Let’s Countdown to National Infertility Week with Special Savings from Key To Conceive!

i-support-photo Back in 1989, RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, launched its first annual National Infertility Week to bring awareness to infertility, which at that time was an even more taboo topic than it is today. In the decades since, RESOLVE has used National Infertility Week to help bring infertility support groups into every community, increase and protect access to all family-building resources and remove the stigma that goes along with infertility. National Infertility Week includes seminars, workshops, support meetings and educational events that occur all over the country. Many bloggers also contribute to the week by bringing awareness to infertility and RESOLVE provides fertility professionals with resources to offer their clients and patients.

This year, National Infertility Week will take place from April 21 through April 27 and to celebrate and garner more awareness, Key to Conceive is offering a special deal each week leading up to National Infertility Week. Key to Conceive believes in RESOLVE’s mission and also wants to promote understanding about infertility issues by providing new and helpful information about the conception process, pregnancy and infertility.

Week 1 (April 1-5) — Visit the Key to Conceive Facebook page or Twitter page to find a special post and tweet for you to share on Facebook or key to conceive, trying to conceiveretweet on Twitter. After sharing or retweeting, you’ll receive a promo code for 15% off the 1 or 3-bottle supplies of ToConceive.

Week 2 (April 8-12) — Visit the Key to Conceive Facebook page or Twitter page and answer a question to receive a promo code for $15 off the 1-bottle supply or $25 off the 3-bottle supply of ToConceive.

Week 3 (April 15-19) — Visit the Key to Conceive Facebook page or Twitter page for a special assignment that will earn you a promo code for 50% off (yes half off!) the 1-bottle supply of ToConceive.

We hope to see you around Facebook and Twitter as we countdown to National Infertility Week!

For more information on National Infertility Week, visit http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/home-page.html.

World-Class Care in Our Backyard

IMG_1507Every year, my favorite Indy radio station, WFMS, runs a telethon to raise money for Riley’s Children’s Hospital here in Indianapolis. I would listen  every year and be moved by the stories of how Riley has helped so many really sick kids. Hearing the stories after having our first child especially moved me to tears and I would say a prayer of thankfulness for my healthy child and that we didn’t need the services of Riley. Then, my son was born. In a span of several minutes during his first official checkup with the pediatrician, my one-day-old son went from perfectly healthy to having a heart murmur and two undescended testicles. The pediatrician set us up with two specialists at Riley, a pediatric cardiologist and pediatric urologist.

My husband and I took our three-day-old son to a place we thought we never would have to use but were intensely grateful was so close to home. We met with both specialists that day and received some of the best care we could have imagined from everyone at Riley, including the receptionists, nurses and doctors. Long story short, my son still has a heart murmur we will continue to monitor as he grows up and he had surgery to repair his testicles when he turned one.

All of this was brought to mind again reading Parents magazine’s “10 Best Children’s Hosptials” article. Included in the Top 10 and Honorable Mentions were hospitals close to the Key to Conceive family, including Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati. God-forbid we ever need to use them, but it’s reassuring to know that top-rate and first-class care is right in our backyards.

Thankfully, my husband and I have great health insurance so we were able to receive excellent care and afford it. Many of the families treated byRiley_Hospital these hospitals do not have good coverage, or any at all, and rely on the generosity of those who give to these institutions. So, the next time you hear a telethon or come across someone soliciting donations for your local children’s hospital, say a prayer of thanksgiving for your own healthy children and give what you can to help those who don’t have healthy kids. This year, when WFMS’s Riley telethon comes on, you can be sure we will be saying a prayer for the care our son has received at Riley and donating what we can to assure that others will continue to receive world-class care close to home.

To read the article in its entirety, visit http://www.parents.com/health/doctors/best-childrens-hospitals/?page=3.

Eating to Boost Fertility

This week I’d like to share a couple more recipes that can help boost fertility. So far recipes have included soups, appetizers, drinks and a pasta dish. Other than the smoothies, there were not  any great options for breakfast. Being the most important meal of the day, I did not want to neglect it. In fact, breakfast is one of the best times of day to indulge in fertility-boosting nutrients like fiber, calcium and protein. So here are some recipes to start each day off more fertile!

Blueberry-Almond Muesli

Make this ahead of time and use for several days!

