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This is a guest post written by Janine from Hanging out with Healthy – follow Janine on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hangingoutwithhealthy


Hi, my name is Neen and I’ve been on a healthy journey for a while now. Sometimes I get it just right and sometimes I get it soooo wrong. I began blogging my journey so that others didn’t feel alone on theirs, to make me accountable to mine and to add an authentic and genuine word to the often confusing and conflicting world of fitness, nutrition and overall wellness.


I am an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life whilst trying to achieve some extraordinary changes to my physical, nutritional and emotional health. I write with humour, honesty, the occasional swear word and with no preaching. My blogs are to make you smile, think and question whether you too could be just that ickle bit more healthy.


I’m glad you swung by, come back soon, the door is always open and everyone’s welcome.




The 2015 London Marathon is on Sunday April 26th and with the ballot having just been drawn, all successful applicants will have just seven months to train, fuel and prepare their bodies for this fantastic challenge.   Last year, in the run up to the big day, I had a friend who was suffering from feelings of exhaustion and burn out halfway through her training. Fatigue can be a sign that the body is making physiological changes that improve ones physical ability, but it can also signal other imbalances such as anaemia.


There are many different types of anaemia that can affect us. As runners, we are most susceptible to “iron deficiency” anaemia. Anaemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells (RBC). Hemoglobin is a protein found within our red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen to our muscles, this iron-containing protein cannot perform it’s job properly without…. Iron! It cannot drive the oxygen to our muscles without it and when the body doesn’t get enough oxygen to it’s muscles, tiredness sets in; a debilitating and exhausting lethargy that can make it difficult to carry out even normal everyday activities.   Anaemia can be caused by blood loss (which is common in menstruating women), chronic illness, gastrointestinal disorders and the destruction of RBC.


Footstrike hemolysis is an example of how RBC can be destroyed. Red blood cells split as the foot hits the ground, they are also very vulnerable to oxidative stress which is exaggerated as a result of such exercise. Sweat loss is also another contributor to anaemia as small amounts of iron are lost in sweat, especially when running in hot or humid conditions.


There are a few things you can do to avoid hemolysis, (1) wearing cushioned running shoes; (2) losing weight; (3) running “light on the feet;” and (4) running on soft surfaces such as grass or dirt roads. Another way we can help ourselves as runners is to consume the best source of absorbable iron: red meat. While there are other sources of iron (including dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, egg yolk, and oysters), the number one champion in terms of iron that is most our bodies most readily absorb comes in the form of “heme” iron, which is derived from animal proteins like beef. Fluid intake and ensuring electrolyte replacement is also key.


There has been a lot written about anaemia in runners so please do your research, find a good trainer and if necessary a nutritionist and make sure you look after yourself during training so you are race fit on the day.

  • Method :

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large loaf tin with baking parchment.
    2. Make the sauce first: In a medium saucepan over a low heat combine the drained chopped tomatoes, the tube of tomato puree, the stock, a dash of balsamic vinegar, the chilli powder, the fresh coriander and the salt and pepper.
    3. Simmer for 10 minutes, keep stirring so it doesn’t stick or burn. It should be thick’ish and not too runny. You can always add more tomato juice or even a little more stock (literally a tablespoon of each at a time) in order to keep it from burning and becoming too thick.
    4. Whilst the sauce is simmering, prepare the meatloaf.
    5. Make the meatloaf: Firstly, melt the coconut oil (or other cooking fat) in a large based frying pan and add the chorizo over a medium heat keep moving it until it starts to change colour – do not overcook it. Once cooked, turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the chorizo (saving the orange coloured oil) to a food processor and blitz the chorizo until it is has a smooth consistency. Put the chorizo mixture into a large mixing bowl.
    6. Now over a low heat, using the oil left in the frying pan, add the onions until they begin to soften, then add the pepper and stir for about a minute and finally add the garlic and stir for another minute.
    7. Using a slotted spoon again, add the onion mixture into the large mixing bowl and then add the carrot, cumin, coriander, chilli powder, salt and pepper, the eggs and both the beef and veal mince.
    8. Using your hands, mix the whole lot up together, being careful in case any of the cooked ingredients are still hot.
    9. Once everything is fully combined, place the mixture into the large loaf tin. If it comes close to the top don’t worry, it tends to shrink back during cooking.
    10. Spread approximately half the sauce on top of the loaf, retaining the rest for adding later, and pop in the oven. Bake uncovered for about an hour.
    11. Once cooked (if using a food thermometer your loaf needs to reach 160°C) drain, and leave to cool slightly, slice and add extra sauce if required. Serve with cauliflower mash with herb butter. Mmmmmm.
    12. The reason we use the slotted spoon is that we don’t want our meatloaf too wet or it wont set or hold together. The fat content in the meats can also create a lot of moisture, so don’t use very fatty mince. Some people ‘suck out/drain’ their meatloaf juices a couple of times during cooking, but I’ve often found that the loaf can become too dry if you do this. It’s purely rendered fat and some people drain it at the end and use it to make gravy to have with their mash.
    13. Personally, I would use a slotted loaf tin or just drain if off afterwards. Sometimes, if I leave it for 10 minutes or so, the liquid is absorbed by the loaf itself. Another thing you may notice is a greasy goo on top, this again is just fat rising and you can just mix it in with the sauce topping or spoon it off.
    14. One last tip, when you put the mixture in the loaf pan shape the top so the middle is higher than the sides, by an inch or so, so the meat along the pan edges is about 1⁄2 inch below the top edge of the pan, somewhat like a pyramid except not pointed on top. This is so the grease will collect around the lower edges of the pan as it bakes. Then either drain it off a couple times while it is baking or at the end.