iron

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Getting Enough Iron & Metabology Taste Test

Shannon here, bringing you some show notes from the recent episode.

Looking back on our training recap for the week I’m proud to say being pregnant hasn’t held me back from my training. In fact, I’ve been able to keep up with my training goals for the last 6 weeks, just scaled back. Gone are the days of high impact and even super high intensity, replaced with some more moderate plans. In addition, I’ve expanded my yoga practice to include prenatal yoga, which was eye opening, especially when it comes the pelvic floor exercises (oh so important).

Meanwhile, Nick has been trying to get in some strength training, though he admits he’s been slacking a bit in the last week. The majority of his work has been focused on kettlebells. He’s also been doing a 30-day “waist trainer” challenge with clients.

Next, we get into some recent doctor visits. At the recent St Pete Healthy Lifestyles health expo, put on by future podcast guest Mika Rotunda, Nick took advantage of a discounted consultation at local chiropractor office. He learned that he doesn’t have optimum movement in the upper spine (cervical and thoracic) and that he has a slight forward head position. Both Nick and I agreed that he should start getting regular massages, but in the meantime, he’s working on some mobility work at Tampa Strength.

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Image courtesy of appreciategoods.com

For my doctor visit, I had the joyous opportunity to do the glucose test for gestational diabetes. Thankfully my results came back negative.

I also had some bloodwork done and had my iron levels checked. Despite having had normal levels at the beginning of my pregnancy, it seems my iron levels have decreased since the baby is using more iron. Turns out pregnant women need twice the daily value (DV) of iron than non-pregnant women, about 30g per day. Now that I know, I’m being diligent about taking my prenatal vitamin and getting more iron from the food I’m eating.

In looking up those foods rich in iron, I learned there are two types – heme iron (from animal sources, attached to protein) and nonheme iron (plant sources, which don’t typically get absorbed as well).

The top 10 iron rich foods (via the Dr. Axe article)

  • Top 10 iron rich food; click on food to read more about their additional health benefits

Though we both were fairly informed about foods packed with iron, we both learned something new when it came to vitamins that help or inhibit the absorption of iron. Turns out Vitamin C is an iron “enabler” (hello, strawberries), but calcium (dairy) is an iron inhibitor. So, turns out what I pair my spinach salad with is extremely important!

Now on to the main meal… literally.

Metmeals

Learn more about the Metabology meal service at metabology.co

Despite the fact both Nick and I believe that cooking the majority of meals is a key component to eating clean, it’s a big commitment and a lot of time goes into it. At some points in your life, we all need something fast. However, the “fast food” industry is not the best option for a decent meal, especially as abuse of that food contributes to health epidemics like obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

We had the opportunity to review Metabology meals, which is a food service that is available here in the Tampa Bay area.

We tried two meals, cooked by the German chefs that create the recipes, and we divided them up. Here’s a quick look at our taste test:

  • My meal – Breakfast Skillet
    • Plastic containers keep the food fresh and are microwave safe, coming complete with cooking instructions, macronutrient breakdown and a best by date
    • I missed that there was no ingredient list, but I took a guess at what was in my meal:  eggs, potatoes, green bean, yellow corn, sweet peppers, sausage, cheese, and herbs & spices. It also came with a small container of mild salsa
    • The overall taste was good, even after microwaving it, it wasn’t dried and had a nice little spice to it
    • Portion size was a bit big for me, and it took me a while to finish it, but it kept me full for over 3 hours
    • Overall rating: two thumbs up
  • Nick’s meal – Chipotle Chicken with Northeastern Veggie Medley with White Rice
    • We both found the container lids somewhat tough to get off, but it may be why the food stays so fresh
    • Chicken wasn’t rubbery after microwaving it and even the rice tasted fresh (not an easy feat for microwaved rice), which was a very pleasant surprise
    • The chipotle “sauce” on the chicken was tasty but not sure what it was made of
    • Meal kept him full for over 3 hours, which is especially rare for Nick
    • Overall rating: one and a half thumbs up

Our mutual conclusion was that the meals were good, but both Nick and I agreed that we’d like to get more information about their ingredient sourcing and preparation process.

Podcast pic 6-26

Knowing that meal prep takes time, TELL US, about you meal prep experience.

And don’t forget email elementaltampa@gmail.com to take advantage of the free fitness consultation we’re currently offering.

If you haven’t done so already and can nominate Addicted to Fitness for best local podcast in Creative Loafing’s 2017 Best of the Bay, please do so.

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/getting-enough-iron-metabology-taste-test/id1121420986?i=1000389089665&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/getting-enough-iron-metabology

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/getting-enough-iron-metabology-taste-test

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What’s on the Menu – The epitome of finger licking good

You all know that I hold nutrition in higher regard than taste. I don’t mind choking something down if I know it’s good for me. Sardines, raw garlic or ground turmeric in my veggie & fruit smoothie are just a few examples. I will literally punish my taste buds if I believe what I’m eating will benefit me in some capacity. I assume that certain people think that today’s menu spotlight may be one of those “less than appetizing” foods, but I can assure you that it’s not.

