Upping the Iron

by HEAB on June 4, 2010

Thanks to everyone for all the iron dietary advice. It was much appreciated, and I got some great ideas! I’ve been a lot more tired this trimester than I was in the first trimester. Literally, there are some afternoons where all I want to do is sleep. I know this is typical when you are pregnant, but I was surprised at how much more tired I’ve been this last month. I’m thinking it might be because of my iron levels, and I’m going to do everything I can to get my numbers back to normal. So, I bought a big tub of spinach at Costco as well as some raisin bran fortified cereal. Oh my goodness, I’d forgotten how good raisin bran is. Yum! I’m also going to start eating more red meat. I’ve always liked red meat, but it hasn’t sounded very appetizing these last few months. We have an entire freezer full of grass fed finished ground beef, but I just can’t do it yet. However, other cuts of meat have my mouth watering, like brisket for example, and I had some from the Whole Foods hot bar yesterday…


This bowl cost me less than $9.00!!! I’m setting new record lows with every Whole Foods trip. The trick for me seems to be sticking to the hot bar and skipping out on the cold salad bar. You would think raw veggies would be much lighter, but my big salads used to come in at about $18.00. That’s crazy for a salad! This bowl contained tons of roasted veggies, some broccoli salad, collard greens, and brisket. Oh my gosh, I love brisket. I’ve never made it myself, but I have some slow cooker recipes that I want to try. CD, perhaps I’ll get in dinner making mode again soon. Poor guy, I haven’t made him dinner in months!

I met up with Molly, the manager of the Lululemon showroom here in town. I’ve been so out of touch with all my favorite yoga peeps for the last few months, and it was so nice to talk yoga with a friend over some good food. Molly just finished up her yoga teacher training and is hoping to teach prenatal yoga. Molly, I am so excited for you and hope to take one of your classes soon! Oh, and I hope you had a wonderful birthday yesterday! 🙂


OK, so how long did I last without any ice-cream in the freezer? Um, about 3 days. 🙂 I was at Whole Foods and simply couldn’t help myself!


First off, I noticed Whole Foods had finally restocked my favorite Purely Decadent Coconut Milk ice-cream flavor. Their Chocolate Brownie Almond is the best in my opinion. If you can find it, stock up! I’ve also been wanting to try LaLoo’s Goat’s milk ice-cream forever, and finally bought some. Oh my gosh, it is rich and chocolaty, and so unbelievably good! To those of you with problem’s digesting cow’s milk, I high recommend trying some of goat’s milk products. Personally, I’m not a fan of goat milk itself. The store bought brands taste so goaty – blech, but I am loving my goat cheese, yogurt, and ice-cream! A few years ago, I bought raw goat’s milk from a local farm, and it was sweet and delicious, nothing like the pasteurized stuff sold in the grocery store. However, it’s hard to find in Nashville now. If you can find some in your area, I would highly recommend it.

Thanks again for all your kind words and support yesterday. I’ll leave the comments open on the stevia giveaway through tomorrow morning and announce the winners sometime over the weekend.

Happy Friday!

P.S. I made a yummy gluten and dairy free tuna noodle casserole…

For the recipe, please check out my guest over at Making Food And Other Stuff!


keephangingon June 6, 2010 at 4:16 am

Hey Heather, this is my first time commenting on your blog though i’ve been following it for ages. Anyway, about upping iron intake, increasing red meat is not necessarily the best way to get iron in. Factory farmed cows are often injected with antibiotics because they live in filthy, cramped conditions and get diseases easily, they are also fed growth hormones and tons of grains and the remains of other animals, when their natural diet is grass… Unless you can get organic, free-range beef, you can try taking vitamin C (a glass of vit C or any veg rich in vit C such as cucumber, etc) with veggies containing iron, such as kale, spinach, and so on. =) Just my two cents’ worth! Non-animal iron is a much better source of iron!

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 6, 2010 at 4:32 am

Keenpchanginon, Thanks for reading my blog and for your input. CD and I buy all our beef from a local farm, and it’s grass fed finished. 🙂

Dominique June 5, 2010 at 11:05 am

I used to get the same reaction on my lips when I used any kind of lip product containing oxybenzone, an ingredient typically used for SPF protection. I also get the same reaction on my skin with sunscreens containing oxybenzone, so now I just stick to the natural stuff. I hope your lips are better soon.

