**This one is all about the female reproductive system. This does not mean boys/men should stop
reading… getting support is important for recovery and this is an important piece for male coaches, teammates and support staff to understand. **
Are you missing your period? Are you an athlete who has been told that it is normal to not have your period while training? Ready to have a baby but your period is still missing and you don’t understand why? You may be loving aspects of not having your cycle because it means no cramps and less mess. Please hold off on those party balloons, as not having your cycle has some serious health repercussions, one important one being fertility.
Let’s be brave and talk fertility. This is NOT an easy topic for most people, let alone someone who has unexplained infertility, is undergoing fertility treatments or has experienced loss along the way. As women, fertility can be a part of what makes us feel like we have succeeded as women, it’s a part of our womanhood. Even as young girls, we start to pretend we are moms, caring for our dolls as we see our moms care for our siblings. I am not saying even women feels this and that is 100% cool; but for those of us who have dreamt of holding our baby girl/boy for the first time, the desire to get pregnant is strong once you are ready to have a baby. You are desperate to try anything and everything that will increase your chances of getting pregnant and give you some sort of control. 15-30% of couples face unexplained fertility (that number is HUGE!). This means, you are NOT alone if you can relate to anything I am saying. You are also are definitely not alone if you have already started eating some foods daily or in excess in the hopes that it may improve fertility.
I have shared on my Instagram page that my daughter has a soy and dairy allergy. We learned this after a trip to the ER with her at 3 months old. The options for this type of allergy at this young of an age are to start her on a hydrolyzed formula (which smells and tastes pretty nasty) or for mom to cut out soy and dairy from her diet to keep breastfeeding. I decided I was up to the challenge of cutting out dairy and soy from my diet as my daughter was an awesome feeder, and I really did not want to spend the money on formula. Although I may be the ‘ideal’ person to have to deal with such a major change to my diet as a dietitian, I found it very difficult in the beginning. I was having to read every single food label extremely closely, while keeping the list of hidden words for soy and dairy open on my phone. It was time consuming to say the least. I also could not just eat out anywhere or trust that others would know how to cook for me. I have learned first hand just how challenging and isolating allergies can be!
It may be the first day of spring today but I am home fighting a cold, feeling the aches and pains of pregnancy. I was looking for a comforting snack before I soothe my throat with lemon tea and soup. My ultimate comfort food, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, were the perfect fit for my afternoon! Whenever I am feeling sick or in need of some R&R, these are the first thing I bake. I have not modified this recipe to give it a ‘healthy’ edge as I think comfort food deserves its place in our balanced diet. Homemade muffins are already a better option for a snack than store bought or packaged foods and kids love them! I also love a good muffin with chocolate milk after a hard workout- nothing tastes better! Today I will be enjoying my muffin with a cup of hot Chai tea, I cannot wait!
Vitamin D, or as many of us know it the "sunshine vitamin", helps to build bone strength, improve muscle function and support immune function. The big question is, are we getting enough in Canada? Short answer- no! Most Canadians are not getting enough vitamin D due to our northern location. Most of the year, the sun does not provide us with the Vitamin D we need and there are very few food sources of naturally occurring vitamin D. Even in the summer, when we do get Vitamin D from the sun, we must be spending time in the sun, uncovered (including no sunscreen) to get the vitamin D. The majority of individuals are still not getting this time in the sun in the summer, athletes, this includes you!
Healthy adults, age 19-50 should be getting 400-1000 IU of Vitamin D daily. Adults over 50 and those at high risk (osteoporosis, bone fractures, etc.) should be getting 800-2000 IU daily. This means, a daily vitamin D supplement (Vitamin D3 is the best) is highly recommended for most Canadians, even in the summer months.
Alison is a member of the Saskatchewan Dietitians Association (SDA) and Dietitians of Canada (DC). She is also a member of the DC Consulting Dietitians Network, Professionals in Nutrition for Exercise and Sport (PINES), DC Sports Nutrition Network, SWADE and the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians (IFEDD).