F.E.T Blog Post Round-Up {And an F.E.T Update}

I had an appointment for blood work yesterday, to test Estraidol levels. Unfortunately, they are lower than my doctor would like, so they added a suppository to the protocol, and will do blood work again after my ultrasound on Monday.

If everything looks good Monday, and if my blood work comes back the way it should (with higher Estraidol levels) then we will transfer next Monday, August 10th. Beta will be on the 20th! If my Estraidol levels still aren’t high enough, we could be looking at a small delay.

In the meantime, I thought it would be both fun and helpful to look back on several blog posts from my first transfer. It’s funny that, even though it was less than two years ago, so many of the details are fuzzy. I need a refresher course on what to do before and after transfer. I hope this is helpful for any of you who are approaching your F.E.T cycles as well.

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1) Ten Things About our Frozen Embryo Transfer

2) Pineapple As Implantation Aid

3) Sample Meal Plan for the Two Week Wait

4) IVF Tips- The Things I Wish I’d Known

5) Printable Tax Worksheets for IVF and Other Fertility Treatments

6) Fertility Treatments- The Side-effects

7) What I did to Prepare for our Frozen Embryo Transfer

8) Enjoying the Two Week Wait- This post is over two years old. It’s strange reading my old two-week wait checklist, because so much has changed in just two years. I think my two-week wait will go by much faster this time around than it ever has in the past, because not only do I have Bonnie, but I also have two other toddlers to keep me busy.

Speaking of Bonnie, she’s been terribly sick all week. She’s had a fever, been lethargic, not been eating, and been so pitiful. We took her to the doctor first on Tuesday, and then again on Thursday. Apparently she has enterovirus, which was a bit of a relief considering I was afraid it might have been measles. She’s got a rash on her tummy, back and forehead that kind of freaked me out. The doctor said that since she’s had the fever since Sunday night, he thinks she should be on the upswing by the beginning of next week.

 

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Our Frozen Embryo Transfer {Round Two Update}

My baseline ultrasound was last Wednesday. I’d prepared myself ahead of time for less-than-desirable news, because I was still bleeding heavily after last week’s surgery. I wondered if we’d have to push our schedule back, or even cancel the cycle. So when my doctor was unconcerned with the bleeding during the ultrasound, and confident that we could move forward according to the schedule she’d already given me, I was pleasantly surprised. She could tell through the ultrasound that I still had several blood clots that need to pass, and those are where the bleeding is coming from. Once those are gone, the bleeding should subside. She told me my ovaries looked lovely: no cysts at all (also pleasantly surprising!)

After the ultrasound, I had to wait for a call from my nurse, who said she’d be letting me know whether or not my blood work was satisfactory. She called Wednesday afternoon giving me the okay to proceed with our protocol. YAY!!!

On Thursday I added Estraidol and low dose Aspirin to the Lupron injections I’ve been taking.

My next appointment is the Thursday, the 30th. Compared to a fresh IVF cycle, there are very few appointments for FET. It feels strange not to be going to the clinic multiple times per week, but it’s also a huge relief. I hate leaving Bonnie for a moment more than I absolutely have to. (I don’t know how you working moms do it; y’all are tough cookies!)

It’s finally sinking in that we are really doing this… That I could be pregnant by this time next month! We’ve already started talking about baby names again, and I’ve already begun daydreaming about nursery decor. I’ve also started thinking about things like potty training Bonnie, and getting her moved into a toddler bed (so that we can use the crib for the new baby or babies.) I’d like to have tackled both of those things before we add any new babies to the family.

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When we were going through fertility treatments the first time around (you can find a detailed timeline here) there were several verses I clung to, and read every day. The one I kept coming back to is the same verse this blog’s name is based on, Ephesians 3:20:

“Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we can ever ask or imagine, through the power at work in us.” 

This time around, and especially recently, Psalm 16:11 has been the verse on my heart. Not just as it relates to infertility and fertility treatments, but as it relates to our entire lives as believers. I’m working on finding joy and contentment regardless of circumstances.

I’m so excited about Thursday’s appointment (it’s just for blood work, but the blood work will determine if we can continue with the protocol as it is or if we will need to adjust it.) I’m excited about being pregnant again (minus the weight gain.) I’m excited about the act of giving birth again (weird, but true.) I’m excited to nurse again. I’m excited to see Bonnie interact with a new sibling.

But I also know that if this transfer does not work, I will still find joy in my family just the way it is. I will be content, and we will move on with life with no more fertility treatments. Not a day goes by when I’m not in awe of our daughter, and when I’m not in awe of the goodness that God shows us through her.

