Who Are Your Closest 5 Friends?

5 Questions About Your circle of 5

A small assignment to do on your own time.  
Think about your closest 5 friends.  

Answer these questions:
1. Who are they and why are you friends? 

2. Are they bring Positive or Negative energy?

3. Is the friendship mutual or fair weather?  Will they be there for you in hard times?

4. Do you look up to them? Do you admire them?

5. Do they bring good into your life?  

There is no right or wrong answer this is just suppose to 
inspire you to think about who you surround yourself with and why!
Who you choose to spend time with is a reflection on you! 

My Inspiration Chalkboard

How I Turned My Wedding Welcome Sign Into Our Family Inspiration Chalkboard

I bought this chalkboard at HomeGoods a local store here in MA for $19 
and purchased a chalk Ink pen at my local Craft Store

Supplies you will need:
-Exacto Knife
-Sand Paper
-Magnet Paint
-Painters Tape

I decided to keep it as a memento from our wedding to have in our home
You can see what I did in the pic.  I scraped, sanded and repainted the chalkboard
Good as new!
 We have used the chalkboard for so much over the past 2 years!  

I am very happy we saved this 

Food to Avoid Hypothyroidism

It is official I have hypothyroidism. 
Late afternoon yesterday I got the phone call that I have a highly elevated thyroid at 14.37
I have been chasing this down for a year and a half now.  With the news that 2 of my sisters have thyroid problems all my symptoms made sense for my IVF doctor to check my levels.   Now knowing for sure I no longer feel crazy.  I have a mix of emotions.  Happy to get the answer and angry this was not caught sooner, I now will have to wait potentially months for my next IVF round.  Not the start to 2014 I was hoping for.
I hope this post helps someone out there with this same struggle!

extreme fatigue
memory loss
brittle hair
hair loss
extreme dry skin
low 97.5 base body basal temperature
low blood pressure
slow 50's-60 heart rate
weight gain
brittle nails
diagnosed IBS constipation
extreme sensitivity to cold
heavy periods

These are the most common symptoms.  There are over 300 symptoms relating to energy levels, weight, body temperature, slowness, infections, auto immune or endocrine diseases, skin, mouth and throat, ears, eyes, digestion, infertility, reproductive and pregnancy disorders, brain, heart and more... 

Even when medicated many people will still feel symptomatic!  
I have done some research to compile a list of food to avoid.    The good news is you can cook some of these foods and still enjoy them!  Following this list will certainly help you feel better!  Good Luck

List of Foods to Avoid Hypothyroidism 
Broccoli- raw, cooked ok
Brussel Sprouts- raw, cooked ok
Soy Bean
Peanuts- raw, cooked ok
Pine Nuts Cabbage
Cauliflower- raw, cooked ok
Kale- raw, cooked ok
Spinach - raw, cooked ok
Mustard Greens
Peaches- raw, cooked ok
Pears- raw, cooked ok
Soy - in large quantities
Alcohol -   limit 1 per day
Calcium enriched OJ (within 4 hours of meds)

Strawberries, Pears, Spinach raw and tea will be my hardest.

List of Foods Good for Hypothyroidism
Yams / Sweet Potatoes
Sesame Seeds
Peanut Butter
Dried Herbs
Lettuce Greens
Omega 3
Black Pepper
Sea Weeds
Raw Butter
Olive oil
Coconut Oil

Make sure your salt has Iodine not rock
People with a Hypothyroid tend to have an iodine insufficiency that can attack the thyroid

Drink Lots and lots of water!
Avoid Tap Water as the minerals fluorides interfere with iodine

Constipation is extremely common with Hypothyroidism.  Make sure you consume enough fiber in your diet.  You can also look into fiber supplements

Mini Meals
Small mini meals throughout the day can help digestion more than big meals

This is the obvious one!  If you have a hypothyroid your body is slower than the average.  You need to get up and get going more than the average person and want to the least!  You can doit.  I believe in you!

2014 Year In Advance

This is going to be a great year for me and my family!  
I am starting my 1st IVF round of the year in February. 
We have a Big trip to Aulani Hotel and Resort Oahu, Hawaii in July. (The kids are so exited, they wanted a count down!  This picture is from December)
I am heading to Saratoga Springs for Travers Stakes the end of August.  Last but not least, I am in my best friends wedding in October!  

My mom and I usually head to Foxwoods for a weekend somewhere in between. I also have a long weekend in the works to Frye Island Maine with my girlfriends.
I can't wait to post and share this all with you!

I am so exited.  Things are looking up.  I am just wondering how I will pull this all off alcohol and sugar free?  Hmm..  if I am pregnant I suppose it will be easier (cravings pending)

We will see what else 2014 has in store for us!

