Hi! Personal update - weight 125 pH 4.5. I managed to take off another pound, but just got my 3rd negative pregnancy test in a row, we’ve been trying for three months now and nothing, so it‘s hard to feel encouraged. I am going to have to read the writing on the wall here and turn to either vitex or a visit to the doctor’s office for medication to restore my cycles…I hadn’t wanted to do either of these things because I felt it would destroy the test of the Trivers Willard hypothesis, but I simply have to get pregnant as soon as possible due to my age. That having been said, I do believe that if I was not breastfeeding while doing the weight loss, I would be pregnant right now, and I remain convinced that if you are not breastfeeding, weight loss and vegetarian, carb based diet, is the best way to sway pink.
Ok, so now we know that there is real science behind swaying. We may not know exactly how or why it all works, but it looks very likely that it is a real possibility that we can sway our odds towards having a boy or a girl. So let’s turn our eye towards the practicalities of swaying, and envision our sway taking this information into account. (I am including both boy and girl sways in this post. I really recommend you read both, not only to see what not to do, but also to see how this meshes with your previous diet and lifestyle, and the gender outcome of your children. Please don‘t hesitate to let me know if something I have advised was not true for you.)
Before we begin, I did want to touch upon one area where there seems to be a bit of misunderstanding. A vegetarian diet does not, in any way, guarantee you a daughter or prevent you from having a son. The Trivers Willard hypothesis, and all the theories based upon it, are based on the idea that moms in the best physical condition and with the most ample resources will have more sons, and vice versa. Since a balanced vegetarian diet with a lot of quality protein (particularly nuts, eggs, and beans) tends to be very healthy, it is totally possible to have all sons on a vegetarian diet. After all, if there was a single dietary factor that always produced children of only one gender, the human race would have died out long ago. Our bodies are just more complicated than that.
After doing a lot of reading, it seems to me that there are actually two different ttc girl diets for different body chemistry. Remember, I am not any kind of expert, and this is in no way a guarantee. This is just what seems to make the most sense to me based on what I have read about the human body and the science being done. If the traditional ttc girl sway works for you, a lot of people have gotten good results with it, and as my grandma used to say, "don't mess with success!" But if it failed for you before, if you have struggled with filling out the paperwork, sticking to the very limited diet, if the supplements are making you sick, if you aren't getting pregnant, or your husband is not willing to do any kind of swaying, then you may be looking to try something new.
Diet 1 - “The Crash and Burn TTC Girl Diet” There is an old wives' tale that says, “Eat sweets to conceive girls”. And it turns out there may be something to this - Dr. Shettles and his colleagues observed that glucose is definitely present in CM and it rises in most people as ovulation approaches…possibly another reason why timing and a Trivers-Willard based ttc diet might go hand in hand. But wait - doesn't a high glucose environment sway blue? Then how could eating sweets lead to more girl babies?
Remember, researchers lowered blood sugar in rats by feeding them nothing but sugar. This is because when you eat a lot of sweets and simple carbs that elevate your blood glucose levels, your body releases insulin and your blood sugar drops.
If you believe you have a good insulin response and are not insulin resistant, the best way to go might be to skip breakfast, and eat a carb-based, low protein, low fat vegetarian diet of no more than 2,000 calories per day, where the majority of calories come in the form of quicker burning, higher GI (glycemic index) carbs. Your blood sugar will spike after you eat, but then after your body releases a big burst of insulin, your blood sugar level will drop much lower than it was before. After your blood sugar drops, you should wait to eat again until you are good and hungry, so your blood sugar is low for as many hours out of the day as possible.
By quicker burning carbs, I mean mostly white carbs such as rice, pasta, white bread, and enough fruits and vegetables to hold it all together - don‘t load up too much on fruits and vegetables, as they have a wide array of nutrients and you are trying to follow a nutrient-poor diet. You should eat carbs and fruits/vegies alone if possible - for example, rather than eating a chicken breast, rice, and a salad, just eat the rice and salad. Any time you eat carbohydrates with protein/fat, it slows down your insulin response. However, be sure to eat a small amount of healthy fats on a daily basis (30 grams of fat is a good target), up your fat intake during the 2ww, and if you’re breastfeeding, you should definitely eat a reasonable amount of fat every day (minimum 70 grams). The vast majority of fats you consume should be of plant origin rather than animal. And you can indulge in occasional sweets, as long as they have little protein (no Snickers bars).
If you do choose to eat dairy or vegetable based proteins, you should try to eat them alone whenever you can, without a side dish of carbs to elevate your blood sugar. Your blood sugar will stay higher longer after you eat proteins, but it will not elevate as high as if you ate carbs and protein together.
