The opportunity to indulge in a satisfying and nutritious breakfast is usually reserved for the weekends, yet breakfast is easily the most important meal of the day. A balanced breakfast of whole foods gives your body the energy it needs to match the physical and mental demands of the day. It can also normalize blood sugar, which, when chronically imbalanced, can lead to a host of other problems.
Now that the weather is cooler, warm foods are important to heat your body from the inside. This twist on the traditional Chinese breakfast congee is a fertility friendly porridge made with gluten free steel cut oats. While traditional congee is made with rice, it can be high in arsenic – high enough to advise pregnant women and infants to utilize alternative grains (if you choose rice, stick with California-grown basmati). Steel cut oats will keep you fuller longer than the traditional rolled oats and are lower on the glycemic index.
Winter is a time to cozy up, stay warm and indulge in the stillness of quieter nights. Days are shorter and nature follows this rhythmic cycle by storing energy and slowing down. Winter can be a time of reflection and much needed rest after the abundance of summer in order to prepare for the growth of spring. Winter is also an opportunity for us to take care of our kidneys, the organ system which closely relates to our reproductive organs and the aging process. When we pay attention and nurture our kidney function, there is greater potential that come springtime, new life can grow.
My story is not unique. Divorced parents, some depression, acting out and abusing my body with unhealthy habits. Mindless adolescent behaviors led to an absence of monthly periods that lasted from teenage years well into my 30’s. Possibly I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), possibly I have hypothalamic amenorrhea (a term used when the pituitary shuts down and stops producing key hormones), or possibly I have a hybrid of both. Regardless of the official diagnosis, I was told I could not have a baby without drugs or help from the western medical system. So I gave up on the idea of wanting a child because I was stubborn and wanted to do it my way, without any outside assistance – medications, technology, etc. And I didn’t want to deal with the reality that things may not go according to MY plan.
In our youth we’re given many tools to help prevent a pregnancy. We’re told to practice safe sex until we’re mature enough to bring a new life into this world. We’re taught that procreation is an innate instruction embedded in our DNA, and that having a baby is only a choice NOT to make. Only when we make a conscious decision to start trying does it become apparent that things don’t always go according to plan.