Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Yes, I got pregnant at 40-- Naturally and with Ease!

Yes, I got pregnant at 40…naturally and with ease!

I turned 40 in September 2014 and just a few months prior I fell in love with an amazing 43 year old man. The relationship moved fast; we fell in love, moved in together and started talking about building a family. We both wanted children, and preferably more than one.  Since we do want to marry one another, the question for us was: do we wait and get married first, which might be a year later, and then start to create our dream family or do we just go for it?  We decided to go for it. 

We started trying to conceive in October and we agreed to not put too much pressure on it: we would just continue to have fun sex as we were already doing and wait and see what happens.  He offered to get his sperm checked and I said, “No. Let’s see what happens and if we’re not pregnant in six months, then we can both get tests done.” I thought about getting my hormone levels checked with my gynecologist, but I put that task on the back burner as well.  I just wanted to have sex and not focus on the getting pregnant part.  I wanted to hold onto the faith I have in my body and in its ability to do what I believe it can do—conceive with ease, regardless of the fact that I’m now 40 years old. 

In all honesty—I never shared this with my partner—I did expect it to take at least three months, more probably six to get pregnant.  I know how long it can take a couple to conceive when both partners are over the age of 40.  I know the increased risks of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities with age. I’ve heard about and read all of the same statistics we all hear about: the emotionally draining tests, the roller coaster ride of multiple rounds of IVF or clomid, the painful shots, the mounting bills and the nights of tears. And, as much as I have always had faith in my body and its ability to conceive, I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say these thoughts weren’t causing me some turmoil.

I know the road of fertility challenges all too well, because professionally I am a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) who, for over the last decade, has specialized women’s health and fertility.  I have helped hundreds of women on their path to conceiving and giving birth to a healthy child.  I have written books on the topic, I speak publicly about the topic and I know all of the potential fertility challenges that exist because I have gone through them with my clients.  Over my decade of practice, I have witnessed way too many heart-wrenching fertility struggles.  But, through my experience, I also know that most all the women I work with do wind up conceiving healthy children at some point, even in their 40’s.

When I work with fertility clients, I guide them to adopt certain lifestyle changes—like being omnivores, eating organic, meditating, sleeping 7-8 hours each night and practicing gratitude—to optimize their fertility.  Based on my decade of clinical experience and my years of extensive research I believe that when we practice these lifestyle habits we truly have the ability to change our health and improve our fertility—even in our 40’s.  

I’ve seen clinically how these tweaks in behavior can dramatically shift health in a positive direction.   My clients, when they adopt these lifestyle changes see improvement in their menstrual cycles and their ovulation; their hormonal imbalances balance out; their thyroid comes back into harmony; their lives change for the better; they are happier in the present moment; and, overall they are healthier on a global scale: mind, body and soul.  It is then that I see them conceive—when mind, body and soul are in sync. 

So, now it’s my turn to be a testament to what I preach: the way you live your life has an impact on your health and your fertility and, in my clinical opinion—chronological age pales in comparison to biological age.

As I am writing this, I am 14 weeks pregnant. I got pregnant the second month we tried.  Last week we got the results from my maternity 21 and nuchal translucency tests, and they showed not only is the baby boy inside of me healthy, but that I have the same genetic odds of anything going wrong with this pregnancy as a women half my age.  The doctors have told me, there is no need for any further testing.  We are in the clear.  I can’t tell you what a relief that news was.  That’s not to say that when I go to the bathroom, I still make sure there’s no blood on the toilet paper or that I randomly catch myself squeezing my breasts (sometimes in public!) to make sure they’re still sore or when I feel cramping in my low back, I fear I am miscarrying—even though I know it’s just the baby growing.  I guess this is just the beginning of being parent and worrying about your child’s well-being. It’s absolutely surreal. For as many times as I’ve been on the other side of this with one of my clients, nothing compares to now knowing it and living it first hand.  It truly is a miracle.  And, then to know that my odds of a healthy baby are the same as someone half my age I feel is a true testament to all the work I have done on my health over the years.  I really believe the way I live my life has reversed my aging process, or at the least slowed down the aging process of my body and its cells.

I’m living proof that 40 and pregnant happens and it can happen naturally, with ease and fun.  I am proud to say that I treat my body like the palace I believe it is, and even though I had—and, will likely continue to have—moments of worry and fear over the health of my baby, I never lost faith in my body and its ability to conceive a healthy child at some point.  For all this, I am beyond grateful.

As I always say in my clinic: you have the power to change your health and improve your fertility.  My pregnancy at 40 years old is evidence of that.