2 tablespoons (30 mL) canola oil, plus more for pan
3/4 cup (180 mL) maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
2 cups (500 mL) rolled oats
1 cup (250 mL) roughly chopped raw almonds
3 tablespoons (45 mL) sesame seeds
1 cup (250 mL) puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened or lightly sweetened bran or corn flakes
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried blueberries

This mixture of toasted oat clusters, dried blueberries, almonds, and puffed brown rice is delectable topped with fresh fruit and yogurt or milk, which adds more protein and calcium to this breakfast. Choose whole milk or yogurt for the added fertility benefits of whole milk dairy.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Lightly oil a large baking pan or jellyroll pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, syrup, and salt. Stir in the oats, almonds, and sesame seeds, mixing to coat completely. Spread the mixture in an even layer 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick in the prepared pan and bake, stirring once midway through baking time, until the oats and almonds are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely and transfer to an airtight container.

Stir in the puffed rice, bran flakes, and blueberries; store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Serves 10; makes about 5 cups (1.2 liters)

Red and Green Frittata

Eggs have protein and iron, important nutrients for fertility. Broccoli is a good source of folate and fibre. This baked frittata, full of colourful vegetables, is a delicious way to eat them, for brunch or a light lunch or supper.

6 cups (1.4 liters) bite-size broccoli florets*
8 large eggs*
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) freshly ground pepper
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick slices
1 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) grated white Cheddar or fontina cheese, divided
4 tablespoons (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 teaspoons (10 mL) olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the broccoli and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the broccoli, red pepper, 3/4 -cup (36 ounces) of the Cheddar, and 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the Parmesan cheese.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch (305 mm) ovenproof nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes to set the bottom of the frittata. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 -cup of the Cheddar (12 ounces) and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Parmesan cheese.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the frittata is set in the centre and slightly puffy, about 15 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then run a spatula around the edges and slide onto a large plate.

Serves 6 to 8

For these and other great recipes, see information on the cookbook, Cooking To Conceive at

http://pregnant.thebump.com/getting-pregnant/fertility-ovulation/slideshows/cooking-to-conceive-recipes.aspx?MsdVisit=1.

Easy and Simple Ways to Preserve Precious Memories

InstagramMommy guilt comes in all different forms. For me, mommy guilt kicks in when I see other kids whose moms have made them these elaborate scrapbooks and photos albums. I hate to scrapbook and don’t have the time or money to print out pictures for albums. Sure, my Facebook and Instagram albums are chocked full of great pictures of my kids and our family, but I feel like I am jipping them out of a real-life photo album or scrapbook. To assuage at least that part of my Mommy guilt, I’ve run across a couple of great websites and phone apps that make preserving those precious memories a piece of cake:

Printstagram (www.printstagr.am) — Turn all your Instagram photos into prints, calendars, memory boxes and other fun photo products.

Kidlee.com (available at the Apple app store or online at www.kidlee.com) — Touted as the baby book and journal for busy parents, kidlee.com lets you take pictures, add notes and privately share with family and friends. Also, any pictures and notes can be printed out.

Keepsy (www.keepsy.com) — An easy way to create pocket books, full albums and calendars from pictures on your phone.

Also, keep an eye out for deals from photo websites like Snapfish and Shutterfly. Several times a year, they run buy 1 photo book, get 1 free and sometimes it’s even buy 1 get 2 free! This is a great time to just put all the pictures you have on your computer into a book, because both sites have the option of doing all the layout work for you!

scan0011And, on top of all the photo issues, my daughter has been in school for a mere two-and-a-half years and my house is already becoming overrun with colored pictures and artwork. I don’t necessarily want to keep every piece of artwork because we all know it will just end up in a box in the basement storage room until she moves out and I make her take them with her. So, instead, I’ve started scanning all her artwork onto my computer and taking picture of the larger and awkward pieces. I then plan on putting all the pics in their own photo album for her to keep. This way, I figure we’ll be more likely to look at her art more often and it’s much easier to store a photo album than a huge pile of artwork. I will just keep mine and her favorite pieces. You can also check out Art My Kid Made, an app that lets you take photos of your kid’s artwork, store online and print out when needed. (www.artmykidmade.com)

Eating to Boost Fertility, St. Patty’s Day Style

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and while the rest of the non-Irish Americans 🙂 are drinking green beer and eating corned beef, you as one TTC may want to celebrate while boosting your fertility, not decreasing it. I have collected a few recipes that might add some festivity to your weekend while encouraging pregnancy! (“Kiss me, I’m Irish” might just work to your advantage too!)

