Yoga, Hormones, and Fertility Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 2

Preparing the Palace

10 min - Talk
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The womb is the first home of the biggest love of your life. Maria shares a talk rooted in Chinese medicine on preparing the body—both mom's and dad's—for conception.
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Jun 22, 2019
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Welcome. So today I want to talk a bit about this tradition that we have in Chinese medicine called Preparing the Palace. I really like it because it takes the time to really honor the process of stepping into motherhood and about drawing a new soul into your life. The foundations of it are really about cleaning up your diet and being careful with the things that you're eating and putting into your body. I would say that blood sugar management is really important mainly because when we become pregnant we become much more prone to gestational diabetes and so if you can get blood sugar management under control before you're kind of making that possibility less likely. But also preparing the palace with eating really nourishing foods and in Chinese medicine the main organ systems that we look at when we're talking about fertility are the kidneys, the spleen, the liver, the heart slash pericardium. They kind of go together at least in this regard. And foods that nourish the organs are usually associated with their colors. So that's why I often suggest that people eat as many different color foods as they can because then we're helping all of our organ systems. But the kidneys are blue and black, any foods that are blue and black. Other foods that kind of help nourish the kidneys would be like seeds, particularly sesame seeds and black sesame seeds. I love forbidden rice or black rice. It's hard to find blue and black foods but forbidden rice. You could do purple potatoes. There are some purple cows. They're kind of like blue black so those would definitely help with the kidney function. But also kidneys, jing, yin and yang, they're all three aspects of the kidneys. And animal and shellfish actually are really nourishing to the kidneys. So if you do have a diet that's either pescatarian or you eat meat then you could integrate a little bit of animal meat or fish. And it doesn't take a lot. I think in our western diet of course we eat too much of it but a small amount even in the form of bone broth is really really good. For the spleen we're looking at yellow and orange foods. So like butternut squashes and sweet potatoes. Even like lentils. What are they? The yellow lentils they have. And grains are actually good for the spleen in small amounts. Not a lot of them. But things that are easy to digest are good for the spleen. So if you have an intolerance to grains you wouldn't want to incorporate them into your diet. When it comes to vegetables you want to have them cooked as opposed to raw because the raw vegetables are really hard for the body to digest. So just lightly steamed or like thrown into a boiler for a moment and pulled out helps to break it down a little bit so that your body can digest it easier. When it comes to helping the liver green is the color of the liver. So as many green leafy vegetables as you can have is great. Particularly bitter greens which we don't eat very often but those are so helpful for your health. They both clear heat and drain damp. And heat we see a lot which is just like inflammation. Most people have some inflammation so bitter greens can help to drain that heat. Dampness shows up often but most often we see that just in having like lethargy like you wake up and you just feel kind of like slow moving or not feeling really vibrant throughout the day. That can be one sign of damp. Of course this pathology can be taken a little further into like bigger conditions but we all experience at least a little bit of lethargy in our day. Spleen kidneys liver heart. Heart in pericardium we're going to look for red foods and red foods also nourish the blood which is really helpful because the endometrial layer is made up of blood. So beets, red kidney beans which then also tonify the kidneys that's really good. Swiss chards, red Swiss chards, red foods. But bitter is also actually really good for the heart as well especially if there's heat in the heart. So you can look at eating some bitter foods again. We have the saying that if you want a sweet life have bitter foods. If you want a bitter life have sweet foods which I like quite a bit. So back to this palace. So we're taking this time to build this palace and I really like that imagery because we have our womb and this is literally the home, our baby's first home which is so beautiful. So it's setting that intention to create the most beautiful palace for the biggest love of our life really. So we take the time to eat well, to keep our lifestyles clean, to take care of our emotions and try to stay in a positive happy place as best we can. That being said we can be a little hard on ourselves at times. I think a lot of times women are trying to be too perfect during this time while they're trying to conceive or prepare for conception and you know there is no wrong. We can't do anything wrong. It's all just the story that gets built into our journey and our child's journey. And a lot of times we put so much pressure on ourselves to eat a certain way or do things a certain way and that pressure becomes more toxic than if we actually just went and ate french fries and enjoyed life a little bit. So we have to keep that in mind and make sure that we don't become too rigid because that pressure can drag us down in a big way. And then another important part for mom is to take the time to really make sure that her body is healthy, that everything is working well. So maybe getting some blood work done, making sure your thyroid is good, making sure that you have really good quality red blood cells and supplementing if you need to. So going to your doctor and just getting a good overall workup can be a good idea just to make sure you're entering into that process as healthy as you can so that during and afterwards you have a really good recovery. So there's a lot of pressure on the mom but the father is just as important actually. We don't often pay attention to dad because it's not happening on his turf. It's happening on mom's turf. But he's 50% of the equation. So that sperm has to be healthy and genetically sound and what we're seeing a lot is that actually sperm quality count is really diminishing and a lot of that has to do with lifestyle, stress levels, electromagnetic fields, unknown causes. So dad has to really up his game and start taking care of himself as well. So if you can encourage your partners to start looking at their cells, that's another part of the equation that's really important. So please enjoy the rest of the season and if you have any questions for me, please reach out to me on the forum. I'm happy to help in any way that I can. Thank you for joining me today.


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