the importance of BalanceJohn’s blood work is finally balancing (and I guess I have not fed him too much vitamin K :-), and he is on a somewhat regular dose of blood thinner and does not have to return for new blood work for a whole week! His fasting blood sugar ranges between 79 and 99, and he is energetic and feels good!


I seem to have lost another pound or two and am also full of energy.  Is this, perhaps, the vegan diet?

Balancing food

Balancing food is still proving to be difficult. I am just having a hard time making sure we get the required servings of veggies each day. Part of this is the Vitamin K issue, that, to be honest, has terrified me.

This  has to do with blood clotting.  Because of  John’s stents, he has been put on the blood thinner Warfarin.  The liver uses Vitamin K to produce blood clotting agents. So Vitamin K’s job is to help blood clot while Warfarin’s job is stop blood from clotting.

This means the trick is to  try to keep the level of Vitamin K in John’s diet pretty stable. This task would be easier if he liked vegetables.  I take that back:  he does like vegetables – potatoes…not really the healthiest vegetable.  To give him credit he has dutifully eaten green beans, broccoli, carrots, and peas….and salads. Sometimes, though, due to appointments and scheduling, we miss lunch…or do not eat lunch until around 3 pm…and I am uncomfortable with him skipping a meal because of the need to keep the Vitamin K intake steady. At least his weekly INR test helps us understand the levels.  I hope that by the time I am more comfortable with this that the cardiologist will take him off of Warfarin.

One interesting note:  John can eat rice.  We have avoided rice for years because of his diabetes, yet rice is not bothering his blood sugar, perhaps due to the other dietary changes made.

In the meantime, we have tried a variety of bean stews, a veggie burger recipe, and have even eaten out at a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant. We have both enjoyed the recipes we have tried, and I plan to try another veggie burger recipe this weekend.

When to eat?

I never thought when to eat would be an issue, but it is. I am often up at least an hour before John, and I grab breakfast (either oatmeal or a whole wheat waffle), then go downstairs to work out. By the time I finish and come back upstairs John is finishing his oatmeal and getting ready for Tai Cheng (more on exercise below). Shakeology for post exercise, followed by showers, and I am off to work. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful job that allows me to work from home most of the time although I do try to go into the office at least two days a week. Now it’s time for lunch so we can eat dinner during my office our break between 6-730 pm. Some days we really have to push to get those meals in.

Loose ends

We are settling in to this new lifestyle and look forward to new recipe, new workouts, and seeing what’s ahead on this journey. I have discovered all sorts of new friends ready offering support, information, bibliotherapy, and recipes and am astounded at what energy people give so freely. We hope to be able to give back just as gracefully.

I will continue to blog about recipes, the task of balancing, food, and our journey as we delve more into a vegan lifestyle.

We can do this!

We have missed bread….and I have missed baking.  Then, I found and tweaked this recipe for Apple Spice Bread.  Oh my!

Apple Spice Bread

This recipe started out as a muffin recipe, but I soon figured out we could make it more versatile by cooking it in a loaf pan  for 45 minutes rather than as muffins. I use a silicon loaf pan to avoid having to grease a regular pan, and the recipe calls for using flax seed/flax meal with water as an egg substitute. Made with unsweetened applesauce, apricot jelly, and grated apple, this recipe is delightfully moist.  We tend to substitute  black cherry jelly (all fruit, no corn syrup!) for the apricot jelly, and the sweet cherry explodes in each bite.  Just plain yummy! This makes a great breakfast and would be great with almond butter or apple butter….or toasted…..

First, make the flax egg:

  • 2 Tablespoons Flax meal
  • 1/4 cup of water

Mix the flax meal and the water in a small bowl and set aside for 10-15 minutes. The flax meal will absorb the water and make a thick gel – a Flax egg!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the following ingredients together in a medium bowl:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins

In a large bowl, stir the following ingredients together:

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 apricot spread or cherry jelly
  • 1 cup grated apple
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir  the flax mixture into the liquids bowl. Stir in half of the dry ingredients, then add the remaining half, stirring gently to combine.

Pour into a silicon loaf pan. Bake about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf. Avoid over baking.

Let the pan cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Then remove the loaf and cool completely – if you can – on the wire rack. This loaf will keep in a sealed container for a few days ..assuming any remains…… We tend to eat this so quickly that I have no idea how long it will last.







Author: mduggan10

I have lived in a Victorian-era house, spent several years living on a boat, and now live at the top of a mountain. Throughout his all, I have been a coffee snob, a whole foods snob, and an instructional designer.

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