I’m Anemic – How I’m Healing My Iron Deficiency/Smoothie Recipe)
I'm dealing with an iron deficiency - again. Ah, so frustrating! Have you ever had low iron? What did you do to heal it? I'd love to hear from you. I know that so many of us women experience this and we may or may not even realize it. I've also known women who have tried to get help and only been able to take something like injectafer to help their iron levels, however, this treatment does come with some problems, you can find more info here if you would like to know more. I actually dealt with anemia seven years ago in addition to a B12 deficiency, adrenal fatigue, and low thyroid. At that time I'd been a vegan for 13 years and a raw vegan for three of those years. If you're a long time reader of the blog, you may remember me sharing my story about that and how I healed it.
Signs and Symptoms
Fast forward to last Fall when I was terribly fatigued all the time. I chalked it up to the fact that I had been working around the clock on my raw dessert business (food production, deliveries, ordering, farmers markets, and all the administrative work). I cut back on work but I was still soooo tired and weak. I had to stop doing my regular workouts. There were days where I would nap on and off throughout the day - and you should know that I'm NOT typically a napper. I couldn't think straight. I was in a terrible brain fog, I was getting regular headaches, and was experiencing a rapid heartbeat. I also had some dizzy spells. I finally went to the naturopath who said I better get some blood tests. The tests confirmed severely low iron levels (mine was 3 - to give you a reference, the doctor wanted me around 20 at the very least - and up to 600 is considered normal), to the point where the regular doctor considered blood infusions but then insisted that I just take a high dose of iron pills for 6-8 weeks and then get retested. (Denyse who had treated me homeopathically last time isn't practicing homeopathy anymore). The pills constipated me, as they do for most people. The doctor told me to take laxatives (seriously?!). I noticed a touch of improvement in my energy levels (not sure if it was due to the fact that I was working less or if it was the pills). I started eating red meat regularly and cooked my food in a cast iron pan.
About eight weeks later I had a follow up blood test which showed barely any progress (up to 5 from a 3). I couldn't believe it. Admittedly I was pretty discouraged. Here's what really got me though. The doctor actually suggested that we stop my period in order to retain my blood stores!!!!!!! I said "Absolutely not!!!", and he seemed surprised that I was so against it. I've never taken the pill or anything that will mess with my period. I explained to him that 1. I don't have heavy periods and 2. we need to get to the root of this issue. I'm clearly not absorbing the iron. (I know there's a time and a place - surgery for example - but this is exactly why I don't like going to medical doctors). He told me to keep taking the pills and to get tested again in several months. He gave me a new requisition and sent me on my way. I stopped taking the pills.
The Spiritual Side
I had an intuitive reading with Denyse along the way who told me that part of the reason I was experiencing this was because I wasn't living my life to its fullest, and therefore my "life blood" wasn't flowing. It made perfect sense. I was working myself too hard, had become a robot in a commercial kitchen instead of being the food creator that I am, and had temporarily lost my creativity. It's so interesting how we can want something, and manifest it, only to see that it's not actually what we want. In my case my Sweetly Raw treats were in grocery stores, coffee shops, markets, and even in a high end restaurant, but it sucked the life right out of me. Anyway, I took all of that to heart and made the decision to let my business go. I started traveling again to teach classes and promote my book on tv. I got back into blogging and creating recipes, and agreed to make desserts for one of the stores I had been selling to - in their kitchen. Well surprise surprise - my energy levels were up and I was feeling creative and excited about life again! All of that happened around February...
These days I know my iron is still low because I have some of the symptoms, just a lot less than they were to start with. I haven't been taking any of the pills since January and occasionally eat meat.
For the next three months I'll be doing a plant based protocol to see if I can restore my iron levels.
A few days ago I had my iron tested again. I'm sitting at a 4, so I'm still extremely anemic.
I'm really excited to see if this plan can heal me. I do have high hopes! I feel like three months should make a difference.
Pranin Organic is a plant based supplement company that believes in a whole food approach for health and healing, so all of their products are made up of fruits, vegetables, leaves, herbs, and superfoods. When naturopathic doctor Dr. David Wang had clients who weren't healing or were experiencing negative side effects from regular vitamin and mineral supplements, he decided to create food based supplements that the body knows how to process.
Here are the Pranin Organic products I'll be taking daily:
No constipation (yay) or stomach upset with this iron supplement unlike regular ones! It's made up of curry leaves, amla berries, and moringa leaves.
This is an organic vitamin C powder made up of amla berries and moringa leaves. Vitamin C helps with iron absorption.
An organic vitamin B powder made up of guava, lemon, holy basil, and spirulina.
This is an organic multivitamin powder that is a source of 25 essential vitamins and minerals. It's made up of moringa leaves, carrots, apples, spirulina, beets, red seaweed, spinach, cabbage, kale, collard, alfalfa leaves, guava leaves, parsley, amla berries, lemons, sesbania, holy basil, annatto seeds, Portobello mushrooms, Icelandic kelp, cilantro, horsetail, & mustard seeds.
All of the powders can be mixed with water or a smoothie but I tried it with water and find it to be too strong tasting so I'll be adding them to my smoothie every morning. I think its the easiest way to get them in each day.
And guess what?! I have a giveaway for one of you, for this bundle valued at $167.00.
- Leave a comment below answering this question: Do you take supplements? What 3 things do you look for when choosing your supplements?
- For a second entry subscribe to my blog (the bar at the top left hand side of the blog). Leave a comment saying "Subscribed".
This contest is open to residents of Canada and the USA.
A random winner will be chosen on Tuesday July 11th. The winner will be contacted via email and will need to reply within 24 hours in order to claim their prize.
For the past 4 days, I've been taking all the powders in this fruity smoothie every morning. One day I added cherries as they're in season right now, and it's incredible. Here I wanted to keep it light to show the colour contrast when I added the green powders in.
Fruity Summer Smoothie
2/3-3/4 cup water
1/2 mango (I like ataulfo best)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 soaked iranian dates (or 1 large medjool date)
5 large ice cubes
Blend all ingredients until smooth in a high speed blender. Optional: add green powder of your choice into half or all of the smoothie. Drink immediately.
I used a chopstick to get the swirly pattern.
I hope your summer is off to a great start! I've been enjoying the beach, the heat, and lots of fruit. If you need some ice cream recipes, be sure to check out my ebook, Ice Cream in the Raw.
This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions are my own.