The first indicator I knew something was wrong was the tiredness. It would creep over me during the day until it became all-encompassing and overpowering. So much so, that I would regularly take nana naps for hours at a time during the day. So I went to the doctor, had a blood test and was diagnosed iron deficient. I was prescribed iron tablets and instructed to eat red meat often. I took that to heart and ate red meat every day for lunch, accompanied by a glass of OJ, as the Vitamin C is supposed to help iron absorption. But I was still tired.
After a month, I went back to the doctor and had my bloods retested. No change from last time. Can you believe it - no change! I was furious. All that money wasted on red meat and OJ every day for a month (although at least I did get some pretty tasty meals out of it). That is when I was tested for coeliac disease. When I received the results, I was astonished. Lost images of croissants, pastries and bread drifted through my mind.
Luckily those dark days are behind me - I no longer contemplate thinking of such luxuries. And since being on a gluten free diet, my absorption of essential nutrients and vitamins has drastically improved. However, like many coeliacs, after nearly a year and a half on a gluten free diet, my iron levels are still below the normal range. (The small intestine can take a while to repair). So for those instances when you don't feel like cutting into a large piece of steak or even worse tucking into some liver and bacon, there are other iron-rich lighter alternatives.
Kale is a recent discovery of mine. Not only can it be used in stirfries and salads, it is also delicious in smoothies. (You'll have to trust me on this one!) In fact, my yoga teacher introduced me to this delicious kale/mango/banana smoothie after class. I have been hooked ever since. My advice? Ignore the colour and concentrate on the taste!
Kale, Mango & Banana Smoothie
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups kale, cut into small pieces with stems and ribs removed
- 1 cup frozen mango, roughly chopped
- 1 - 2 frozen bananas, roughly chopped
Blend all together in a food processor and enjoy!
Not all food processors are built equal. I recommend:
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