Professor Wilson’s embryo transfer menu – help!

Mum100_blog_fertility_food_ivf_embryo_transfer_two_week_wait_nutritionIn his monkey wisdom, Professor Wilson has decided we’re having a food and drink dress rehearsal. From Monday to Friday, we’ll be following the food plan that he’s created for day 1 to 5 after embryo transfer. (We don’t know our transfer date yet but we have our second scan tomorrow – so we know it’s coming soon!).

Lovely bloggers: please leave your comments about how to improve this food plan. The monkey and I want to tweak it, based on your suggestions, to create our final menu.

The Professor’s menu is inspired by:

  • the chapter in Rebecca Fett’s book “It Starts with the Egg” about Mediterranean diet
  • tons of information from other IVF bloggers – thank you, lovely ones 🙂
  • Doctor Google’s more sensible suggestions (nothing too wacky, just the clear favourites)
  • food and drink I enjoy (the monkey knows it’s very important that I’m happy in the two week wonder!)
  • a smattering of monkey intuition (in other words, bananas)

His general principles are:

  • Organic food, wherever possible
  • Homemade meals
  • Simple and colourful meals
  • Protein and greens everyday, with lower GI carbohydrates
  • Lots of mineral water in between meals
  • Either hot lemon water or herbal tea to start each day
  • Supplements: the recommended doses of Zita West Vitafem, Vitafem Boost, Vital DHA Omega 3 capsules and Vitamin D spray
  • Fertility meds (obviously!)

The food plan for day 1 – 5 (dress rehearsal!):

Monday breakfast:

  • 1 slice of pineapple with core
  • 2 x soft boiled eggs
  • Asparagus & spinach with lemon and olive oil

Monday lunch:

  • Small glass of beetroot juice
  • Grilled sardines
  • Watercress, rocket & tomato salad
  • Quinoa with pine nuts, lemon & olive oil

Monday dinner:

  • I’m taking Dad 100 on a surprise date to the Sky Garden in London – free tickets available here. So in this practice week, we’ll be eating out.

Tuesday breakfast:

  • 1 slice of pineapple with core
  • Porridge with almond milk + blueberries + dried figs + soaked brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

Tuesday lunch:

  • Small glass of beetroot juice
  • 2 x soft boiled eggs
  • Nutribullet smoothie:
    • avocado, banana, celery, spinach, spirulina powder
    • milled brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Tuesday dinner:

  • Chicken broth with white chicken meat, celery, carrot, peas, butterbeans, black beans, thyme and parsley

Wednesday breakfast:

  • 1 slice of pineapple with core
  • 2 x poached eggs, grilled tomatoes, spinach
  • 1 slice of rye bread with olive oil

Wednesday lunch:

  • Small glass of beetroot juice
  • Seared scallops (marinated in fresh orange and lime juice, garlic, olive oil and paprika)
  • Sweet potato wedges
  • Avocado, rocket and fig salad

Wednesday dinner:

  • Houmous (made with chickpeas, natural yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice and garlic)
  • Carrot, celery and red pepper batons
  • Fruit salad: orange, blueberry and apple with natural yoghurt

Thursday breakfast:

  • 1 slice of pineapple with core
  • Porridge with almond milk + pomegranate + soaked brazil nuts, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Thursday lunch:

  • Small glass of beetroot juice
  • Chicken broth with white chicken meat, celery, carrot, peas, butterbeans, black beans, thyme and parsley

Thursday dinner:

  • Nutribullet smoothie:
    • avocado, cherry, spinach, spirulina powder, hemp powder
    • milled brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Friday breakfast:

  • 1 slice of pineapple with core
  • Mashed avocado, chilli flakes and lime
  • 1 slice of rye toast with olive oil

Friday lunch:

  • Small glass of beetroot juice
  • Vegetarian chilli (made with sweet potato, kidney beans, red pepper, onion, tomatoes and mixed spices)
  • Brown rice
  • Topping of natural yoghurt and small handful of grated cheese

Friday dinner:

  • Baked wild salmon
  • Broccoli with lemon and olive oil
  • Roasted peppers + cherry tomatoes
  • Brown rice

So, what do you think? Please share your comments with the monkey and me. 

THANK YOU!

