In this episode of Run Lift Mom podcast, we explore eating and exercise for fertility with Samantha Kellgren of Simply Well Coaching
2:00 Rapid fire 4:00 setting boundaries, 4 hour work week style 6:00 Samantha’s personal journey and the evolution of Simply Well coaching 8:00 helping other women to see exercise is not a punishment
10:00 lifestyle changes to get your mensuration back to normal and prepare your body for pregnancy 13:00 squashing nutrition tip myths for someone trying to conceive 14:00 “eat like you’re pregnant before you’ve conceived” 17:00 exercise should be joyful 20:00 the importance of gratitude
Samantha’s experience reminded me of my own infertility experience
I wish we didn’t have this in common, but it connects women on a deep level. Could paying attention to eating and exercise for fertility helped me? Maybe, maybe not.
The mindset points she makes about exercise resonated with me, though. I still have a habit of taking exercise too seriously; I chalk it up to being a high achieving type.
If I could go back and talk to my 25 year old self, I’d ask her to reframe her thinking on exercise. Who knows? Maybe it could have aided my fertility.
Connect with Samantha
Connect with me
The podcast episode associated with this post is made possible by your support of my own training offering, ZYIA Active business, and a partnership with Woofy and Red H Nutrition (use RUNLIFTMOM to save 15% on anything).
Transcription of full show:
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Welcome to the right left mom podcast we’re talking about running lifting in my name and today all in that order I have Samantha Kellgren from simply wellness fertility coaching and she’s gonna talk to us about how exercise can affect your fertility she’s gonna talk to us about nutrition and how to eat for fertility also debunking some myths and we’re gonna talk about motherhood in general you guys this is a very talented wellness professional who has put her flag down in serving the fertility community without further ado my friend Samantha cal grant of simply wellness fertility coaching all right welcome to the run list mom podcast Symantec hell grand with simply well gene you have already told me I can call you Sam because that feels familiar to me welcome Sam to the podcast thanks so much for having me online I am so excited to speak with you we’re gonna get into your personal story we’re also going to get into you eating for fertility which I know is a topic a lot of people want to hear about we’re gonna get nice and tactical I am flipping the script on you and we’re gonna do a rapid fire first all right warm up all right let’s do it all right so here we go I want you to say the first thing that comes to your mind this is not related to fertility and well listen and eating but let’s roll tell me first you prefers stripes or polka dots who am I got stripes on right now I am clearly stripes all right how about hi or blush pink what’s your preference I like blush I like understated it’s actually one of my website colors well then we got to go with that all right if you’ve got a date a blow out either the beach or the mountains where you going all manned mountains mountains mountains every time we move to the mountains for them well then that is an obvious choice as well all right you don’t necessarily have to do this in the mountains but if I give you a choice between running and biking what are you choosing a man running running running but I am getting more into biking all right well I mean I don’t feel like you have to say running just because this is run last month no not at all no I or her endurance runner but yeah I mean even to the mountains and my husband mountain bikes now so I’m I’m catching a little bug I love that and finally do you prefer a physical book or a digital like a candle style that is such a good question I’ve gone back and forth that now I am back into physical book I love it you know you have to tell us what you’re currently reading or the last physical book that you finished oh man so I’m just finishing now it’s called one foot in Eden and it’s like small town sheriff I love any like crime book and then I just got the four hour work week so that’s when I’m gone next yeah we quote the four hour work week is like fifteen years old and this podcast has is ninety some episode strong I bet we’ve cited that book in fifteen twenty up is one very applicable an example that I typically use them and please feel free to take this on if you were a message me on Facebook on my business page right now I’ve gotten away message that says Hey yo I work this business in pockets of my day I’m spending time with my family and I’ll get back to you when I can I know here comparison that but talk about setting expectations I can about people so smart I’ve read little snippets and like I just need to read the whole thing indicted yes I love it did you get the physical four hour work week book I did I did yeah for listeners y’all I bet this thing is what what would you say like three inches thick yes yeah that is a physical book Fauria money I’m like I don’t know I was expecting it like for our work week I’m like I would be like a really condensed quickbooks it’s like the biggest one yet like encyclopedia’s size what all the okay well you know what you’re proving the theory right I like starting out with rapid fire you are just a fun gal and we’ve been able to connect on Instagram I will link your cat account below so I know that you know your stuff and you make it fun and doable tell me those first a little bit about your personal background and how it brought you to it simply while coaching yes of course so I had I was doing health coaching because I’ve been in to just general health and fitness for awhile like I like reading work out to like making my own workouts I realized that friends and co workers were coming to me with you know Hey what you know I’m trying to cook this do you have any good recipes or this is the work that I’m doing what do you suggest and I loved answering them like I would still