Make Any Tapenade With This Simple Formula

Enter tapenade. If you’re familiar only with the kind that comes in the small jar from the supermarket, you’re missing out. The time saved may seem to compensate for the less-than-ideal flavor, but you can make make a much better version at home in under 30 minutes. Here’s how:

Source: How to Make Tapenade Without a Recipe

There’s 1.4 mcg of vitamin K in 100 grams of olives, and the recipe calls for 2 cups (~360 grams).  That’s ~5 mcg of vitamin K…  Capers on the other hand contain 24.6 mcg of vitamin k per 100 grams.

Keeping in mind that the vitamin K dose is quoted on consuming all of the tapenade.  I’m not judging… 😉

On a more serious note, I would not recommend eating tapenade before an INR test.  If there’s a long enough interval between tests (1 month), then I’d suggest tapenade soon after getting tested so you have time for your INR level to recover in an effort to not have to adjust your medication dose.

DIY: Vegan Parmesan Alternative

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some more options from time to time? Sure, we’ve got other cheeses like Pecorino Romano or a good aged ricotta salata, but they’re really just variations on a theme. What I want is something that can be used just like grated Parmesan, but brings a new set of flavors to the table. It’s something of particular interest to me during the month of February, when I maintain an entirely vegan diet (and I can tell you, cheese is the one thing I miss most). But I was after something that wouldn’t just carry me through February: I wanted something that I’d keep in my pantry all through the year and I’m afraid the common solution of cashews ground with nutritional yeast just ain’t gonna cut it.

Source: Better Than Parm? Dried Olive and Miso May Be the Ultimate Pasta-Topper

Parmesan – the worse it smells, the better it is.  So there can be benefits if you can’t have it 😉

Unrelated tip: Try nutritional yeast (nooch) on your popcorn.

Blood Thinners and Iron Deficiency

Being on blood thinners does not directly impact iron levels in the blood.  Unless you’re bleeding – then you have bigger problems.

If you believe that you are iron deficient:

Call your doctor and make an appointment immediately.  It could be an indication of [internal] blood loss, which is a possibility if your INR level is above 3.  But the level is not a strong indication – I’ve had no issue when in the 4s, yet I bled into my lungs while open water swimming when my INR was in the low 2s.  Doctors can perform a physical exam in addition to blood tests (and more blood tests depending on initial results).

Be aware that if bleeding is confirmed to be the source of the iron deficiency, the benefit to being on warfarin/coumadin is the medication can be flushed from your system.  It’s not available to those on other blood thinner medications, and in my experience it’s not something doctors will use unless they have to.  As in, they were fine with me sitting in hospital for days until my INR was under 1.4 (allowable level for surgery).

Dietary Sources for Iron Deficiency Prevention

Anyone can develop iron-deficiency anemia, but us “bleeders” are more likely than most to develop it because some of the best sources of iron also have a lot of vitamin K.  The goto sources are beef (stop making faces) and spinach.

Here’s the top 5 sources of iron for those of us on blood thinners:

  1. Lentils are the first on the list which do no contain vitamin K, and at 37% of your Daily Value (DV)… if you eat 1 cup of them.
  2. Sesame seeds: 29% DV of iron for 0.25 cup
  3. Garbanzo beans (AKA chickpeas): 26% DV of iron for 1 cup
  4. Lima beans: 25% DV of iron for 1 cup
  5. Olives: 25% DV of iron for 1 cup
  6. Navy beans: 24% DV of iron for 1 cup

What?  There was a tie, and I’d eat navy beans before olives or lima beans. 😛

The alternative is iron supplements.

FYI: Vegans (or depending on your vegetarianism) should be aware that there’s also pernicious anemia, the result of a vitamin B12 deficiency.