If you are trying to conceive, here are 10 things that I regularly do that I wholeheartedly believe helped me conceive with such ease at 40:

1.  Go organic and non-GMO with all your food or as much of your food as you can afford. And, by all means avoid processed foods.
2.  Be an omnivore: eat fat, meat, fish and dairy—eat it all and enjoy it.
3.  Eat grass-fed and pastured animal protein, like beef—yes, beef! It doesnt have to be a daily routine, but a few ounces a few times per week is healthy for you.
4.  Eat 1-2 pastured organic eggs daily.
5.  Get in several servings per week of grass fed animal (chicken, beef or lamb) bone broth.
6.  Go non-toxic with your home, bath and beauty products. And, by all means avoid BPA.  Check out Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database to check the toxicity of your products—my rule of thumb is to stay under a 2 on their scale.
7. Get restful sleep for 7-8 hours each night.
8. Meditate daily. Five minutes or 30.  Whatever you can fit in. Just do it. It’ll change your life.
9. Be grateful in each and every moment.  Find happiness now, not ‘when’ you have what you think you need to have to make you happy.
10. Keep the faith in your body.  Believe it can do what you want it to do.  The power of belief is undeniable. 

Through my regular blogging and my online videos, I will continue to document my pregnancy at 40 along with ways you can live your life to optimize your health and fertility as these are the stories we should be sharing—the honest stories, the hopeful stories and the stories that inspire us.  For now, you can check out my latest book, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways To Improve Your Fertility Now and IntoYour 40’s.  The protocol I preach worked for me.  I believe it can work for you too. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Changing the Fertility Conversation: Egg Freezing

Last week, Fortune.com published an article, "Apple and Facebook will now pay for women to freeze their eggs." Although I am thrilled to see the dialogue around fertility becoming more public, the Fortune.com article is also very representative of the underlying message surrounding fertility these days: Women should be worried, very worried, about their fertility. As an author, women's health and wellness expert and a practitioner who has worked with thousands of women who are trying to conceive, it is with strong urging that I say: We need to shift the conversation about fertility that we are currently having.
Of course, being conscious of our fertility is a good thing, especially for women who want children one day. But being conscious is quite different than being panicked. The current conversation around fertility is telling women they should fear their declining fertility. Yes, the truth is women are now having children later in life and freezing eggs is an option for women to buy themselves some time. However, for the general population I think the focus should be more on preserving and optimizing our health and our fertility, not on the message, "spend $12,000, take potentially harmful medications, put your body through surgery (albeit a minor surgery) and freeze your eggs because your fertility is in danger." Yes, freezing eggs can be a life-changing move especially for women who have to undergo medical treatments like chemotherapy or radiation but, to make a blanket statement that encourages young women to freeze their eggs (which by the way, frozen eggs are rarely put to use, they are more seen as an insurance policy) is like saying to women: You should be scared, your time is running out, and by the time you are ready to have kids you'll be too old. Furthermore, when two of our nation's largest corporations are now offering coverage for the costly egg-freezing process it sets a precedent, putting pressure on all the women who don't work for these corporations and can't afford to drop $12,000 on freezing their eggs for that "just in case" moment.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Healthier & Leaner NOW with these tips for Spring!

Happy Spring.  Yes, I am aware that we are almost a month into this new season, however it's never too late to share with you some great tips on getting healthier and leaner NOW.

Since its Spring and according to Traditional Oriental Medicine- the time of self-renewal- I wanted to remind you offer you some lifestyle tweaks so that you can renew and revitalize your health,  lean down your bod (summer is around the corner!) and let go of any of that emotional crap that is still weighing you down.  It's time to hit the restart button, you definitely deserve it!

Take a few minutes and watch my latest video on my top 3 tips for Spring!  Read the rest of this blog for even more tips!

