Christmas can be a wonderful, magical, time of year for many, but if you’re trying to conceive or struggling with your fertility, it can also come with its challenges. It’s the time of year people celebrate with their families and children so it can be extra hard if it’s not happening for you.
If you’ve been making some changes to your diet and lifestyle to optimise your fertility, it can also be a time when it’s hard to stay on track of your fertility health goals, especially when all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and overindulge. So, what can you do to make the festive period easier on yourself, enjoyable, but also ensure that you aren’t undoing all the good progress you’ve made? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Firstly, it’s important to know that taking a few days, or even a week, out of your healthy routine isn’t going to ruin everything. Christmas is a time for relaxing and enjoying yourself so don’t beat yourself up for having a few drinks or sugary treats. If you’ve been putting in the hard work up until now, then taking a bit of time off won’t undo all that you’ve achieved, plus stressing over it could do more harm than good!
Here are ten festive nutrition and wellbeing hacks you can implement over the next few weeks to help calm your mind, enjoy the festive season, and stay on track:
1. Focus on three healthy meals a day – if you try to base your diet around 3 healthy meals a day with plenty of vegetables and fruit, then a few extra treats won’t have too much of an impact.
2. Engage with your feelings of hunger and fulness - Are you experiencing stomach or mouth hunger? Stomach hunger, is where your stomach is empty, and it’s been a good few hours since you last ate. Mouth hunger, is where you ate not so long ago and you just fancy something to eat. Being able to recognise these feelings can be very beneficial. Also consider how fast you are eating and how this compares to others.
3. Keep hydrated - In the busy time of Christmas preparations it is easy to forget to keep hydrated and we may actually confuse thirst with hunger. So make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. To get some extra fertility nutrients, try my ‘Super Smoothie’. In a blender whizz up half a banana, a cup of frozen berries, tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, a handful of spinach leaves and pinch of cinnamon, topped up with water, almond or coconut milk; delicious! If you are having alcoholic drinks, alternate with glasses of water, also consider all the lovely non-alcoholic alternatives available, such as kombucha, and non-alcoholic beers and gins.
4. Give your body a break - rest your digestive system by leaving 4-5 hours in between meals and aiming for a 12 hour overnight fast. If you eat a meal late in the evening have breakfast the following day at a later time.
5. Increase your variety - make Christmas an opportunity to explore and taste all the different seasonal vegetables and fruit available; check out my blog on how to make vegetables taste good if you need a little inspiration. Or make a New Year’s resolution to start receiving an organic vegetable delivery box. This can increase your diversity of different vegetables and make meals more interesting and appetising. Riverford Organic offer a discount if you sign up with them.
6. Don't compare yourself to others - you never know what is really going on in other people's lives. Focus on what you have, and the good things in your life. It can be helpful to keep a gratitude journal where you note down 3 things every day that you are grateful for.
7. Plan ahead – consider the day ahead and what might be happening. This is important not only from a nutrition point of view but also for your wellbeing. If you’ll be faced with lots of unhealthy food choices, try to plan for healthy meals either side of it. If it is an event which might be triggering for you (babies or pregnancy couples) spend some time working on your mindset. Remember it’s only one event, an opportunity for you to catch up with family and friends that you care about, and that tomorrow is another day. Journaling can be helpful for this, write down your fears beforehand and then the reality of what happened after the event. Sometimes it turns out not to be as bad as you may have feared.
8. Practice self-care - use this break as a time to look after yourself and do things you enjoy; mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, walking in nature, read a book (not fertility related), or practice some yoga. Find a bit of time just for you every day to unwind and really relax. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 9. Keep busy and make plans - research some places to go for walks, chat to supportive friends, or connect with people that don't have young children or babies. ⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀ 10. Schedule in some date nights - this doesn't have to mean going out, watch a film or have a romantic meal together at home, and make sure that baby/fertility talk is banned.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas. Take some time to rest and relax, you deserve it! I'm sending you baby dust this Christmas and New Year and really hope that 2024 is the year it happens for you!
If you would like some personalised support with your fertility, contact me to book your free fertility review to find out how I can help you.
Disclaimer: Nutritional Therapy is not a replacement for medical advice, practitioners always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. The information provided here is general and is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any diseases or conditions.