pregnant250I think most would agree that maintaining a healthy body is an important goal in life.  But, when getting ready and trying to conceive, a healthy body is of the utmost importance.

A zinc deficiency by itself will not make your infertile, but it is an important mineral that nourishes parts of the reproductive system and it is often overlooked.  Zinc works with more than 300 different enzymes in the body to keep things working properly.  When zinc is in short supply, your cells cannot divide correctly and your balance of estrogen to progesterone can become imbalanced.

In women, zinc plays a vital role in key reproductive areas:

  • Egg production:  zinc is needed to produce mature eggs that are ripe & ready for fertilization
  • Follicles:  zinc helps maintain the fluid in the follicles so that the egg can travel through the Fallopian tubes and into the uterus for implantation.
  • Hormones:  zinc helps regulate estrogen, progesterone & testosterone levels throughout the menstrual cycle.
  • Miscarriages:  low levels of zinc have been linked directly to miscarriages in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • Uterine Fibroids:  zinc can also help to reduce the size of fibroids.  High levels of Estrogen often cause fibroids, so taking zinc helps to balance the hormones and help bring Estrogen back to normal levels.

In men, zinc is vital in helping get the woman pregnant.  It has been shown to improve sperm numbers, sperm shape and mobility.  Wow, now you see WHY this mineral is a powerhouse for male fertility.  When zinc is low in men the following can occur:

  • Immature sperm:  the tail and the outer membrane of the sperm are zinc dependent.  Without zinc, the sperm wouldn’t have a tail that is needed to swim to meet the egg for fertilization.  This is a long journey, so without zinc, fertilization would be impossible.
  • Chromosomal problems:  low zinc can cause chromosomal errors that lead to miscarriages even if fertilization and implantation have occurred.

Today’s diet is low in zinc due to poor soil.  Stress in everyday living also uses up zinc quicker in the body.  Smoking and alcohol consumption deplete this valuable nutrient.  Cooking can also destroy this mineral so eating zinc rich foods raw can increase this mineral in your body.  Some zinc rich foods are:  oysters (raw), crab, beef (grass fed), Chicken (pastured), pork (pastured), baked beans, raw pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds (look for tahini).

Too much zinc in your diet can also be harmful.  Taking a good vitamin/mineral complex and eating zinc rich foods should be enough.


About the Author: Donna McIntosh has been in the field of health and nutrition for over 30 years. She has her Master’s in Holistic Nutrition, is a Certified Healing Foods Specialist, and holds certifications in Functional Blood Chemistry, Functional Endocrinology and Brain Neurotransmitters.  Donna’s real specialty is fertility and she is known as “The Goddess of Fertility.” She loves teaching people about the myths of nutrition that may be blocking their ability to conceive and revealing what she calls the Sacred Foods of Fertility. She has helped many couples improve their health, conceive naturally and have healthy, happy babies! For more information on zinc and other fertility issues, contact Donna at  

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food-desert250Picture a dry, barren, parched Saraha desert, no water for sights only sand surrounding you for miles around. You picture an oasis but instead it’s a mirage. This is the image we typically get when we hear the word ‘desert’. In the 21st century there is a new concept I’d like to introduce to you-food deserts. Food desert is defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options. The lack of access contributes to a poor diet and can lead to higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

In the town of Petersburg, Virginia, many residents live in food desert areas. Not only do these areas lack grocery stores, but there are also transportation barriers to access these stores. The high concentration of poverty is largely to blame for these issues at hand. Current research shows that the people of Petersburg shop at convenience stores and mini marts where there are currently not a lot of fresh produce and meat options available. Instead, children and adults may purchase the least healthy items possible such as candy or processed foods.

As an active member of Virginia Organizing, our goal is to provide these local corner stores with fresh food items grown locally in our newly opened, indoor farm facility established by Virginia State University’s agriculture department and funded by USDA. With this project, we hope to drastically influence the choices of not just the adults but also the children make when it comes to eating healthy.

