Lentil Cottage Pie

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I love cooking with lentils. They are a cheap and easy way to bulk up meals, and are a great protein alternative to meat. But did you know that lentils are also one of the top fertility foods? According to Medical News Today just one cup of lentils provides up to 90% of your recommended daily intake of folic acid. Great news for anyone trying to conceive!

Those who are TTC will, I’m sure, be aware that you are recommended to take folic acid supplements before you start trying to get pregnant as it supports the healthy growth of your foetus. It can also help to regulate your menstrual cycle and improve sperm quality. Whilst I don’t suggest that you ditch the supplements, it can’t hurt to add a few lentils to your diet every now and then.

I’ve become a big fan of this vegetarian cottage pie recipe (I think I actually make it more than the meat-filled version now). The sweet potato topping is a nice alternative as well. You can serve this up with whatever veggies you prefer, or if you’re feeling really greedy try it between two slices of buttered bread (seriously it’s delicious!).

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Sweet chestnut porridge

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Since my acupuncturist told me to eat more warming foods I’ve been eating porridge almost every morning. I’m a creature of habit, but even I get bored of the same daily routine so I’ve been experimenting with ways to jazz up my breakfast. One of my favourites at the moment is this delicious sweet chestnut porridge.

I’d never even heard of sweet chestnut spread until I saw Rachel Khoo make it and slather it all over crepes – it looked so delicious that when I saw a jar in the supermarket the other day I couldn’t resist.

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Garlicky Chicken Kievs

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It’s not the sexiest of foods but they say that garlic is great for fertility. It’s high in vitamins C and B6, which play a role in hormone balance, and contains an antioxidant, which is good for the health of the eggs and sperm.

Some people also believe that eating a clove of raw garlic everyday before ovulation can improve the quality of your cervical mucus, making it a better environment for fertilisation to take place. That doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, but garlic is something that can be added to your diet easily enough – whether raw or cooked.

A childhood favourite of mine is the Chicken Kiev, which of course is packed with garlic butter. It’s a bit indulgent as you have to use a lot of oil and butter, but screw it; it’s worth it once in a while. I’ve tried to balance the naughtiness out by eating brown rice with it…that’s how it works right?

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My Body is f**king with my Mind

Dear Body

What’s going on? Mind has been telling me you’ve been playing tricks on them.

You and Mind have known each other for a long time. Mind has always been on your side – making sensible decisions about what to eat, telling you when you’ve had enough and keeping you out of danger. And in return you have looked after Mind, making sure everything works and keeping everything looking good so Mind doesn’t have to worry.

But Mind tells me you’ve been f**king with them recently. Last week you were acting like you had something exciting to say. You know, the cramps, the tender breasts, and not just like it was a period coming. This was full on. So much so that it took Mind back to when we were pregnant before. Every day you would do something to convince Mind that an egg was implanting and a baby was starting to grow. Then one day you just switched it off like it was nothing; like you were just kidding; like it was an April Fools.

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Soup to warm your insides – Chicken Barley Soup

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I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist who has advised that to help the implantation process it’s important to keep your uterus warm. Given that my uterus is snugly tucked up by the digestive organs, I thought it would already be pretty warm, but – so my acupuncturist has told me – cold drinks, frozen food and raw vegetables and fruits can cool it down so there is less blood flow, and it is harder for the egg to attach.

Over the last few months I’ve been trying to eat more warming foods, like soups, stews and curries, and drinking warm or hot drinks to make it feel like my uterus is wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire, so I thought I would share this yummy soup recipe.

Chicken barley soup is one of my favourite dishes from when I was a kid. My mum would make it if you even started to have a sniffle, so it reminds me of being looked after. I’ve adapted her recipe by making the chicken broth, rather than using a stock cube (sorry mum!), but the one ingredient I won’t sacrifice is the marmite! You just stir a teaspoon in to your own bowl when you’re ready to eat it, but it makes all the difference!

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