Are you sliding down a sugary, slippery slope? You know the one I mean. The one that begins innocently enough in the fall with a slice (or two) of Thanksgiving pecan or pumpkin pie and then a wee bit of Hallowe’en candy a few weeks later. You gain momentum with heaping helpings of holiday treats followed by boxes of Valentine’s chocolate. Before you know it, you’re gathering and gobbling the Easter bunny’s chocolate eggs (not to mention, if you love them as much as I do, hot cross buns). Suddenly, you find yourself awash in sugar. You have more of a sweet tooth than you used to and sugary treats have become a daily ritual, not just a holiday indulgence.
Does this sound familiar? If so, you’ve just slid down a sugary, slippery slope. I know I have. Read on for more about how easy it is to do this and why you really, really want to climb back up.
And I hope you’ll join me for my I’m Sweet Enough 7-day No Sugar Added Challenge (more on this at the end of this post).
Let’s bone up on osteoporosis, as it is a significant concern for many women in menopause. Make no bones about it … osteoporosis can result in premature death, especially in the case of hip fracture. According to Osteoporosis Canada, at least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis in their lifetime. Of those unfortunate enough to experience a hip fracture, 28% of women and 37% of men will die within the following year.
When not deadly, osteoporosis can result in reduced (or lost) mobility and disfigurement, leading to decreased independence and lower self-esteem. Effectively preventing osteoporosis is paramount to our health and well-being.
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…
First, a confession…forgive me, it has been over 2 months since I last blogged. I have had the “too busy to blog blues”. This has been due to some very good things. I was in the UK for 2 weeks over Christmas visiting family. And a few weeks after that I spent 11 glorious days in Bocas del Toro, Panama at the best yoga retreat ever at Bluff Beach Retreat, hosted by the irrespressible Christine Dennis of Prashanta Yoga (my “local”). And throughout I’ve had the pleasure of doing custom consultations with some incredible women, creating plans to optimize their health and well-being. Nothing gives me greater joy; it is why I became a holistic nutritionist. But being too busy to blog has had its downsides too. One is that Google is not very happy with me. The other is that researching, creating educational handouts and designing diet, supplement and lifestyle protocols and custom meal plans requires me to spend a lot of time at my computer. Enter “Slouch Asana”, as Christine so aptly named this poor posture. We spent a lot of time at Bluff Beach working to counteract the effects of this pose.
This morning as I was getting ready to head outside, I lamented/cursed having to layer on just about everything in my closet. Yes, I am a wimp and I really do not love the cold. As I covered up every exposed bit of me (I would have donned a balaclava if I owned one), I thought that now would be a very good time to remind folks to up your vitamin D supplement if you haven’t already.
The reason I say “up it” is because vitamin D is a good supplement to take all year round, particularly if you are a vegan or vegetarian, as the only good food sources are animal products. Of these, the richest sources are fatty fish (and cod liver oil…yum!) and, to a lesser extent, beef liver, egg yolks and milk.
That said, the human body doesn’t really need to get vitamin D from the diet. In fact, it is quite difficult to get adequate amounts from food even if you aren’t a vegan/vegetarian. Our bodies, however, are quite adept at synthesizing it from cholesterol in our skin in the presence of sunlight.