  • Get your butt outside, each and every day, for at least 30 minutes.  Breathe in that fresh, clean invigorating air and let your body fill up with the energy of this season.  
  • Chill Out & Let Go.  If this is the season to begin anew, then you need to really let go of any of that emotional baggage you've been carrying around.  Let go and set yourself free.  How? Well, one helpful tool is to write a letter to your 'baggage' stating all the reasons you should let go, being sure to clarify in the letter how damn good you will feel once you let this baggage go.  Another great way is to meditate daily, with your mantra being: I am letting go. I deserve to be free of X.
  • Eat Lightly.  Not just because beach weather is creeping in but because it is Spring! Spring is a light and airy season and its time to leave behind the heavier foods of winter, especially dairy products, sugar, processed foods (always to be avoided!), soy and wheat, can help you move into spring feeling lighter and lean you up for the coming summer months!  Personally, this is when I really cut down my dairy and wheat intake.  
  • Detox.  Not just in mind, but in body.  Spring is a great time to cleanse your liver.  Consider cutting down on your liver’s workload by eliminating alcohol, refined sugar, and anything artificial like fake sugar, alcohol, pesticides and herbicides. Even if you don’t want to do this forever, consider giving your liver a week or two off from known toxins — a spring vacation from toxins. Your health and your figure will greatly benefit!
  • Eat green foods.  In accordance with the season of Spring, as green shoots are sprouting from the ground, so should we be consuming green foods that are rich in chlorophyll like wheat grass or barley grass juice, spirulina, blue-green algea, and chlorella, parsley, kale, swiss chard, broccoli rabe, bean sprouts, dandelion and collard greens in order to accelerate liver rejuvenation. Personally, I love taking a daily dose of spirulina to help assist my liver in detoxing this time of year.
  • If you suffer from seasonal allergies add 1-2 diced cloves of garlic to a cup of dandelion or peppermint tea and be sure to avoid dairy, wheat and added sugar in your diet.  And, check out my blog on fighting seasonal allergies.  Don't forget to use your neti pot daily!
  • Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning. A little bit of the sour taste helps to gently help the liver slough off toxins. Or try 1 teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and raw honey in one cup of water. However, too much sour will not be good for the liver, so think moderation so do one of these only once per day.
  • Really lean down for summer and take my Spring clean challenge and cut out wheat, dairy, alcohol and sugar for two weeks. It's amazing for your health and your body! Email me for my Spring clean challenge 5 day sample menu.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How To Love Yourself MORE!

Lucille Ball once said,
"Love yourself first and everything falls into line."
And, I couldn't agree more.

So, with that in mind, here are my top 5 tips for falling more in love with the wonderful person you are:

1. List the ways you love thyself.  Grab a pen and a piece of paper--or sit down and write an email or text message to yourself--and list a few things you love (or even like) about yourself.  Ideally you can come up with ten things, but three is great too.  Here are some pointers:

      --I love the way I have compassion for people
      --I love the way I manage "x" at work
      --I love the way I take care of "x" in our family
      --I love the way I laugh
      --I love the kind of friend I am

OK... make your list and save it!  And, as often as you can, take it out and read it.  If you're feeling extra loving--add some more things to the loving thyself list!

2.  Surround yourself with positive people.  Sometimes this can be a challenge, especially if there are co-workers or family members who are negative.  But, try!  People who are friends with happy people are healthier and happier and definitely love themselves more.  So, choose wisely when spending your time with people.  If some of your friends or loved ones are the glass half-empty types, then avoid them.  Yes, you heard me--avoid them. I'm not saying to just drop those people (as if they're family or close friends--that's not the right thing to do) but I am saying to make a deliberate choice to spend less time with them.  When you do spend time with more negative people, make it your job to prepare for it: spend a few minutes before you see them and think of all the things you like about the person--think of all their great qualities and focus on sending them love.  Spending more time with happy, positive people will make a significant difference in your life.  And, it will amp up your love for you.  Remember: you are the most important person in your life, so look out for number one.

3.  Say, "I love you" to yourself.  Yes, every single day, catch yourself in the mirror and look into your own eyes and say, "I love you".  That's it, keep it simple and keep saying it until you start to believe yourself.  Even if you don't completely believe yourself, just the act of saying it makes you feel warm and nourished.

4. Believe.  Believe in something-- have faith in life being as amazing as you long for it to be.  Believe that all you desire can be yours.  If that feels like a leap for you--then spend some time pretending to believe... kind of like I said in my first book, Chill Out and Get Healthy: fake it 'til you make it.  I always encourage patients, friends, loved ones and even myself to spend some time each day daydreaming or imagining your life as you want it... abundant and fun and easy and happy.  Spend enough time imagining your life how you want it and you will start to believe it can happen.  Find a time each day where you can steal a few minutes and just daydream... and believe that all you desire can be yours!

5. Tell yourself a better story.  This is a great way to forgive the past and to find more ways to love yourself.  Is there something you tell yourself or a story you tell on a regular basis--it could be told out loud or in your head-- that is negative or self-depricating?  Is there something you believe about yourself that maybe isn't true?  My life coach would have me take a stressful statement, like: "I'm not good at "x"" and she would have me ask myself, "is that true?" Hmmm... kind of makes you think.  Is it true?  Well, Im sure there are ways you can show that it is true.  But, there are also ways you can show that its not true.  Aha!  And thats where your focus needs to go.  Tell yourself a different story...something like, "you know for years I always thought I wasnt good enough or I wasnt "x" and then I really looked at my life and I realized that when I do "a", "b" and "c" I am showing that I am good enough or that I can do "x".  Does that make sense?  So the key here is to tune into that internal (and external) dialogue and change the story.  Often my patients who are struggling with getting pregnant will say, "if i get pregnant..." and I make them repeat the sentence to "when I get pregnant..."  Just shift the words and tell yourself a better story and love yourself more!

