Bone Health

So, I mentioned last week that I broke my foot. I actually broke my 5th metatarsal. It is a good thing that my bone didn’t get displaced though. It just cracked. I probably would have needed surgery if it was displaced. I broke it from running in heels and my foot just twisted in. Ladies (and some guys), please be careful when wearing heels!

Anyway, having broken my foot got me thinking about bone health. What caused my bone to be more susceptible to breaking? After all, my foot has turned in like that before and it didn’t break. However, it did this time. Is it because I haven’t been taking care of my bone health? Or is it because that particular bone is easier to break?

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To give a brief overview of my diet, I ate whatever I wanted until I was in high school. Once I was in high school, I wanted to lose weight and I severely restricted my eating. I wasn’t even drinking as much milk (which contains calcium and is fortified with Vitamin D) since I didn’t want to gain any weight. I thought milk was fattening. Imagine a growing adolescent body, needing more energy, and only getting about 1,200 calories. Of course I would be deficient in many vitamins and minerals. I did, however, exercise and did a lot of weight bearing exercises.

Anyway, let’s get back to the real nutrition of having healthy bones.

The first thing I want to say is, think of your bone as a savings account for calcium. You reach your peak bone density before age 30. After that, your body tends to break down bone faster than body is building bone. The most optimal time to build your savings account is during the adolescent years, when calcium absorption is at one of the highest, besides during infancy and childhood. After that, the body absorbs calcium less efficiently. I emphasize this because adolescents tend to become more independent during this time and make more of their own food choices.

This is important because adolescents are still growing at this time and are still trying to reach their optimal height. If they don’t consume enough calcium during this time, it may affect their skeletal (bone) health in the future and make bones more prone to fracture. Osteoporosis is a possibility in the future, especially if one is maintaining poor bone health.

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What is the most important function of calcium in the body besides maintaining skeletal health? Conducting nerve impulses! If your blood calcium levels are very low, Vitamin D (a hormone/vitamin) senses it and will tell your bones to break down and release calcium into the blood stream. It also tells your small intestine and kidneys to absorb (or reabsorb from the kidneys) more calcium. Your CNS (Central Nervous System) is your top priority when calcium levels are extremely low. Although 99% of calcium’s function is to maintain skeletal health, the 1% (nerve impulses, making sure your heart beats, etc) takes priority.

Adolescents should be consuming 1,300 mg of calcium (the RDA, Recommended Dietary Allowance). Females tend to consume less than the RDA (948 mg) while males tend to be pretty close to the RDA (1260 mg) for calcium. The RDA for Vitamin D (hormone/vitamin) is 15 micrograms (mcg) or 600 International Units (IU). The RDA for calcium for adults is 1,000 mg. The RDA for Vitamin D is the same for adults. Vitamin D is important for blood calcium homeostasis, as mentioned earlier.

There are other vitamins that play a role in bone health, including Vitamin C (for development of bone collagen) and Vitamin K (assists osteoblast cells in building bone). However, Vitamin D and Calcium are very important for bone health. Also, weight bearing exercises are also great for your bone health.

Remember that I am not a medical professional and it is best to speak with a Registered Dietitian or doctor to assess whether or not you are consuming enough calcium and to assess your bone health. I do, however, have a Bachelor’s of Science in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Nutrition and Food. I am able to give general nutrition advice. 

That is it for now!

What is your favorite sources of food for calcium? 

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Weekly Meals and Workouts 105

Happy Sunday everyone. How are you guys doing today? I’m doing alright, thank you very much. I stayed up very late last night (almost 3am!) and I am extremely tired. I almost never stay up that late. I was hanging out with mi novio and his friends and they decided to watch the new X-Men movie at like 10:30pm. It was a good movie and I enjoyed watching it.

However, since I stayed up so late, I didn’t wake up early enough to run this morning. I didn’t even run yesterday either and did 2 PIIT workouts instead. Today, I just did a pilates workout.

Anyway, before I get into anything else, here is my plan for the week.

Hevil’s Healthy Devil – Meal Plan Template

BLANK MEAL PLAN TEMPLATE

Breakfasts –  “healthy” poptarts, avocado toast w/ egg, or WW English Muffin Pizzas AND COFFEE (of course)

Lunches- salmon cakes w/ brown rice OR eggplant parmesan w/ WW Pasta OR leftovers from dinner

Dinners- rice, veggies, some sort of protein (whatever my parents cook)

WORKOUTS

Sunday- pilates

Monday-  6 mile run + abs

Tuesday-  6 mile run + abs

Wednesday- yoga or REST

Thursday-6 mile run + abs

Friday- PIIT

Saturday- rest

I have my 10K run next Sunday and I can’t wait! I have to follow this week’s workout plan since it’s coming up so soon. I’ll be running it with a few friends and it’s going to exciting. And, as I mentioned before, there will be a mimosa garden! What a great way to celebrate graduating!

What’s your plan for the week?

Have you guys tried making salmon cakes before? If so, what’s your recipe and did you like it? 

Fitness Friday 45 + The Change of My Exercise/Eating Habits

Happy Friday everyone. How are you guys doing today? I’m doing alright, thank you very much. It is 9 at night as I am typing this. I’ve been busy all day today! The FAN Club’s Nutrition Information Panel was tonight. FAN stands for Food and Nutrition. Anyway, I’ll talk about that in another post. This post is about Fitness Friday.

Here were my workouts for the week.

Fitness Friday 11-14-14

As you notice, I am still unsure about tomorrow’s workout. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow. I might end up running 10 miles tomorrow. Who knows!

There is something that I want to talk about right now and it is about my workouts and eating habits. Let’s just say, I think my habits now is more “healthy” that when it was two years ago. Here’s the story.

