Posts Tagged 'Fitbloggin'

Donating Blood + True Lemon-ade Review

I love the idea of donating blood!  Just one donation can save up to three people!

Here are some quick facts about blood and donations from the American Red Cross:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.
  • Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
  • The American Red Cross supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.
  • The Red Cross provides blood for patients in nearly 3,000 hospitals across the U.S.
  • Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood type. O-negative blood type donors are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
  • Type O-negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known and with newborns who need blood.

Guess who has O-negative blood? Yup,  Me!

Notice the first sentence in the post – ‘I love the IDEA of giving blood’. And its not the needle that creeps me out…

I have given blood twice before, once in college and once right after I graduated.  The first was awesome and I felt great!  The second time I gave blood, I did not have a good experience.  I went with my father one morning and did not take in enough food or liquid beforehand.   I felt light headed and almost passed out, followed by a mild panic attack. I was informed if I  stopped my  donation before I filled the bag,  they would have to throw everything away.  So, I was able to finish my donation but was affected the rest of the day.  More importantly, I started my new job the next day and almost had to call out!

Because of my ‘Universal Donor‘ blood type, I usually get called every few months to donate.  I have declined the last year due to the last time I donated.    But when the Red Cross called me a few weeks ago,  I signed up for an appointment for tonight!

Found these tips for a successful blood donation from the American Red Cross:

  • Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Drink an extra 16 oz. of water and fluids before the donation.
  • Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fats that appear in your blood for several hours after eating fatty foods.

Considering what happened to me last time, I am chugging fluids!

One of the liquids I am drinking is a freebie I got from AJ during FitblogginTrue lemon-ade with Raspberry.  It’s a  powdered drink mix with only 5 calories and sweetened with Truvia™, an all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener.  Sort of like Crystal Light but low  calorie and natural.  I do like actual lemon juice makes the ingredients list.

First off, I would like to say I rarely drink anything sweetened.  I drink coffee and tea black and not a fan of juices.  I do drink the occasional Coke, and always the real stuff.  I can taste artificial sweeteners a mile away.

I liked how portable are the packets.  However, the powder did not dissolve easily.  It took more stirring then expected.

The taste was good, not great.  It did not taste like fresh lemonade but not like a fruit drink.  The lemon flavor is actually very good; it was the raspberry that tasted artificial.  I have a sampler of plain lemonade that I am excited to try.

Will I drink the rest of it? Yes! Will I buy another box?  No, probably not.

I would rather buy tea or drink water. (for free!)

The sweetener in this product, truvia, is a type of stevia,  a plant derivative.  I would like to learn more about this, since I don’t like chemical sweeteners and am wary of Agave.

Ok! Back to work and chugging more liquids!


Fitbloggin Plus an ER trip!

As I posted earlier, I was able to get an extra ticket for FitBloggin.  I had a (mostly) great time, met many great bloggers and learned lots! Here’s a quick recap of the weekend. Read on for an exciting twist!

Friday was my day off and I thought I had plenty of time to get ready for Fitbloggin! Including setting up my brand new baby laptop:


An Asus Eee PC Netbook! My poor Macbook is almost 4 years old and about to die.  Hoping this baby I can use for most of my everyday task and use my Mac for bigger projects! Plus the thing is super portable and much cheaper than a new Mac:



Unfortunately, I was barely able to set it up!  I ended up in the hair salon for about 6 hours. Two dye jobs, a cut and a recut later, my hair is at least the right color.  The cut is nothing different then what I had :/ The lady I had was just so distracted and totally missed my point!  I will always bring pictures in from now on to show the hair stylists.

I ended up getting the the Fitbloggin Pom Reception late, about 6:30. It was being hosted at the Marriot Waterfront.  The last time I was in this hotel was for my prom in 2004!!  Got myself a yummy Pom Martini! Then off to meet a bunch of fun bloggers!


(Ashley’s Photo!) Please note pretty red color but unfortunate bang situation…

I also got a a great gift bag, which will be a separate post.  I am blogging from my ‘rents house and all the swag is at my apartment!

In the morning, I opted out of the New Balance 5k. I wasn’t feeling getting up before 5:30 to make it there in time! Thinking about running the route next weekend though!

I carpooled with Monica of RunEatRepeat, since she isn’t familiar with the area.

A stop a Dunkin Dounuts happened! Then off to Fitbloggin!!!


