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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

roadnotes said she liked these. I'm glad.

We haven't had meat of any sort since Saturday afternoon, other than fish because of the Nine Days. And we're feeling the lack of iron. (BTW - if any of you full or parttime vegetarians who read this have any tips about getting sufficient dietary iron on such a diet, I'd be interested.) And jonbaker, at least, has been taking his daily iron supplements.

But somehow, after last week and with all the heat, neither of us want beef, either. So. That went into my meal planning.

Whole wheat challah
Chopped liver with red onion
Baked chicken
Spinach kugel
Potato kugel

The same, only cold.

(Not feeling overly ambitious, either - I bought the liver and the potato kugel.)

I've been wanting to serve more appetizers with Shabbat dinner. It makes it nicer.

Soon enough, I'll set the lights, make coffee, shower. I'm taking it easy right now.


I've been a vegetarian for the last 20 years, and I know large numbers of vegetarians, and with the exception of people who congenitally suffer from an iron deficit, I suspect that most of the "feeling the lack of iron" is psychological.

To the best of my knowledge, there's just no basis in biology for it after such a short time.

But hey--spinach is always good.

It's possible that it's psychological. I haven't been craving meat all that much, but with this heat, who would?

Hence the spinach kugel - a special request from the husband, who also didn't want beef tonight.

I hate to say it, but while spinach has a lot of iron, most of it is the type that just passes through the human body.

And I know what you mean about the heat. One night, that appetizers was all we had from the Chinese place. All we were interested in eating.

Most leafy green veggies, like spinach are good sources of iron. So are lentils and other legume/beans. Which means that tofu and other soy products also provide iron.

I think the list of iron-rich veggie food goes something like this: apples, apricots, asparagus, bananas, broccoli, egg yolks (unless you're vegan) kelp, leafy greens, okra, parsley, peas, plums, prunes, purple grapes, raisins, rice bran, squash, turnip greens, whole grains, and yams.

Sorry. I hit post too soon. That last list came from a google search. If you do that kind of search, you'll end up with some contradictory information. For example, some people claim that kale is high in iron and others claim that it impedes iron absorption.

Mostly I'm trying to eat tofu and lots of variation in veggies and fruit. It seems to do the trick.

My cravings tend more towards needing the kind of protein that only chicken or another fleisch can give me. It's mostly psychological, I know that, but I still indulge from time to time.

No cravings this time. I think it's the heat.

I've also been worried about my blood sugar - high protein seems to control it better - but it's been only a tad high this week.

We've been eating tofu. And various types of beans (spinach curry. Spinach and garbanzo beans.) We've also been eating bananas and whole grains and peas and broccoli and I made eggs on Sunday and...I'm guessing we're okay, then. :)

I'm guessing you're definitely okay.

Shabbat Shalom.

A really simple trick is to cook in a cast iron skillet whenever possible.

Lentils and other beans are high in iron.

We don't have cast iron. My husband is afraid of it (and I've never seasoned a pan.)

Beans are good.

Coming into this somewhat belatedly, but - I've been a vegetarian since I was ten, and I've also donated several gallons of blood. Never had a problem with passing the iron test. But I do know some people, including meat eaters but especially vegans, who struggle with iron; some people seem to be naturally more, I don't know, needy of iron than others. The keys, as far as I have seen, are:

1. Additives. These are things you can add to pretty much everything you eat, and they are: brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast (the two are slightly different, and I think brewer's has more, but both are good - and they're low fat and relatively low calorie; nutritional yeast is useful as a non-dairy cheese substitute, which is why vegans love it), blackstrap molasses (I don't know if you could eat that, with your blood sugar issues, but it's worth checking out; blackstrap molasses is high in iron, and it doesn't seem to be processed by the body like most sugars), and wheat germ, which you can add to cereals and baked goods and yogurt and so on.

2. Foods. The big ones here are: prunes and especially prune juice, which makes me gag, but YMMV, dark leafy greens (although absorption can be an issue, here), tofu and affiliated products, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dried fruits (like raisins, apricots, etc. - another category of food that I generally loathe, but even I can eat them by using them in various recipes as a replacement for sugar and thickeners; this takes a bit of experimentation, but you get good at it after a while, and many times you do not even know you are eating the Devil Dried Fruit Product), dal (lentils, kidney beans, mung beans, etc.), and, oddly enough, watermelon, which is especially worth taking note of in this heat.

3. Packaged foods. I know less about these, but a lot of breakfast cereals, including Cream of Wheat, have a ton of iron, enough to make up for the absorption problem. Check labels, I guess.

4. Supplements. A good multi-vitamin or multiple mineral vitamin can't hurt.

Don't forget to combine your foods for maximum absorption, too - eating in conjunction with (I think - I'm doing all this from memory, so take it all with a grain of salt) foods rich in vitamin C will increase your absorption rate.