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Online Bloggers Fertility Conference {5 Reasons I’m Thankful for PCOS}

Today it’s my turn to be featured on Miss.Conception Coach’s fertility conference. I’m so honored to be included in a group of such wonderful women, who are also such talented bloggers. Tomorrow is the end of the 2nd week of the conference, and there have been so many incredible, uplifting posts already, with more to come next week.

If you haven’t yet read today’s post, this week’s posts, or if you still need to catch up on last week’s post, you may want to consider brewing a pot of tea, and hunkering down for a bit of light, but powerful reading!

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Day 1- Pregnancy Announcements

Day 2- Feelings We Experience While Going Through Fertility Treatments

Day 3- Have You Considered Adoption?

Day 4- Our Love Story

Day 5- Through My Loss

Day 6- The DNA Decision {Donor Embryos}

Day 7- What PCOS Feels Like

Day 8- Being Vulnerable

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I’ve found such comfort in many of these bloggers over the past few years. If you’re struggling with infertility, whatever the cause, please spend some time reading these posts, and checking out each of these gals’ blogs. God might just use them to encourage, challenge, or inspire you today!

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Quest Herbal Tea {A Giveaway}

As I am spending the morning at our fertility clinic for my baseline ultrasound (YAY!), Dr. Lisa Smith of Cre8tv Healing has offered to give her herbal tea mixes away to five of my blog readers (that’d be you all.) The tea is a blend of herbs that aids in ridding the body of inflammation,  which is something that those of us with PCOS are all too familiar with. All of this, and the taste isn’t bad either!

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You can find a bit of Lisa’s own story here (she was told she’d never have children of her own.)

We’ll make this quick and easy: The first five people to comment on this post will receive a tea packet! If you’re one of the first five people to comment here, you’ll get an email from me in the next day or two. You can respond with your mailing address, and then the tea will be on its way to you. And I’d love to hear how you like it!

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A Carpet She Can Crawl On {3 Tips}

As I’m bouncing back from yesterday’s little surgery (which, according to the doctor, could not have gone any better,) Edna Thomson has been gracious enough to share a guest post here today. She runs a small company called SparklingCarpets Shepherds Bush and loves sharing her experience. And I love list posts, so thank you, Edna, for sharing your carpet cleaning list with us!

Many people underestimate the importance of carpet cleaning. They don’t realize how easily dirt gets caught in the fibers. Your carpet is like a huge sponge that traps allergens, mites, soil, dust and toxins that you bring from outside. With a small baby around, it’s really vital that you keep those pests at bay, especially if your bundle of joy enjoys crawling on the carpet. What you can do is take care of your carpet on a regular basis and prevent harmful microroganisms from lingering in the fibers. Here are a few tips to keep your carpet spic-and-span for your little baby.

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1) Steam Clean Your Carpet Every Now and Then

No other carpet cleaning method is both as effective and non-toxic as steam cleaning. Steam cleaners utilize powerful suction methods combined with hot water, which not only loosen debris and dirt, but also eliminate mites, germs and other bacteria which are present. While many cleaning solutions rely on toxic chemicals to do the trick, steam cleaning is as simple and as harmless as water itself. Now, you might want to steam clean your carpet every few months. However, it might be best to leave it to a certified technician. Professional cleaners have powerful equipment and are trained in such practices.

When you are finished, it is vital to allow enough time for the carpet to dry completely before you let your small one or anyone else crawl/walk on it again. The trouble with wet carpets is that they are easily susceptible to fungal growth as well as mold and mildew. For this reason, it’s advisable that you leave an open window overnight to improve air circulation and allow your carpet to dry faster. Another way to go is to run an electric fan, with the blades facing the wet area.

 2) Remove Stains as Soon as They Occur

When a liquid spill occurs, just take an absorbent cloth or clean paper towel and blot it. Some stains such as red wine tolerate table salt or club soda. Both substances can absorb the spill. Don’t rub. It will only spread the stain. Allow the stain to transfer from the fibers to the cloth/club soda. If your carpet experiences greasy stains, sprinkle baking soda, cornstarch or cornmeal on the affected area and let sit. After a while power on the vacuum and suck up the powder from the carpet. For gum and other sticky substances, use ice to harden the substance in the first place. Scrape it off with a spoon. The next thing you want to do is clean the affected area with a solution of 1/3 cup of distilled vinegar, 2/3 cup of warm water and ½ teaspoon liquid castile soap.

