Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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Bring a skillet of salted water to a boil, add asparagus and simmer until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and place on paper towel. Blot water from tofu, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
To make dressing, mash garlic in a mortar, add rest of ingredients and mix together. Arrange vegetables and tofu on a plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, add dressing, toss and serve.
Nutritional information per serving (3 cups): 282 calories, 61% fat (19 g), 20% carbohydrate (14 g), 19% protein (13 g), 6 g fiber, 4.5 mg iron, 201 mg calcium, 306 mcg folate. Gotta have meat? Replace the tofu with 12 ounces of chicken breast, cut into strips.
Chickpea and Tomato Stew
PREP/cook Time: 60 minutes
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3–4 medium potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
1–2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 1/2 t paprika
1–2 pinches thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 32-ounce can peeled, diced tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed
15 ounces vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch chard (red or green), stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
4 t extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Heat olive oil over high heat in a wide, nonstick sauté pan. Add onion, potatoes, garlic, pepper flakes, paprika, thyme and parsley. Sauté 2 minutes, lower heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas and vegetable stock; season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Cook chard in water until tender, 7–10 minutes. Salt lightly. Top stew with chard, drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over each serving and garnish with additional parsley if desired.
Gotta have meat? Add 12 to 16 ounces firm-fleshed fish (such as ahi, salmon or snapper); simmer with tomatoes and chickpeas for 10 minutes.
In our grandmothers’ day, exercising during pregnancy was considered dangerous for both mother and baby. By the time our mothers were becoming parents, obstetricians were a bit more tolerant of the practice, but few actively encouraged patients to exercise.
We’ve since learned that being active during pregnancy energizes you, builds stamina for labor and delivery, reduces your risk of gestational diabetes and improves your mood. And there’s more: According to the American Council on Exercise, it can help prevent or relieve back pain, leg cramps, varicose veins, insomnia, constipation and swelling of your hands and feet. Add to that improved posture and circulation, and there’s no excuse to spend your pregnancy on the couch.
Of course, one of the most important roles of exercise is in helping to keep weight in check. As overweight and obesity rates in America rise, the March of Dimes is calling on all women of childbearing age to maintain a healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy. “Obesity among women of childbearing age is at a crisis level,” says Jennifer L. Howse, M.D., president of the MOD. “We are concerned because it means more women are overweight or obese when they become pregnant, and this can have serious consequences for both mother and baby.”