“Engage the bandhas!” My yoga teacher, Christine Dennis, reminds us of this often in class – it’s almost a mantra. Bandha is the Sanskrit term for “body lock” in Hatha Yoga. Christine is usually referring to the bandhas that involve the pelvic floor muscles and the abdominals up to the diaphragm. In plain English, she means “engage your abs”!
Activating these muscles essentially creates a supportive “corset” for your torso. This protects your back and helps stabilize your body. When you engage your abs and strengthen your core, you make daily activities easier. More important, you help prevent injury during both day-to-day activities and exercise. At my age, I’m all about preventing injury, especially back injury.
And (spoiler alert for an upcoming post on osteoporosis) weight-bearing exercise is one of the most effective things we can do to prevent bone loss as we get older. In fact, studies have shown that strength training may even help build new bone. Of course it also builds muscle mass to keep us lively and energetic.
So now is the perfect time to delve into how to engage your abs! With esprit de core, you will be able to strength train both effectively and safely! read more
When it comes to bone health and nutrition, we tend to focus on meeting our calcium needs with dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. But what if a person is lactose intolerant and can’t consume dairy products? This is the case with one of my readers, who wrote asking for some recipes that were dairy-free yet high in calcium. This Dairy-Free Bone Building Menu is for her, people with dairy allergies and anyone interested in alternative sources of calcium.
Munch on this menu and you will consume 1233 mg of calcium, just over the 1200 mg recommended dietary allowance (RDA) set by Health Canada for women over 50 and men over 70 (the RDA for younger adult women and men is 1000 mg). You will also consume 433 mg of magnesium, another extremely important mineral for bone health (again exceeding the RDA of 320 mg and 420 mg for adult women and men, respectively).
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Dairy-Free Bone Building Menu
Breakfast: Sardine & Avocado Salad (Not a fan of sardines? Use canned, bone-in, wild salmon instead.)
Lunch: Roasted Carrot, White Bean & Tahini Soup with a side of Sauteed Collard Greens & Almonds (don’t skip the collards, they provide 282 mg of the 535 mg of calcium in this lunch)
Dinner: Sesame Trout, Bok Choy & Quinoa (see below for more info on sesame and bok choy)
Treat: Gingerbread Brownies (Blackstrap molasses is surprisingly high in calcium, with 179 mg per tablespoon)
Join The Nutritional Reset community here to receive this month’s menu today (as well as each month to come)! And read on for some nutritional tidbits about a few foods featured in the recipes…