A Day In The Life #1: Shopping And Eating At The Mall - Save Our Bones

Yesterday was an unusual day for me. I spent the morning with a dear childhood friend who was visiting from abroad for a few days. She had brought a shopping list with her, so off we went to a large local mall, to get the items she was looking for. This was a great opportunity for us to catch up and reminisce about our common past.

We walked the mall levels from end to end, and by lunchtime we were starved. The food courtyard seemed the most logical lunch spot. You probably know that mall food courts are not exactly made for the health-conscious crowd. Everywhere we looked, there were burgers, deli sandwiches, french fries, and ice cream parlors. My friend is also following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, so putting together our bone-healthy lunch seemed a little challenging.

Luckily, we spotted a “Build-Your-Salad” counter, somewhat hidden from the main area at the far corner of the giant food court. Perfect! Not only do I love salads, I also strive to eat raw foods as much as possible And that's exactly what we did: we “built” our salads with lots of alkalizing fresh goodies and crunchy toppings. I stacked my salad as follows:

My Salad Stack

Romaine Lettuce and Broccoli

Both are deliciously crispy Foundation Foods packed with bone-healthy Vitamin K, Vitamin C, boron, and silicon.

Vitamin C is a multi-tasking vitamin, which is crucial for collagen production and plays an important role in protein metabolism.1 Unlike most mammals, we don't produce our own, so don't skimp on this vitamin; it's crucial. Boron's role in bone health is very important. It is involved in bone metabolism and Vitamin D activity.2 I make sure to eat foods with it, not that it's difficult. Many of my favorite foods contain boron: almonds, dried apricots, carrots, and bananas – to name a few.

Sliced Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Onions, and Beets

All are Foundation Foods because they are among the highest sources of silicon. (You can read all about silicon in my article, The Incredible, Crunchable Cucumber.

Cubed Avocado

One of my favorite veggies and a Foundation Food thanks to its Vitamin B complex content and boron.

Grape Tomatoes

A versatile Foundation Food for silicon, copper, and an outstanding source of the bone-building antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene actually stimulates your bone-building cells.3 Nothing short of amazing!

Olive Oil and Lemon Juice Dressing

I used olive oil with lemon juice as a dressing, and sprinkled sesame seeds and chopped almonds for a satisfying and calcium-rich crunch (and both are Foundation Foods, I might add).

When I looked at my salad, it literally looked as though I had brought the rainbow to my plate.

Sandwich and Desert

The egg sandwich was perfect and added just the right balance to complete the meal… and some Vitamin B. We both had a small fresh fruit cup (one of my absolute favorite desserts). Much to our surprise our mall-lunch was as delicious as it looked… and, of course, bone-healthy to the max!

Eating out can be a challenge, but we managed really well, especially considering that restaurants were serving mostly acidifying foods. As it turned out, I helped my friend “hunt” for bargains… and for a delicious, bone-friendly, and satisfying lunch out. And with all this, we had a ton of fun!

Till next time,


1 Li Y, Schellhorn HE. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr 2007;137:2171-84.
2 Nielsen F H. Biochemical and physiologic consequences of boron deprivation in humans. Environ Health Perspect. 1994 November; 102(Suppl 7): 59-63.
3 Rao, Kim, et al. Lycopene II- Effect on osteoblasts: the carotenoid lycopene stimulates cell proliferation and alkaline phosphatase activity of SaOS-2 cells. Journal of Medicinal Foods. 2003.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Eva Dent

    Your advice and comments on Maca powder solved my dilema as to why i was loosing large amounts of hair each day. It was interfering with my hormones, i am on natural hrt.

  2. Jean Baker

    I cannot seem to find a vitamin and mineral supplement that provides the essential requirements recommended by the programme. They all have extra vitamins and minerals e.g. calcium which I already take and also vit D3 which I also take which I also take. Can you recommend a suitable one I can buy?

  3. PJ

    Rebounders (small trampolines).. do jumping on these help with rebuilding bones? Would this be considered Weight-bearing exercise?

