With so many “diets” out there, chances are you’ve tried one or more of them and found them too difficult to follow. So you might be reluctant to follow a nutritional plan for your bones.
But the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is not a “fad diet.” You don’t have to buy special pre-packaged meals, cut out entire food groups, or stock up on one particular food. In fact, the Program is more about a bone-smart lifestyle and living life to the fullest and healthiest than it is about restrictions and regimens.
That’s why the following nine tips make so much sense in conjunction with an overall bone-smart lifestyle. If you’re hesitant about embracing a nutritional, drug-free approach to bone health, these tips will help encourage you to do it.
1. Find Your Motivation
While the principles are similar, the particulars of motivation vary with each person. For example, making a list of reasons you want to rejuvenate your bones without drugs is a general idea, but everyone’s list will look different. For some, it might be about avoiding the side effects of drugs; for others, it’s more about being physically active without worry.
Give it some thought. What really motivates you to eat a pH-balanced diet and exercise regularly? When you think of several things, you can write them down and carry them with you on an index card. They can help whenever you need them, such as when you are eating out…
2. Prepare Yourself For Eating In Restaurants
It can be a bit tricky to stick to your bone-smart diet in a restaurant. But with some simple planning, you don’t have to miss out on a restaurant meal with family and friends. Here are some ideas for thinking ahead before you go:
- If the restaurant does not automatically serve water, ask for bottled water right away. Drink plenty before you order, and don’t order any other drink during the meal. Drinking before eating helps fill you up a bit, and avoiding sugary drinks with your meal (or any time) is always a good idea.
- If you have not been to the restaurant before, or if it’s been a while since you’ve been there, do an internet search to find their menu online. You can also call and ask for a menu to be faxed or e-mailed to you. Then you can prepare not only what you’re going to order, but any special requests will be known ahead of time (such as asking the cook to prepare your meal without added salt).
- Eat a healthful, alkalizing snack before you go, or in the car on your way. A handful of almonds, a piece of fruit… not only will you be filling up a bit before the meal, but you’ll be adding to your bone-building nutrient intake.
3. It Doesn’t Have To Be “All Or Nothing”
I know how easy it is to get discouraged when you look at the big picture. Stepping back and looking at the “smaller picture” really helps keep things in perspective. The small picture is much more realistic.
The small picture shows you what you need to do today. The small picture is the grocery list of alkalizing foods, the meal plans for the week, or the 15-30 minutes you plan to spend exercising tomorrow. Big changes start with forming small habits, and big goals are met in incremental steps. You can make just one small change for your bone health today – such as eating one pH-balanced meal – and not make another change for a week or more.
That brings us to #4…
4. Be Patient With Yourself
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are bones! It can be difficult to break out of the “drug mentality” that promises so much in so little time (with so much risk). Headache? Pop a painkiller and it is gone in minutes. Acid reflux? Take an antacid for instant relief. Low bone density? Take an osteoporosis drug and come back for tests to see if it’s “working.”
It’s easy to carry this mentality into your bone-building efforts, but the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is a completely different mindset.
The Program is about adopting a bone-healthy lifestyle, not achieving doctor-dictated results in a certain amount of time. Eventually, eating bone-smart foods and doing targeted, bone-density building exercise will become daily habits that you don’t have to think about. But such a comprehensive lifestyle change doesn’t happen overnight.
Just do the best you can with following a pH-balanced diet and exercising regularly, and don’t condemn yourself if you slip now and then. It takes time, so be patient with yourself.
5. Elicit The Help Of A Partner Or A Friend
Have you thought about asking someone to join you on your journey toward healthy bones? Sometimes, going it alone makes things a bit more difficult, and having someone join you can be just the thing to help keep you encouraged and motivated.
Interestingly, research underscores the presence of a supportive person in making positive life changes. A 2015 study concludes that:
“Men and women are more likely to make a positive health behavior change if their partner does too, and with a stronger effect than if the partner had been consistently healthy in that domain.”1
Another study found that when dieters invited a friend along to participate in their behavioral weight loss treatment, the treatment was more successful. They found that success was contagious – if the friend lost weight, the original participant was more likely to lose weight, too.2
Research supports what so many of us have always known: making changes is easier with a supportive partner or friend.
6. Keep Healthy Snacks Available
On the practical side of things, this is one of the most important things you can do to stay on track. The Osteoporosis Reversal Program, and the companion cookbook, Bone Appétit, factor snacks in to the daily bone-saving nutritional plan. In fact, the Program takes the “naughtiness” out of snacking and turns it into something healthful you can do for your bones.
