Book Review: Fertility Foods Cookbook
I had the pleasure of getting connected with Elizabeth (Liz) Shaw and Sara Haas through Instagram. Together, they've authored one of the best fertility resources I've come across to date: Fertility Foods Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Nourish Your Body.
Both authors are registered dietitian nutritionists and speak, write, and consult frequently about nutrition, food, and the role it plays in our health. (I've included their full bios below...they are impressive!) In addition to their credentials, Liz and Sara are warm-hearted, generous, and passionate advocates for people facing infertility. After all, they are in the trenches, too.
In this cookbook, you'll find easy, accessible, recipes made with readily available ingredients. There is a wide range of flavor profiles and most are easily customized to particular diets or exclusions (gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, etc.).
And what I loved the most? There's no deprivation included.
A fertility-related resource that isn't about what NOT to do? Yes, you read that right; the entire book delivers fact-based, research-supported information and recipes that consider both male and female fertility. The perspective is about permission and embracing what is good for you, nourishing for your body, and will enhance and support your fertility.
The basis of the well-rounded dietary guidelines is the USDA's My Plate, but Fertility Foods Cookbook goes a step beyond to include the facts behind which foods will most support your fertility as well as portion guidelines and corresponding recipes so you can start with ingredients you may have on hand already - or that you particularly love. They also provide a list of other nutrients to include in your fertility-friendly diet along with recipes. Each recipe has a Fertility Focus note and nutrition facts. One of my favorite parts, is at the beginning of each section, there's a chart of quick staple foods within that category (breakfast, snack, entrees, etc.) along with a suggested, simple, fertility addition or swap. To quote one of my faves, "how easy is that?"
I also loved that the recipes were quick, easy to follow, and that they work together or build on each other easily.
You could easily do a week's worth of meals from here alone but still feel there was variety, abundance, and pleasure in your food. Plus, you would have extra time to focus on the other aspects of your life that give you joy and peace. Cheers to that!
I wish this book existed when I was trying to conceive.
It was refreshing and calming - even now - to look through this book and know that any recipe was good for me, would be nourishing, and would be "allowed". It would even support and enhance my fertility efforts in a way that was about permission and abundance rather than deprivation. And that, my friends, as you well know is so welcome.
To buy the Fertility Foods Cookbook, click here, or visit your local bookstore.
Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT is a nutrition expert, adjunct professor of nutrition and owner of a nutrition communications consulting business. She is a nationally recognized speaker and freelance writer for Fit Pregnancy, Shape, Oxygen and Fitness Magazines. Her passion for spreading the message about the powerful role of food and nutrition play in ones life has led her to be featured on Hallmark Channel's Home & Family, NBC Los Angeles News, The CW San Diego News, Fox 5 News, What to Expect, The Huffington Post, Food Network, US News & World Report, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Bustle, The Daily Meal, and PopSugar. You'll find her at ShawSimpleSwaps.com (@shawsimpleswaps) and BumpstoBaby.com (@bumpstobaby), sharing her love for food and travel, along with a friendly smile to support you on your journey to baby.
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a food and nutrition expert with formal training in the culinary arts. She works as a freelance writer, recipe developer, media authority, public speaker and consultant dietitian/chef. Sara is a former culinary and nutrition instructor and served as a National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Media Spokesperson. Sara has been featured in Eating Well Magazine, Shape Magazine, Parents Magazine, U.S.A. Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Epicurious, BabyCenter, O Magazine and Today's Dietitian Magazine. Sara also shares her love of food and nutrition on her website, SaraHaasRDN.com and @cookinRD where she posts recipes, as well as nutrition and cooking tips.