by Lea Gance, M.S., L.Ac

Feeling fatigued? Build more blood!

Feeling fatigued? Instead of drinking more coffee, try building more blood!

Many woman are what Chinese medicine calls “blood deficient.” Because women lose blood during menstruation and seem to eat less iron and B12-containing foods (like red meat, dark leafy greens, and beets), they are more likely to become blood deficient. You may fall into this category if you bruise easily, often feel fatigued, stare at a screen for extended periods of time, don’t get enough sleep (especially between 11:00pm and 3:00am), or if you are overworked (is there anyone NOT described by this list?!), you could probably use some help building blood. A simple and important way to do this is through your diet.

As a girl eating on the go, I find it difficult to ensure I’m getting enough blood-building foods in my diet. This recipe is easy, extremely quick, and contains foods such as steak and spinach, which help to build blood. The avocados provide healthy fats, and the yogurt is a great, probiotic containing alternative to sour cream or mayonnaise-based dressings. You can use gluten-free corn tortillas to make the whole meal gluten-free. Also, feel free to omit the yogurt or use coconut milk yogurt to make it dairy free. To make it vegetarian just substitute  black beans in place of the steak, or use fish if you eat fish. The whole meal requires less than 15 minutes of actual cooking time!

Blood-Building Steak Tacos and Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 flank steak
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 red onion (sliced)
  • 2 tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 avocados (sliced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ¼ c yogurt (I prefer the greek style)
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ head of cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 bag fresh baby spinach
  • Corn tortillas

Recipe

  1. Preheat the broiler.  Put the steak on a broiler pan and season each side with the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
  2. Cook the steak under the broiler, about 3-5mins per side, depending on the thickness of the steak.
  3. While the steak is cooking, cut up all of the vegetables.
  4. In a medium bowl mix together the cabbage, half the bunch of cilantro, and half of the onion. Whisk together 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp lime juice, ½ tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and add to the cabbage mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. Use half to dress the spinach salad and reserve the other half as a condiment for the tacos.
  6. To prepare the spinach salad, mix together the spinach, onion, avocado, tomatoes and dress with the yogurt dressing.
  7. Let the steak rest for 3-5mins, then slice as thinly as possible on the diagonal.
  8. Prepare the tacos using your desired amount of steak, cabbage slaw, avocado.  Serve with the spinach salad.

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ can chickpeas
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts
  • Leftover tomatoes, spinach, and avocado from the tacos
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe

  1. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook until all of the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
  2. Let cool, then mix with the tomatoes, spinach, chickpeas, artichokes, and avocado. Dress with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

 

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