Thursday, 31 July 2014

Find it hard to look after yourself? #KeepUpSpatone

Surely one of the biggest challenges of being a parent is looking after yourself.  Days spent at home with the kids mean I find it really hard to find time to empty the dishwasher, let alone make and eat sensible meals for myself (the kids always eat really well!).

Add a general lack of red meat in my diet and I used to often find myself low on energy and iron.  I especially noticed when I was expecting toddler girl that I was so so tired, *all* the time.  My routine blood test at 28 weeks confirmed I was really low on iron - 9g/dl rather than the recommended 11g/dl.  The midwife looked slightly horrified - apparently it was one of the lowest results she'd had, and she was surprised I had the energy to get to the surgery!

I set about investigating sources of iron in food, and the results were pretty surprising.  To get the recommended 14.8mg iron women need every day, you'd need to eat or drink at least one of these:

  • 6.5 Weetabix
  • 450g red lentils (a standard bag is 500g) 
  • 548g spinach (nearly three bags!)
  • 1.2kg chicken (that's five or six chicken breasts)
  • 2.1kg broccoli (about six heads of broccoli)
  • or
  • 15 pints of Guinness!

I am not sure I could drink 15 pints of Guinness in a week, let alone a day!  A much easier option is one sachet of Spatone - an iron rich liquid supplement.

After Spatone was recommended by a friend, I took it during my third trimester with baby girl - what a difference!  Being heavily pregnant and with a young son, I wasn't exactly skipping everywhere but I did find the afternoon naps in front of Cbeebies with my son became a thing of the past, and in general I felt MUCH better.

I still take Spatone to make sure my iron levels don't drop so low again, especially when the busy 'don't have time to look after myself' days outnumber the good ones. I take the apple sachets these days, and totally love that it although it has less iron than standard iron tablets, my body absorbs more because it's a liquid and has added vitamin C.


Because of the lower iron content than tablets, I also don't get the *ahem* unpleasant toilet side effects that often come with taking iron tablets.

The Spatone box states that it is ideal for all women including pregnant women, children over two years, teenagers, vegetarians, vegans and active seniors.  You can find out more at the Nelson's website.

If you're feeling especially tired all the time, or suspect you're low on iron, it's definitely worth a try.  I'm not a doctor or dietician though, so I'd recommend a blood test if you're in any doubt.

This is my entry into the Spatone #KeepUpSpatone competition to win a £200 spa gift voucher.  More information can be found at the Nelson's PR Twitter account.  Are you entering too?  I'd love to read your entry!

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