Going Folic in 2013 – An Easy New Year’s Resolution to Keep!

Going Folic! in 2013 Cereal or Vitamins, it's an easy New Year's resolution to keep!

How many New Year’s resolutions have you made over the years? How many of these resolutions have you kept?  According to USA.gov, the top 10 most popular resolutions are (not in any particular order): drink less alcohol, get a better education, get a better job, get fit, lose weight, manage debt, manage stress, quit smoking, recycle more, save money, take a trip, volunteer. With the exception of losing weight (read an alternative view here)

Go Folic! staff members like, and have made, many of the above resolutions over the years – volunteering, taking a trip, quitting smoking, recycling more. That said, we know that while New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, they can be less easy to maintain.

We have one resolution that can be easy to keep- Go Folic! for 2013!

Going folic means getting the recommended daily requirement for folic acid – 400 mcg.  Doing so is easy!  Just take a daily multi-vitamin with the recommended amount.  We recommend a multi-vitamin instead of a folic acid supplement because this B-vitamin needs other B-vitamins to do it’s work (visit our folic facts web page to learn why folic acid is so important).

where are the october multis??But vitamins can be expensive…

If you are a woman between the ages of 14 – 54, and live in San Francisco, you can get free Go Folic! multis that contain the recommended RDA for all vitamins, including vitamins K and D.  Visit our website to find out how.

What if I don’t like taking pills?

Cereals that contain 100% (400 mcg) of the RDA for folic acidIt’s still easy!  Eat a bowl of fortified cereal with the recommended amount everyday (cereal doesn’t have to be just a breakfast food). The graphic at right shows some of the cereals that contain 100% of the RDA for folic acid (click the image to enlarge it).  Click here to get a more complete list of cereals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Note: while we have included sugary cereals in our graphic, we recommend eating the whole grain variety!

Why not get all I need from folate-rich foods?

Which is better?  Foods or vitamins?At Go Folic! we are all about “turbo-charging” your diet with folate-rich foods.  However, the truth is that it’s difficult to get enough folic acid from food alone, even if your diet is healthful.  This is because your body only absorbs 50% of the folate (the form of folic acid found in food) you get from food, 85% of the folic acid in fortified grains and cereal, and 100% of the folic acid contained in a multi-vitamin.  Read this special health report from the Harvard Medical School on why it’s important to back up a healthy diet with a daily multi-vitamin.

Does my multi-vitamin or favorite cereal contain folic acid?

This is easy to determine, too.  Read the label – it should tell you exactly how much folic acid your multi-vitamin or favorite cereal contain.  Again, you want a multi-vitamin or cereal that contains at least 400 mcg of folate.

How to tell if your cereal or multivitamin contains the recommended amount of folic acid

We hope that we convinced you…

… to Go Folic! in 2013.  It’s one easy step you can take for a healthier, and more beautiful you!  Should you decide to start or expand your family, it is also one step towards a healthier tomorrow.

A Rich New Year Resolution Recipe – Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Greens

Black-eyed pea soup with greens - a New Year's Good Luck tradition

Easy New Year’s Resolution

To get more folate in my diet this year!  From avocados to papayas to beans, there are so many tasty foods that are also rich in folate, that is could be an easy resolution to keep.

Great Way to Begin? With this recipe for black-eyed pea soup with greens.

This soup recipe, which contains two folate-rich foods, not only doubles your folate.  It plays on the tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens to ensure a profitable New Year!  While it’s clearly past New Year’s day, since this is our first Foodie Tuesday column of the year, we figured that it still counts as a New Year “good luck and money” recipe.

According to About.com, some 1500 years ago, it was Jewish custom to eat black-eyed peas in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Many cultures believe that eating beans, all of which are rich in folate, bring wealth – not only do they resemble loose coins, but they expand when you cook them.  Just what you want your wallet to do!  And in the Southern United States, the humble nature of the black-eyed pea is echoed by the old expression, “Eat poor on New Year’s, and eat fat the rest of the year.”

Many cultures also believe that eating greens for New Years will bring prosperity. This is because greens, when cooked, look like folded up currency.  Any green will do, but the most common choices are collard, turnip, or mustard greens.

The Recipe

There are many versions of bean and greens soup on the web.  Our version is a combination of two separate recipes from our Go Folic! “Savory and Soulful Recipes” brochure.   For this recipe, we suggest using a bag of your pre-washed favorites, which you can now find in most grocery stores.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: about 1 hour


  • 3 tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped fine
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. drid thyme
  • 2 5-8 oz. bags of your favorite sturdy pre-washed, cut greens (e.g., collards, kale, mustard, or a mix)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 quarts chicken broth 8 oz. diced smoked turkey or lean ham
  • 1 small jalapeño, diced (optional)
  • 2 15-oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar


  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, green pepper, and garlic and sauté until onion is almost translucent.
  2. Sprinkle in dried spices and stir for about 30 seconds, until they begin to release their smell.
  3. Add the greens in handfuls, slightly wilting them before adding the next batch.
  4. Add the stock, jalapeño (if using), black-eyed peas, and salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to boil, then reduce heat.  Simmer 40 – 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.
  6. Adjust seasoning, stir in apple cider vinegar, and serve.
6-8 servings, 185 mcg of folate (46% RDA)

Going Folic! an Easy to Keep New Year’s Resolution!

The Promise of 2012Lose weight… 
Stop procrastinating…
Start exercising…
Spend more time with friends…

How many of us keep our New Year’s Resolutions?  More often than not, energetic promises are broken as the year wears on and life catches up with our better intentions. 

But if you decide to get more folic acid this is one resolution you just might keep.  It’s easy!  Either:

1. Take a daily multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid (click here to find out how San Francisco women can get a year’s supply of free vitamins) 


2. Eat a daily bowl of cereal that’s been fortified with 400 mcg of folic acid (download a graphic of which cereals are).

Your hair, skin and nails will thank you!  Since your body uses folic acid to make new cells, getting enough may give you shinier hair, stronger nails and healthier skin.  The rest of your body will thank you too, as folic acid supports heart health and may help to prevent certain cancers, including breast cancer. 

Your future children will thank you also.  Getting enough folic acid at least 3 months before becoming pregnant reduces the risk of having a baby with serious birth defects of the brain and spine (neural tube defects).  It may also lower the risk of premature birth and other serious  birth defects like cleft palate.

So, resolve to Go Folic in 2012! What’s to lose?

Folic Acid Awareness Week – Happy New Year from Go Folic!


Need a New Year’s Resolution that’s easy to keep?

Make sure to get at least 400mcg of folic acid every day!

It’s easy to do:

  • Take a multivitamin every day with the recommended dose of folic acid, or…
  • Increase the amount of folate your diet by eating enriched cereals and grains, or lots of leafy greens.

Jan 2-8 is National Folic Acid Awareness Week.  Folic Acid is an important B vitamin that is used everytime your body makes new cells.  Enough folic acid may help give you healthier hair, nails, and skin, support heart health, and aid against depression.  It’s especially important for growing teens and women who might become pregnant.  Go Folic! is celebrating FA Awareness Week by spreading the word at San Francisco Farmers Markets.  This Saturday, we will be at the Alemany Farmers Market and the Fillmore Farmers Market from 9am-noon. 

Start 2011 off on the right folic-foot.  Come by to get a free supply of multivitamins with folic acid!