 3) Take Preventive Measures

Lastly, minimize exposure to dirt by taking a few preventive measures. First off, don’t let anyone walk in shoes around. They could be tracking dirt from outside. Second, place doormats so when family members enter the premises they can wipe their feet. Another important step is to vacuum your carpet regularly so you can suck up any choking hazards before your baby gets to them. It might be best to invest in a HEPA filter so you can keep irritants at bay.

Using non-irritating and non-toxic alternatives in lieu of store-bought household cleaners is essential when it comes to protecting your baby’s health. And if they don’t work that well, you should probably consult with a certified cleaning specialist.

Let’s hope these little tips help you to keep your carpet safe for your bundle of joy’s sake.

 

 

 

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Thirteen Months with Bonnie

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Duck, moo (when you ask her what a cow says,) baby, hey, diaper, Bampa (her name for my dad,) night-night, bubble, and “muah” (when she gives kisses.) These are all words Bonnie has learned to say since this time last month. She also knows how to blow her nose into a tissue, which is somehow adorable.

As Bonnie’s vocabulary continues to quickly expand, I’m starting to focus more on teaching her concepts, rather than words. We are working on gentle, stop, no, and wait. She is doing really well with grasping these. I knew it was time to start working on these whenever she started throwing tantrums over not getting her way, and when it was obvious that she understood much of what we were saying. As guidelines on how to best educate her on these four concepts, I’ve relied heavily on Pamela Drukerman’s Bringing Up Bebe and Bebe Day by Day. I highly recommend both, but if you aren’t much of a reader, at least invest in the latter, because it’s an easy, quick reference that can be a life-saver when you feel you’re in desperate need of guidance regarding a very specific topic. And I’ve needed a lot of guidance as Bonnie has begun her transition from baby to toddler! Another book I can already tell I’ll be referring back to many times over the next eighteen years or so is Dare to Discipline, by Dr. James Dobson.

Bonnie enjoys playing peek-a-boo, and pushing her baby doll around in her stroller walker. (We have this one, which we purchased at a consignment shop for $6.) She is doing a lot more walking on her own (without help from us, furniture, or her walker.) She’s developed a new fondness for climbing up things, down things, into things, out of things, over things, under things,  and onto things. While I’m not crazy about this new hobby of hers, there is a part of me that really loves watching her explore. Generally, she is extremely cautious, (this is one of the very few things her personality has in common with mine,) so when I see her let loose a little it makes my heart smile.

Her favorite things to play with are her babies, but her books are a close second. She still likes to “love her babies,” and to “kiss the babies.” Her favorite book right now is this ABC Bible Verse board book. She seems to enjoy the pictures.

Unless Bonnie is reading, she does not sit still. Ever. She won’t even sit in the booster seat of a shopping cart. We let her ride in the basket, where she stands at the front, facing out, usually bouncing up and down. Occasionally she’ll take a seat inside the basket to inspect whatever we’ve tossed into the cart. We’ve gotten some disapproving looks from a few store employees, but I’ve decided that where she sits (or stands or bounces) in the shopping cart is not something I care to be incredibly strict about. As long as she is behaving, and not doing anything that will cause harm to herself, or cause a bother to others, I’m happy.

She does not take a bottle at all, and no longer uses milk as a tool for self-soothing. She drinks from her cup with meals and snack, and while we are reading together before bed. She is still an excellent eater, but there are a handful of things she won’t eat. She HATES cheese, and won’t eat anything if it has cheese on it. I offer it to her daily, hoping that she will develop a taste for it, simply so that she can glean the benefits of its fat and protein, but we’ve not made any progress so far. She still loves bananas, almond butter, grilled or baked chicken, guacamole, berries, and sweet potatoes. She struggles with green veggies, and will only eat them if they are cooked a certain way. And she won’t eat broccoli no matter how it has been cooked!

We’ve finally managed to push Bonnie’s bedtime back to 7:00/7:30pm (as opposed to the 5:30/6:00 bedtime she was determined to keep for so long.) We are all loving the later bedtime. It makes dinner less rushed, and gives Andrew more time with her in the evenings. And possibly the biggest perk of all is that she sleeps until 7:00am, or even later! As a result of sleeping in later, her napping schedule has changed a bit. For about a week we thought she’d transitioned to one nap. She was napping once, around 11am, and then not again. But a few days ago, she picked her second nap back up. Here is what her schedule looks like recently:

  • 7:00/7:15- Wake up
  • 7:30/7:45- Breakfast
  • 9:30- Small snack
  • 9:45/10:00- Nap
  • 12:00- Lunch
  • 2:00- Snack
  • 3:00- Nap
  • 5:00/5:30- Dinner
  • 6:15/6:30- Bedtime Routine begins
  • 7:00- Bed

Every stage with Bonnie gets better and better. It sounds crazy, but her personality has blossomed so much over the past few months that I think I already have a clear idea of what she’s going to be like from here on out. And in a word, I’d already describe her as strong-willed. I have no idea where she got this from, and I’m nervous about educating her and disciplining her, since there are some HUGE differences between my personality and hers, but I am also excited. I’m excited to watch her continue to grow, learn, and evolve.

