Hi, I’m Eva. I recently started a blog to help women get pregnant through natural foods. I met @hellowarriorblog on Instagram (I’m @thefertilityfoodie), and she asked me to share a meal plan for an anti-inflammatory diet.
I used to have horrible depression, painful periods, and terrible acne and I wondered what could be wrong. I had a great career, I was hard working, and I was doing everything right—I ate a healthy vegetarian diet. When I started wanting to make a baby, I started reading everything I could about nutrition. It was a way to work on the baby project without making a baby, during the five long painful years it took me to convince my husband to try. And I learned so much about deep nutrition and what’s wrong with mainstream nutrition advice, that my depression lifted, my skin cleared, my period became easy and painless, and when we finally tried for real, I got pregnant. While I was pregnant, I learned that 1 in 6 couples struggle to conceive. I started The Fertility Foodie, to share all the nutrition secrets I learned to get pregnant fast, and make a healthy, happy baby.
The basics are that often infertility can be resolved by diet changes alone, and even if you still need to do medical treatments to get pregnant, diet changes can help the treatments to work. I’ve already helped five of my friends get pregnant, one after a miscarriage, and one after several rounds of IVF.
The basics of the anti-inflammatory diet that Diapers and Dimples follows are eat natural whole foods, and cut out bad stuff like sugar and white flour. An anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation that may be contributing to trouble getting pregnant. Eating healthy can be really hard, but the good news is you don’t have to be perfect. Every small change makes a difference. My most basic advice is simply to cook at home as much as possible, with the highest quality ingredients you can find.
The standard American diet is lacking nutrients that traditional cultures ate regularly, that are necessary for fertility. In fact, traditional cultures ate specific foods to help with fertility. We take prenatal vitamins, but there’s a lot more we can do. We need high quality animal products, ideally from local farms. They are rich in nutrients that help you get pregnant, like fat soluble vitamins, the animal forms of Vitamins A, and K. Also, Whole grains, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of vitamin E.
While I’m mentioning specific nutrients, I don’t recommend just going out and buying supplements. The nutrients in foods are synergistic. When one nutrient is removed from food or synthetically created, it’s not as effective
High quality animal foods were considered sacred by traditional cultures, and were specifically fed to young couples before marriage to help with reproduction. These foods include grass fed butter, eggs, crab, and fish roe. You already know you need fresh fruits and vegetables, but adding high quality animal products could be what your diet is missing. Adding nutrient dense foods to your diet could be the change that helps your fertility efforts to work this month.
What do I mean by “high quality animal products?” I mean pork chops, ground beef, lamb chops, pork roast, eggs, salmon, shrimp, cheese etc.—but all purchased from a local farm or the best quality that is available to you. The means organic, without additives, and minimally processed. Meat and dairy should be grass fed. Seafood should be wild caught, in the United States or North Atlantic, where water is less polluted.
Getting back to why I’m here, here’s my recommendations for a week long anti-inflammatory diet meal plan. I chose easy to cook recipes that anyone can make at home. I even included a shopping list so this will be super easy for you! The most important thing you can do is buy the best ingredients available. The best stuff is from the farmer’s market or a health food co-op. Go there first, and get everything you can, especially milk, eggs, and meat if they have it. Then get the rest at the grocery store, choosing the highest quality options. You’ll save money cooking at home vs. eating out, and you’ll save a lot of money doing fewer fertility treatments when they work sooner!
Minimizing processed foods is the first step. The easiest way to start cooking meals at home is to plan ahead for the week and buy all the ingredients you’ll need at the grocery store.
For anti-inflammatory diet guidelines, I followed this article from Dr. Weil
I chose really simple meals that don’t need a recipe. If you’re not sure how to cook something, just google, “how to bake salmon” Here’s what google recommends, “Here's a basic roasting method: Season salmon with a little salt and pepper, and place skin-side down in a lightly greased baking dish or sheet pan; then bake in the oven at 400 degrees For about 12 to 15 minutes. No need to flip the fish.” Easy peasy. Don’t over think it. You can do this.
Dr. Weill recommends cooking with olive oil, where as I recommend using grass fed butter and coconut oil. In practice, I use a mix of all three—one for some things, one for others.
