The Fertility Plan: Book Review

The Fertility Plan:

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I got this book when I was at the library, just perusing the infertility section, as you do, and thought it would be an interesting read, which it was!

Being a non-novice in the natural fertility world, I skipped some of the introductions and the like because I knew a lot of what they were going to say. But I read most of the book.

There were a lot of parallels between this book and The Infertility Cure, if you just imagine one is from the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach and the other from a  traditional “natural” approach. So there was less talk of Kidney Yang and balancing energies, and more talk of “Tired types” and balancing hormones.

I found this book very easy to navigate and understand. As I said, I’ve done extensive research into natural fertility approaches during my time with my naturopath and acupuncturist last year, so this book was pretty much what I expected, and if anything, reaffirmed that they are on to something as my “types” were very similar between the 2 approaches, even though I’m and “unexplained infertile”.

I highly recommend this book just to give you an idea about how you can make small lifestyle changes to increase your general health and subsequently your fertility.

To get personal, I fell into the “Tired” type pretty significantly (39pts) and the “Stuck” category less, but still substantial (31pts). The main symptoms I had were:

Tired- Feeling cold all the time, particularly my hands and feet; sleeping a lot and feeling tired when I’m awake; craving carbs; bruising easily; digestive issues including (TMI) loose stools, gas and abdominal pain; frequent urination; prone to low back pain and spotting before my period

Stuck- Irritability/overly critical; being stressed out, sighing a lot; nervous stomach/frequent nausea; tender breasts before period; other PMS symptoms; painful periods

 

So because of that, my main points of change for the next 3 months will be:

1)    Eating foods that are slightly warm and easy to digest like soups and stews. Include complex carbs, whole grains, lightly cooked vegetables like pumpkin, mushrooms, and celery and kidney beans, adzuki beans and lentils. Cook with garlic!

2)    Avoid dairy, wheat and sugars (this will be in moderation—don’t want to completely eliminate)

3)    Aim for regular moderate exercise. Walking, swimming, biking, aerobics. Nothing too strenuous. I’ll probably stick mostly to walking.

4)    Conserve energy and keep warm. Take warm baths (don’t mind if I do—my favorite thing ever!!) woman-in-bubble-bath

I’m not into completely living by a specific diet, but am all about making good choices as part of my cooking/eating plan. I will be using this as a reference when deciding what I should make and will make an extra effort to stay warm!

My final thoughts: A great book to use as part of your repertoire to boost your health and life to support growing eggs and hopefully a baby!

 

xTally

Love Does

I didn’t do a book review in March since I was out of town, so I am ready to do one for April! While on vacation I read the book called “Love Does” by Bob Goff.

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The primary message of this book can be summed up in the final sentences of the introduction:

I reflect on God, who didn’t choose someone else to express His creative presence to the world, who didn’t tap the rock star or the popular kid to get things done. He chose you and me. We are the means, the method, the object, and the delivery vehicles. If you can shred on a Fender, or won ‘Best Personality’, you’re not disqualified–it just doesn’t make you more qualified. You see, God usually chooses ordinary people like us to get things done.

…we need to stop plotting the course and instead just land the plane on our plans to make a difference by the getting to the ‘do’ part of faith. That’s because love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.”

In the book, Bob goes through stories of how the experiences in his life (both things that happened to him and things he made happen) illustrate that love does. He shows that us everyday, ordinary people with no platform can do God’s work every day.

The first story of how a Christian youth worker just hopped in a van to go out West with Bob to help him get set up after he decided to drop out of high school. He didn’t just quote scripture or give him a lecture on why this was a bad idea. He simply showed Bob that he was with him and personified Jesus’ call to love people. It made Bob wonder, as a non-Christian, if all Christians were like this. Wouldn’t that be great if we could do things in our lives that made people think “Wow these Christians really know how to love people”? Even strangers?

The book follows with several other stories that warm your heart. I highly recommend this book for a motivator to stop talking the talk and walk the walk. And you know what? It feels great.

