*Locally grown turnips.
Before every IVF I prepare a good deal of food. Food is pretty important to me and I am aware that once the egg retrieval comes around, I’m not going to want to be cooking. However, this is a time, I try not to eat out a lot either. I want to give my body all the nutrition I possibly can so that, at the very least, my body will regain its strength more quickly. That’s not to say, I can’t have a treat here or there (ie. Waffle Hauzz)!
Usually the day before my egg retrieval, my husband will make me homemade ginger ale. I try not to eat high fructose corn syrup and I like to save my large amounts of sugar for things I love (ie. Turkey Hill chocolate peanut butter ice cream). After anesthesia, my stomach is often a little queasy and the ginger does me just right. So my hubby boils a pot of ginger and water, strains it and adds a touch of lime and honey. Before we go to the hospital we mix it with plain seltzer and voila, homemade ginger ale. I have always appreciated this treat when I wake up from the procedure.
Another IVF staple is soup made with some form of homemade chicken stock. In general, IVFs aside, I am a HUGE fan of homemade stock. They really do taste better than the store-bought stuff, there is so MSG or weird “spice extracts”, and you can make a lot of it for very cheap. I usually fill mason jars 3/4 of the way or less with the extra and freeze them for future soups or cooking rice. Besides taste, ingredients, and convenience, I truly believe in the health giving properties of this food. Maybe more than any food. Mostly because it is heavy in probiotics.
I have done a lot of research on probiotics, the gut, and its ties to not only physical health but mental health as well. Personally, healing my gut and getting better nutrition has made an enormous difference in my emotional well-being and has helped heal some of my issues with my immune system. Probiotics are incredible living, healing organisms! I truly, truly believe that if there is anything you make homemade regularly, it should be this as you will reap the most benefits from it. (Totally my opinion, of course.) If it seems overwhelming to you, do it with a friend and split the profits.
For my stock I use carrots, onions, sometimes celery, a couple turnips, garlic, thyme, salt, peppercorns, a bay leaf, either the whole chicken carcass or one with the meat (which I later use for the soup), and lastly, a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (to help draw nutrients from the bones).
I don’t remember where I heard about turnips in stock but now I won’t make it without them. You can use large ones, too, only use one. Come on, try it! The other thing that has changed my stock flavor is real bay leaves. If you are like me, you always threw that mandatory bay leaf in the pot and figured it was more for good luck than anything else. They never tasted like anything to me. Until one day I bought the bay leaves that were a little fancier, in a glass jar, above the standard brands. I opened the jar and was amazed at the fragrance. Sometimes I have to use 1/2 of one because they are so potent. Don’t cheap out on bay leaves.
This time around I made 3 soups: turkey, potato leek, and teriyaki beef with soba noodles, all with homemade stock. I also made a spinach pie. I know I’m crazy. But you better believe that I have not regretted any of them! I have been glad that when the hunger pains start, I don’t have to cook and I don’t have to eat junk (unless I want to)!
If you want to learn more about gut health and probiotics, you can just look at the latest research. I sometimes like looking up info on Mercola’s website. However, there’s lots of info out there now since it seems to be becoming the new hot-topic. Don’t take my word for it!