Kate Potvin: Fertility Coach & Yoga Teacher on the
Power of Gratitude, Eating Fat, and Yoga in Fertility
September Burton: [00:00:10] So, Kate is a fertility and conception coach. She helps women to balance their hormones and lifestyle to support healthy conception. That’s really fascinating. Can you just give us a quick intro about what that means?
Kate Potvin: [00:00:22] Yeah. So I really believe in. Mind body connection. And the ways that, that, our mind has an impact on our physical health and vice versa, the way that, how we treat our bodies and our health impacts our mood and our ability to be resilient and function through a challenge. So a lot of my coaching is really based on, that idea. I have a background in health coaching, some nutrition stuff, but also positive psychology. So I really draw on a lot of those things to help women not only improve their physical health for conception, but also deal with the challenges that come with struggling to conceive. that sort of roller coaster of emotions and those ups and downs. I do a lot of work to help women really face those challenges and find more resilience on their journey.
September Burton: [00:01:13] So is that basically a summary of what a fertility coach means? Or at least what it means to you?
Kate Potvin: [00:01:18] Yes. That’s, that’s kind of a summary of what I do with my clients.
September Burton: [00:01:23] Okay. How exactly do you work with your clients?
Kate Potvin: [00:01:25] So I do some online programs and small group coaching, but a lot of what I do is one-on-one work. So I will work with a client. We’ll meet every week for usually three to six months. And we’ll work on different lifestyle factors, whether that’s, diet, managing things like stress, improving their sleep and digestion, also helping them, with those emotional challenges, I might give them, kind of journaling exercises, things like that to help them work through some of that emotional stuff that comes up along the way too.
September Burton: [00:01:57] What can you do as a fertility coach to help with some of those emotions that these couples go through?
Kate Potvin: [00:02:03] Yeah. Well, a lot of what I do is help women really sit down and think about, what their fears are, what things are most challenging for them emotionally. Sometimes it’s, that fear of having a miscarriage, if they’ve had one before or sometimes it’s, that fear that deep down, they’re not good enough to be a mother, things like that. So I actually help clients dig deep and unearth some of those maybe unspoken or unacknowledged things that are lurking in the background. And then we work through them. We chat about them in our sessions. And like I said, I have them sometimes do journaling exercises and sometimes I, create meditations and things like that for them to do between sessions, to just help them acknowledge and sit with those things. And then, to move through them through things like gratitude practice and finding, joy and positivity in small ways, that they can. And sometimes, the big things are very difficult, but we can find those small pieces of joy in our lives. And that helps us balance some of that negative stuff that goes on.
September Burton: [00:03:12] Wow. I love that. I found that too, that a lot of times, when women are struggling to get pregnant, it’s things, fears like I was abused as a child and I don’t want to be an abusive mother.
Kate Potvin: [00:03:21] Exactly.
September Burton: [00:03:22] One woman was, she couldn’t get pregnant before her older sister and her older sister hadn’t gotten married yet. And so it’s amazing how those mental blocks can prevent conception really quite phenominal. So tell us a little bit about your background and your training.
Kate Potvin: [00:03:38] I am trained as a health coach. I trained at the Institute of integrative nutrition. My philosophy on nutrition is that there is not one right way, but rather every body is unique and individual. So my goal is to help women listen to their bodies and figure out what foods are nourishing and things like that. And then I also have a certification in positive psychology that I did through the whole being Institute. And I also have done I’m a yoga teacher as well. So my background is in yoga and I’ve done some yoga for fertility trainings and I teach classes as well. So I kind of really weave together all these different threads to create a holistic coaching program for each individual client.
September Burton: [00:04:22] I love it. So tell me a little bit about why you actually decided to focus on fertility. Cause you’ve got so many different certifications that could have taken you in other directions. Why did you choose fertility?
