@MerryC: That’s great!
@OP: So I’ve read about half of Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon. The things I’ve learned thus far are:
1. Eat a varied diet, she provides a chart that you can copy/scan and print off/laminate and put on your fridge. It gives you detailed information of how much of each category to eat and what foods are included in that category. Basic nutrition w/ research studies to back it up.
What never occurred to me is the insulin issues with eating fruit on an empty stomach which can affect your estrogen levels and thus cause an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone.
She says eat full fat items (no low-fat or no fat), use butter and olive oil instead of shortening and margarine. Eat full fat cottage cheese, milk and other cheeses. She also suggests buying from the outside of the grocery store and choosing something you never eaten before for a varied diet.
Avoid sugar and sugar alternatives like the devil.
2. If you have PMS or any weirdness happening with your cycle, there are ways to alleviate it through better nutrition and supplements. She really makes it clear that the first way to help your cycle weirdness is through better eating practices. She suggests several multi-vitamins as well as gives a chart of suggested dosing of vitamins and minerals. She’s very good about giving research and their findings to back up anything she suggests. She suggests and encourages supplementing omega-3 through Flax oil and taking cod liver oil (there are supplements out there that don’t taste badly)–she even suggests how to purchase these things.
She gives great information and solutions about low progesterone issues (which seems to affect EVERYTHING), endometriosis, PCOS, heavy periods, underweight/overweight, thyroid issues, etc.
3. If you have gut issues (IBS-type issues) and recurrent vaginal yeast infections, she suggests a no yeast diet (which does have merit). You won’t have to be on a no yeast diet long term, just to get your normal bacteria back.
If you have lethargy issues, then she makes good suggestions in regards to sleeping and nutritional/supplemental information.
4. All of her information is backed up with research studies, which can seem overwhelming when reading it BUT she does give you a suggested reading list within the text and at the end of the book if you want more information regarding specific issues.
I really think everyone should read this especially if they’re charting or TTC b/c they utilize this book to help with anything on your chart that is wonky OR if you already know what sort of reproductive issues you have. She really encourages readers to speak to their physicians about supplementing and dietary changes–so that you are careful! She makes sure to suggest the vitamin and mineral supplements for each stage of woman (normal, pregnant, breastfeeding, and perimenopausal/menopausal) in a safe amount.
Honestly, I would rank this book up with Taking Your Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. I think all women should read these two books.
EDIT: It does have Bible verses and references to the Catholic dominated NFP. Please don’t be discouraged by that b/c for the most part it doesn’t really affect the teachings/information.