5 Safe & Easy Steps to Starting a Successful Detox

Thinking about doing a cleanse, but not sure where to start? Concerned about what toxins from the environment are doing to your health, your hormones, your fertility?

You’re Designed to Detox

If my degree in toxicology taught me one thing, it’s that the human body is capable of detoxifying nearly any toxin – miraculously, this includes toxins that are man-made and didn’t even exist on this planet just two generations ago.

And, if my clinical training has taught me one thing, it’s that detoxification is complicated. Since the ability to eliminate toxins effectively is absolutely relevant to your health goals: from overcoming infertility to losing weight to clearing your skin to preventing certain cancers…I want to make it easier for you to navigate through the complexity, set aside the hype and unsafe trends, and put in place some everyday habits that can get the detox ball rolling, safely and naturally – right away if you choose to.

Set off on the right track by following these 5 steps to start your detox:

  1. Commit a Bit of “Purgery”

    Hand opening pantryIngestion is the #1 way toxins get into our bodies. Purge your pantry of foods that contain synthetic chemicals, colourings, preservatives, etc. Remember that refined sugar also depletes your body of valuable minerals it needs to detoxify other chemicals effectively. Next, go plastic-free when it comes to food preparation, utensils and storage. Never heat food in plastic or Styrofoam. I recommend glass and stainless steel for anything that comes into contact with your food. You can also use paper bags, bamboo, silicon and good old cotton tea towels to wrap, store and transport various foods.

  2. Clean Up Your Cosmetics

    Your skin is an absorptive surface. As I teach clients in my Love Your Skin Program, assume anything you apply to your skin will reach your bloodstream, so if you wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your skin. Screen cosmetics, sunscreen, deodorant, lotions, makeup, shampoo etc. against the Skin Deep Cosmetics database by Environmental Working Group. As a general rule your products should contain no pthalates, perfumes, petroleum, petrolatum, or parabens.Makeup Brush

  3. Perspiration Prescription

    Sweat it out, girl! You can sweat out toxic heavy metals like mercury and arsenic, and even plastic-derived chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA). Getting your sweat on through exercise will also boost lymphatic drainage, increase your circulation and help you maintain regular bowel function, which are all essential physiological functions for getting those toxins out. Think hot yoga, saunas, steam rooms, and enough of a challenge with your cardio and weights that you break a great sweat. Shower off with cold water after your sweat sesh to close your pores and seal out those toxins you worked so hard to eliminate. NB: Gentleman, talk to your health practitioner before starting a sauna program in the 3-4 months before trying to conceive, as the heat could affect your fertility.Pushup

  4. Ramp Up the Roughage

    Fiber-rich foods like ground flax seeds, chia, whole grains, legumes, fruit and veggies help to bind toxins in your digestive tract and sweep them on out. Aim for 40 grams (yes, I said 40!) of fibre each day. Fibre doesn’t have to be the bland something you have to kind of choke down. Try a fruit smoothie with ground seeds blended in, or munch on unsweetened coconut flakes for a naturally sweet and crunchy fibre-fortified snack when you’re craving a “treat”.Green Smoothie with Fruit

  5. Cleanse Your Medicine Cabinet

    Find out which prescription and non-prescription medicines (including natural supplements!) contain questionable ingredients: the drug itself or the “non-medicinal ingredients” listed on your nutritional supplements or herbs could actually be considered toxic. I recently noted the chemical solvent hydroxybutyl toluene and the hormone-disrupting methylparaben in the list of non-medicinal ingredients of a patient’s superstore-brand prenatal multivitamins! Be sure you’re also avoiding medications that can harm your fertility. For example, when starting or following up on medication most men aren’t told that their antidepressant (SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can damage sperm and reduce their fertility, and most women aren’t informed that ongoing use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like naproxen have been shown to interfere with ovulation. Speak with your naturopath or family doctor before stopping or starting any new medication or supplement.

When’s It Time to Talk With Your Doc?