Kate Potvin: [00:04:32] Yes, for sure. Well, I kind of been just working as a general health coach. I’ve always been most interested in women’s health and obviously that mental piece in positive psychology had been a big interest of mine too. So I was doing kind of more life and health coaching, more broader general sense. And one of my friends was really struggling to get pregnant and she asked me, what she could do to help increase her odds of getting pregnant. and that kind of sent me, doing more research, thinking more about this. And what I found was that there, yeah, there’s a real lack in that area in terms of support for women. Struggling with fertility. And it just felt like a place where I could really be of service, a place where more resources and support were needed. And it just seemed like a way to tie all of these skills and trainings I had together. And once I started working with a couple of people in that space, it just, it felt really natural and it felt like what I was called to do so.
September Burton: [00:05:30] That’s awesome. Can you tell anybody a little bit of maybe a tip or two about positive psychology? What can they do to help improve their mindset? And then maybe, one or two yoga poses that help improve fertility and why?
Kate Potvin: [00:05:42] So some of my favorites, positive psychology, Tools are, gratitude is a really big one. we talk a lot about gratitude, in the last few years it’s become a more mainstream thing to talk about, but I think sometimes we don’t talk about it in the right way. I think gratitude, isn’t just about the big things that we feel like we’re supposed to feel grateful for, like. Your partner or having a nice house or food on the table or whatever, but gratitude is really about what you feel in the moment. And sometimes you don’t feel grateful for partner or, whatever is going on, but you might feel really grateful if you pause and notice this beautiful sunset right in front of you as you’re driving home from work. Or maybe you’re really grateful for these fresh strawberries that you’re eating that are so delicious and in season. And so gratitude is really a practice of noticing and appreciating in the moment. and I find that that. Allows us to like build up this ability to find appreciation wherever we are, even in the face of hardship or challenge, we’re able to find those small nuggets of things that we can appreciate, even if they’re as simple as those strawberries or sunset, it’s still something that boosts our mood and takes us out of that downward spiral, even just for a moment. And I think that that’s, really, really powerful.
September Burton: [00:07:07] I think that even just for a moment is incredibly important.
Kate Potvin: [00:07:10] Yes, for sure.
September Burton: [00:07:12] I love, Oprah Winfrey has said in the past that gratitude was the biggest life changer for her and I think it’s so true. I think it’s so true. Yeah. And then Eckhart Tolle, he talks a lot about, there’s the book, The Power of Now and in that book, he just talks about how right now is really the only thing that matters and as long as everything is okay, right in the second and if you close your eyes and just breathe for a second, it is okay. Yes. And so that completely changes your brain hormones and things like that. So I think that’s where the big change comes in and the lasting effects.
Kate Potvin: [00:07:40] For sure. I had a teacher and she says that 90% of stress comes from not being in this present moment. It’s either worrying about the past that you can’t change or worrying about the future that you can’t control. And when you’re able to let go of those things and just be in this moment, things often seem a little easier.
September Burton: [00:08:00] It’s powerful. Okay. So can you share one or two yoga poses?
Kate Potvin: [00:08:04] Kind of hard without demonstrating, but one that I really love is called legs up the wall. You can just lay with your back on the floor. If you have, a wall or a bookcase or just something you can elevate your legs against so that you’re kind of making an L shape. And, this is a really great pose. I recommend, you can stay in it for 10 or 15 minutes, set a timer and just allow your body to relax. Some people kind of drift a little bit towards sleep, or, if you’re kind of hyper aware or stressed out, you can just focus on your breathing. but this is a really great pose to kind of bring some extra blood flow into your pelvic region. most of us spend a lot of our days sitting and so, just sitting posture can cut off some of that blood flow to our hips and things like that. so this is a really nice counter pose to our daily life. And I find that just taking 10 or 15 minutes in this pose also helps our nervous system slow down and relax a little bit. So, that’s one of my favorite poses, super easy to do, on your own. So give that a try.
September Burton: [00:09:09] Awesome. I love it. Thank you. So, what are the most important things that you believe that women can do to support their own fertility?
