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WIAW: Protein, Fiber, Calcium and Iron

In the meetings I had with a dietitian back in the spring, these are the four nutrients she most wanted me to focus on. I guess they’re things a lot of people, especially people with disordered eating in their pasts, can struggle to get enough of. Fiber and iron can be hard if you avoid FODMAPs like beans, soy, and wheat; protein, calcium, and iron are all tricky if you avoid meat, eggs, and/or dairy.

I don’t think about the nutrients in my food every meal, or even every day. In fact, it wasn’t until I assembled the photos from my day of eats that I realized I’d eaten a number of meals with foods high in these four nutrients.

So I thought I’d do a post highlighting these tricky nutrients, in case some readers’ health care providers are also concerned about about similar deficiencies in their diets. I’ll note which of these options are FODMAP-friendly and which work for folks with other common allergies.

As always, I promote making decisions about what to eat first and foremost by listening to your hunger and your cravings. But I still believe in what Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, authors of Intuitive Eating, call “gentle nutrition”: being conscientious, but not obsessed, about being sure to eat a wide variety of foods to ensure we’re getting all the different nutrients our bodies need.

Linking up with Jenn‘s What I Ate Wednesday over at Laura’s today.

WIAW - New


Slow cooker steel-cut oats cooked in water, milk, and flaxseed, topped with brown sugar, raspberries, and almonds. Gluten-free soy sausage on the side (unpictured).Oh my goodness. This was the first time I ever made steel cut oats in a slow cooker. It was soooooo good. So creamy and flavorful! Seriously, if you’ve never made slow cooker steel cut oats, you have to try it.

On that note: steel cut oats are also much higher in protein and fiber than rolled oats, plus it’s got a decent amount of iron. The fruit, nuts, milk, and flax all add extra fiber, protein, calcium, and just, you know, yum.

I’ve also grown to really like the Sol brand of gluten-free, vegan sausage. Mostly I eat it because I need protein to get through the morning, but it also has more fiber than eggs, meat, or most other brands of soy sausage.

I also take a calcium supplement. I don’t know if they work, but my dietitian really wanted me to. I alternate every other day between calcium with vitamin D and a multivitamin.

Intolerances: Not low-FODMAP, but vegan and dairy allergy friendly if you use an alternative milk.



Trail mix at my messy desk between classes.

One thing I love about trail mix is that you can customize it. Nuts add protein, and nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate are all good sources of iron and fiber. Most importantly, they’re yummy.

Intolerances: Depends on what you put in it. 🙂



So I discovered, to my surprise, that when I was at the grocery store didn’t pick up the gluten-free Amy’s mac & cheese, as I’d intended, but the gluten-free, dairy-free mac & cheese. It wasn’t bad…but yeah, I definitely prefer the real cheeeeeeese. My dietitian wanted me to be eating more cheese because of the calcium and protein it provides.I had edamame on the side–protein, fiber, iron, and even a little bit of calcium–plus some baby carrots.

Intolerances: This meal would be low-FODMAP if you did the gluten-free, dairy-free mac & cheese and stuck to a small portion of edamame. It’s also an accidentally vegan lunch. Not great on calcium, though. The real cheese version of this entree is neither low-FODMAP nor vegan, but it is a lot higher in calcium.



I keep thinking that, because I eat a late lunch after teaching all morning, I don’t need to pack an afternoon snack. Ha. Silly me.

I ate supper pretty much as soon as I got home: leftover low-FODMAP beef tacos with a recipe from this cookbook, topped with cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce, plus broccoli and corn on the cob.Beef gets a bad rap, and it is very hard on the environment the way we currently produce it. But it is a great source of protein and iron, plus other minerals like zinc and B12. Plus it’s low-FODMAP!

Intolerances: This whole meal is low-FODMAP, provided that you watch portions on the broccoli and corn.



That evening, I went to swing dance at a place in town called Illegal Pete’s. You get a free taco with your ticket!Somewhere down in there there’s some meat and chicken…

I’m getting sick of talking nutrition, aren’t you? Let’s just say it was a delicious taco. 🙂


At any point in recovery, has your treatment team encouraged you to make sure you’re getting enough of any particular nutrient?

Ever made steel-cut oats in a slow cooker? (If you haven’t, you must.)



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  1. Your eats look absolutely delicious!! All those tacos!!

  2. Kaylee says:

    I agree! Steel cut oats > rolled oats for me too. Actually having some this morning for breakfast although not cooked in a slow cooker. Will have to give that a try some time!

    A free taco might be enough to lure me out to go dancing… ?

    1. Joyce says:

      Swing dancing is the beeeeeeeesssst! And yeah–I have no patience for cooking breakfast, so the slower cooker recipe was perfect for me!

  3. Such a great spin on WIAW. When focusing too much on it, eating to cover all nutrient needs can be stressful. But like you showed here, a little more awareness of which foods can help us get which nutrients and then incorporating those fitting our individual needs is enough. That aside, everything you ate looks delicious. Also, I can understand why you gave up on analyzing the taco ;). Overall, food should taste good.

  4. I LOVE steel cut oats. And in a slow cooker–yes. My mom makes the BEST pumpkin steel cut oats in the slow cooker. So good. I’ve never been swing dancing, only English country dancing, but it looks so fun!

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