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Monday, March 19, 2012

Raisins Versus Anemia

I eat raisins. Not because I like them, but because I like what they do for my afternoons, even though I eat them in the morning. I used to suffer from an afternoon slump—a horrible zombie-like state that typically struck around 3pm. Surprisingly, cookies and other jolts of sugar didn’t really help. Raisins did.

You’re probably anemic, my sister said. And then I recalled all the times I went to the doctor and was told the exact same thing, although he replaced the word probably with seriously. It must be hereditary, because it used to be every time my sister tried to donate blood, they told her she was anemic and sent her home. She discovered that if she eats about a quarter of a cup of raisins before she donates—she’s fine. (Personally, I can’t give blood because I lived in England in the 1980’s and was exposed to mad cow disease. I don’t like to think of myself as a mad cow, but there it is. A part of me.) Kathy’s discovery has changed my life. I’d much rather eat raisins than take iron pills and the accompanying stool softeners my doctor tried to give me.

So, most mornings I eat a bowl of raisin bran. I like the Costco and Trader Joe brands. Neither is as sweet as the other brands and both, as my husband complains, have too many raisins. I mix the raisin bran with half a banana and a high fiber cereal. Again, I like the Trader Joe’s brand. It has the clever name “Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal” and has 80 calories and 9 grams of fiber.

All that fiber makes the stool softeners absolutely unnecessary.

Sometimes I eat oatmeal with raisins, diced apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. And sometimes I eat French toast drowned in maple syrup. But honestly, if my choices are:
1. Wasted, lethargic afternoons
2. Iron pills and stool softeners
3. A daily quarter of a cup of raisins

I’ll choose the raisins every single day.

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