Kate Potvin: [00:09:16] One of the biggest things, yes, things is learning to listen to your own body. And this is something I work with my clients a lot on, because I really believe that our bodies are constantly giving us feedback and information about what they need and the ways in which. Somethings a little bit off, or they’re unhappy. We’re really not taught to listen to those cues from a very young age we’re taught to ignore those things and turn them off and just fight through, even things like our menstrual cycles as women. Right? We just kind of deal with symptoms like cramps, and pain, PMS, and we’re just told to suck it up and deal with it. but really those are all signs of feedback from our body telling us that our hormones are a little bit off or our body’s unhappy about something. And so learning to really listen and pay attention is I think one of the most important things that women can do to know when something’s off, you might notice that certain foods make you feel, not good or mess with your digestion, or, you might notice that things like sugar make you feel depressed after you eat them and these are all really important things that I think once we really pay attention. We start to shift our behavior. Like it’s one thing for me to tell a client, don’t eat sugar, it’s bad for you, but if my client starts to pay attention to how sugar makes her feel, and she’s like, Oh my gosh, I feel really crappy after I eat a candy bar, then she is more likely to change that behavior. And so I really think that this, this learning to listen process is really the most important thing we can do as women to support our bodies and our fertility.
September Burton: [00:10:55] Well, I think one of the things that’s really, really important about what you’re saying is in our society, I believe that women have been taught after they conceive and become mothers that, they don’t have mother’s intuition that that’s just sort of a, kind of thing. It’s not real. However, listen, learning to listen to your body, be into and be in the moment is going to help you so much as a mother. Yeah, much, much better mother and much, much more in tune with your children. So the more in tune you are with yourself, the more in tune you’re going to be able to be with them. And so I think it’s really, really important that we start. Refocusing on intuition and how important that really is.
Kate Potvin: [00:11:31] For sure. And I like to encourage my clients to, I think about mothering themselves. before you are a mother, you have to, learn how to really care for listened to and nurture, your own body and I think that that’s really, really key.
September Burton: [00:11:45] Can you give us a few, maybe nutrition tips, what women can do as far as food is concerned to improve their own fertility, or maybe what they can stop eating or start eating either way.
Kate Potvin: [00:11:55] Yeah. really basic things I encourage women to do are, to add more vegetables into their diet, in a wider variety. Most of us, myself included often get stuck in a rut where we eat the same handful of vegetables every week. yeah, it is easy to do for sure. So kind of diversifying, adding more greens, more veggies into your diet is a super big one. And then I also really encourage women to be really careful with our blood sugar. So, making sure that they’re eating three full meals a day, I know sometimes as women on the go, we like grab a snack here or there, and that can pass with your blood sugar and it’s spiking and crashing all day. And that is not helpful for hormones. So I make sure my clients right, eating three meals a day with plenty of protein and fat. And then I, I encourage women to cut back on things like sugar and alcohol, and then to pay attention to other common food triggers things like dairy, gluten, they’re fine for some women, but for some women they do cause. digestive problems and, can be contributing to other things. So, having women really pay attention and maybe cut out other potential food triggers, if they are bothering them. Is sort of where I start with clients. And then, depending on how you’re feeling and things like that, we might make some other tweaks, but that’s where I like to start with clients.
September Burton: [00:13:18] Awesome. You mentioned fat being important and fat was demonized in the eighties in this country. A lot of people still have that mindset, unfortunately. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of fat?
Kate Potvin: [00:13:29] Yes, for sure. Yeah. For those of us who grew up in the eighties and the nineties fat was like a big, no, no, I know for me growing up, I basically, was raised on. No, or low fat, everything. But fat is super, super essential. It’s really important for your brain health. Your brain does not function well without fats. And it’s really important for a lot of body systems and for your hormones in order for your hormones to be in balance, like I said, your blood sugar has to stay level, which fat is an important, piece of, all these body systems work together. Nothing is it’s own entity. And so when we throw one thing off by, you know, removing a whole major food group, like fat, it kind of just creates this cascade effect and we take out fat that, lots of things are very carb heavy or replace them with sugar. And so, you’re getting those blood sugar spikes and crashes, which is really detrimental to overall hormone health. So I really encourage women to make sure that they’re getting good fats in every meal. And I really encourage a lot of plant fats. So things like nuts and seeds, coconut is a great source of fat coconut oil, coconut milk, and then things like avocados and small amounts of animal fat too. but I do encourage women to really add in a lot of those plant fats to you be part of a really healthy and balanced diet and fat does not make you fat. It’s contrary to that good old nineties information. So fat will not make you fat, but it is essential and it keeps you full longer, which often means you end up eating a little bit less.
