The Paleo Diet and Fertility
Over the years, I’ve heard numerous stories of women giving up a processed food lifestyle and going to Real, WHOLE foods, and then finally being able to conceive. Here’s a story related specifically to the Paleo way of eating from a reader friend, Shelly…
Six months ago I joined a gym and everyone there was talking about Paleo eating. I'd just come off a year of Weight Watchers and was learning to maintain my goal weight. After two months of listening to them, I stopped drinking all sodas (diet or regular) and haven't missed it. Eventually I started modifying other small goals in my eating habits and in November I did my first Whole30 (30 days strict Paleo – no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no sugar, no processed food of any kind). I lost about 3 more pounds, but combined with my workouts, I lost body fat, built muscle, lost inches, my acne disappeared, and I felt great all the time. (I also started sleeping better – no lights at all in the room.)
The gym invited me to meet Robb Wolf at a NASA JSC lecture in mid-October and I started my first Whole 30 (strict 100% Paleo eating for 30 days) the next week. I actually surprised myself by successfully completing it a few days after Thanksgiving. My workouts improved dramatically and I felt great. I went 90-10 for most of December – at least until Christmas – and started another round of Whole30 in January, the day after my 40th birthday.
Three weeks later, I found out I was pregnant!
When I told my trainer, he laughed and said he'd heard Robb Wolf talk about how fertile the women in his gym are when they're eating Paleo. Apparently eating “caveman style” is supposed to naturally resolve a number of fertility issues. I've never had fertility issues, but clearly we didn't abstain on a day we should have – and there's no room for error when your body is in good health. So, this is fair warning that a Paleo diet increases your fertility and there may be a surprise if you're not 100% faithful to your NFP or other birth control method.
I will admit that I have not kept up with my Paleo eating during morning sickness and exhaustion. I'm just too tired to be in the kitchen and the smell of meat cooking turns my stomach. Now that I'm approaching my 2nd trimester and the nausea is lessening, I'm looking forward to getting back on plan.
I encourage everyone to check it out. There are great websites to help, and if you're interested in getting kids to eat Paleo, check out the Everyday Paleo website. I'm not very strict with my own kids, though they know what's allowed and what's “special” instead of being “everyday.”
Here’s her post about the shock of finding out she was pregnant. 🙂
I told her that on one hand she inspires me to keep up the lower carb lifestyle. (Less sugar especially…) On the other hand I’m a little afraid to, LOL! What I notice personally when I’m eating fewer starches and sweets is that my hormones are much more level all month long.
I’m curious if any of you have noticed a difference in your hormones since eating more Real Food or eating a Paleo diet? Do you have anything to share as far as the Paleo diet and fertility?
Thanks for sharing your story, Shelly!
Shelly is one half of the sisters duo found at Of Sound Mind and Spirit, writing about their Catholic faith, family life, conservative politics, pro-life issues and books they love to read. Shelly enjoys a successful career as a Certified Archivist. Her publications include the award-winning Through a Night of Horrors: Voices from the 1900 Galveston Storm. She lives in Texas with her husband and two horse-loving, song-writing daughters.
- Weight Watchers and Nourishing Traditions? Read how they can mesh.
- My own (Kelly's) story of infertility.