How to Help Ecuador - Earthquake Response

All of my flavorful life, my work has been to turn people on to how eating and cooking healthy food is also extremely delicious and fun to share with others. For decades, I have facilitated cooking and consumption workshops to help people change their eating habits and to question where their foods comes from and how it is grown.

 In a country like Ecuador, where a diversity of beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables is available all year round, it is easy to eat well, if one knows how and is committed.

 Me and Mr Iron

Me and Mr Iron

Recently, I have had the pleasure to share my healthy ways of eating and knowledge with the masses. I was contracted to design the nutritional content for a public service radio program, “Sano por lo come,” that includes my voice and Michelle´s Tips (“Consejos de Michelle”).  Broadcasted throughout Ecuador, these programs give practical, healthy advice on a variety of topics from eating calmly, to eating more fiber, to avoiding addictive white sugar and reading labels. The following program, Mr. Iron, is an example of one of the programs produced in a fun and creative to appeal to the young and old. The program offers advice and delicious ways to consume more iron through what you eat.  

Today, I wanted to share the program and also share my advice with you about how to possibly boost your energy by increasing your iron consumption.

How to Boost Your Energy -- Increase Your Iron Consumption

If you are feeling extremely tired and without energy and have a headache, you might have low levels of iron. In Ecuador, many people suffer from parasites which can consume up to 25% of a person´s iron stores. Young children and women, in particular, require more iron in their diets.

Here are several ways you can improve your iron consumption:

  • Eat foods daily that are a good source of iron such as egg yolks, fish, legumes or dark green leaves.  Examples of common legumes to include in your diet are lentils and beans. Fava bean are a favorite in the Andes. Swiss chard, watercress and spinach are example of greens that you can eat regularly.   
  • Combine sources of Vitamin C (raw fruits or raw vegetables) with sources of iron.  By combining these foods, you can triple the amount of iron your body absorbs.  For example, when eating legumes, like in a lentil stew (“menestra de lentejas”) have a glass of pure orange juice.  Or eat fish, with a raw green salad (green peppers, radishes, dark greens.) dressed with lemon juice.
  • In Ecuador, it is very important to carefully wash hands (especially of children) before eating, to avoid parasites.