diet can aid sleep, too. The amino acid, glycine, supports healthy sleep. Melatonin as a supplement could be useful and may reduce the risk of intrauterine growth restriction, but it has not been studied thoroughly in pregnant women. So, consult with your doctor before taking it.

Taking a warm bath in Epsom salts with essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, and sandalwood can relax you before bed and make it easier to fall asleep. These oils are safe during pregnancy.

pregnancy yoga

Pain

Managing pain can be more difficult while pregnant. Engaging in yoga or Tai Chi type exercises can help along with some aerobic exercise and weight training. You only need about 20 minutes of exercise; you don’t want to overdo it.

Alpha lipoic acid supplements, as discussed earlier, can be helpful as well as the homeopathic remedy Rhus Toxicodendron (6C dose). These are both safe for pregnancy. Mind-body work might be something to try for pain management while pregnant as well.

Having fibromyalgia while pregnant may or may not pose any additional risks. You could actually feel better, or you could experience more pain. Eating real food, making a few lifestyle changes, and taking the right supplements can go a long way to helping you manage symptoms safely while pregnant. 

Switch It Good For The Holidays

The holiday’s are officially just around the corner and that means food! Lots of food. Likely WAY way more food than you could possibly eat. So, here are some healthy switches to make this holiday season to keep the flavor and improve the nutrition. Also be sure to read to the end to get some amazing idea’s for healthy Christmas treats you can make with your family during the holidays.  

  1. Use Butter Instead Of Margarine Or Spreads – Butter contains a special fat called butyric acid. One of the components of the calming neurotransmitter GABA. When faced with the stress of the holiday (and maybe even your family) butter can help keep you calm, cool and collected. Plus, it contains vitamin K2 which is good for your, heart, joints and blood sugar balance. In baking, I melt butter and use in place of oil. Don’t be afraid to put butter on your veggies, too!
  2. Reduce Sugar – You can cut the sugar by ¼ to ½ cup without sacrificing flavor. Try adding vanilla extract or cinnamon to make a dish taste sweeter without a blood sugar rush or extra calories.
  3. Add Bone Broth – Use bone broth to make gravy or mashed potatoes. It can even be used as a beverage. Bone broth contains collagen and glycine which can aid digestion, help with anxiety and boost your metabolism. It can even reduce appetite; something we could all use for those endless holiday meals.
  4. Cut Your Portions – Take enough for a few bites of each item. You can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry.
  5. Ditch The Cool Whip – Cool Whip is not a food and it doesn’t do your body any good. It is so easy to make real, whipped cream and it tastes a whole lot better, too. Add a little vanilla and try honey instead of white sugar for sweetening. Add small amounts of sweetener at a time and taste before adding more. There is no point in putting in more sugar than necessary.  
chewy gingerbread cookies

Healthy Christmas Treats

During this time of the year there is an ABUNDANCE of cakes, cookies and other delectible desserts just screaming your name. However, if your anything like me, shortly after consuming them the guilt slowly begins to creep in. This year avoid the sugar blues and try making some healthier choices with these treats, beginning with these chewy gingerbread cookies.  A staple for any holiday gathering!

Interested in 12 Days of Christmas Recipes including Vegan, Gluten Free, & Keto? Back by popular demand, from our top contributors, we’ve pooled together 12 of the most amazing “health professional approved” recipes, click here to learn more.

Final Thoughts

If you want to limit grains, use tapioca starch to thicken gravy.  Try equal portions of tapioca starch and coconut flour in baked goods. Other healthy fats to use if you can’t do butter are;

Avoid soy, corn, and canola oils. 

Have a fabulous holiday season and enjoy! 

Christmas Treats Giving You The Sugar Blues? Get Through the Holidays With Your Waist Intact

With Christmas just around the corner, the sugar season is in full swing.  We’ve got cookie exchanges, office parties and family dinners to look forward to (or not).  So, how are we going to keep off unwanted pounds without depriving ourselves of all those Christmas treats?  Learn my go to holiday health tips to keep you feeling good going into the New Year!

