Book Review: The Fertile Kitchen

Cindy, at 40 years of age, was told by her fertility doctor that she had a two percent chance of conceiving on her own. In that moment, her heart “turned to lead and dropped to the floor.” She knew going into the trying-to-conceive process that she would have a difficult time being in her early forties, but she was not expected to be given such a grim prognosis. Fertile-Kitchen During that same day, however, Cindy had another reaction. She simply decided to refuse the prognosis. She decided right then and there that she was not going to live by the statistic. She took matters in her own hands and begun researching natural, holistic methods of aiding fertility. She refused to believe that she was not going to have her own child. She started to make changes.

Bolstered by research, she put herself on a strict fertility friendly diet, among other natural healing regimens, such as yoga, visualization and meditation. Four months later, to the astonishment of her doctor and to her own breathless amazement, she got pregnant naturally and later delivered a healthy baby boy. What that experience taught her was a lot about trusting her instincts, which is something that I try to instill into each and every visualization program that we do. As she says “conception holds an element of wondrous mystery, and over that mystery we have little control. We can meet it halfway, though, because we do have control over our bodies, minds and emotions – even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.” I loved these general tips she offered in the introduction section of her book, which are applicable to anyone going through this heart-wrenching experience:

1. Believe in yourself without doubt. See the end in mind and don’t let go. Your future child needs you to believe in him or her.
2. Do all you can. You have more power than you think.
3. Nurture yourself along the way, give yourself breaks.
4. Surrender. This might be the hardest step of all. After you’ve done all you can, you need to let go and allow the mystery to unfold.

Motivated by this life-changing experience, she set out to write about her fertility diet research and, along with her husband, crafted this beautiful book that is both filled with interesting recipes and well-researched facts about what to put into our bodies to optimize our fertility. The basic methodology behind her dietary recommendations are all based upon reducing the physical stress on our bodies. She writes “of all the systems in the body (digestive, immune, respiratory and so on), the reproductive system is the most expendable. You don’t need it to survive. So when the body is stressed, it’s one of the first systems to be neglected or shut down. The body redirects energy elsewhere.”

She continues, “stress comes in many forms, though. Eating the wrong foods also stresses the body. Reducing stress on the body in order to make more energy available to support your endocrine function and general reproductive system.” So easing the energy requirements needed to process our diets helps energy to be directed in other areas of our body; most importantly, the reproductive system. She provides a plethora of dietary guidelines and ideas that support these goals, along with easy-to-make recipes using wholesome ingredients that are all meant to be digested easily.

Susan, who loves to cook and to try new recipes, was excited about this review and wanted to try one of the dishes featured. She decided on the Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup that has rice noodles, vegetable broth, broccoli and a huge bunch of cilantro and basil (although they suggest to have those on the side to add if you like). She said it was a snap to make and so delicious. The book is chuck-full of recipes like this that look interesting, easy-to-make and delicious and each recipe is very well explained with full color photographs. I may have my chef (and husband) try the Lamb Curry in Coconut Milk and Chicken en Papillotes, which look absolutely delicious. The recipes also include very simple every day type ideas such as Garlic Pasta, Fluffy Rice, and Omelets.

So what are you waiting for?  Run over to her site and buy her book! Learn from Cindy what she did to help herself and benefit directly from her mounds of dietary research, cook some wonderful meals and take greater control over your life. Let the “mystery to unfold” like it did for Cindy and find inner resolve to keep on your fertility journey.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Michelle Gamble-Risley March 17, 2010, 5:59 pm

    I am Cindy’s publisher, but more than that … I went through seven IVF cycles to produce my two children. I only wish I had this cookbook when I was trying to get pregnant. What I noticed as I edited the book was the simplicity of the recipes. I am no cook, but I could make these recipes. And whether you use it to conceive naturally or just to clean up your diet in preparation for assisted reproduction, it’s really a wonderful resource, and it’s easy-to-use. Perhaps you will think I am biased because of my role, but I am sharing this with heartfelt desire to help other women. When women like Celine Dion and Guiliana Ransik on E admit how fearful they are about IVF and what it takes and the toll on your body, it’s an understatement. When I hit IVF treatment no. #7 my hand was completely blue from bruising from the IV and my upper buttocks numb from needles. I can say without a doubt that I would have wanted this kind of resource available to at least put some control back in my corner! Good luck to all of your readers — and go for it. The book is awesome (www.fertilekitchen.com).

    Best,
    Michelle

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