This is a subject I am passionate about since I was trying to get pregnant in 2016 : FOOD.
We think we know about food and what we put in and on our body but really… most people have no idea. It’s nobody’s fault. Things changed fast in terms of laws, policies, crops growing, GMO, pesticides… What about our health in all that ?
According to Orrechio and Buckley in their book How to conceive naturally and have a healthy pregnancy after 30, when GMO food spread all over The United States in the 90s, so did the amount of infertility in what seemed to be a healthy population otherwise. To me, this is quite concerning.
I am from France and I now live in Canada where laws about food are definitely more strict in terms of Genetically Modified food and such. But what about pesticides, treatments applied to crops so they survive diseases? We are all concerned by these issues, unless you grow everything in your backyard and reuse your own seeds of course. I am honestly tempted to do so, unfortunately, I also run a couple of businesses and have a family so I do garden in the summer but not as much as I would like. I can’t do it all ! Reality check of parenthood. 🙂
That being said, there are people who do studies for us, people who are passionate and experts in this field, FOOD.
The book I talked about earlier is great in terms of helping us understand what is good for us and what can/could be a source of health issues/conceiving problems. They also provide a 12-week meal plan and grocery lists so you can be in optimum health for conceiving or during your pregnancy. I personally use some of these recipes on a weekly/biweekly basis. We love it.
My message for you today is about health for the whole family. Personally, as the grocery shopper/ cook of the household, this is technically in my hands to make these choices for me, my husband, my daughter and also the students of my school – yes I cook for them and I do my best but sometimes I feel like this will never be enough.
Through what I learnt from these experts and my also expert dietitian, I try to apply what I know and understand, to my grocery list and my cooking. It seems like a mundane issue but what goes into your body and on your body influences your energy level, your hormones and ability to reproduce, sleep, be functional at work or with your family. What you put in and on your body will also influence your baby, then toddler, child, growing teenager etc ! No Pressure !!! It’s not just about moms, what your partner eats also influences their energy, fertility, genetic etc so… it impacts your children doubly.
Isn’t it insane that we know so little about what makes a difference in our everyday life ?
My advice, after 4 years of my own research and work with food professionals, is to not trust what is on your plate unless you know where it is from and what is the best way to eat it for an efficient way of feeding yourself. Some of my takeaways are:
- look into the dirty dozen and avoid these if they are non-organic (Canada might have more laws about food than some of our North American neighbors but a lot of the food in our stores are from these countries anyway).
- go for check-up at the doctors and naturopaths in terms blood work, thyroid panel and such, they can be life savers.
- eating more alkaline food can make a huge difference – my energy level has gone way up since I know about it.
- Fat is not evil if it is good fat (I can justify my cheese and oil intake)
- watch for allergies – you might not even know about it but some food trigger your system for the worse.
- Balancing your plate by following the Canadian (new) food guidelines – no joke, with the precious advice of a professional, I have lost 16 pounds/8 kgs in 4 months. These guidelines are here for a reason and this one (they finally reviewed it in 2019) is making sense.
- Carbs are not only bread and pasta so you can eat carbs without being constantly on wheat. Take it seriously, I am French so my need for bread is high.
- What you put on your body (products from soap to make-up…) matters as well. There are ingredients to avoid like the plague (the book above gives you all the details)
Now, don’t panic, breathe. What I have also learnt from these sources is that unless it comes to an allergy that you need to avoid for safety, you can apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time is following these rules of balance and 20% we can indulge because… life happens and it is fun!
You can do this. Do not change everything all at once. One thing at a time. I am here with you, accompanying you through this part of parenting as well.
I hope this can help you be a better version of you, a healthier, more energetic person, worker and parent.
With parenting love,