15 Fertility Superfoods

Hey, hey! This is something I’ve been wanting to put together for a while now, and after much research, I finally got around to writing it. I hope you find this useful. What I have pulled together includes 15 fertility superfoods, and of course the reasons why. For some, I include a few ways to prepare these things or sneak them into your diet. I realize these aren’t on everyone’s “favorites” list, but when it comes to fertility superfoods, sometimes we just have a find ways to get them in.

15 Fertility Superfoods

1. Avocado

This superfood is probably my favorite on the list. The healthy fats within an avocado are excellent for women. To top it off, avocado is rich in folate and vitamin E! As I’ve mentioned before, vitamin E is an excellent way to boost your uterine lining to make it nice and thick for implantation, so eat up! I tend to load up during the days leading up to ovulation and for a few days after. An avocado makes a great mid-morning snack. Just slice it in half and top with sea salt and cracked pepper. Yes, I even do this at work. At my desk. ;) You should see the looks I get. I simply don’t care.

2. Broccoli

In addition to the folic acid that broccoli is known to have, it is high in vitamin C (bet you didn’t know that one!), which apparently helps your eggs mature. Say what?! The vitamin C and egg maturity thing is new to me, so I can’t speak much on that, but the folic acid alone is a good reason to consume broccoli on a regular basis. Roast it with a little olive oil and lemon juice!

3. Salmon

The omega-3 in salmon is excellent for fertility because it helps regulate hormones and apparently increases bloodflow to your girly parts, which means it likely contributes to your uterine lining getting nice and plump, and to your ovaries producing better eggs. Bingo! Loaded with protein, it’s a wonderful, lean option to get good protein into your diet. I like to grill it on the Foreman with olive oil and lemon. SO good!

4. Pomegranates

I’ve been a big advocate for pomegranate juice for some time now, because paired with vitamin E and a few other fancy things, it helps that uterine lining get thick for baby. It works. Whatever is in those things, it works. Add on the “antioxidant” tag, and it’s perfect for this superfoods list.

5. Spinach

Spinach is loaded with folate and iron. Iron is good for your blood and that uterine lining. Try to sneak in spinach as much as you can. If you’re not a fan, stick a handful into a smoothie and I promise you won’t even taste it!

6. Eggs

Rich in protein and a little something called choline, eggs are an excellent fertility superfood! This was new to me, but apparently choline helps protect your newly developing fetus from neural tube defects. I try to get in eggs whenever I can – boiled, scrambled, fried (don’t judge).

7. Coconut Oil

I mainly cover this one in my coconut oil post, but coconut oil is excellent for supporting a healthy pregnancy and helps with keeping your hormones balanced. Use it to saute some shrimp with a little curry powder!

8. Maca

Maca is a major fertility superfood that can be consumed in pill format since it’s not as easily found in its raw form here in the States. Maca helps increase progesterone and balances your hormones. I covered more about this one in my post on improving uterine and ovarian health.

9. Almonds

Almonds are rich in protein, but they’re also rich in vitamin E! They’re so easy to just keep around for snacking, too. I usually keep a jar at my desk at work. Did you know that 10 almonds = 1 oz of protein?

10. Asparagus

This is a green that is loaded with folate! This is one of my favorite vegetables ever. My favorite way to cook it is broiled with lemon pepper and sea salt.  Add plenty of olive oil! It’s also good steamed.

11. Kale

Apparently kale is excellent when it comes to helping your liver detoxify, which is only beneficial when you think of how many toxins we end up ingesting and breathing in on a daily basis. Kale is delicious roasted with a little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper.

12. Black Beans

These beautiful beans are my favorite from the bean family! They are a great source of protein (and carb, so tread carefully), and they’re also a great source of fiber. Did you know that fiber helps regulate insulin levels? I didn’t either! Black beans for me, please!

13. Quinoa

Did you know that quinoa is a seed, not a grain? It is loaded with protein (yay!) and iron (double yay!), and let’s not forget the fiber (woohoo!). This is one of our favorites because it’s so versatile. I like to use it in place of rice for stuffed peppers. Add a little lean ground turkey, tomatoes, black beans and spices, and you’ve got a perfect meal.

14. Oysters

This one might be tough for some people to stomach, but I honestly love oysters. Mainly smoked oysters. These suckers are rich in zinc. Did you know that zinc deficiency is a thing? I didn’t! Apparently zinc deficiency can slow down your egg production. Not cool. This smoked oyster stew with bacon is so delicious and a great way to get in lots of zinc! Glenn loves the bacon in it. Of course.

15. Berries

Blueberries are probably one of my favorite fruits. They are rich in antioxidants and apparently help protect your cells from damage. When I think of cells, I think of my uterine lining. Popping back a 1/2 cup of blueberries with a side of almonds is a favorite snack of mine – a great afternoon boost!

