#30DaysOfBiking Day 15 – A Tiny Loop

My Saturday morning started off as my Saturdays usually do – with my waking up to the alarm at 4:15 AM. Start coffee, sit for a few minutes of meditation, drink coffee while cooking breakfast then head out to volunteer at a drop-in breakfast serving coffee, tea and juice to whomever comes in from 6:30 to 8:30. I like the routine of it and I love that now I’m beginning to see the same people on the the bus and streetcar every week as we all go about our normal early Saturday morning routines.

After that I had an appointment at 9:40 to donate blood. With a bit of time to kill I grabbed a coffee and sat outside at the intersection of Yonge and Bloor and watched the bikes and pedestrians go by.

Though my doctor suggested I eat a little more red meat to address a vitamin B12 deficiency, I actually have been eating less, and instead have been taking vitamin B supplements. These have made me feel pretty good but the end result was that when my iron level was tested prior to donating it was near the bottom of the normal range.

Just before donating they asked me if I had eaten something. Technically I had but that was at 4:45 in the morning – five hours before. Still, I was sure I’d be fine. The phlebotomost asked me a couple of times if I was doing OK as I was reading my book. I reassured her that I was but wondered if she saw something I didn’t.

Afterward I definitely felt it – a little light headed and out of it. I had some juice and a snack and read some more but between the early waking and blood donation I definitely was, as my third grade teacher was fond of saying, “a space cadet.” By the time I got home I was ready for a nap. I had an early lunch, this time with a bit more red meat just in case. Then read a couple of paragraphs on the couch before falling into a deep sleep.

One thing they said when I left the donation centre was that for 24 hours I should not do any exercise. But, I wanted to say, it’s #30DaysOfBiking not #29DaysOfBikingAndOneDayOffToDonateBlood. In the end, I found a compromise. It’s biking not exercising or exploring. And so I did an errand right in my neighbourhood.

Less than a five minute ride from my home is Iqbal Foods – one of the largest South-Asian grocery stores in Canada. If there’s anything you need from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or even some places in the middle east, you’ll find it here. I get all my spices and any specialized ingredients for Indian cooking here. They may not have ajwain at the supermarket but I can get it here along with dried Kashmiri chillies, pre-made dosa batter and chutneys. It was a small store when we first moved here in 2004 but it seems to grow every few years and now is the size of a large supermarket with one of the biggest and most diverse produce departments around.

I only had a few things to get – dosa batter for dosa waffles, some amchoor (dried mango powder), for chana masala and some chutneys for the chana chaat that Sage likes me to make for her.

I also picked up some carrot pickle and garlic thepla (gujarati style flatbread with garlic). I put this to good use this morning.

This is a chaat-inspired breakfast: Garlic Thepla, mint, coriander, and tamarind chutney, sriracha, sev, green onion, green chilli and chaat masala with carrot pickle.

It looks good, tasted great but… While preparing it a few things happened: one of the egg yolks broke, and for whatever reason the eggs stuck to the pan and was messy. I was disappointed and self-critical. But that was pointless. After all it was delicious and nourishing.

Life is like that too. (Sometimes even breakfast has a lesson to teach you)

I took the long way around to get home still only a couple minutes longer. In the end it only ended up being about 11 min. Still, with a sunset and a warm breeze it was worth going out for.

2 thoughts on “#30DaysOfBiking Day 15 – A Tiny Loop

  1. Enjoyed your post. I too, donated blood last week, and the difference between my experience of donating in Finland compared to how it was to donate in the United States is pretty striking. Where the two experiences are similar; the checklist &/or health questionnaire, and the hemoglobin pre-screening test, but that’s about it. Finland puts out a smorgasbord of luncheon meat, several types of bread, cheese, lettuce and tomato toppings, condiments like pickles or carrot sticks. Beverages include orange or apple juice, coffee and water. Sweet snacks such as cookies, candies and even candy bars. In the US, you’re handed a cup of apple juice and maybe a cookie.
    My first time donating, I thought all the food laid out was for some other special occasion. I had no idea it was like that everytime!

    1. Hi there! Thanks for your first comment – nice to meet you. What an interesting difference. Here I’d say we’re closer to the American model: Juice and water are available as were granola bars, cookies, and chips but nothing substantial like you get there. That’s great! I would’ve done the same as you – thinking there was a catered event that happened to coincide with my appointment.

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