When people find out I am a vegetarian I get two questions:
Where do you get your protein?
Do you have to take iron?
I get plenty of protein, often more than your average carnivore, with no problem. I eat eggs, tofu, edamame, dried peas, beans and shakes with Designer Whey Protein Powder or True Vitality plant based protein powder. On average my protein intake is about 100-120 g a day.
I do sometimes think about iron. I take an iron free multivitamin because taking iron in supplement form makes me sick to my stomach. Instead I eat a variety of plant based iron rich foods like lentils, peas and spinach. Spinach is probably my favorite vegetable and iron rich food. I add spinach to sandwiches, my eggs, use it as a base for salads and add it to the occasional shake.
To help increase the absorption rate of plant-based iron, you need a little vitamin C to go with it. (If you have to take an iron supplement and get the nausea that often accompanies it, try taking it with a little OJ.) This can be citrus fruit, like oranges or mango, or vegetables like kale and broccoli.
For this shake I also kicked up the vitamin A content and added an extra veggie boost with butternut squash. Both mango and butternut squash are high in vitamin A, which is important in the synthesis of proteins, red blood cell development and immune function. With some whey protein powder, you’ve got everything you need to be a true Iron Woman.
Iron Woman Smoothie
- 1 cup almond coconut milk
- ½ cup frozen mango
- ½ cup frozen butternut squash
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Designer Whey Vanilla Praline)
- extra ice cubes, as desired
Blend all ingredients in a blender till smooth. Serve immediately, makes one serving.
Yield: Serves 1
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 0 Minutes
Per Serving: Calories 237; Total Fat 5.7g; (Sat Fat 2g, Poly Fat 0g, Mono Fat 0g); Protein 22.2g; Carb 27g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 13g; Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 170mg