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Lean, Mean, Fertile Machine
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Two of the best things you can eat both for fitness and for fertility are whole grains and beans. Whole grains include B vitamins and vitamin E, and beans offer lean protein, zinc, and iron. The B vitamins help to regulate your hormones and possibly increase cervical mucus. Vitamin E can help increase thickness of your uterus lining and reduce the likelihood of a miscarriage. It also improves effects of PCOS and diabetes, supports a healthy amniotic sac in pregnancy, and even increase the success rate of IVF. Zinc might seem inconsequential, but actually helps in genetic material, reducing the risk of miscarriage, boosting your immune system, and balancing your blood sugar. Iron can help reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility. So all great things, really :)
Check out this rice and beans recipe with a little spice to keep you full and give you a huge boost of nutrients!
Grains and Beans
1 cup whole grains, such as barley, wheat, quinoa, rye, spelt, or wheat berries.
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
½ teaspoon salt, with extra as needed
6 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced, plus celery leaves for serving
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons thyme leaves, more for serving
3 ½ cups (two 15-ounce cans) cooked, red kidney beans, drained
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Hot sauce for serving
In a medium pot, simmer grains in chicken stock, adding salt to taste if stock is unsalted. This should last somewhere between 35 to 75 minutes depending on your grain. When it’s tender, drain, reserving the extra stock. Next, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving two tablespoons of bacon grease in a skillet. Add onion, pepper, celery and ½ teaspoon of salt to the skillet and cook until the vegetables are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for two minutes longer, until you can smell the garlic all around you. Stir beans, black pepper, and nutmeg into the skillet and cook until the veggies are quite tender, between 10 and 20 minutes. Add some reserved chicken stock from the grains or water if the pan looks dry. Now add the grains to the pan and stir until it’s heated through, adding more stock or water if needed. Stir in the bacon, and salt to taste. Serve grains and beans topped with celery and thyme leaves, with hot sauce on the side.
This recipe is easy to save and use for leftovers or can feed a family. Try adding different herbs for flavor if you’re not up for the spiciness factor.
If you’re looking for ideas on what to eat if you’re trying to conceive or other healthy steps you can take to improve your fertility odds, please contact us anytime at 717-747-3099 or click on the button below. Or if you’d like to get to know us a bit before coming out in person, check out our free webinar here.