Make A Switch

We don’t want to deny ourselves the pleasure of all those tasty treats, especially when it comes to the season of hors d’ oeuvres and desserts.   So, we tell ourselves that we will spend extra time in the gym or starve ourselves before the party in order to justify a splurge. But what we really need is a holiday mindset makeover.  Here are a few simple mind switches to make this holiday season: 

Deprivation

Instead of thinking you will deprive yourself of flavor and enjoyment when you pass by the triple decker, deluxe, death by chocolate cake. Think of the diabetes, heart disease, heart burn, joint pain and mood swings you will not have to worry about. Yes, you will be depriving yourself of a life of pain and suffering, but I’m guessing you’d be okay with that. 

Click here to read, “Sugar And Cancer – How One Affects The Other.”

Flavor

You don’t have to eat the whole cake to enjoy the flavor. Choose smaller serving sizes. You still get the mouth feel, pleasure and taste but with fewer calories which means less weight gain. 

Click here to read, “Sugar – Are you singing the sugar blues?”

Balance

Healthy behaviors don’t make up for unhealthy behaviors. There isn’t a scale where you put broccoli on one side and balance it with sugar on the other side. Healthy actions won’t erase the consequences of unhealthy actions. Exercise because it makes you feel good and energized. Not because you want to binge at the cookie exchange. Engage in intermittent fasting because it reduces inflammation in your body. Not because you want to save up all your calories for pigging out at a party.  

Click here to read, “How Processed Sugar Destroys Your Body.”

Health Tips For The Holidays!

Now that we’ve changed our minds about a few things, here are some tips to getting through the season with your health intact: 

1. Plan Ahead

You know what to expect, so plan how you will respond; write it down and say it out loud.  

2. Use Positive Language

Instead of saying, “I won’t eat the death by chocolate cake,” say, “I will eat two or three bites of the death by chocolate if I feel like it.”

Your brain doesn’t register negative words, so when framed in the negative, it will just hear death by chocolate cake and you will end up eating the whole thing. When framing it positively, the brain will hear two or three bites of cake and it will be easier for you to stick to a smaller serving as you and your brain will be on the same page. 

3. Change What You Can

If your friends want to do a cookie exchange, suggest a fun sock, holiday mug, or ornament exchange instead. It’s just as much fun, a whole lot less work and easier on the waistline. If you get to bring a dish to share, choose something without added sugar because there will be plenty of people bringing dessert. 

Now you are all set to enjoy the holidays with all the flavors, textures and fun!  Be sure to check out Family Health Advocacy daily in order to see today’s tasty holiday treat that’s also healthy as part of our 12 Day’s of Holiday inspired natural health recipes.

For more information click here to read, “Finally Quit Your Sugar Addiction With These Top Tips.”

Toxins – Are They The Real Reason For Infertility?

toxins

Although we live in a pretty toxic world, women are still managing to have babies.  So, are toxins really that important?

YES! We all have different levels of exposure to toxins and different abilities to deal with toxins. If you have gene variants that make it difficult for you to detox, then you definitely need to reduce your exposure as there is a strong correlation between environmental toxins and infertility.

Top 10 Products To Watch For Containing Toxins!

toxins in nail polish

Nail Salons

I might be shot for saying this, but one of the most toxic places is a nail salon.  Especially since nail polish is toxic all on its own. If you can’t avoid the nail salon, at least find one that is well ventilated and sit as close to the door as you can.

You can also bring in your own non-toxic nail polish. Good brands include;

Plastic

Nearly everything we buy contains plastic.  Plastic contains ingredients, like BPA, that interfere with hormones so watch out for the following:

  1. Receipts – carry gloves with you when you shop and use them to grab receipts. Have cashiers put receipts directly into the bag, or get an email receipt.
  2. Food containers/dishes – heated plastic releases more chemicals and can cause these chemicals to leach into food. Look out for;
  • Styrofoam containers for coffee
  • Microwaved food packaging
  • Canned foods (the lining contains BPA)
  • Limit the amount of bottled water you drink
  • Never let bottled water sit in a hot car
  • Transfer any leftovers from restaurants to glass containers

Eat at home and prepare meals from scratch as much as possible to reduce plastic exposure.  Also, use fabric or wood toys whenever possible over plastic toys.