Not all detox plans and programs are created equally. Many over-the-counter products send you to the bathroom frequently but aren’t effectively removing stored toxins from your body, and many formulas aren’t safe in pregnancy. Be sure to discuss with your doctor your plans to start any detox program so you can get the proper assessment pre- and post- detox, follow a safe protocol and be confident you’re getting the results you’re looking for.

Fertility Cleanse Program is LIVE!

When I launched my 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program, I was thrilled to witness the transformative power of food in the fertility and lives of women couples just like you.
“Hi Elizabeth. The cleanse was great. I had more energy,  I was watching what I was eating and provided healthier food options for my family….The best part was that I felt better about me and being in control and more knowledgeable about the food I was putting in my body. I did not crave sugar after just 3 days…I lost 7 pounds, felt leaner and had way more energy then when I started.  Overall the experience was great and I would recommend this cleanse to anyone ttc.”
D., St. Catharines
It was amazing to see not only the ease with which clients lost weight, regained their energy, conquered their PMS, reclaimed control over their food and did something good for themselves, but also the community that was created in our private Facebook group. And, some special news…As I write this it’s just 6 weeks after our cleanse group completed their program and I’m especially excited to share that three of our participant couples are now pregnant! Congratulations!!
YOU can get in on all the goodies, too, as registration is now open for my 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program!
If you’d like to jump in (even if you’re scared!) to this awesome program and learn once and for how to transform your fertility results with the simple power of food, join me on the program (it’s completely online, so you can do this from the comfort of your home from anywhere in the world!) (Read: No excuses! Let’s do this!)
Whenever we’re in an official LIVE launch of this program, I will be providing individual coaching, support and guidance through our private Facebook chat group throughout the 21-Day Program, and you can stay in the Facebook group for as long as you like. (But only Fertility Cleanse members can get in!)
Fertility Cleanse Program Screen Shot
Don’t miss the opportunity to receive my support, the cheers of others who really get what you’re going through, and the ability to boost your chances of conceiving a healthy baby – starting right now. Register here.
Elizabeth
P.S. Some of the folks who did their cleanse with me initially felt so well they want to do it again! You’ll meet them in our private Facebook chat group as your cleanse alumni mentors!
Looking forward to having you in the fertility cleanse program. 

3 Things My Most Fertile Clients Did Differently…To Get Pregnant & Have Healthy Babies

Observations from my clinical & fertility coaching practice with women and couples just like you who were once wishing to conceive, and who are now happy parents of thriving kids.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 7.45.54 PM

I’ve been getting a ton of questions lately from women and couples wondering how to boost their fertility naturally.
It’s a time in history when 1 in 5 couples faces fertility challenges (that is a HUGE statistic) and I’m seeing new patients every week in my practice needing help with fertility.
I took some time to reflect on my experiences working with fertility patients over the past six years. I thought about the couples who have gotten pregnant and now have healthy babies and children, and what they did differently.
I created this 6-minute video to teach you about the 3 key things that my most fertile couples (now parents) did differently because you can totally do this, too.
Here’s how:
 
1. Take a Step Back to Dive In
Setting aside a few months to enrich your health and focus on your fertility, and maybe let go of some other non-essentials you’ve been holding onto that are taking your energy and free time.
2. Mindset Modification
I’ve noticed it can be helpful to “Think of pregnancy as a gift to be received, rather than a task to be achieved” (Tweetable!Give yourself permission to “just be” the best of who you are, rather than struggling to do, do, do “all the right things” to try to get pregnant.
3. Fuel Your Fertility
Choose the best quality food you can afford, and skip the processed stuff. Sugar, white flour, trans fats and pop are fertility killers – the Nurses’ Health Study showed these foods (or non-foods actually!) are linked with the highest rates of infertility and ovulation problems in women.
You can do this, too, right??  I know you can 🙂
What are you going to try first?
Elizabeth
P.S. Three of my clients have recently gotten pregnant during or right after Fueling Their Fertility with my 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program!  Registration has JUST opened for my second launch of this program, as the first one received so much praise!
Early bird pricing is on until Saturday and you’re getting advance notice FIRST because I value your presence in this online fertility & wellness community 🙂
Soon, I’ll open up to a wider audience and need to limit registrations to keep the group private and intimate and ensure I have enough time to respond and coach you personally through our private Facebook group for members only. If you’re ready to make a change for your fertility & wellness now, join me for this 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program!
I’d love to see you there.