Not sure what constitutes a bone-healthy snack? Foods like fresh fruit, almonds, raw veggies and hummus, and even smoothies are just some examples of snacks that build your bones with Foundation Supplements. They’ll also perk you up and give you more energy to get through the day.
Having bone-smart snacks handy is only part of the equation, however. It’s also important that you…
7. Don’t Keep Unhealthy Foods In The House
If you have a bag of pretzels in your pantry, you’re more likely to choose those over a crisp apple…especially if you didn’t follow #6 above, and you don’t have any apples in the house!
This is where making a grocery list composed primarily of Foundation Foods comes in handy (as long as you stick to it). If you have family members who simply must have that box of candies or that bag of nachos, ask them to hide it from you. Consider the unhealthy snack their property.
In contrast to hiding unhealthy snacks, display your healthful snacks prominently so you’ll be encouraged to eat them. In fact, the “office candy dish” study of 2006 showed that:
“…the proximity and visibility of a food can consistently increase an adult’s consumption of it.”3
There’s no reason why this logic can’t be applied to healthy foods – keep them visible as much as possible, from pretty bowls of fruit to delicious bags of nuts. Remember, too, that an occasional treat is fine, and some are even bone-healthy, like dark chocolate (in moderation, of course). Before you know it, you’ll find yourself craving those bone-building snacks.
8. Be Realistic
When it comes to staying encouraged and positive on your journey to healthy bones, keeping your expectations realistic is a vital step. In fact, it’s a perspective you will likely need to re-evaluate and remind yourself of at various points on your journey.
As you go forward, you may find that some of the expectations you thought were realistic actually weren’t, and you’ll need to step back for a “reality check.” As you begin to adopt a bone-rejuvenating lifestyle, you may get a bit too enthusiastic and think you can improve your bone density scores in a few months. Or you may have unrealistic ideas about your DXA scan numbers, so you feel disappointed if they are not up to your expectations.
Instead, take some time to think through the Program and what you want to accomplish on it. If you adopt it as an overall lifestyle that you know improves bone and overall health, then your expectations are likely to be much more realistic. You may expect to feel better, for example, and have better balance to avoid falls.
Of course, “realistic” does not mean “low.” You can certainly expect to improve your bone health, and the health of your whole body! Recognizing what the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is all about and developing your Bone Health Philosophy are crucial concepts for setting realistic expectations.
9. Treat Exercise As Part Of Your Bone-Smart Nutritional Plan
Interestingly enough, research shows an intriguing concept: implementing both dietary and exercise changes at the same time increases your chances of success.
A 2013 study involving 200 participants, all over the age of 44, sheds some light on this topic.4 The participants who adopted a healthy diet and started exercising at the same time found it easier to stay motivated and stick to their commitments than the other groups, which underwent first exercise and then diet (and vice versa).
This doesn’t mean you have to make sweeping, sudden changes. As mentioned earlier, incremental changes are best if you want to stay motivated and adopt an overall bone-healthy lifestyle. You can easily do this by making small changes in both categories at the same time.
It is my sincere hope that these nine tips help you to see…
How Simple A Bone-Healthy Diet And Lifestyle Really Can Be
With clear, inspiring, enticing recipes and explanations, Bone Appétit takes all the guesswork out of cooking to build your bones. This companion cookbook to the Program lays out a month’s worth of meal and snack plans in the included bonus, the 30 Day Meal Planner. And Blender Magic and Calcilicious are also part of the Bone Appétit package.
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
With Blender Magic you’ll explore a large variety of delicious smoothie recipes and Calcilicious is a collection of dishes that are particularly rich in calcium..
Bone Appétit makes it fun, easy, and enjoyable to stick to a bone-building diet.
Till next time,
1 Jackson, S.E., Steptoe, A., and Wardle, J. “The influence of partner’s behavior on health behavior change: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.” JAMA Intern Med.175. 3. (2015): 385-92. Doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7554. Web. April 20, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25599511
2 Gorin, A., et al. “Involving support partners in obesity treatment.” J Consult Clin Psychol. 73. 2. (2005): 341-3. Web. April 20, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15796642
3 Wansink, B., Painter, J.E., and Lee, Y.K. “The office candy dish: proximity’s influence on estimated and actual consumption.” Int J Obes. (Lond). 30.5. (2006): 871-5. Web. April 20, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16418755
4 King, A.C., et al. “Behavioral impacts of sequentially versus simultaneously delivered dietary plus physical activity interventions: the CALM trial.” Ann Behav Med. 46. 2. (2013): 157-68. Doi: 10.1007/s12160-013-9501-y. Web. April 20, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23609341