What kinds of diet modifications have people done to “treat” IF? Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.
Sometime into the ttc journey, I found a book titled The Infertility Diet, and tried to modify my eating according to the standards there. I became a vegetarian, eliminated chocolate and alcohol (I’d already eliminated almost all caffeine from my diet), went towards an organic whole-foods approach as much as I could. In addition, I tried to avoid a long list of “bad” foods as recommended in this book. These included ginger, peas, all dairy products (expect perhaps local organic – same for meat), and I forget what else. On the “good” list were: alfalfa sprouts, yams (not sweet potatoes, but yams from Africa), kelp, and lots more.
I followed this diet for about eight months, I think, after which I gave up and switched to the Zone, which I’d followed for about 2 years right after getting married and had been pleased with the effects. Having been doing this organic whole foods thing for awhile, I have kept to that as much as possible, and just limited carb portions (still avoiding processed carbs like white flour, sugar, etc.) while increasing vegetable-based protein (tofu and beans) and adding in low-fat cheese, eggs, and fish. I actually felt increased strength and energy after adding in the additional protein, and my fingernails started growing faster. I lost a little weight, but gained muscle (so although weight didn’t change much, the fit of my clothes changed noticeably) because I started grad school and began walking a hell of a lot more, along with my normal Pilates/yoga routine. The only really weird thing I noticed was that a lot of hair started falling out – or maybe I just noticed it more in a carpeted apartment? I dunno. It seems back to normal now.
I have to say some days I just don’t feel like eating meat, so I won’t. But I have dramatically increased my dark chocolate intake!!! Dark chocolate has become my drug of choice. I use it as incentive to finish reading assignments, as reward, as consolation, etc. I adore dark chocolate.
What this brings me to, though, is that there is so much doubt involved in the food thing. The recent article going around about high-fat dairy prompted me to go out and buy some really good smoked gouda (I don’t like ice cream) instead of the usual lowfat cheese I usually eat. I see mention in a lot of blogs about avoiding chocolate and alcohol. Granted, I usually avoid alcohol during the 2ww, but when I started school and took a break from ttc I definitely started drinking socially again, mostly to take the edge off my social anxiety. Never more than 2 drinks in an evening, or 4 in a week (well, except on the occasional cd1 when Hope had been by for a spell). So I’m curious what other people have tried or modifications made while ttc?
The other part of this story is a little less straightforward; a big reason that I even looked at food/diet is that my sister is a passionate believer in whole foods/vegetarianism for basically all health-related issues; she doesn’t really believe in western medicine at all. So I have been strongly influenced by her passion, yet at the same time I do reserve judgement on western medicine wholesale. We haven’t really talked about my decision to try Clomid/IUI, but I have a pretty clear idea of what her views are in general (probably why we haven’t really talked about it…) I know she was disappointed that I started eating meat and dairy again.
So this relates also to my questions in the previous post: how do you deal with family and friends who don’t agree with the choices you make regarding infertility and conception? How do you manage to stay close to people who are important to you when your decisions/ideals don’t match up? I guess my strategy thus far in life has been to avoid those topics where there are conflicting viewpoints (so I don’t discuss my views on the war in Iraq with any of my cousins, or my views on Christianity with my parents). It seems harder when it’s something this huge and this intensely personal.
I would welcome all thoughts and comments on this.