This time next month, I will be halfway through my 2ww. Knowing that I could be pregnant soon makes me cherish this time with Bonnie even more. This season has been so hard fought for, and so hard prayed for. And it has been sweeter than I could have ever imagined.

{P.S.- Day 3 of Miss.Conception Coach’s Bloggers Fertility Conference has been posted, and it is so good! Laura, from Making Baby Provence, shared her thoughts of the topic of, “just trying to adopt.” Couldn’t have said it better myself! And I cannot wait to see what is in store for us tomorrow!}

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The Week Ahead

Nothing is too difficult for Him.--- Jeremiah 32:17

Andrew has been home on break for the past few weeks, and the extra time with him has been wonderful. He’s been productive, and seen several patients in outpatient clinic. We also looked at a practice for sale near our home outside Nashville. It’s not the one for us, but it was still fun to look, and it was a good learning experience. After being spoiled with his help at home for the past three weeks, it was hard to send him off to school this morning!

It is also going to be hard to get back into the swing of things, and get out of vacation mode. I start keeping Finlay again today, and I know Bonnie will love having a friend around again. Luke’s mom does not go back to work until the end of the month, but I bet Bonnie will be excited to see him again as well. I am ready to get going again, but realized on Saturday night that I was unprepared to resume real life.

After a quick trip to the grocery store and local farmers market, and after spending a couple hours cleaning around the house, I am ready to put my game face on today! Meals are planned, ingredients have been purchased, and a few things have even been prepped. Everyone’s laundry is clean, our dishwasher is empty, our floors are as clean are they are going to get, Andrew’s backpack is packed, and we are all ready to have a successful week.

We are having this pizza for dinner tonight. We’ve started eating a bit of dairy here and there, mostly in an attempt to entice Bonnie to eat cheese. So far we’ve not had any success, but we’re still working on it. I’m worried about her not getting enough fat in her diet since she drinks almond milk rather than whole milk (almond milk does not contain as much fat as whole milk.)

Bonnie, Finlay and I will be in attendance at story time on Tuesday. In the past, Bonnie’s naps have interfered with story time, but her napping schedule has changed recently.

My surgery is on Wednesday. I’m already sick over the thought of leaving Bonnie all day, but my aunt will be keeping her at our house, and I know she will be in capable hands.

Today is Day #4 of Lupron injections. If the surgery goes well Wednesday, I will have my baseline ultrasound on the 22nd, and we can finally get the FET ball rolling again!

It’s going to be a good week.

{P.S.- Be sure to check out Day #1 of Miss.Conception Coach’s online Bloggers’ Fertility Conference!}

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Miss.Conception Coach Online Fertility Conference {Starts July 13th}

I’m so excited to be a part of the online fertility conference hosted by Miss.Conception Coach. The conference starts on Monday. Bloggers will share a post that will encourage, inspire, or help educate about infertility, secondary infertility, PCOS, endometriosis, trying to conceive naturally, and trying to conceive through treatments.

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If you aren’t a member at Miss.Conception Coach, I recommend looking into it. And by becoming a member of Miss.Conception Coach’s private Facebook forum, you immediately gain access to a group of women who are ready to lift you up, listen to you vent, and cheer you on!

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Frozen Embryo Transfer {Round Two}

Our Frozen Embryo Transfer--- Round TWO

I’ve been on the fence about whether or not to share our FET experience this second time around. It’s been difficult to decide how much to share, or if it would be helpful to anyone for me to share at all. But not sharing doesn’t seem quite right, since I’ve been so candid over the past few years about our journey through infertility.

Those of you who have been reading the blog for an extended length of time know that we had our daughter (who is now 12 months old) through our first frozen embryo transfer. I am exceedingly grateful for her, and truly fall more in love with her every day. (I know those of you who are mothers know exactly what I am talking about. And for those of you who are still waiting and working to become mothers, it’s the craziest thing, and it is so worth the wait.)

