>> Wednesday, June 29, 2011
As always, at yesterday's midwife appointment, I had the opportunity to ask a number of questions. I wondered first when I should start signing up for birth classes. I also had some concern over my weight gain, which hasn't been terribly much so far. And now that I'm in my second trimester, I wanted to know if I am at risk for anemia.
Vegetarians, vegans, and even meat-eaters suffer from anemia -- and iron deficiency that can cause a number of health issues. During pregnancy, a woman's risk is much higher. I've been a vegetarian since age 12, so I've always tried to make sure vitamin B12/folate is a priority. It's not always easy. Though I haven't had problems in the past, in most every preggo book I've read, women -- regardless of diet -- are warned against their risks.
When I asked how I'm doing, my midwife took a quick glance at my first trimester blood test results and returned with: "Well, actually -- most pregnant women I see score around a 13 . . . and anywhere between a 13 and 16 is considered in 'normal' range. You are a 15.5 -- which is on the higher-end, fantastic!"
Not that I'm bragging -- or, maybe I am -- but I gave myself a pat on the back after she said that. All those dark, leafy greens have been doing their jobs, keeping me and my baby healthy. My diet seems to be serving me well, even in this time when I could be particularly depleted.
Thing is, pregnant or not . . . vegetarian/vegan or not . . . we can all use a little diet check-in from time to time. I wanted to bring up this topic and share some of our favorite recipes that include iron-rich ingredients (you can check out a brief list of iron-rich foods on Livestrong.com).
GREEN, LEAFY VEGGIE RECIPES:
Steamed Collards with Baked Potato and Corn
Baked Flatbread with Sweet Onions, Collards, and Brie
Leafy Green Pancakes
Green Coconut Oats
Crispy Kale with Nectarines
Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh (Serve a huge helping of spinach on the side)
BEANS AND LEGUMES:
Black Bean Spinach Burgers
Black-Eyed Pea Stew
Cooked Kale and Chickpea Salad
Green Hummus Sandwich
Stephen's Curried Chickpea Mash
Not-So Green Smoothie
Protein-Packed Green Smoothie
Choco-Peanut Butter Green Smoothie
Avocado Green Smoothie
Sweet Potato Brownies
Chocolate Chunk & Banana Cookies
Purple Sticky Rice Tart
Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Vegetarians and vegans (and beyond): What's your favorite way to sneak iron into your diets? When in doubt, I just add a hefty helping of kale, collards, spinach, etc. to my meals. Seems to do the trick. Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.
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