Iron & Pregnancy

During a woman’s pregnancy, her blood volume increases by 50 percent.
That is why it is extremely vital that a woman gets enough iron in her diet, and has herself checked for anemia, to ensure enough oxygen is getting to baby and mom’s muscles, brain, etc.
These foods are some of the richest in iron.
foodshighiniron

But some things to keep in mind is that:

A) Caffeine can reduce a woman’s ability to absorb iron. If possible, and drink less or avoid caffeinated beverages such as teas and coffees.
B) Calcium rich foods or supplements can also inhibit iron absorption. Try to consume calcium supplements and iron rich foods at opposite ends of the day.
C) Iron supplements can be hard on the body and result in constipation. While getting from diet alone is recommended, sometimes supplementation is needed. If you can, look for supplements that also include a lot of plant-based items. The fiber can greatly reduce those constipating symptoms.
D) The body more readily absorbs iron that is from animal-based food items, but nature has given us everything we need in order to absorb plant-based (“non-heme”) iron, as well. If we are eating vegetables, we are most likely eating fruits and veggies containing Vitamin C. Vitamin C naturally increases a body’s ability to absorb more iron. Be sure you consume both within a meal to give your body a boost in iron.

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Why healthy people don’t need to “juice”

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While juicing may still be all the rage in some circles, I can’t find it in my heart to fully get behind it as a well-person’s go-to health fix.

Here are some reasons why: Continue reading “Why healthy people don’t need to “juice””

Butternut Squash Spaghetti Sauce

Here is a recipe I whipped up recently. Because I never make anything small, this makes a lot…but easy enough to freeze some for later meals!

Butternut Squash Spaghetti

spaghetti1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 jar (25-oz) spaghetti sauce
1 can (13.5 oz) light coconut milk

Cook together on medium heat covered until squash is cooked.

2 small yellow onions, diced
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
Sprinkle of turmeric and black pepper

Fry three ingredients together in a separate pan in a small quarter sized amount of olive oil on medium to low heat for about 20 minutes. You may add lemon juice to lubricate.
When squash is ready, mash together until even (I used a potato masher).

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
5 mushrooms, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced

Add onion and garlic along with these three ingredients to sauce and mix, then take off stove and cover. Let residual heat cook the veggies in the sauce while making noodles (about 15 to 20 mins).

Although spicy foods are not recommended for the first trimester (it can aggravate nausea and morning sickness), I added a tablespoon of red pepper flakes for a nice sweet and hot taste. Feel free to add nutritional yeast (like I did), and a few leaves of spinach for color.

Mix with noodles, add fresh cilantro and enjoy.

Yum!

Forget losing weight this New Year’s

new-years-goals

Happy New Year’s! As I sit and write this on the morn of New Year’s Eve, I see my Facebook feed flooding with “resolutions.”

We know the drill. Every year, people make the same promises to themselves. To get a better job. To stop smoking. Spend less. Spend more time with family. Get fit. And the topmost popular goal for New Year’s across the board: Lose weight.

The sad thing is, most people never make it past the first week of the new year in pursuit of their lofty, well-meaning goal. And it’s not our fault, generally.

Because the odds are stacked against us from the start.

Why you might not lose weight this winter

Continue reading “Forget losing weight this New Year’s”

Cold Beet Salad & Sweet Craisin Quinoa

beet-salad

PREPARATION

Quinoa:
Prepare one cup quinoa with 1/2 cup raisins and 1/4 cup dried cranberries. Cook together until water is absorbed by quinoa. Add 1/4 cup canned light coconut milk/cream, 1/2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar, and 1/2 tbsp cayenne. Mix well. Sprinkle a handful of fresh, minced mint leaves.

Beet Salad

I took both red and golden beets, cut the roots from the stems and wrapped the beets in tin foil and baked for an hour at 400 degrees. You will only need to cut up four or five cooked beets, 4 or five tomatoes, and roughly cut the beet leaves, and chop stems like celery. Toss together with some balsamic vinegar.

Serve together, chilled.

Delicious!

Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Butternut Sqash with Pineapple

If you haven’t been following my Instagram feed, I posted this video this past weekend about my cooking process. It’s a little scattered and open to interpretation. Ha!

But seriously, I love to mix and match. Sometimes the groceries I buy don’t even end up getting used that week. Sometimes what I think I’ll make gets switched around. Food is an art. You never quite know when you’re “done,” you just get too hungry to wait! And voila, dinner.

Like any other artistic endeavor, though, you win some and you lose some. Some meals ended up FANTASTIC…and others, not so much. I made something “edible” for the first few days. Not my most shining moments.

And then Wednesday happened.

This recipe is purely inspired by the season. I was actually pretty darn proud of myself, too, after being in a culinary slump all summer. After all, though, who needs an excuse to be inspired to cook besides the fact that it’s fall? Pumpkin and squash flavored everything, please (like my last recipe)? 

Of course, I can’t make enough food for just one night. My husband and I are batch cookers. Might be a great recipe for the holidays or any big get together you are planning (unless you like batch cooking, too, then go for it!).

So without further ado, here is the recipe I’ve been teasing on my Facebook and Instagram accounts:

Sweet & Spicy Squash with Pineapple

food

SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

2 small yellow onions, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 20 oz can of pineapple chunks
2 serrano peppers, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 cups veggie broth
1 13.5-oz can lite coconut milk
1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced

PREPARATION

Place the chopped onions, butternut squash, and serrano peppers into a large pan with the veggie broth. Let cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until squash is soft. Put coconut milk, red bell peppers, pineapple, and half of the cilantro into the pot, and let lightly simmer (uncovered) until bell peppers are tender (but not overcooked). Remove from heat, and spoon over a bed of spinach. Place additional cilantro on top for garnish.

I almost added raisins to the recipe, but forgot at the last minute. If you try it, let me know how it tastes!

Sesame & Lentil Quinoa with Peas

INGREDIENTS

2 cups quinoa
1 cup dried green lentils
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 10-oz package frozen sweet peas, thawed
8-10 leaves of basil, minced
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds

PREPARATION

Boil four cups of water and pour quinoa, lentils, and mushrooms into water. Lower to medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Next, mix in thawed peas, basil, peanut oil, sesame oil, tamari sauce, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. Mix well. Spoon onto plate next to your sweet and spicy butternut squash, and you have dinner!

Recipe: Apple Pumpkin Muffins

I am not usually into baking. But I married a sweets lover, so I decided to surprise my husband with this little treat when he came home from work this weekend.

Since it’s officially fall, my inner tastebud clock was jonesing for something pumpkin flavored. And ta-da! A completely fall-themed muffin recipe for you to try. These are so amazingly moist, it almost tastes like cake. It’s also gluten-free and completely vegan if you leave out honey. I would love to hear your opinion if you’ve tried it!

Apple Pumpkin Muffins

muffins

INGREDIENTS

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup almond flour
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp (heaping) flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1 cup pumpkin puree
1.5 cups of apple juice
Coconut oil shortening

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together, and slowly mix in wet ingredients until all is moist. Coat a muffin tin with coconut oil shortening, and spoon in mix to top of tin. Cook for 15 minutes. Check muffins and keep cooking until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!