Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pumping Up My Iron

Did you know that you can accidentally give up red meat? I'm here to tell you that it can be done! And it's not necessarily a good thing.

Many resources tell us to limit our intake of red meat - choose healthier, leaner options: chicken, turkey, fish, etc. As I was losing weight and getting healthier, I was making A LOT of substitutions: turkey bacon, turkey sausage, turkey burgers, chicken EVERYTHING... you get the point.

So on May 3rd, when I showed up for my blood donation appointment, I was really surprised that I was turned away. I'm a healthy woman of a healthy weight! In fact: I'm the healthiest I've ever been in my life.

Why don't you want my blood?

Turns out that my iron levels were super low. Not just too low to donate... but too low for an average woman. After the nurse asked if I eat green, leafy veggies and red meat (to which I replied, yes - I've never turned down a steak), she told me, I wouldn't say that you're anemic quite yet, but you should definitely start taking a multivitamin.

After talking with Duane about it, he said to me, You don't eat red meat.

I was almost offended.

Of course I do, I rebutted. But then he asked me, When was the last time?

And I couldn't remember.

So for the last 6 weeks, I've consciously added (lean) red meat into my diet and have been taking a multivitamin every night. Tip: I find that taking my vitamin before bed helps me remember to take it and also reduces the risk of upsetting my stomach.

Today was the big day. The day when I would find out if my efforts have produced the results I wanted. I went to the donation site and waited my turn. 

When the nurse called me up to go over the questions and take my vitals, I told her that I was a bit nervous, but hopeful that my iron would be high enough. I knew that I had to score a number higher than 12.5 to be allowed to donate (my number was around 10.6 in May).


Phew! I was so relieved and so PROUD to get such a high score (as if it's a real test).

I gave my blood like a champ (of course) and then got to enjoy my favorite part of donating: juice and cookies. Okay, donating life is probably my favorite part, but the snacks are a close second.

In training news...
I had a great 4 mile run with my BFF, Stephanie, yesterday. I was so proud of her! She ran 3 miles straight (no walking), took a VERY short walk break and ran the last bit in with me. Way to go, Steph!

I'm heading out shortly for a strength workout with Duane and our trainer. I know that after giving blood, you shouldn't do anything strenuous for the rest of the day, but I've been eating really well and drinking a TON of water today, so I think I'll be fine. I'll use lighter weights than usual today and if I start to feel anything out of the ordinary, I'll stop.

*The Red Cross is always in need of blood. If you would like to find a donation opportunity near you, log on to Juice and cookies are waiting for YOU!


  1. You are such a positive inspiration!

    1. Thanks, Chris! I follow your walks... well, I don't ACTUALLY follow your walks, but I see them on Map My Ride. It doesn't always give me the option to give you a 'thumbs up', so please just know that every time MMR alerts me that you completed a walk, I'm saying, "You go, girl!!!"


Thank you so much for your encouragement! Your support and prayers will help me to reach my goal of 26.2 miles!