By Ro Huntriss, Specialist Fertility Dietitian
Infertility affects 1 in 7 heterosexual couples and with the average childbearing age continuing to grow, the risk of infertility increases further. Although several risk factors for infertility are non-modifiable, such as our age or genetics, there are many modifiable factors that can positively influence fertility including diet and lifestyle. Sometimes people that experience infertility can feel helpless and out of control, but – although diet and lifestyle cannot solve all fertility issues – it can allow people to take charge of something that they are able to control that can influence fertility. For many, it can be the missing piece to the fertility puzzle, increasing the chance of pregnancy, and decreasing the time it takes to get there.
If we haven’t met before, hi! I’m Ro Huntriss, a Specialist Fertility Dietitian based in London, UK. I began to work in the space of fertility nutrition when I became acutely aware of the wealth of misinformation on the topic of fertility nutrition. People were confused, they didn’t know who or what to trust, they were vulnerable. I knew people in this community needed help and a reliable voice so I started devoting my time to establishing and sharing the latest evidence base around this topic to ultimately help people to reach their life-changing goals.
I set up my online practice offering consultations and various digital products alongside my Instagram account @fertility.dietitian.uk but I knew a book was on my bucket list. With the power of a publisher behind you, I knew I would have the opportunity to reach and help so many more people.
Back in 2021, I then received the fateful email asking if I would be interested in authoring the title, which had already been commissioned as part of a series, and of course I said yes! Contract signed March 2022, and here I am, now telling you about my new book, Deliciously Healthy Fertility!
So firstly, let me tell you a little bit about the book, and then, I’ll share details of my book-writing experience which may be useful for any budding authors, or for those who have that same bucket list goal that I did.
Introducing… Deliciously Healthy Fertility
Deliciously Healthy Fertility is a fully researched, evidence-based nutritional guide that lays out the science behind how diet and lifestyle can have a significant impact on fertility, with over 60 delicious, nutritionally balanced recipes to help support fertility for both men and women.
The first chapters break down how nutrition and the foods we eat can influence every aspect of the reproductive journey, for both women and men. Backed by the latest evidence-based research, the book covers the essential nutrients and foods to include in one’s diet to help support conception. Did you know that nutrition can influence egg quality, sperm quality, implantation, miscarriage risk and IVF outcomes? This is in addition to the influential role of nutrition in the management of reproductive conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
In addition to diet, lifestyle factors such as how active we are, how soundly we sleep, and how we manage stress, are all significant parts of the fertility jigsaw. With easy-to-understand nutrition science, infographics and recipes, I hope it will be the perfect resource for those wishing to support their journey to conception and beyond; I also hope, with the pages of references, that it will be a useful resource for healthcare professionals too wanting to learn more about the area.
Tips for budding authors
- If I can write a book, you can too. If you have a passion for a certain area and want to write about it, you can make it happen! Start to research the steps you need to take. Start with a proposal, consider whether you may require an agent, think about the publishers you may want to work with and you could consider working with a mentor who has already gone through the process to help to guide you along the way.
- Ambitious timelines are not uncommon. Many publishers will require a first draft (yes, of the whole thing) in just 2-3 months. Of course, there is plenty of time for refinement but initial turnaround is often quite quick. With this in mind, particularly if you have a full- or part-time job alongside, your time management has to be tip top to fulfil these requirements. If you want to write a book, try to do it when other areas of your life are calm as it will help you to manage it!
- Even though you are the author, a book is very much a team effort. People in your own team (if you have one) may support you to gather research, the editor helps you to piece everything together, there are recipe testers, photographers, shoot directors, PR teams so it’s certainly not a solo project. You may also wish to ask external experts to review certain sections of your book, particularly if they are slightly outside of your core area of expertise – it’s important that what goes out to the public is accurate.
Wrapping things up…
Deliciously Healthy Fertility is out now so do keep it in mind for either your patients, or for yourself if you wish to learn more about the topic.
If fertility nutrition gets you excited and you’d like to incorporate it within your own practice or just expand your knowledge, I also offer a Fertility Nutrition Course for Healthcare Professionals and to celebrate the launch of my book, I’m offering MyNutriWeb readers a discount code of £50 off available until the end of March (Friday 31st March). Use the code ‘MYNUTRIWEB’ at checkout.
If you want to connect, you can find me @fertility.dietitian.uk and @dietitianro on Instagram, or Ro Huntriss on LinkedIn.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and I hope to connect with you soon!