Monday, August 16, 2010

Let Food Be Your Medicine!

I have so many books on the subject of healthy eating, yet I still find myself going to the freezer and pulling out a small container of Haagen Daz ice cream.  I did enjoy my bone building soup earlier today.  I came across a recipe for this in one of my many books.  It required very few ingredients; garlic, onions, fat free chicken broth, and then I used a large family sized package of chicken legs, with the skin removed.  I cooked this soup for two days.  Also, I added a cup of apple cider vinegar. 

Yes, two days!  Actually the recipe said I could simmer it for three days in a crock pot on high. 

The broth had a wonderful taste, much more flavorful than if I had cooked the soup for the usual amount of time, around an hour or less.

What happens is the acidic content of the vinegar helps to dissolve the bone content.  In fact, I noticed when I ate the soup there is no cartilage, which means that probably dissolved in the soup.

Why go through all of this trouble? 

Calcium, magnesium, and whatever other minerals I can derive from the bones themselves.  This is what our grandmothers, great grandmothers, and before them did...cooked these soups for the mineral content within the bones themselves.

How many of us take the time to do this anymore?

How many ask others to "save the bones" for soup?  Then make soups that become loaded with nutritious minerals that our own bones can use?

We who have entered those years where calcium intake as well as other mineral intake is important only because our bodies' need for these nutrients will get them from somewhere, and it's usually our bones.  We can derive this calcium from nonmilk sources such as:

Blackstrap molassses,
collard greens
dandelion greens
mustard greens
turnip greens
hard water.

And to do this we need Vitamin D, which we can get from leafy greens, nuts and seeds, egg yolks and taking a walk where we can soak up sunshine.

It can become a balancing act especially if we are trying to keep our cholesterol numbers low. 

That is what I'm finding for myself.  I lowered those numbers eating whole grains, yet I now need to be careful when eating whole grain cereal so that the calcium in calcium rich foods will be absorbed. For me it becomes even more complicated.  Those requiring thyroid medication need to take extra care since such meds can endanger our body's calcium reserves.

What is a person to do especially when reaching a certain age where we become aware that our calcium reserves are no longer as high as they once were? 

Mindful eating is probably the way to go.  Each day I am now more aware of what I put into my mouth in terms of nutrients.  I'm small boned and don't eat a whole lot of food during the day.  So what I do eat needs to provide me with all the nutrients I require to at least keep ahead of my losses.

Too much dairy is going to raise those cholesterol numbers.  Not enough is going to lessen my calcium reserves.

Again, it becomes a balancing act and maintaining an awareness of what I'm putting into my mouth.  Yes, there are days when I just say, heck with it and have that small bowl of Haagen Daz.  Then as guilt follows, I'll go back to making the soups, taking the supplements, and praying that at my next series of test (blood test for cholesterol, bone scan for bone density) I will be okay.

Not an easy prospect. 

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