When I was a meat eater I have to confess to telling my vegetarian sister that I thought she should let her children eat meat if they wanted to. I was, I admit, quite blinkered in my thoughts that eating meat had to be part of a healthy diet. It suited me to believe that meat was essential at that time because I loved it. My mindfulness has allowed me to open my mind to new possibilities and to a healthier way of getting everything I need from food.
Since my diagnosis with MS I avoid saturated fat and that means no meat. Other people find my diet difficult to understand and I do get lots of questions, not least from the children! But from the grown ups one of the common questions is where I get my Iron from. This is a really genuine concern and something I have though about for both myself and for Noah, who is only two, and needs all the goodness he can to grow up strong and healthy.
Iron is used to produce red blood cells, which help store and carry oxygen in the blood. If you have fewer red blood cells than is normal, your organs and tissues will not get as much oxygen as they usually would. A lack of Iron can make us feel really quite poorly. People can suffer a loss of energy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and can have a very pale appearance.
The good new is that treatment for iron deficiency is usually just taking iron supplements to boost the low levels of iron in your body. As with most conditions though it is better if you can be aware of the potential problem and be mindful to avoid a deficiency arising.
Being mindful about your diet can really help to make sure that you get all of the vitamins and minerals that you need. Making good decisions about what we buy and then what we eat keeps us well and ensures that our bodies function as well as they can.
So when you are planning your next shopping trip think of putting some iron rich foods in your basket. Don’t necessarily think that this means meat, there are lots of other options.
Here are some of my favourite ways to eat plenty of Iron…
Making Kale chips – put the Kale on a try – add seasoning – cook in a hot oven until crispy – approximately 10 minutes. Much on these with a glass of red wine! However, do beware of the bits in your teeth – keep a tooth pick handy!
Brown Rice – I love to use this to make stuffed peppers – roast some veg on a teflon sheet, mix it in with the rice and some balsamic vinegar and put in side a raw pepper. Further bake in the oven until the outer pepper is cooked, drizzle some flaxseed oil into the pepper once cooked. Perfect as a starter.
Almond Butter with stewed apples – you may have seen me talk of my love for this elsewhere!
Sprinkle some sunflower and pumpkin seeds on a green leaf salad with some Flaxseed oil and balsamic to make a lovely salad. Seeds are a great source of Iron.
Fish, Fish, Fish!
Using dried fruit in my super healthy fruit cake. That’s a story for another blog!
To learn more inventive ways of meeting all your nutritional requirements book onto a Revitalise Day and taste just how amazing and varied nutritional food can be.