The green-themed food category provides tons of fertility boosting options. Try recipes with asparagus, avocado, kale, pistachios, and any leafy green vegetable. Here are a few recipes to help you get started!

 

Guacamole

Ok, so you might think of guacamole as more of a Cinco-de-Mayo snack, but avocados have great fertility boosting power! Try this delicious green dish on St. Patty’s Day, recipe from southernliving.com

Ingredients

  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    Photo from uncooking101.com

    Photo from uncooking101.com

  • 1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Tortilla chips $

Preparation

  1. 1. Cut avocados in half. Scoop pulp into a bowl, and mash with a potato masher or fork until slightly chunky. Stir in chopped red onion and next 4 ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to touch mixture, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Serve guacamole with tortilla chips.
  2. Cilantro Guacamole: Mash avocado, and stir in ingredients as directed. Stir in 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro and an additional 1 Tbsp. lime juice. Cover mixture, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

 

Green Smoothies

(recipes from incrediblesmooties.com)

Pineapple-Kale

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, cored
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water

Calories: 244 | Fat: 1g (grams) | Protein: 6g | Carbs: 60g | Calcium: 18% | Iron: 3.0 mg | Vitamin A: 693% | Vitamin C: 276%

Orange-Peach-Kale

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 2 medium peaches
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water

Calories: 253 | Fat: 2g (grams) | Protein: 8g | Carbs: 61g | Calcium: 22% | Iron: 3.2 mg | Vitamin A: 731% | Vitamin C: 293%

Banana-Orange-Kale

  • 1 medium banana, peeled
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water

Calories: 241 | Fat: 2g (grams) | Protein: 7g | Carbs: 58g | Calcium: 21% | Iron: 2.8 mg | Vitamin A: 701% | Vitamin C: 282%

Orange-Kiwi-Kale

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 2 kiwifruit
  • 1 small pear, cored
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water

Calories: 306 | Fat: 2g (grams) | Protein: 8g | Carbs: 74g | Calcium: 25% | Iron: 3.1 mg | Vitamin A: 703% | Vitamin C: 420%

Start by adding the liquid to your blender (I use a Vitamix), followed by the soft fruit. Add the greens to your blender last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.

If you do not have kale on hand, you can substitute other greens such as spinach or chard using the same amount (ie: 2 cups of spinach instead of 2 cups kale).

Pasta with Greens & Tomato Sauce

(from eatingwell.com)

This homey pasta dish uses pancetta (Italian bacon) in the tomato sauce, but for vegetarians it can be easily omitted. The collards and Parmesan elevate the calcium count to rival a cup of milk.

Pasta with Greens & Tomato Sauce Recipe

4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minute

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound collard greens, (about 12 cups), stripped from thick stems, washed, dried and coarsely chopped (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 ounces sliced pancetta, or bacon, finely diced (3/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, (not drained)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells, (3 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

PREPARATION

  1. Bring 2 cups lightly salted water to a boil in a large wide pan. Add collards and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and press out excess moisture. Set aside.
  2. Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil for cooking pasta.
  3. Cook pancetta (or bacon) in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, 5 minutes. Drain; discard fat.
  4. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the pancetta (or bacon), tomatoes and water; bring to a simmer, mashing the tomatoes with a potato masher or the side of a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  5. About 10 minutes before the sauce is ready, cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring often, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
  6. Add the pasta, collards and reserved pasta-cooking water to the tomato sauce. Heat, stirring, until the pasta has absorbed some of the flavors, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into pasta bowls, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Check out our friends, Circle+Bloom

Circle BloomJust as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes  a village to fight infertility, which is why Key to Conceive has been partnering with other fertility resources. Today, we want to introduce you to our friends at Circle+Bloom, a family and women-owned company striving to help women deal with the emotional turmoil fertility can cause.

Circle+Bloom offers a variety of mind-body audio sessions for fertility and general women’s health. Programs include Natural Cycle Program
for Fertility, IVF/IUI Mind-Body Program, PCOS for Fertility, Happy Mind + Healthy Body Program and Blissful Sleep Program. The audio sessions provide a mind and body connection that leads to healing, relaxation and self-awareness.

