Bring That Woman a Steak!

Last November, I gave up all the things I don’t really like to do anyway, including eating meat.  Unfortunately, my decision to replace meat with cookies turns out to have been somewhat unwise. 

I could have guessed that I’d made an unwise nutritional decision, but in fact the extent of my unwisdom was brought to my attention by my doctor, who called the other night to tell me I am severely anemic.  (I thought she was calling to tell me that they’d finally voted on a new health care bill and it required all doctors to actually follow up on blood test results that they’ve had since June, but in fact, she managed to stumble on my results without any kind of government mandate.  Whether that gives you solace in your concerns about health care legislation I cannot say. All I know is that I’ve been about the same degree of tired for 14 years, and that hasn’t gotten worse since I stopped eating steak.) 

When I heard about the severe anemia, my first thought was how I could use THAT news to my advantage.  I am here to tell you that in my family it counts for nothing.  My husband first checked, of course, as husbands will, to be sure that the chances are zero that the anemia is related to something that will trigger the need to cash in my life insurance policy.  After that, well, you still have to do the dishes. 

Soon, though, maybe I will be given something that will make me feel totally fired up.  And then look out.  For one thing, I will beging posting at a rate of greater than .7 blog posts a week.   And I will be organizing my bureau drawers and then coming over to your house and alphabetizing your spice rack. 

And this is also to say to the fourteen lovely, lovely blog readers who left comments cheering me on in the quicksand also known as revising-your-novel-yet again:  I ADORE YOU. And my husband, who really just wants to be sure I am well, I adore him too. And those who read and don’t comment, like the lovely Mari (and her lovely soon to be baby?) but hope for the best in the quicksand?  Yup.  I ADORE YOU also!

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29 thoughts on “Bring That Woman a Steak!

  1. Ah, Charlotte, you have hit on it. I will use this as an excuse to eat lovely grass fed meat products, of which there are many to be had at our local grocery store. And I love you too, missy. xo

  2. I don’t always leave comments, Lily, but I am ALWAYS cheering you on. I wish I knew more about anemia so I could give you some advice, but I have heard that steak is a good idea. Hanging around a vampire…maybe not.

  3. Oh yes, eat a steak now and then, or a filet or some such. I have suffered from severe anemia all my life – now attributed to undiagnosed celiac disease – and it isn’t fun. Just counter the steak with lots and lots of leafy greens!

  4. Courtney, Always looking for some sort of advantage in any piece of mixed blessing news, I am very happy to do a little meat eating for the cause. I became a vegetarian for my health, not because I have any philosophical issue with meat (which is not to say that I can’t see how there could be some) and I happen to love steak. I’m thinking grass fed, fancy steak should do it. As for the celiac, I have a friend whose daughter has that disease and it sounds like there’s a good community of people out there who’ve figured out many strategies for handling the disease. Here’s hoping for more energy, all around!!

    Mari, You are so sweet. And I adore you too. And I always have. I will look out for the sharp toothed, pale guys who, while cute, are probably not going to do me any good.

    Lilian, now THAT is the menu for me. And yes, all at once! (Or spread out on the plate, with the chocolate last.)

  5. Do you eat tuna steak, Lily? That’s got lots of iron in and I try to persuade a morsel into my son occasionally (not a big red meat eater).I believe wholegrains contain a fair amount of iron, too. Oh diet, it’s such a pain and it does make a difference. A moderate portion of lovely lean steak once a week is absolutely fine for you, I’d think. I hate the thought of you anaemic! Don’t make me come over there and take over your kitchen and start mothering you through food (an out-of-control tendency as it is!) 🙂

  6. How can you be anemic with all of those spinach smoothies you drink (where IS that post with the recipe…)? And wouldn’t it be great if it only takes a couple of steaks to help you finish your rewrite? I hope you feel better very soon.

  7. Will they give you an iron supplement? That might get more instant results than steak, though by all means eat what you need to. I agree that cookies aren’t terribly high in iron. Before my cholesterol went up some years ago, my idea of eating was to start with cookies and then if there was room, to work my way backward in the meal. I supplemented that by a daily ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins. Later I became a vegetarian and ate the same dinner for about 6 months, and then figured out a new recipe, promptly forgetting the previous one. After that I met my h, who is also a vegetarian and a fabulous and enthusiastic cook. He won my heart with soup. We have kids with boundless energy. I’ve even learned to cook another dish and I’m thinking of expanding my repertoire to 2. Luckily one of my children also likes cooking and there is hope that my younger dtr might follow suit.

  8. hey ho…ain’t life a go round?

    my friend Ram had been a vegetarian for ages, then at about age 70+ discovered he too need more iron. He chose (I’m sure after exhaustive research and thinking) lamb once a week.

    i happen to love lamb, rare with garlic and salt, yum.

    maybe you too…

  9. Enjoy your grass-fed steak (or hamburger if you prefer). However, given my last comment to you, I’m a little afraid of non-anemic you, but maybe that means you’ll have even MORE of whatever it is you have to send to me.