My parents make me eat liver with caramelized onions when they think my iron is low. I don’t hate it but I really have to be in the mood for it, which is typically never. I basically slather as many onions on top of a tiny piece of liver as possible and then swallow as fast as I can. I heard that dried apricots are good sources of iron as well as collards, pumpkin and kale.

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 5, 2010 at 11:27 am

Dominique, Yeah, the lip thing was weird. I honestly think it was an allergic reaction to a tomato. They’re still blistered but not red and swollen anymore.

I just made some chicken liver pate…and actually really liked it. Who knew? 🙂

Gena June 5, 2010 at 5:58 am

I’m sure that a million people mentioned this, and you clearly know your body well enough to make good choices, but try black strap molasses! I was iron deficient all through my teenage years, and it helped a lot 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 5, 2010 at 6:58 am

Thanks Gena – I meant to buy some yesterday when I was at the store. Will get some next time I’m there…which will probably be later today. 🙂

Melanie@ I Dream of Tahini June 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Great job on getting your WF’s hot/cold bar bill lower. I usully end up between $7-10 usually.

My favorite SO Coconut ice cream is chocolate peanut butter and regular coconut. I’m going to try the chocolate brownie, that sounds yummy!! They make an awesome chocolate flavor, very rich and tasty.

I think I may have to try something similiar without the tuna. I love casseroles.

Melissa S. June 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm

yay for all the greens to up that iron! i’ve been trying the same thing w/ all the walking as i’m always feeling weak w/in like, 2 hrs of work. could be lack of energy and dehydration…!

Gina June 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

If you want brisket, trust me when I tell you that this is the most spectacular recipe ever, and it’s easy to make:


I’ve made just a few small changes to it – olive oil instead of vegetable oil, beef broth instead of chicken, and be sure to pour off the fat before you add the onions & brothy wine to the meat. And I recommend the option of letting it sit in the fridge overnight and reheat the next day. Hope you like!

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 5, 2010 at 12:12 am

Thanks Gina – sounds delicious!!!

ashley June 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Aw, your hair looks so cute UP! =) That ice cream sounds pretty delicious…I recently had raw goat’s milk at the farmer’s market and was really surprised how much I liked it! Also, those french toast waffles from yesterday…oh…my…gawd….hehe

bitesandbliss June 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Dang $9 at Whole Foods?? I’ve only visited their hot bar once and actually had to give my food to the clerk cause I couldnt bring myself to pay for it once I noticed how much it was. Whoops :S There’s so many choices- I wanted it all!! lol

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 6:27 pm

bitesandbliss, Oh my gosh, I’ve been there. I literally freaked out when my meal was $18. However, paid for it and ate every last bite. Vowed never to let that happen again!

Pure2Raw Twins June 4, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Goat milk ice cream, wow, that sounds amazing. Love the coconut ice cream too!

On a side note: when I first went eating a high raw vegan diet my hair fell out A LOT, but lately it is much better. I found out that when transitioning to a raw diet that happens, the body just needs time to figure itself out. I hope your hair issue gets all worked out, wait, I know it well! 🙂

lindsay June 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm

oh my gosh!!! GOATS milk ICE CREAM> I must go to WHOLE FOODS now. You got me hooked on goats milk again. Love it!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) June 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Good deal on doing what it takes to up the iron. Whatever works for you!

The ice cream…enjoy your splurges and finds…love it when I find something that was out of stock forever.

Goats milk and pasteurized milk in general. Raw milk is naturally sweeter (if it’s fresh!) because they havent killed it during pasteurizing and it’s living; complete with antibodies, digestive enzymes, something called complement factors, and all kinds of other lactation consultant stuff I won’t bore you with LOL

Have a super weekend Heather. And I was all over your Katie post hours ago…I love Katie and wish I was in London with her!


Christina (in Ohio) :) June 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Yum yum yum! We can’t find goat’s yogurt ANYWHERE. There has to be some weird shortage up this way… Scott just today heard about the goats milk ice cream that you’re talking about 🙂 It is now on our shopping list!

Kelly June 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Hey cutie! I am glad you are working on your iron intake in a very tasty way! I loved your guest post on Katie’s blog…both amazing women! 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Thanks Kelly! Hope you have a good weekend. 🙂

Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble June 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

My salads are always ridiculously priced at Whole Foods too! How does that happen? Hot Bars the key, I guess!