Dryer Sheets

These are loaded with chemicals and toxins so choose wool balls and add essential oils.

Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers increase the absorption of BPA, one of the main toxins in plastic.  Thus, you really don’t want to handle receipts while wearing hand sanitizer.

toxins in makeup

Red Lipstick

Colored make-up and particularly red colors contain more lead. Other ingredients in make-up (and hair and skin care) you want to avoid are;

  • BHA/BHT
  • Coal Tar Dyes
  • DEA
  • Parabens
  • PEG compounds
  • Petroleum
  • SLS
  • Formaldehyde releasing preservatives

Using more natural make up can help reduce your toxic load. Good brands include;

  • Annmarie Skin Care
  • Beautycounter
  • Bare Minerals
  • Mineral Fusion
  • Zuzu Luxe

You can use the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living app to scan products at the store to see how toxic they are. Ideally, you want products rated a 1 or 2.  However, try to stick with products that are under 4 at least.

Click here to read, “What Chemicals Are You Putting On Your Face?!”

Sunscreens With Chemical Filters (ie. oxybenzone)

Chemical filters contain chemicals that can interfere with fertility and also cause birth defects. Use sunscreens containing mineral filters like zinc oxide and antioxidants like green tea. Good brands include;

  • Aveeno Baby
  • Goddess Garden Organics
  • Babyganics
  • Badger

Click here to read, “Are You A Sun Worshiper? What You Need To Know Before Stepping Out In The Sun!”

Aluminum

You will find aluminum in deodorant/anti-perspirant and cooking equipment. To reduce exposure, avoid aluminum cookware. Especially if you are making something acidic like spaghetti sauce as acid leaches more of the aluminum. Use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil. Use aluminum free deodorant like Native or Schmidts.

Non-organic Feminine Care Products

Most feminine care products are made with cotton. Cotton is a GMO crop. GMOs cause infertility in animals so you do not want these products on your body. Instead try;

  • Rael
  • Diva cups
  • Natracare
  • The Honest Company

Non-stick Cookware

These products contain perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).  These chemicals can accumulate in your body and make it difficult to get pregnant. If you must use non-stick cookware, do not heat it any higher than medium heat.

EMF

EMF’s (electromagnetic frequencies)

Cell phones and wifi are everywhere but these technologies have a dark side. They can cause health problems and reduce fertility. Keep cell phones off your body (do not carry them in bras or pockets). Furthermore, keep them away from your bed when sleeping.

When talking on the phone, use the speaker or ear buds (not Bluetooth). Turn the wifi off while sleeping and get computers out of the bedroom. You can get shields for your phone that block the EMFs.

Detox Diet

The more natural the products you use, the better. Eat a healthy diet with proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to support the body in detoxing these chemicals.

Cruciferous vegetables like;

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Avocados
  • Cilantro
  • Artichokes

In addition, spices/herbs such as;

  • Turmeric
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Black pepper

These are all great to include in your diet to support healthy detox.

If you’d like more information, click here to download my free guide to reducing toxic exposure.

5 Super Foods For Natural Fertility

fertility

This is the second part of a seven part series on natural fertility.  Since diet is such a huge topic, it will be divided into two parts.  You’ve checked your cholesterol, iodine, and thyroid.  So, now it’s time to add some nutrient dense foods to your diet.

We have received diet advice over the past 50 years or so banishing foods that provide important nutrients for a healthy baby.  As a kid, I was fortunate enough to grow up with my grandmother living with us.  She did all the cooking from scratch using the dietary wisdom that had been passed down from generation to generation.  That means I grew up eating liver once a week (I know, yuck, but I actually liked it).

Here are some foods to include in your diet to enhance your chances of getting pregnant:

liver

Liver

This is the most nutrient dense food on the planet.  It has just about every nutrient you need to support a healthy baby.  These include choline, B vitamins, vitamins A and D, and minerals like iron and zinc.

All you need is three to four ounces per week,which you can eat in one serving or you can break it up into smaller daily servings.

