Mexican Meatloaf and IRON Facts and CLA
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Do you crave chewing on ice, have a bit of anxiety, yet low in energy? You could be low in iron. Gluten has many bad side effects, one of which is how well you absorb iron. Iron helps to carry oxygen to the mitochondria of your cells, which is where fat burning occurs.
If you get a hemoglobin test done and it comes back “normal” you could still be having absorption issues, which is why I require a ferritin test for my clients instead. This test shows me if the iron in your body is getting INTO the cells. If for some reason your hemoglobin is “normal” and your ferritin is “low” I would recommend a 100% elimination diet of gluten. If you are working out a lot, eating low carb and still aren’t losing weight, I would get your ferritin checked. Losing weight is all about fat “oxidation”… when you inhale you carry oxygen through the hemoglobin to the mitochondria of your cells, where fat is burned. BUT if you don’t have any iron in your cells, you aren’t getting the oxygen to the mitochondria. Even though iron numbers may come back fine, this means that you are consuming enough iron in foods, but it isn’t getting into the cells… which means there is a food sensitivity inhibiting you from absorbing it.
A few things that deplete you of iron:
1. Heavy menstrual cycles
2. Loss of blood (injury/surgery/pregnancy)
3. Food allergy (damaged intestines/leaky gut)
4. Heavy exercise (running)
5. Not eating red meat/sources of iron
Now, there are 2 different types of iron:
1. Heme iron: form of iron that comes bound to heme proteins and is easily in your digestive tract. (found in Red Meat)
2. Nonheme iron: form of iron not bound to heme proteins, less easily absorbed. (found in spinach and other plant sources)
If you are a vegetarian, I suggest that you pair spinach with foods high in vitamin C to enhance the absorption. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) forms a complex with iron and chemically modifies iron into a form that your body can more readily absorb. Most people underestimate the power of herbs and spices; things like parsley, dill, rosemary, as well as most spices, have a ton of vitamin C; more than most fruits.
Also adding lemon and lime help with iron absorption. The acid helps to change the iron from nonabsorbable ferric iron to the more absorbable ferrous iron. Eat foods high in iron with coconut, balsamic or apple cider vinegar, or acidic lime or lemon juice. For example, top a spinach salad with a lemon and herb dressing, or use the juice from a lime as the garnish.
NOTE: Do not take iron supplements unless directed by a doctor. Too much iron isn’t a good thing!
Instead of using breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs, I use an egg for the binder along with finely chopped mushrooms (don’t worry you don’t even taste them, but it makes it very moist) and grated cheese. Mushrooms and aged cheeses have something called “UMAMI.” Umami is a pleasant savory taste produced by glutamate and ribonucleotides, chemicals which occur naturally in many foods. Umami is subtle and not generally identified by people when they encounter it, but blends well with other tastes to intensify and enhance flavors; it plays an important role in making food taste delicious.
2 lbs grass fed ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms
2 c. shredded pepper jack or Mexican cheese
1/4 cup salsa
1 tsp Mexican-style seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1 clove crushed garlic
OPTIONAL: Add lots of fresh herbs to the meat mixture to add lots of phytonutrients. Add 4 TBS cilantro. Cilantro is a super food to provide nutrients when eliminating fruits and root vegetables.
HEALTH TIP: I pick up a ton of organic herbs from the farmers market late in the fall so I can freeze them and add them to my meatloaf, meatballs, soups, and chili.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, eggs, mushrooms, cheese and salsa. Season with Mexican seasoning, cumin, and garlic (and herbs). Press into a 9×5 inch loaf pan, and cover loosely with foil. Bake in the preheated oven approximately 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Makes 6 servings.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Traditional Meatloaf = 535 calories, 33g fat, 29g protein, 16.2g carbs, 1.4g fiber, (14.8g effective carbs)
“Healthified” Meatloaf = 475 calories, 31.6g fat, 43.3g protein, 2.3g carbs, 0.5g fiber, (1.8g effective carbs)
|Made into meatballs|
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) helps increase lean muscle mass. It is a fatty acid that is found in some of the foods we eat. At one time, beef, turkey, lamb and dairy were exceptional sources; however, when we changed their diet from grass to grains, the levels of CLA dramatically decreased in meat and dairy products. If CLA is present, it is found in the fatty portion of milk. Drinking skim milk will never provide the benefits of CLA.
CLA not only reduces fat but also preserves the muscle tissues. The most amazing part is not that it makes fat cell smaller but it prevents a small cell from becoming fatter. A low calorie diet often helps a person lose weight for a short period, but once the cravings take over and the diet comes to a halt, that person is even more likely to gain back the weight. CLA seems to stop this undesired weight gain from happening because it causes you to hold onto valuable muscles during weight loss. Studies show that CLA is also helpful in lowering blood sugar levels. In one study almost 2/3 of the volunteers had a reduction of blood glucose level and triglyceride levels.
This supplement helps in reducing fat at a faster rate. At least 3.4 grams per day must be taken in order for it to show its effect in our body. It has been shown in numerous studies that people taking this supplement have around 6 pounds of weight lose as compared to others.
When taken in effective doses, CLA decreases body fat, especially in the area of the abdomen. Various studies prove the following additional benefits:
1. Increases metabolism and is evidently very beneficial for thyroid patients.
2. Lowers high cholesterol level and triglycerides at a faster rates.
3. Increases the growth of muscles which stimulates our metabolism.
4. Lowers insulin resistance and therefore assist in controlling weight.
5. Decreases Adrenal imbalances, which decreases abdominal fat stores.
6. Calms hormonal shifts; an area of concern to migraine sufferers and thyroid patients.
7. Enhances our immune system.