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Amazing.... or Gross....?

federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
edited March 2015 in Diet & Habits

Bear with me, this is a bit long....

OK. I'm a vegetarian.
Many people here know that the motive has primarily been due to health reasons, but the 'moral' issue has certainly gained ground and become prominent, although I refuse to ever become one of those rampant, militant "MEAT IS MURDER!!!" screaming fanatics (and I've met a couple, so please save me from that kind!).

I have been reading several articles on the internet about nutrition, health, energy, hormone-balancing, and general well-being for myself, now that I'm fast approaching a menopausal stage, as well as being of an age where self-care and preservation should be an essential consideration....

Last Friday night, could I sleep? Could I heck-as-like. I think I was actually asleep for a little under an hour and a half. Insomnia is a curse, it's the pits. Knowing I wouldn't be able to sleep, I read, listened to the radio, filed my nails, did some knitting, completed some paperwork, watched a couple of streamed programmes on the laptop.... and finally rose at 06.00 in preparation for a long, busy saturday at work.

I showered, dressed, slapped a bit of camouflage/make-up on, and came down to eat breakfast, wondering how the hell I was actually get enough energy to work the forthcoming 8.5 hours....
Then I remembered.

I went online, did some research, and found the article i wanted.

Best energy booster, absolutely amazing. Almost a miracle food. Fantastic, matchless and so good for you.

Well, I had some in the freezer, so I cut and managed to portion myself about a tablespoonful, and just ate it. there and then.
Hell, I'm game, I'll try anything once.

What an amazing day.
One of my colleagues even asked me where I get my energy and good humour from.

I didn't share that morning's secret.

1 tablespoonful of frozen RAW BEEF LIVER.

So, what do you think?




  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    If it puts lead in your pencil, why not?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I thoroughly recommend it!

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    I've heard people talk about the amazing properties of chicken liver. Wouldn't surprise me if beef liver had similar effects. I've been meaning to try out some liver. Don't know that I can take it raw though.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    If you read the articles, there are several ways in which you could consume it. Being a 'bloody European foreigner' and having been brought up by two dedicated gastronomes, I really am open to trying virtually anything, so to me, it was not in any way shape or form stomach-churning....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I'm a bit tired at the moment, but it's an "I could do with another hour or so's kip" tired, rather than any from of physical fatigue, or loss of energy.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    Beef liver used to be considered a "health food" of sorts way back in the day. Mothers used to feed their kids liver for dinner, because it was high in iron. When I mentioned this to a doctor, who was going on about the barbaric custom that used to be common, of eating liver, he was horrified! I guess the liver is a filter for toxins in the system, so one might be consuming toxins along with the iron, or whatever's good about liver....??

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Read the articles. It's a fallacy to suggest that liver actually stores the toxins. It doesn't.

  • ToshTosh Veteran

    It gets the 'gross' vote from me, I'm afraid. I'm not keen on it even when it's cooked.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I can't eat liver, I just can't. The texture drives me insane. But I wonder if some of the mood enhancement and energy doesn't come from the high levels of vitamin B in liver. I take vitamin B supplements for the week prior to PMS and it makes a huge, huge difference in my mood. I tried just boosting vitamin B foods, but it wasn't enough for what I needed, apparently.

    I get the same result (good mood, high energy) from green smoothies. Love it. Especially carrot-apple-orange-ginger. Yummm.

    Also, make sure your magnesium levels are doing alright. Magnesium is a very common cause of insomnia especially in people who are getting older.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    If you put it in a milkshake, you'd never even know it was there.

    'xcept knowing you put it there.

    Which would prob'ly turn you off it anyway.....!

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    That's true...it might work, lol. My husband hates greens, but will drink smoothies because he only tastes the fruit, so it might work for other things, lol.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Well (again, reading the links) it seems that finely chopping some frozen liver into a milkshake with some blueberries, yoghurt and honey, is actually an excellent way of reaping the benefits....
    I used to make a milkshake which my H would avidly drink, with great gusto - and he is repelled by anything remotely even hinting at 'healthy!

