Female Runners & Anemia

Over the past few years I have had occasional bouts of low ferritin stores and/or anemia.  Historically I don’t do well with iron supplements, so I try to focus on getting my iron from the foods that I eat.  Those with Celiac Disease can be at risk for anemia, in addition to women being at higher risk due to heavy menstruation.  During my physical last fall I discovered that my ferritin stores were once again low.  This time they weren’t below normal, but they were at the very bottom side of normal.  This concerned my physician because he said they see a higher incidence of stress fractures in women with low/normal ferritin stores.  Crap!  I have been down that path and I don’t want to go down it again

I immediately began taking an iron supplement, one that was previously okay with my stomach, only to find out that it was causing diarrhea.  After consulting with my physician, we agreed to try a diet full of iron-rich foods for 2 months and then recheck my blood work.  In addition to eating more read meat, I added in more beans and citrus with my spinach salads, tried tofu stir-fries and did all of the above consistently.  Where I had been in the habit of getting only protein or beans at Chipotle, I began getting steak and black beans.  I added raisins to every salad.  I really worked hard to avoid having to take supplements that were sure to make me sick.

The results are in…

November 2012:

January 2013:

  • Ferritin – 16
  • Hematocrit – 41.8
  • Hemoglobin – 13.9

Now the key is maintaining that improvement.  I should send myself a reminder with a link to this post to read once a week so that I keep on top of it. 

Have you ever been anemic?  What are some of your favorite iron-rich foods?

Gluten-Free Food Tax Deduction Info

I have some great information to share with you all regarding gluten-free food tax deductions.  I have never used this, but I have had many people ask me about it. 


Please continue to read below for information from the NFCA:

Things You Should Know Before Filing for a Gluten-Free Food Tax Deduction

It’s no secret that gluten-free food packaged food is oftentimes more expensive than its gluten-containing counterparts, but did you know you might be eligible for a tax deduction to help make up the difference?
If you have never filed for a tax deduction for your gluten-free food purchases, there are some important things you should know before you do:

1. You Need an Official Diagnosis to be Eligible
Many people are eating gluten-free for a variety of reasons, but only those with an official diagnosis with a gluten-related disorder will be eligible for a tax deduction. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor for a gluten-free diet as your treatment option as well.

2. Keep Track of Your Food Purchases the Entire Year In order to receive the tax deduction, you’ll have to calculate the difference between the cost of gluten-free alternatives vs. the cost of gluten-containing foods. For example, if you purchase gluten-free crackers for $4.50 and traditional crackers cost $2.50, you’ll only be able to claim the difference: $2
This will need to be done throughout the year as you purchase gluten-free food. Since you will have a lot of purchases to keep track of, some have recommended using a spreadsheet to help keep track of all of the figures.
Everyone rule has exceptions! Visit the Tax Deduction Guide for Gluten-Free Products from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to see which types of gluten-free food are eligible for a full refund.

3. Refunds are Only Given if Medical Expenses Exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income IRS rules dictate that refunds for medical expenses will be granted only if they are over 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) (the total gross income, minus specific reductions). Turbo Tax gives a great example for determining if your medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your AGI.
Once you figure out if you’re eligible for a tax deduction, the last step is moving forward and filing

Have you ever filed for a tax deduction for your gluten-free food purchases?  If not, do you plan on doing so this year?

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