If you can’t handle eating liver, you can take dessicated liver in pill form.  However, that requires around 10 capsules/tablets a day to get the same amount of nutrients in one serving of liver.  Click here for a video on a few ways to make liver taste better.

eggs

Eggs

To get the full benefits of eating eggs, you need to eat the yolk since that’s where all the nutrients are.  Egg whites are great for protein, so definitely eat the whole egg.  Eggs provide choline, vitamins and

minerals, and antioxidants.  I recommend eating three eggs a day.  Click here for a great recipe to cook breakfast (egg) muffins.  There perfect for the morning or a great protein packed snack when your on the go!

leafy greens

Green Leafy Vegetables

You want plenty of folate to support the healthy development of a baby.  Leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, kale, beet greens, and collard greens are a great way to get this nutrient.  Frozen greens do not contain much folate.  Because of this, you

need to go fresh here.  I recommend cooking greens as too many raw greens can cause digestive upset and may contribute to kidney stones.  You can lightly steam them or sauté them.  Add some fat like olive oil, butter, or red palm oil to increase absorption of antioxidants.  For more information on antioxidants, click here to read, “Antioxidants – Can They Be Boosted With Chiropractic Care?”.

salmon

Salmon, Fatty Fish & Seafood

We need omega-3 fats, particularly DHA to support healthy brain development in babies.  Fish is one of the best sources for this.  Other nutrients provided with fish

and seafood are iodine, selenium, and vitamin D.  You just need to watch the source here to avoid mercury and plastic; click here to find the healthiest options.

Avoid farmed fish and go with wild caught.  Tuna should be limited to 6 ounces or less per week.  You want to shoot for two to three servings of fish per week.  Vital Choice Wild Seafood is a convenient way to get good quality fish and seafood.

beets

Beets

Beets are great for liver and gallbladder health.  They also support healthy circulation due to their nitric oxide content which may improve fertility.  They also provide iron and folate.

An easy way to include beets is to boil them whole in salted water for about 45 minutes (until a fork can prick through easily).  Cool, peel and cut up in bite size pieces.  Marinate them in some olive oil and vinegar with salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic powder (or whatever seasonings you like) and keep them in fridge.  Add to salads or eat plain.

Stay tuned for more diet tips and foods to avoid.  Click here if you want a little extra support and use the coupon code BLOOM100 until July 8, 2019 to get $100 off my Baby-Ready Body Basics course.  It contains 4 modules and 16 lessons with short videos, checklists, cheat sheets and more to help you with diet, stress management, eliminating toxins, and more.

It also includes meal plans, recipes and a weight loss guide in addition to a PDF copy of my book The Switch Diet.  If you’re serious about having a baby, this course will guide you step by step to get your body ready for a baby.

Trying To Conceive? Follow These Important Steps!

trying to get pregnant

Trying to conceive?  Planning to start a family can be a lot of fun until months go by with no baby.  Sex can become more like a burdensome chore.  Relationships can become strained.  You may even feel betrayed by your own body.  However, consider this before you turn to fertility medicine which can be really hard on your body and quite expensive.

How To Conceive Naturally

There are some natural things you can try to get your body in the best shape possible to support a baby.  And, if you do end up needing fertility medicine, you will have a better chance of success.

This will be the first article in a series on how to conceive naturally.  We will cover:

• Getting the right tests
• Eating the right foods
• Supplements to consider
• Eliminating toxins
• Managing stress
• Healthy sperm
• Managing health challenges like obesity, endometriosis, PCOS, and fibroids

Get The Right Tests

When it takes a while to get pregnant, there are a few things to consider.  It could be that your thyroid is not working right, your hormones are out of whack, or you have a nutritional deficiency.  Testing can help you determine what next steps to take.

Cholesterol

• Your cholesterol should be over 150 mg/dl or 3.879 mmol/l.  Cholesterol is the building block on progesterone, the baby making hormone.  You need adequate cholesterol to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy.  Click here to learn The Myths About Cholesterol.

Full Thyroid Panel

• Get a full thyroid panel (not just a TSH) with antibodies.  You want to ensure you don’t have Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid condition that often gets diagnosed as depression or anxiety.  A full panel will help to determine what kind, if any, thyroid issue you might have.  Thyroid hormones are essential for a healthy pregnancy so you want to make sure you are taking proper care of the thyroid gland.  A TSH by itself is not very useful as TSH can be normal in many thyroid conditions.