I love Purely Decadent ice cream too! Yum!

annecalista June 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm

It’s so inspiring to see you taking such good care of yourself and your baby! You look so happy in that pic with your friend 🙂 Hope you get your nergy back soon!

kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com June 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm

i still ocassionally add in grass fed beef .. usually i stick to bison.. but i cant deny my love for salads like the one u just made!

i hope it does the trick and ur energy starts sky rocketing!! <3

fartygirl June 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Iron is a girl’s best friend!!! Glad to hear you are stocking up. I’m interested in hearing how it affects your tired-ness… if it helps n’ all that. Keep us posted.

My favorite Iron hook up is the sesame bars I wrote about in this post: http://fartygirl.blogspot.com/2009/08/iron-bitches.html

It’s chewy and hard – definitely more like candy than a larabar – and possibly too sugary for you. But whenever I eat it, I definitely feel the iron afterwards.

There’s also tahini – which I haven’t seen you love up in quite a while. Some afternoons, when I’m low, I’ll mix carob and tahini for a low sugar snack. It’s seriously amazingly delicious.

Hope your energy levels return soon, Mama! Squee! I still can’t believe you’re gonna have a little snickerdoodle soon. Crazy!

Lauren June 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Hi Heather!

Not sure if you’ve tried organic, blackstrap unsulphured molasses for iron? It worked GREAT for me! Plus, I have the best anti-nausea drink which includes it…works like a charm every time!! 🙂

Ingredients (dependant on size of mug- big mug= needs more)

1 tsp. vanilla protein powder
1 tsp. organic cocoa
1 tsp. molasses
Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to taste
1/2 Hot water + 1/2 warmed almond milk, or just 100% hot/warm almond milk

So good, so comforting!!! Please try it! I get nauseous often, and this always helps! 🙂

Hope things start picking up for you!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Cool, thanks a lot Lauren. I know the blackstrap molasses is good source of iron, but I’ve never tried it. Might pick some soon and try this…anything anti-nausea sounds good to me!

The Fit Collegiate June 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I thought of another source of iron–whole-grain cream of wheat (in place of oat bran). It’s usually fortified with iron, supplying about 45% DV.

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Thanks Anna! 🙂

A Teenage Gourmet June 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Mmm, chocolate 🙂 I just did a product review on CACAO BLISS raw coconut butter if you’re interested! I’m a new blog, so I’d really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Lara (Thinspired) June 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I’ve experienced the same phenomenon at the Whole Foods hot bar recently, Heabs. So weird that salads are so heavy, and the hot food always comes out cheaper. Have you tried the sesame tofu?! I’ve had it once, and now I dream about it.

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Lara, No, I have not had the sesame tofu. Tofu does a number on my stomach, but I would love to see some sesame tempeh on the hot bar. 🙂 Hope you and Matthew have a good weekend!

Eimear Rose June 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Hi Heather, just to let you know, the iron in spinach is almost entirely non available to us because it’s bound to the oxalates in the spinach (chard is the same). This isn’t the case with cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, cabbage. If those sort of veggies aren’t appealing to you, other good sources are teff (it has the highest iron content of any grain, as well as very high calcium content), amaranth, quinoa, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, beans, especially sprouted. Someone mentioned blackstrap molasses, which is good, but you do have to eat a lot of it to get enough iron, and it’s very strong tasting (like beets with the soil still on…). Floradix is the most natual way to get a lot of iron fast and I’ve been assured it’s safe for pregnant women:)

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Eimer Rose, Thanks for all the tips – yes, I knew that about spinach. I bought to eat alongside other sources of iron since it does pack some vitamin C, and I have some teff. Haven’t had any in forever, but it might time to start eating it again. 🙂

Ana June 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I have got to try LaLoos ice cream, I have been meaning to buy it for so long. I took a look at their flavors and oh my, I have to try it now. That’s why I love summer, it is the best season of all, and the most wonderful time to have ice cream, which I love!!
I also like goat yogurt but am not a fan of goat milk itself, funny.
What a bowl of goodness you got from whole foods, yum!!! And when I was pregnant I could not stomach red meat for most of my nine months, the smell was even worse. By the way, I think smells are a totally separate category when we get pregnant, it is just like you mentioned, I could not stomach the smell of things cooking inside my home but if I got it somewhere else it would appeal more and I would be able to eat without gagging!

