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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Iron Woman

I used to call myself the Iron Woman not because I am a particularly powerful leader or someone that swims, bikes and runs Olympic distances, but simply because I always had a healthy storage of iron level in my blood, like 18 or above. What are normal hemoglobin levels? Everytime I went to the Bloodmobile to donate blood it would just be obvious from the simple iron level test from the droplet falling into a blue copper fluid. However, in my fourth pregnancy finally, I suspect there is a little "iron man" or "iron woman" sucking the life out of me.

From the results of the 26 week blood sugar level test, my doctor advised me that my sugar level was fine but the iron hemoglobin level was on the lowest number of the normal spectrum. He said I was not anemic but I should consider a 100mg/ day iron supplement or promise to eat a steak every night.  Here is a picture of iron rich foods.

Image Source: Pescetarian
 It really shocked me because anemic sounds like a really scary word. I haven't had time to go to the pharmacy to pick up the over the counter iron pills, but I did observe something about my diet in the last two day since my appointment.  I've been inadvertently cut meat intake over the years, and especially during my pregnancy cuz meat just smells gross. Mind you, I love meat lovers pizza, spinach and beef cheesy lasagna, and chicken/ beef shawarmas. But an asian stir fry or steak on the grill, that's yuck, unfortunately for my husband. It amounts to one serving of meat and alternates a day is what I get.  I don't eat beans or barely any vegetables so probably my diet has been completely replaced with carbs from unlimited fruits, french fries or poutine, chocolate bars, cake, chips, cookies, ice cream, juice and Gatorade, rice, pasta, multigrain bagels, raisin bread and McDonald's.  Sometimes I buy a can of V8 juice but that is literally my 3 vegetable servings for the whole week (not even a day). As for dairy and milk, I have to force myself to drink one cup a day but it's probably supposed to be 3.  Perhaps my reckless choice of foods is a bit irresponsible considering I had gained 10 pounds in 24 weeks but recently lost 4 of them in the last month.

I'm not necessarily ashamed of this, but it has finally been drawn to my attention to look at the Canada Food Guide and at least try to eat well for the sake of my unborn child and myself.  Don't let this happen to you. You have to take care of number one cuz you are the mom in charge, there is no one above to take care of you and remind you to eat your wheaties (in my case it would be the meaties).

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