“The research on diet and supplements has just exploded,” Shannon said. “What I did was use that research and put it in a practical form so that a young Couple to Couple League member can have a chart that is easier to read and so that she can feel better. Also, I have a whole expanded chapter on men’s health as well.”
Blogger Eva M., from Pittsburg stumbled upon Shannon’s book through a forum on a faith-and-family website.
>>Going Nuts Over a Healthy Diet
Eva, who struggled with achievement and sustaining pregnancy, almost immediately took some of the most do-able ideas and implemented them into her lifestyle. Within days of taking a multivitamin, she was able to record changes in her charting.
“It was really remarkable because within a week, my basal body temperature had raised,” said Eva, who also looked for other ways to improve her nutrition. “I started to make this granola at home that was full of fruits and nuts.”
In addition to her granola, Eva also worked diligently to incorporate more whole foods in fruits and grains.
Shannon recommends transitioning to a whole foods diet, making a conscious effort to incorporate fruits, vegetables and grains in their whole forms.
Take, for instance, she says, when you want to reach for sugary drinks – could you supplement with good, juicy fruit instead? If you like breakfast cereals, she asks, could you splurge the extra couple of dollars for the whole grain ones that are just as tasty?
Of course, for Shannon, balanced nutrition is only balanced when complemented by a multivitamin. “I believe saying ‘just eat right and you don’t need supplements’
>>Blogger Gives Credit
For Kellie Miller, a Teaching Couple from Philadelphia, PA, who blogs at www.BuildingCathedrals.com, healthy diet and exercise have always been important. Reading Shannon’s book shaped the lifestyle that helped them to achieve and avoid pregnancy.
“Her suggestions are simple,” Miller said. “Eating whole grains, eating more fruits and vegetables. Marilyn Shannon’s book is really accessible to the average lay person.” Not only does Miller agree that incorporating whole foods into the diets of her family of four has nutritional benefits, but she also believes it allows for healthier fertility,” she said.
In addition to whole grains and veggies, Shannon has a few supplemental recommendations as well. In a Shannon-approved medicine cabinet, you can be sure to find flax oil, fish oil and folic acid.
“Folic acid has a long list of valuable functions it serves, including reducing the rate of miscarriage and pre-term birth,” Shannon said.
Though the lifestyle may be intimidating to new learners, Shannon offers some basic advice: “Get rid of your worst dietary things, be gentle with yourself and get that good multivitamin.”
This is the second half of a slightly-adapted article by Meghan Miller. The article appeared in the March/April 2011 issue of CCL's Family Foundations.
>>Chicago-Area Natural Family Planning Classes Taught
Classes in Natural Family Planning sponsored by the Couple to Couple League (CCL) are taught in 17 locations in the Chicago metro area, including southeast Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. Each series is taught in three classes. The beginning dates are below.
>> Thurs., May 12, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Lake in the Hills, IL. Classes will be taught by George and Helen Jost.
>> Sun., May 15, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Gerald Parish, 9310 South 55th Ct., Oak Lawn IL 60453 Oak Lawn. Classes will be taught by Matt & Susan Jones.
>> Sun., June 12, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. at Holy Family Hall, Holy Trinity Catholic Church
111 S. Cass Ave., Westmont IL. Classes will be taught by Christopher and Debbie Lillig.
>> Sun., July 24th, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. at Resurrection Medical Center, 7435 West Talcott Ave., Chicago IL. Classes will be taught by Dave and Mona Cattapan.
>>Sat., Sept. 17, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. at St. Stephen Church, 17500 S. 84th Avenue, Tinley Park IL 60487. Classes will be taught by Jeffrey and Laura Watzke.
To register, and for a list of classes throughout the U.S., go to CCL International at www.ccli.org, (800) 745-8252. Chicago area NFP information is at www.naturalfamilyplanningchicago.com.
The method taught is the Sympto-Thermal Method, which is also taught via CylePRO software. Sign up for a membership with the Couple to Couple League International at www.ccli.org, and receive “Family Foundations.”
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The Couple to Couple League (CCL) is an international, Catholic, non-profit organization dedicated to teaching Natural Family Planning (NFP) to married and engaged couples. This news article is sponsored by the Chicago chapter of CCL International.