Going through FET the second time around is so different from the first. I don’t feel as desperate as I did when we went through our first FET. Bonnie has already filled such a longing in my heart. If this round of FET does not work, we will probably not pursue another IVF cycle. I know I will be content and joyful if we never have more children. Knowing that makes certain aspects of this FET cycle easier than our last one. I do not want to spend Bonnie’s childhood pining for more children when we’ve already been blessed beyond measure through her. I want to spend the rest of my lifetime enjoying her, nurturing her, teaching her about Jesus. No part of me wants to spend my time with her wishing for more children. So in a sense, this FET is our fleece.

Our Frozen Embryo Transfer--- Round TWO

Although this FET cycle has a much less desperate tone to it, it has already been a bit emotional, as we’ve already had some setbacks, and multiple changes in our calendar. Given that we hit so many speed bumps throughout our first IVF cycle, and in the three IUIs that preceded it, I anticipated setbacks and surprises this time around, but it is still difficult to prepare for disappointment when you aren’t exactly sure what those disappointments might look like.

There are also some details we’re having to tend to during this cycle that we didn’t need to bother with last time.  For instance, we’d originally planned our FET for this summer, since I babysit two little ones full-time during the year. To prepare for this, we weaned Bonnie sooner than we really wanted to (she was weaned before she hit 11 months.) As it happens, when I went to the clinic to have my prolactin levels tested after Bonnie had been weaned for a month (that is our clinic’s standard protocol) I learned that my levels were very low, even for someone who had not been nursing. This means it would likely have been fine for me to nurse throughout our cycle.

Originally, our transfer was scheduled for July 27th. As many of you know, there are lots of doctor’s visits involved with FET (although thankfully, not nearly as many as with IVF.) Babies are not allowed at our fertility clinic, so arranging childcare was a priority once we got our original calendar. I knew my husband would not be able to watch Bonnie (or any other babies) because his missing class is not an option. We made the original schedule work, with the help of friends and family, especially since most of our appointments were during the public schools’ summer breaks, and some were even during Andrew’s short break.

I’ve been on birth control pills since June 12th, and went in for my mock transfer and saline ultrasound the last week of June. During the saline ultrasound my doctor found uterine polyps that will need to be surgically removed before we can proceed. Our timeline will be moved back, and we do not yet know if this cycle can be salvaged or not.

I start Lupron injections tonight. My surgery is on July 15th, and the results will determine whether or not we can proceed with this cycle, or if we’ll need to start over again. My doctor is hopeful that we will be able to salvage the cycle, and has given me tentative new dates, but she’s told me that they are subject to change depending on what the surgery reveals.

Yes, I am disappointed at the setback, but more than anything, I’m frustrated over not being able to complete the cycle during the summer, which is the time that would have been most convenient for the moms of the babies I keep. I’m also frustrated that July 15th is the soonest the hospital and doctor were able to schedule the surgery. I’ve been bleeding consistently for nearly four weeks now (I assume because of the polyps) and it’s beginning to take a bit of a toll on my energy level.

I’ve been hesitant to blog about any of this because I do not want to seem ungrateful. Not only am I incredibly thankful for the child we already have, but I’m also thankful for the opportunity to undergo another FET cycle. We are so fortunate to have two more embryos left that we can transfer, not to mention that we were able to do IVF in the first place. I recognize that this is a special time in our lives, and more than anything, I am excited.

I will share more details after the surgery. My aunt has agreed to watch Bonnie the day of, and I’m very nervous to leave her all day, but I am so honored that my aunt is willing. That’s one day of childcare I was worried about that I guess I didn’t need to worry about after all. And I know that, once it’s all said and done, I will look back on the whole experience and realize that the whole experience went just as it was meant to, and that every worry I had was for naught! (What a difference two years and one successful transfer make though! During our last FET, the transfer was my sole focus, every moment of every day. Now, my sole concern is childcare, and concern over the actual transfer is secondary.)

**If you are in the thick of infertility, I highly recommend reading the whole story of Gideon and the fleece he laid out for God, even if you’ve read it before. It is in Judges 6. Gideon tests God with multiple fleeces, and God continuously responds. He is faithful.**

 

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7 Ways Women can Maintain a Balanced Diet

Today I’m sharing a post by Evelyn Hylton. Evelyn has been writing about health and wellness topics for many years. She currently writes on behalf of the protein bar experts at Promax Nutrition. An avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves working out, problem-solving, and catching up on Shark Tank. Follow her on Twitter @Evelyn_Hylton.