Since I wrote this post (just days later) I have been diagnosed with extreme Hypothyroid.  My next round of IVF is now undetermined :(

Kitchen Chalk Wall

I finally bit the bullet and painted a chalk and magnet wall in my kitchen.  I just love it!
I have been using it for many of my post so I thought I would share with you
my before and after pictures

The Wall 
We have this awkward wall in our kitchen.
I have had the hardest time figuring out what to do with it

I also painted a magnet wall on right (black paint)

The magnet paint was very hard to work with.  It was in a clump at the bottom of the can.
It will take time, patience and a strong arm to mix this hardened mess.
It goes on thick and dries fast!  about 30 minutes
Kate's Tip:  Ask the store (assuming you buy it at a paint supply store) if they will open and mix it for you.

Chalk Wall

Supplies Needed

-Chalk Paint (I spent $10 at Home Depot)
-1 Good Paint brush
-Roller 3/8th thick and Pan
-Old Sheet or Painters Paper
-Rubber Gloves
-Painters Tape

Same Materials for magnet wall just use a smooth roller instead.


-Remove socket and light switch covers
-Use Painters tape and tape around all edges
-I like to "cut in" around the edges first
-Roll on 2 coats of paint letting the first coat dry for an hour in-between
-Let dry for 1 hour
-Remove Tape and touch up
-Again let dry for 24 hours
-Replace Switch plates
-Condition Wall by rubbing chalk all over
-Take a barely damp sponge or cloth and wipe Dry

Like what you see?  Pay it forward 

Food for IVF Success

Food Tips and Tricks to help boost your chances of success with your IVF adventure.

IVF can be a long crazy ride for most of us.  For some, you may be fortunate enough to do 1 cycle and never look back.  Which ever you are, we all want to be as healthy as we can be for what our bodies are about to embark on, or have possibly been going through.  First, I want to make clear that I am not a doctor.  With any major diet or lifestyle change you should consult a doctor.  I am an average woman 35 years old going through IVF.  Like any average woman in my situation I have searched the internet, book stores and beyond for information tips, secrets and tricks to success!  This is a list of foods I will be focusing my diet around as I am embarking on my 3rd round of In Vitro.  

My Round 1 Eggs Grade 8 and 6

Start 3 Months Prior (at least) 
Drink and Eat Whole Milks, Spinach and Pomegranates
If you are already past this point don't worry!  It's never too late to start.  

Spinach:  Iron rich will help you build your uterine lining
Pomegranates: Will Help thicken uterus lining
Organic Whole Milk: Will Help Create Juicy Eggs
Good Tip: Aim for 1,000 a day 305 mg = 1 glass of whole milk always organic!
Good Tip: Fatty Ice Cream will do the same trick.  Enjoy!

Transfer Day

Start Eating Pineapple and Walnuts 5 Days in a row starting transfer day

Pineapple: The core of the Pineapple that is usually discarded has been proven to help in implantation See link here  What it does? The bromeliad found in pineapple but very high in the core has been proven to be a natural anti inflammatory.  This allows to cervix to get nice and sticky for the egg to "stick" and burrow.
Walnuts: Rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids, which increase the levels of prostaglandins.  Studies show prostaglandins are needed for successful implantation.  You could also take fish oil supplement

Your Over All Grocery List:

PEAS: I have found information that PEAS actually boost your chances of conceiving they also have Folic Acid 
Omega 3 Supplement: 600mg a day have been shown to improve embryo morphology 
Broccoli: contain folic acid,  essential for fetal development
Strawberries: important vitamin C antioxidant that supports ovulation  
Oatmeal: helps make juicy eggs, Essential for fetal development,
Brazil Nuts: essential for fetal development, shown to improve embryo morphology, helps make juicy eggs 
Dried figs:
Salmon:  Essential for fetal development, shown to improve embryo morphology 
Tomatoes: important vitamin C antioxidant that supports ovulation  
Blueberries:  important vitamin C antioxidant that supports ovulation
Spinach helps make juicy eggs, essential for fetal development, shown to improve embryo morphology
Fresh Orange Juice:  important vitamin C antioxidant that supports ovulation
Anchovies:  Essential for fetal development, helps make juicy eggs
Smoked Trout: helps make juicy eggs
Wheat Germ: Essential for fetal development, helps make juicy eggs
Low-Fat Yogurt:
Wholemeal Bread: Essential for fetal development, helps make juicy eggs
Brown Rice: helps make juicy eggs, Essential for fetal development
Kale: shown to improve embryo morphology, helps make juicy eggs, essential for fetal development,
Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds:
Sweet Potatoes:
Eggs: Essential for fetal developement, helps make juicy eggs
Green Tea: (in moderation)
Grapefruit Juice: (only before injections not during) important vitamin C antioxidant that supports ovulation see what not to eat 
Pineapple: see above
Walnuts: see above
Pomegranates: see above

All of these foods have been proven over time to help with Conception and Fertility 
Good Tip: Remember, Always choose locally grown if available and organic! 

