Eating Good Fats to Nourish Fertility, Like this Recipe!


When I say "fertility," what is the first thing that pops into your head?

Did you think "babies" or "pregnancy"? I'm going to bet you did! The majority of people I talk to make the same connection. And when I say "hormones" do you think of your Aunt Sue? 

 I'm here to tell you that healthy fertility is absolutely necessary for feeling like you are THRIVING regardless of whether you want a baby or not. And it all starts with your hormones

From now on, when you hear the word "fertility," you're going to think of so much more. Great fertility =  a healthy +  happy + confident woman which happens to be a very... very... sexy combination. Likewise, when you hear the word "hormones," you're going to crave a lot of healthy fat (which I like to call The Goodness of Life) so that you can be your most vibrant, sexy, self. 

Hormones that are not balanced (i.e. hormonal imbalance) can cause all sorts of miserable symptoms in women such as low sex drive, depression, loss of hair, insomnia, weight gain, chronic fatigue, PMS, foggy memory, mood swings, and reproductive issues like endometriosis, fibroids, and infertility.

You want the hormones that regulate your fertility to be phenomenally nourished. Where do you start? By eating a lot of really, really good food. Yes, it's as simple as stuffing your face (with the proper foods).

We feed our hormones by feeding ourselves a lot of healthy fats. There are two types of fats in the world: the good and the bad and you want to eat all the good fats as often as possible. Hormones are made from cholesterol which is made from the good fats.  Here is a DELICIOUS recipe that I created to be simple, but also jam packed with healthy fats (the good kind). Enjoy!

Avocado Chicken Salad

Serves: 1 person for a quick lunch.

Or multiply ingredients by 4 to serve 4-6. It's a fabulous summer potluck dish!

Organic Ingredients:

  • 1 cooked chicken breast, pulled into pieces
  • 1 avocado, cut, seeded, sliced
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup of red chopped onion
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 3-4 Tbsp Garlic Vinaigrette (see recipe below)


1. To make the salad mix and mash everything listed above.

2. Serve cold and enjoy!

To make the vinaigrette, mix/shake the following ingredients. Store in a glass container in the fridge. Good for several days. 

  • 3 cups olive oil
  • 1/2  cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic

Tip: If you are going to pack this for lunch, wait to slice the avocado until you're ready to eat to keep it fresh. 


Green Your Birth Control

Photo by  Amy Treasure  on  Unsplash

Photo by Amy Treasure on Unsplash

Hormonal Birth Control

The most popular birth control options today contain synthetic hormones and for that reason are called hormonal birth control. Hormonal birth control includes all products that use synthetic hormones to shut down the body's natural ovulatory cycles and/or prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. This includes the pill, patch, shot, implant, ring and the hormonal IUD. While these methods have a lot of pros for a modern female, the synthetic hormones cause a wide range of frustrating side effects as well as increased risk for serious health issues. Read more about the side effects and risks of hormonal birth control in my post called Reclaim Healthy Cycles. 

Photo Credit:  Beatrice M. 

Photo Credit: Beatrice M. 

Negative impacts on health and wellbeing are not the only reasons that hormonal birth control is not green-friendly. For example, the estrodial in hormonal birth control goes into and through our bodies (where it may or may not mix with other chemicals in the body) and then as we continually excrete it, it becomes an active agent once again in the environment. Scientists are continually studying the environmental impact that synthetic hormones have on animal, plant and soil life. All current hypotheses point to no bueno! One example is frogs. 

For the last two decades in urban areas of the northeast, populations of frogs have been found with limb and reproductive deformities. For example, male frogs have testes that contain eggs and other intersex abnormalities. Professor of ecology at Yale, David Skelly, shares his concern, "this phenomena may have troubling implications not only for amphibians, but for other vertebrates, including humans." You can read more about the studied link between hormonal birth control and populations of deformed frogs here.

A common question for many female has now become “do the pros of hormonal birth control outweigh the cons?” That is up to each individual female to decide for herself based on her needs and with concise understanding of all the options available. The good news is that there are a variety of options that are effective, hormone free, and eco-friendly. 