Along with its products, Circle+Bloom promotes other fertilty deals on its website Your Fertility Deals. Currently, they are offering a free Fertilitygoodies Relaxation mp3 download. The Fertility Relaxation download promotes the benefits of relaxation and stress reduction and allows your body to return to its natural hormonal balance enhancing your fertility.

As the Circle+Bloom mission states, “We are passionate about the power of the mind-body connection and helping women, including those wanting to conceive, to use this unbelievable resource and body “intelligence” to improve health, well-being, fertility, energy, and anything else we desire. We want to ignite a mind-body movement that empowers women to take charge of their health. Our initial programs focused on women wanting to conceive, and can be the start of your infertility treatment, or can be used in combination with other infertility treatments. We have also expanded to other areas to help you live a healthy lifestyle, including energy, sleep, PCOS and sexual health.”

 

Recipes to Boost Fertility

When I started researching foods that boost fertility, I was completely overwhelmed. I found myself asking, “What CAN I eat?” There seem to be so few options. I know that kale, dill, squash, turnip greens, beans and artichokes are great fertility boosting foods, but can I practically modify my diet to include enough of these foods to make a difference in my ability to conceive? I need simple, already experimented, everyday type-recipes that make is easy to fit these nutrient-rich foods into my diet.  So over the next few weeks I will compile a list of great fertility boosting recipes in different categories to hopefully fill our plates and our uteruses! 

It is cold and rainy as I write today, so soup seemed appropriate to start with. 

Fertility Boosting Soups

                                          (from our friends at Path to Fertility, http://www.fertility-news.rmact.com/Path-t0-Fertility-Blog.bid)

soups

Photo from Stevosoups.wordpress.com

WHITE BEAN AND KALE SOUP
(Makes 6 servings)

• 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
• 8 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 4 cups chopped raw kale
• 4 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
• 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini or navy, undrained
• 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
• 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 cup chopped parsley
Directions
In a large pot, heat olive oil.  Add garlic and onion; saute until soft.  Add kale and saute, stirring, until wilted.  Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper.  Simmer 5 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth.
Stir into soup to thicken.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with chopped parsley.

BLACK BEAN SOUP WITH JALAPENOS AND CILANTRO

(Serves 4)

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 carrot, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño chile with seeds, divided
• 2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, undrained
• 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes in juice
• 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth

• Chopped fresh cilantro
• Chopped green onions
• Crumbled feta cheese
Preparation
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes.  Mix in cumin and 1 teaspoon jalapeño.  Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.  Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth.  Return puree to pot.  Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon jalapeño, if desired.

LOWFAT BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE

(serves 10)

2 TBS butter
3 packages already “cubed” butternut squash
3 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1 bunch of leeks (cleaned and chopped)
6 carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 quart apple cider
1 cup orange juice
4 cups chicken broth
1 12 oz cans evaporated milk
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to season

Directions

In a large soup pot, saute leeks in butter for about 10 minutes.  Then add squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, cider, orange juice and chicken broth.  Bring this to a boil until the potatoes and squash are very soft.  Remove from heat and add 2 cans of evaporated milk.  Using hand blender, puree the soup.  Season with salt and pepper.

CURRIED LENTIL SOUP WITH CHICK PEAS

(Serves 4)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
• 2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
• 2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
• 1 cup lentils
• 2 cups apple juice
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
• 2 green onions, thinly sliced 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Preparation
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.  Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer.  Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add lentils and 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups apple juice Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, ¼ cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor.  Add chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup.  Season to taste with salt.

TOMATO DILL SOUP WITH BROWN RICE

(serves 10)

2 white onions, diced
10 carrots, cut small
1 bunch leeks, cleaned and sliced
1 #10 can of whole peeled tomatoes (6 pounds canned tomatoes)
2 cups brown rice (not cooked)
2 cups chicken stock
2 bunches of fresh dill
2 TBS stevia
Directions

Saute carrots, onions, leeks and brown rice in olive oil for about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and cook on high until rice is tender (about 45 mintes).  Remove from heat and add fresh dill, salt, pepper and stevia.  Puree with hand blender and serve.