Lessons Learned from the Lonely Hearts Blood Drive: Avoid Passing Out!

I logged in to the blog to write a post about The Office blood drive, but it looks like Lise beat me to it!

Since you’re already filled in on the Dunder Mifflin blood drive, let’s now take a look at some “Lessons Learned” from the episode about giving blood. Here are a few pre-donation tips that will help your blood donation go more smoothly:

1) Eat a healthy breakfast on your donation day
While donating blood, Michael Scott, the Dunder Mifflin boss, drowsily slurs these words: “I was so nervous about this, I don’t think I ate for three days.” Shortly thereafter Michael passes out. I’m not surprised! Michael should have eaten a small calcium-rich, low-fat meal prior to his donation. Personally, I like to eat oatmeal topped with raisins (also good for your iron levels!) and some orange juice on days that I donate blood.

2) Eat iron-rich foods
Michael also should have spent the week before his donation upping his iron intake. Iron is necessary in building the proteins of red blood cells, which help carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. These red blood cells help the body metabolize energy and stay healthy. A well-balanced diet with plenty of iron-rich foods helps maintain a healthy hematocrit (iron) level and helps ensure that donors are eligible to give blood. Examples of iron-rich foods include: oatmeal, lentils, soy beans, almonds, lean red meat, tofu, spinach, and raisins.

3) Drink your OJ!
Not just because mom says it’s good for you (as always, she’s right). The Vitamin C in orange juice and in other foods helps the body absorb iron. Foods high in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli.

4) Water, water, water
Michael probably could have avoided passing out had he been well-hydrated. From personal experience, this is the key for making the blood donation go more smoothly and quickly. I begin drinking LOTS of water the day before I donate blood (so much that I can hear it sloshing around in my belly all day) and continue to hydrate on the day of my donation. Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks since they actually dehydrate you and cause the body to expel water.

Now that you’re prepared to donate blood, go do it! If you watched this episode of The Office, don’t let Michael fool you; giving blood is not scary! If I can do it, I’m sure almost anyone can (seriously, I am a really big baby about most everything).

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