HEALTHY BONES ACTION WEEK, 4-10 August 2014.
Many people seem to have a nutrient or food they focus on, whether that be for a medical condition or just because of their personal preferences. Such as iron for vegetarians, saturated fat for those with high cholesterol, and carbohydrates for people with diabetes. Body builders and resistance athletes tend to focus on protein, and some people just endeavour to get as many superfoods into their morning smoothie. You get my drift.
Overall, I aspire to have a healthy, balanced diet, but if anything concerns me particularly, it’s my calcium intake. My grandmothers bones are well and truly beaten, and my mothers bone density test a few years back did not come with good prospects. So my bones are an aspect of my health I’m definitely concerned about. And quite frankly, we all should be.
Developing osteoporosis really sucks. Four or so years back, my grandmother backed into a street sign and broke her pelvis. Hardly a high impact crash, and yet she spent eight weeks in a hospital bed with her feet up. That’s the reality of having brittle bones, even minor bumps can cause a fracture.
It is estimated that 1.2 million Australian’s have Osteoporosis and another 6.3 million are at risk. Totalling one third of Australia’s population, as our nation ages this rate is set to increase with our ageing nation. Pretty scary hey? The funny thing is, most people recognise the importance of calcium-rich foods in building strong bones and teeth and preventing Osteoporosis, yet most Australians fail to meet their recommended serves of dairy and/or dairy equivalents each day.
In an ideal world we would all have a bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast, a tub of yoghurt for morning tea, and a cheese & salad sandwich for lunch. But we’re all individuals with different taste buds, needs and opinions, so I have friends that don’t like drinking milk and a father that cringes at the suggestion of yoghurt (Are we really related?).
I could bang on about more reasons for Australian’s not consuming adequate calcium until the cow’s come home. Pun intended. Instead, I’m going to take the boring out of breakfast and provide you with twenty-five ways to help you to get in your dairy serves each day.
1. Two slices of wholegrain toast with 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, fresh berries and a drizzle of honey, or for those savoury lovers, ricotta with sliced tomato and cracker pepper.
2. Overnight oats. Endless possibilities with this one.
3. Lemon and Ricotta pancakes. I used Heidi Sze’s ricotta pancake recipe and swapped the ginger & lime for lemon.
5. Baked beans on toast, with grilled tasty cheese. mmm cheese.
6. Banana & PB smoothie. 1 cup of low fat milk, a dollop of yoghurt, one banana and a tbsp of peanut butter… Yes please.
7. Canned pink salmon (keep the bones) with apple & fennel slaw
9. Zucchini Slice: Mix 1-2 carrots (grated), 1 large zucchini (grated) with 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, 1 grated onion, 6 eggs, 1/2 cup SR flour, 3 slices of short cut bacon (diced) and 1/4 cup milk. Combine and bake in over for 35-35 minutes at 180°C.
12. Top pita bread with spinach, sardines (in tomato or BBQ sauce), cherry tomatoes and cheese, then grill.
15. Swap chicken with tofu on a BBQ tofu pizza
16. Roast pumpkin & spinach lasagne. I love this recipe!
17. Swap your sour cream on baked potatoes & mexican food for greek yoghurt. If the tartness isn’t your forte – add some lime zest & juice.
19. A tub of yoghurt – check out Susie Burrell’s review on the top picks.
20. Ricotta with vegetable sticks or on ryvita’s.
21. Cheddar cheese & sliced apple. Interesting combo that’s been featuring on my housemate’s snack plate the past few weeks.
22. Remember, your afternoon cappuccino and lattes count too.
23. Use greek yoghurt as a substitute for sour cream in tzatziki and serve with vegetable sticks.
24. Handful of almonds. This won’t be a full serve of dairy equivalents but a great contribution nonetheless.
and one for dessert,
25. Frozen yoghurt. The homemade kind. I love to freeze plain greek yoghurt with some blueberries. I stir it every ten minutes and wait till it’s like a fro-yo consistency. (Whatever you do, don’t leave it to get rock hard and icy).
For more information on what equals one serve, click here.
In addition to ensuring adequate calcium, weight bearing exercise & getting enough sunshine is also essential for healthy, strong bones! Don’t be fooled by your one hour walk in the sun either, I had my vitamin D tested the other week and it was too low!
Happy ‘Healthy Bones Action Week‘ everyone!