    175g silken tofu
    250ml plain yoghurt
    400ml semi-skimmed milk
    1/2 cup of oat flakes
    1/4 cup sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
    20 whole almonds, soaked overnight
    1 tbsp honey
    1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
    1 whole banana, sliced
    1/4 cup blueberries
    1 tbsp grated frozen liver.

    Whizz almonds briefly to begin breaking them up.
    Add milk, tofu, yoghurt, honey and molasses*. Whizz again.
    Add oats, sunflower/pumpkin seeds, blueberries, sliced banana and liver.

    Blend until as smooth as you want it.

    Drink. I guarantee you won't even know there's liver in there.

    My goodness, that really sets you up for the day!!

    (Dip you tablespoon in hot water before scooping up the honey and molasses. It will make these two ingredients less likely to cling to the spoon.)

  • @federica. Sounds like a wonderful discovery. I should like to know if you achieve the same benefits as time goes on. This is what turns my motor over. I make a green drink with all the leafy greens I have available. Into this I add a nice piece of ginger, garlic and 1/2 a lime or lemon.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Well, (apologies if this is TMI for some) but I also began my period today - and I have to say, it really doesn't feel as debilitating, tiresome, cramping or as uncomfortable as it has in the past.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I am all for anything that helps in that department, especially since I can expect mine when we are on vacation in April and being the only female on the trip, I don't expect much sympathy from my family, lol. I think liver has a lot of iron in it perhaps that is what helps on that end. I just really like breaking down that stuff, nutrition and it's affects on the body is something I am fascinated by and endlessly exploring by experimenting on myself. I keep a journal of all sorts of factors and put it in excel and see what I can find out, from moon phases to weather patterns to food, exercise, meditation. It's quite interesting. I like to track stuff though, I'm totally a nerd that way, lol.

  • OK. I'm a vegetarian.

    Yes I am a vegetarian that eats meat too (for purely medicinal purposes). :mrgreen:

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @federica said:
    Well, (apologies if this is TMI for some) but I also began my period today -

    Yeah well, we used to call it an exclamation point around here...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    ...And never mistake it for a colon....

  • mmommo Veteran

    @federica, I think another thing not to overlook is the iron issue, liver sounds like really rich in it. Recently, I have developed dark line around my lip, suspect that I might have iron issue. Have been reading up on it. Because I have been drinking lemon water a lot for some time now.
    And the vitamin c and iron retention in the body is said to be related also. Vit c is said to amplify the effects of food eaten together with it.

    This link might be relevant and it seem to point iron overload is an issue which can accumulate later in life.


  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I think it depends on the amount of liver eaten, and also from which animal it comes.

    I don't take any Vitamin C supplements, so I'm honestly not too concerned about overdosing on anything.

    Plus, as I have thalassemia, Iron SUPPLEMENTS are a total no-no, but apparently, food rich in natural Iron, is a yes-yes.... And given that I'm probably only consuming about 4 - 6 oz/week (assuming I do this every day) there's virtually no danger of overdoing anything.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited March 2015

    women tend to need more iron than men because of menstruation. Many women are iron deficient as a result.
    Also, vitamin C only impacts the uptake of iron in the body if it is consumed at about the same time as the iron source. That's because vitamin c is water soluable and the body doesn't store it so if you drink lemon water (which even an entire lemon is only about half the vitamin c you need in a day) and then eat 2 hours later, they won't interact it the vitamin c won't have an effect on the iron. Also, it seems that vitamin c mostly helps with the uptake of plant-based iron as it is a different type and harder for the body to assimilate than the iron contained in meat products, which the body uses quite readily.