What are your favorite fertility superfoods?

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When PCOS Just Plain Hurts

Last week was pretty rough when it came to PCOS symptoms acting up. My ovaries were hurting so badly, and it was the kind of hurt that would literally stop me in my tracks and take my breath away. The kind of hurt where you have to pace your breathing to get through it. There was one particular day at work that I didn’t even want to get up to go to the bathroom because every time I’d stand up it felt like my ovaries were being ripped away from my fallopian tubes. It was sharp pains and throbbing nearly every day, sometimes all day.

I haven’t had a week like that in a long time.

Usually PCOS gives me a hard time several times a month, sometimes for days at a time, but something about last week seemed to drag on for me.

When PCOS just plain hurts, and I know there isn’t much I can do to relieve it, I rely on stretchy clothes and warm blankets for comfort. A nice a-line dress with leggings and riding boots can feel like heaven when I’m hurting, because when I hurt like that, I’m bloated, too. I also make a point to snuggle up on the couch after dinner with the fuzziest, warmest blanket we have and my cat resting on my abdomen. Her rhythmic purring is almost therapeutic. Her body heat contributing warmth through the blanket really helps me feel better. Heat therapy.

I’m sure some of this pain is because this was a Clomid cycle. My ovaries are more awake than they have been in 9 months, and they’re kicking and screaming about it.

Little brats.

This is what PCOS feels like.

To a better week…

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The 8 Most Popular Life Abundant Blog Posts of All Time

8 most popular posts

Hey ya’ll! The other day I was going through my WordPress stats and looking at the most popular posts that this blog has ever seen to get a hold on the type of content that people are looking for. I wanted to draw a little attention to 8 of them. On one hand, it breaks my heart that SO many women are facing this infertility struggle, and that SO many of them are battling a thin uterine lining. On the other hand, I’m so thankful and blessed to know that whatever I had to say on the subject was popular and is working for others. I can see when you guys are linking these posts in message boards to share with others. I can see what keywords you’re googling that brought you here. I promise I’m not a creepy stalker – this is the blog life. It only reminds me how important it is that I keep researching for you, for me, for us. That I keep trying to bring awareness to these infertility issues. This is more than just PCOS.

And let me just add as a side note, you can totally tell which ones are older, ha! Especially due to whatever image I have on there. This blog has come a long way and changed a lot over the last year.

7/8 posts are specific to infertility. The last one is specific to one of my favorite people on this planet who experienced a heart-wrenching infant loss.

Without further ado, I present to you the most popular blog posts Life Abundant has ever seen:

1. Possible Ways to Thicken Your Uterine Lining and Improve Implantation

2. How to Naturally Thicken Your Uterine Lining – It Really Works!

3. Progesterone – The Phantom Pregnancy

4. You Were Just Diagnosed with PCOS… Now What?

5. What Happens During a Follicle Ultrasound

6. What PCOS Feels Like

7. Tropical Fertility Smoothie: Kickoff the Two-Week-Wait

8. With a Heavy Heart {{for Jocey}}

What post is your favorite? What brought you here?

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Daydreaming Pink

Sometimes I catch myself completely daydreaming about the day we finally see two pink lines again. What will I do? How will I react? Will I hide it from Glenn so I can surprise him in a special way? Will I completely freak out and start screaming? Will I run to him immediately, wet test in hand? Will I cry? Okay, that answer is probably yes.

Five years ago, when I figured out I was pregnant with Zoey, I had tested at work. The test line turned pink immediately. I ran from the bathroom into my friend’s office, shut the door and started weeping. I decided back then to surprise him in a very special way with a Willow Tree figurine and the positive test. It’s still a favorite figurine to this day.

Zoey BFP

Things are different now. I’d never, ever test at work (hilarious I even did that!). I will certainly partake in the pee ritual in the privacy of my own home. But how will I tell him? I have no specific plan right now, although so many options race through my mind all the time. I have Zoey now, so I can use her to share the news in some way I’m sure.

I just wonder.

I wonder what I’ll do now compared to then.

I also find myself thinking about the changes we’ll need to make in our house, and wonder if we should move Zoey into the current spare room and make that her new space. Or do we just keep her where she’s at and put the baby in the spare room? Zoey’s room right now is right across from ours, which is why I consider the baby being in there and moving Zoey down the hall. But the room down the hall is already blue, so if it’s a boy, it’s all set. It’s also such a pretty blue that if it’s a girl, it’s still set. But Zoey’s room? Zoey’s room is pale green and yellow. It’s vibrant and fun – but definitely more for a girl. The blue room also has two closets, which is any girl’s DREAM.