The drawbacks to this diet are many. First of all, it’s unhealthy to eat like this for very long. Your body needs a certain amount of protein (white carbs have very little protein), good fats, and fiber. Having a lot of insulin floating around your system is not good for you. The lack of protein and excess insulin may even reduce your fertility. It is also tough to stick to, because once your blood sugar crashes, you will get very hungry, suffer from cravings, and possibly have headaches and jitters. It is also very easy to go over 2000 calories a day if you are not very careful.
If you are anything less than 100% committed, it is really tough to follow this diet. Also, if you are insulin resistant, if you have had gestational diabetes, or have a family history of diabetes, following this diet is a terrible idea…aside from the health aspects, if your body is not sensitive to insulin, your blood sugar will stay high and keep you in the higher-glucose boy zone.
That having been said, I do think that this diet coupled with weight loss, is the best way to sway pink, especially if you are very fertile, don’t have a lot of weight to lose, and trying for a short term sway of only a couple of months. It will totally acidify you, it is lacking in nutrients, and the lack of protein will lower your testosterone. Even though your blood sugar will be on the high side after you eat, it will drop quickly and the majority of the hours out of the day, your blood sugar levels will be low. And it will do all these things without your having to lose a lot of weight to do so - if you only have 5-10 extra pounds to spare, it is better to get as acid as possible as quickly as possible for TTC a girl.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, it might be advisable to lose 90% of your weight on a healthier diet, and then switch to this diet in the month or two before you begin ttc. That way, you’re still losing weight but your body will not be suffering as much.
Diet 2 - “The Slow Burn TTC Girl Diet” If you have are breastfeeding, have health issues such as insulin resistance, suffer from diminished fertility, if you know you don’t respond well to being hungry between meals, or if you have a significant amount of weight to lose before you TTC, then slow and steady is the better way to go. You are still aiming for a vegetarian, low protein, low fat diet of 2000 calories or less per day. Skipping breakfast is at your discretion, if you really find that you can’t function without eating, it won’t ruin your sway totally to eat a little something, but if you can go without it, I think skipping breakfast is best for pink.
In this version of the diet, you are still focusing on carbs and vegetables, but you should seek out whole grains and vegetables that are lower on the glycemic index. Your meals should be somewhat more balanced and if you would like, you can eat reasonable amounts of dairy and plant-based sources of protein with your carbs - you want your blood sugar to stay very even. It will never drop as low as it would if you ate just the refined carbs, but at the same time, it will never rise as high, either.
You should stay far away from any kinds of sugar and sweets, even fruits should be avoided. Since you will not be releasing as much insulin, if your blood sugar rises, it will stay moderately high for longer periods of time.
This is actually a pretty healthy diet and because of this, it has the potential to sway for blue. But for anyone who has a lot of weight to lose, you just can’t be on the Crash and Burn diet for as long as it will take you to lose the weight, because it’s not healthy. Luckily, it seems likely that losing a larger amount of weight will acidify you and lower your testosterone so much that it will make up for the difference. It actually might help improve fertility for some people, especially if you eat full fat dairy 3 times a day. And for anyone who is living with chronic health conditions or is breastfeeding, this diet is a much better choice for you.
For both diets - On both versions of the diet, you should try to eat less protein than you usually do. Americans eat too much protein as it is. Nuts and eggs especially are to be avoided like the plague, they are so good at raising testosterone levels that bodybuilders eat them. I do believe that eating dairy is a good idea, for the fertility benefits and because that is what the traditional TTC girl diet encourages, and there could very well be something to that. Beans have both carbs and protein, so eat them sparingly.
The jury is still out on the safety of eating large amounts of soy during pregnancy. Personally, I do eat soy occasionally because I like it, but I don’t think anyone should be eating it three meals a day or taking soy isoflavones, especially when they’re ttc a baby of either gender. Even though soy can lower testosterone levels, it just isn’t worth the risk at this point, until more research has been done.
A great thing to take from the traditional TTC girl diet is avoiding salt. The Oxford study found that avoiding salt did tend to sway pink, and since we don’t know what mechanisms exactly are affecting our sway, it seems wise to avoid salt. We’re pushing our bodies enough as it is, and salt is unhealthy, so best to avoid it as much as we can.
In terms of supplements, I truly think that since your body will very likely become quite acid from the diet alone, that taking Vitamin C and cranberry is not necessary. You will be adding additional nutrients to your system, and remember, fewer nutrients = more girls. And it is possible to be too acid to conceive.
