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WELCOME TO A SIMPLE LIFE WITH WARFARIN

Healthy Living with Warfarin: inspired by a desire for simple, stable and consistent dosage

The Healthy Living with Warfarin cookbook has been written by an afibber for other afibbers and people who are also on warfarin for lots of other reasons. The recipes are all very low in Vitamin K, the anti-dote to warfarin, and are, therefore, something to be enjoyed by people on warfarin. The recipes are for two and can be scaled up to meet anyone’s needs. There are also tables of low and moderate to high foods which allow anybody to add to the dishes to meet their Vitamin K RDA. The recipes use only common items found in any good supermarket. They also use only equipment found in your utensil drawer. No-one need to be ‘king’ or ‘master’ of the kitchen to enjoy these dishes.

Breakfast

Breakfast is a very important meal of the day. It sets us up for the rest of the day. It can also be a time of peace and quiet before the start of a busy day.
In summer, it is worth having breakfast out in the open – on a deck, under a tree, with or without friends – to reward yourself about how well you are doing. Fresh fruit gives a great summery feeling especially with all the berries available at that time.
In winter, I find that being able to look outside by sitting at a window but remaining warm, is a great benefit but I also try to get fresh air whenever the opportunity presents itself. Warmed fruit alongside my cereal or toast helps that healthy feeling.
It is not necessary to have a specially cooked breakfast every day but there are times when that little something extra goes a long way to help you move on.

Breakfast

Breakfast is a very important meal of the day. It sets us up for the rest of the day. It can also be a time of peace and quiet before the start of a busy day.
In summer, it is worth having breakfast out in the open – on a deck, under a tree, with or without friends – to reward yourself about how well you are doing. Fresh fruit gives a great summery feeling especially with all the berries available at that time.
In winter, I find that being able to look outside by sitting at a window but remaining warm, is a great benefit but I also try to get fresh air whenever the opportunity presents itself. Warmed fruit alongside my cereal or toast helps that healthy feeling.
It is not necessary to have a specially cooked breakfast every day but there are times when that little something extra goes a long way to help you move on.

Soups and Starters

Soups are an essential addition to a range of foods. The three soups included here are all light soups which are easily made from the pantry or, for a special occasion, from easily purchased items. There are plenty of winter warming soups available commercially.
For a long time, starters were difficult on this Vitamin K regime as so many of the standard recipes rely on greens for their attraction. However, through experimentation, solutions were found.
It should be noted that saffron is very expensive and that turmeric can be substituted for the yellow colouring. However, it should also be noted that saffron offers a more delicate flavour with a pleasing aroma whereas turmeric can be quite bitter. As always, moderation is the key.

Entrees

To me, on a day by day basis, entrees are extras. I hardly ever serve a three-course meal as I have found that a main and a healthy dessert provides enough for my daily needs. However, each of the dishes below has become a favourite when we have any sort of celebration and can also become a main course with the addition of a salad or a rice or pasta dish. The other aspect of these dishes is that sometimes you do not want to have a large main course and can be satisfied with one of these dishes as a main – something which is becoming more common as our mains, when eating out, appear to be becoming supersized.
They are all simple and straight forward to make and rely only on foods easily available or already in the pantry.

Entrees

To me, on a day by day basis, entrees are extras. I hardly ever serve a three-course meal as I have found that a main and a healthy dessert provides enough for my daily needs. However, each of the dishes below has become a favourite when we have any sort of celebration and can also become a main course with the addition of a salad or a rice or pasta dish. The other aspect of these dishes is that sometimes you do not want to have a large main course and can be satisfied with one of these dishes as a main – something which is becoming more common as our mains, when eating out, appear to be becoming supersized.
They are all simple and straight forward to make and rely only on foods easily available or already in the pantry.