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2 little changes I’ve made after reading “It Starts with the Egg”

Mum100_blog_It_Starts_With_The_Egg_Rebecca_Fett_vitamin_D_plastic_BPA_IVF_fertilityI’ve had a few days now, to absorb all the information in Rebecca Fett’s book – “It Starts with the Egg”. I devoured this book in one sitting because the evidence base was so compelling. I rely far too much on Dr Google, so it was fantastic to read such clear guidance and see how much research Rebecca had studied to draw her conclusions (on the Kindle version of her book, p245 to p303 are the list of references she cites!).

To be honest, the book sent me into a bit of a spin for 24 hours. I thought, right, I have to implement every single one of Rebecca Fett’s recommendations today – ha! Thankfully, common sense has returned and now I have taken a couple of actions, which feel most relevant for me.

Vitamin D spray

I’ve topped up my vitamin supply with some Zita West Vitamin D spray. Here are three quotes from “It Starts with the Egg”, which convinced me this was a good idea – it’s possibly worth getting a test for vitamin D deficiency first, for those with time to play with, but my embryo transfer is just weeks away:

  • “In one of the most compelling studies, which was published in 2012, researchers at Columbia University and the University of Southern California measured vitamin D levels in nearly 200 women undergoing IVF. Of the Caucasian women in the group, the odds of pregnancy were four times higher for women with high vitamin D levels compared to those with a vitamin D deficiency. This trend was not seen in women of Asian ethnicity, but for Caucasian women there was such a powerful difference in the chance of becoming pregnant that it should make anyone about to go through IVF think twice about their own vitamin D levels.”
  • “It is not yet known how vitamin D is involved in fertility, but researchers suspect that one of the ways it may improve fertility is by making the uterine lining more receptive to pregnancy. Specifically, some scientists think that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to infertility by interrupting the estrogen system and also reducing production of antimullerian hormone which is involved in the growth of ovarian follicles. Another enticing clue about the role of vitamin D in fertility is the discovery that there are specific receptors for vitamin D in cells in the ovaries and the uterus.”
  • “It is likely that vitamin D supplements can only improve fertility if you are currently deficient, but a deficiency is surprisingly common, particularly in cooler climates. By some estimates, as much as 36% of the U.S. population is deficient, and the rate nearly doubled from 1994 to 2004. Researchers believe this is largely due to reduced time outdoors and greater use of sunscreen because even though we obtain small amounts from food, the vast majority of vitamin D in the body is made after skin is exposed to sunlight.”

Given the facts that I live in England, I work indoors and it’s been a long cold winter, I’m going for it.

Glass food storage containers

Secondly, I’ve chucked out my tatty plastic storage containers and I’ve bought a glass food storage set. They still have plastic lids, but they are BPA-free (which is the worst offender, according to Fett) and the food will only be in contact with glass. Rebecca writes that as long as you don’t damage the plastic by heating it up or washing with harsh detergents in hot water, then the nasty BPA is less likely to leach out. She suggests washing all plastics in cold water to minimise this.

Other information in “It Starts with the Egg”

There’s so much more good information in “It Starts with the Egg” about phthalates and other toxins, thyroid problems, vitamins, coenzyme Q10, Mediterranean diet, PCOS, DHEA for dimished ovarian reserve, blood sugar and insulin, antioxidants, sperm quality and much more – with basic, intermediate and advanced action plans to follow, if you want to implement suggestions she makes.

Finally, I love the quote Rebecca Fett puts at the start of her action plan chapter:

  • “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it” – William Durant

That sums it up for me because according to her book, I have made quite a few mistakes. But that’s alright, because I didn’t know any different!

Soft boiled egg and soldiers – er hello, big kid alert!

Mum100_blog_IVF_fertility_food_soft_boiled_eggHere’s a meal that takes me right back to childhood.

Bash the egg’s head. Slice off the top. Mind your fingers on the hot shell – ouch!

Inside, is the yolk runny? Yes! Then the first dip of toast, that burst of bright gold like liquid sun.

On the phone last night, my Mum said she can see the happy child in my blog. It’s true that IVF is making me reach instinctively for the things I loved as a kid. Playing, drawing cartoons, eating a boiled egg or two (which gives me a dose of protein, B vitamins, vitamin D and selenium).

Perhaps I’ll paint some eggs and take them rollerskating. In the world according to me, this may just be the decider for IVF success!

The pomegranate – half queen, half punk rocker

Mum100_blog_ivf_fertility_food_pomegranateYour name means ‘seeded apple’ but to me you’re a royal punk rocker.