One more thing before we get started: buy pink Himalayan sea salt, and use it instead of table salt, but then you can use as much salt as you want. This salt is actually good for you and your body needs it—it’s an essential nutrient.
Alight here’s what you’ll be eating this week, start salivating.
Go grocery shopping
Breakfast: plain whole milk yogurt with blueberries and raw honey. A piece of whole wheat toast with grass fed butter. Mint tea
Snack: apple with organic peanut butter (read the label to find one with no additives, only peanuts and salt)
Lunch: green salad with hard boiled eggs, homemade vinaigrette, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries
Dinner: baked wild Alaskan salmon, rice cooked with sea salt and coconut oil, sautéed kale
Mocktail: Lacroix with fresh raspberries (Yep, we’re going to give up alcohol. You’ll have to when you’re pregnant, so we’re starting early. It helps, I promise).
Breakfast: plain whole milk yogurt with blueberries and honey. A piece of whole wheat toast with grass fed butter. Mint tea (don’t over think it. Come up with a healthy breakfast you like, and eat it every day. Eggs are a great option too)
Lunch: leftovers from dinner (Try to always make extra, so you don’t have to buy lunch. Home cooking is much more nutritious.).
Dinner: baked chicken, sweet potatoes, salad (All you do is salt and pepper the chicken and stick it and the sweet potatoes in the oven. For salad dressing, you much make your own with olive oil and balsamic vinegar because all pre-made salad dressings are unhealthy. Make a big jar and keep it in the fridge.)
Mocktail: coconut water – (Like I said, it’s good to give up alcohol while ttc but mocktails make dinner feel special and make you feel like you’re pampering yourself)
Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, whole wheat toast with grass fed butter, cantaloupe
Dinner: garlic shrimp, rice, frozen green beans (All you have to do is sauté shrimp in butter and garlic, and cook a pot of rice, and cook a pot of green beans)
Mocktail: mint lemonade (mix mint, lemons, raw honey, and water. It’s a virgin Mojito)
Breakfast: Old fashioned rolled oatmeal with whole milk, maple syrup, grass fed butter, and blueberries. (This takes about 5 minutes to cook, you can put it on before you get dressed, then put it in a Tupperware to take with you)
Dinner: rice and beans, with salsa, avocado, and cheese
Snack: sardines on crackers (I know you’re thinking ew yuck sardines, but seriously give it a try, they’re really tasty once you get used to eating them, and a wonderful fertility food.)
Breakfast: Your choice from the previous options
Dinner: Winter squash cooked with butter and maple syrup, chicken sausage, green salad
Snack: almonds, banana,
Breakfast: Make something special. I like popovers.
Lunch: Go out for Asian food- time for a treat! Find a place that uses real high quality ingredients
Snack: slices of raw cheese, apple
Dinner: Lamb meatballs, bulgur wheat, tzatziki (plain yogurt)
Breakfast: Make something special, I like pancakes, sausage, and fresh fruit. (You could use buckwheat or oat flour instead of white flour)
Dinner: coconut green curry with ginger and turmeric with steak, potatoes, red pepper, zucchini
For more information on what to eat to get pregnant, visit www.thefertilityfoodie.com
Yogurt (Ideally grass fed organic)
Honey (I like fancy raw stuff from Europe)
Whole grain bread (I like Dave’s Killer bread)
Natural peanut butter (only ingredients should be peanuts and salt)
A large box of Spring Mix Salad greens
A dozen Eggs (farmers market or free range)
Expeller Pressed Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar (use these as salad dressing with salt, pepper, mustard, and honey)
Himalayan pink salt
One pound wild Alaskan Salmon
Rice (a large bag of dry white or brown rice. Cook 2 cups with ¼ tsp Himalayan salt and 2T coconut oil)
A Tupperware for packing leftovers for lunch
A half chicken (organic, free range, local if possible)
5 Sweet potatoes
1 lb shrimp (from the USA)
1 bag organic frozen green beans
Old fashioned rolled oats
1 pint organic whole milk
Grass fed butter
2 can black beans
1 block organic Cheddar cheese
1 winter squash
1 package organic chicken sausage
1 bag raw Almonds
1 bunch bananas
Organic breakfast sausage