Is Food Your Superpower? (+ Healthy Dessert Recipe)

 

Something is happening.
I’ve been so inspired to see how many of you in our cherished community are discovering the power of food in your life. I didn’t think I could appreciate food even more than I already did as a naturopath and natural food lover (for decades!)….but in the past few weeks my adoration and respect for the power of food has increased 100 fold because of YOU!
Since spring, I’ve launched cleanse workshops at the clinic, put 21 patients on our signature 3-Week Cleanse Program, and had another 15 couples complete my new 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program. And I’ve cleansed right along with you, too!
When you make a decision to eat in the way that’s right for you, everything you thought you’d have to accept about your health changes.
You get insights. You go deeper. You feel better.
You’ve realized that although you may be literally addicted to sugar, you’ve regained control over your choices so you feel empowered…You’ve lost weight, so you feel inspired and proud of yourself as your self-care has led to a deeper sense of self-esteem….You’ve boosted your energy, started sleeping more deeply, clarified your mind and evened out your mood. You’ve had easier periods and no PMS for the first time in a very long time.  You’ve drawn closer to your partner as you work out all this food prep together and enjoyed experimenting with new healthy foods. You’ve experienced less pain and fewer headaches.
You may have even become pregnant after months or years of trying as two of my clients did the very first time I ran my 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program.
Eating the right food for you breaks through layers of inflammation that creates the root of your symptoms…from bad moods to weight gain to skin problems to infertility.
In fact, getting a handle on eating healthy is the #1 way my clients step into their self-healing power.
Superman superpower
So WELL done!! The privilege of witnessing your results makes me feel absolutely thrilled for you.
You’ve also told me about obstacles you’re facing as you try to make healthy changes in your life. This is work that I really enjoy helping you with because the breakthroughs you experience in your lives are unique to you and move you into the next stage of you living your highest potential.
The best part of all of this is that you get to take all this wisdom with you for the rest of your life. Like I often say….
Once you see truth, you can’t un-see it!
In the spirit of living life to the fullest, and using healthy food to fuel your body to wellness, I have two questions for you:
1. Where do you want to be in 1 year?
2. What’s stopping you from going for it?
Think on this, and let me know what you come up with. It’s really important to share with someone (could be me, or could be anyone else you trust :))
Once you name your obstacle, you can start to overcome it.
As a little treat from our 3-Week Cleanse Program comes straight to you for all this hard work, here’s my Mango Sorbet recipe you can enjoy 100% guiltlessly, all weekend long.
Bon appetit (and feel free to share this totally healthy treat!)
Dr. Liz
P.S. Don’t miss out on a thing – register for my email updates and receive my free guide to women’s health home remedies right here.
Dr. Liz’s Coconut Mango Sorbet
1 cup frozen mango pieces
1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp real vanilla extract
½ to 1 tsp honey (if desired)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Enjoy immediately. Makes 2 servings.

3 Surprising Health Benefits of Spring Cleaning (and a bonus 4th!)

Spring Cleaning

Is your Spring Cleaning fertility-friendly?

Did you know that a good old fashioned spring cleaning can actually boost your health?
I recently did the biggest Spring Clean of my life (with plenty of help from my hubby). It wasn’t easy, but I chose to let go of many “things” that I’ve been carrying with me for years. I’m slightly embarrassed to say, I cleared out bins that even contained journals from high school. Yikes! Don’t need those anymore!
I also processed a whole lot of emotion as I worked my way through some of the boxes of my dad’s things, including his collections. As a super sentimental person I also adopted some of my dad’s natural sentimentality after he passed away. Needless to say, it was difficult to let go of anything that reminded me of him, but with plenty of support I accomplished the feat I had been putting off, and dreading, for years.
Through that process I noticed a few things about my personal health journey that I though you might find valuable. So here in this video, I’m sharing 3 Surprising Health Benefits of Spring Cleaning that may give you a whole new level of appreciation for this annual (or, at least I hope it will be!) ritual.
Click to see the video!

