Actually there’s no spinach in sight. But what better pop icon that Popeye to represent getting your iron (energy and muscles) from veggies? Moving on…
Day 12. Wow. How did we get here so fast? Past the half-way mark already.
I have noticed in the last few days is that my body is no longer craving the food I can’t have, but really wanting the fresh raw veggies. I have noticed this especially in the last few days as I have been buying more and more organic food. As I was eating this super salad I made yesterday I even started thinking about sprouted chick peas and how I could grow them, I want to grow things. Grow things and eat them. It feels very instinctual.
On the down side I got my blood results back from the doctor and I’m really very anaemic. Before y’all freak out about this 100% raw diet, the blood test was from before I started. I had been unwell and had some blood tests done. I have always tended towards being anaemic, even before I was vegan. And once I became vegan I fell into the trap that many people do on a restricted diet of eating the same foods over and over again.
The more I read about raw the more important diversity in eating is. You also need to be smart about preparing and combining foods in a way to promote nutritional value.
There’s tons of information out there about this. I think I’ve just been a bit laissez faire (read lazy-ass) about becoming informed.
So here I am very iron deficient and realising this is the cause of my tiredness, and thinking I’ve probably been mildly anaemic for about 25 years.
Well, iron is vital to form haemoglobin which allows red blood cells to carry oxygen through our bodies. And I think we can all agree that oxygen is kind of important.
Raw vegans can get iron from plants by eating those high in iron and eating foods like seaweed, spirulina, and blackstrap molasses. Consuming vitamin C at the same meal as iron will enhance absorption, while taking a calcium supplement less that six hours before or after a meal will reduce absorption.
Apparently nettle and alfalfa tea is also good (doesn’t sound tasty though, does it?)
Also I read that nuts, grains and beans should be soaked to lessen the content of phytate – a naturally-occuring substance which inhibits iron absorption. Thanks to foodsforlonglife.blogspot.com.au for that info!
Alongside iron in the anaemic equation is vitamin B12. Another tricky one for vegans. There’s two vegan foods that are recommended for B12; tempeh (fermented soy beans) and nutritional yeast. Neither are strictly raw, nutritional yeast is pasteurised and tempeh uses cooked soy beans, although the fermentation process means raw tempeh is a live food. Not raw but live. So they are not completely raw but neither are vitamin supplements, at least it’s real food. So I decided to include them in my diet.
Yes, there will be those who cry foul, who cry “you said 100% raw!”, which is fair, I did. I also said this was a health gaining endeavour, not the raw version of Supersize Me. So if I need to incorporate supplements or special foods to ensure I’m not deficient, I think that’s not only justified but sane.
So If you want to stick to the letter of the raw law, take the yeast and the tempeh out of this recipe. If you want to be a “go with the flow” kind of gal, throw all these ingredients together and you’ll have a (spinach-free) iron filled meal worthy of the sailor man himself.
1/2 cup salad sprouts (sprouted chick peas, lentils, and mung means)
1/2 cob corn kernels
4-6 mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 beetroot (grated)
1/2 carrot (grated)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
100g tempeh (cubed)
1 tbsp Bragg sauce
Mix ingredients in a bowl and serve. This combo of iron rich beetroot and sprouted beans with B12 rich tempeh and yeast will have the oxygen factory pumping in no time!