When I hear the word diet I think of restriction and rigidity. I suppose this has some truth, but dieting doesn’t necessarily mean something that can’t be built around your lifestyle and preferences. I also think it’s a lot easier to ‘diet’ when the goal is something heavily desired.
As you have probably read, myself and Brian are trying to start a family and after talking to friends we learnt of a company called Rejuv. Whilst under their nutritional guidance other couples have had success in getting pregnant, so we decided to give it a go.
Our diet was something we hadn’t even considered could be negatively affecting our chances of conceiving, which is so naive of us. We are very realistic in that it may not make any difference, but this was also about making other changes beneficial to health, so it was still something we knew was totally worth it.
I would consider myself quite a disciplined person when it comes to food choices but going from a regular routine job to being on the road with Brian I saw how difficult it was to achieve a nutritionally balanced diet. Lockdown was actually the perfect time to start our new diet too, we had time to shop, experiment in the kitchen and stick to our meal plan.
When we first spoke to our lovely nutritionist Simone we spent around 3 hours on facetime going through every minute detail of our current diets. It was after this first chat that I realised just how unmindful we had become about what we were eating.
Every diet is tailored to the individual because everyone is different. Our nutritional plan and guidance is specific to our current health needs. Simone also factored in how we ate, for example I eat small meals regularly whereas Brian doesn’t snack and prefers to have bigger meals. Our likes and dislikes were taken into account and we learned how to replace any of our favourite foods that were no longer permitted.
Key things for us:
Water and freshly squeezed lemon juice first thing to kickstart the liver before hitting it with caffeine!
Green juice every morning (a mix of 8 vegetables in total!)
Dairy Free (to reduce inflammation/acidity, avoid added hormones & it’s good for skin, weight loss, digestion & good gut bacteria)
No Red Meat (to limit the amount of hormones ingested from overly farmed animals) We can eat Venison as this is wild.
Organic produce, especially in fruit & vegetables where we eat the skin. (These have a higher concentration of antioxidants, less pesticides, a lower concentration of nitrogen & the toxic metal; Cadmium)
Alcohol (if really necessary) no more than twice a week and no more than the number of units it would take to make us ‘drunk.’ Either red wine, Vodka, Soda & fresh fruit or Gin & Tonic
2 coffees per day, max.
Allowing 30 minutes before eating if after a coffee or a 1 hour gap if the coffee is post food. Caffeine affects the absorption of nutrients.
1.5 - 2L of water per day and this is bottled or filtered.
Warm dinners (nothing raw after 4pm to help digestion) and any cooking done with Olive or Coconut Oil to increase our fatty acid intake. Grapeseed, Olive & Coconut Oil are also great served cold for example over salads.
Gluten Free - to support our digestion & gut function. We are even using gluten free soy sauce!
No corn, peanuts or cashews. Cashews grow in toxic layers/shells and corn & peanuts are often contaminated with Aflatoxins which is a fungus.
Avoiding Peppers, Potatoes and Tomatoes as they can cause inflammation (once a week is ok)
Romaine Lettuce instead of Iceberg as Romaine lettuce is more nutritionally dense.
Products bought in glass containers as opposed to plastic to reduce our environmental toxic load...
On the environmental toxic load story - we will switch to organic whole earth style clothes detergent, household products and personal hygiene products. Chemicals absorbed by the body can be a cause of infertility.
Nothing bought in metal tins & includes not cooking in foil either and no coffee from pods (turns out bean to cup coffee is so much nicer anyway) Metals can easily contaminate food, especially when heated and this has links to some health issues. Includes Cooking with glass or stainless steel cookware too, no non-stick cookware for this increases our toxic load.
We haven’t really felt like we are missing out on anything, I’ve even got Brian liking coffee now we have the new machine and barista Oat milk (which is divine by the way!) The only thing we struggled with at first was the Green juice in the morning, this was because initially we were detoxing and the juices (full of green vegetables) didn’t taste great and it took a while to prep. Luckily that wasn’t for very long and now we have more options, which are quicker and tastier :) Some mornings we just do water and supergreens powder or else something like Romaine Lettuce, Celery, Ginger & Supergreens powder.
We have been given so many options of foods to include, I’ve been getting creative with smoothies, mezze platters, nutty snacks and soups! I add the most delicious recipes to my Instagram and Facebook stories for others to try. Below I have given an example of a day's eating but we have a great deal of variety in the week. My food recycling bin has never been so full and my plastic/glass bin is so empty! A big bonus on the environmental front.
A Typical day for me:
500ml Water with ½ freshly squeezed lemon then a Green juice first thing.
500ml Water (always bottled or filtered) Coffee & Nakd Bar, Mid-Morning.
Homemade Buckwheat Pancakes, fruit, organic honey and Coconut yoghurt (Lunch)
500ml Water & Coffee
Mid-Afternoon Snack (Green & Blacks 70% chocolate or Almond butter with a banana)
Some kind of Chicken Stir Fry for dinner. Turkey and Butternut squash shepherd's pie is a favourite of ours too.
Dates or fresh pineapple for an evening snack (I have a sweet tooth)
Personally I have also found this a great educational experience and it has opened my eyes as to what options are out there as perfectly good replacements to clean up our diets. Things like using a cauliflower base for pizza! The possibilities are endless and you DON’T HAVE TO MISS OUT ON YOUR FAVOURITE FOODS! I’ve found it a massive incentive to be more creative and as a result naturally become mindful of the food I'm eating. The supermarkets stock so many alternatives these days too it’s never been easier to create a diet that suits your needs. We also have the option of one ‘free meal’ a week if desired, so we don't feel psychologically deprived. However we have transitioned to the new diet so easily and felt the benefits so we really haven’t been craving anything in particular.
This blog is in no way suggesting that the changes we have made are right for everyone, our diet too will change as we go along. Using health tests Simone will constantly analyse and adapt what and how we eat to make sure we are functioning optimally. Diets are flexible and everyone's needs are different, but if I can suggest one thing it’s to be mindful of what you’re eating, where it comes from AND try new things!
Alongside healthy eating we have obviously been keeping active by playing golf or walking most days. We have included resistance training with the equipment we have at home too, being active is most definitely a big part of mental and physical health.
So overall this is a wellness plan with nutritional / dietary changes as part of the journey, with the aim of feeling mentally and physically strong. As you can see from the diagram at the bottom we have just scratched the surface with diet, supplementation and movement, we still have a way to go. It doesn't matter how many green juices you drink or how healthy your diet is if you are living in a home full of chemicals or are so emotionally stressed your body is in emergency mode, The first system to shut down is your hormonal system. Importantly for us, with stress your body will not prioritise fertility. Stress flags ‘danger mode’ and with this means you are constantly in ‘fight or flight’. Your mind is incredibly powerful, even things like visualisations and really believing in becoming pregnant can make a massive difference. I have just started reading ‘You Are the Placebo’ by Dr Joe Dispenza and am just starting to regulate my sleep patterns and meditate every day. If I can rewire my mind-body connection, I can boost my immune and hormonal system and with mind and body on the same page this will mean optimum health and a better chance of conceiving.
Here’s a great little recipe for an evening drink; Rejuv’s moon milk, to help you wind down & sleep. Tried and tested!
Rejuv’s Moon milk
1 cup of unsweetened plant milk +
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of ginger
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
Mix warm (not hot) milk with ingredients in a blender and enjoy!
If you want more information about Rejuv and what they offer visit www.rejuv.co.uk