Posts in Women's Health
Book Review: Fertility Foods: 100+ Recipes to Nourish Your Body While Trying to Conceive

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I make a small commission if you decide to purchase this book or other items from the links included. But that in no way affects my reviews. I only share books and products I love that I think you'll love too.

I've been (not so) patiently waiting for this book to be released for awhile! After months of counting down and following its authors on Instagram, it's finally here! And I couldn't be more excited to share it with you.

If you know me at all, you know I love books of all kinds, including cookbooks. I'm not ashamed to admit that I read cookbooks from front to back like a novel. So I was beyond excited when the lovely Liz Shaw sent me a copy of her book just in time for my temporary move back to NYC.

For my four-hour bus ride from Alexandria, VA back to NYC, Fertility Foods Cookbook was my companion. Side note- bus rides along the east coast during Autumn are the best! The changing leaves of crimson and gold, the gentle hum of the bus, those comfy reclining seats... So good, soooo good. Now back to this gem of a book.

Fertility Foods Cookbook, written by Liz Shaw and Sarah Hass, is packed with some of the yummiest recipes and beautiful food photos I've seen in a long time. The recipes make use of colorful and enticing foods that are full of fertility supporting nutrients.

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Ten Inspiring Wellness Instagrammers You Should Be Following

Hey love! I've got a quick post for you today inspired by an amazing client I chatted with last week.

She shared that she followed quite a few fitspo accounts on Instagram in an attempt to motivate her to make healthy lifestyle choices. The more we chatted the more she realized most of those accounts weren't actually inspiring her at all, they were causing her to feel guilty and ashamed.

Inspiration by its very definition is meant to encourage and fill you with hope, confidence, and life. But many of those fitspo accounts discourage, depress, and chide. 

I encouraged her to take inventory. And I encourage you to do the same. Ask yourself this one question, when I look at my favorite wellness Instagrammer's account, do I feel like I'm enough and can take good care of myself or do I feel like I'll never be enough and can never do enough?

If the accounts you're following aren't making you feel like your body is good, wise, and you're perfectly capable of nurturing it without depriving it, then I encourage you to reevaluate if they deserve to take up any space on your social media feed.

Guilt and shame never created lasting change. 

In need of some new accounts to follow? I got you! I'm sharing a few of my favorite truly inspiring accounts I think you should take a peek at and maybe, just maybe, add to your feed.

Scroll through and click on the images to visit their feeds.

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Seven Fertility and Women's Health Benefits of Plant-Based Nutrition

For the past couple of months, tons of the lovely ladies I've coached have asked for info on following a plant-based eating pattern before, during, and after pregnancy. Maybe it was "What The Health?" or something else. Whatever the reason, folks are clearly curious about eating more vegetation and I'm all for it. So, I thought I'd do a series sharing what you need to know to enjoy plant-based meals that support your reproductive health.

First, let's define what a plant-based eating pattern is AND what it is not.

This may come as a surprise, plant-based does not necessarily mean vegan or vegetarian. Meat eaters who make fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds (you know, plants) the bulk of what they eat, are still eating a plant-based pattern.

Plant-based is more about what you do eat than it is about what you don't eat. So as long a larger proportion of your meals and snacks are made up of plants, you're a plant-based eater. And you're going to reap the many benefits of a plant-based way of eating.

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Don't Forget to Leave Room For Magic

A few days ago I was chatting with a friend about infertility and how much we dislike the label, "infertile." She shared a story about a loved one that filled me with so much hope.

Someone close to her had been diagnosed with infertility at a pretty young age, which understandably was devastating. Despite her diagnosis, she never stopped trying. And years, I'm talking decades later, the woman spontaneously got pregnant, gave birth to a healthy baby (though she was well past the age that was thought to be possible) AND then got pregnant again and had another healthy little nugget of delight.

It got me thinking about how important it is that we leave a little room in our hearts for magic. That's not always easy to do that with all of our medical diagnoses, stats, predictive equations, risk assessments, and probability analysis that try to tell us how likely we are to conceive right down to the 100th decimal place, but it's so important.

Miracles happen every single day. Our bodies were designed to heal and find balance. I've seen, heard about, and read too many stories of folks who have overcome the insurmountable and have done the impossible to not believe in magic and miracles.

And if you take a look at your life or the lives of people you know, I'm sure you've experienced things that defy science too.

I'm a huge fan of science. I believe in the power of science. Maintaining my credentials mandates that I practice in line with science. But I also know science doesn't have all the answers. Yeah, I said it.

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How to Prepare for Pregnancy With Essential Oils

Aromatherapy is a game changer. When it comes to managing stress and PMS pain, very little comes close. It's amazing how quickly a couple of drops can banish cramps and mellow a haggard soul.

I love singing essential oils' praises. So I was beyond excited when one of you lovely readers asked how to use essential oils to balance your hormones and prepare for pregnancy. Thanks for the post idea; you know who you are! This one's for you.

Wanna know how to use aromatherapy to create a more fertile and fruitful body and mind? Read on.

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Making Peace With My Period

Warning, oversharing ahead...

I lay on the floor, behind our orange velvet couch. Curled up like an infant, I gripped my belly in pain. My only thoughts, "I'm dying, I don't want my mom to worry. I'll just die here behind the couch." Melodramatic much?

My mom found me. And it turned out I wasn't dying. I was just having my first period. Oh!

Now, before you judge me, my mom, or the California school system, just know I had already read and reread the menstruation pamphlets from my pediatrician's office at least 10 times. My mother had already had "the talk" with me. And my teacher had already walked us through the wonders of puberty.

But somehow, everyone forgot to tell me how much it might hurt. And I failed to connect the dots. Blood in cotton bloomers and cramps = period, not death. Good to know.

After our first meeting, I was afraid of my period. I dreaded its arrival. Excruciating pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting certainly didn't fill me with the warm fuzzies.

Unable to use tampons, I had to wear bulky pads. Which may have been ok if I wasn't an active kid. In the SoCal heat, a bulky pad was far from comfortable.

It wasn't until I was 19 that I was able to successfully insert a tampon. While the menstrual product problem was solved, the painful cramps and tummy upset continued to kick my butt.

My PCP offered me the usual: birth control pills and NSAIDs. Though I turned down the BCPs, I happily accepted the suggestion to pop painkillers at the first sign of my period.

First I tried Midol. Total waste of time and money. Then Tylenol. A little better but I needed more. Finally, I tried Aleve. It worked like a charm... until it didn't. 

After years of bliss, Aleve turned against me. Suddenly, it stopped alleviating my pain. Worse yet, I would vomit nearly immediately after I popped that once magical little powder blue pill. 

I was 26. I had suffered for 15 years. And I was over it.

Tired of the pain, tired of missing work, and tired of assuring people I wasn't pregnant when I inevitably upchucked at work, I finally took matters into my own hands. I turned to the three things that never fail me in a crisis: prayer, Google, and PubMed.

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