Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cake, Yellow Nails, Scary Needles

There has been a lot going on lately!

But not for Razzy. He's achieving at his usual level.


Yesterday we celebrated The Programmer's birthday, an event for which I pulled out a time-proven favourite: Death by Chocolate.

Click here for the recipe on cacao web and here for more Fit to Blog DBC pics. It's never failed me, AND it contains 500g of actual chocolate. I always make it gluten-free by using rice flour (in the past, corn flour). There is so little flour in it (4 tbsp) that this doesn't affect either the taste or texture. Sometimes rice flour results in a more crumbly cake, but this is not the case here.

The cake making was not without incident. First I discovered a lack of vanilla essence and sent a desperate text to my neighbour who materialised at the front door house like a madagascan-vanilla-wielding superhero (Vanillaman!).

Later in the evening he was kind enough to let me know that when I wander around the kitchen naked, it's.. um.. not like people walking up their path can't see in.  Haha, how mortifiying.

Then, at the exact second I was about to pour the batter into the cake pan, someone decided the moment was right to start, oh I don't know... vacuuming the deck??

Leaf-blower = louder than a jumbo jet engine
I jumped a bit and managed to become over-involved with the cake mix. Right down my front.  It's just the thing you need when people are arriving at any second.

As expected the cake was still a success, even with some mix being worn instead of eaten.

I ate this bit for breakfast today:

I couldn't find any candles except this one, which was at least half right.

And now, for those posts I've had lingering on the backburner.

Yellow Nails

Last week, I was working with a mix of flavonoids, it looked like this:

And once inside the capsules, like this.

Four days later, my nails still look like this, in spite of serious scrubbing (hence hands looking a bit raw!)

It's never going to come off (clip or paint? that is the question). That's just from the little bit of exposure I got while changing gloves and from touching the finished capsules. The main culprits are Quercetin, Curcuminoids and Liminoids. I imagine that they do the same thing when you eat them - stick to protein. That's got to be good.

I'm obsessed with flavonoids at the moment and am trying to organise a special topic paper for this semester that deals with them (maybe those in kiwi fruit). I'll keep you posted on that. 


I mentioned in the last post about scary needles, and this probably requires some explanation. 

I've recently changed my medical care to an integrative physician, and he sent me for extensive blood tests to check on... everything: vitamin levels, hormones, iron, thyroid and other blood counts.  Everything came back looking fabulous, except for platelets, which are low. This is known as thrombocytopenia and can have many causes.

As far as I know, this started when I got glandular fever in 2008 (the count then was 50,000), and the platelet count never fully recovered. I do have some symptoms, like bruises and injuries take ages to heal and often don't (I banged into a door handle months ago and there is still a little web of visible capillaries in that spot - maybe it will be there forever?) and heavy periods, but otherwise it's not a biggie.

However, being a thorough kind of a guy, Dr P wants to investigate, so on Thursday I went down to the lab to get jabbed again. As far as I know, we are investigating the possibility of platelet autoimmunity. Is my immune system destroying my own platelets? Interesting concept. Inconvenient, but still..

This test was not as straightforward as usual because the lab had never done one before and didn't have the special tubes for it (special tubes??). They called around and on Friday I went to a different lab, where to my relief, I ran into the same phlebotomist - they rotate around the medlabs.  She is brilliant. I love her. She never hurts, and dispenses accurate medical advice like 'now you should go home and top up with red wine'.

I don't know why they need special tubes for that test, and I'd really like to know why one test required soooo much blood!  I lost count of how many tubes were filled, but it came to more than 50ml.  What are they going to do with all that? I'd love to know what they have to do to test for platelet antibodies, does anyone know?

Thanks for continuing to comment on my 'please comment' post. As well as helping me figure out the humans to spambot ratio, it's been so much fun to know a little bit more about who reads Fit to Blog and to discover a few new blogs. BTW, none of you blog enough, you should get right on that, ok?


Happy Sunday! - who's preparing for a healthy week?


  1. This is a ripper of an update - thank you! I was LOLing repeatedly!

  2. ok so I cant help you with much in this blog but I can help with the I can come round and see if my bag of stuff can take some yellow out and do a mini manicure whilst there let me know... I may even bring wine off coarse it will be white and chemically but still worth the risk ;0)

    1. Oh.. I snipped them off.

      Will text you. We should definitely get together soon!

  3. Wow, so many things going on! Amazing DBc birthday hurrah - amazing! Hehehe giggling at the neighbour-perving, HA! Interesting RE the platelets - I take forever to heal from anything too - I bruise if someone looks at me hard enough ;)

  4. Honora7:07 pm

    Boy, are you lucky I'm a phlebotomist. Here's the link to the awesome test database:

  5. Honora7:12 pm

    The tests require from memory several specialised tubes known as CPDA tubes. It's seldom used except for tissue typing and platelet antibodies studies. Because of this, I don't stock it in my little Blood Test Centre or it will expire, unused.

    Not a lot of information on the Canterbury Health Laboratories website actually, probably because it's a NZ Blood Service test rather than one of ours. However I strongly suggest that everyone bookmark the link to the database. It is very empowering to be able to access this information.

    1. Thanks for that, very interesting and I have bookmarked the site. Which lab are you at (can email me if you don't want it on the webs)? Yes, they said something about the tubes having a short shelf life, but I don't get it, because they look plastic? Clearly I know nothing about these things.

  6. I am going to pretend I didn't see that cake.
    Yellow nails... so, what did you do?

    I blog enough!!! lol

    1. I clipped :-/

      Gotta start again on the nails...

      Aw come one... chocolate cake isn't dangerous. It's important to always have some around in order to become immune to it. You know how when you first get a crush, you can't keep your hands off someone, and then after they are around every day the urge gets less - um - urgent? Cake is like that.

  7. Firstly, - I will have to make that Death By Chocolate cake! Wanna give it a go! But it has to be when there are lots of peeps who want a piece as I just want to be left with 1-2 moderate pieces max, not a whole cake to get through!
    Am still on track this year with my goal of keeping up my fitness ideals, healthy moderate lifestyle and shedding at least 2kg average per month, (down about 5.5kg so far this year).

    Interesting stuff about the flavanoids and capsule making. Best of luck with everything and I do think you do well to manage to get your nails that long! I'd vote colour them!

    1. Well done! 5.5kg is huge in only a few months. It's an easy cake to give away, so I wouldn't be too concerned. You can also freeze it.


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