I mentioned in an earlier blog that my hubby & I have been trying to get pregnant for almost 4 years now. We have been going to a fertility clinic for over 2 years and have exhausted every option except for IVF- which is between $10,000 and $12,000. Needless to say- we do not have that much extra money just lying around (especially when we are in the middle of renovations!) so our current plan is to save up for about a year and aim to give IVF a shot next Fall.
The issue for us is me- I have PCOS and severe endometriosis ( which has been thankfully asymptomatic until we started trying to conceive!) Last summer I had surgery to remove as many endometrial adhesions as possible and then received monthly injections to induce “menopause” for 5 months thereafter. Even after all that my CA-125 levels (how they measure active endometriosis) were still double what they should have been. Nevertheless, we gave 2 IUI cycles our best shot but it just wasn’t meant to be. Almost 1 year exactly after the surgery we had a follow-up appointment with our fertility doctor to discuss the next step (IVF) and he suggested running another CA-125 level just to see how much worse it had gotten over the past year and to see if I would have to have surgery or induce menopause again before trying IVF. Miraculously…my CA-125 levels came back COMPLETELY NORMAL! I had changed NOTHING! Except for my exercise & eating habits. Facing infertility for several years had taken a hard toll on me and I had become very depressed and had put on quite a bit of weight and quit exercising. In the couple months leading up to my most recent bloodwork I had begun running regularly with a friend ( doing the couch-to-5k plan) and had cleaned up my diet. This might be completely coincidental- I realize this. But being a very Type-A person the part of infertility I find the hardest is that there is absolutely nothing I can do to fix it. There is no magic cure for infertility and I have a very hard time with something being completely out of my hands. So when I read that cleaning up my diet, exercising regularly and dropping a few pounds might help I decided I would give it 110%.
However….I LOVE FOOD. I love everything about it- cooking it, baking it, shopping for it and mostly EATING it! And now that Fall has definitely arrived what I have been craving most of all in the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. So when I stumbled across a recipe on Pinterest from the blog “Averie Cooks” that showed me how to make a healthier version at home at a fraction of the price ( = more money in the IVF fund!) I couldn’t wait to try it. And let me tell you- it did not disappoint. This homemade version is quick and easy to whip up, much better for you than the Starbucks version and tasted just as good.
Pumpkin Spice Latte At Home
- 1 cup coffee ( I just made a cup in my Tassimo machine)
- 1&1/2 -2 cups milk
- 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice ( I found 1 tsp perfect…2 and the flavor was a little overpowering)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 heaping cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2tsp coconut nectar ( I prefer this sweetener but any will do!)
First make your cup of coffee. Next mix all the other ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and warm it up (either on the stovetop or in the microwave for 2 minutes.) Next pour half the pumpkin mixture into one cup of coffee ( the other half you can share with a friend OR store in the fridge for tomorrow’s treat.) I added a little bit of extra coconut nectar to mine at the end but I’m warning you all I like my coffee sweet. Now go wrap yourself up in a fleece blanket with a good book (or good blog!) and Enjoy!
One warning: On her blog, Averie warns that because this recipe uses real pumpkin puree and not the artificial flavor syrup that Starbucks uses, the puree form a sediment at the bottom of the mug. This does occur but I think the knowledge that the drink contains all real ingredients far outweighs this small inconvenience.