Vacation Fertility Food Plan Tested

Fertility Diet

The fertility diet was taking hold. The holidays came and went with an outpouring of support from family and friends. They adjusted menus, cancelled chocolate gifts, and offered me support instead of cookies. It wasn’t until I went on vacation that my fertility food plan was tested.


Having a Fertility Food Plan Whilst On Vacation

It was going great!

That is until I left for a one week ski trip.

Here I am hiking up in search of great snow – found it.

Eating right while on vacation is of course hard. I know that. But I planned ahead. I packed the car with two huge boxes of food for lunches and a hot plate. Each lunch was planned out and I contacted the hotel in advance to make sure the cook knew how to prepare gluten free meals for dinner.

I was all set.

Fertility Food PlanBut that was theory and then there was reality.

The hotel breakfast didn’t offer anything gluten free or balanced in terms of carbs/protein/and fat – not that I expected it. It was, after all, France and keeping with tradition the breakfast consisted of nothing but white bread and to die for pastries of every kind.

But I had plenty of extra food with me so every morning along with making a hot lunch for my thermos; I made two hard boiled eggs to go with the gluten free bread, fruit and nuts I brought. Breakfast and lunch: balanced, healthy and right on target.

Dinner, however, was made by the hotel cook.

I had emailed ahead and talked to the owner the night we arrived. He said they have cooked gluten free before and it was no problem.

Sounded promising, but he was so relaxed about it, I had to probe him some more to make sure he really knew what gluten free was.

“We’ve done this before,” he reassured me.

So, I trusted him and sat down to dinner.

The food was great. They served me a different soup and my main meal was missing the obvious gluten items like pasta and bread.

“I think they just might know what they are doing,” I thought cautiously.


My Fertility Food Plan Goes Out the Window!

Then came dessert.

I hadn’t planned on having dessert. But they set a large pear in front of me covered in some tasty looking sauce and said it was gluten free.

“One little pear. It’s not that bad,” the rebel inside me said. The rest is history.

Each night they placed what they always called a gluten free dessert in front of me. And I’m talking desserts that even people with super hero willpower can’t resist, like chocolate mouse – how in the hell do you turn down chocolate mouse placed under your nose? Not me. I caved.

And then came the price tag. My digestive system began to revolt first – not the greatest thing for a backcountry ski trip. And then I woke up in the middle of the night with a terribly itchy chin and when I looked in the mirror in the morning my reflection resembled that of an acne plagued teenager (except for the crow’s feet).


Feeling Guilty and Letting it Go

It was too late. I couldn’t take it back. I’m home now with acne, an unhappy digestive system and I bleed when I go to the bathroom. The damage is done.

I should have drilled the cook harder and made sure they really knew what gluten free was. I should have resisted dessert. But I didn’t. I’m human and, I screw up.

So, now all I can do is forgive myself. Mentally beating myself up is not going to help me – or my fertility for that matter. There is no undo button so I’m going to hereby stop dwelling and start healing (At least I am going to try my best).

I know I’m not alone in this guilt and blame game. A lot of us suffering from infertility are busy beating ourselves up.

“I shouldn’t have waited so long to try and get pregnant.”

“I should eat better.” “I should lose weight.”

“I should have taken better care of myself,” etc, etc.

It’s time to let go. It’s time to forgive ourselves. Only then can we heal.


Diet and fertility

How Diet Affects Fertility

my fertility diet

Over the past several months I’ve been researching how diet affects fertility and continuously modifying what I put into my mouth in an effort to kick-start my reproductive system.

It’s been interesting.

Some of the changes have been welcomed by my body and others have been, well, to say it lightly, rejected.


My Fertility Diet

While there are still several books and numerous studies I plan on reviewing; I have developed this initial set of diet principles.

My fertility diet  must:

  • promote a healthy digestive system (with regular, healthy bowel movements)
  • promote healthy blood sugar levels
  • exclude all toxins
  • provide all the nutrients my body needs

Achieving each principle individually required me to make some changes to my diet, but turned out to b

how diet affects fertility


e relatively straightforward. Changing my diet to incorporate all of these principles simultaneously, however, has led my body to some moments of protest (most notably constipation and weight loss).

Now, I do have to admit that my diet is more complicated than most since I used to be a vegetarian and now include fish, but still do not eat meat or poultry (which is likely to change soon).


Changes I Had to Make to My Diet to Maximize


So what went wrong?

Well, I found out what nutrients needed to be in my diet and how to avoid toxins. Then I promoted a healthy digestive system which, for me, was a bit of a challenge, but doable.

A few of the changes I made for this, for example, were to eliminate all cheeses and to increase my vegetable intake, especially including regular servings of parsley and the green leafy vegetable called rocket or arugula.

These changes were helpful in making me regular, but not quite enough.

So on days when my system was slow or non-responsive, I made myself a big bowel of vegetable soup in the morning – yes, I ate vegetable soup for breakfast (without a side of orange juice). This inevitably kick-started my system and sent me to the bathroom for a healthy bowel movement in the morning hours.

Discovering How Diet Affects Fertility and Problems I Encountered

So what’s the problem?

Well, after increasing my intake of vegetables and having vegetable soup for breakfast a couple times a week, I lost weight.

For me, this is totally counter productive. The simple answer to counter weight loss would be to increase calories. This proved difficult, however, since adding calories as a non-meat eater lead to conflicts with the other diet principles.

Here are a few of the problems I faced:

  • adding too many carbohydrates (even quality carbohydrates like beans and brown rice) is counterproductive to maintaining a healthy blood sugar level
  • eating more fish sent my digestive system into a full stop mode (and potentially adds too many toxins due to mercury – fish twice a week is the recommended dosage)
  • adding nuts wasn’t enough calories and also not easy on my digestive system
  • adding more healthy fats from their natural source was tough since I have excluded dairy (majority of my research points to dairy as harmful to fertility)


The Solution

The only solution that I currently see to this conundrum is to add poultry and/or meat to my diet for fertility. (It’s been about 5 years since I last ate poultry and about 15 years since I ate meat.) As long as this big move away from the vegetarian diet agrees with my digestive system, it will make meeting the principles of my fertility diet easier.


What I Discovered: How Diet Affects Fertility Main Principles

  1. Choose ‘good’ carbohydrates, including whole grains and vegetables- all essential for energy, vitamins and minerals and bowel movement
  2. Eliminate trans-fats and include high quality ones such as Omega -3 Fatty Acids
  3. Add more plant protein to the mix
  4. Take a premium multivitamin with pro fertility ingredients
  5. Swap out sugar sweetened beverages for water

Discovering how diet affects fertility has been an iterative process. Let’s see where this next step takes me.

If you enjoyed reading my blog, please write a comment here or bookmark it to a social bookmarking site by using the link below.