needs detailed emails with like links to different sites and like what difference that I use right yes in just like this is during the work I need to just do this for my job so I raise it just generally health coaching I’m always working with women but more in a general way and I have some big lifestyle changes when we tried to get pregnant so I was you know we talked about running I was a big endurance runner I did marathons I loved it I loved it can’t sell workouts really tough and tense that made me happy and I enjoy that but when I went off to tell a good night for a decade or more and might not come back it was nowhere yeah and so you know that’s a big red flag right right are trying to get pregnant or not if your cycle is out of whack or gone completely that is a big flag saying something is not right so you know went down the road to fertility specialists and it turned out to be hypothalamic amenorrhea which I’d never heard of before I am my eyes my eyes are like on you know just opened up a couple of inches so I I think I know I recognize some of those clinical words can you break down for our audience also what exactly that means yes so a memory is basically like a period and I think they categorize it might be six months after the qualifying Montez fifty okay you must share their it’s not you know you’re not suddenly hypothalamic I’m an area but I hate it who knows how long I’d been missing it because I was on the pill I bring it up but after you know four months without any inkling of the head you know that’s when I started seeing the doctor and basically my and this is very common with athletes so my intense workouts coupled with low body fat because of you know think of America on runner right you know that that also you know in that wasn’t even my goal right my goal is heading the straits times and and running so it kind of happened without me really paying attention to it you know I’m not measured my body fat but the low body fat messes with you your estrogen production and market discusses the hypothalamus which is all your you know reproductive organs and it just shut down much so it was just now and you know you’re in lining yeah so I mean to hear you talk about it now obviously you’re you’re well versed in these terms within the human body did you know this like at this point the you said that you were into like health and fitness and that kind of did you go did you know about all of these systems and how they affect your fertility or is this something that you had to learn along the way a little of both I kneel on the surface that you know intense exercise can affect your fertility I didn’t know exactly how exactly what it is and I figured you know I’m not having here a lot I am hitting my race times I’m not overly drained and tired like I don’t show any signs of overtraining so I felt I was okay yeah and the great thing about it is that it is reversible I I now have a natural cycle but I had to make changes and so that is what really led me to a changing who I work with because when I went to my BCC on my god she was not helpful no you’re messing up here well you know you might need to run last I heard this advice big question mark I’m like you need to tell me exactly how much I can run and I’m gonna run that amount because this is this is what I love and there is no alternative I mean there’s no end young god bless some that doctors don’t have time to sit with you and figure out what can you do for stress relief what is another alternative to this because if that someone’s joy that was my hobby that I was joining run groups I was running coach I mean this is what I did and to say you need to stop running I mean it’s like coming up my arm like okay you know I went through the same thing and so I yeah listeners have heard the story or maybe they’re just stumbling upon this podcast and they they did not I you know I went through a fertility struggle that lasted a couple of years before last fall I you wise but my initial stops it was the exact same thing it was you’re a runner gained ten pounds and stop running it was almost like that as far as a clinician was willing to take me until I got to that specialty yes yes it’s true it’s so true because they don’t I feel like the general population and this is kind of what I want to talk about with on here today and when I talk to my clients about the general population the messages you want to get pregnant you need to get in a healthy workout routine you need to start working out hello everyone of your listeners I’m sure is not that population we enjoy a good work out and you have to look up that information as when do I know that this is hurting me and Hey it is hurting me what can I do differently because I don’t want to just stop working out I don’t want to eat doughnuts and and you know that sounds fun for a day or two but that is not a healthy way to gain ten pounds you know right not doubt did you have other coping techniques I know for a lot of listeners out there that might be in similar shoes it’s like well that’s cute that you want me to stop working much like coping technique do you have to adopt new techniques or did you already have something that allowed you to cope with the stress of infertility you know I feel like it was a mixed it was I knew that I need to do something physical because that’s who I am that I like setting goals what I loved about running and really the marathon was you run your your plan right you run this many miles and these days and in this many months you can run a marathon right and there was no plan to this and it was what you you know so I really took that into okay what do I like about running well I like that I’ve got this time by myself I am I’d always say an extroverted introvert about this time by myself outdoors to shrink to meditate to listen to what I wanna listen to you so I took long walks and you know it was a good case but I wasn’t killing myself with power walking up the hill it was legal for a forty five hour walk and listen to I wanna listen to you and thank my thoughts and get