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March 2014 • Published in The Daily Press, Ashland WI

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right this Month

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This March, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” by experimenting with new flavors and enjoy nutritious, tasty meals. Our bodies, including our blood, are healthiest and function best with the proper nutrients and care, best obtained from a varied and nutritious diet.

While most individuals do not benefit from taking vitamins or other supplements, one mineral that is often deficient is iron. Iron is needed to make new red blood cells to replace those lost, for example, during blood donation; your body uses iron either already in your body, or iron available from the food you eat. Dietary iron can be found in meat, seafood, poultry, iron-fortified cereals, whole grains, beans, peas, and dark green vegetables.

While eating a well-balanced diet is important for all blood donors, simply eating iron-rich foods may not replace all the iron lost from blood donation. When a healthy diet is not enough, you may need to take multivitamins with iron or iron supplements that can be purchased over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. Current recommendations vary—from a daily multivitamin with iron (19 mg iron) to elemental iron caplets (45 mg iron), for a period of 6 weeks to 3 months. Your physician or pharmacist may be able to assist you in deciding what dose, type, and duration of iron supplement to choose.

You can learn more about iron and blood donation by reading our Healthy Nutrition for Blood Donors information on To ensure a healthy diet, we suggest eating healthy iron-rich meals, like this Inside-Out Lasagna. 

Inside-Out Lasagna


8 ounces whole-wheat rotini or fusilli

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, sliced

8 ounces sliced white mushrooms (about 3½ cups)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs

8 cups baby spinach

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese



1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

2) Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 4 to 6 minutes.

3) Add tomatoes, spinach and crushed red pepper (if using). Increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring once halfway through, until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes.

4) Toss the sauce with the pasta.

5) Dollop each serving with 3 tablespoons of ricotta.


Per serving: 364 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat); 14 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 16 g protein; 7 g fiber; 588 mg sodium; 786 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (90% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Folate (25% dv), Potassium (22% dv), Calcium (21% dv), Iron (20% dv).

You can find more healthy recipes by following us on Facebook  Twitter and Pinterest.

During the month of March, we encourage community members to focus on their nutrition and spread awareness of the need for healthy blood donors. As a volunteer blood donor, you can help meet the demand at Ashland’s Memorial Medical Center and other area hospitals by rolling up your sleeve and donating the gift of life.


Making an appointment online is easy and convenient. Visit and click the Donate Blood button to schedule a donation at one of our Northland donor centers. You also can search by zip code for a community blood drive or schedule an appointment to donate in March at:


March 27, 2014                 

Hickman Chiropractic   

400 E Lakeshore Dr.

10:00 AM- 5:30 PM          


March 28, 2014                 

Ashland High School      

1900 Beaser Ave.

9:00 AM- 3:00 PM

Jed Gorlin, M.D. is Medical Director and Vice President, Medical and Quality Affairs for Memorial Blood Centers. Elizabeth Perry, M.D. is Associate Medical Director for Memorial Blood Centers. 

Send us your questions at Call us today 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) to schedule an appointment, or to find out more about Memorial Blood Centers and how we partner with the Ashland community to save lives. You also can visit us online at MBC.ORG.