Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vitamin K Deficiency. Oh, and Juicing.

So I got a message yesterday from our geneticist saying that Payton's bloodwork shows that she has low Vitamin K levels. When we were at our appointment with the geneticist, I was telling her that we had run out of Nutrivene and needed to order more. As such, she hadn't been on it for a couple weeks when we had her bloodwork done.

So when the geneticist called yesterday, she wanted to know if we had restarted Payton on the Nutrivene by the time we had her bloodwork done. I haven't talked to her yet, but the answer to that question is no. And ... even if we had, Nutrivene does not have Vitamin K in it. So it would not have mattered anyway.

So we have another issue to deal with here. Just another day in my life.

And what did I do but read online about it ... it is what I do best. Per Wikipedia ... Vitamin K is mostly required for blood coagulation. It is normally produced by bacteria in the intestines, and dietary deficiency is extremely rare unless your name is Payton the intestines are heavily damaged, are unable to absorb the molecule, or due to decreased production by normal flora, as seen in broad spectrum antibiotic use. Vitamin K is found chiefly in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, and Brassica (e.g. cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts); some fruits such as avocado and kiwifruit are also high in Vitamin K. By way of reference, two tablespoons of parsley contain 153% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K.

No wonder we have this problem. Perhaps I should have my Vitamin K level tested. Sigh.

After reading this, I am sort of wondering if she is getting too much yogurt. With her limited eating issues, it isn't like I really have a choice. But ... technically, doesn't yogurt increase the normal flora in the intestines, meaning she should be absorbing Vitamin K fine? She hasn't been on antibiotics in awhile.

I'm so confused.


Sort of related ... and unrelated ... to this is juicing. Do any of you juice? I have read a lot about it and given our family's horrible history of not eating the proper amount of fruits and vegetables, I feel like this would be great for us.

A few weeks ago, an infomercial came on TV for Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer. I usually am not taken with infomercials, but ... haha ... I was totally intrigued by Jack and his juicer. And now I really feel like this is something we need to do to get the proper nutrition in the kids all of us.

Do any of you juice? What juicer do you use? Do you like the process of it all?


  1. We had a juicer and Jack hates veggies so we thought it would be a great thing. Jack still hates veggies....juiced or not :). We were able to get him to drink some of the juices we made (and we would juice a carrot into everything). Look on ebay before you buy from Jack LaLanne. You can usually get them cheaper there. I didn't enjoy the clean up process but it wasn't too bad. My husband loved the thing but eventually we sold it on craigslist. I did find that Jack likes the V-8 splash drinks and they have some that contain veggies. He will down an entire bottle of that stuff. Good luck with Ms. P. If you are going to try juicing, definetly go with Jack LaLannes- it is nice.

  2. For good gut flora we use a kids, good bacteria power (Inner health plus)

    Mum brought me a juicer, I was all for it, until I googled juicing. While there is lots of great stuff, I found some sites when I dug around, that drinking juice can lead to Diabetes, specially if you are in a risk group. There is so much sugar and no fibre but of cause ether is a lot more involved.
    The information was mostly about fruits and some vegetables.
    I only juice vegies and I’m the only one who will drink it lol I do add one apple or a half a piece of fruit. Check it out. I could be reading garbage and not know lol

  3. We bought that one and I also had one from Target, they both worked the same. I did not like juicing at all and Jerry loved it. The girls didn't like it either. If you are going to try it just pick one up at a near by store-they work the exact same. I think my two are stored away in the garage somewhere-honestly! I could ship them to you-lol-no they are old about 5 years you would want a new one.

  4. I am not sure which fruits Payton likes but you should def. try this
    They do not taste bad at all!

  5. If want another way to get your kids to eat vegetables, try the cookbook-Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. My kids have loved everything I have made. You can barely taste the vegetables, which may not be the case with juice!

  6. What about smoothies? Kiwi could be put in with a banana and berries and a little OJ and/or yogurt. That is if you have a blender... otherwise that's another can of worms.

    I've also heard about diabetes issues with juice - but think finding a balance/moderation is key.

    Good luck.

  7. I'll have to take a look at the diabetes stuff. That could be scary! I used to give Mason the V8 Fusion juice ... maybe I'll have to try it with Payton.

  8. Just a couple weeks ago the kids and I stayed at my parents house. They are avid juicers. I enjoyed the juicing. Tasted HORRIBLE. But it felt so good. But my mom's "normal" juice includes, kale, carrots, celery, tomatos, apples, oranges, and whatever fruit she has lying around.

    The kids wouldn't go near the stuff. Even when I would make the all fruit.

    BUT my kids are the pickiest eaters on the planet. Okay not kids, just kid. Specifically Isaac. The ONLY fruits and vegetables he gets right now is V8 fusion. Sad huh? The doctor tells me he will grow out of it. I pray that's true, because I have one monster headache from watching him refuse to eat!

  9. I second the smoothie thing. My kids and I have a spinach smoothie everyday. The spinach is tasteless, and you wouldn't even know it was there if it weren't for the bright green colour of the shake!