Crystal Light may be a welcome addition to either diet when you’re losing weight, but then again, it also might acidify you too much. I think the best bet is to keep a close eye on your pH, and if it seems to fall very low just from dieting alone, then there’s no reason to drink the Crystal Light…personally, I don’t think it’s the greatest idea in the world to drink a bunch of fake sugar when you’re trying to conceive.
I think it’s probably wise to do the cal-mag tablets since the mineral balancing might have some effect, and of course you should continue to take your prenatal vitamin and I would advise taking a bit extra folic acid and Vitamin D as well, since your diet will be on the unbalanced side. I also am a fan of the Enfamil Lipil DHA vitamins…your unborn baby will need DHA for brain development, and if you are breastfeeding, you should definitely be taking in plenty of DHA. The DHA comes from a plant source, so even though it‘s an added nutrient, it may not affect your sway. You may also want to take the acidophilus, because this diet is very yeast friendly…though yeast can sway pink in some people, it tends to wreak havoc with your pH, so it’s probably best to give your body some friendly microbes. I have also heard good things about the herb vitex for ttc a girl.
Caffeine intake is at your discretion. I know tons of women with all girls who are total caffeine junkies, and the Oxford study found no correlation between caffeine and babies of either gender. In fact, drinking caffeine on an empty stomach actually causes your blood sugar to spike and then drop, so it might be helpful especially in the Crash and Burn diet. I start my day with tea.
If you choose to exercise, stick with straight cardio. Exercising a lot (1-2 hours a day) coupled with weight loss is great, but it can affect your fertility, so don’t overdo it to the point where your menstrual cycle is affected. Unless you are able to exercise and lose weight at the same time, it may be better not to exercise at all, especially if you are big into exercise. A woman who is in very good shape to begin with will really have to exercise to extremes to sway pink; it very likely would be better for her to shock her body into lowering testosterone by giving up exercise suddenly while losing weight. (Doing the opposite of what you’ve been doing may lead to a different outcome.) You want to lower that testosterone by shrinking muscle mass, whether it’s through losing weight + exercise, or by losing weight + not exercising at all.
As for timing and douches, for the best possible sway, if you are very fertile and your husband is cooperative, keep the timing with a 1-2 day cutoff, but lose the douches. The douches are one thing that seems to freak out many of our husbands. Even Shettles dropped the douches from his regimen and continued to get good results. And since we are acidifying our bodies and CM from the inside out, it seems like the douching is just plain overkill…we will be washing away our nice CM that will help us conceive. However, if you know you are less fertile or begin having trouble conceiving, it makes sense to BD through O, when we will have more alkaline and plentiful CM. Since our CM will likely be more acidic due to our diets, and less in quantity as our testosterone levels drop, then we may actually need to BD through O, because not even the x sperm may be able to survive in a very acid, low CM environment.
Personally, I choose not spend my day filling out endless paperwork and obsessively taking my temperature…if you are doing this anyway as part of FAM, that’s great, and of course you should use every bit of information at your disposal. But IMHO for most people, the paperwork aspect of the timing is too complicated and stressful, and it may even raise testosterone levels to have the pressure of dealing with it on a day to day basis. Not only that, but it seems to rob our sex lives of any kind of pleasure and romance, and annoys our husbands to no end when they are made to feel like stud dogs - especially if they do not share the same gender dream as we do.
The same holds true for positioning, jump and dump, and no female orgasm…give them all a try, but if you find you are not getting pregnant, then you may be too acid and actually need your CM to be a bit more alkaline to conceive at all, so you will need that little boost of alkaline CM that your body produces when you have an orgasm. And you may need to assist the sperm just a bit by a deeper position and lying still after BD, after all they have to get through much more hostile conditions. From the psychological aspect, anything that can take the stress out of the equation and make the entire experience enjoyable for us and our DH, will help lower our testosterone levels.
Unfortunately, there is no one size, fits all when it comes to swaying. Each person’s body is slightly different, and you have to know your own body, do a little guesswork and experimentation, and see what seems to work best for you.
A caveat - I have never checked my pH when I was following a boy-style diet. But I was definitely eating these types of foods when I conceived all three of my sons, and according to my research, this type of diet will raise testosterone, raise pH, and increase female sex drive and CM. However, you should definitely monitor your pH to see if it begins to become more alkaline while on this diet, and use timing and female orgasm to guarantee that your CM will be at its most alkaline when you ttc your son.
The TTC boy diets are much less complicated than the girl diet, even though there are three of them. You may want to read the TTC girl section just so you know what not to do and why.