Non Hormonal Birth Control 

Photo Credit:  Hey Paul

Photo Credit: Hey Paul

Non hormonal birth control refers to the products that do not contain synthetic hormones and work by putting a barrier between the sperm and egg . This includes, but is not limited to, products such as the male condom, female condom, cervical cap, diaphragm, vaginal spermicides, and copper IUD (the Fertility Awareness Method is also non hormonal, see below). Non hormonal birth control methods are currently not as popular as hormonal birth control options and therefore carry negative stigma.  It’s commonly assumed that the reason non hormonal products are not as popular is because they are not effective.  Actually, these products have effectiveness rates comparable to hormonal contraceptives. Non hormonal birth control is a benefit to a female's reproductive system, but the question remains: are all non-hormonal birth control methods eco-friendly? 


Hormone free, check! Waste Free? Chemical Free? Hmm…

Just because a birth control method is free of synthetic hormones, does not necessarily mean that it is eco-friendly. Just like any disposable product, disposable birth control methods accumulate in waste lands and if they are not biodegradable then they are left to impact the land, soil, and water for countless decades to come. 

First of all, condoms are the only form of contraceptive (hormonal or not) to protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and in that sense are very important and necessary! That said, if you’re in a long term relationship and want a waste free birth control, condoms may not be the best option because the majority are not biodegradable. The only condom product on the market to date that is fully biodegradable is the Lambskin Condom; however, please note that these do not prevent from STIs. It’s also important to point out that, unless otherwise labelled, the majority of condoms are sold doused in spermicide and lubrication. Because condom manufacturers are not required to  list the ingredients of the spermicides and lubrications on the packaging, consumers are left in the dark as to which chemical compounds are absorbed by one's skin and then later absorbed by the soil in the landfill. 

Unlike condoms, the cervical cap and diaphragm are not disposable which saves the amount of waste put in the environment. However, cervical caps and diaphragms are often used in conjunction with vaginal spermicides for increased effectiveness. If you are looking for to avoid skin contact with chemicals, then spermicides may not be the best option. 

The copper IUD is free of hormones and does not have the same amount of waste associated with condoms. However,  if you are looking for the most natural and non-invasive method, then the copper IUD may not be the best option.  It is a T-shaped metal device that requires a doctor to dilate the cervix for insertion. The copper IUD comes with a different set of unfortunate side effects. 


Hormone, Chemical, & Waste Free

Are you wondering, “What’s left??” I'm not going to say the withdrawal method (although you can read more about how pulling out can work for some couples here).  

Photo Credit: Justina Thompson

Photo Credit: Justina Thompson

Actually, The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a hormone free, chemical free and waste free form of birth control! Furthermore, beyond the initial fee to learn FAM, it is a cost-free birth control method. FAM certainly sounds too good to be true and that’s because in a small way it is. FAM is not for everyone and it requires commitment and discipline. Read more about the pros and cons of FAM in one of my previous blogs here.

FAM is a highly accurate and effective method of natural birth control when the 4 FAM rules are charted and followed in each cycle. FAM is over 99% effective when used correctly, meaning it is as effective as oral contraceptives in preventing pregnancy. 

FAM is based on the observation and charting of two scientifically proven fertility signs that determine whether or not a female is fertile on any given day. These fertility signs are the pattern of a female's cervical fluid throughout her cycle and her waking Basal Body Temperature. 

Males are fertile (meaning capable of impregnating) every single day of their reproductive years, whereas a female's fertility in her reproductive years comes in waves.  One biological fact about the female reproductive system is that a female is only fertile (meaning capable of getting pregnant) for 1/3 of her cycle. A cycle is defined as day one of a female's period until the first day of her next period. Whether a female's cycle typically lasts 25, 28, 45 or even 73 days long, if it is an ovulatory cycle then she is only capable of getting pregnant for 1/3 of that cycle.

It's the amazing biological truth missing from our middle school health classes!

If you’ve already done the math, this means that if a female's cycles typically last 30 days, then she is only fertile for 7-12 days. That leaves the possibility for barrier free intercourse for a total of about 18-23 days in that cycle.

Couples who want to have a completely waste free birth control can choose to abstain from intercourse completely for that 7-12 day fertile wave each cycle. Alternatively, couples can use a barrier method (such as a condom or diaphragm) during the fertile wave. The difference in land fill waste between using condoms for all sex versus only using condoms for sex during the 7-12 day fertile wave is significant.  Use of a barrier method during the fertile wave means that you are using that  barrier method (i.e. condom, diaphragm) to prevent pregnancy and are therefore depending upon the effectiveness of that barrier, not the effectiveness of FAM. 

