I’m sure wine snobs look at me and think, how dare you!Drew Barrymore
I was inspired to write this because of my love for wine! And coffee! My love for wine while beginning (and at times during) my fertility journey! This was part of my exploration on diet and on other lifestyle factors that may play a role in my journey.
The best advice I heard in regards to wine consumption was ”here and there.” I liked that advice because it empowered me to make the best decisions for myself. Prior to my TTC journey I noticed that I would typically have a drink with dinner, especially in restaurants. I realized with that advice that I felt most empowered to choose consciously! Eventually I arrived at a place where I didn’t feel like I had to order a glass of wine with my dinner just because I was out! When I realized my stim start was going to be pushed out another 6-8 weeks or another 90 days (which both happened) I did indulge in a glass!
I went through a period of experimenting with non-alcoholic wines for holiday occasions. There are some decent non-alcoholic wines out there to try. I love some fresh herbs, so throwing some crushed mint or some lavender into my wineglass helped make the drink appear more festive. Get into the presentation! How? Using the appropriate wine glasses for the wine type of the non-alcoholic wines, garnish, and treat them like any other drink measured by ABV!
Sugar is still sugar! Keep in mind that some non-alcoholic wines can still be super sugar laden, so they’re still not the healthiest choice. Sugar is a big impediment to maintaining normal hormone levels. (Water is always the best choice!)
Caffeine is another big thing to consider. Many nutritionist coaches will preach coming off the caffeine. Other nutrition experts will say that less than 200 mg a day will do no harm.
As an option to explore you may want to consider trying some of the plethora of caffeine alternatives that exist out there. A quick search on mushroom coffee alternatives on Amazon will yield a ton of choices. I bought a milk frother and got really creative with coconut, goat, and oat milks. Throw a little manuka honey in there… I’m just saying! I used these alternatives for my second cup after I had one cup of the real stuff.
Especially during a cold winter, nothing beats a cuppa in your hand! But consider that you may actually just crave something warm to drink. Could you substitute herbal teas instead? For me it was easy, so easy in the winter to have a cup of warm nettle tea, for example, when I was craving something warm to drink. Have fun exploring all the fun herbal tea options out there!
In my own journey I was willing to look at all herbs and vitamins that could possibly help. Nettle, red clover, red raspberry leaf, and vitex, as well as CoQ10 and Ubiquinol, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, and prenatals.
In addition to the nutritional advice that the clinic is likely provide, I found it extremely helpful to join and engage with various Facebook groups. I joined groups focused on TTC over 40. Whatever your age may be, there are a wealth of groups to join. I personally liked asking the same question in the different groups in case the answers to my question were sparse. Depending on the day and when I posted within the group, I’d get a different number and quality of responses, so being in several groups was helpful to get a variety of perspectives.
Recommended books will also pop up in these groups from time to time. This is a great opportunity to learn more about a book and why it is so highly recommended within the group. I love the Facebook fertility groups. There are so many warriors out there using these groups as a way to share, connect, support each other and exchange information and perspectives.
You’re also likely to come across fertility nutrition coaches in the IVF self education process. This may be a useful avenue to explore if you feel that you could benefit from working with the support of a fertility nutritionist to help you with balancing your hormones and preparing the healthiest version of yourself for pregnancy. I’ve found that a lot of people on social are self-proclaimed nutritionists and fitness coaches, but it’s important to pay attention to people’s credentials and experience. You really want someone who has fertility nutrition or fitness with fertility as their focus.
I had been working with a coach before my own fertility journey began, and realized that while in a visualization exercise for successful IVF she wasn’t describing IVF but IUI. A simple error on her part, but to me, as someone paying to receive this coaching, I realized that this was outside of her area of expertise. As a client it bothered me that she couldn’t even have bothered to get it right. Your clinic may be able to recommend a nutritionist or a dietician if you want to work with someone on this aspect of your process.
Was this helpful in considering your relationship with wine and coffee while TTC? I love to hear your stories with how you modified and made changes in your fertility journey! There are so many different opinions on this topic! I would love to hear from you! I have a free checklist related to other points to consider while TTC as well.