  • mmommo Veteran

    My older brother had thalassemia and that why I just a bit concerned with everything related to iron. I thought only certain races has this blood issue. But, since liver is said to have folic acid. It might be good for us (people who have some sensitivity to iron) folic acid is one thing I remember from doctors who are encouraging thalassemia patients and their blood related relatives.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited March 2015

    Sadly, due to transportation, cold-storage and the general time-lapse between harvesting of citrus fruits and eventual consumption, much of the beneficial vitamin C has dissipated, and the content is much lower than one might expect, which is probably why it's better to get your vitamin C from other sources too, such as fresh parsley, or watercress, both of which it's much easier to gather freshly.....


    Edit: here are 4 foods with more vitamin C, ounce for ounce, than orange juice....

  • mmommo Veteran

    Yea sometimes, I drink warm water with whole lemon.but most of the times, i put it in green smoothie with a lot of leafy green like spinach and rockets. And spinach is rich in iron also.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited March 2015

    No, it isn't actually, at least, not as much as people think.

    Spinach also contains iron absorption-inhibiting substances, including high levels of oxalate, which are said to render most of the iron found in spinach of no use to the body.

    (From the article linked.)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited March 2015

    Spinach has decent iron content for a plant, but overall, it's not much and spinach also contains acids that stop iron from being absorbed.
    Like a lot of greens, the iron content is actually decreased when it's in raw form because it takes some cooking to release the nutrients for absorption. Also, because 1 cup of a raw veggie really is a tiny amount of food. Have you ever put a ton of greens with just a little water in a blender and seen how much it compresses? I did it today, 2 huge handfuls of greens with water amounted to about a half cup. Most of that was water.

    A cup of uncooked fresh spinach only has .8mg of iron. A [modest] serving of meat has [upwards of 4mg.] But a cup of cooked fresh spinach has 6mg, both because when it's cooked you can fit more into a cup and because the cooking releases the iron. But up to 90% of what is available isn't absorbed because of the oxalic acid.

    The recommended amount of iron for a menstruating-age woman is double what a man the same age needs. 18mg a day compared to 8mg a day for a man. If the woman struggles with heavy periods, she needs even more. That's a lot of spinach, lol.

    federica/Mod note: [italics] inserted by me to rectify omission.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited March 2015

    Poor @mmo..... making every sound effort to be nutritiously healthy, and we're shooting all efforts down in flames - !! Research, research, research..... Can't recommend it enough.....

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    lol sorry @federica It took me forever to type my post and I hadn't seen you posted in the mean time.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @karasti , you're missing a statistic out of the (penultimate) paragraph beginning ' A cup of cooked uncooked fresh spinach..... a serving of meat has....?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Great minds think alike!

    (Or fools seldom differ....! :D )

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    LOL dur.
    Cooked spinach compares much better than raw. I was focusing more on raw because I assume mmo is using raw for smoothies then I lost my train of thought apparently! A 3 ounce serving of liver, oysters/mollusks/clams has upwards of 4mg. They are the most iron rich meats. Turkey, beef, sardines are decent as well. There's nothing wrong with plant-based iron as long as one realizes where it's coming from (like spinach that blocks absorption a lot) and that non-heme iron doesn't absorb as well to start especially if one is low on iron to start with.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @karasti, (Amended your post, excuse liberty.)

  • mmommo Veteran

    I used about 30g (one third of 100g bag). I also have other things like dill, which I put in the drink. I think I have about same amount of liquid base (which is around 1-1.5 cup). Glad to know that lemon and the drinks are not culprit. I am a bit obsessed with nutrition and food, could have become a good nutritionist if I know about my passion younger. B)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Well, in my opinion, @mmo, it's extremely important to do as much research on individual points, as possible. For example, your comment on spinach being full of iron, is flawed, but that is completely understandable, given the constant misinformation handed down over the years, in spite of correction. The misunderstanding still persists....

    This is why, when I discovered the factor regarding liver, its nutrition and vitamin content and dietary benefits, I began to do detailed research. I too, was of the mistaken view that liver stored the toxins removed from the system, and I'm very glad to have discovered my erroneous assumption.

    So never take the first word you find - or even, maybe, the second! Until the consesus of findings is constant and uniform, and you find that all sources cite more or less the same thing - study further!

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