More Tips:
Drink Lots of Water - Especially During Meds, Retrieval and Transfer.
Get Into a Good Sleeping Pattern - Aim for 8 Hours a Night in Natural Darkness be in bed by 10:30pm to increase your natural melatonin
Last you could try acupuncture: 
I have not done much research on acupuncture but can not leave this out as I have heard of so many success stories from woman who have tried it. (including my sister - twins!)
I personally feel that the stress I would go through over the needles would forgo the benefits.

Things I Will Avoid During IVF

Going through IVF can be a scary time.  So much to think and worry about.  It is hard to just relax and enjoy the moment when we have an every other day if not daily reminder of what we are trying to conceive!  One thing I have had is a hard time locating information on what to avoid during the IVF process.   Now most of these I realize will be the same for any woman trying to conceive.  Just remember that what we put our bodies through with IVF adds a little extra care and concern. ...Right!   I have searched book stores, talked to friends and sifted through internet forums to compile this list of things I have chosen to Avoid during this, my 3rd round of IVF.   I will admit this does not mean I will not have the occasional cup of coffee, chocolate or fish.  Avoiding is the key and being extra careful!  This list may seem Big and overwhelming but I hope this is Helpful for someone out there!

Things I Will Avoid During IVF In Vitro 

Food and Drink
-Deli Meat: Risk of Listeria Bacteria may lead to Miscarriage or Still Birth
-Alcohol: Related to Birth Defects
-Caffeine Including Soda, Chocolate  and Coffee: Increases Risk of Miscarriage and it Effects Iron Absorption Leading To Birth Defects or Anemia in the Mother
-Under-Cooked or Raw Eggs: Risk of Listeria Bacteria may lead to Miscarriage or Still Birth examples: cookie dough, cake batter, eggnog and mayo to name a few.
-Raw or Undercooked Meat and Fish: So No Sushi
-Fish that contain Mercury: Mackerel, Ahi, Tuna and Sordfish to name a few
-Raw Shellfish: Risk of Listeria Bacteria may lead to Miscarriage or Still Birth
-Soft Cheeses: Risk of Listeria Bacteria may lead to Miscarriage or Still Birth examples: Brie, Blue Cheese, Goat Cheese, and Feta.
-Un Pasteurized Cheese or Dairy: Risk of Listeria Bacteria may lead to Miscarriage or Still Birth
-Artificial Sweeteners
-Food older than 12 hours
-Grapefruit: Some forums have girls talking about the rumor of grapefruit interfering with medications.

-Avoid Extreme Heat Saunas, Hot Tubs, Steam Rooms - If the womb gets overheated there is no way for the fetus to be cooled down.
-No Hot Baths
-Ibuprofen, Motrin and every other Pain Medication except for Tylenol
-Do Not Take Any Medications Without Talking To A  Professional!
Including Allergy and Cold Medications
-Heavy Lifting -. Some Professionals Say 4 Pounds or Over Others Say 10 Pounds or Over
-Avoid Negativity and Stress
-Avoid Extreme Sports that pose a risk of injury - Horseback Riding, Skiing, Kayaking etc..
-No Scuba Diving - according to the March of Dimes it causes bubbles in the fetuses circulatory
-Garden with Rubber Gloves - Animal Feces get absorbed through the skin and cause birth defects and ectopic pregnancy
-Cat Liter - Toxoplasmosis is in the Feces that case Birth Defects
-Turtles, Lizards and Snakes - Can Have Salmonella Poisoning
-X-Rays - Make sure the technician knows you are Pregnant Not Recommended
-High Altitude - not including a pressurized Airplane Cabin but Sky Diving, Mountain Climbing, Hand Gliding All pose a risk of Miscarriage
-Roller Coasters, Ferris Wheels,  Gravitation Rides - Cause Jarring which is dangerous for the Fetus Leads to Miscarriage
-Exposure to Paint Fumes
-Exposure to Pesticides or Cleaning Products
-Some Hair Dyes (Consult a Professional)
-Contaminated Tap Water

-Do Drink Tons of Water!
-Cut back on Sweets and Refined Carbs
-Eat Extra Fruits, Veggies and Lean Protein

Do you know of any food or Tips of things to avoid during and prior to Pregnancy?
Please leave your tips in the comment box below!
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