The first thing I hit up was the Oatmeal bar where I got some oatmeal with cranberries and a cute jar of Honey to go with my iced coffee!


There were many great vendors there including POM, New Balance and LA Boxing! Plus the hotel is beautiful:


My first session was ‘Don’t write about junk science: How to critically evaluate research.’ Great session that bought up great points! I am going to do one or many posts on this, as it relates to my senior research project.  This was an under attended session of the conference, which in my opinion was due to schedule.  SEO (search engine optimization), also a great topic, was more appealing to most. 

After a quick coffee and fruit break, it was off to WordPress from .com to Self Hosted: An in Depth look into one of the Most popular Blogging Software out there. Another great session that I will be utilizing soon!

After the WordPress sessions, I was chatting with Jim when Roni came up to us.   One of the other attendants was in serious pain and needed to go to the ER.  Obviously, Roni, couldn’t go and Jim (also a local) didn’t have a car. 

So I volunteered to drive her to the ER.    I told Roni I would pull my car around to pick up the girl. Poor Mary had horrible back pain and couldn’t keep anything down and was thinking she had a kidney stone.  I picked up Mary and Andrea, her room mate, at the front door.  After getting stuck at a ridiculous amount of red lights (Why does that always happen?) and my incessant talking to keep Mary’s mind off the pain, we got to Johns Hopkins Bayview.



As great as the Marriot was, they had a FAIL, no one at the concierge knew what hospital to send her.  They said she could go to one hospital but she would be waiting for hours. Mary was in so much pain at this point that was not an option.

We had an excellent experience at Bayview! Every person working, nurses, doctors, PAs, and admins, were pleasant and helpful. They took Mary in almost right away, put her on fluids and got her a room! Meanwhile, Andrea and I got to know each other in the waiting room.  We saw some interesting people as Bayview is not in the greatest area of Baltimore.

Once Mary got settled in her room, Andrea and I went back to keep her company.  A Physician’s assistant came into the room to let Mary know she was getting pain medication soon.

I then accosted the PA and asked her a TON of questions! I want to go back to Physician’s assistant school. The PA was super nice and answered most of my questions, before excusing her self to get the pain meds.  Oops, sorry Mary!!!

Next, a ER doctor came in to do an ultra sound.  Ultra sounds can check for signs of kidney stones but not diagnose them.  Mary would need a CAT scan for the diagnosis.  Mary was kind enough again to let me geek out and ask all sorts of crazy questions! It helped she received the pain meds already!

I learned all how to read an ultra sound of a kidney and bladder. We were able to see blood flow through the kidneys by using Doppler.  The doctor was patient and helpful with us. He even printed out a picture for Mary! 


By this point, it was almost 2:30pm.  I had not eaten since 9 and was starting to get shaky.  Once I made sure Mary would be fine and left every piece of contact information I had, Andrea and I headed back to the conference. 

We got back just in time for the last session but missed the snack. I had to eat!   I may have cried to one of the Marriott hotel staff.  The head guy was nice enough to get me a grilled chicken sandwich, Marriot WIN!

Ok, it was a grilled chicken sandwich smothered in cheese with Old Bay fries.  Not exactly ‘fitbloggin’ good but delicious!

I got to see some of the last session about making money off your blog.  To be honest I wasn’t interested, so I was fine with skipping out when Mary called to let us know they were releasing her.  Andrea and I headed back to Bayview to pick up Mary.

Mary had her CAT scan and was diagnosed with multiple kidney stones. The medication was managing her pain, so she was being released.

We got back in time for the closing remarks, but I opted out to speak with some of the vendors.  I did participate in the sushi and mousse JELLO reception after!  Odd but delicious combination.

Of what I participated in, Fitbloggin was  fun and informative. Hopefully, next year I will be able to enjoy the whole thing! I am glad I was able to help a fellow blogger out! Mostly, it was nice to meet Mary and Andrea, who I would probably not have spoken to other wise!


Hi! I may be the least motivated person around. I am a 20-something working at my first job in the Computer industry. Just trying to get motivated in life - fitness, health, school, work and every day tasks

2010 Race Schedule:
3/7 - Disney Princess Half Marathon - DONE! 2:10:29
4/25 - Pike's Peek 10k
6/15 - Baltimore 10 miler
10/16 - Baltimore Half Marathon



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