Monday, March 08, 2010

Mediterranean Diet, OM and the Garden


Wow is all I can think to say in order to express the past 48 or so hours. It seems like it has been a lifetime since my last post. (What 3 days ago?)

Shortly after retrieving the missing hand for our OM team last week, I returned home to pick up Austen for a pottery lesson. He was s-i-c-k. Migraine coming on. Long story short..within 2 hours he was in the local ER and did not know who we were.

As far as anyone can make out, he became dehydrated the day before. (Work, OM, hot-tub)..His RBC counts are currently out-of-control. Austen (like Big B and Brian-Scott) has thalessemia minor. It is a blood disorder that often runs in people of Mediterranean heritage. Similar to sickle-cell..but a little different.

In Austen's case, by the time we had taken him to the ER, he had vision disturbance, altered mental state, migraine galore. Think diabetic whose blood levels are skyrocketing. This led to a grand-mal seizure. (Not thalesemia related..but because he has a history of epilepsy)

In Big B's family, thalessemia is primarily treated by diet. Occasional hospitalizations are needed. Occasional blood transfusions are done, but in the scope of thalessemia patients..the De Mariano's (Big B's family) blood counts are usually pretty controlled.

We have not been paying attention to this diet at all.

So Big B stayed home with Austen. His teams (yes both of them) did GREAT without him;). Austen called us at the competition every few hours to get an update. (2 of our Club teams will go onto State..the other two are already making plans for next year)

Big B let Austen (gasp) break into our Kairos cookies..and the two of them decided to pitch a tent and camp-out around a camp-fire in the back yard. They spent the weekend commiserating since a) They both missed the tournament b) Austen is processing that he will be unable to get his driver's permit and c) they are both accepting that a slew of doctors appointments and a return to anti-seizure meds. for Austen will be inevitable.

Once we returned from our Odyssey venture. I had some time to re-research the thalessemia info. How do I control this with diet? I know what the De Mariano's do. We have just been negligent. But what else? We have one picky vegetarian. 3 family members with thalessemia and one with ulcerative colitis. We keep ending up with someone in hospitals. I HAVE to spend more time on really planning our meals. (which anyone who knows me, knows how ridiculous this is..the kitchen is NOT my forte')

I revisit the Mediterranean Food Alliances site. I realize that the Mediterranean Food Pyramid and the Vegetarian Food Pyramid are not that different. I also realize that to say we are on a Mediterranean Diet seems silly , since there are over 16 countries with very different food choices that make-up the Mediterranean Region.

Big B and I discuss how to readjust our lifestyle to more healthy living for all of us. We decide to give the Mediterranean Diet a try (but not too strict..after all..we live in S.Texas and host barbecues all the time). We decided to stick primarily to Southern Italian and Greek food, since that is what the taste-buds in our home seem to like.

Big B and I also realize that many of the vegetables needed are the ones we are currently growing on the deck (waiting to be put in our organic garden) right now. Right now, our sunflowers, marigolds (not to be eaten but placed in garden boxes) are sprouting..along with the cucumbers, squashes, zucchinis and beans. Isn't that convenient!

We start to throw out all the junk in the house...and replace them with healthier alternatives.

For drinks we cut out the sodas and gatorades. We are keeping water, tea (hot and iced),water, coffee (teas and coffee's are actually important for those who have thalessemia), water, 100% juices, water and a glass or two of red wine for dinner. (The kids like this wine part)

Our breakfast choices are from yogurt, boiled eggs, whole-wheat toast with jam, hot cereal with nuts and raisins and fruit.

Our lunch choices are from various wraps, pitas, salads and leftovers...with an ongoing selection of fruits and nuts.

Dinner? This week's menu is (I haven't done this in a long time)
Monday:lasagna with ciabatta bread, green beans and salad
Tuesday: baked pasta with zucchini, greens served with olive oil and lemon
Wednesday: fish in crazy water, steamed potatoes, roasted zucchini
Thursday(Austen cooks):ratatouille, fruit salad, french bread
Friday: Minestrone soup, garlic bread sticks, cucumbers and carrots with feta
Saturday: ? Mason cooks..whatever Mason feels like cooking
Sunday: barbecued steak, veggie burgers and twice-baked potatoes.
( It's Micheal's birthday/graduation from college bash!)

All for now. Need to run some errands before Austen and I hang out in the doctor's office again. Hope to upload some pics from the weekend soon.


Anonymous said...

Shocked to hear about Austen, so glad he is doing better. I wish you all the best with your new ventures. Your gardening sounds inspiring!

grillledcheesechic said...

I think we were all shocked with Austen;) He's back at work(new job)...painting bridges today. Thanks for the luck..I just burned zucchini..we need all the luck we can get.Talk to you soon.