Main Courses

Having a good, interesting main course is essential to not only our physical well-being but also to our emotional and psychological wellbeing. I remember being taken out to a top restaurant in an overseas city which, when its staff found out that I did not eat greens, made no attempt to find substitutes even though there were plenty as I realised when watching other dishes go by. It was very disappointing, and my host did not know how to deal with it. That was some years ago and, since then, I have become more proactive in my requests by looking at the dishes on the rest of the menu and saying – well it is on this dish, just take the green off mine and put this on.
Unfortunately, some chefs are becoming very precious about the dishes they have created and now have signs out the front of their businesses saying that they will not alter any dishes. My advice? Do not eat there. Your health is more important to you than taking any risks.

Salads

When I think of salads, I automatically think about lettuce in all its forms which, with the exception of Iceberg lettuce, is on my forbidden list. As all greens are out of the range of dishes in this cookbook, it is important to move on from the traditional view of what makes a salad. Understanding that the purpose of a salad is not only nutritional but, more importantly, contrast in both taste and texture, and a visual addition to the main part of the meal, leads to many opportunities for invention.
One of the handiest commercial items I have found to lift a salad is the small multi packs of mixed fruits. One small box of sultana and apricot, sultana and cranberry, sultana and apple or trail mix is sufficient to liven up a salad and provide 1 serving of fruit shared between two people. The larger classic fruit and nut mix also works well but is a full serving of fruit for two people. There are also mixes of preserved oranges and lemons which, when used in small quantities, make a substantial difference to a salad and can be used as a garnish on different dishes.

Salads

When I think of salads, I automatically think about lettuce in all its forms which, with the exception of Iceberg lettuce, is on my forbidden list. As all greens are out of the range of dishes in this cookbook, it is important to move on from the traditional view of what makes a salad. Understanding that the purpose of a salad is not only nutritional but, more importantly, contrast in both taste and texture, and a visual addition to the main part of the meal, leads to many opportunities for invention.
One of the handiest commercial items I have found to lift a salad is the small multi packs of mixed fruits. One small box of sultana and apricot, sultana and cranberry, sultana and apple or trail mix is sufficient to liven up a salad and provide 1 serving of fruit shared between two people. The larger classic fruit and nut mix also works well but is a full serving of fruit for two people. There are also mixes of preserved oranges and lemons which, when used in small quantities, make a substantial difference to a salad and can be used as a garnish on different dishes.

Vegetables

There are plenty of vegetables to eat and enjoy on the low Vitamin K list and the recipes and ideas that follow show just how possible it is to have a delightful meal without green vegies.
Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw but must be finely sliced. They have a lovely nutty flavour. Carrots sweeten with cooking. Kumara absorbs any flavours put with it whether a curry, balsamic vinegar or even sugars and syrups. Onions are a delight all the time as are potatoes.
Tofu, rice and couscous are new experiences for some people. Give them a go.

Sauces and Dressings

Although by no means a necessity in one’s food life, sauces and dressings do add taste, texture and delight to so many dishes. These sauces are all simple and straight forward to make and go with many things. From the astringent balsamic vinegar and rosemary dressing to the sweet yoghurt sauce, each should become part of your suite of recipes to use regularly.

Sauces and Dressings

Although by no means a necessity in one’s food life, sauces and dressings do add taste, texture and delight to so many dishes. These sauces are all simple and straight forward to make and go with many things. From the astringent balsamic vinegar and rosemary dressing to the sweet yoghurt sauce, each should become part of your suite of recipes to use regularly.

Desserts

Although no food should ever be used as a reward for doing well at something, these delightful desserts allow those of us on limited diets to have a meal where we feel that we are not missing out on anything.
Fresh fruit is also an enjoyable way of getting sufficient Vitamin K into your diet. Certain fruits have up to 10 mcg of Vitamin K in them or 1/10th of the recommended daily intake and these can be used daily to ensure that you are taking in sufficient Vitamin K. Strawberries, raspberries, raisins, pomegranate arils (seed or juice sacs), plums, pears, mulberries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, kiwi fruit gold only, grapes, raw figs, cranberries, cherries, blackberries and apricots all fall into this category and can be enjoyed as the seasons pass but in moderation.

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