So many decisions.

Well, if we end up with twins, that decision is clearly set already. Blue room it is.

I’m daydreaming of those pink lines, ya’ll. Daydreaming of that moment I get to share with my love that he gets to be a father to two (or three). That moment when I found out I was definitely pregnant with Zoey is something I will never forget. It feels so fresh and real today. It was special.

Two years and seven months we’ve been hoping to grow from a family of 3 to 4.

Patience is not one of my strong suits.

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10 Amazing Resources for PCOS and Infertility Information Online

Hey there!

This post is short and sweet, but I hope you find it incredibly useful. I can’t remember if I’ve done a post like this before, so if I have, sorry! Pin it to Pinterest for future reference if you need to. What I have collected is a list of 10 online resources for PCOS and Infertility information and inspiration. This list is an assortment of websites and blogs that I check out regularly and they have helped me tremendously, from providing scientific information to simply inspiring me on my journey. Bookmark these, subscribe to them, check them out!

If there is one thing I have learned on this PCOS journey, it’s that we have to cling to those who understand our situations. Unfortunately, we don’t always have a lot of people like that in our daily walk of life, so to the internet we turn! The sources available have expanded quite a bit since I was first diagnosed in 2008, and I am so thankful. I hope these sources are useful to you. If you check them out, let them know I sent you!

With Great Expectation

Waiting for Baby Bird

Miss Conception Coach

Natural-Fertility-Info

PCOS Diet Support

Soul Cysters

PCOS Diva

Starbucks, Peace and the Pursuit of a Baby

In Due Time

Resolve

This list doesn’t even include the resources on Twitter. I can probably do a whole separate post on the Twitter sources I follow. I wish they had websites, too! Are there any sources that you frequent that I need to check out?

10 PCOS Resources

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The Best OPK for TTC with PCOS: I Switched OPKs & I’m So Glad I Did!

ClearBlueAdvancedOPK

Note: If this wasn’t a medicated cycle, I don’t know if I could say the same about these OPKs because I do have estrogen dominated PCOS… but since I used Clomid to ovulate, it controlled when the estrogen rose, which is exactly what I needed to detect. Plus, with taking Clomid on CDs 5-9 and not triggering ovulation with an HCG injection this time, it meant that I ovulated later than I normally would, which was fine with me because it meant more time for my lining to build and follies to mature! I needed these OPKs to help with my fertility window for that reason. That said, here’s my thoughts…

Up until now, my TTC journey has always included the cheapest of the cheap when it comes to ovulation predictor kits (OPK). Having PCOS means OPKs can be very unreliable, and I have found this to be especially true for myself. My hormone levels just don’t work the way the textbooks say they should. In the past, I haven’t been able to detect a LH surge until the day of ovulation – and by then, what’s the point? I’ve missed my fertility window!

This month, I decided to bite the bullet and figured if I’m going to spend $51 on Clomid (ouch), then I might as well do it right and spend $30 on OPKs. In the past, $30 in OPKs would mean 30+ OPKs because I’d buy the test strips cheaply online… unfortunately in this case, it meant I only got 10 for that $30. The mistake I made was buying them at Walmart instead of on Amazon. I mean, you all know how I feel about Amazon as it is… I really love using it. I don’t normally have buyer’s remorse, but in this case I do… but only from the cost perspective. A box of 20 tests is $35-37 on Amazon (depending on the day)… free shipping. I paid $30 for 10. Doh!

HOWEVER!

I don’t have buyer’s remorse when it comes to buying something that works. I’m tired of reading lines, pulling tests back out of the trash to see if it got darker (don’t judge me), over-analyzing them. I wanted something simple and direct. I ended up being inspired by Elisha at Waiting For Baby Bird (*waves* Hi Elisha!) to try the ClearBlue Advanced tests because they detect your high and peak fertility times based on your estrogen levels in addition to the LH that most OPKs look for. So once your estrogen starts to rise, you can expect a blinky smiley face like she talked about in her What The Blink?! post, followed by a solid smiley meaning your LH surge is here and you’re about to ovulate. That’s the idea anyway. ClearBlue explains on their website: “If the necessary changes in estrogen are detected the Holder will display High Fertility and if the necessary changes in LH are detected the Holder will display Peak Fertility.” <–THAT, my friends, is why I decided these tests had to be worth it and why I recommend them if you have PCOS. Detecting the change in estrogen and LH?! Really?! It only increases my chances of conception by giving me a wider fertility window, versus the standard OPK; which, for whatever reason tells me I’m ovulating when it’s too late to do anything about it… and half the time I never see a positive or I can’t tell if the test is really positive or not. I don’t know why my body does that… I guess it’s just good ‘ol PCOS.

