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Fertile Food Friday– Red Meat

By Tracey Minella

July 12th, 2013 at 10:24 pm


recipe and photo courtesy of

Fertile Food Friday– Red Meat

Welcome back to Long Island IVF’s “Fertile Food Fridays”*! This is our third week of focusing on foods that can potentially boost male or female fertility. If you missed them, be sure to check out our first two featured foods…avocados and blueberries…covered the past two Fridays.

Next up to the plate…Red Meat.

Step outside at dinnertime most summer evenings and you can smell something good on the neighbor’s grill. And chances are it’s some kind of red meat.

Red meat is a great source of iron. Iron deficiency is common in women of bearing age and also can contribute to ovulatory infertility. In fact, a large study found that “women who consumed iron supplements had a significantly lower risk of ovulatory infertility than women who did not use iron supplements” . More precisely, they had a 40% less risk of ovulatory infertility than those who did not use supplements.

If you are trying to conceive, and suspect you may be iron deficient, ask your doctor to check your iron level. This is done with a simple CBC blood test to see if your red blood cell count is adequate. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to all the cells and tissues of your body, including your ovaries and uterus**. If your red blood cell count is too low, you may be anemic, and may be instructed to take iron supplements or make dietary changes. Never take any supplements without your doctor’s approval since too much iron can be harmful.

Symptoms of anemia** may include:

mild to severe fatigue
• chronic headaches
• dizziness
• brittle or weak nails
• decreased appetite
• low blood pressure

According to the Mayo Clinic, some iron-rich foods include red meat, leafy green vegetables like spinach, beans, eggs, dried fruit, and other items. In addition, eating foods rich in Vitamin C, like peppers, helps your body absorb iron.

So this week’s recipe is a winner because it provides iron from steak and spinach, plus Vitamin C from the peppers to help you absorb the iron. Give yourself a break from those boring old burgers and try this amazing Stuffed Flank Steak, courtesy of Kelly over at Primally-Inspired. <<<Get the recipe here. And while you are over there, check out Kelly’s other great recipes for those with a primal palette. Or here it is below:


4 or more servings


1 ½ – 2 lb flank or skirt steak

2 – 4 T olive or coconut oil

4 – 6 oz mushrooms, sliced thin

1 shallot, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 – 6 pieces prosciutto

2 roasted red peppers (from a jar or make your own), cut into thin strips

1 bunch of fresh spinach

1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles (omit if you cannot eat dairy)

salt and pepper, to taste

½ tsp smoked paprika

kitchen twine


Preheat oven to 350.

Starting with the long side of your flank steak, cut it in half carefully, but don’t cut all the way through to the other end (butterfly it). You want to cut it and open it like a book. Once it’s cut and open like a book, place a piece of plastic or parchment over it and pound it to uniform thickness – about ¼ of an inch thick.

In the largest skillet you have (must fit the rolled up steak), pour 1 – 2 T oil in the pan over medium low heat. Add your shallot, garlic, and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper.

Add the mushroom mixture to the flank steak, leaving 2 to 3 inches of open space on one of the long ends.

Add the red peppers on top of the mushrooms. Then add the prosciutto slices all over the red peppers. Then add your spinach all over the prosciutto. Next sprinkle the blue cheese all over the spinach.

Starting with the long end (not the end that you left 2-3 inches of space), roll up carefully.

Now tie kitchen twine around your roll about every 2 inches. Salt and pepper and sprinkle the smoked paprika all over the outside of the roll.

Pour 1- 2 T oil back in the skillet and turn the heat to medium high.

Sear your roll on all sides until browned – it takes about a minute each side.

Transfer your skillet to the oven and cook for 20 minutes (for medium).

After the 20 minutes is up, take it out and tent your steak with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. For steak done more than medium: cook in the oven for 30 minutes, tent steak and let rest for 10 minutes.

To serve: cut off the twine and slice in ½ – 1 inch slices and enjoy!


Once you make it, come back and tell me how great it was!

*Disclaimer:Any recipe we offer is only meant for those who aren’t sensitive or allergic to the ingredients. Recipes are shared simply for fun only and nothing contained herein constitutes medical advice or a guarantee that eating any particular food will have any affect on your fertility.

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Do you know your iron level? Have any recipes high in iron-rich foods that you’d like to share? If so, please share it here. And if you try this one, let us know what you thought.




Photo credit: Primally-inspired

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Fertile Food Friday- Blueberries

By Tracey Minella

July 5th, 2013 at 8:50 pm


image courtesy of Mr GC/

Welcome back to Long Island IVF’s “Fertile Food Fridays”*! This is our second week of focusing on foods that can potentially boost male and female fertility. If you missed it, be sure to check out last Friday’s Avocado post with a mean guacamole demonstration and a testicle tree. With the Fourth of July holiday celebrations continuing over the next few days, we’ve got the perfect food for you to add to your barbeque (or take to a potluck) this week.

