...is so so good for you but can be expensive and scary to cook. For women, failing to get enough protein in your body can lead to serious health issues. One of those problems that I have struggled with in my life is Anemia. Anemia linked to Protein? I thought Anemia was a lack of Iron? You are right, but some of the highest sources of Iron available are found in meat!
I was diagnosed as severely anemic when I was in high school. It lead to intense fatigue and made my body susceptible to other health related issues. It is so important that you are getting enough iron in your body.
I have met so many women lately who are vegetarians for health reasons. Anyone saying "I am trying to lose weight so I am becoming a vegetarian" or "I want to be more healthy so I am cutting back on meat" needs to be VERY careful! I hope you are taking high Iron supplements or eating your weight in Spinach and Chick Peas. Meat doesn't have to be cut out of your diet if you eat it properly. In fact, it can give you the energy and the drive to lose that weight you have been working on!
Most Women cut out meat from their diet because
|| They don't know how to cook meat
||They think meat is fattening
||They think meat is more expensive to buy than fruits and vegetables
|| They think Fish is a better substitute
Here a few things I have learned the last year of cooking for a meat crazy man!
1. Expensive? Doesn't have to be!
Most grocery stores will knock down prizes on their meat a day or 2 before the sell by date. A package of chicken that was 8 dollars may end of being 1.99 on its sell by date! Now, when I was a rookie cook, I thought that meant I had to cook that meat that day! I would only buy one package and go home and cook it right away. Your freezer is essentially a time freezer- meaning if you put your meat in the freezer it won't progress toward your expiration date until you take it out. When you see meat on sale buy in bulk! I once bought 6 packages of chicken breast, 2 packages of steak tips, a package of chicken wings, and a turkey tenderloin for $20!! For all of you Kingstree, SC shoppers, Food Lion has the best meat discounts in town!
2. Fattening? Depends how you cook it.
Meat- especially red meat- can be high in saturated fat, but there are plenty of ways to cook and shop for meat that won't break the bathroom scale. Rather than deep frying or lathering your meat in vegetable oil, add a little bit of olive oil before you cook and bake rather than fry. Try low sodium seasoning (I like Ms. Dash with no salt)- or no seasoning if you can handle it-, and don't smothering your chicken in BBQ sauce or marinades. If you cook it right, meat can be healthy, full or iron, and packed with protein! Even steaks can be healthy if you use olive oil and cut off the fat.
3. Cooking meat is scary? Easy tip.
Best way to cook any type of meat is in the oven- Baked.
I buy skinless-boneless chicken breast or thighs, add a little bit of olive oil to your raw chicken, sprinkle with a pinch low sodium seasoning, and bake it in the oven. Set your oven to 400 degrees and cook for 20-25 minutes- flip at least once. Chicken is done when you see no pink inside.
Same goes for chicken meat balls. Mash your ground chicken into balls, lay in a cake pan with some seasoning and a dap of olive oil. Finish of with some tomato sauce.
So many recipes that call for fatty marinades and a pan saute can be made this way.
4. Fish all day all the time? Not enough Iron.
Fish is definitely good for you and has plenty of protein, but there is very little Iron in most Fish. An adult woman needs upwards of 18 Milligrams of Iron a day. 100 grams of salmon only provides 1 milligram of Iron. Baked Cod only gives you .4 milligrams! Please don't relay on fish to give your daily serving of Iron.
If health and weight loss are your goals, cut out heavy oils, fried meats, red fatty meats such as steaks and porks, and cut down on portion sizes. But, please don't deprive your body of the Iron and Protein that it needs.
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.