That being said, I have decided to try a little experiment on my own! You see, ones' body cannot produce estrogen without fat. Without estrogen, the rest of your hormonal system is thrown way out of whack, hence the lack of ovulation and fertility issues. But also, without estrogen, no calcium is absorbed into the body no matter how much Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or laughing cow plus calcium supplement are consumed. So basically, it all goes back to FAT.
Of course I'm not talking about gaining an extraordinary amount of weight or eating spoonfuls of butter here. But I have made it my goal to increase the good, healthy fats in my diet in order to improve my overall health. I'm taking on this challenge with the help of my dear friend Susan over at The Great Balancing Act.
A few ways I'm planning on incorporating more healthy fats:
Nut butters, avocados, salmon, and my version of Abby's Spicy Mixed Nuts. Remember these? I have been savoring them since Christmas and my supply finally ran out. I decided to duplicate the flavors minus the sugary syrup. I simply roasted some raw nut varieties with chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, stevia and cloves. They're so addicting!!
I will also continue to take an omega-3 supplement, which I have been doing for years. I think these are helpful, but apparently not on their own unless they are in addition to other fats. i mean, get real, they only have 1 g of fat per pill, so taking two a day as my only source of fat probably wasn't doing me a whole lot of good.
In my research, I came across a fascinating report, manifesting as The Fertility Diet. This "diet" details several theories to improve fertility based on a study of about 18,000 women and what they ate while trying to conceive. Not only does the study recommend more fats to improve chances of conception and reduce ovulatory infertily, it has these additonal tidbits to offer:
- Adding more carbohydrates at the expense of naturally occurring fats predicted a decrease in fertility. This could very well mean that natural fats, especially unsaturated fats, improve ovulation when they replace easily digested carbohydrates.This could very well mean that natural fats, especially unsaturated fats, improve ovulation when they replace easily digested carbohydrates.
- more fat in the diet, and in some cases more saturated fat, improves the menstrual cycle
- Unsaturated fats do things to improve fertility—increase insulin sensitivity and cool inflammation
- Replacing 25 grams of animal protein with 25 grams of plant protein was related to a 50 percent lower risk of ovulatory infertility.
So, I will also try to tackle full fat dairy products. While I don't think I could ever really bring myself to drink whole milk, and I could NEVER give up my 0% Fage and lowfat cottage cheese, I think I could try some regular ice cream and cheese. Especially this stuff:
Baby blue obsession. It's been such a long time since I've had real cheese. Good grief!
I think the whole article was really interesting, and I'd encourage all of you to read it here.
Overall, it is just really clicking for me that fats help our bodies in so many ways, from helping out brains function, to regulating hormones and improving hair and skin. Help, in the skin department BTW, is also majorly needed. My hair is in good shape, still as pouffy and large and in charge as ever, but my skin belongs in an African wasteland! I know Susan is posting pics of her skin before and after, so I thought I'd do the same--warning--this IS not attractive! Yikes! Anyway, so I am really hoping that our Fatty February will be a great exercise in health improvement. I know it will be a big, and very difficult challenge for me, but I am super excited to see how it all pans out!
Anyone want to join us? I would love to hear your suggestions on incorporating healthy fats, and if you have done so and seen increased health benefits! Happy humpday tomorrow, and happy BEST DAY OF THE YEAR on Thursday--it's my birthday! :) Whoo hoo! xoxo