I have recently been on the receiving end of Christian love. A few weeks ago I blogged about being in a spiritual rut and that I was feeling alone in my journey of infertility. A fellow blogger asked for my address and said she wanted to send me a devotional that she liked. I told her I lived in New Zealand, which would be ridiculous shipping so she could just ship to my sister in Chicago whom I’d see at the end of May. She told me no, she wants it to get to me now, when I need it.

Fast forward to yesterday around 5:00 a courier knocks on my door and I see a box.

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I got so excited to get mail! I opened it up to see that there was so much more than a devotional inside. 3 devotionals, a heart-felt card, and some cute little things with scripture attached to it. Two of the devotions are specifically for people struggling with infertility, which I already love. I was in tears thinking that someone could love me this much and not know me. I seriously couldn’t understand why she did. Having recently finished the book, I just kept thinking “Love does”.

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Seriously, who does this? Who mails a package halfway around the world to stranger just because I was having a bad day. This girl does. She has shown me that she loves me. She doesn’t need to. She could just tell me that she is praying for me, or say something poignant, but instead she does. Love does.

xBlessings

February Book Review

During our journey to become parents so far I have picked up a few books on infertility. I am a typical “Type A” personality and when I am in a situation I can’t control, I’d like to at least become an “expert” on my situation. 

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While typing that sentence it made me hum this song… 🙂

I found some of them more helpful than others and would love for others out there struggling for understanding and control to read them as well to gain some peace and understanding about things that are out of our direct control. So every month I thought I would feature a different book that I have read. 

The Infertility Cure

By: Randine Lewis, Ph.D.

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I thought it fitting that my first book review would be the first book that I read about infertility. It came to this book by way of my SIL who is very big into natural remedies and holistic health. I was not previously one to put any weight on natural treatments or holistic health. I thought it was just for hippies…Turns out it may be for hippies, but I have turned into one!

 This book is written by someone with both Western and Eastern (called Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM) medical knowledge. The book starts off with some success stories introducing her method of helping women conceive. She then breaks down the Western medicinal approach to infertility, followed by the TCM approach. 

She then breaks down the TCM method of diagnosis. This part was really cool. There was an actual tick list where you recorded things you may experience in life that you would never relate. For example, I ticked that I bruised if a feather touched me, get up several times in the night to go to the bathroom and my feet always feel like ice at night—who knew those were all symptoms of Kidney Yang deficiency. This was a great hook because after seeing how easily I fit into certain categories, I “bought it”.

Then come diet, lifestyle and TCM remedies such as herbs and acupuncture. Also a great recourse all throughout my journey. I wasn’t going to completely change everything about my life, but I did think “hmm I shall put black sesame seeds on this dish” or “I should really eat some wild rice this week”. Really most of the changes are healthy no matter what (avoid excessive exercise, avoid white bread and pastas…) 

The second half of the book breaks down individual fertility diagnoses and how TCM can help either solo or in conjunction with Western treatment. As I don’t have a firm diagnosis as to what my issues are, I perused some of this, but didn’t read it super carefully. It seemed to have some good information along with success stories (which sometimes you like and sometimes makes you want to throw the book at the wall).

 So…the elephant in the room. A Christian seeking Eastern Medicine, isn’t that bad?!?! Well my thoughts are that God made us with such specificity and purpose, why wouldn’t he make us so perfect that all our body systems balance? Wouldn’t he make our ailments treatable using other things he made (foods, herbs) rather than toxic chemicals? I’m not going to a voodoo doctor and chanting curses, just thinking in a way outside of the box of western medicine. Again I’m not a theologian or doctor of any kind, just an average, humble Christ follower and person of some medical knowledge– and that’s just what I think!

 My rating: I wouldn’t use this as a “bible” to live by, but just something to add to your repertoire of things to have in your corner against infertility. Why not pray about infertility, go to your doctor, exercise and eat wild rice? It doesn’t hurt! I’m not relying on this book or TCM to heal me. Only He can heal me, but why not make changes you can to help you deal in the mean time? I chose to buy this book so I could have it on hand whenever I wanted to look something up. Also worth just checking out from the library first to see if it’s something you are interested in.