So I’ve been meaning to update on my blood donation iron conquest. Regular donations require one to pay attention to one’s body, especially if vegan. Like manually pumping the blood in your system and tuning the levels, it can feel like an art of constant recovery. Let’s say we are contributing two units of blood at the maximum allowed limit. Red Cross has a calendar year starting with the first donation and they cap it at six units. That could be three donations and guidelines say after each double blood (also known as Power Red or aspheresis), supplement iron intake. Refer to documentation received after donating with your local company. I’ve been using vegan friendly Vitron C High Potency Iron (65mg elemental iron with vitamin C). At first I wasn’t sure they were circulating properly. I have to say though that I started taking them regularly in the morning after breakfast and making sure to have some light exercise to keep my system moving along with water (15 min. ride to work or cleaning). I can tell when it’s working properly and you should feel when the levels are getting close to stopping the supplements until next donation. Something that you might not know is that exercise can deplete iron. Don’t think biking a long distance to the next town’s blood drive is going to make you a champion. I did this once and was turned away. Even though I ate something like spinach, rice and potatoes every meal! However iron absorption for vegans is much more diffucult, so even foods with both iron and vitamin C like potatoes may fall short of pumping us back up to life-saving mode once again. Figure out how your body reacts. I’m sure mine is learning and sometimes feel bad to let it all out after full recovery like I’m punishing it for doing the wrong thing. Trust me though that your mind will communicate enough to make up for those doubts. So should your blood company and peers. There are some exercises too to keep your heart pumping like an arm twist across your chest or arm twist with reverse lunge. Another helpful one is like a weightless squat with arms out for balance or breathing exercises. Look them up for what ails you. Hold your breath and push the blood to your brain and let it out before you get dizzy. Probably should sit down for this one. Give yourself a head massage along the veins and nerves or other areas that are struggling if applicable. At one point I swear I was doing more than I should, but I’ve learned to work with and appreciate the stages of different iron levels.