Friday, November 12, 2010

In my first nutrition paper, the class was required to assess our personal nutritional intake in terms of micro-nutrients. We recorded our food intake over a week and then analysed it in minute detail, using charts. As you can imagine, it took ages. However, it was a very useful exercise. I learned two things of interest. The first is that it is very hard for a woman of childbearing age to get enough iron, unless you are eating a fortified food, for example - a fortified cereal. Even with my wholefood diet, I was not reaching 18mg a day, except on days when I ate liver. Since then, I have taken an iron supplement and continued to ponder the issue of why we need more iron than we can easily get in a non-supplemented diet. The second surprising discovery was that my vitamin A intake was off the chart. It was something like 1000% of the RDA, every day.

On closer inspection, I discovered that this level of consumption (which my tally told me was primarily from beta-carotene - the plant form of vit A) was mostly down to my fondness for kumara. One whole kumara gives you about 360% of the RDA for vitamin A. I really like them. I could eat them every day. As I do not eat potato, and hardly ever eat grain products like bread, they are my starchy carb of choice.

I'm going through a 'getting to know the attachments on my food processor' phase and, to my delight, I've discovered that I can now make kumara chips in approximately three minutes. You have to use this thing.

It is super sharp. That's why the blade is taped over - to prevent a certain klutz from losing a finger when uplifting it from the cupboard.
Really, it's so easy. You put the roughly chopped kumara in the chute and....
Pa-zow! kumara slices.
You can do a bazillion things with them, like make a gratin or add spices and other veg, but tonight it's just a bit of olive oil and sea salt.
These will be snarfled with an aged steak and silver beet from my garden.


  1. The iron thing is interesting - I wonder how women survived in the pre-supplement era? Perhaps they ate lots of black pudding... *shudders*

  2. There was one way I could have gotten my iron intake up without supplementation - by increasing my calories to about 2500 a day, same foods, just more of them. So, maybe we are supposed to eat more and move more? Apparently in the 50's, the average intake for women was over 2500 a day, but then they spent all day washing, cooking, walking everywhere. I guess what we learn it that, if you are dieting, you are probably deficient in iron. It's the hardest nutrient to get on lower calories (at the time I was eating 1600-1800 a day).


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