I believe it’s safe for me to assume that you know the main ingredient of chicken liver pate is chicken liver. I can’t attest to the flavor of chicken liver by itself, but I know that when’s its used in pate, it’s delicious. If you take a look at the recipe from the New York Times (link) cooking section it’s not hard to imagine why I’m such a fan

  1. Melt butter in pan
  2. Soften onions
  3. Add chicken livers to pan; cook till brown on the outside
  4. Add contents of pan + spices to food processor
  5. Puree till smooth
  6. Store in fridge for few hours till set

Menu pic 6-7

Sounds great right? Well I can testify that it is, and the fact that the main ingredient is chicken liver makes it both delicious and nutritious. Three ounces of chicken liver contains 21 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and significant amounts of important vitamins and nutrients. The same serving size contains 280% of our daily value (DV) of vitamin A & B12. It also contains 160% and 40% of our DVs for folate and iron respectively, both of which are extremely important to fetal development (source). We’ll discuss if expectant mothers should eat chicken liver a little later on in this post.

It’s clear that chicken liver is nutitrious, but what about chicken liver pate? According to the MyFitnessPal website, 2 ounces of my preferred store bought chicken liver pate (pictured below) contains 19 grams of fat (6 grams saturated) and only 5 grams of protein.

It’s a downright switch-a-roo of the macros compared to chicken liver by itself. The pate also contains 30% DV of vitamin A and 10% DV of iron (source). Plenty of fat, which you know I’m a fan of, but a little lacking in the protein department. Still a nutritious snack, in my opinion, but I’d definitely be better off just eating liver. Another aspect I need to factor in for the pate is source of the liver.

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As we’ve discussed in previous menu spotlights, where and how an animal was raised affects its nutrition. My Trader Joe’s chicken liver pate was produced in the U.S. and inspected by the Dept of Agriculture, but it is very possible that it didn’t live the most optimal life. Now that I know how easy pate is to make, I should acquire chicken livers from my local farmers and just make my own. Stay tuned for that future post!

Before we wrap up today’s post I just want to address two issues. First, I’m happy to inform you that livers are NOT a storage facility for “toxins.” The liver’s job is to send the toxins to the systems responsible for expelling them or storing them. Also, certain studies suggest that pregnant women can eat liver without worry of vitamin A toxicity affecting their fetus (source). ONCE AGAIN, I’m not a doctor, just a reporter of data. If you are pregnant, I’d consult a health professional before eating liver.

I may not be a doctor, but I am a lover a feedback. Which is why you should feel free to send any feedback, liver related or not, to elementaltampa@gmail.com. We love pics, recipes and even videos of you doing something fitness related. Don’t forget to connect with us on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter). We’d love to know if you’ve tasted the yummy goodness of chicken liver pate.

 

What’s on the Menu – The Raw Bar May Have What You Need to Live a Happier Life

Before I became immersed in health & fitness, I spent a significant amount of time working in bivalve aquaculture.

For all of you who are wondering what bivalve aquaculture is, it’s essentially the captive breeding of shellfish like clams, oysters and/or scallops for either species restoration or commercial purposes. Sounds a lot like agriculture right? Well that’s because it is.

Aquaculturists create “seeds” by spawning mature animals, caring for and feeding the immature “seeds” until they are big enough to be “planted” in a body of water, where they can further develop. This prior experience taught me the importance of shellfish, not only to our environment, but also to our health.

Clams_2

Shellfish are truly some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. I’ve been lucky enough to have access to a lot of fresh shellfish in my life, but temporal and geographic limitations can make that an impossibility for many people.

That’s why canned shellfish, like whole cherrystone clams from Trader Joe’s, are a godsend. I enjoyed the canned clams in a salad but you could always to do a low-carb version of linguine and clams by using zucchini noodles.

Clams_1

The can pictured above contains 1g of fat, 2g of carbs and 12g of protein. These canned clams also contain almost 40% of our recommended daily allowance of iron, a significant amount of vitamin B12 and several other hard to get minerals.

According to a prominent nutrition specialist (who I’ll get into more about in a minute), these nutritional benefits can also prevent several chronic health conditions that are affecting more and more people each year.

Functional medicine practitioner and ancestral nutrition expert Chris Kresser outlined in a recent episode of his podcast (link) that nutrients in clams and oysters, particularly zinc and several B vitamins, can help prevent health conditions like anxiety and depression. He even suggests that those on mostly plant-based diets should consider having two servings of shellfish like clams and oysters a week because their diets are usually deficient in the previously mentioned nutrients.

Even though I agree with this recommendation based on potential health benefits and bivalves perceived inability to suffer (no brain or central nervous system), I’m not going to tell people what they should and should not eat. I want people to be as a healthy as possible, but individuals’ dietary choices are their own. I’m simply here to provide you with knowledge about certain foods that you may not have been aware of. What you do with that knowledge is your decision.

If you are someone that incorporates animal protein into your diet, consider adding canned clams or oysters to your grocery list. If you are already a fan these shellfish feel free to send your favorite recipes to elementaltampa@gmail.com. If there is anyone out there with a oyster Rockefeller recipe, please send it my way!