3 Surprising Health Benefits of Spring Cleaning: Are You Ready to Clear Your Path to Health?

Never thought I’d be the one to say this, but Happy Cleaning!!!
Dr. Liz

4 Biggest Detox Myths Debunked

Does the “d-word” make you want to run immediately in the opposite direction? You’re not alone. Suggestions of “detoxes” or “cleanses” can conjure up images (or worse, memories) of all-liquid diets, mad dashes to the loo, expensive supplements, hunger pangs and deprivation…A whole lot of suffering for little to no reward.

The truth is, if done in an informed & supported way, cleansing can do you a lot of good. Case in point: two full classes are about to graduate from our 3-Week Cleanse Program we recently held at the clinic. We’ve been thrilled to witness their results and cheer on their wins with weight loss, energy, hormone balance and personal empowerment in their health. Well done!

When I’d returned from a holiday in Cuba and received the sincerest congratulations on my pregnancy (I was not pregnant), I decided it was high time to roll up my sleeves and get back to the cleanse program I’d relied on time and time again for my patients!

Having been through the good, bad and ugly when it comes to cleanse and detox programs…I also want to share the good news is that with a simple approach to cleansing it’s super possible to boost your health in many ways. Our clients have celebrated having less pain and swelling, better moods, freedom from PMS, resolution of perimenopausal hot flashes and clear skin. Add better sleep, more energy, conquered cravings, clear skin, and reduced stress, all with little to no side effects, and I’m now questioning whether I even want to revert to my pre-cleanse diet. I’m kind of hooked.

4 Biggest Detox Myths Debunked

Let’s count ’em down:

Myth #4: You won’t enjoy anything you’re eating while on a detox.

 

While you might have to eliminate certain foods that you enjoy, detoxing isn’t all about surviving on water and lettuce. There are many delicious recipes that can be prepared using healthy ingredients that not only taste amazing, but nourish and detoxify your body.
The best part is, many of them don’t involve any fancy ingredients and can be prepared even by a cooking novice. In fact, my cleanse participants always discover new foods and recipes that they absolutely love that have become staples at their family tables long after the cleanse ends.

Myth #3:  You’ll constantly be hungry while detoxing.

While you might end up consuming fewer calories while following a detox, you shouldn’t feel deprived or hungry. Going on an extremely low-calorie diet can actually disrupt your hormones and metabolism, including shutting down your thyroid and turning on “survival mode” hormones that make you gain more weight back in the long run.
Everyone’s caloric needs are different, so a detox should never dictate how many calories you consume. By consuming whole foods that provide you with the right nutrients, you help detox your body while feeling satisfied.  My participants are always amazed at how much they can eat and still lose weight and feel great, and that they never feel hungry during my cleanses.

 

Myth #2: Detoxes are just a way for people to make money on expensive supplements.

Supplements involved in a detox should be just that, a supplementary part of the program, not the primary source of your nutrition.  While on a detox, you get most of your vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources.

Supplements may be recommended to help your body make the most of the nutrients it receives from these foods.  For example, by including probiotics in your diet, you help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and remove toxins from the body.Certain supplements are so effective at promoting your natural detoxification processes that they actually make you feel awful. I’ll explain how this works. Supplements that “push” toxins out of safe storage sites like your fat tissue where they’re kept inert, is like taking all the disorganized contents of my desk drawer and tossing them around my office. My desk drawer will look nice and empty, but my entire office will be a mess. And, I’ll feel so bad about it that I’ll just sweep everything up and stuff it back into my drawer.

 

These kinds of supplement programs aren’t actually doing you any good. Waking up your stored toxins, moving them around your body and making you feel ill, only to store them back in your fat or liver is doing more harm than good.

 

To ensure success with supplements, you need the right nourishment to help you open the organs of elimination and let toxins drain out – within your physiological limits, and without horrid side effects. This is like opening all the beautiful windows in my office and letting all the junk from my desk fly right out.