Flash forward thousands of miles away, in the Caribbean island of Haiti, similar issues of poverty and lack of food persist. Instead of corner stores, inhabitants must struggle to plant, harvest, and prepare their own meals. The ability to access local food is dramatically thwarted because of nearly non-existent transportation and extremely hazardous road conditions. Thanks to the efforts of Lighthouse Lands non-profit organization, women are provided the opportunity to learn sustainable farming techniques to provide meals for themselves and their families for generations to come.

Although in two separate locations, these are real issues in the world, and could even occur in your own backyard. Both these issues tug at the hearts of the more fortunate and remind us not to take our daily provisions for granted. We are blessed to have the resources and necessities at hand for a bright and healthy future.

About the Author: Camil Davis 28 year old graduate from the College of William and Mary, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a focus on developmental psychology. She has a passion for children’s health education which she promotes while engaging in projects with United Way Young Leader’s Society. Here she serves as the Community Connections chair.  She has also worked in Haiti on a sustainable farming program. She currently serves as the Chapter leader for the Virginia Organizing campaign on food deserts. Outside of health education, she also endeavors in real estate investing, and encourages reading with her local book club, and teaches in the children’s ministry at her place of worship. Email:

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healthy-choices-250 for Sept 15 PostEverywhere you turn there are books, magazines, TV shows, and articles about food and dieting. These sources of information are covered with do’s and don’ts about what to eat and not to eat, what’s healthy, what’s not, what’s good, and what’s bad – all with conflicting information. First it was low-fat, then it was low calories, then it was low carb, no-carb, low sugar, no sugar, unprocessed, and whole foods. It’s nearly impossible to navigate the health world without feeling confused, frustrated and afraid of what to eat.

This list says you can, another says you can’t. It’s no wonder we can’t make decisions about what to eat every day. You can spend hours mulling over food choices and meal planning.

Not far away are pictures of beautiful, fit, and “happy” women that you would pay a million dollars to look like. The goddesses that seem to have it all must be eating paleo, since that’s what works right now. Or maybe they’re raw vegan. How could I possibly stick to that?

The constant thoughts running through your head – if I looked like that I would have the confidence to focus on finding a better job, I would definitely be dating that handsome man who gets coffee at the same time as me every morning, I wouldn’t be worried about the way I looked all the time. And of course I would be way happier.

Modern day women have no choice but to think about food all of the time! You are bombarded by words and images that constantly remind you that you’re either not following the diet or you’re not thin enough. Failing a diet becomes an excuse to feel like you’re failing at life. Guilt, anxiety, and disappointment follow.

Instead of focusing on work, you’re freaking out about food. Instead of saying thank you when your boyfriend or spouse compliments you you’re worried about what you look like in your outfit. Instead of enjoying your friends at dinner you’re worried about what people will think of what you order.

Women have become obsessed with food, so much so that they can’t stop and enjoy life or be present with their friends and family.

There are four key points to freeing yourself from food obsession:

  • Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. Depriving ourselves of food and giving ourselves rules leads to overeating, binge eating, and food anxiety.
  • Learn to listen to your body’s natural body cues. Hunger, fullness, and cravings should be listened to and are the body’s way of signaling exactly how much and what to eat.
  • Learn to express your emotions and manage stress. This is key to preventing overeating and binge eating.
  • Respect your body and yourself. Treating yourself with care and also respect. Removing negative self-talk from your vocabulary and thoughts.

We have developed an online course, called Eat For Love that teaches women how to incorporate these four key components into their lives.

This course is all about taking simple steps and making little changes that result in dramatic breakthroughs that will change your eating habits and life forever.

During the Eat For Love 12-week course, you will uncover why you restrict, overeat, binge, or emotionally eat, and then experiment to find what works for YOUR life and lifestyle.

You will learn how to listen to your natural body cues so you can eat the foods you love without guilt and love how you look and feel. You will naturally begin to crave nourishing foods, without having to worry about your food choices anymore.

At the end of the 12 weeks, you will be fully attuned to your body, trust yourself with food again, and have complete control over your eating habits. You will also learn how to overcome your negative self-talk, reduce stress levels, and fall in love with yourself from the inside out – enabling you to radiate with confidence!

Visit our website for more information about the Eat For Love Course, The next course begins September 27th.