  10. Emily, Both Charlotte and I have been drinking a lot of chai lattes, which have been known to have magical properties. Maybe a chai mix for Christmas?! xo

    Gail — Lamb! MMM. I just choked down a truly awful chicken liver sandwich from Max’s Deli, which was redeemed only by the pickle (not known to be high in iron) and the potato salad (ditto). I’m looking forward to trying out every single one of these fabulous suggestions.

    Dearest Bride of the B’God — “tender” — didn’t Hannibal Lector look at Clarice Starling and deliver some wickedly cannibalistic sentence that had that word in it? (But yes, tender is always good.)

    Genie, I’m thinking some research needs to be done in the Oakland area, don’t you agree?

    Lilian, I love this description of your food history. The B&R, in particular, has given me inspiration and hope. As a woman who believes in putting one’s children to work (an effort that’s still a work in progress) I salute you.

    Michael — Hmm. Liquid iron supplemental vs. dark chocolate and steak frites (the potato being a dark horse in the iron rich food competition)? Let’s see….

    Debbie, I know. The amount of spinach coursing through my body on a daily basis is astonishing. I want a refund or something.

    Litlove, I love tuna. For one thing, it’s an excellent delivery system for mayo, and because I am catholic, through and through, the combo of tuna and mayo is sort of in my genes. I’m going to up my intake, obviously. (But I would love to have you hanging out in my kitchen. Drinking tea. Telling me all about Sue Miller….)

  11. Pingback: Greg Norman. And Kobe Beef. A Natural Combo. | cha no ma-ri

  12. Oh, Lily, it is always such a pleasure to visit your blog – it has a power to add warmth and comfort to my day. As for anemia – how about walnuts with honey and a touch of butter? An unorthodox recipe, I have to admit, but great when you have to restore your energy.

    My very best,
    V.

  13. Just because I couldn’t remember, I went over to the Mayo site (that would be the Clinic, not the condiment) and checked out symptoms of anemia.

    They include: fatigue, pale skin, fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, cognitive problems and cold hands and feet.

    For a minute I thought I was reading a wiki article on romance novels. Is it possible you’re not anemic at all but have an insidious bodice-ripper lurking inside you?
    Iron-rich foods and B-12 shots should fix you up just fine if you’re truly anemic, but if not?

    I’m just sayin’… 😉

  14. I have been a veggie for quite some time now. My doctor and ma have always been concerned with my eating habits and that I would soon be anemic. I eat lots of dark green veggies, take vitamins and drink lots of water! Good luck!

  15. Just don’t throw the baby biscuits out with the bathwater. Cookies are a crucial food group, and homemade fig newtons will cure almost any affliction.

  16. Been there, too. I gave up red meat a number of years back, the only exception being the box of (sigh–yummy) grass-fed cow parts my better half gets from a work colleague every Christmas. It’s probably not a coincidence that January is the only month in which my iron level is high enough to permit me to give blood. Stay well and strong, but don’t give up the cookies.

  17. Do you use a cast iron skillet? We don’t eat a ton of red meat around here so I threw away the non-stick pans and cook everything in iron. Apparently food can soak it up!

    Also, dark molasses. I craved it so much when I was pregnant that I ate it out of the jar.

    Hope you feel better!

  18. Hope your anemia has improved.

    Just make sure those cookies are full of whole grains and have raisins in them. Foods that are high in iron include poultry, fish, raisins, dried fruits, blackstrap molasses, leafy green vegetables, eggs, cherries, whole grains, legumes, oysters, dulse, and hiziki (the last two are seaweeds).

    I have several friends that are vegetarians and they are not anemic. Just because you choose to not eat red meat does not mean you automatically HAVE to have a nutritional deficiency.

  19. Floradix, a liquid iron supplement is plant based, tastes yummy and has b and c vitamins also to help absorb. ALSO, you can add things like wheat germ and brewers yeast to enhance your iron. Increase your vitamin c intake also cause your body can’t absorb/use it unless the vit c is there.

    am late to this part and not like you asked but here is my two bits anyhoo. I agree that lots of veggiesaurauses are not anemic…I would ask for more tests! Have they checked your vit D?

  20. Hello…your first paragraph had me laughing out loud! Thanks for the lift. I am borderline anemic and have started taking iron supplements, too…overall seem to help with stamina. Glad you enjoyed your time in Florida…New Smyrna is my backyard neighbor. All the best with your novel and thanks for the inspiration. Jen

  21. Take care, BL. I hope the doctor also gave some nutritional suggestions. As coincidence would have it, I’m giving up meat as well for the past year, or nearly giving up to be honest, since I’ve found that compensating for the lost protein and nutrients from vegetarian food is non-trivial.

    But, by all means, it should be fine for the Lady to have a steak once in a while!

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