Monday, March 21, 2011

Leafy Greens and Other Life-Threatening Items Available At Your Local Grocer

     We've just started following Weight Watchers, my husband and I. I thought it would be a good way for both of us to lose some extra poundage, since it's not really a traditional diet and it's super-easy to follow. I've done it before and liked it, so I thought I'd try introducing my husband to a healthier way of eating. We could be each other's support during the tough, I-want-a-cookie-NOW-dammit! times, plan our meals together and basically turn ourselves into that happy, laughing couple on the front of the healthy-people magazines, right? Well, that's what we're going for, but getting there is apparently going to be a bit trickier than either of us anticipated.

     I've known from the beginning of our relationship that vitamin K, commonly found in things like spinach, green tea, and kelp, is pretty much the devil to someone who has a heart condition similar to the one my husband has. He's on a daily dose of wafarin (otherwise known as Coumadin) to keep his blood thinner than the average person's so it doesn't clot up around his titanium aortic valve.

     Vitamin K does the exact opposite of that, acting as a coagulent and keeping people from bleeding out during  tonsillectomies and the like. So why is this an issue now, you ask? Why are we all of a sudden so concerned with our not-as-svelte-as-we'd like-them figures? The answer is simple - because I'm tired of being a chunky monkey and his jeans are too tight, that's why.

    No, in all seriousness, neither one of us have the healthiest diet. I eat salt like it's going out of style and he's got every reason in the world to not carry around any more weight than is necessary. That's why subsisting on fast food and take-out has got to come to a screeching halt. Most people don't even think about it when they switch from Jack in the Box over to salads, healthy wraps and things of that nature. Making a change in your eating habits? Green things are usually the first and foremost item to be added in on a heavy rotation.

     It's not that easy for someone living with Marfan's Syndrome (or their significant other!). It becomes a challenge of far greater proportions than most face when embarking on a lifestyle change of this nature because in addition to re-vamping your cupboard and the way you shop at the grocery store, you also have to figure out how to get healthy and get the nutrients you need WITHOUT a big part of a dieter's arsenal.

     I know, what my husband and I are doing isn't so much a diet as a lifestyle change, but you get the point. My options are to either get creative and figure out how we're going to do this minus lots of green stuff, or buy two different grocery lists. The latter option is less than appealing, as I don't like to A) grocery shop or B) cook one meal, let alone two. I'm currently researching just how much Vitamin K he can consume safely and what, if anything, can be done to adjust his warfarin around it. Research skills, don't fail me now...


Sischo Family said...

He can add some leafy greens to his diet but he would have to have his pro-time tested more often to regulate his medication. He then would have to stick to said amount of leafy greens so not to screw with his pro-time levels. Also, beware of the multi-vitamin!

Kristin Lee said...

So far, we're doing okay with the green stuff. Strangely enough, we were told that cooking the greens is more dangerous than eating them raw. Broccoli is just never okay, but he won't eat it anyway, Marfan's or no. He just had his bloodwork done and the doctor was happy with the results. I think we're okay as long as we stay consistent with what he's eating.