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Giving Blood

Posted: February 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | No Comments »

Sometimes, life doesn’t happen the way you want it to. As I sit here writing this, I’m at 2900 steps for the day… and I haven’t eaten a single vegetable.

Today I woke up and it was one of those days which reminds me of why I live in California. There was blue sky, the sun was shining, and you didn’t need to be wearing a coat… in the middle of February. I had the day planned out – get to farmers’ market, eat some brunch, take a nice long walk, and head in to Omnivore Books to see Christie Matheson talk about her new book Salty Sweets which has been tantalizing me in the shop for weeks.

Oh, it all started out well enough. We were up and about early, so we decided to head over the bridge to Berkeley Farmers’ Market and pick up some Cheeseboard pizza and salad.


At the market I got myself a cup of drip coffee from Blue Bottle , and then purchased a 1/2 pound of Bella Donovan blend to go. Being able to get your choice of freshly roasted coffee is certainly a treat here in The Bay Area. I’m not a coffee guzzler, but I certainly like to have my one morning cup as part of my waking rituals.


We also tasted a bit of homemade chocolate peanut butter ice cream, but somehow that evaded my camera (ie: we ate it too quickly.) I’m not sure how we ended leaving there with only coffee, but somehow nothing was calling out to me today. The persimmons were beautiful (although I’m not a big persimmon fan…) so I took a glamour shot and didn’t buy any (it was kind of an embarrassing blogger moment).


We were heading to our late brunch, having parked the car two blocks away from Cheeseboard, when I happened to notice a Red Cross Blood Clinic sign at the Latter-Day Saints church. Being the day before Valentines day, I decided that it was as good a time as any to donate – I try to give blood as much as possible – and I hadn’t in some time since moving to San Francisco. (I tried donating at St. Lukes on Cesar Chavez a few months ago, but they informed me that they don’t take blood donations. I thought that was standard practice at hospitals??)


I was pretty excited to do my part. I even took a pre-blood giving picture of myself.


Because I hadn’t eaten yet (BAD, I know.) I took some of their Unsalted Trail Mix to ensure that I didn’t pass out. This was the first time giving blood that the staff actually encouraged us to eat before hand, which seems like it should be a standard practice. At about 240 calories for two ounces of nuts, raisins, and seeds, the trail mix was the best nutritional choice I could find, and I really wished that they had just had some fruit on hand. That leads to my pet peeve of the day: Why is it that the standard blood giving snacks are cookies, muffins, Oreos, and Cheez-its??? Aren’t we trying to save lives?


And this is when my day went downhill.

I’ll spare you the gory details (and photos of needles in my arm…) but somehow, my 10 minute good samaritan act turned into a three hour ordeal, including an hour and ten minutes with needles in my arm, 25 with a tech actually wiggling a needle in my arm (if this had bothered me more, I would have asked them to stop, but with 3/4 of the bag filled I wasn’t going to let it go to waste..) and then holes in both arms because of some “equipment failure”.

Now, please don’t let this scare you from giving – this was completely a flukey situation, and I definitely plan on donating again, but man, it was unfortunate. The only saving grace was the ridiculously nice lab tech who sat with me kindly trying to get my mind off things by discussing the possibilities of fusion food including a filipino Kaldereta (meat in tomato stew) that he was planning on making tonight with some pozole, and his love of masala spice mixes.

When everything was over, I was shaky, and not pictured were the Oreos I ended up giving in to. At this point I wasn’t too upset to cram in some junk, despite Michael Pollan’s recommendations of not eating anything that your third grader can’t pronounce.


I got out of there with an ice pack to go and an extra one just in case.

Cheeseboard is closed from 3 to 4:30, and at this point after already missing work, we decided to stick around and wait for them to re-open. I had some jasmine tea at Peet’s with a splash of soy milk to calm me down.


It was 4:15 and I was starving, so I gave in to a cheesy roll from the Cheeseboard cheese market. I ate about half of it before the pizza shop opened.


Tonight’s pizza was topped with Roma tomatoes, onions, mozzarella and Fontina cheeses, garlic olive oil, fresh herbs. Yet another satisfying mostly healthy vegetarian pie. I had about half of what was pictured here (it amounts to 2.5 slices), and then ate Devon’s crust. Usually I also get a small salad, but for some reason I wasn’t feeling up to greens.

The good thing is that technically I’m not above my calorie allotment for the day (I had been eating 1200 to 1500 during initial weightloss, and now I’m up to about 1500-1900 calories a day as I get closer to my goal). But, the clear nutrition deficit is going to bother me until I can get in a good fix of kale and collards.

Despite my strong desire to get in some extra exercise tonight, I’m going to be sensible and rest, sit down and watch Julie and Julia, which finally arrived in my netflix queue, and get to bed early.

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