Ten Questions with Fertility Expert Emma Cannon + A Summer Soup
Emma Cannon is a fertility and women’s health expert, but her message and reach extend far beyond the medical. She believes in more than the literal meaning of fertility, and she extends this concept into the whole of life. Her amazing TED talk addressed the idea that we can all be more fertile in our ideas, attitudes and lives, whether we want a baby or not. She is a registered acupuncturist, has over twenty years in clinical practice, has helped countless couples conceive and is one of the kindest souls I’ve had the luck to meet. Here we discuss her philosophy and she shares a recipe for a delicious summer soup.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Scrambled eggs and smoked haddock
What’s your earliest food memory?
Kippers that my lovely dad ( long dead ) use to cook on a Saturday morning
Tell us about the Emma Cannon clinic
It’s busy and there is a constant stream of couples wanting to conceive , or women wanting to sort their menstrual issues out. We offer holistic fertility advice, medical referrals, first line fertility testing, acupuncture and nutritional advice.
You talk a lot about nourishment in your practice. Can you explain a bit more about what you mean by this? How important do you think food is to nourishing oneself?
Food is the first form of nourishment we receive from our mothers. But we also receive nourishment through love, connection , happiness , balance and many other ways. So many people are over committed, over working , strung out, over exercised – their ability to be nourished and to receive nourishment have become greatly reduced. We have become obsessed with doing and have lost the ability to receive.
For you, fertility sounds like much more than the ability to conceive a child. Why do you think fertility is an important part of everyday life? Is it a mindset?
I feel we need to get some balance back in our lives. My pillars of fertile are flexibility, creativity, nourishment, transformation and belief.
I think to be fertile is more than just the ability to have a child – it is the ability to be abundant , fruitful and prolific
What’s the biggest misconception about fertility?
That it’s easy to conceive.
We were not designed to conceive easily . Compared to other species we spend a long time bringing up our children. So when it takes a bit of time couples panic – it can take time.
Does our happiness affect our ability to conceive?
Well there is no evidence on this, but I believe when we are happy we produce brain chemicals that tell the body it’s safe to conceive. Stress has the opposite effect.
Are there any patients you’ve treated that have had a particularly strong impact on you?
Oh yes all the time, I learn from my patients everyday. And yes there are some really amazing people from whom I have learnt and been inspired by their strength or dignity
What do you eat when you get home after a long day (or evening) at work?
Usually home made soup, made with chicken stock and vegetables, usually topped with a dollop of sour cream a drizzle of cold pressed oil and a sprinkle of dukkah. I tend to eat lightly in the evening and eat a bigger breakfast or lunch
What’s next for you?
I never create anything new from June until Sept. I believe it’s important to let the energy of what you have created since Sept come in! I think the summer is about doing things and not having things to do. So honestly for the next 4 months I’m going to do a lot less creating. Creation time will come again in Sept. I’m not a machine :)) And I think living with the cycle of the year helps.
ROASTED BEETROOT + POMEGRANATE SOUP
1 red onion, finely chopped
6 small beetroots
large handful of mint, roughly shredded
½ tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
the seeds from 4 green cardamom
500ml vegetable stock
juice ½ freshly squeezed pomegranate
pomegranate seeds, to serve
creme fraiche, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200cC/Gas mark 7. Lightly rinse the beetroot to remove dirt and pat them dry. Line a baking tray with a parchment paper and place the beetroot inside. Drizzle over olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold up the paper to encase the beetroot and roast for around an hour or until the beetroot is tender. Set aside and when cool peel and roughly chop.
Gently sauté the onions for 10 minutes until soft and translucent, add the turmeric, cardamom seeds, coriander and ginger and stir well. Add the beetroot and freshly squeezed pomegranate before adding the chicken stock. Puree the soup until smooth and reheat gently. Season and serve with a spoonful of crème fraiche and pomegranate seeds.