PLANNING for a BABY – What to EAT to get pregnant when you’re ready
If you’ve tuned in to watch this video, then odds are you already know that the food you eat and the things that you do on a daily basis affect your future pregnancy and future baby. And that is called preconception health. Many of the members of my Hope Fertility Coaching Program did not have a preconception plan, and that’s why they were searching for more help later on in their fertility journey. That’s why I’ve created this mini-series on preconception health, also known as All The Things You Should Be Doing To Improve and Prepare Your Fertility For When You’re Ready To Have A Baby. So, if you’re just starting to think that you might be wanting to start to try, or you’re not ready yet but you’re looking ahead into the future, or maybe you just started trying and you want to make sure that you’re ready and prepared to get pregnant, then I want to make sure you watch all the videos in this mini-series. I’m going to leave the link in the description below for all of them.
Now it’s time to get into the topic. Let’s jump into it. Today, I’m talking about diet, nutrition, and all the things that you should be thinking about when it comes to your diet when you’re ready to start trying.
My name is Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as The Fertility Expert. Welcome to FertilityTV, your YouTube channel dedicated to helping you get pregnant. I’ve been helping couples for over 18 years through my online coaching programs and right here in San Diego at both of my clinics. I can support you through your fertility journey as well. I want to do a quick announcement to let you all know that my Hope Fertility Coaching Program is open for enrollment. So if you’re ready to just get planning to support your fertility and you want a little bit more support so that you can get the results that you want hopefully faster, then I encourage you to apply to join my Hope Fertility Coaching Program using the link in the description below.
We know that what we eat affects our health, our fertility, and the health of our future baby. And preconception planning is why we need to start thinking about these things, right? We need to start to understand that the decisions we make today are going to impact our ability to get pregnant in the future and the health of our future children. So that’s why nutrition is so important. Nutrition is the foundation that we need to build upon. This is the first thing that needs to be solid and in its place for our overall health for fertility but any health condition whatsoever. And so that’s why I’m talking about it today, okay?
Eating a balanced whole food, healthy diet is essential for what you need to do to make sure that your body is getting the proper nutrients, the proper nutrition. It helps keep your hormones balanced and will help to support your future baby when you get pregnant. Having this healthy, balanced diet is the first step to managing inflammation and unregulated inflammation causes all sorts of issues in the body, but it also can impact fertility and your hormones. There is a growing evidence of research that is showing that unregulated inflammation is one of the leading causes for unexplained infertility. So if you’re out there and you’ve been trying for a while, and they’ve told you, “We don’t know why you can’t get pregnant,” so hence unexplained, one of the reasons we need to rule out and look at or treat is inflammation. We need to make sure that your inflammatory process is regulated, it’s controlled, and it’s being addressed. The first way we’re going to do that is through your diet.
Before I get into some of my main tips around this, I do want to also point out that if you have certain conditions, you already know that you’ve got health issues that need to be addressed, this is even more of a reason why you need to have a balanced, healthy diet and start the preconception planning timeframe now. I know I’ve mentioned this in a couple of other videos as it relates to preconception treatment and planning when you’re ready to get pregnant or planning to get pregnant, but if you already know that you have a health condition, we want to make sure those things are being addressed.
So if you know you have diabetes, some other endocrine disorder like thyroid disease, you have an auto-immune issue of any kind whatsoever, your cycles are irregular, or you have a hormonal imbalance of some sort, or you know that you have PCOS, you’re not ovulating properly or regularly, these are all fundamental reasons why you need to start the preconception planning now, not waiting for when you want to start trying, not waiting for six months out before, but now. If you know you have a health condition, the more time you can commit to yourself, your health, and your body to prepare yourself, the easier it’s going to be in the future to get pregnant and the faster it is going to be for you to get control of your health and improve your health. That always starts with managing and improving your diet.
So that’s what we’re going to jump into right now. So what’s the framework for a healthy diet? Well, the first thing I want to bring up is this notion of skipping meals. I know many of us wake up in the morning, we’re in a rush, we’re trying to get to work or get onto the computer to answer emails or just get going with our day, whatever that might be. But it’s not in our best interest, at least for most of us, to skip meals. So we want to have balanced meals and regular meals throughout the day. What does that really mean? Well, it means, first and foremost, we want you eating within an hour of waking up. I want a balanced meal, protein, fat, vegetables. That’s what we want in the beginning of the day. It lays the foundation for healthy blood sugar. It helps regulate your adrenal function and help support your hormones.
It gives you this wonderful energy to get going in the morning. So that’s the first thing is in the morning to eat within an hour of waking up. All of our meals should be balanced, just like I mentioned, good protein, good fat, good vegetables, and carbs, balanced whole foods. We want to also avoid eating all those things that are pre-packaged that come in a box. We want to really focus on fresh whole foods that can support and nourish us and give us the nutrients that we need and deserve. So my first two points with that were eating regular meals and eating balanced meals, right? My third point is making sure you have good quality protein. What does this mean? I’m going to exaggerate a little bit here, right? That we want your protein primarily coming from animal sources.
Although there’s nothing wrong with getting vegetable-based proteins, but it’s not ideal for your fertility. It doesn’t give you all the nutrients that you need. So we want to have good sources of animal protein. What does that really look like? Well, we don’t want conventional meats. We don’t want meats that have antibiotics and hormones put into them. So we have to be a little bit pickier in terms of the quality of the meat that we’re looking for, okay. This might not always be something that you can do 100% of the time, but we want to strive for 100% of the time. It means that, at the very least, anything that comes from an animal should be organic. If it comes from poultry or chickens, then we want to make sure that that is pasture-raised, that they are free to roam on the pasture to get what they deserve in the food sources, and they’re not locked up in these little pens.