 

Our cleanse programs are “food first” and never require supplements, while your individual naturopathic doctor can guide you around choices that will effectively complement your cleanse goals and work with your physiology, if you need them.

 

Myth #1:  You need to do an all-liquid detox to remove toxins from your body.

Liquid-only detoxes have had more than their fair share of popularity. These types of detoxes can backfire: Not only do people often gain the weight back as soon as the detox ends, but such restrictive eating for several days can be detrimental to your health. Most liquid diets are essentially “processed foods” that often contain the inflammation-causing ingredients that a healthy cleanse should eliminate, such as sugars, artificial sweeteners, dairy, high-fructose corn syrup. An effective detox will include a variety of whole foods to help nourish your body and produce long-term results.

Check out our TWO new cleanse programs here.

Cleanse with Confidence: 2 NEW Programs!

Recently, many of our clients are asking about how to do a detox or use a cleanse to move forward with their health goals.
Earlier this year, we developed a new Cleanse Class program, designed to deepen your results with our sought-after 3-Week Cleanse program. In case you couldn’t make it to one of our sold-out classes, we’d like to make the same great benefits available to you on an individual basis.
3-Week Naturopathic Doctor-Supervised Cleanse Program

Cleanse Class FB

Since our Cleanse Classes were so well-received, we’ve decided to make our 3-visit cleanse visit series available to in person! One of our naturopathic doctors will take you through the program personally to ensure you get great results. In celebration of your commitment to your heath goals, we’re offering two special bonuses when you book your series: you’ll receive a gift of $50 off your visit series AND a $50 gift to give to a friend or family member whom you think would benefit from our care. This special cleanse package is available to if you’ve booked your first of three sessions by March 31st. Just give us a call at (519)827-0040 or email info at norfolkwellness dot com to let us know you’d like to schedule your cleanse!

 

NEW! 21-Day Fertility Cleanse Program
Fertility Cleanse 3D Cover
Registration is now open for my brand-new, 21-Day Fertility Cleanse ProgramEarly Bird pricing is available until March 30th and I’d love for you to join in!
It starts on April 4. Register by March 30th to save $100.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 

What questions or concerns do you have about participating in a cleanse?
Before you try something new, like a cleanse program, it’s normal to feel hesitant. These kinds of experiences can be so transformative, it’s natural to come up against some internal resistance. I want to hear from you. Hit “reply” or email me at drcherevaty at norfolkwellness.com. I read every email that comes into my inbox and I’ll read and respond to each message personally.
Happy cleansing!
Elizabeth
Dr. Elizabeth Cherevaty ND, RAc

Seed Cycling for Fertility

One of the things clients ask me about most is how to use food to boost fertility.

That makes me very happy, because food is a truly powerful tool for your fertility. What could be more empowering than healthfully and mindfully eating your way to optimal fertility? Food is the foundation of health, and as you’ve probably heard me say, fertility is a function of health.

I believe in the ability of your healthy body to conceive. Figuring out the right foods and eating them at the right times for you is your primary foundation to improved fertility, balanced hormones and vibrant health.

Flax heart- basic

Why an Optimal Diet Eases Fertility Stress

Unlike pretty much any other aspect of life, trying harder is not going to be the secret to success with fertility. Even the most advanced and highest-cost technology can’t guarantee you a healthy pregnancy and child. This lack of reward for effort ultimately translates into the subconscious as a sense of personal failure, inherent flaw, or lack of control. The human psyche is extremely stressed by having a lack of personal control within a negative situation.

I encourage my clients to find any little piece of personal control in their lives, and in their fertility situations specifically. The first place to start is with your food, because your food choices directly relate to your health and are fully within your control. (I know. That’s a #TruthBomb, right?)

Learning how to eat for fertility is one of the most effective ways you can restore positive personal influence in your fertility journey, while also giving a most incredible gift to your future child – the gift of better health potential through your pre-conception nutrition.

