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The Weekly Spread

I had my iron level checked during my "adult-well-child-checkup" on Friday (also known as an annual physical). I give blood a few times a year, and started taking iron supplements a few months ago because I was feeling tired, and thought I was probably anemic. While the lab work didn't show anemia, it did show that I have low iron stores, which indicates that I probably was anemic before I started taking iron.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that everyone needs a checkup, every year. I eat a very healthy, balanced diet, but it looks like I need to start including better sources of iron. Beans and dark leafy greens are a good source of iron, but I'm not absorbing enough to make up for the losses from giving blood. Iron in red meat is easier for the body to absorb, so I'll start eating more of that. I'll use lean red meat so I don't increase my cholesterol while trying to fix my iron. I will also continue to take supplements.

The topic of iron is also important for babies and young children. Iron is required for growth, and it's easy for kids to become anemic. It's important to make sure your child is getting enough iron. Iron in high amounts can be toxic, so it is not recommended to give your child supplements unless you know that they need them. The only way to know what's needed is to check in with your doctor at your child's well child checkup.

Do you have questions about iron deficiency and the best food sources of iron? You can read more here, and here, or you can email me and I will happily answer any questions you have!

Thanks for reading! Here's my iron rich menu for the week:

Monday: ground elk* stroganoff + spinach salad + oranges (i won't put peas in it, I don't like peas in things)

Tuesday: cooking class! Chicken Noodle soup + green salad + crackers + grapefruit

Wednesday: Taco soup + chips + mango smoothie (

Thursday: Spaghetti with meat sauce + green beans + canned applesauce

(ground beef + ragu simple jarred sauce...because it has less sugar than other kinds)

Friday: Homemade pizza topped with artichokes, spinach, pepperoni and pesto!

(i use whole wheat frozen dough from winco)

Saturday: elk* stew + whole wheat bread + any fruit I can find in the house

(my husband will make this for us)

*My husband is a hunter, that's why I have elk. It is equivalent to 99% lean ground beef or lean stew meat. If you don't eat meat, you can use lentils/beans or leave out the meat!

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