those endorphins by moving my body but I’m not counting the pavement right I love that and then you retain that I’m getting my fresh air I’m enjoying nature you’re getting all of that same stuff it’s not a one but it’s the environment that you live in is to feel that you live in that stat place your mind goes to that you live in I’m not gonna lie the first leg two weeks at least felt weird it was like I missed something it is this is not right like I should be making up for this but once I stuck with it and that’s really what I help clients with a big that kind of accountability the other way of don’t push yourself today of you know that it’s okay you’re gonna get your new normal and it just took a few weeks to kind of get back to be my new baseline of activity you know I continued working out M. as in strength training I continued with those exercises I continued going to yoga and put more of a focus on it as you know white yoga poses can I have I not tried before you know and I got more flexible because I wasn’t running love it several people are going to be able to go to your Instagram account or I mentioned being connected I really love you post some really valuable stuff I mean spoiler alert guys depending on where you are what player you’re either gonna click details are going to swipe up you’re gonna see on Sam’s Instagram link there she simply while coaching you’re an IVF mom and you are a mom so we know what that does for you personally led to a great outcome was that just on you know on following the doctor’s advice to you get your cycle under control and then go through the IVS process which I know could be a whole episode within itself yeah yes I feel like I really did them alongside each other I made these changes in my lifestyle because Hey it looks like I’m going down idea but I’m not gonna rely on IVF to do the magic right there still it’s all if you don’t know a percentage chance right it is not like IVF okay one hundred percent you’re going to get pregnant and have a healthy baby I knew that to carry to term I was going to need to make changes because I needed extra weight since your body fat I need to lower the intensity so I could create a healthy child and then post partum you know it took a little while but I got my cycle back ads he was about eighteen months is about a year and a half but it is regular it is I need it it is crazy I haven’t had this I was on the call for ten years no I didn’t know my body he found so crazy but I mean I’m thirty five and it’s like oh I like you know when I’m gonna start and I know how long it’s going to be and I know these how it feel stocking late now and it’s really exciting yeah well and for those listening to have it you know paid attention to their bodies signs are haven’t been down this road and you guys your cycle that is like fertility your cycle that is a sign of good health for us women so this is I mean it’s just six that you’re walking success story and then you were able to also you know on a child and had a child obviously had some assistance there but what a blessing well and truly I mean I feel like you know if we want to try for another one that we can do it now actually now because I cleaned my cycle back we couldn’t try naturally before it wasn’t even an option but now with these changes I’m able to do that you know and that’s really really important and that I’ve totally changed my workout routine but I still have a routine that I love I am still you know highly active and it is very important to me but it’s not the be all and all it is not as stressed it was becoming a strong you know I didn’t realize it but it’s like if I didn’t get a run in if I didn’t push myself to a certain point I felt like I had failed and I don’t get that feeling anymore now it’s like oh this is the work I want to do I’m gonna try if I don’t get to do it today I’ll do tomorrow yeah order whatever it is because as you know as a mom and god I just have one but you’re not in control of your schedule anymore so right get over that right right we were on you know when we were in the audience were in the green room kind of talking about what you know this episode was going to take shape and we’re about to shift into that tactical piece we laughed about like as mothers there’s so much we just can’t control and so it’s really empowering to have that movement to have that fitness time because then you have done something great for yourself that you are in control laws on a regular basis yes yes it’s also good that you’ve mentioned coaching other women in similar positions a few times I want to clarify for folks that simply well coaching is for its wellness coaching for folks who might be in the shoes that you have walked ahead of him you can we shift a little bit and I want to get food specific because we’ve talked about exercise and food is a decision that we make every day multiple times a day so can you talk to us a little bit about eating right starting with some of the rumors do you want to squash any of those rumors about eating for fertility yeah you know I think the biggest one that I see and if you are on Pinterest at all you all know I’m talking about is this I feel like there’s this myth and misconception that there is one through that’s gonna make you part all right that is not good for your AG’s I’ve heard that a million times it’s not that these foods that they mention won’t do anything are not good but it is not one there’s not one G. right it is a huge combination of your diet and your lifestyle because I was healthy eating right but I wasn’t eating enough fat and it’s not like you just eat fat doesn’t one thing it’s what else are you doing in your life right it’s not just eat more of X. Y. Z. you’re gonna suddenly before at all it’s what what is your what are your general habits and how did they get together I’d say the other one is that you have to eat you know completely clean are there’s a lot of rumors about Ichigo and know that pregnant the amount of calories and the amount of healthy fats from everything I’ve read are the most