Additionally, if it comes from beef, then we want to make sure they are grass-fed. Wild meats are also great because they get to roam freely and eat what they like. And when it comes to seafood, we want to make sure that they’re not farmed, and that they’re wild. Those are some basic guidelines that we are looking for when we’re talking about the quality of the meat and protein that we’re consuming.
Next point is eat a variety of foods. Now, most of us, we are creatures of habit. We eat the same things over and over. I want you guys to try variety. I want you all to go outside of your comfort zone and eat new things. We want your plates to look like rainbows, right? We want the food on the plate to look like a variety of colors. I want you to eat new things that you don’t typically eat. We want to go outside of our comfort zone when it comes to this and try new things, and we want to switch it up. If we’re always eating the same things over and over, yes, it makes it easy for planning, but it’s not great for our body. Our body gets used to those things, and this is when we can start to have allergic reactions or increased sensitivity to those foods. So we do want to try to have variety. Now, it’s okay to have the same thing in one given week, and then when you meal plan for the next week, you want to try to change it up and have new foods in there and really be alternating the variety of the foods and the colors of the foods that you are eating.
The other reason that changing up, this gives you different nutrients. It also the variety of foods, the colors that you’re eating also provides different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you might not be getting if you always stick to the same thing. Now, with everything that I’m talking about here, we might often think like, “Mark, it’s so hard to be perfect to do this. It takes a lot of effort.” Well, certainly in the beginning when you’re doing this, it will take a lot of effort. It’s going to take some meal planning, shopping lists, some preparation, maybe prep cooking to get you used to all of that. But once you become used to it after 2, 3, 4 weeks, this will become way easier for you and just be part of your life. This is just what you do now.
But with that being said, it’s also not about being perfect. It’s about striving to improve. This is about progress, not perfection. So it’s okay if you mess up sometimes. It’s okay if you miss something, it’s not perfect. It’s more important that you eat and that you’re eating great quality food. So I don’t want anybody starving or being hungry for extended periods of time. It’s not great for your adrenal glands and your blood sugar. But we want to try as hard as we can to get there. So I don’t want to use that, “It’s okay not to be perfect,” to cheat unnecessarily and not strive for perfection.
When you’re sitting there planning your meal, I want you to think of your plate like a rainbow, okay. I want you to start to think like, “Am I missing any colors?” If so, “What can I add in that might help to make my plate more colorful, thus giving me a more variety of foods, more nutrients, or different nutrients than you would get otherwise.” So really start to think about that. And when you start to make your meals, it’s going to take some time to get there, when you start to make your meals and you plate them, look at it. What’s the variety? What’s the color look like? “Oh, I’ve succeeded.” “No, I was missing some things. Okay, I could do better upon that.” Right? So start to think about your meals more as a challenge, a challenge to increase your variety, a challenge to make it more colorful, and a challenge to make it more flavorful as well.
A little extra tip as well. When you get pregnant, your body will produce 50% increase in blood volume. So to account for that, it’s better to start to prepare for that right now. That’s part of the benefit of having this preconception planning is you can start to prepare for things like that. And one of the best ways to do that is through your diet. That’s right, is changing your diet a little bit to help account for that. The way you can account for that is by increasing your intake of red and purple vegetables. So this might mean, again, for some of you that you’re eating things that you might not normally eat on a regular basis. Some examples of foods that you can start to incorporate into your diet are going to be berries, many of you like berries so you want all the variety of berries because those are darker colors, currants, which many of you probably don’t eat, but they’re very tasty and high in antioxidants, red cabbage, which is one of my favorites, I love cabbage, especially red cabbage, and purple potatoes.
So instead of having regular white russet potatoes, go find those red and purple potatoes instead and work those into your meal planning as well. I know that meal planning can be challenging, so as a resource for all of you, I want to invite you to check out PrepDish. PrepDish is a meal planning resource that gives you new meal plans every week, and you can customize it or base it on some of the key things that you’re looking for. So if you want that to be vegetarian or paleo or whatever process, autoimmune paleo, whatever kind of diet that you’re sticky with, you can customize that through PrepDish, and they will then send you new meal plan recipes and shopping lists every week. So if you want to check that out, you can use the link in the description below.
If you’ve been trying for a little bit, or you’re just about to start planning and you know that you have some health issues that really need some added support, guidance, a professional eye, and a real plan to get you the results that you’re looking for, then I want to invite you to apply for a discovery call with me and my team to see if you’re the right fit, to see if we’re the right fit to support you through my Hope Fertility Coaching Program. To apply, use the link in the description below.
All right, we talked about diet today. We talked about preconception planning and how your diet is so important. So now I want to hear from all of you. What did you find valuable? Comment below and let me know. I want you all to know that when you comment below, it allows my video to be seen by more women, more couples who need help on their preconception planning and their fertility journeys. So by commenting below, you’re helping other women throughout the world get to the support that they need on their fertility journeys. I think that’s pretty awesome and cool, and hopefully, you do too.
But I want to hear from you. What did you like about this video? What’s the one thing that you’re going to take away from this video that you’re now going to incorporate into your fertility planning? Comment below and let me know. All right, if you like this video, give me a thumbs up and let me know. If you are not already a subscriber to my YouTube channel, you need to be. So hit that bell to subscribe and be notified when I put out a new video for all of you. All right, everybody, until the next video, stay fertile.