The benefits of a fertility cleanse
It’s good to get rid of bad habits when preparing for a pregnancy and building up your nutritional reserves. Nourish yourself as best you can, and doing a five day fertility detox together can be a great way to start. This is taken from my book, Eat Yourself Pregnant.
The cleanse will support your body’s natural detoxification processes by providing nutrient-dense foods and drinks that support the liver in its role as your body’s detoxifier.
Every day your body produces an array of compounds and internal waste products that it needs to dispose of safely. The food, drink and medications you consume, hidden environmental chemicals in bodycare and household products, electromagnetic radiation and environmental pollutants all add to this toxic load, placing a burden on your liver and its detox supporters – your kidneys and digestive system.
The five-day detox is intended for both of you to do together. Exposure to environmental toxins has been shown to affect male and female fertility. Many environmental toxins are endocrine disruptors, which means they interfere with your body’s hormones, potentially resulting in decreased sperm quality, disrupted reproductive cycles and ovarian dysfunction.
Preparing for your fertility detox
The first stage of the cleanse is to remove all foods and toxins that may be placing additional burden on your digestive system and liver function. I suggest you cut out all alcohol, sugar and caffeine from your diet two or three days before you begin. If you don’t already eat organic, switching to organic produce can also help reduce your toxic load.
Plan your detox for days when you have sufficient time to rest and can avoid social functions, meals out and parties. If you can, schedule in some time every day to undertake gentle exercise such as swimming, Pilates, yoga or walking. Some people prefer to follow the plan around a weekend – I recommend beginning on a Thursday – but others like to complete it during the week. Choose what works best for you.
For the first two days you will eat three meals with the option of a healthy snack to eat mid-morning or mid-afternoon if you are really hungry. It is important to keep your blood-sugar levels balanced throughout the detox to avoid placing additional pressure on your adrenal glands. For this reason the cleanse includes protein-rich foods.
The following two days comprise a liquid-only diet with a range of smoothies, soups and juices throughout the day. Then, you complete the detox with a further day of three light meals and optional snacks. In order to support detoxification it is important to maintain the right acid–alkaline balance.
The detox foods include lots of ingredients that support and maintain your body’s natural alkalinity. Allocate time to shop for all the ingredients before you begin and follow the meal planner every day. Drink plenty of fluids – aim for 1 litre (35fl oz) of filtered water daily and also include a variety of herbal teas. Each day of the detox starts with a glass of hot water with a little lemon or lime juice added. This combination is very alkalizing and supports liver cleansing. You can also try adding ½ teaspoon of super-green powders to juices and smoothies daily.
Finishing the detox
At the end of Day 5 you should feel lighter, clearer and much more energized. Capitalise on your good work and immediately begin using the recipes in the rest of the book so that you don’t have time to slip back into any bad habits. You are now on a path to a baby-ready body!
The inevitable don’ts
Try to steer clear of the following as they will hinder your attempts to detoxify:
- red meat, dairy foods, eggs, gluten grains (rye, barley and wheat), large fish (tuna, marlin, shark and swordfish) and shellfish
- sugary foods, charred foods, processed foods, deep-fried foods and foods high in trans fats and hydrogenated fats, and takeaways
- any foods wrapped in cling film or tin foil
- non-stick, aluminium or stainless steel cookware
- smoking or any recreational drugs