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Old 05-03-2007, 02:20 AM   #1  
Mens sana in corpore sano
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Default Blood donation and food choices

I have no idea where I could post this, so I thought maybe here would be right (lots of campuses/schools organize blood donations days here, and since there are students among the 20-something... Hehe).

So I want to donate blood regularly again. I used to do it in the past, I have my donor card for that, I'm more than 50kgs (obviously! LOL), I can do it. Okay.

The problem is that I tend to easily pass out afterwards if I'm not careful, and I quickly need to 'replenish' myself to avoid that. I'm far from being the only one -- that's why they offer you sandwiches and orange juice once they're done with you, I suppose -- but the offered foods are a bit of a problem (free food and drinks in the room + broke student = me want! ). If I give blood at, say, 10 am, there's no way I can skip breakfast before (otherwise I'll faint...), so a sandwich is definitely too much of a snack for me. I suppose I could make sure to donate right before noon or 6 pm or something, but again, I don't necessarily want my lunch to be a sandwich, nor can I always run around my timetable to accomodate that.

So what I'm wondering: if there are some among you who donate regularly, or have done it in the past, is there any kind of 'healthy option' I could bring with me? Nuts, specific types of fruits, whatever? I mean stuff that will give me the needed 'boost' to prevent myself from passing out gas, but that also won't shoot me up 400 calories over what I'm supposed to eat during the day. I know a sandwich won't kill me nor make me gain 2 lbs, but I also know myself, and such an option tends to throw me out of the loop regarding the rest of the healthy choices to make during that same day... I'm just being careful, hehe.

I was thinking of regular cereal bars at first. However, I figure out that something that will shoot my glycemic levels up isn't exactly a good option either. Although I admit I don't know exactly WHY some people tend to feel dizzy after blood has been drawned (what chemical processes are at work, that kind of things), and have no idea about what our bodies need exactly afterwards.

And now I hope this question isn't sounding dumb, nor is in the wrong place. Thanks anyway.
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:17 AM   #2  
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I donate every 56 days...on the nose.. |I now use that day as a free meal day but before I did that I would bring my own snacks. I made the appointment for around my normal snack time and brought a banana and some almonds. I think the most important thing is to get some calories in and to drink...drink...drink...water.
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:19 AM   #3  
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I'm not sure myself, but I would say eat something with sugar in it (it doesn't have to be too high cal either), but DEFINITELY have some protein in the mix, because protein will stabilize the glucose levels and keep them from shooting way up...then crashing.
I would say some sort of protein a cliff bar?
Curious to see what others say.....
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #4  
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Haha-- they both said exactly what I was going to! Almonds or a Cliff bar. I also really like the Kashi Go-Lean crunch bars. I've passed out after giving blood-- back in high school when I was trying to "Lose weight for prom" (which meant eating a handfull of cereal for breakfast and a cookie for lunch), I didn't take the snack after and crashed out in my high school hallway. Funniest part to me is that a guy friend just dragged me back into the room with the nurses by my ankles. NICE. :-)
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:34 PM   #5  
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I don't know if we have Cliff bars or the Kashi stuff here (I live in France) but thanks for the suggestions! If it doesn't, I'll google it and see if I can find an equivalent of these in one of our brands. (I assume it of course means ONE bar, not the whole pack. )

And banana and almonds sounds pretty nice as well.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:34 PM   #6  
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Natural peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with a little drizzle of honey. Mmmmm.
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:44 PM   #7  
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Oh my god, that one sentence just made my mouth water! Especially the peanut butter! I LOOOOOVE my Kraft all-natural peanut butter, I go through at least 2 jars a month (I think I'm addicted )
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:55 PM   #8  
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Hi Keri! I just donated blood for the second time went really well, but it definately wiped me right out. I'm only 5 lbs above the minimum, so I guess it affects me more then other people - my bf donated too, and he didn't seem affected at all.

I try to have a meal just before I go, and drink lots of water. Then afterwards, I have a fruit cup and a couple glasses of juice. They also sometimes have vegetable soup, which is very low calorie.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:05 AM   #9  
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Just a random fact that I found out, but your body burns tons of calories trying to restore the blood that you donated... not that I'm recommending people donate blood for weight loss, but at least you know that you are doing something wonderful for someone out there and there is a bit of a bonus even though yeah, it would be one odd way to go about burning calories. :-P

Anyway, sorry that was off topic, but I would definitely recommend some sort of energy bar afterwards to counteract the dizziness and I do really agree with anything to do with peanut butter because that just sounds delicious
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:37 AM   #10  
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Hope ya'll don't mind me butting in. I just want to say that increasing your water intake three-four days before you donate will make it supremely easier. I usually am a slow bleeder and pass out every other time no matter what I do. The last time i donated I was trying to icrease my water intake to lose weight and be healthy. It took them five minutes instead of thirty to take my blood and I wasn't light-headed afterwards. Also no big ugly bruise like usual. I'm just saying water is a huge helper and to suggest Fig Newtons? I'm not sure on their calories but they're a nice shot of sugar and fiber.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:24 AM   #11  
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When I would donate (I can't anymore ) I would bring a banana and a granola bar. Make sure you drink lots of water after and stay hydrated!
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:26 AM   #12  
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Water shouldn't be a problem, I've always been a big drinker, but I probably should cut on the coffee a few days before, I guess. This way I'm sure I'll be really hydrated.

And thanks for the new suggestions.
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Old 05-10-2007, 12:34 PM   #13  
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I ususally just eat the cookie or cracker and drink either a juice or water (depending on how I feel) and try and count it into my daily allowance. However if that makes me go over for the day then I just say it is a high day and that it is worth it becuase I saved 3 lives.
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:05 PM   #14  
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Its true that donating blood removes about 600 calories of "stuff" from your body...protein in the cells, sugar in the blood, and other caloric molecules. So a couple crackers won't make a difference in the long term.
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