Cycling Seeds

“Seed Cycling” is a traditional practice of gently supporting a healthy, normal menstrual cycle with biweekly rotations of specific seeds.

The first half of your menstrual cycle is dominated by estrogen. On Day 1 of your period until Day 14 (for some women, this is when ovulation occurs), flax and/or pumpkin seed is beneficial.

The second half of your menstrual cycle is dominated by progesterone. From Day 15-28 of the cycle, sesame and/or sunflower seed is beneficial.

Women who don’t menstruate, or who don’t have regular periods, can follow the lunar calendar, using the new moon to represent Day 1 of menstruation and the full moon to represent ovulation. Each calendar year there are 13 moon cycles of 4 weeks each, and anthropologists believe that women historically menstruated in coordination with one another and the moon cycles.

I recommend to my patients that they grind their seeds and add them to a smoothie, granola, organic plain yogurt, mixed into pesto or sprinkled onto meals.

Together with other therapies, Seed Cycling is a safe and nutritional way to reinforce the natural menstrual cycle, reduce PMS and support healthy fertility.

Sunshine vitamin D woman water

Revolutionize Your Fertility in 21 Days

In celebration of food as the foundation for healthy fertility, I’ve created my 21- Day Fertility Cleanse just for you! It’s a 3-week experience in delicious, clean eating and learning how to revolutionize your fertility diet to decrease inflammation, restart healthy hormone balance, and easily lose a few pounds, while enjoying easy, seasonal recipes created by a whole foods chef.

The 21-Day Revolutionize Your Fertility Cleanse starts on April 4th. Register by March 30th to save $100 AND be eligible to receive a complimentary Fertility Insight Session with me! ($97 value, available to the first 10 registrants only!)

Does Your January Look Like This? If Not, You May Need More of the Sunshine Vitamin

Sunshine vitamin D woman waterAs I write this post, it’s a brisk, cold morning in Guelph and the sun is shining – for what feels like the first time in weeks! This weather has definitely called to mind the importance of the “sunshine vitamin” in your fertility. We make vitamin D from cholesterol when our skin is exposed to sunlight, but if you’re anywhere north of the tropics (or south of the tropics for that matter!) you’re most likely not getting enough sun exposure fall through spring to maintain optimal vitamin D levels. (It’s almost as if we were DESIGNED to live on sun-soaked tropical islands, yes??)

You may know vitamin D as a bone-booster, essential to your calcium absorption. It’s also important for your immune function and is even a mood-booster for people who suffer from seasonal depression or winter blues. Yep, vitamin D is an absolute superstar nutrient and deserves a really bright spotlight when it comes to fertility. Think of vitamin D as a fertility regulator. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies that I see in my patients, including men and women who have fertility challenges.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common. Low levels are associated with infertility, PCOS, obesity, poor immune function and poor outcomes with IVF.
Conversely, having enough vitamin D can do the following great things for your fertility:
  • Helps maintain healthy reproductive organs in males and females
  • Associated with good semen quality
  • Supports healthy testosterone levels
  • Reduces the harmful effects of excess estrogen on uterine fibroids (and is a proposed treatment for fibroids)
  • Improves frequency of menstrual cycles in women with PCOS
  • Boosts the metabolism in women with PCOS

Sunshine vitamin D woman water (1)

Why Vitamin D Deficiency is Under-Discussed, Under-Diagnosed and Under-Dosed

Deficiency of vitamin D is under-diagnosed because there are no obvious symptoms, and most physicians and fertility clinics don’t recognize and discuss its importance with you and refer you for the test. Not only is vitamin D deficiency widely under-diagnosed, it’s also commonly under-dosed. Most health authorities like Health Canada recommend a daily dose of 1000 IU vitamin D daily for everyone from infants to elders. Meanwhile, most adults would benefit on many levels from a dose of 1000 IU-4000 IU daily depending on their needs, sun exposure, and metabolism. Due to outdated legislation, doses of more than 1000 IU per day are technically “prescription only” in Canada. Until conventional medical practice AND legislation catch up to the research, you won’t likely hear a daily dose over 1000 IU suggested by your physician and you won’t find more than this per single capsule or tablet. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so theoretically could build up in your system to toxic levels if you take very high doses over time. Current research shows that doses of 5000 IU taken daily for several months do not result in toxic levels of vitamin D. Always talk to your health care practitioner when deciding about supplement doses. (Note that your Prenatal or general multivitamin will likely provide 1000 IU vitamin D in your full daily dose).

