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Fertility Friendly Recipes for the Holidays

Staying on track with your healthy fertility diet doesn’t mean you need to miss out on Holiday treats! We’ve partnered with ELANZA Wellness to bring you healthy Holiday treat tips and recipes.
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kegg’s team in partnership with ELANZA Wellness

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Let’s face it. The temptations we face throughout the holiday season seem to be everywhere you turn. And while it is okay to indulge how you see fit, we wanted to share healthier alternatives to some of your favorite treats, so you can enjoy guilt-free. Even better, these holiday favorites are aimed at supporting your overall wellness, so they’re definitely not on the naughty list! With a few simple swaps and tips, you can be sure your holiday festivities won’t derail your fertility focus. 

First, let’s cheer for some delicious holiday beverages!

Homemade Gluhwein (Mulled) Wine

Perfect for Christmas Eve: The warming spices in this traditional concoction will fill your kitchen with amazing aromas.

Why it’s magic: Warm wine: what’s not to love? But store-bought versions of mulled wine (called Gluhwein in Germany, Vin Chaud in France and, rather delightfully, Glogg in Sweden) can contain whopping amounts of refined sugar. Making your own means you control not only the taste and the effect on your teeth, but also better manage your metabolic systems which underpin healthy egg development. It’s known that poor blood sugar control, obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders are linked to an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage and birth defects, and now emerging animal studies and clinical data suggest metabolic activity in the egg itself at the time of development is critical to these outcomes.

christmas receipt

Perfect for Christmas Eve: The warming spices in this traditional concoction will fill your kitchen with amazing aromas.

Why it’s magic: Warm wine: what’s not to love? But store-bought versions of mulled wine (called Gluhwein in Germany, Vin Chaud in France and, rather delightfully, Glogg in Sweden) can contain whopping amounts of refined sugar. Making your own means you control not only the taste and the effect on your teeth, but also better manage your metabolic systems which underpin healthy egg development. It’s known that poor blood sugar control, obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders are linked to an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage and birth defects, and now emerging animal studies and clinical data suggest metabolic activity in the egg itself at the time of development is critical to these outcomes.

How to prepare:

  • Fill a saucepan with 1 cup of water
  • Add:

5 crushed cardamom cloves
3 cloves
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
5 drops of liquid Stevia (or honey/maple syrup to your taste)
Half an orange, sliced.

  • Bring the water to the boil, and simmer until it has almost evaporated 
  • Add 1 bottle of red (generally table) wine and 2 star anise
  • Reduce the heat and stir it together until warm throughout.
  • Serve in the most Christmassy way you can think of: we love adding cinnamon sticks, more slices of orange and even some winter berries (for that extra fertility-friendly antioxidant hit).

Ayurvedic “Golden Brown” Milk:

Perfect for cold winter nights: This is a divine chocolatey spin on the famous healing Golden Milk (a traditional Indian Ayurvedic drink, also known as haldi doodh, that in its simplest form is made by blending hot milk and ground turmeric.)

Why it’s magic: The coconut oil and black pepper help with the bioavailability of the anti-inflammatory turmeric, which is fat-soluble. Inflammatory aging is an increasingly researched concept in the field of aging, and is closely associated with multiple diseases, including infertility, ovarian decline and menstrual disorders. Anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, a powerful example, are central to combating a chronic and low-degree proinflammatory state in the body that can impact fertility. And this hot chocolate is vegan, for extra points!

Christmas tea

Perfect for cold winter nights: This is a divine chocolatey spin on the famous healing Golden Milk (a traditional Indian Ayurvedic drink, also known as haldi doodh, that in its simplest form is made by blending hot milk and ground turmeric.)

Why it’s magic: The coconut oil and black pepper help with the bioavailability of the anti-inflammatory turmeric, which is fat-soluble. Inflammatory aging is an increasingly researched concept in the field of aging, and is closely associated with multiple diseases, including infertility, ovarian decline and menstrual disorders. Anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, a powerful example, are central to combating a chronic and low-degree proinflammatory state in the body that can impact fertility. And this hot chocolate is vegan, for extra points!

How to prepare:

  • Warm a cup of almond milk
  • Add:

1 tbsp. of cacao
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. cardamom
1 tbsp. coconut oil

  • A crack of black pepper
  • Stir gently until smooth and creamy
  • Sweeten with Stevia to taste, if required.
  • Garnish with an extra sprinkle of ground cinnamon – or a whole stick if you’re feelin’ fancy.

Now, on to some savory and sweet recipes sure to satisfy your taste buds while also providing nourishment for your body.

Roasted Chestnut "Sweeties"

Perfect when watching a movie: Unwrapping these gorgeous nutty little nuggets from their shells is a little like peeling back the packaging on a candy – except entirely natural and devoid of a single preservative.

Why they’re magic: Is there anything more festive than warm chestnuts? Roast ’em and peel ’em and these high-fiber little treasures are the perfect evening-in munchies. Fiber intake plays a role in reproductive health because not only does it assist with blood sugar maintenance (high and roller-coastering blood sugar are no-nos for fertility) it also assists your body in ridding itself of excess hormones.

