What the experts say

Interview with Holistic Nutritionist, Denise Tam (recipe included!)

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1) ) Stress is a big factor in conception. What advice do you have to manage stress, especially those of us living in busy cities like Hong Kong?

SLEEP! We’re not made to run from the tiger all day and all night. And that is exactly what we are forcing our bodies to do when we wake up early to go to the gym, work late and entertain ourselves into the wee hours and get up and do it all over again. Sleep and rest is so important, sometimes skipping out on the gym or social gathering and just have a quiet night in to yourself would be more beneficial. Trust me, you won’t miss out. For the moms, you have to remind yourself that your kids will benefit from a more rested mom than a cranky over caffeinated one. Try to let go and let someone else take over, it’s not for life, but it’s for the best of the life you are trying to nurture and grow.

This bring me to nutrition, we need to feed our bodies with nutrients that it can run steadily on. Caffeine highs and sugar highs will bring you crashing down and you will feel lowsy and craving for that temporary high again. Instead, opt for healthy fats that can give your body a steady fuel and adaptogens like ashwagandha, rhodiola and maca to give you boosters when you need.
We have enough stress as it is and we don’t need to place more stress on our bodies by feeding it processed foods that will create inflammation and gut and immunity issues.

Through my own struggles with health, my biggest takeaway so far to combat stress and to be disciplined in the area of sleep and nutrition has been healthy boundaries. Set healthy boundaries for yourself. Go out and meet your girlfriends, lend a helping hand to those in need but set a limit that your body can handle. For me, that’s 3 nights out during the weekdays the other two I try to keep open for “me” time. Similarly with food, you can enjoy the chocolate cake or glass of wine but set healthy boundaries and stick to it, your body will thank you later for it, especially at the gym =)

2) Can you share some foods that help boost fertility? Maybe even a recipe idea!

Healthy omegas, specifically omega 3. Each cell is made up of these healthy fats, many don’t get enough of it which means our cells would not be working optimally. If our cells are well fed, they will work according to design. Omega 3 will also help balance our hormones which is important for fertility. And of course along with the omegas we need to make sure our vitamins and mineral profiles are up there. We focus too much on the macros and forget about the micros.

An easy way of making sure we are getting clean omega 3 and 6 in the right ratio is just by adding Udo’s Oil to our meals. Udo’s Oil is made from seeds so there’s less worry about rancidity since fish oils are 5x more delicate than seed oils.

The easiest and most delicious way of including Udo’s Oil into your diet is by making a salad dressing out of it. But you can add it to soups, smoothies, cooked veggies, pasta dishes etc.

This recipe was taken from Udo’schoice.com. I love this ‘dressing’ because it can easily be turned into a dip or even thickened to become a sauce for pasta.

Makes about 1 ½ cups

1 medium carrot (about 4 oz), washed & roughly chopped (peeling optional)
 cup Udo’s Oil® 3·6·9 Blend
¼ medium yellow onion (about 3 oz), roughly chopped
¼ cup rice vinegar
 cup soy sauce
 teaspoon fresh ginger root, finely grated
1 teaspoon fresh tumeric root, finely grated (optional)
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Putting the liquids in first and the carrots, onion, ginger, and tumeric last, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until mostly smooth making sure to leave a bit of texture;
  2. With the kale or other vegetable already in its serving dish, pour the dressing overtop and lightly toss; eat immediately.

*Tip: The flavors meld better after about a day, so making this batch is recommended, even a few hours ahead if possible. Be sure to give the dressing a good stir for the next use as the liquid may rise to the top. Also: find the freshest carrots you can for this recipe (think farmer’s market). The fresher, the better!

3) Can you share helpful supplements that aid in fertility? Are these available in your store?

I talked about omega 3’s as a food and it should be because every cell of ours needs it and our bodies do not produce it. So I don’t really treat this as a supplement, it should be a part of our daily food intake. But I always recommend Udo’s Oil for those who want to get pregnant as well as our Floravital Liquid iron, Folate and Zinc. These are very basic but each individual is different so you will need to listen to your body and try to figure out what is missing and add the supplements that your body needs. It is best to work with a holistic nutritionist or integrative doctor that understand supplementation if you are having trouble conceiving.

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Cancer gave them passion. Passion founded their mission. The mother – daughter team behind Food For Life has battled cancer three times between the both of them. Now with their first hand experience and knowledge, their stores hope to inspire and provide tools for a holistic lifestyle which they believe will translate into whole body healing and wellness. Knowing how hard it is to not only find but more importantly choose quality products, they have done the research for you so you can shop with confidence.

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