You have no time? You’re not Gordon Ramsey? Here is what you need...
An absolute must to help concieve and have a healthy baby is a healthy diet, gut and hormonal balance. Eating right is the first step - however it is not always the easiest option. Dont let that put you off: here is all you need to know about changing your food life on any time and money budget - even if (like me) you aren’t winning Chef of the Year.
Lets be real about this - eating better and avoiding the nasties can definitely take up more time and be more difficult to do vs. going to a restaurant or getting a ready meal. I mean we are all human and I for one know the sceneario too well: you’ve had a long day at work, you want to kill everyone and you’re desperate to have a nice long bath - but - you’re also famished.
We all get tempted by the easier option, and now and again that’s ok. Its not so good when that is happening all the time. I was a massive culprit of the above scenario. Working minimum eleven hour days and after fighting my way through the tube on the way home at rush hour the easier option usually won - particularly as I am not exactly chef of the year….
So - when I started my baby journey I realised I had to find a way to make this easier for myself. The good news is that doing better doesn’t have to be as hard as you think - all it takes is a little bit of organisation.
Here are a few top tips I picked up along the way:
Once a week: It’s all about your priorities. I had PCOS and I knew that if I wanted to have a baby I had to do better around food. I also knew that I had basically no spare time, so, I scheduled in my ‘food prep’ - just a couple of hours once per week. For me it was Sunday afternoon. Pick your time and treat it like you would an appointment that you cant move. You wouldn’t cancel a job interview, so dont cancel this. Make it a priority.
Costco: no, I dont mean go and buy one of those massive bulk cookie boxes (although I wish…). Its about the bulk. When you buy and then cook in bulk you are automatically being more efficient - particularly when it comes to whole non-processed foods. Prior to my regime change I would do a food shop and half the stuff would end up being thrown out as my plans would change or I didnt have the energy to make food when I got home. This way you get the most for your money - especially important if you’re spending more money and going organic.
Easy favourites: so as you may have guessed by now, I am no Gordon Ramsey. However, even I can make a few favourites that are always ready to go and in my fridge or freezer.
Some easy favourites:
Chicken: My own personal rule is that the only time I eat meat is when I make it myself as I then know exactly where it has come from (I buy organic, hormone and antibiotic free). Once again, when I buy a high quality chicken it is pretty expensive so I want to make the most of it. My way is to put it in a very large pan with water and some chopped veggies (I mix it up but the current rotation is red onions, celery and carrots) bring it to the boil and let it simmer for two to three hours. The result is a nice big chicken with meat falling off the bone, a great meat stock (good for your gut - click here to read more why this is worth doing) and some tasty veggies which are perfect for soup - no waste!
Soups: take your favourite veggies (roast, boil or steam them) add some stock, spices, olive oil and garlic (if you fancy) and blend! Doesn’t get easier than that. On my current rotation: broccoli, pea, mint, olive oil and garlic. Filling and super tasty.
● Roasted vegetables: just a bit of chopping required. Take your favourites, wash and chop, add to a big baking tray, add a bit of olive or avocado oil, garlic, some spices and the oven and you’re done!
● Chilli: organic beef, chicken or other protein plus red onions, spices, tomato and simmer for an hour. Hearty and filling (you can even add a bit of red wine if you’re feeling wild)
● Big salads: put in the fridge and add your protein and dressing when you’re ready to eat them and away you go. Add some nuts and seeds for some crunch.
Quinoa: I make a batch of this cooked in the meat stock with added garlic and some veggies of my choice. Current favourites are peas, tomato, feta and avocado.
The options are pretty endless really - all you need to do is to include four main ingredients:
Fresh Whole Food: as close to natural state as possible
Decent Quantities : producing big batches saves times, reduces waste and makes things much more cost effective. If you have something nice sitting in your fridge ready to go it is much better.
Flavour : don't be shy using and experimenting with herbs, spices and garlic - find what works for you, there are a lot to choose from.
Freezer : for all your leftovers.
Bottom line : this doesn’t need to be boring or difficult. Its just about being smart and aware and making changes accordingly. It might feel a bit strange at first, but one thing I’ve learnt is after a few days of doing this, it’ll feel like second nature. You’ll feel better and you wont look back. Give it a try….and please, share your own favourites and tips below.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.