My baby has arrived!

No, not a real baby (yet) - my first online self-study program! Yes, it's true: Priming the Bump: A 14-Day Fertility Prep Program is finally here!

This Fertility Prep program helps you boost your fertility naturally & improve your baby's chances of being born healthy & smart - without spending a fortune or risking dangerous side effects. It nourishes your reproductive system with fertility-enhancing foods while cleansing your body of toxic substances that could prevent you from conceiving (or lead to birth defects & developmental disorders like autism).

I'm so excited about this new addition to my services. One of my personal goals is to provide health counseling to everyone who needs it, but not everyone can afford my one-on-one coaching rates. That's why the Prep Program is so awesome - you get all the juicy goodness of working with me 1:1, but at a much lower out-of-pocket cost. And I'm offering it at a special introductory rate for a limited time. There's no better time to join in the fertility-boosting fun!

Here's what people are saying about Priming the Bump's 14-Day Fertility Prep Program:

"This is all excellent material and a well thought-out program."

"I'm really enjoying the daily emails, they're informative, yet simple and concise. Love!"

"There is so much good stuff here! Excellent flow of materials and info."

"This is awesome and so informative!"

 
Want to learn more? Head on over to the Priming the Bump page to check out all the details. And tell your friends & family, because this introductory rate won't last forever.

Get ready to prime YOUR bump!

How to Prep & Store Beans, Nuts & Seeds

Photo by Isaac Wedin
The life cycle of a nut, seed or legume is to be eaten by a bird and eliminated with the bird's natural fertilizers in order to re-grow. In order to survive an animal's digestive tract, most nuts & seeds contain enzyme inhibitors that prevent absorption. The only problem with this is that we can't get the full nutrition benefits from nuts & seeds unless these enzyme inhibitors have been deactivated. 

Since beans contain lots of natural folate, and nuts & seeds have many fertility-enhancing minerals, I frequently recommend that my clients add these healthy foods to their diets. Traditional cultures soaked beans, nuts & seeds in order to improve the digestion & assimilation of their reproduction-supporting nutrients. Here's how.

Beans
I recommend buying dried beans. This is because
most commercial cans contain a BPA lining. BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a man-made compound that exhibits estrogen-like properties upon assimilation into the human body (it is one of many chemicals therefore known as a xeno-estrogen). While the FDA hasn't banned BPA yet, many studies have shown its potential dangers - including a strong link to infertility.

To cook dried beans, first you'll need to soak them. Cover them with lots of filtered water (they will expand quite a bit) and place them in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation. Let them soak overnight or for 12 hours. For extra credit & nutritional punch, you can even sprout legumes (Google "how to sprout beans" and you'll find scores of super-easy DIY tutorials). Regardless of whether you simply soak or attempt to sprout, you'll need to rinse & drain the beans before cooking them. Place the beans in a large pot and cover them with several inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Don't add salt until after the beans are cooked - this will help them retain their shape & texture. Cook the beans for 60-90 minutes or until they become tender (but not mushy). Once they're cooked, drain them again.

At this point, you can either use the beans in a recipe or store them. If you're going to use them within a few days, you can simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and they'll last for 3-4 days. Or, for longer storage, pat them dry and freeze them in an airtight container. Frozen beans will keep for 6 months to a year.

If soaking, cooking & storing beans seems like too much work for you, you'll be glad to know that some health-minded companies are eliminating BPA in their cans. These cans are labeled "BPA-free" or "No BPA." Eden Organics is one reliable producer who uses BPA-free cans for their beans. But even if you have to settle for BPA-lined cans, try not to beat yourself up too much. Many nutritional experts agree that the health benefits of eating more vegetables and fruits outweigh the risks of exposure to pesticides and other toxins.

Nuts & Seeds
Nuts & seeds only need to be soaked for 7-8 hours, following which they should be dehydrated in a warm oven (150˚) for about 12 hours, turning occasionally. They can then be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity.

The Importance of Seasonal Eating

Photo courtesy of Can Can Cleanse
Initially published on Can Can Cleanse:

Reasons to Eat With the Seasons

Watermelon. Raspberries. Zucchini. Tomatoes. Summer’s gardens are a veritable bounty of mouth-watering fruits and vegetables, bursting with flavor and nutrients. But now that we can get these foods year-round, why should we bother stocking up on them now?

Eating seasonally is one of the pillars of designing a healthy diet, and for good reason. Nature provides the nutrients we need exactly when we need them to ensure optimal health. Before we were able to enjoy peaches in February, we had a very limited time to indulge in these delicious sweets. And guess what? We didn’t suffer as many preventable health problems as we do today.

Perhaps that’s because most of our summer foods do an excellent job of preparing us for winter. Chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, these fruits & veggies exert potent antioxidant power to get our immune systems in tip-top shape and protect our cardiovascular systems. The complex carbohydrates so plentiful in summer used to help fatten us up for impending fall & winter, when we were forced to rely on limited amounts of wild game, root vegetables, nuts, seeds, and traditional storage techniques (root cellars, pickling, canning and iceboxes).

In-season foods improve health because they have more nutrients. Many vitamins and phytonutrients are denatured with exposure to oxygen, light or heat. So the longer you have to wait to eat a vegetable after it’s been picked, the fewer nutrients it offers. One of the benefits of eating seasonal produce is that it can be grown & sold locally, which cuts down the time between harvest & a fresh salad on your plate. And many local growers choose not to use harmful pesticides, so even non-organic seasonal foods can be safer. Plus, as anyone who has ever tried to eat a tomato or avocado out-of-season can tell you, the taste of fresh produce is beyond compare.

Seasonal foods also provide a perfect counterpoint to the climate. When it’s hot out, a big sweet potato or winter squash just isn’t appealing. But berries, cucumbers, and mint? Bring it on!

Besides being a healthy way to eat, eating seasonally is usually less expensive. Take watermelons, for example. Watermelons can be grown nearly anywhere in the summertime, but if your craving occurs in winter, your watermelon will likely be shipped in from a warmer locale. Shipping requires fuel, and we all know how expensive that is nowadays! In addition, foods grow well when they’re in season, so there is a greater supply available, which also drives the price down.

Affordable, healthy & better-tasting? Sounds like three great reasons to dive into summer produce with abandon. Enjoy!