a will of iron
I’m a little overwhelmed and terrified by the vitamin game. There’s so much necessary in order to be sufficiently full of all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Especially critical stuff like folic acid and iron. Foods that tend to have high quantities of these things (like beef for iron, and turnip greens for folic acid) are either expensive, hard to come by or difficult to eat every day. Even “rich” foods usually have very low percentages of the daily value.
It seems to require a high level of regulation of diet and a high consciousness of how much of different foods to eat in a day. For example, for my usually-deficient iron levels, I used to think that as long as I had ground beef 3 times a week, snacked on dried apricots, and got a spinach salad on the alternate days, I would be golden in the iron department. When I started looking at actual iron levels in foods… I realized that I need to be eating the beef PLUS the apricots PLUS the spinach PLUS about five other items in order to get enough… just for one day. And folic acid is the same. Folic acid is so hard to come by naturally that a supplement (usually as part of a multivitamin) is essential for women of child-bearing age.
All of this leaves me feeling like a confused, discouraged, hopelessly deficient puppy. Sad, isn’t it?
But you know what? I’m sick of lethargy. And tiredness. And forgetfulness. And the sickness that comes with that inevitable once-a-month flood of anemia. And I can do something about it – and probably lose weight and feel better in the process.
So I am beginning a quest. I have a specific goal for my iron intake, plus folic acid. I’m going to start by charting everything I eat each day, and every few days tally up how much iron I’m getting, and slowly adjust my diet from there. We’ll see how it goes!