    I put spinach, mango, pineapple, and banana (frozen banana is best) in it, and lately I've also been adding some ground flax seed for Omegas. I'm sure you can throw some avocado in there too without it changing the flavor. Add as much or as little of each ingredient according to their taste. If it's not cold enough (I like mine cold and usually use frozen mango too, but since they're cheap right now I use fresh) add a couple ice cubes. You can even add some yogurt in there since she likes yogurt so much. I saw an avocado chocolate smoothie somewhere too. If I find it I can post it for you.

  10. I had that "Jack" juicer that you were asking about.
    Never used it.
    Gave it to my dad.
    He used it once and then gave it back.
    He said it was a lot of work for a tiny bit of juice. he also said the most healthy part is the skin and pulp, and that part is not in the juice.
    He prefers to make smoothies with a blender instead.
    It was also a lot to clean.
    I sold it in a garage sale for $10.
    Only used once.
    Shame on me. ;)

  11. Hated did the kids. I'll give you mine if you want it. I bought it last summer thinking how healthy it would be juicing from our garden. Fruits...yum, but you can basically use a blender for those. Veggies....I can't tell you how gross it was. Let me know, I'll send you mine if you want...used only 3 times.

  12. I have never tried a juicer, but I do make smoothies... I need to be better about doing it every day or most days - but when I do make a smoothie, I LOVE it, Anne loves it (Whitney is not old enough yet) and Mike will have one too. It is true that you can add spinach and you won't even taste it - I buy frozen organic spinach, frozen berries (blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry) from Trader Joe's (good price!), I add a little yogurt, orange juice and you can also buy and add Trader Joe's Very Green juice blend or there is another brand called Odwalla that has a very healthy juice drink you can add to smoothies (you can find a big size/better deal at Costco) one more thing I try to remember to add is flax oil... now that I am typing this I realize I really need to do this more often. It all goes into the blender and is very easy to make and very easy to clean up (the dishwasher) :) Hope your kids (and you guys) will like smoothies... they really are good!!!

  13. Another good book is Sneaky Chef. She has good recipes for hiding veggies in food. I've been eyeing juicers too. Glad I read your comments first:)

  14. I am also going to suggest getting out the blender and making smoothies. Aidan has aversions to many fruit textures, but he loves smoothies. You can easily puree kale or spinach in there without changing the taste at all. Kiwi is great, too! My kids LOVE smoothies.

    Also, you can puree these things and add them to spaghetti sauce; kids won't know the difference.

  15. Lurker chiming in here...
    We have the Jack LaLane juicer! It's a big event in our family when we trek to the Asian grocery store to stock up on budget fruits, then Dad make's a night of making the juice w/ son's help. (It's a messy process that I want no part of!) Apparently you have to drink the juice in the first 20 minutes to maximize the vitamin intake, so we chug it. Then, Dad pours the rest into ice cube trays and freezer popsicles. Our son *loves* those. Our baby girl will drink the juice from a cup - messy messy messy.

    So I don't recommend it for every day - mess, plus it takes a lot of fruit to make a little juice. But the result is worth it every once in a while.

  16. I dont "juice" but I got Evie to love avocados. Has Payton tried them?I realize she is very picky and Im sure you have tried everything, so its probably a mute point, but they are just PACKED with vitamins!!!!

  17. I've never juiced, so no adice there, BUT, I second and third the comments about "The Sneaky Chef" and "Deceptively Delicious"! Veggie and fruit purees that you add to your family's favorite foods - it's great for the whole family to get the extra vitamins from foods that you might not normally eat. Check it out!

  18. Why not just blend the veg & fruit and mix it in a sauce, like bolognese or curry even? You can also add the blend to muffins. Just sneak them in lol. As for the juicer, we have 2, one in chrome to match our appliances. They work well as paper weights.

    Oh, add them with milk or rice milk and ice for a fruity smoothie.


  19. Try the smoothies!!
    I started making them every morning
    for my son- he loves them!
    I put strawberries mangoes yogurt
    orange juice milk banana-
    You can buy big bags of frozen
    fruit at costco- or smaller bags
    at any grocery stores.
    You can then sneak in whatever
    you want! As long as it's not
    a huge amount- they won't
    taste it! You can crush a vitamin
    into it-

    I have to add- I don't think my kids would like anything juiced-
    they would love the process-
    but would probably not
    drink veggies.

  20. My family has done juicing quite a bit over the years. We've used the Champion juicer. Works great!

    Yes, yogurt should increase the normal flora in the gut, but it is not always sufficient. Sometimes you have to give more - like a probiotic supplement. International Nutrition has several different kinds of probiotics. I have heard that BioKult is one of the best. We do not use probiotics with Osiyyah because we haven't found one he can tolerate (he can't have dairy - he can't even eat yogurt). So, we have to find a non-dairy probiotic or make homemade goat yogurt (or both).

    The Einstein-Syndrome listserv has a lot of moms on it who know a lot about gut health and how to keep it good and all that. You may want to join that list and ask for ideas from them (they are full of info!) -


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