September Burton: [00:15:07] So let’s talk a little bit about types of fat, because there are a lot of fats out there that you should not be eating vegetable oils and things like that.
Kate Potvin: [00:15:15] Yes. I agree with that. Yes. Yes. Vegetable oils, canola oil, anything fried is not a good source of fat. basically, I try to have my clients avoid any kind of processed fat. So if it comes in a wrapper or a package, That’s not good fat and yeah, if you’re cooking or baking, I know, canola oil and vegetable oils were really popular butter substitute for awhile, and those are not good sources of fat for your body. So I would advocate butter over that. You can also use coconut oil and things like that. Olive oil is, is a good option as well, but yeah, I really avoid those. Those vegetable oils, those fried foods and things like that. And then animal fats are good at are fine in small quantities, but try not to have bacon for six meals a day.
September Burton: [00:16:07] I hope nobody is doing that. One other thing that you mentioned about fat was you talked about brain health. And one of the things that I’d like to point out is that we’re also talking about the brain health of your infant. And, that’s incredibly important for having an intelligent child.
Kate Potvin: [00:16:23] Yes, it is. And once you do get pregnant, making sure you’re having those healthy fats is so important for the development of your baby, their brain function and things like that. So yeah, this is a great time to really get in the habit and routine of eating those healthy fats.
September Burton: [00:16:41] Awesome. Thank you. So you also teach yoga classes here in Colorado Springs. And where can people get those classes? Where can, where do they find you?
Kate Potvin: [00:16:51] So I teach regular public classes at root center for yoga, and then I do a fertility yoga sessions. Well, I do like six to eight week sessions that, students pre-register for. so you can find that information on my website for upcoming sessions, KatePotvin.com. And I also have some online classes on yoga studio app yoga for fertility classes that you can do from home, on your own as well.
September Burton: [00:17:15] That was good. Okay. My next question is what if somebody doesn’t live in Colorado Springs? Where can they find you?
Kate Potvin: [00:17:20] Yes, it’s a yoga studio app. You can download it for Android or iPhone. And I’ve got four, yoga classes, two meditations on there, so you can practice those.
September Burton: [00:17:30] Awesome. I love
Kate Potvin: [00:17:31] Check out my website. It’s KatePotvin.Com. And there, you can find all the information about my coaching. if you want to work with me. Any online programs I have running. and then the up to date yoga information will be on my website as well. And there you can connect with me on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook as well. If that’s your jam, there are lots of ways to connect with me. And I love to hear from women, hear what challenges you’re dealing with and things like that. that helps me know what, what women are dealing with and, the ways in which I can serve.
September Burton: [00:18:06] Okay. And really quickly, just, I’m going to spell that out just in case anybody missed it, that’s KatePotvin.com. So they can find you on Facebook, the web, do you run classes as like a class thing so that they can only get in at specific times, or do you have an ongoing program available for people? How does that work?
Kate Potvin: [00:18:27] I have a couple of small online kind of self study programs that you can grab on my website, but then larger programs, like small group coaching and things like that. I run, a couple times a year. So there’s always, information on my website about when those are starting up and how you can register.
September Burton: [00:18:44] Awesome. Thank you so much, Kate.
Kate Potvin: [00:18:46] You’re welcome. This was so great talking to you September. Thank you.
About Kate Potvin
Kate Potvin is a certified health coach that combines her training in health coaching, positive psychology, and yoga to offer holistic fertility coaching sessions, group workshops, and online programs. Her focus is on the mind-body connection and using that connection to create healthy body. As her site emphasizes, fertility is about more than just getting pregnant.
Links to Check Out