CONSULTATION 1 - Dietary assessment
What you eat each day not only affects your overall health, but also affects your fertility including hormone balance and egg and sperm quality. Following a fertility diet to prepare yourself for conception and pregnancy will get your body into peak health, correct any nutritional deficiencies you might have, help you reach a fertile weight and give you more energy. What you eat (and what you choose to not eat), is so important when it comes to improving your fertility and during medical fertility treatments.
Every question answered below with a ‘no’ is an opportunity for you (and your partner), to make some beneficial dietary changes that will help to balance your hormones, improve egg and sperm health and boost your fertility.
- Have you removed all processed, convenience and take-away foods from your fertility diet so that you are eating a natural, unprocessed and majority unpackaged, plant-based diet?
- Do you always consume a nourishing breakfast to start your day?
- Do you always consume a nourishing lunch?
- Do you always consume a nourishing dinner that is mainly protein and vegetables?
- Does each of your main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) always contain an animal protein food, for example a serve of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, organic tofu or protein powder)?
- Does each of your main meals always contain a healthy fat source (for example a serve of oily fish, cold pressed oil, nuts, seeds, pure butter or avocado)?
- Do you include at least 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil in your fertility diet daily?
- Have you removed margarine and any blended spreads that contain vegetable oil from your fertility diet?
- Have you removed all processed soy, vegetarian or vegan products such as yoghurts, cheese, sausages, patties etc. from your fertility diet? Note that organic tofu, Miso and tempeh is ok to have once a week.
- Does each of your main meals always contain at least 2 (or more), cups of vegetables comprised of at least 3 different colors?
- Do you consistently eat 3 main meals a day and perhaps 2 to 3 small snacks in between your main meals, if you are hungry?
- Do you eat only wholegrains (for example brown rice, quinoa, oats) at least once a day and not more than 3 times a day?
- Have you removed ‘white, processed’ carbohydrates from your fertility diet (including white bread, rice, pasta and baked items)?
- Do you consume but have no more than 2 serves of fruit each day?
- If you have been struggling to become pregnant for over 12 months have you tried removing all dairy foods from your fertility diet?
- If you have been struggling to become pregnant for over 12 months have you tried removing all foods containing gluten from your fertility diet?
- Do you consume fresh fish that is low in the food chain at least twice a week?
- Do you consume red meat at least, but no more than three times a week?
- Do you regularly consume legumes as part of your fertility diet including peas, beans and lentils?
- Do you consume a serve of nuts and seeds daily?
- Do you use coconut oil, olive oil, cold pressed oils or pure butter for dressing salads and for cooking?
- Do you consume one to two serves of a fertility friendly protein powder each day to boost your daily protein intake?
- Have you taken all sauces and condiments that are high in sugar out of your fertility diet?
- Do you include a healthy, homemade fertility treat each day so that you don’t feel you are missing out and to help manage any cravings?
- Do you plan your meals for the week, ensuring your pantry has everything you need for the week ahead and perhaps you also do some meal prep?
- Do you try and make more at dinner time so that you can put a serve or two aside for lunches or for meals in the fridge and freezer to consume when you are busy or tired?
- Do you sit down at each main meal and slowly chew your food while eating and drinking mindfully?
- Do you cook or prepare 99% of your meals, snacks and treats in your home?
- Do you know how to, and do you make healthy, homemade versions of takeaway including pizza, burgers and fish and chips.
- Have you given up coffee, tea, coke, energy drinks, sports drinks, commercial fruit juices, soda and soft drink?
- Do you use a high quality (non-jug) water filter to purify your drinking water?
- Do you drink at least 2 liters (or more), of filtered water each day that hasn’t been stored in plastic?
- Do you know how to read food labels to check a packaged food for sugar and trans fat content as well as nasty food additives (artificial colors, flavors and preservatives)?
- Do you know what a portion size and serve is for protein foods, carbohydrates and fats?
- If you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet are you aware that this is not the best dietary option for improving fertility?
- Do you follow the dirty dozen and clean 15 list?
- Do you cook or heat food in a microwave?
- Do you store food in plastic containers, or do you use plastic cling wraps?
- Are you and your partner taking a female and male specific prenatal multivitamin and mineral supplement specifically designed for conception and pregnancy?
- Are you and your partner taking an omega 3 supplement (fish oil etc.) each day?
- Have all the supplements you take been approved by your doctor and checked to ensure that they are appropriate for you and that the dosage is correct?
Make a note of all the ‘no’ answers, highlight them and put some steps in place from what you learn in this module to change these behaviors to boost your fertility.