Roasted Chestnut Sweeties
Photo by Flora Westbook from Pexel

Estrogen is excreted in bowel movements, but if your system is sluggish then instead it can be circulated back into your system. Too much estrogen (“estrogen dominance”) can be problematic for fertility, as an optimal balance between estrogen and progesterone levels are required for your ovaries to function correctly. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include bloating, weight gain, irregular periods, mood swings, cold hands or feet and brain fog. High-fiber diets have also been linked to decreased breast cancer risk, thanks to reducing these circulating estrogen concentrations. Not only are roasted chestnuts high in fibre, protein and complex carbs, they are low in saturated fat AND relatively low in calories compared to other nuts (5 chestnuts equals around 85 calories.) Double win. One thing to watch: research has also implicated too low levels of estrogen in problems with ovulation, so don’t overdo the fiber, especially if you have PCOS and your body already has a hard time balancing estrogen. Your bathroom visits should be regular, but not too regular! The recommended daily dietary fiber intake for women is 25g. Bear in mind, most Americans only get half this recommended amount. Other good sources are bran, beans, fruits and vegetables.

How to prepare:

  • Prick the skins of the chestnuts with a sharp knife
  • Slide them into the oven on a roasting pan at 350°F (180° C) for around half an hour. (Alternatively, you could try roasting them in an open fire, with Jack Frost nipping at your nose, but we can’t vouch for that particular technique…)
  • Be careful of your fingers when it’s time to peel them – they’ll be piping hot, so let them cool a little first.

Creamy Butternut Soup

Perfect to batch cook: If you’ve got a noisy crowd coming round, this makes a lovely filling lunch, or a tasty starter. Or for quick and easy dinner at home, just add Netflix.

Why they’re magic: Also known as winter squash, they’re perfect to eat from autumn and throughout Christmas. This cheerful champ is absolutely packed with potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium and key vitamins including A, C, E and B. These micronutrients are essential for optimal reproductive health, with research showing that zinc in particular plays a big role in egg maturation. Butternut squash is also abundant in protective carotenoids and antioxidants (as revealed by that vibrant orange color). Their super nutritional content means that not only are they positive forces for fertility, they’re also helpful for digestion and blood pressure, and can benefit your skin and hair, which can become dry and brittle in these winter months.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexel

How to prepare:

  • Lop a deseeded and peeled butternut squash into chunks around 2inches wide, then roast until soft and golden (around half an hour). You can use a small amount of oil if you prefer to.
  • While the squash is roasting, simmer 2 diced onions, 1 finely sliced garlic clove and 2 tbsp. roughly grated ginger together until the onions are soft.
  • Add ½ tsp. ground nutmeg.
  • Add the cooked butternut squash, 850ml hot vegetable stock and 4 tbsp. crème fraîche, then blend (in the pan with a stick blender or decanted into another blender) until smooth. 
  • Season with pepper to taste.
  • If you like, toast some almonds and a small amount of very finely chopped chilli to scatter on top and serve with fresh, crusty whole grain bread.
  • Pro tip: you can add a teaspoon of turmeric to further boost the anti-inflammatory powers of this creamy soup.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Men

Perfect for: Snacks, visiting kids, making the day of your gluten-free friends…

Why they’re magic: They’re small men. Made of biscuits. yup. Not only that, but this recipe uses whole foods as much as possible, with refined ingredients cut down to a minimum. One of the key principles of Eating for Egg Health, as outlined in our evidence-based guide Everything Egg Freezing: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Doing it Right, is aiming to mainly consume foods as close to their natural form as possible. Butter is better in baking than oil, as it has a higher “smoke point” when cooked at high temperatures. The smoke point is the temperature at which oils begin to burn, past which many beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals can be destroyed and at which harmful free radicals start to form. High circulating numbers of free radicals in your body raise your levels of oxidative stress, which has been linked to poorer fertility outcomes.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Men
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexel

How to prepare:

  • Mix 5 tbsp. room temperature butter and 1 cup of coconut sugar until crumbly.
  • Beat in 1 egg white and 4½ tbsp of molasses until light and fluffy.
  • In another bowl, stir together:       

2 cups (200g) of almond flour
6 tbsp.(42g) of coconut flour
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda,
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp ground cloves.

  • Stir in the first bowl’s ingredients, then empty the dough into a piece of baking parchment, wrap and freeze it for 1 hour.
  • Once the hour has passed, preheat your oven to 350°F (180° C) and line two baking sheets with more parchment.
  • Roll the dough between two more layers of parchment paper until it’s around a quarter of an inch thick.
  • Cut out cookies and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  • After around 15-20 minutes in the oven, the gingerbread men should be baked a deep golden brown.

Allow to cool and then comes the creative part: decorating!

Happy Holidays

Armed with these jolly good recipes, you’ll be feeling festive snacking on these healthier options. But, if you do indulge in some of the less nutritious options, do so confidently, as you should never feel guilt regarding your food choices! By focusing on adding in some nourishing, wholesome recipes, and less on restriction, you can be sure you are supporting your body, mind, and fertility. We know trying to conceive during the holiday season is hard. We hope these fun, healthy recipes add some extra sparkle to the season, and however you celebrate, may it be joyful and bright! 

More About Ellanza
ELANZA offers wellness coaching for every family-building journey. ELANZA’s 1-1 coaching with Board Certified Coaches helps peel away the pressure, providing structured support and a space to grow, no matter where the journey leads. 

To kick off the new year, ELANZA Wellness is launching an 8-week coaching program in partnership with Kegg, offering a judgment-free and structured environment to help you determine the right choices for you and your life, while relieving some of the stress surrounding big challenges, changes, and decisions.

Sign up at elanzawellness.com and use code ‘KEGG2022’ at checkout for $60 off. Promotion ends Jan 31, 2022. 

 

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