Those of us trying to get pregnant can fall prey to people and programs with promises that we’ll get pregnant if we just follow their diet or lifestyle plan.
‘If you follow this diet, I’d be surprised if you’re not pregnant by the year’s end,’ was what an alternative practitioner said to me nine years ago when my husband and I were trying to conceive.
Yet, those words did not give me hope or the resolve to follow their restrictive eating plan. No, their words were disheartening and infuriating. Those words epitomised everything that is wrong with wellness culture, which promises a plethora of health outcomes from reversing allergies and autism to glowing skin, and weight loss to the reversal of infertility and autoimmune diseases.
Nine years ago, as I sat across the table from that practitioner, who was so sure of herself and her recommendations, I reached a turning point in my perception of wellness diets.
Until then, I was captivated by the wellness jargon that alternative practitioners and online gurus were spouting. I’d been to workshops where presenters talked of conspiracies and collusions with our government dietary recommendations (which are supposedly outdated and industry biased). These presenters perpetuated fear in our nutritionally devoid foods and the ever-increasing chemical load that is making us sick and infertile
I was sucked in, hook, line and sinker. So much so, that I confidently repeated much of what they spouted in my own workshops (sorry to any of you I harmed in this way).
Now, I’d like to make some disclaimers here. I do, to this day, still choose to use organic make-up and biodegradable cleaning products and toilet paper. I am completely on board with avoiding food laced with artificial flavours and colourings and personal products containing synthetic deodorisers, as these choices do help me alleviate monthly PMS symptoms and skin irritation. I have no problem with these personal choices. The issue for me, and what infuriated me so much when I was told I’d likely be pregnant by the year’s end, was the promise—it was the conviction with which that practitioner spoke.