Frugal 'n' Fit! June 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Surely a Whole Foods salad bar bowl for less than $9.00 deserves some kind of medal?!! 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Frugal ‘n’ Fit, I for one think so! 😉

Lacey June 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Would you mind posting some of the iron dietary advice? I’ve also been diagnosed with anemia recently (no, I’m not pregnant). I would appreciate any tips and advice!

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Lacey, There were so much great advice – read the comments from yesterday’s post: http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/2010/06/03/french-toast-with-a-twist/ I think you find many of them quite helpful.

Evan Thomas June 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I always get the strawberry darling laloo’s. Because, really, hat other brand of ice cream will give you strawberry with a balsamic swirl?!

VeggieGirl June 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I remember when you and I talked about LaLoo’s 😀

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm

VeggieGirl – yes, I think you would love it! 🙂

saltytooth June 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Love the La-Loo’s ice cream! It’s one of my favorite brands.

The Coconut Mama June 4, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Heather, I had a hard time with ground beef when I was preggers. I remember cooking some for my hubby one night and I left the kitchen so sick to my stomach =(. Hope you start feeling better soon!

Coconut Mama

Melissa June 4, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Brisket–which is completely weird b/c I don’t eat red meat–other than McD’s double cheese burger (I know totally gross) When I was preggo with my 2 yo I had one–I hadn’t had red meat in about 9 years–and fell in LOVE! I typically don’t eat them–cause I get a really icky stomach afterwards–BUT enough about that! I made brisket a few months back and ate until I couldn’t MOVE! (blamed it on the baby, but really I just wanted it!) Yoga question:Any good prenatal classes in Nashville–figured you might know…it’s the closest place with yoga studios to where I am! Also, I’ve got to check out lululemon showroom out–post baby though!

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Melissa, Funny you should ask as I’m looking into that myself. I was taking classes from Bethany Hard (http://www.bethanyhard.com/), but she is taking 2 months off as she just had her 2nd baby this week. I heard that Kali Yuga Yoga in East Nashville offers a 6-week series, but you can drop-in for any of the classes as does 12th South Yoga. Since finishing up the month-long series with Bethany, I’ve just been doing the prenatal yoga classes from http://www.yogadownload.com. They’re great. If I find out or hear about any other classes, I will let you know!

eatmovelove June 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Yes…I always say – I can’t buy that again…and then I go to the store and come away with 3 cartons or bottles or packages – whatever it may be 😉

What kind of vegetables do you typically eat? You said before you don’t do brocolli and stuff – I love that stuff though!

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Eatmovelove, I used to eat my weight in my broccoli before I got pregnant. However, it did had no appeal for me during my first trimester, but it’s starting to sound good again. It’s weird – I can eat most any vegetable when I do out as I love them all. However, I still can’t stand the smell of them cooking in our house.

Michelle June 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Heather, the WF looks soooo good. I hope your energy is back soon. I would love to go to WF but don’t have one in my area in KY. Might have to drive to Nashville…..lol

Heather (Perspective Is Everything) June 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

Awwww….I hope you start feeling more energetic SOON! I remember that pregnancy lethargy all too well.
Gotta say, your salads are probably the most inspirational I’ve ever seen. I started reading your blog @ a year ago and your pics are what finally triggered me to just buckle down and do MOSTLY vegetarian.
Thanks 🙂
And-I must get that Purely Decadent coconut milk ice cream.
Have you ever had Larry & Luna’s? Does it compare?
I’m gonna splurge on one or the other for my upcoming Bday and want to make the best choice 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

Heather, I’m dying to try Larry and Luna’s, but they don’t sell it in Nashville. The companty told me they would be shipping soon, but honestly, I can’t justify spending that much on ice-cream. So, please buy some and enjoy it for me! Oh, and thanks for all your support of HEAB! 🙂

Jessica @ How Sweet June 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

I always leave your blog craving tons of ice cream. I must go buy some this weekend.

Heather June 4, 2010 at 11:01 am

that WF bowl looks AWESOME! and $9 is great for so much awesome food 🙂 now i just need to see if our WF has the chocolate brownie almond flavah 😉

gina (fitnessista) June 4, 2010 at 10:59 am

hi friend 🙂
so glad the goat’s dairy is working out better for you- it’s such a huge difference from the cow’s stuff and i’ve found that it tastes WAY better too 🙂
i tried some of the coconut milk ice cream (in honor of you) and looooved it <3
hope you're doing well and that you and christian dior have a great weekend.

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