This is Eli

A blog about Eli. A blog about survival – and by that, I mean life!

Oh, Bollox.

My Fitness Pal had to have a rest. School for Laila has begun. Eli needed a trampoline. Mark has been working a lot and needed extra help. I have been all over the Oklahoma City metro chasing down homeless veterans.

That all means Monday, Aug. 11 – Sunday, Aug. 24, ie, Weeks 5 and 6…I think?) were pretty much a wash. Getting used to a new schedule that entails rising at 6 a.m. was a little rough. Did I track? Uh, kind of. I never even had time to step on a scale. Thank God.

I’m going to have to look at a calendar to make sure I’m in the right week/ on the right day.

In the mean time, I have been researching ways to boost iron. I don’t get enough, MFP has told me. Without paying attention, I’m getting half of what I need. That means my family is not getting enough iron. Here are 30 ways to do better, via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Food, Standard Amount Iron (mg) Calories
1. Clams, canned, drained, 3 oz 23.8 126
2. *Fortified dry cereals (various), about 1 oz 1.8 to 21.1 54 to 127
3. Cooked oysters, cooked, 3 oz 10.2 116
4. Organ meats (liver, giblets), cooked, 3 oza 5.2 to 9.9 134 to 235
5. *Fortified instant cooked cereals (various), 1 packet 4.9 to 8.1 Varies
6. *Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup 4.4 149
7. *Pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, 1 oz 4.2 148
8. *White beans, canned, ½ cup 3.9 153
9. *Blackstrap molasses, 1 Tbsp 3.5 47
10. *Lentils, cooked, ½ cup 3.3 115
11. *Spinach, cooked from fresh, ½ cup 3.2 21
12. Beef, chuck, blade roast, cooked, 3 oz 3.1 215
13. Beef, bottom round, cooked, 3 oz 2.8 182
14. *Kidney beans, cooked, ½ cup 2.6 112
15. Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 3 oz 2.5 177
16. Beef, rib, cooked, 3 oz 2.4 195
17. *Chickpeas, cooked, ½ cup 2.4 134
18. Duck, meat only, roasted, 3 oz 2.3 171
19. Lamb, shoulder, cooked, 3 oz 2.3 237
20. *Prune juice, ¾ cup 2.3 136
21. Shrimp, canned, 3 oz 2.3 102
22. *Cowpeas, cooked, ½ cup 2.2 100
23. Ground beef, 15% fat, cooked, 3 oz 2.2 212
24. *Tomato puree, ½ cup 2.2 48
25. *Lima beans, cooked, ½ cup 2.2 108
26. *Soybeans, green, cooked, ½ cup 2.2 127
27. *Navy beans, cooked, ½ cup 2.1 127
28. *Refried beans, ½ cup 2.1 118
29. Beef, top sirloin, cooked, 3 oz 2.0 156
30. *Tomato paste, ¼ cup 2.0 54

Food Sources of iron are ranked by milligrams of iron per standard amount; also calories in the standard amount. (All amounts listed provide 10% or more of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for teenage and adult females, which is 18 mg/day.)

*These are non-heme iron sources. To improve absorption, eat these with a vitamin-C rich food.


Clams? Let’s get real. Seafood only appeals to me when I’m on a coast. Who eats sardines? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone who’s not 95 and from the old country? I’ll take another helping of navy beans, said no one, ever.

We’re going to try and do better. I started hitting up Malt-O-Meal cereals, which are iron-fortified. They have this endearing marketing campaign in which they are excited to now offer cereal in a box, instead of in a bag. I remember as a youth thinking cereal in the bag was just…ew…no…GENERIC, MOM!

With my Seinfeld-esque love of cereal, I’m getting more than the recommended amount of iron with the help of that which I once spurned. You can have your Fruit Loops, world. I’ll eat my Tootie Frooties with pride!

Having a diet with a healthy amount of iron helps our bodies fight infection. Of course, that’s extra important for Eli.

That being said – iron can actually poison a little kid. That’s why it’s not in the Flinstones vitamins. According to the National Institutes of Health, 43 children died between 1983 and 2000 after ingesting iron supplements.

Iron is beneficial in lots of ways. Here are a few of them:

Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is a part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. For example, iron (as part of the protein hemoglobin) carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Having too little hemoglobin is called anemia. Iron also helps our muscles store and use oxygen.

Iron is a part of many enzymes and is used in many cell functions. Enzymes help our bodies digest foods and also help with many other important reactions that occur within our bodies. When our bodies don’t have enough iron, many parts of our bodies are affected.

I am often anemic or near-anemic. Why do I know that? I had a rando mid-2000s, 1.5-year career diversion to a blood bank. I set up blood drives at high schools, churches and businesses. Half of the time I wasn’t eligible to donate. I’ve long experienced severe fatigue, on and off.

I know I could just take supplements, but they hurt my tum. Plus, when you get nutrients from diet, there are usually other benefits, like getting enough dietary fiber etc etc….

Hopefully by paying much closer attention to my nutrition as I try to lose weight, I’ll have the energy I need for the 24/7 that is life.

How do you get more iron? How do you make sure your family gets enough? Leave a comment or send a note! xo

This is a place for my inner monologue on food and fitness to air as I try to drop my last 20 pounds of baby weight. Warning: could at any point be bitter, delicious, something about mint Oreo ice cream, talk about My Fitness Pal/Mussolini Fitness Pal, bashing ab Selfies, spurning hunger, giving myself a break, refusing dumb diets and avoiding the notion that this is easy. No, it’s hard. I’m kinda slow. I like cookies. However, fitness in particular helps me handle this topsy turvy world we occupy and good nutrition gives me strength and energy to survive busy days, so I hope to keep it up and meet my goal! xo. Check out the category The Last 20 Pounds to follow along. I hope I can make posts each week, updated throughout the week. Get caught up with Week 1. Week 2. Week 3. Week 4 Week 5


2 thoughts on “30 ways to get more iron, man (The last 20 pounds with My Fitness Pal, weeks 5 &6)

  1. em160100 says:

    Ew! It’s a wonder anyone gets enough iron based on that list. It certainly explains why I’m slightly anemic. I’ll stick to my supplements for that one.


    1. j&m says:

      For real. I’m going with iron-fortified cereal!


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