    I have one and would like to know..


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi PJ,

      Rebounding is a low-impact weight-bearing exercise that can help develop balance, strength, endurance, and flexibility. However, do not use it without first consulting with your physician.

  4. bea

    hi does anyone have a good way to get rid of heart burn i sure would love to have one thanks bea

    • Kerry, South Africa

      Heart burn comes from acidity – cut out caffiene, sugar, bread and related wheat products. No need for medications. Start your day with a herbal infusion – fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley –

    • Wendy

      Ginger juice made from ginger root put thru a juicer. If you go to the website below all the instructions are there. Myself and several friends found relief for years after doing this.


  5. Chloa Smith

    This article makes we wish I had been at the mall. Thanks for sharing your day. Great ideas for eating while away from home. Have a blessed day.

  6. Carolyn

    Thanks Vivian for the interesting day at the mall. Would love to have you do more days in your kitchen, like the one with the raw lettuce burrito. A cook book would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for all your help and encouragement.


  7. Mary Anderson

    Vivian: I can’t think of a better way to spend the day. Your exercise in the mall, your companionship and most of all, your search and success in finding an excellent lunch really impressed me. You are terrific to share so many excellent tips to your readers. Thank you for all your contributions to a healthy life for all your readers.

  8. Nadene

    Thanks for the much needed information on how to avoid acidifying foods in the mall. I have changed my diet and enjoy eating healthy bone building foods. I eat lots of almonds, veggies, and drink almond milk daily, need to eat more raw veggies and dry fruits. I feel better. I notice my knees and lower back doesn’t bother me. I have lots of energy!! I shared the “save our bones program” with a friend. She wants your book!!

  9. Cherry Bennett

    I am not very fond of salad, but recently I have been preparing a salad in the morning(leaving the dressing off until i am ready to eat it) and when it comes to lunch time, my salad looks really inviting and i enjoy eating it. I am now going to add more colourful ingredients, according to your suggestions, and i love your idea of sharing your real life with us. Do carry on doing this.
    Incidentally my aunt ate a salad every day and she lived till she was ninety-four!

  10. John

    Salad…no brainer!
    But since when are eggs good for you..besides the heart sickening
    Cholesterol animal protein is acidic to the human body forcing bones to excret calcium…
    The standard American diet is what is causing osteo….milk meat eggs cheese
    None of these are health foods…
    A plant based diet is what your body needs…
    Countries that consume little to no meat have healthier hearts and bones and less cancer…it is a fact.


      I would like to know how good water aerobics is for someone diagnosed with osteopenia. Having a back problem, I find this the best form of exercise for me and wonder if I am increasing my bone density by doing the exercise.

      Many thanks


  11. Nu Ly

    I admire your diet even eating out.

    I can’t eat many raw vegetables, but fruit is
    o.k. thanks.

  12. ANGELA

    Thanks Vivian for the tip about ‘Build Your Own Salad’. The foods you describe are what I enjoy every day. My co-workers laugh at me with my plate of avocado, grape tomatoes, carrots, cherries, and sliced apple that I eat day after day. I appreciate the advice about Vitamin C and collagen production. I turn 63 tomorrow, still look good in a bikini, but wrinkles are coming in fast and furiously. I am self-conscious wearing shore sleeves now, as my arms are the areas worst affected. Weight training? Creams? Advice anyone to get rid of that crepe paper look?

