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disagree more. Fortunately times are changing & I’m seeing more community encouragement to eat & live well during pregnancy. But what about before getting pregnant? Is it possible that the state of our health at the moment of conception is more, or at least equally as important as it is during pregnancy? I think so. Here’s why:

  • Strong Genes: the way we live helps to determine how our genes are expressed. Living in a way that is supportive of long-term health may mean stronger, healthier genes that you can pass down to baby.
  • Increased Fertility: an organization in the U.K., Foresight, has spent over 20 years working with couples who have had a hard time getting pregnant. Changing ONLY diet & lifestyle, they have seen a 78% success rate in returning fertility to couples that have been medically deemed infertile.
  • Mothers Health: when pregnant, baby comes first. Building nutrient stores & balancing the body + mind before pregnancy helps to ensure mom stays healthy through & post pregnancy, even if she experiences severe morning sickness.
  • Ability to Sustain Pregnancy: baby relies heavily on mothers nutrients & hormones, especially during the first few months. There are also many environmental factors linked to miscarriage. Preparation of the body & home may help create a more positive environment for baby.
  • Child’s Health: imagine the benefits of birthing a baby with a healthy set of genes, grown in a body that has been treated well, & into a family that cares about true health.
+++ Adopting a truly healthy lifestyle before growing your family means more than just diet. It includes everything from your home to your mind…but diet is a good place to start! So alas, here are five foods you should definitely be eating before you get pregnant*: *I’ve highlighted the nutrients in these foods that are particularly beneficial to fertility health. Join us! facebookimagetemplate Liver Why: Liver is an almost-perfect food. It boasts a wide array of what I call “pregnancy powerhouses” a.k.a. some of the most crucial nutrients for baby-building. Liver offers biotin, choline, folate, PABA, pantothenic acid, & vitamin A. How: Some people eat it raw (frozen for at least 14 days first); others eat it cooked with a little bit of ghee & onion. I like to eat it desiccated & stuffed into a gelatin capsule. My favorite brands for liver supplementation are Perfect & Vital Proteins. No matter how you eat it, make sure it’s always from a trusted grass-fed/pastured source. Egg Yolks Why: Egg yolks also top the list as far as nutrient density goes. They have a similar lineup to liver, offering biotin, choline, pantothenic acid, saturated fat, vitamin A, & even a little bit of vitamin D. How: You can consume healthy pastured egg yolks raw, chased by fresh squeezed orange juice or dropped into a smoothie (after blending, just gently stirred). If you prefer them cooked you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! As with most foods, the more “processed” it is, the less you’ll get out of it. Aim to keep yolks intact & served over easy is best. Per usual, you want to make sure you’re eating the highest quality. Healthy eggs have very dark yolks, strong shells, & thick (not runny) whites. Seafood Why: Seafood is quite possibly the most traditionally intact food. When pole caught in (fairly) untouched waters, fish most closely resemble their ancient ancestors (unlike GMO crops grown in depleted soil, or conventionally raised animals). Our bodies enjoy traditional foods. Although there are talks of high levels of mercury, studies show that eating a healthy amount of wild seafood isn’t usually a concern. Wild fatty fish offer up crucial DHA, saturated fats, & vitamins A, D, & E. How: Always wild. Salmon, sardines, & oysters are at the top of my list. While fresh is optimal, the easiest way for me to get them in is canned. There are a couple of really great quality canned seafood companies out there, like Wild Planet & Crown Prince, that make it convenient & tasty to add seafood to my diet. Dark Leafy Greens Why: When it comes to vegetables, we rarely get high amounts of bioavailable fatty vitamins, (which are part of my “pregnancy powerhouse” nutrients) but the variety of minerals can be incredible, assuming the soil is rich. Leafy greens also contain folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, & Vitamin K1. How: Overcooking can result in the loss of nutrients, specifically folate. On the other hand, raw vegetables may be hard on digestion. Aim for a mix of both raw & cooked, & cook on a low temperature. Fermented Foods Why: Do I even need to say it? GUT HEALTH! Mamas gut & vaginal microbiome at the time of conception/during pregnancy play a large role in how baby will develop his or hers. Once pregnant, it becomes very difficult to do any major turning around of gut health. This topic gets pretty extensive, but I can’t emphasize the importance of a healthy microbiome enough. Fermented foods also offer vitamin K2. How: As many ways as you can! Kefir, sauerkraut, & pickles are my favorites, but you can ferment almost any veggie & a few other foods, like quinoa. +++ So there it is: my quick-start guide to preconception eating. To all the healthy babies, Rochelle  ]]>

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