The best way to find out whether you’re low in vitamin D and how much you need to supplement with is to get tested. That’s because vitamin D deficiency doesn’t have specific symptoms you can count on to know if you’re getting enough – until it’s years too late i.e. osteoporosis has set in. Tests are inexpensive (they’re $40-50 through Ontario labs) and can be ordered by your naturopathic doctor or family physician. It will certainly shed some light on whether you’re getting enough of the sunshine vitamin for your fertility and overall health.
Hope this sheds some (warm, bright, sun-) light on the sunshine vitamin + your fertility!

Why Chocolate is Fertility-Friendly (+3 Recipes)

WHYWith all this holiday chocolate lying about, you may be wondering whether chocolate fits into a healthy fertility diet?
The sweet news: YES, the healthy Fertility Diet I’ve developed for my clients (based on review of years and scads of research) includes chocolate!
The not-so-sweet news: the SUGAR part of the chocolate needs to be given the boot!
The health benefits of dark chocolate and raw cacao beans are due to the minerals and antioxidants these products contain. In fact, raw cocoa beans are one of the richest food sources of magnesium, a mineral that’s essential to 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies, helps our muscles relax, and facilitates natural production of our “happy hormone”, serotonin, and our “deep sleep hormone”, melatonin.
Raw cacao is also a rich source of antioxidants. It’s been used traditionally by South American peoples as an energy tonic and aphrodisiac. The antioxidants in cocoa beans are protective to our blood vessels. And who DOESN’T want to enjoy a delicious food that boosts our energy, helps deliver plenty of healthy blood flow to our reproductive organs AND gets us in the mood?? No one. RIGHT! 🙂
Make That Chocolate Work for You
The key is to go for as dark a chocolate as possible (i.e. low to no sugar) or – even better from a health perspective – use raw cacao nibs (pieces of cacao beans) or raw cacao powder. Each of these forms of cacao capture the minerals and antioxidants we want in our Fertility Diet.
Note that conventional cocoa powder (i.e. “alkali processed” or “Dutch process”) does not contain high levels of these nutrients because they are stripped away during this kind of processing.
Here are a few delicious ways to integrate chocolate into your Fertility Diet. I created these recipes just for YOU so please let me know how you like them!
Choco-Cherry Superfood Smoothie
Blend until smooth:
1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 3-4 tbsp hemp hearts, 2 tsp raw cacao nibs, 1 tsp chia seed, 1 tsp ground flax seed, 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
Pour into a glass and top with a sprinkle of another 1 tsp cacao nibs for garnish (pictured below).

Makes 2 snack or dessert smoothie servings.

Cherry smoothie

Dr. Liz’s Choco-Cherry Smoothie is a Fertility-Friendly Treat

Chocolate Monkey in the Morning Smoothie
Blend until smooth: 1.5 cups almond milk, 2 tbsp almond butter, 1/2 banana, 2 tbsp raw cacao powder, 1 tbsp raw seeds (e.g. flax, chia or hemp), 1 scoop vanilla or unflavoured protein powder, 1/4 tsp natural vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw honey
Makes 1 meal size or 2 snack size servings.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
This dessert is amazing and 100% guilt-free!
Blend until completely smooth: flesh of 1 mashed, ripe avocado, 1/2 ripe banana, 3 heaping TBSP raw cacao powder, 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract, 3 tsp honey or stevia extract to taste. 
Divide into 2 parfait glasses or dessert bowls, garnish with fresh berries, mint leaves or cacao nibs as desired.
SIDE NOTE:
Feeling just a little TOO perky? Cacao and chocolate contain caffeine so please enjoy in moderation 🙂