important you need us you need to be eating probably more than more than you are you if you are set if you are into working out you I I assume that you are watching your diet that’s probably not the problem you might need to be eating more calories than you think and more fat than you think and when I say thank you know we all know the healthy fats that avocados the healthy cooking oils there is no avoiding trans fats obviously but it’s not that you need to eat one hundred percent quote unquote clean right need to be getting enough Randy yeah I think it’s a relief for people to hear like okay I don’t have to be like totally raw diet and I don’t think anybody surprised to hear there’s no magic bullet I’m curious I love what I hear you saying is it’s a holistic approach in calories you know kind of portion to the women that you work with are most of them eating like eating too little or under estimating the amount of calories are having each day a lot of it has to do with if they’re really active right they are regularly running like I was I was eating but I was eating as if I wasn’t you know running fifteen miles on the weekends okay it’s still total equation so I need to you need to be even to a certain caloric or energy level but if you’re also coupling that with a lot of activity you need to take in the energy to compensate me I think that honestly it is you forget because maybe you’re not feeling super high no I was not hungry right after a run but that is prime time to be stocking up on protein and rebuilding those muscles that route after your run and if you’re not capitalizing on that you know because I had like I said I was not hungry immediately after but once I started and you know read more into this I would bring the string cheese or something with me so I had something immediately after that I could eat some real quick even if I’m not great that’s most protein shakes come in handy too can just kinda replenish and to get your body because your body is going to make a human needs now that it has more than enough when that baby is going to take what it needs which is great your baby is going to get what it needs you know I work with some pregnant women also and you need some left over for you right so I mean the tactical tips I hear you saying is first of all stay away from Pinterest second of all do some pre planning and if you lead an active lifestyle make sure that you have those healthy travel foods like the string cheese is a great example or even something that doesn’t need to be refrigerated that you could just put in a gym bag if that’s your jam and have it there on to do some pre planning to make sure you’ve got that stuff for post workout it’s almost like you need to start eating for two before you’re pregnant yeah yeah that way yeah you’re you’re building where the baby’s gonna be right or not preserve so so there something street life right any other tips for if someone is trying to conceive of it so we know what not to do in addition to making sure that we’ve got the appropriate amount of calories well I think the biggest thing for me is that and I do not know this until I really looked into some studies on the numbers but you know a healthy weight we all probably know BMI in the happened twenty five is generally a healthy BMI so as that don’t know BMI is a body mass index and this is the ratio of your height your weight I just wanna go you know what real talk I think everybody’s like yeah duh we knew that but you know right well it is and there is if you don’t know yours there are a zillion calculators out there just look it up online you can enter your weight and height and you all get this number but for fertility it’s twenty and twenty four is the highest for fertility so yes so it might be more yes maybe technically are a healthy weight but you might be a little more I’m a minimum body fat percentage to conceive is eighteen percent and why not women under twenty two percent body fat have been shown to have lower levels of estrogen and maybe that doesn’t affect you but if you’re having issues are you think you’re ovulating at different times a month maybe you know your experience are just kinda wonky that it could be something as simple as adding a little more body fat at ninety five pounds I mean drastic but to look at those numbers not based on what is healthy but what is healthy for fertility right right I love this because it does allow us again they’re going to be some things we can’t control but in the realm of what we can control this is a way that we can kind of self coach and really make sure we’re putting ourselves in a position to win you can see if yes yes exactly I love that all right what I want to be able to wrap up with you know of course hindsight’s twenty twenty and people are hearing you tell the story in there like yes it makes so much sense of course but you know that was a harder road for you what advice would you give your clients that you wish someone had told you guys I so I feel like there’s two different focus this year I think that one exercise no matter how much you should enjoy it it should be supporting you right it should be a source of join a which is funny if you know people don’t love in the middle of their workouts maybe you’re not feeling joyful but something you look forward to and that is not a stress I’m not stressed can mean I wanna hit thirty miles every week and it’s stressing you out because you’re sick because you’re traveling because X. Y. Z. people are visiting it should not be a huge source of stress right and left your athlete you should not be so worried about hitting your goal no one cares but even the best way no one cares about you that X. miles that week that you listed X. amount of weight it is it is you are the one putting that stress on you the other thing and this I feel like I and took some time to come around to realizing it and it sounds so we will but focusing on gratitude specifically you know if you are trying to conceive if you’re struggling my trust going through IVF I’m sure you can relate it is all that is