FOOD, HEALTH AND INFERTILITY

People readily seem surprised at how well Grant and Maria eat. “I wish mine would eat vegetables; mine will only eat chicken nuggets.” My thoughts on this…they eat what they are given. Don’t want them to limit themselves to chicken nuggets, don’t feed them chicken nuggets. Jeremy is a picky eater and I was bound and determined to not have picky eaters. Maria has shown picky tendencies, but in taking our pediatrician’s advice, we just kept offering different options and textures. While she’s still a little skeptical when we offer something new, if allowed to serve herself, she’ll generally take to it. They don’t bat an eye at broccoli, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, cucumbers and love any fruit we’ve ever tried. I’ve also been experimenting with some new recipes and they liked the couscous salad and quinoa salads that had both onions and herbs. They also love my ranch tortilla wraps that have black olives and red peppers; Jeremy won’t eat them, but Grant and Maria can’t get enough. Kids don’t know what they aren’t supposed to like; I think we just assume that kids won’t like things and therefore end up giving them bland, fattening, and generally low-nutrition foods. Have you ever looked at the options on a kids menu? Very rarely are there any healthy options. I attribute Grant and Maria’s general good health to a very healthy diet which started at birth: exclusively breast milk for the first six months. Now that they are primarily on solid foods, we’re not taxing their bodies with excess sugars and processed foods and hopefully creating a lifelong foundation of healthy eating and long term health.

I haven’t always been the healthiest eater, but have made great strides in the last 10 years and even more recently. I was recently told that I have arthritic knees and in addition to having misaligned knee caps, they also have bone spurs. The bone spurs explain the crunching noises my knees make when doing leg extensions, but I was a bit miffed at the diagnosis of arthritis. Doc, I’m only 31! How could I have 60 year old knees? The doctor tried to prescribe an anti-inflammatory, but I declined and told him I’d like to try it my way first. What’s my way? Figure out the root cause and treat that, rather than the symptoms. As I started reading, I’ve learned a lot more about our animal based diet and its relationship to inflammation, which can lead to joint issues and even larger heart problems. Additionally, it seems that the bone spurs could be caused by a calcium deficiency, which I will blame on my twin pregnancy. I decided to change how I was eating and started taking a liquid calcium supplement. What’s my result? After only a couple of weeks of the additional calcium and limiting my animal product intake, which includes eating red meat and eggs only once a week, and trying to do at least two meals a day without meat or dairy, my knee swelling is gone and the pain is significantly reduced. I’m pleased with the results and will continue. I wonder what else is improving inside my body?

The more I learn, the more I attribute our issues with infertility to dietary and environmental factors. Our issue was one of extremely defective swimmers, which I figured was somehow linked to Jeremy’s work environment and lack of sunlight due to his third shift schedule. I now believe that his high red meat intake was also to blame. It wasn’t uncommon for him to have steak 4 or 5 days a week. And even though we bought “happy cows” (grass-fed, no hormones, organic, etc.), that much meat is just not healthy. The work environment and schedule have obviously changed, and since Grant and Maria’s birth, the red meat intake has greatly reduced and vegetable intake has gone up. While I believe he could still do more to reduce his animal-based diet, perhaps the changes he’s made have impacted his swimmers. My fertility only returned about 4 months ago, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if God decided to humor himself and give us surprise pregnancy. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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