You can have all the information in the world about the best way to eat to increase fertility, but unless you know exactly how to incorporate these foods into your diet in a manageable, sustainable way, it’s not going to do you any good, right?! And depending on where you live, your access to specific types of food, particularly fresh and organic food, can vary widely. In my practice, I work with clients all over the world with all kinds of challenges. Today I’m sharing the five fertility boosting diet tips I give my clients that are super effective—no matter where you live.
The great thing about a meal template is that it makes meal planning less overwhelming—all you need to do is include foods from each important group in every meal. Here’s the template I use for meals:
Breakfast: Protein + Fat + Safe Starch (like sweet potato or squash) + Greens
Lunch & Dinner: Protein + Fat + Greens/Veggies
Snacks: Fruit + Nuts/Seeds
Make sure you’re always purchasing organic, pasture-raised meat & eggs, wild caught fish, and organic fruits and veggies. Also drink at least half your weight in clean, filtered water every day.
… and that’s it! Once you have the basics down, you just fill in the template for each meal.
Some caveats—there are some specific not-so-great-for-fertility foods you should cut completely out of your diet—specifically, gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and soy.
Gluten is a well researched fertility inhibitor, and gluten intolerance has been linked to altered estrogen levels and consequences such as amenorrhea, infertility, and diminished ovarian reserve.
Dairy cows are typically kept pregnant to maximize dairy output, which results in high levels of estrogen residue in our milk and cheese, which then disrupts our body’s endocrine function.
Sugary foods and loads of caffeine wreak havoc on blood sugar levels throughout the day, disrupting ovulation patterns and negatively impacting your hormone production.
The phytoestrogens in soy can exacerbate estrogen dominant symptoms and conditions like PMS, PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, infertility, and low libido.
With all that in mind, here’s an example meal using the template:
2 soft-boiled organic, pastured eggs (Protein)
1 large mug of organic bone broth with 1 tbsp added coconut oil (Fat)
Sautéed sweet potato & spinach (Safe starch + greens)
To modify it to your region, just use foods that are readily available. So for example, when I lived in Hawaii, the growing season was year-round, so I was able to snack on fresh fruits and veggies all year long. Now that I’m back in Colorado, I’ll only be able to hit up the farmers’ markets in the spring, summer and early fall.
If you don’t have access to organic bone broth, you can either order it online from Kettle & Fire (hands down my favorite pre-made broth) OR eat ½ an avocado instead to get a good source of fat. If you can’t find pasture-raised eggs, go for organic or if you can’t find organic, at least choose cage-free eggs.
Speaking of farmers’ markets …
Whenever possible, eat local and in season. Fruits and veggies that don’t have to travel long distances and are grown in-season are far more nutritious than their factory-farmed counterparts. Visit farmers’ markets, talk to local farms about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, ask your local grocer where they get their produce, and consider gardening in your own backyard if you have the space and time.
If you live in an urban area without access to fresh, organic foods, thanks to the internet, you still have options!
These days there are tons of services available online that will ship quality food right to your door. There’s a whole list of my favorite places on my website, but my two favorites are Thrive Market & Butcher Box. Thrive Market gives you access to over 400 brands of organic, natural foods, and as an added bonus, for every paid membership they donate a free membership to a low-income family. Butcher Box delivers amazing cuts of 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, and free-range, organic chicken from organic farms right to your door.
Checking out a meal delivery service is another great option. There are so many choices these days—everything from prepped & delivered ingredients that you put together yourself to ready-to-eat meals delivered to your doorstep at the frequency of your choice. Some of my favorite meal delivery services include: Methodology, Green Chef, Sakara, Sun Basket, and HungryRoot. The great thing about meal delivery is that it completely takes care of the planning aspect for you, so if you’re not big on cooking or feeling especially overwhelmed about the idea of meal planning, a delivery service might be the best choice for you.
Even armed with a template, delicious local foods, or a meal delivery service, we can’t always control what foods we’ll have access to daily or what our body will/can absorb. That’s why in addition to eating whole, real foods, I also recommend supplements as a failsafe to nourishing your body with critical nutrients every day.
Here are the most important supplements to take for optimizing fertility health:
Something to keep in mind: this may not be an easy transition for you. Big changes in your routine, including your diet, can throw you off balance emotionally. It’s important to learn to distinguish physical food cravings from emotional food cravings. If you absolutely have to have some form of “cheat food”, then have it! Don’t feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon. Small variations are fine and do not constitute failure, so for the love of all things, don’t give up!
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Bringing together evidence-based information, science-backed protocols and nurturing practices, this course is your one-stop-shop for getting your body, mind and soul prepared for conception.
This essential fertility course is for anyone who is struggling to get pregnant, or thinking about getting pregnant soon. The course covers all the fertility topics: egg quality, ovarian reserve, miscarriage, ovulation, cycle tracking, low progesterone, IVF, prepping for egg retrieval + embryo transfer, thyroid health, toxins, and much more. It covers EVERYTHING you need to know and you can move through the modules at your own pace.
The Fertility Code will give you the tools, protocols, tests, supplements, and more to optimize your fertility health, nourish your body, and give it what it needs to make a baby, and ensure a healthy full-term pregnancy. It has helped hundreds of women get pregnant, and stay pregnant, and it can help you too.
And if you want to get a baseline of your fertility health before getting started, take my quiz! After you complete it, you’ll receive a detailed report from me explaining your results.
If you want more personalized guidance and support, or want to have a more in-depth conversation about your specific concerns, feel free to schedule a 1:1 consultation. I offer 1:1 consultations through the convenience of video conferencing for women and couples with various fertility & hormonal health concerns.
Sarah Jane Sandy is a certified nutrition therapist, and a fertility and women’s health expert. She has helped hundreds of women increase their fertility naturally and go on to have healthy full-term pregnancies. Learn more about her own fertility journey here. To send Sarah a message, complete her Contact Form.