  13. Flora

    I have your book “Save our bones” and I had Osteopena and was given fosamax the year it came out in 1996 when you took it every day except Sunday. I took it for 2 and a half years and went off on my own because of the bad side effects I was getting with my esophagus, which I stilI have and before that I had a great digestive system. My doctor said don’t worry you’ll be fine when I told him about it, even then you were cautioned to stop taking it if you had problems swallowing. My bone density had not changed at all in fact was a little worse. So I went off on my own. After that he had me try Evitsa and several other Fosamax type drugs and in only two or three days my esophagus would get worse. So I wouldn’t take any of then. I then went to onother specialist who said the only thing he could think of was to try the new parathyroid shots and he gave me one that day and told me to give myself shots every day, but before that he took some blood tests to check some things. Then lab called me a few days later to tell me it looked like I had hyperparathyroidism and to stop the shots immediately. So I discovered that all along I had hyperparathyroidism and was not getting any of the calcium I had been taking. I went to a specialist in Florida and had one bad parathyroid gland removed. So I tell anyone when their doctor tells them they have osteoporous to have them check to see if they have a bad parpthyroid gland. I have been able to keep my bone density pretty even and sometimes even improved by exercising on the treadmill, lifting weights and going to areobic classes 4 to 5 times a week, and taking most all of the vitamins you recommend in your book. My Internist is now telling me and I have also heard that new reseach says you should take 1200 Millagrams of calcium which I have been taking for some time and now 4000 milligarms of Vit D3. Your book has a much lower amount of Vit D3. What is your opinion of this large amount they are suggesting you take? I have been taking blood tests to see that I don’t become toxic and so far I’m okay.
    One other mention I was on Prempro for 18 years and went off on my own when I kept getting cysts in my breasts and had to have them removed, which were benign. After going off of Prempro I had no more cysts.
    Your suggestions I have been doing for some time, but appreciated knowing that I have been doing a lot of the right things. I especially liked the diet suggestions. I have have never had a weight problem and have tried to eat healty, but appreciate knowing about balancing the acidic and alkaline foods.
    I’m 84 years old, a singer and teacher of singing for 55 years at a university and privately and still teaching. I have always been active, ballroom dancing with my husband and playing golf. This year we got in our first auto accident and I had rib and sternum injury, a compression fracture in my back and whiplash. They took a CT scan, I had no idea their was so much radiation with a CT scan or I would have refused and my bone density test just taken finds my bone density has gotten worse since then. My T score went from -3.4 to -3.7 on my hip and -3.4 to -3.9. It has taken me several month to be able to get back to a good exercise routine again because of all the pain I have had and I still have back pain from my concussion fracture which is permanent and my whip lash pain, but I’m not giving up. Sorry this has been such a long letter, but hope you have an answer to my vit D3 question. Gratefully, Flora

  14. Maria Rangel

    This is the kind of comments I like to see. I want to know what you are doing to keep your bones healthy when you’re out shopping and cannot cook your own meal. I would also like to know what you do at home. It’s interesting to find out if we’re more or less eating the same things you are. Thank you for sharing your day and please, don’t stop!!!!

  15. Margaret Martin

    you can build my salad anytime.

    When does your Cook Book come out?

  16. Elaine Schaeffer

    I am not sure I would like the olive oil and lemon juice dressing but wondering was it already prepared or did you mix it there? What is the amount of each item to make it right. Willing to try something good for you at least once.I always notice sesame seeds on the bars but not so much almonds. What do you think or know about drinking aloe vera juice? Thank you

  17. Suseela Dasari

    I always fix colorful & bright salad combos. I love salads. wish that I could have been with you two!

  18. Allison

    Now when I look for something to eat, I normally look for something that is bone nutritious. Something that will make my
    body happy, as well as my weight. Keep
    the great emails coming.

  19. Cynthia Kuehn

    I love this! I eat salads and fresh fruit everyday and all day. One of our Malls just got this Build Your Salad. I will eat there the next time I go shopping. Thank you.

  20. mary t ball

    My friend always drinks a small amount of milk to ease her acid indigestion which seems to work, so how come if milk is acidifying?


    • phil

      Yeah! Good question Mary!
      I find milk helps my acid indigestion also.
      We eagerly await your explanation Vivienne!

  21. Erlinda Siatron

    Thank you Vivian, you have motivated me to eat salads. Most of the time I consumed frozen veggies because all the veggies I harvested from my garden were frozen. I saved a lot of money because vegetables are expensive in winter.

  22. Wilma Carolan

    What a great idea Vivian. I look forward to reading the next episodes.

