Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What kind of yams are you supposed to eat, to increase your fertility? I think I've found the answer...

You'd think there would be more posts about this "yam" subject, but... I couldn't seem to find any that gave me an answer I was satisfied with. The confusing thing is, some people say the regular "yams" we're used to eating, are actually "sweet potatoes" so the regular kind you get in the grocery store won't work. Some people say you have to get the "African Yams."  So one day I went out and looked for African Yams, and had to travel like 30 miles to find a store in my area that sold them, and not only was I still not sure I was buying the right kind, but they did not taste good at ALL.

I wanted to shout... can somebody please just tell me WHAT kind of yams you are supposed to eat???

Well, I'm no expert, but... I really do think the kinds of yams you're supposed to eat, to increase your fertility are just the regular old yams you get in the regular supermarket, or your typical Asian or Mexican market. And the reason I think that is, I've eaten a LOT of yams in the last 2 weeks, and I feel like my ovaries are working on overdrive.

When I got pregnant in January, I was eating lots of these "regular" yams. But I was doing a ton of other fertility enhancing things too, so I was never quite sure if my getting pregnant had anything to do with the yams. I basically stopped eating them for almost a year, but this month I started eating them regularly again, and have even upped my yammage (sometimes I actually eat 2 a day).

For the last 3 months, I've been doing all the same fertility enhancing things I did back in January, in order to get pregnant (you can read about those things here), except for eating the yams.

But then about a month ago I started eating them again. For the last week, my ovaries feel like they're going a little haywire (and I am NOT complaining!). I have been feeling mittelschmerz simultaneously on my left side AND right side this month (and I almost never, ever feel it on my right side). I've been feeling it on both sides for a WEEK. I am not kidding. And there are only three things I've been doing differently this month, as opposed to the last month, and one of those things is eating at least one yam every day. The second thing I did differently is, I started using ground pumpkin seeds in my shakes (I blend Flaxseed and Pumpkin Seeds    together). I had done that when I got pregnant in January, but stopped doing it till about a month a go. The third thing is, I've taken a few doses of "He Shou Wu" (more about that further down in this post).

So anyway... rest assured, you do not  have to go out and look for 5 pound African tubers, or look for a place where you can special order them online. You can do just fine with plain, old yams. The great thing about it is, they taste good after you cook them, and they are CHEAP. True, they were on sale in this picture (50 cents a pound!!!), but they are never more than like 80 cents a pound at this place. I just eat one kind of small one a day. It's maybe the same size/weight as a small banana.

I just cook them in the oven on either a cake baking tin or cookie sheet, I think I cooked them at like 350 degrees and had to leave 'em in there for almost an hour, they seem to take forever to cook all the way. But when you do, they are really good, and super sweet (love when they get all carmelized - yummy!).  I've also tried cutting them up and frying them... they're pretty good that way, and I especially love to do this with garlic. But honestly I am just too lazy to cut them all up if I'm eating 1-2 per day.

The way I usually eat them, to be honest, is to blend them into a veggie smoothie. Here is my recipe for a fertility smoothie, that seemed to work pretty darn well for me. I started feeling "ovary pangs" about a day after I drank this (about day 5 or 7 of my cycle... sorry I can't remember exactly... it was shortly after my period ended).

-1 small or medium sized yam
-1 banana
-Filtered water (I start by putting in about 1 cup, then add more to thin it out)

-ViSalus VI-Shape Nutritional Shake Mix    (1 or 2 scoops, though I usually just need 1)

-1 teaspoon FertiliTea (yes, I just blend it right into the shake, instead of drinking it... gives the whole thing a nice minty taste).
-1 tsp. Maca Powder
-1 tsp. Ground Flaxseed

-1 tsp. ground Pumpkin Seeds   
And I'll sometimes throw in some kind of vegetable, like a little kale or broccoli or something. Not much, maybe 1/4 cup, and I just do it cause I am eating a TON of veggies these days and have so much in the fridge.

Just a little warning, here... the combination of the yam plus the banana will inevitably make the shake so thick, it will look more like a some kind of party dip, than a shake. So I just keep adding more and more water till it's thinned out enough to drink.

OK so here is a quick list of the other things I'm doing / taking regularly:

-FertileCM  (I start taking this right after my period ends, till it starts up again, since my ovulation days are so unpredictable).

-Oil of evening Primrose    (darnit the price for a bottle at Trader Joe's went up, from $5.99 to $7.99!!!... but still worth it of course). Like with the Fertile CM, I take 2 a day right after my period ends, with meals.

Mucus Relief (Guaifenesin) tablets. (I took the Walgreens "Mucus Relief" brand, but you can get Guafinesin on Amazon... any basic kind should work... but be sure you do not take any kind of cold medication like Robitussin if it is called Robitussin DM (as Robitussin is rumored to be "the thing to take" when TTC)... and I think I'd heard Robitussin CM may also be something to avoid). You can read my post on Guafinesin tablets here.To be on the safe side I just went with the straight-up Guafinesin (Mucus Relief) tabs. I take these after my period stops, also. Maybe day 5 or 6 of my cycle.

-FertiliTea:  (you knew that). I just have it once a day, usually, in my shake.
-Maca Powder   1-2 tsps per day (I'll have the second tsp in a second shake - a veggie shake - that I'll drink in the evening). By the way I love this brand... it's organic, and a great price for a 2 lb. bag on Amazon.

ViSalus Core Kit {30 Meals, 5 Health Mix-Ins, Neuro, VI-PAK}

And of course, I'm trying to have lots of sex AND make sure to use PreSeed right after.

I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job of "increasing my odds" this month, for the most part. But I realize I could have been better about two things: exercising daily (I keep thinking I'm going to do it, then get busy and never get around to it), and  drinking LOTS of water. I sometimes forget since I feel like I drink so much liquid by doing the veggie shakes that I don't feel the need to drink any more water (each shake I make is like the size of a Big Gulp... I kid you not, I have to stand there and sometimes force myself to finish it all). But it probably wouldn't be a bad habit!

So about the (He Shou Wu (Shou Wu Chih)  I've had a few doses (a few tablespoons at a time, is what I took) of something called "Shou Wu" (you can read more about it in this other post I did). I recently read that it can help enhance your fertility. I actually bought it years ago, because I'd heard that it can help your gray hair turn dark again, but I was scared to take it again because I didn't want anything to mess up my fertility.

But I am so sick of dyeing my gray hair (and I have to do this a LOT because the Visalus vitamins are like prenatal vitamins... my hair grows soo fast!). So I decided to look it up and lo and behold it is actually a fertility enhancer.  I can tell you, I felt mittelschmerz within a day or two of drinking it, along with my fertility shake.  I actually like the taste... reminds me of Vanilla extract. I realize, the mittelschmerz may have been caused by the yams, who knows. But at least, my drinking it, didn't seem to prevent me from having all these fertility signs! FYI you can get He Shou Wu (Shou Wu Chih)at just about any Asian grocery store. Luckily there are a lot of them in San Francisco.

OK time to go exercise. For real.


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