I hope these tips are helpful!

You are amazing!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

4 Tips to make 2014 Magnificent

Happy New Year! I know we are just about two weeks into 2014…but I figure it's never too late to remind you of ways to make this year a magnificently magical one!

On New Years eve, I was in London on holiday and I made this quick video for you with my 4 tips for 2014.  To sum them up:

1. Be still. Take time each and every day to chill out and check in.  As one of my favorite teachers says, "In stillness I find my true self." Be still and find your true self!
2. Be happy.  Know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Trust the process, enjoy the process and be happy!
3. Be kind. Be kind, like really kind, to YOU. You deserve it!
4. Believe. Believe in  yourself. Believe that you can have all that you want. Believe in miracles, they happen all the time!

Better things are on their way to you! Believe it!

Happy New Year! May your 2014 be filled with magic and love and tremendous joy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Organic Beauty Regimen

I am so grateful that I often get asked, "what do you do to make your skin look so good?" If you have been reading my teachings for some time now, you know that I always tout that our skin is an external manifestation of our internal health.  CHeck out my latest video where I talk about both my internal and external beauty regimen.  Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Importance Of Downtime

Hey there! Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!  I know I haven’t blogged in quite some time… my apologies.  Between all the things going on in my business and my personal life, blogging, even though its important to me-- falls to the wayside. 

About two weeks ago I was contemplating why this is.

I like blogging, I love writing, I love communicating with you all, I love sharing content and thoughts.  Basically: I really enjoy blogging.  So why was I having such resistance to sitting and writing my monthly posts (I haven’t blogged since March!).  After some meditation and introspection—it hit me.  I was a bit burnt out.  I needed some downtime.  Some CTFO time.  I needed to step back from the hecticness of my life and be still for a bit.  I needed to detach and unwind and chill out!

For those of you who are in my practice, you know that this summer I am living basically full time in the Hamptons.  I have a small practice out there, which I love and I stepped back a bit from my other two practices—because I really needed some downtime.  So on June 15th, I moved out east and I’ve been settling in.  Loving the fresh air and my runs down country roads.  I am loving the ocean and the greenery.  I am loving the farm fresh fruits and veggies... and the eggs! I am unwinding.  I am writing and blogging again.  And it feels good. 

However, I do realize that its not always that easy—usually we can’t just pack up and move to the beach for a few months.  And, man do I feel grateful that I was able to.  But, of course all this downtime has me thinking—how can we incorporate this downtime into our daily lives? Of course, I talk about this topic a lot (in fact my last blog post was about “slowing down”) but I’m still searching for what can really work in our day to day lives.  So, here’s my top three recommendations for finding downtime amidst our daily lives:

1.  CTFO—of course we need our daily dose.  We really need to sit in silence for at least a few minutes EACH AND EVERY DAY.  The clarity that this quiet time brings us is not only good for your mental state, but meditating has been shown to make us healthier too!  So just do it!

2.  Find Joy Daily.  EACH AND EVERY DAY it is so important that you feel a sense of joy.  Even if its only for a few minutes—it will fill you up in so many ways.   So, ask yourself: whats one things I really enjoy that I can do every day?  Is it exercise, it is choosing healthier foods, is it calling a friend, is it singing your favorite song outloud while youre driving? Is it cooking a healthy meal?  It can be super simple, but finding joy each and every day will keep you feeling light and free and happy!

3.  Set Your Intentions.  I know this is kind of a cliché statement, but have you ever pondered what this really means?  To me it means—be in tune with your true self and live your life from that place.  Of course there are daily tasks that we don’t love doing—that we have to do.  Im not talking about that.  Im talking about making deliberate choices in life—with the intent to feel good and to act from a place of feeling good.   For me, each morning (after I hit snooze) I lie in bed and “set my intentions” for the day.  I run through in my head the things I have to do that day and I see them going seamlessly. I see myself feeling happy. I see myself being appreciative.  I see myself being true to Aimee.  By doing this work (its literally a few minutes) its sets the stage for my day and allows me to feel calm and at peace and eager to start my day. 

I hope you find this tips helpful and that you try and incorporate them into your daily life.  I actually would like to challenge you to practice these three things daily for 2 weeks and see how damn good and refreshed you feel!  Please tell me about your experience on my facebook page!