I was so caught up with the scale and looking skinny. I exercised 2 hours everyday. I didn’t take a rest day. On top of that, I ate around 1500-1600 calories (tops). Of course I would be skinny at that point. But, you know what? It wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t something that I can sustain. Exercising two hours a day and eating that little calories can really mess up your metabolism. It really does.

You can say that people majoring in nutrition usually have some sort of body image issue. I know that it’s not always the case but most I’ve encountered had some sort of weight loss/gain story.

Anyway, I know I gained weight. It started when I decided to start lifting weights my first year, second semester in college. Then, for some strange reason, I decided to run a half marathon that summer. It takes a lot of energy to train for a long distance run. It takes energy for muscle to build. So, of course, I gained muscle (and fat). I was eating a lot more to fuel my workouts. I increased my calorie intake by 600 calories! Crazy! I gained 20 pounds. I didn’t increase my calorie intake by eating junk food. I still was health conscious about my food choices.

Do you know what the funny thing is? After my half marathon, I haven’t gained weight. I still consume the same amount of calories as I did while training (the amount I was suppose to be consuming) and I reduced my exercise to 1-1 and a half hours a day, taking one rest day a week. My body was burnt out after my first half marathon (or maybe it was a trigger point).

What I am trying to say is, listen to your body. Don’t restrict your calorie intake to a bare minimum, especially if you’re exercising a lot. I don’t know how I survived for so long doing that. It eventually catches up! I had to take a rest week. Even then, I didn’t fully recover.

I know I am not as skinny as I was before. But, you know what? I still love my body. I am not fat. I have curves. I have muscle. I am fit. I am HEALTHIER. Some people say that I am skinny but I know that I am not as skinny as I was before. But hey. I know I don’t look bad.

Anyway, I just had to say that. Don’t slip into unhealthy habits to achieve a certain look. That’s my lesson for you guys.

How were your workouts this week? 

Weekly Meals and Workouts 23

Happy Sunday everyone! How are you guys doing today? I’m doing great, thank you very much. I didn’t run 6 miles today though, which I was sad about. My run wasn’t that good today. I ran 4 miles and I did a workout DVD. Jillian Michael’s Extreme Shed and Shred. I just wasn’t feeling it when I was running, so I decided to stop.

Anyway, I will post my meals first. Here is the template you guys can use. Instead it of being an Excel file, it is a PDF. You guys can print it out and write on it.

Hevil’s Healthy Devil – Meal Plan Template

And this is how it looks when I type it in. =) This is my tentative plan.

6-22-14 Meal Plan

 

Here are my workouts for the week.

Sunday- 4 mile run + Jillian Michael’s Extreme Shed and Shred

Monday- 6 mile run + yoga

Tuesday-  6 mile run + strength

Wednesday- yoga

Thursday- 6 mile run + strength

Friday- 6 mile run + yoga

Saturday– yoga

On the other hand, I have created a lot of things for you guys to use! Just go to my Downloads page. However, I know that meal planning can be tough. So, I will post it here on this post to make it easier for you guys.

Hevil’s Healthy Devil – Breakfast Ideas

Hevil’s Healthy Devil – Lunch Ideas

Hevil’s Healthy Devil – Dinner Ideas

Hevil’s Healthy Devil – Snack Ideas

 You guys can look at some of the meal ideas I have come with it and make your own meal plan!

That is it for now. I may change my workout routine. I am still debating whether to cut down on my running. I am running 30 miles a week, on average. I will see how my body feels.

How are you guys doing today? 

What do you have planned for the week?

Cultural Awareness in the Medical Field

I feel that cultural awareness in the medical field is not brought up a lot. It is an important issue, however.

This semester, I am taking a lot of cultural classes for my General Education (GE). I am not taking any science nor nutrition related courses this semester. However, after this semester, all of my courses will be science/nutrition based. I will be done with my GE. I guess it balances out because I took a lot of courses for my major last semester.

Sweet Trade [Photography]

Sweet Trade [Photography]

The courses I am taking right now are Asian American Woman, Spanish, English, and The Culture and Society of the Middle East. It is very helpful learning about other cultures, especially when you are considering going into a medical field. As you know, you come in contact with many people of different cultures.

Those cultures include recent immigrants from other countries to 2nd or 3rd generation children of immigrants. It can be someone who recently immigrated from China or Palestine to someone who has recently immigrated from El Salvador or Argentina. They could have just came from refugee camps or experienced recent traumatic events in their homeland.

What I am trying to say is that it is important to learn more about other cultures so that you are aware of what you may experience during your career. Some patients may not disclose information you need to make a diagnosis. They may not trust authority due to how they were treated in their home country. Or they may be embarrassed to share the information because they think that the doctor will not understand (It depends on the culture. Remember that each culture is different).

Each culture is different and you will have to learn to handle each one differently. Do not assume that if you see someone of one ethnic origin come in your office is going to act like the way you learned about their culture. Just be aware and do not be surprised if you come across it.

I took a whole class on this subject last semester, called the Social and Cultural Aspects of Food. I learned so much from my professor and it really opened my eyes to what is out there in the world. As a dietitian, you have to know that there are many factors contributing to one’s diet. Culture is a huge contributing factor. You may find it hard to “change” ones diet due to their culture. It is what they have been eating. They may have certain beliefs for eating certain foods or not eating certain foods.

What I am saying is not enough because each culture is different and will react differently to Registered Dietitians or any other medical professional. There is too many to list. That is why it is important to learn about it. That way, you will have a better idea and understanding on what to do if you come across a situation where different cultural beliefs get in the way. Be culturally aware.

Have you been in a situation where cultural differences got in the way?

What is your view on this subject?