Your smooth case and ruby gleam are your queenly qualities. Then bam – there’s the burst of sweet and sharp juice, the gritty seed inside pink pulp. Chew on that, Johnny Rotten!

Sex_Pistols_The_Queen_of_England

You’re on my fertility food list because of your vitamin content (C, K and B especially).

Okay, so you’re a bugger to peel – but I forgive you because you slow me down and it’s satisfying to separate your seeds from the membrane.

Breakfast heaven is pomegranate porridge with soaked almonds – God save the queen to that!

Scarlet sorcery

A black cat prowls the rooftop. He fixes his yellow eyes on my witchen window.

I tiptoe downstairs. I tap the cooling machine with my wand. The door creaks open and a black box floats out.

Slugs of purple blood – I glug, glug, glug. Violet lips, earthy taste on my tongue.

Outside, the black cat yowls to the moon.

Then a spectacular spell! My body transforms nitrates to nitric oxide – dilating my arteries, increasing blood flow.

What is this powerful potion?

It’s only bloody beetroot juice!

The tipple of procreating witches worldwide. (Oh, and really fit people drink it too).

 

“Half animal, half man”

Congratulations Avocado! Number one in the fertility food charts – how do you feel?

The women.

The women what?

They love ma hips.

How do you handle the attention?

I sing Shakira, Shakira.

Hips Don’t Lie?

Keep on reading the signs of my body.

Well, you’re full of folate, Vitamin E, fibre and mono-unsaturated fat….

Don’t you see baby, this is perfection.

What’s next for you, Avocado? World tour? Oh boy, I can see your body moving!

The attraction, the tension.

Oh baby when you talk like that, you make a woman go mad. 

Come on, let’s go – real slow.

[CUT]

Editor’s note: see, this is where unexplained infertility takes you in the end. Just as infinite monkeys will type the works of Shakespeare – infertility always leads to sexual avocados, given enough time.

God love you Shakira – for your truthful hips (and for writing most of this post).

Piglet’s delight

I’ve always been a little piglet. You’ll find me leading the lunch line, sampling in supermarkets. Hurl me headlong into a hamper and I’m happy.

Of course, now I’m looking through the fertility food lens. My initial research, along with suggestions from IVF sisters, points to all the food I love anyway – mediterranean cooking, ample fruit and vegetables, good proteins. Hooray!

Today, I’m adding salmon to the baby-making basket, full of omega 3 fatty acids – which is good for building babies, especially their brain and eyes. Omega 3 also boosts blood flow to the oven.

Wow, Mother Nature is inspired!

Pineapple power?

Mr Pineapple, what a funky fellow you are. Green Mohican, sunny skin – you’re a sight to behold and you know it!

Apparently, you’re more than just a looker. You’re loaded with bromelain, an enzyme which may assist implantation.

Well, hello!

This article recommends eating one slice of fresh pineapple per day after embryo transfer. They also suggest eating a small piece of the core, where bromelain is most concentrated.

And this article says to have a slice for the first five days after transfer.

Professor Wilson is whispering in my earhole, ‘where’s the science in all this, eh?’

Thoughts welcome.

Farewell, dear tea!

I was raised on brick orange tea.

There were the 6am cups, plonked down by my Dad on the bedside table – a brash morning call, which I came to love.

My Mum made trays of afternoon tea and cake. In winter, we lit the fire and we slurped and gobbled like delighted piglets.

Tea is love. Brewed with patience. Stirred. Tea bags squeezed. A dash of milk. Aaaaaaaah.

I’m cutting out caffeine, however, ahead of our frozen embryo transfer in May. I’ve gone and over-googled again.

It’s day two off my favourite drug – I’m coping by drawing colourful tea sets!

Trust in green

Six minutes after opening my eyes this morning, I googled ‘fertility cleanse’. I’m a marketer’s dream, right now – willing to try anything to conceive.

I came across books, teas, smoothies and herbal remedies.

Then I came across a picture of a police drugs’ haul – and I thought, “hands up off the keyboard, lady. Step away from the internet.”

Over my breakfast bowl of banana porridge, Mother Nature reminded me of her clever inventions.

“Fruit and vegetables, my love. They’re your friends in this,” she said. “Especially the green ones – but have a regular nibble on the whole rainbow.”

Thanks Mum!