These worked for me way better than the test strips of my past. I started testing on CD 9 and had a blank circle on days 9, 10 and 11 (expected). Then, I had four days of blinky smileys (high fertility) on days 12, 13, 14 and 15. On day 16, I got my solid smiley. Based on the ovary activity I had on day 16 (they felt very swollen), and the really low temp that morning, I’m assuming I ovulated on day 16. Yep, I’m in the 2ww! And as suspected, I got my “peak fertility” sign the day of ovulation. THIS is why I need these tests. I would have missed my window on a standard OPK.

For me, being on a Clomid cycle, these tests were soooo worth it. I am glad that I invested, but I won’t make the financial mistake of buying from Walmart again. Amazon all the way, baby! Literally!

With having PCOS, my doctor recommended I use an OPK multiple times a day because of how inconsistent the LH surge can be, and how quickly it can come and go. Using these tests has made it so much easier on me… the tests know where my levels are and tell me where they are going – way better than any cheapy strip I’ve ever used. The best part is I feel fine using them once a day.

NOTE: the instructions say to use first morning urine, just like you would for a pregnancy test, but that is not accurate. LH surges usually happen after being awake for a few hours. In fact, most sources I’ve read say to wait until at least after 10 AM, preferably in the afternoon (source, source). My doctor always recommended testing four hours after being awake, then in the afternoon, then in the evening. The detectable amount of LH in your urine does not work the way HCG does, so keep that in mind when using these tests. For me, I make sure I don’t pee before leaving work in the afternoon, and I test as soon as I get home at about 6:00.

Have you ever used these tests? What was your experience? Is there an OPK you like better?

This post contains an affiliate link.
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30th Birthday Weekend Recap

My 30th birthday weekend was nothing short of amazing! I had such a great time with family and friends, and I’m only sad that it came to an end so quickly because it was so much fun. Here’s a little recap (with pictures!):

Friday

I ended up taking the full day off of work and I’m so glad I did. I was originally going to do a half day, but then Glenn managed to get the full day so I wanted it, too. We took Zoey to pre-k, then took care of all of the “boring adult things”, like renewing my car tags, getting a new driver’s license, and renewing my voter’s registration. Good times. Afterward, we went to sushi for lunch and it was so delicious ~ exactly what I was wanting. When we finished, we went to Lowes and got some red lava rock to put into our fire pit so there could be a little barrier between the ground and the fire. Red lava rock is pretty awesome – it gets really hot and helps distribute the heat really well. It was less than $4/bag and two worked perfectly.

After Lowes, we went home to prepare for the party! We had our first guests by 6:30 and the fire was nice and hot. Unfortunately, it did randomly rain twice ~ just two pop-up showers ~ but it didn’t ruin the fun. I have a large deck in the back so we retreated to the deck and to the living room. I pretty much stayed outside though – the rain didn’t bother me! It was cold, but once it would stop, the bonfire was still blazing hot and so nice. That lava rock was worth every penny, let me tell you. Two downpours later, the fire was still going at 10:00!

I had so much fun having my friends over ~ I didn’t want a huge gathering and I think it turned out just right.

Bon Fire Collage

Saturday

Saturday morning we headed to the pumpkin patch! We go to Honeysuckle Hill every year and absolutely love it. Zoey’s two favorite activities are the corn pit and the corn popper. This year they had a smaller popper for the littler kids and she just barely fit under the maximum height, but I was very glad she was able to go on it because the big one has just been way too big in the past. This also meant she was able to jump alongside her baby cousin, who absolutely adores her, so that was a fun experience for them to share.

We always spend 4 hours at the patch, including lunch. I also always make sure we support the farm and purchase our big carving pumpkin there as well as some pumpkin butter. It’s better than Walmart, and honestly, the pumpkin was cheaper. They sell by the pound now, so we spent less than $4 for a big pumpkin when they are nearly $5 at Walmart.

As usual, the entire outing was a blast and we were so exhausted by the end of it that Zoey and I napped together in the afternoon, which was glorious. Afternoon naps are the best, especially curled up next to Zoey for 2.5 hours.

Pumpkin Patch Collage

Sunday

Sunday we had church the first half of the day, then went to Disney on Ice! Besides saying it was awesome, there isn’t much I can say. We loved it and I’m so glad we were able to snag some discount tickets through my work! We almost didn’t go because by the time I looked at tickets, they were over $100 each, no matter what seats we picked. We ended up all three going for less than $100, so we were pretty stoked about that!

Disney On Ice Collage

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better three-day birthday weekend. I got to spend time with family and friends, and just enjoy this new milestone in life. I’m officially 30, and it doesn’t bother me one bit! I have no regrets. :)

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