The “Bulk Up for a Boy” diet - This is the best diet choice if you are naturally on the slim side and you want a son. Eat a lot, of everything - we‘re talking above 2200 calories a day and the more, the better. High carb, high protein, high fat. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and as wide an array of nutrients as you can. Keep your blood sugar consistently elevated by eating three meals a day plus snacks, including protein at every meal.
Eggs and/or meat should be eaten every day, make sure they are well seasoned with salt. Not only is high salt intake part of the traditional ttc boy sway, but the Oxford study found a correlation between high salt and boy births. Remember that old wives tale about eating sweets for girls that I mentioned earlier? Well, the second part of the tale is, “Eat sours for boys.” And what are sours, exactly? Pickles - which, back in the days before Heinz pickling vinegar, were made by fermenting vegetables in salty brine.
Another fascinating old wives tale is, “More boys are born in the year after a good nut harvest.” Nuts are known to raise testosterone and also have a great balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate that will keep your blood sugar nice and perfect for a long time after you eat them. Have an afternoon snack of nuts every day. Fish twice a week without fail. I know this is not part of the traditional sway, but I believe you should eat full fat dairy and lots of it - enjoy whole milk, cheese on everything, and yogurt with berries for snacks. (I eat tons of dairy and I have three sons, and remember the Oxford study found that higher calcium intake = more boys. )
If you are very thin, I would not do cardio at all. Focus on lifting weights instead. (see below)
The “Slim Down for a Boy” diet - If you are a bit on the heavy side to start with and you don’t want to gain weight but would still like to have a son, it makes sense to try a modified Atkins diet approach. Try to eat as many calories as you can without gaining weight - at least 2200 calories a day. Eat 3 meals a day, with lots and lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean animal proteins, (well-salted, of course) and fill in the gaps with small amounts of whole grains, nuts, and full fat dairy. Do not try and lose weight, because this will acidify you - if you really have a lot to lose, it would be best to lose the weight, take a break, and then regain a few pounds. I would stay on the Atkins-ish diet for at least a month to give your blood sugar levels time to normalize before ttc. (While you are in the 2ww, you should be sure to keep your blood sugar level in the boy zone by eating frequent meals, and be sure to have carbs at every meal to keep your glucose levels high and ensure the development of your male blastocyst.)
Also, exercise is extremely important for you - more so than in the other two ttc boy diet groups. Cardio will really help you to burn off some of the extra calories you will be consuming in the boy diet, so even though your weight will stay the same, you are getting those additional nutrients. And do not forgo the weight training - if you are building muscle, even if your weight stays exactly the same, you will be reducing your body fat. And muscle will also help burn more calories than fat does, even when you’re not exercising. (see below)
The “I’m a Vegetarian but I Want a Boy” diet - Continue your vegetarian diet, with an emphasis on dairy, eggs, beans, and nuts. Eat as wide an array of fruits and vegetables as possible. Limit your soy intake to no more than twice a week (more about soy below). Aim for 2500 calories a day (yes, this is more than the other two diets). In the 2ww be sure to eat frequently and keep your blood sugar on the higher side. And don’t forget the salt!!
Again, if you are thin as many vegetarians are, do not do cardio. Be extra diligent about your weight training, however. (see below)
For all three TTC boy diets - The quality protein contained in nuts, eggs, dairy products, and meat should be eaten as often as you can. Fish is great but of course when we are ttc we should only eat it twice a week due to the mercury. Aim for 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, in a rainbow of different colors - one way to help you remember how many servings you’ve had is to buy 9 cheap rubber bracelets at the dollar store, put them on your left arm when you wake up, and then every time you eat a serving, move a bracelet to your right arm. By bedtime, you should have all your bracelets on your right arm. Bananas are cheap and an excellent source of potassium, and I would definitely eat them every day if I was ttc a boy. I am also a big fan of V8 juice and I drank tons of it before I conceived DS 2 and 3, you can buy it in big packs at Costco and drink at least one a day.
You should be gaining at least a little weight as you conceive - but you don’t have to gain tons of weight. I suspect that 3-5 pounds of muscle mass will make all the difference - however, vegetarians should gain more like 5-7 lbs of muscle before ttc, because they tend to have a bit less muscle mass to begin with. I don’t think you need to begin the weight gain until right before you ttc, but you should begin eating more quality protein and fruits and vegetables in the months before you begin to ttc.