Iodine Loading Test

• See if you are deficient in iodine.  This is a common problem with endometriosis, fibroids, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  Iodine deficiency is very common because we don’t consume adequate amounts unless we are eating sea vegetables and seafood.  This is a urine test, not a blood test.  You want a score of 90% or better.  Click here to read how This One Urine Test Could Save Your Life!

Check Estrogen, Progesterone & Testosterone

• A very common hormone issue is estrogen dominance.  You may actually have normal values for both estrogen and progesterone, but they may not be balanced well.  This can hinder fertility.  Excess testosterone can also interfere with conception and is common in PCOS.  Click here to read my article on how Get Your Body Ready For A Baby.

These tests will give you a good picture of what could be preventing a pregnancy.  Once you know what is going on, you can take the right steps to solve the problem and enhance your chances of getting pregnant.

For more information, Click here download my free Baby-Ready Body guide or click here to visit my website .

Get Your Body Ready For A Baby

baby

We have headed into a new year where anything is possible!  We can leave behind all the things that didn’t go the way we wanted them to and move forward with a fresh outlook.  This is especially true if you’ve been struggling to conceive.  Let the struggle of the past year go, take a deep breath, and look forward to the possibilities of the new year just beginning.

If you want the best chances of getting pregnant in 2019, put BABY into practice:

B: Boost Your Cholesterol

Most of us have heard all our lives that we need to lower our cholesterol, but that is not a good idea, especially if you want to get pregnant and carry a baby to term.  Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is good for you. It is the building block of hormones like progesterone, the baby making hormone.  Without progesterone it is difficult to get pregnant and stay pregnant.  Without cholesterol, you can’t make progesterone, click here to learn more!

Action steps:

  1. Have your doctor check your cholesterol levels.
  2. Add cholesterol rich foods to your diet such as eggs, liver, butter, and full fat dairy (just don’t use ultra-pasteurized dairy).

A: Assess Your Iodine Levels

Iodine is important for thyroid hormones which you need for a healthy pregnancy.  Thyroid hormones support nearly every cell in the body including the central nervous system and developing brain of a fetus.  If a mother is deficient in iodine it can affect the IQ and brain function of the baby.  Iodine deficiency can also be a factor in fibroids, endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  For more information, click here to read iodine-friend or foe.

Action steps:

  1. Ask your doctor for an iodine loading test.  This is a urine test, not a blood test. You can also order a test yourself by clicking here.
  2. Eat iodine rich foods like seaweed, shellfish, fish, and full fat diary.  An easy way to start is to sprinkle kelp flakes on foods.  Supplements may be needed but it is best to work with a knowledgeable physician when taking iodine supplements.

B: Banish The Toxins

We are exposed to numerous toxins from food, plastic, personal care products, cleaning products, weed killer, fire retardant clothing…the list is endless.  The problem with all these toxins is that many are endocrine disruptors which means they mess up your hormones which can make it difficult to get pregnant.  It may take a while to banish them all so the important thing is to just start somewhere.

Action steps:

  1. Click here for my free getting started guide to eliminating toxins in skincare products and food.
  2. Get a copy of The Switch Diet available on Amazon for a more detailed step by step guide.

Y: Yield To A Time Out

Stress is something we all face, but if we don’t manage it well, it can derail our best efforts to get pregnant.  Stress can come from relationships, finances, our to-do list, and even from our own unmet desires.  It’s good to take a time out periodically to get a new perspective, recharge, and let go.

Action steps:

  1. Schedule some time every day to relax, breathe, and meditate.  Click here to learn more about the benefits of meditation.
  2. Look at your schedule.  Is there anything you can say no to?
  3. Take a break from scheduling (sex) and tracking (cycles) if it’s creating tension in your relationship.
  4. Do something fun every day.

If you remember BABY, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy pregnancy.  If you’d like more support on your journey to becoming a mom, click here to join or get more details about my Baby-Ready Body Academy which will be open for enrollment on January 20th.