going on in your world right you are waiting for that next test you are waiting for results you are waiting for the blood draw and it’s really easy to get consumed and that and to think of what else is going on in your life because I became very aware of this is a big thing going on right now I don’t want to look back in five years to this year you know you’re in a half of infertility as a black hole right I know there’s a lot of good going on I’ve got a lot of things that I do look forward to I am genuinely laughing with my husband and with my friends and making plans for concerts and I don’t want to have it be this blanket of despair and and just like leaking S. you know I’m gonna be able to look back and think hello yeah that was the year raging fertility treatments but all my god we went to so many good shows me had that great wedding and what else do you have going on because it is not the only thing going on in your life it’s not it feels like it but you want a good and just to remember that and each day thinking of just one small thing that that is that is going on that you’re looking forward to and really kind of focus on that I would ask listeners even to take this a step further Sam and write it down and the reason I say this is because it’s a great practice first of all just you I mean gratitude is like a muscle the more you practice at the stronger it’s going to get in the easier it’s going to become but if you’re writing it down every day I don’t know where you guys on the calendar on a post it on a piece of notebook paper I do not care when you get your period and you didn’t think you were getting your period that month and this is coming from a woman he was crying on the bathroom floor over a negative cast a lot of times and it feels very vivid you need that last we need that list of good things that you’re grateful for the central area you have to look at it because at that time if you see a negative or you know you started your period you’re not thank you it’s not easy to think of anything I write about it right I always feel so connected to you women here I wish we didn’t have this connection failed but I feel very connected to a woman who has been through a similar struggle and I hope that folks listening also feel connected I mean all of your stuff in the show notes you guys if you’re looking for a coach to guide you holistically through your journey to conception obviously I’m recommending sales in the area and she is simply well coach Jane I will put all her details below thank you thank you so much I don’t like it Jackie said I hate that you have that in common but no no one understands right right and it’s good that we’re talking about it to you and I mean you’re not at all actually exactly awesome thank you so much Sam I’ll put your details below and I so loved having you on my left mom thanks so much you’re so nice to connect to the Hey Susie it’s Samantha I just wanted to give a little update on how things are going for us over here things change so quickly pretty much right after we recorded the podcast you know I’d talk about routine a lot and I feel all all of our routines and having just thrown out the window with that said it’s crazy going into every in week three now I think I lost track of time how this feels like our new normal and I’ve created my you know my new routines which is crazy but it is really helpful for not only me but you know now I’ve got my two year old son with me twenty four seven I’m definitely getting up I always thought that up earlier but I am getting up earlier on the weekends to trying to make sure I sleep until seven at least one day a week but that’s kind of my only time to be totally by myself to work on my business to have some movement some quiet yoga into my day for my workouts I actually took him out for a stroll around which I hadn’t done and I don’t need I do not even know how on but it was just this one way to find and it was almost more for us to do something different together then to get the run and other than that I am doing a lot a lot of you to work out videos and then just kind of making my own thing up the differences I’m either doing it during nap or I’ve recently started doing it while he’s eating lunch he’s just over two so it’s kind of a challenge a usually after a pause the video a few times but I do like that he sees that I you know enjoy working out and that it doesn’t take that long I’ll do maybe twenty to thirty minute video but to give me that time to still take care of me when you know the why is closed and I don’t have child care at all during the days has been really crucial and kind of keeping my my energy up and to feel like I’ve got that time for myself I hope things are going good for you it is just crazy like I said how quickly things changed thank you so much Samantha Calderon with simply well as fertility coaching for not only coming on the show but obviously for giving us an update you guys we recorded this right before everything all went down and she was really great about making that applicable to this time thank you for that update Sam you guys this was awesome it was very important here you know that I’ve been through a personal infertility struggle as well and I wish someone would have told me the advice that Sam just gave us you know what stuck out to me no one cares but you okay on hitting a certain number of miles a week or lifting a certain amount of weight nobody cares but you don’t put stress on yourself with exercise related goals and further more don’t put stress on yourself if you’re feeling pressure because of the current health crisis cover nineteen is shifting mile believes in exercise and if it is for you as well make sure that it’s helping your stress not hurting it until I get in your ear piece again remember while bodily training is of some value godliness is a value in every way as a hold promise for the present life and also for the life to come that’s from first him at the four eight and this has been the run left mom podcast
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