In terms of supplements, take a prenatal vitamin, preferably one that includes minerals in the formulation, and of course your folic acid. I would also take extra Vitamin C, E, D, and calcium (though I know that many people may choose not to take the calcium). There are also pills out there that include micronutrients like lutein, beta carotene, lycopene, etc. Although it is far, far better to get these micronutrients through your food, if you can’t eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, these types of supplements might be worth looking into. If you are a vegetarian, you should take extra Vitamin B12.
I have heard good things about the herb red clover for ttc a boy. I would take the Enfamil Lipil DHA supplements, Evening Primrose oil, and fish oil supplements. But be very careful, because red clover and these essential fatty acids can cause your blood to thin. If you are taking baby aspirin or are at all prone to bleeding or heavy periods, I would skip the red clover and the EPO and take a smaller dose of fish oil.
About soy - many people are taking soy to increase their CM. I think this is a questionable practice. Not only does high intake of soy reduce testosterone levels (swaying pink), but it may even cause birth defects in the genitals of baby boys. I think taking soy is so risky that I won’t even take soy to ttc pink. Soy is powerful stuff - I know we all think that they eat tons of it in Asia so it’s safe, but actually they don’t eat it every day (aside from soy sauce which has undergone a chemical change during fermentation and no one eats much of that anyway). Soy is just one of many things included in the Asian diet, maybe with the frequency that we might eat hot dogs or tacos.
The sound of baking soda water is completely disgusting to me and possibly dangerous, since it is very salty and you‘re already taking in extra sodium…personally this is something I would never do. On the other hand, club soda actually has baking soda in it, and seems like a much more appetizing alternative. Club soda mixed with fruit juice sounds like a very nice way to get one of your fruit servings for the day.
For exercise, I would do cardio for 30-45 minutes a day 3 times a week, and start lifting weights on the other 4 days a week, even if you’ve never done it before. It’s actually very fun and you will not bulk up - the women who get very big are generally taking supplements to help them get like that. There are some excellent exercise videos out there (the ones I have used are by the Firm) that incorporate lighter weights and cardio together for a really good workout that you could do every day, or you could do straight cardio 3 days a week, work your arms with heavier weights 2 days a week and then your legs 2 days a week.
However it works best for you, but don’t over do - don’t lift heavy weights in the same body part every day (though it‘s ok to do toning with light weights every day), and never exercise for more than an hour. Remember, overdoing sways pink. You want moderate exercise, and since you are eating more protein and calories, with moderation you will begin to add muscle, exactly right for raising your testosterone levels. I think that you should exercise this way for at least 6 weeks before you begin to ttc.
For timing and douches, again, I see no reason for the douches. Why risk washing away our own natural CM, when we‘ve worked so hard to get it so plentiful and alkaline? I would go ahead and BD on O, with a female orgasm. This coupled with the change in alkalinity and additional glucose that will be present in our CM, should produce a very nice environment for the y sperm to thrive in. And rather than filling out endless paperwork, I would simply listen to my own body - chances are, when your sex drive goes up, you’re getting ready to ovulate. Take advantage of your increased sex drive and increased CM, rather than feeling tons of pressure to DTD on a specific day at a specific time - nothing takes the romance out of lovemaking than a deadline and an ultimatum. Less romance + more pressure = less enjoyment, less CM, less likely to orgasm. So worrying too much about timing and position may actually hurt our chances of conceiving our son!!
Again, there is no one perfect sway and there are no guarantees. But I truly feel that by knowing your own body and your own life history, and tapping into that using the knowledge of how our bodies might be working to select the gender of child we conceive, we have our best chances.
The Nutshell version - That was a ton of information there, so I will just sum up real quick.
For TTC a girl, you need to trick your body into thinking that times are tough. You should be in worse physical condition, losing weight, losing muscle, and eating the kinds of foods that people tend to eat when they are living in poverty or in famine. Carbs like breads, rice, and pasta, are cheap and so they tend to be eaten by people living in bad situations. People living in hard times also often have to work very, very hard for many hours a day, further eating away at their bodies, so intense exercise helps. Your body should ’think’ that since resources are limited, a daughter should be born, because she will be more likely to grow to maturity and pass down her genes than a boy would be.
For TTC a boy, you need to trick your body into thinking that you are living high on the hog. You should be improving your physical condition by adding a few pounds and by eating a wide variety of healthy and high quality foods like meats, nuts, and fruits and vegetables. You can still eat carbs too, deny yourself nothing (except for soy!!). You will help build up your muscle mass with moderate exercise, further convincing your body that you are a successful and well-off person who can support the greater caloric and nutritional needs that a son will require, if he is to compete for mates against other males.
Whew, that was totally exhausting! As always, I wish everyone the best of luck with swaying!!