I have a confession to make…I’ve been a pretty shocking vegetarian over the years. That’s not to say I’ve been a bad vegetarian (as in running around eating lots of meat) but rather just not eating very well. Being healthy just wasn’t a priority.
There were the teenage years: As long as I was thin I didn’t care. The post Louis years: really didn’t care. The University years: The dog and I were so poor we lived on marmite and toast. The mummy/working years: Too busy to care plus being the only vegetarian in the house I just fed everyone else and ate cereal myself.
It all adds up to many years of not really caring about what goes into my body – especially true in the pre-girls years when I was sustained mainly by cigarettes and wine.
So, what changed? Has anything changed?
Well, quite a bit actually. The cigarettes and wine diet went out the window when I conceived my eldest daughter so I’d like to think my body is starting to forgive me – frankly, I’m an absolute lightweight these days, two glasses of wine turns me into a dizzy blonde with an impending hangover.
We can thankfully afford more than toast and marmite these days, even the poor dog got to enjoy some decent food in her old age and just about forgave me for the barren student years!
The fact is I’m lazy. Being a mum and trying to work means long hours, I’m the cook but I can’t always face cooking for myself. I also prefer light meals so I would just make a bowl of cereal or soup and eat while I cooked – dinner is always a sociable time in our house and the girl’s know I eat different food because I don’t eat meat.
I’m acutely aware that I don’t want my girls to grow up with food issues, we have an emphasis on sport and being strong in our family. I’m slim but I don’t deny myself anything or talk about calories (Starbucks hot chocolate is pretty much a daily occurrence) I try to place the emphasis on enjoying the food you want in moderation and being active.
However, I have always been aware that I don’t really consume the recommended fruit/veg, vitamins, minerals…This came to the fore when pregnant as my iron levels weren’t just a little low, they were shocking and realising that health professionals were concerned was a bit of a wake up call for me. I did my best to eat well during pregnancy and took iron medication.
Between pregnancies, and now after, I haven’t been so careful, in fact I fall into old habits quickly. After a spell of feeling unwell and generally tired I had blood tests and discovered my iron level was just 6 and I was severely anaemic. I should say it’s not all down to diet, I have terrible periods that last an average of 8 days, I can barely leave the house for first two days (sorry, TMI)!!
That was 12 months ago, since then I have been on liquid iron and totally turned my diet around. I’d like to say this is a total success story but it’s actually a bit of a work in progress, along with so much in my life!
I got my levels up to 11 and my hb to 125 but this week found out my Ferritin has dropped back down to 8, good news is though my hb is still at 125 so I’m not classed as anaemic at the moment – which is great as I was going to have an infusion which doesn’t sound like much fun!
So I need to get my levels back up to stop my hb from dropping. I don’t want to feel tired and poorly, who does! I’m going to be sharing what works and what doesn’t along with some easy recipes that have got me eating a balanced diet after years of neglecting myself.
My levels might not be super great but I certainly feel a lot better and I look better too.
Onwards and upwards, I hope!