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Nutrition & Good Eating

Nutrition (365) Sun and Bones

~Happy New Year!


~There is so much going on around me and I can’t help feeling optimistic and excited. Did you make resolutions for the New Year, or resolve not to make any this year? Lifestyle changes can be helpful in fulfilling your goals and dreams, from starting a new career, picking up a new hobby, or living a healthier life. Is there anything you would like to do differently this year?

This month, my focus is on bone health. We all lose bone after the age of 50, but women lose about 15% of their bone density in the five to seven years after menopause. Their chance of breaking a bone is one out of two. Men will lose bone more gradually as they age but are still at risk; one in four men will break a bone due to osteoporosis. The only way to know your bone density is by getting it measured, because it’s not something you can feel as it’s getting weaker. That is why osteoporosis and osteopenia (low bone mass) are “silent diseases” and often only present with a broken bone. Bones can break because they have not achieved their optimal peak bone mass, some of which is genetically determined (about 80%), but 20% can still be modified by lifestyle, such as exercise and nutrition, not smoking or overdoing alcohol.
What can help?

    Muscle: Having more muscle mass helps prevent falls which can lead to fractures.

    Calcium: The RDA is 1,000- 1,200 mg a day so many people may need a supplement. But don’t overdo it and forget about how much is in your diet, because too much calcium could lead to kidney stones.

    Vitamin D:  Essential for absorbing Calcium and helpful for building muscle. It has also been shown to lower the risk of falling, which is almost always the precursor to hip fractures. Many people have low levels of Vitamin D due to limited exposure to the sun, obesity, and diets that lack foods with Vitamin D. The RDA is 600-800 IU, and the International Osteoporosis Foundation suggests 800-1000 IU. If you take supplements, take them with food, preferably a meal with some fat, for better absorption.

    Limit Acid Producing Foods and Eat More Alkali Producing Foods:  When foods that create acids in the body are consumed, the bone, which is alkali, begins to break down in order to neutralize the acid. Foods that are alkali when broken down will help balance out the acidity and protect the bone. So try to include more fruits and vegetables (even oranges) in your diet which are more alkali and helpful in protecting your bones. Consuming too many cereal grains and proteins, which are more acidic when broken down, can be harmful. So for most people, limiting the grains will be better than limiting the protein in this balancing act.

    Exercise:  Aerobic exercise, strength training, and something for balance, like yoga, will all help, with physician approval.

Foods High in Calcium
Look for fortified foods including many cereals, milk and orange juice, yogurt, sardines, salmon with bones, cheese, tofu, almonds, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, oranges, white beans and edamame.

Are you motivated to make some changes this year? I'd be happy to help you figure out the right balance to fit with your lifestyle.
*Information adapted from Nutrition Action Healthletter, December 2014

Chicken Cacciatore

    6 large chicken breasts, no skin or bones
    1 tsp sea salt (plus more for seasoning)
    ½ tsp freshly ground pepper (plus more for seasoning)
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 large red bell pepper chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    ¾ c. dry white wine
    1 – 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
    ¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
    1 ½ tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp dried basil or ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

Directions: Mix the flour, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper together then dredge the chicken in it to coat lightly. In a large heavy sauté pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat and add the chicken. Sauté until just brown, about 5 minutes per side (can do in 2 batches). Set chicken aside. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pan and sauté over medium heat until tender, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, capers, oregano, and basil and then the chicken to the pan, and bring to simmer. Simmer about 30 minutes on medium-low heat until cooked through. Enjoy!
Tuna-less Salad

    3 cups cooked chickpeas (1-28 oz can, rinsed)
    2-3 tbsp chopped red onion (optional)
    2-3 celery stalks, chopped
    2 tbsp relish
    1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
    ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
    ¼ cup vegan and/or organic mayonnaise

Directions: Mash the chickpeas in a medium size bowl to break them up with a potato masher, pastry cutter or a fork.  Mix in other ingredients.
Broccoli with hummus; asparagus spears with vinaigrette; roasted cauliflower with cherry tomatoes; apricots; an apple, pear, or orange; 1 cup strawberries; yogurt pops (freeze them for an icy treat); cheese sticks; 1 egg with a slice of whole wheat toast and sliced avocado; a handful of almonds; a homemade smoothie with berries, spinach and natural peanut butter (plus milk, yogurt and ice); Greek yogurt with banana; cottage cheese with cantaloupe.
Call or email today for a free session to see if Wellness Coaching or Nutritional Counseling is right for you.

Carena Lowenthal, MS, RD, CDN
(917) 882-5033 |
Copyright © 2015, All rights reserved.

Carena Lowenthal is a Registered Dietitian and is Certified in Adult Weight Management by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a consultant to physicians and clients specializing in health and wellness, weight loss, pre- diabetes, diabetes, and heart disease.  Carena is passionate about helping people make lasting lifestyle changes for a more fulfilling, healthy, happy and complete life.


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