Another Ex-Vegan Story
I seem to run about an average of 6 months behind on these ex-vegan stories.
A reader sent me a blog post from Heather of “Run, Hike, Live, Love” and (had a blog?) “Vegans on the Run.” Her post is titled, 10/1/10–4/17/13, and it is about how she gave up a vegan diet to eat fish again due to iron deficiency.
It starts off with Heather running a race, struggling to run 8 minute miles, going to the doctor and finding out she has iron deficiency anemia. That’s no fun.
After a year of supplementing with iron, Heather was still struggling with her running. She got tested and her serum ferritin was “24 out of a possible 200.” Well, 24 is low, but it’s not really out of a possible 200 – 24 isn’t even considered iron deficient, though it’s close. 50 would be well out of the danger zone. It would be more important to find out what her hemoglobin was.
She then tells a story about how when she was a kid she caught a fish and was horrified at its suffering and went vegetarian. I sympathize because I also started towards vegetarianism after a day of fishing.
Moving along, Heather decides to buy some fish. At this point, she still has my sympathy.
She takes it home with great anxiety but sees her 8 bottles of supplements on her shelf and realizes that “Real nourishment comes from whole foods, not from bottles.” Now she’s losing me.
Heather cooks the fish and in her words, “The first bite was not what I anticipated. It was delicious. I whispered thankful prayers for the life that I was about to consume to maintain my own and let the tears flow….My stomach was raging for over an hour at the unexpected substance….Eventually the nausea subsided and was replaced within a few hours by a strange sensation: Energy. The fog of fatigue I’d been stumbling around in all day subsided as though I’d been hooked up to a caffeine IV. I was soon bustling around the house doing 10 things at once like I used to.”
And in her final paragraph, Heather says, “The one thing I know is that my body and blood do not lie.”
Hmm. Could Heather have absorbed the iron from one serving of fish and within hours produced enough hemoglobin to have a profound increase in energy?
This sort of thing could happen from blood doping. It happens from cocaine. But a serving of fish?
Apparently, taking the hormone erythropoietin, also known as EPO, takes a full week to increase hemoglobin one point.
Either her body does lie or she had something else going on besides iron deficiency as her story is not physiologically plausible if due to iron deficiency.
I wonder if oysters would provide the same amazing burst of energy?