Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rx for Steak

Today I went to see my family doc for the results of the first round of blood tests I've been doing, the ones that were to take a general health snapshot and see if I had any red flags. (The next round for hormonal balances and genetic testing is being sent off to the lab as we speak). I'll see my naturopath next week for her take on the results but the initial ones point to a pretty healthy girl but for one deficiency. Iron levels are supposed to be above 40 and mine were at eight. Gulp! So now in addition to what feels like a hundred other supplements I'm taking, twice daily iron pills are on the list. And we ate steak for dinner!
This all got me thinking about how large a role food has played in this whole saga of diagnostics and health snapshots. And it's really pretty fascinating that so many ailments and symptoms can be treated by food.
There's the nut balls (ha!) I've posted about before, that are designed to keep me full of healthy fats and to balance my hormones. There's the warming foods (ginger, chai, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, onion, red meat, some alcohol, soups) that are meant to help my spleen function more efficiently at processing all my nutrients. There's the lemon in my water every morning to help detoxify my liver and help me better absorb the day's nutrients. There's the probiotic yogurt to help keep my gut full of good flora and fauna. There's the one day a week I go dairy-free to give my body a break and get practice at siphoning all my food properly. There's the peppermint tea I drink when my tummy is upset. There's the garlic I mince and red peppers I cut anytime my immune system is weakened.
And then today the knowledge that in addition to iron pills, I need to make a special effort to include more leafy greens and meat in order to reduce fatigue.
Yes, I'm taking supplements for food I could eat from natural sources. But it's not realistic for me to eat low-mercury fish every day. So I take four Omega-3 fish oil pills. And a few other supplements. But the crux of my get-healthy-and-balanced plan is in what I eat.
I admit, I prepare meaty meals maybe 3-4 dinners per week, because meat is expensive. I figured we could get the proteins from beans, eggs, vegetables, etc. And I'm a little iffy about meat whose source I don't know. (I was spoiled with a freezer full of moose meat the last two years before we moved to Whitehorse). But this test result and the reminder that Abby is a growing girl have prompted me to include more meats in our diet. Rich is very happy about this. Notsomuch about the almond milk in the fridge.
And I'm going to keep having fun on Google, researching the nutritionally strongest foods (i.e. the most bang for your buck foods!) so I can continue to eat delicious meals that are nutritionally well-balanced and therapeutic.


  1. I guess I am going to have to bring you some emergency moose meat on my next trip. :)

  2. my parents always cooked me liver and onions when I was feeling run down, still a favorite comfort food of mine. My iron is down too and I eat a lot of leafy greens and red meat 6 times a week but I am also prone to low iron so I feel it coming on and start upping my iron supplements. Together we are going to have to start eating red meat cooked in cast iron pots with a side of spinach.


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