It’s time to free yourself from food obsession and enjoy life and food again. It’s time to stop valuing yourself by the number on the scale and create the life of your dreams!


About the Authors: Hannah and Marisa are Certified Holistic Health Practitioners and the co-founders of Hello Beautiful Health; a platform for women that provides the tools to heal their relationship with food by re-learning their natural body cues. With a proven Step-by-Step Method, women free themselves from food anxiety and guilt, become fully attuned to their body and trust themselves with food again. In the process, women are able to regain complete control over their eating habits, overcome negative self-talk, reduce stress levels and love themselves from the inside out – giving them the confidence to pursue the career, relationship, and life of their dreams.

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stress200If I ask you to think about sucking on a lemon, I can certainly bet that many of you will have your cheeks pucker and you will have extra saliva excrete from your mouth.

Are you actually sucking on a lemon?  Of course not, but your body does not differentiate real from imagined scenarios.  When we worry about our future, and we think about it again and again, the effect is to live each day with the stress of something that might not ever happen.

My son’s girlfriend was getting all worked up about her father delivering a mattress to her apartment.  Her father had loaded the mattress in his truck in the morning before work and it wasn’t going to be delivered until much later that evening.  My son’s girlfriend was all worried and upset.  I just know it is going to rain today and the mattress will be ruined.  It was early in the morning when she told me this.  I told her that worrying about it was wasting energy.  If the mattress were delivered in perfect condition, she would have spent the entire day worrying for nothing.  If the mattress does in fact get wet or ruined, then she should deal with it when it happens – but not one second earlier.

We do this a lot – don’t we?  We replay all of the absolute worst case scenarios and outcomes of potential situations.  We then think so much about those worst case scenarios that our body feels as if it is true.  Our stress hormones skyrocket in our bodies, causing us unneeded pain and suffering.  Most of the time, the worst case scenario never happens and we stressed out our mind and body for nothing.  There are times when bad things do happen, but by the time it does, we are already so stressed and on edge that we then lack the emotional wherewithal to properly deal with the situation.

Remember the lemon.  Stop sucking on it!  Stop bringing the future into today as if it were real.  Save your energy to deal with things if and when they ever actually transpire.  And if they don’t, you have just saved yourself a whole lot of unnecessary grief – and you have saved your body a whole lot of stress.

Remember always that you are worthy, you are lovable, and you deserve goodness in your life!


About the author: Tammy Lynn Guns is an an executive for one of the largest healthcare systems in Colorado. She is also an author and speaker focusing on helping clients develop their own personal power while building their self-respect. Learn more at:

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Step 1 to a Healthy Meal: Make a Plan

Even the best plans fail now and then. Many people throw in the towel when a plan falls apart. They may decide that greasy burgers are the only choice for dinner or that the vending machine is the best lunch option. But my skilled clients have Plan B already in the works. Plan B comes into play when you drive to work with your bagged lunch on the roof of your car. Or when your child is sick, or you get stuck in traffic or your boss moves up a deadline.

Even though it doesn’t always seem like it, there’s usually a way to get a nutritious meal or snack.

Step 2 to a Healthy Meal: Plan B

Stock your kitchen with ready-to-eat staples.

If you forgot to pack a lunch or a snack, you don’t need to suffer through hunger pangs or eat something unhealthful. Instead keep a few things on hand at work or in your purse, laptop bag or car.

  • Pouches of ready-to-eat tuna or salmon
  • Cans of vegetable or tomato juice
  • Low fat yogurt or cottage cheese for your office refrigerator
  • Lower-calorie, portion-controlled frozen or shelf-stable meals
  • Nuts in ¼-cup portions
  • Peanut butter in individual packets or a jar and whole grain crackers

Create your own takeout menu.

Avoid temptation at any restaurant by shrinking your menu options to only those choices that meet your health goals. Using the fast food or other restaurant online menu, write down the two to five best options. Do this for every place you typically visit. Keep your lists on index cards, a small notebook or in your smartphone. Skip the full menu and use only your personalized menu. Easy peasy way to stay on track.

So you see, a good plan will get you far, but it’s a back-up plan that takes you the distance.

Cheers to happy, healthy eating!

Jill Weisenberger

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