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Keeping a balanced diet is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, defenses we have against diseases, hormonal issues, mood swings, and even sleep disorders. While dietary needs differ from person to person, there aresome key nutritional principles that ring true across the board, especially for women. In order to help your diet help you, follow these seven tips on how you can keep a balanced, healthy, and satisfying set of eating habits.

1. Ignore Fad Diets.

Most women have probably tried a fad diet or two (or 10) in their lifetime, only to see what they thought would be their weight loss miracle turn into an all-out disaster of starve, binge, and give up. The reason why extremely restrictive diets fail is that they require you to incorporate unhealthy, unsustainable habits, such as excluding entire food groups or using laxatives, leaving your body chemistry unbalanced and you, well, ravenous. The best diet is a sustainable diet that includes about 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. The golden rule: if you can’t sustain it, don’t do it.

2. Watch Your Portions.

Are you eating what the internet dubs as “health superfoods” for every meal, but are only seeing the numbers on the scale go up? Unfortunately, there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to your diet. Although a food may be nutrient dense, it still contains calories (yes, even a fruit or a vegetable). In order not to overdo the amount of food you eat, you need to do two things. First, use a calorie calculator and find out how many calories in a day you should really be consuming. Second, check your portions on everything you eat. This means reading labels and measuring (not eyeballing). It may seem tedious at first, but you may be shocked at the difference between your perception of a serving size and its actual size.

3. Track Your Micronutrients.

While hitting your proper macronutrient (protein, fat, carb) ratios are extremely important for a balanced diet, you need enough vitamins and minerals going into your body to ward off diseases and have you functioning and feeling your best. For starters, invest in a quality multi-vitamin supplement so you cover your micronutrient bases. The vast majority of your vitamins and minerals should come directly from the foods you eat. Foods that are generally rich in micronutrients are fruits, vegetables (and don’t forget root vegetables such as sweet potatoes), whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, eggs, and even high quality dairy and meat products.

4. Drink enough water.

You’ve heard it like a broken record, but it’s repeated for a reason. You must drink enough water to keep your body functioning, period. Every system in our bodies from out endocrine system to our nervous system runs on water, and dehydration is a surefire way to increase headaches, muscle aches, concentration problems, prolonged sickness, and trouble losing weight, all because the “current” our systems run on has slowed down. If that isn’t reason enough for you to start drinking at least the recommended 64 oz. of water per day, drinking more water has also been shown to drastically improve complexion, boost energy levels during the day, and keep your appetite at bay. So drink up – we mean it.

5. Log Your Intake.

Studies have shown throughout the years that you have better control of what you monitor, especially when it comes to food. Our brains are pretty efficient, but tracking every bite we take from breakfast until dinner is quite the feat if we only store that information in our memories. For that reason, especially if you are trying to lose weight, it’s absolutely critical that you keep a food diary and fill it in after every meal. This doesn’t have to mean pen and paper, however; thanks to the invention of apps and internet food databases, there are dozens of ways to keep track of your eating habits, calories, and nutrient ratios all on your phone, tablet, or laptop. A couple of great food tracking apps are Myfitnesspal and Daily Burn, and they come in free (which is all you really need) and premium versions.

6. Time Your Meals.

Your body is a fan of routine, so it adjusts sending its hunger signals accordingly. To keep your blood sugar and ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels stable throughout the day, it’s best to eat your meals about four hours apart from one another. When you skip meals or go too long without eating, your metabolism will slow down to compensate for the lack of energy you’re putting into your body, leaving you tired, unable to concentrate, and unhappy all around. So, get yourself on a good eating schedule that works for you, and try not to let your meals drift too far apart from one to the next. If you’re always on the go and can’t stop for even a quick bite at an eatery, pack some nutritious protein bars in your bag so you can have something substantial whenever life gets busy.

7. Never Stop Educating Yourself.

The most powerful tool that you can have in your arsenal is knowledge. If you don’t know what you should be eating, you can’t maintain a healthy weight, energy level, or protect yourself from most diseases. In the age of the internet, nutritional information is available at your fingertips, and you have the opportunity to take advantage of countless credible websites, databases, and even YouTube videos created by experts. Knowledge is power, so use it to your greatest benefit!

Just like getting enough sleep, eating right dramatically improves your health and vitality from the inside out. If you have a history of relying on junk food to get you through the day, you are truly missing out. Don’t neglect your diet; make a commitment to invest in yourself by nourishing your body with the best nutrients possible – because you’re worth it!

 

 

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