In order to use FAM correctly, a female must learn how to accurately pinpoint the beginning and end of her fertile wave in every cycle.

This requires a commitment to learn in a class setting and a short period of practicing her charting technique before relying on FAM as the primary birth control method. 

When you take a class from a certified Fertility Awareness Educator (FAE), such as myself, you are learning how to accurately determine the following on a daily basis:

A. When your fertile wave begins. 

B. When your fertile wave ends.

C. Other amazing facts missing from middle school health class!



Green Your Birth Control Challenge

As you can see, there is a wide variety of alternative birth control methods that are effective and eco-friendly. Here are some ideas that can guide you in the challenge of greening your birth control:

1. Decide for yourself and with your partner what you are comfortable with trying using this guide. 

2.  Read more about the options you've decided to try using the links below.

3. Purchase the eco-friendly contraceptive item or class you're interested in using.

Or a number of my colleagues:

Chemical Free Lubricants

4. Manufacturing companies need motivation to create biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging. You can help by calling the manufacturer companies of birth control methods that use a lot of packaging (foil and plastic wrappers) such as oral contraceptives and condoms and tell them that you only give your dollar to companies that are working to minimize packaging waste!                                                                          

I hope you enjoy these resources to get you started with the steps you may take toward a greener birth control! I am available for further details on any of the topics discussed. Feel free to chat with me via the comments below, Email, Twitter, or Facebook.




Reclaim Healthy Cycles Using Fertility Awareness


Get Back to Your Healthy, Natural Cycles!

Do you have irregular cycles? Do you feel like you are not yourself? Low energy? Loss of personality? Weight gain? No sex drive? Hair loss? Is it your norm to experience stress, anxiety, or depression about everyday things throughout your entire cycle? Each of these (and more) are a sign of hormonal imbalance. Healing your hormonal balance can bring you back to your vibrant self! 

Have you been prescribed a form of the Pill (this term includes all hormonal devices such as the ring, implant, shot, patch, IUD, etc.) to treat irregular cycles or acne?

It is common for doctors to prescribe a birth control pill for females who have irregular cycles/hormones. This is done under the notion that because artificial hormones are strong, then they should be used as the treatment for hormonal imbalances. The downside to this treatment is that many women on the Pill report an array of miserable side effects. It's worth noting that the Pill works to treat the symptom and not the underlying cause. Therefore, generally, when women in those circumstances go off the Pill then they are back at square one.

In fact, almost 50% of women discontinue use oral contraception pills after the first year of use due to side effects. The most common side effects are:

  • depression
  • worsening of PMS
  • low or vanished sex drive
  • migraines/increased headaches
  • severe mood swings 
  • weight gain
  • hair loss
  • loss of appetite
  • sore breasts (regularly)

Furthermore, studies have connected the artificial hormones used in hormonal birth control to long-term health issues and large increase in risk for diseases such as:

  • blood clots
  • strokes
  • heart disease
  • infertility
  • severe nutrient depletion
  • glaucoma
  • liver cancer
  • breast cancer
  • cervical cancer

Most of the alternative realm of health care approaches the imbalance of a female's hormones in a more holistic way. Instead of pumping artificial hormones into the body to treat the symptoms of irregular cycles, natural health care practitioners look at the whole person and seek the underlying cause for irregular cycles. That way, a woman can begin taking steps to naturally rejuvenate her hormones and maintain healthy cycles, periods, and fertility!

Learning to chart the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a perfect first step for a woman to take back control of her health. A woman who is observing and recording her signs of fertility (such as cervical fluid patterns and waking body temperature) will be able to determine when something occurs that is not normal for her.  Sometimes, even a women who feels like she is living a healthy life may see patterns in her charting that are outside the variations of normal. Hormones get knocked out of balance for many reasons including (but not limited to): using or coming off of artificial birth control, environmental factors, emotional and physical stress, exposure to endocrine disruptors, and lack of nutrients in the body. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes women can make to naturally bring their hormones back to balance.

If a woman becomes aware that she is dealing with symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, then she can consult with her FAM teacher. I work with women through the first steps of achieving hormonal balance through lifestyle and nutrition. Many women find making these types of changes is enough to rejuvenate their cycles and begin feeling like their healthy, happy, natural selves again!

Find out how to sign up for a workshop today us at this link.