So without further ado, the second first fertile food will be Blueberries.

Blueberries  are one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find. Only have raspberries, strawberries or blackberries on hand? No problem. Most berries are high in antioxidants, so feel free to eat them all or substitute your favorites in the accompanying recipe. The antioxidants in berries protect against cell damage and cell aging, so help keep those reproductive cells at their peak by loading up on these healthy fruits.  

Blueberries have anthocyanins which give them their namesake color. [“Cyan” means blue in Greek] and are a great source of Vitamin C. Studies show that compounds and vitamins in blueberries may help with some of the symptoms of endometriosis and uterine fibroids by easing some of the pain and heavy bleeding… and blueberries may even positively affect the uterine lining which may help with implantation**.

Ready for an easy blueberry recipe?

A popular use for fresh blueberries is in Fresh Berry Kebobs and Fruit Dip, served with a creamy fruit dip. This dip is one of my own creations and is also great whenever you’re serving a platter of fresh fruit instead of the fruit kebobs. All you need for the kebobs are wooden skewers, blueberries (and strawberries or other fruits that work well on sticks) to thread onto the skewers and the following easy dip ingredients, which you combine in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use:

1- 15 oz. can of frozen Bacardi® pina colada mixer (there is no alcohol in it), thawed,

1- 8 oz. container of Cool Whip®, thawed and

1- 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained.

Another great blueberry recipe that is really patriotic and easy is this gorgeous 4th of July Strawberry (and Blueberry) Shortcake Kabobs from Foods 101 with Deronda . Check out the quick video here:  You will be a hit at any summer gathering with this one!

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Did you make either of these eye catching patriotic treats? Have another blueberry recipe to share?

*Disclaimer:Any recipe we offer is only meant for those who aren’t sensitive or allergic to the ingredients. Recipes are shared simply for fun only and nothing contained herein constitutes medical advice or a guarantee that eating any particular food will have any affect on your fertility.


photo credit: Grant Cohrane

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Fertile Food Friday- Avocado

By Tracey Minella

June 28th, 2013 at 3:29 pm


image courtesy of flikr

Did you know that some foods can potentially boost male and female fertility? Want to learn more? Check out Long Island IVF’s “Fertile Food Friday” posts. We’ll have some fun facts and a recipe or video for each food we focus on… for those who aren’t sensitive or allergic to the ingredients, of course.

The first fertile food will be avocado.

As you can see from the photo, avocados hail from what the Aztecs nicknamed Āhuacatl , short for āhuacacuahuitl, which means “testicle tree”.*

Avocados are thick-skinned, dark green/black, pear-shaped, bumpy fruits (about the size of your palm) with soft, pale yellow flesh and a large pit. They are rich in folate and Vitamin E, and are an excellent monounsaturated (good) fat which may benefit the reproductive health of both men and women and also help lower inflammation and insulin resistance (which could be particularly beneficial to many PCOS patients).

In fact, a recent study out of Harvard’s School of Public Health on the effects of dietary fats on IVF outcomes found that those who consumed the highest intake of monounsaturated (good) fats were 3.4 times more likely to have a baby after IVF than those who consumed the lowest amount. Lead researcher, Professor Jorge Chavarro, was quoted by the Daily Mail** as saying, “”The best kinds of food to eat are avocados, which have a lot of monounsaturated fat…” In addition, the women with the highest levels of monounsaturated fat consumption had higher live birth rates. Further, the women who ate mostly saturated (bad) fats had lower egg quality.

Ready for an avocado recipe recommendation?

image courtesy of Mister GC/

Perhaps the most popular use for avocados is in Guacamole, a Mexican dip often used for chips and nachos. It is the quintessential party food and a staple at many summer gatherings. But you may need to skip out on its partner…the Margarita… if you’re trying to conceive.

Chef Rick Bayless, author of Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks and other cookbooks, is famous for guacamole, and often demonstrates his technique in short videos. His guacamole begins with avocados, salt, fresh white onion, fresh lime juice, and cilantro, but the remaining ingredients vary. Additions may include fresh or canned hot chiles, tomatoes or tomatillos, and crispy, crumbled bacon. Check out this video demonstration or one of his cookbooks (available on amazon) to learn how to make fresh guacamole in about 5 minutes. Add chips and a cold drink and you’re ready to go!

Don’t forget that you can also add avocado chunks to salads. And if you don’t care for the taste but still want the health benefits, I will share one of my biggest culinary secrets…you can add it to meatloaf. Cream it into the meat mixture. I promise no one will know.

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Did you make this guacamole? Have another avocado recipe to share? Please share. Let’s help each other feed ourselves fertile.




Guacamole photo credit: Grant Cohrane

Avocado Tree photo credit: Alpha/avlxyz





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