  23. Joel M. Wilson

    I have eaten the salads you can buy at McDonalds and Dairy Queen. They may not be glamorous nor as fun as building your own, but they sure are better for you than those Big Macs and super-size-french fries and so fort. And get an orange juice instead of soda pop. So there are healthy alternatives when eating out – even when on the run – if you look for them.

    Joel M. Wilson

    • Hmmmmm

      How about water instead of juice?

  24. Veronica

    Thank you so much, Vivian, for such valuable information in keeping our bone health up to par.

  25. Avis Mawson

    Sounds like a good time, Good conversation, great lunch. I love egg sandwiches and a salad
    is always welcome. You can usually find something that is within the cofines of your diet if you look hard enough.

  26. Michael

    Hi Vivian,

    You described your journey in the Mall. I go thru such challenge every day and know exactly what it means. You describe it with great sense of humor and patience.
    I have only one question though. It is not recommended to eat fruits right after the main meal due to big difference in the processing time between them. Any comment of yours?

    Thank you,

  27. Barbara Dallimore

    Thanks so much for all your interesting articles, Vivian. Please clarify if it is wise to eat fruit in the same meal as vegetables. From what I have read, it is my understanding that fruit should be eaten separately from meals, say, an hour before or an hour later, for proper digestion.

  28. Isabella

    Thanks Vivian by shearing your chose of food at the mall, it’s given me a great example of how to but a good meal together at even the most difficult places to find healthy food.

  29. Celestina Marie

    Hi Vivian,
    Sounds like the perfect day with a friend and the perfect lunch. Thanks to Cindy for the idea and thank you for putting your day into a series.
    Keep up the great work.
    Hugs from bitter cold Texas!

  30. bea mowry

    loved your day at the mall and your salad i never thought about putting olive oil and lemon on a salad do you have any other recipes for salad dressingthanks bea

  31. Shirley Wehrs

    vivian: thankx for the daily – it renews my commitment to eat well, and provides info for herbs, new foods, etc. We live in Puerto Vallarta for 6 mos. each year and forunately ALL the veggies and fruit, and meat, too, are FRESH FRESH right out of the garden !! We are so lucky and know that we are increasing our life-span by eating right, we are 68, me, and 70, my husband, and he has lost #30 by eating right ! Shirley

  32. edith baskind

    Your lunch sounds wonderful – but it’s off limits for me: I can’t digest raw vegetables or fruits – making it hard to build bones the right way!

  33. Joanne

    Great article. I loved the detail.

  34. Blanche Goebel

    I asked about Miacalcin and if you gave an answer I must have missed it. I have been taking it for 12 or 13 years and wonder if it has the same side effects as all the others. I tried them all and had trouoble with all so I had to have an EDG but all was ok. I have many allergies so they think that was the problem. My Dr. now wants to me take the shot but I refuse because I could be sick 6 months or a year and for 81 yrs. old I feel pretty good and am active. Thanks!

  35. Carolyn

    Vivian, You make living fun and exciting. Than you for your encouragement and examples of bone building steps. More would be great.


  36. paula

    your comments renew my motivation! thank you vivian. you have changed my life!

  37. Danica

    Dear Vivian, you made me hungry, I am dashing to the mall today and do the same as you and your friend. I have a question about Flax seed oil use which so posed to be so good; I preffer ground flax seeds which I grind them in my coffee grinder and sprinkle on foods which gives me a great benefit with bowel movement, is it as beneficial as the oil, or not, thank you kindly Danica

    • Elaine Schaeffer

      I also grind my own flax.Glad to hear someone else does this. My friends think I am nuts when you can get it already ground.I have not other use for my coffee grinder so I am happy 🙂

  38. Doreen

    while spending my winter in Florida and shopping with friends from home it is a challenge eating out.. thanks for sharing your shopping day! I’ll think of you next time and go for the salad!

  39. Rebecca T. Johnson

    I LOVE your day-in-the-life feature that you are beginning. It’s what we all need, instructions on how to proceed day-by-day in the “real” world! I look forward to reading all of your entrees!

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