The HEALTHY BONES Book
by Dr. Laura Kelly and Helen Bryman Kelly
Foreword Sidney MacDonald Baker, MD
The Healthy Bones Nutrition Plan and Cookbook is part of a sweeping change in the way scientists, practitioners and writers are thinking about health care and how people can shift their state of being from chronic illness to good health.
Introduction Why Supplements Alone Won’t Save Us
One in three women over age 50 – and one in five men in the same age range – will endure an osteoporotic fracture. Clearly calcium pills and pharmaceuticals aren’t enough to keep bones healthy; however there is abundant evidence that diet is. Here’s why.
When diets and supplements didn’t arrest a twenty-two year descent into severe osteoporosis, combining bone building nutrients did.
I set about planning the intervention with attention to metabolic science and a rigorous examination of current research. I developed a nutrition plan. My mother and I developed recipes. The nutrition plan allowed my mom to achieve a balanced intake of all the bone health elements every day.
Part I Take Charge of Your Bone Health
1. About Your Bones
Learn about the mechanics of building bone, what derails it, and what keeps it going at any age. We start at the highest level showing bone as living tissue, describe the bone mass that can grow porous, explain what happens when it does, and then zoom in on the cells that follow chemical orders to build and break down bone.
2. Systemic Factors that Promote Bone Loss
If you diet doesn’t include all the nutritional building blocks required to make bone, you will suffer bone loss due to nutritional deficiency. However, other factors can also affect bone turnover: principally though not only inflammation, free radicals, stress, smoking, homocysteine, sodium, and thyroid hormones.
3. Choose Natural Food for Healthy Bones
Modern food production relies increasingly on synthesizing. Artificial sweetener comes to mind; so do genetically modified seed and hydrogenated fat. However, the underlying assumption – that what we replicate in the laboratory will function the way it does in nature – is groundless. It turns out that in order to digest food and make best use of it, the body requires the complex chemical mix in food as it grew in nature, consumed intact.
4. Disarm Anti-Nutrients in Plant-Based Foods
Phytic acid and oxalic acid, compounds in edible plants, interfere with mineral absorption. We can make the minerals more available using apple cider vinegar and some water.
5. Gut Bugs Can Be A Bone’s Best Friends
Healthy gut bugs ferment foods and produce compounds that keep the intestinal lining healthy, produce hormones, and play an important part in immunity. A healthy gut is essential to nutrient absorption, it is essential to promote the health of gut bacteria – something we can do in two ways: by feeding them what they need in order to reproduce normally and thrive; and, by introducing other bacteria that enrich the environment for the indigenous populations.
6. Considering Supplements
A key piece of the bone health puzzle is nutrient levels – in other words, what nutrients are present in our body and in what amounts. No single nutrient or supplement can ensure healthy bones; however supplements can top up when you don’t consume sufficient vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other substances for gut health that in concert foster mineral absorption, transport and deposition in the bone, and supplements can correct a nutritional deficiency.
7. Phytoestrogens, Cholesterol, and Bone Loss Pharmaceuticals
There are no absolutes. When it comes to safety and efficacy of phytoestrogens, it depends on factors including but not limited to diet, stage of life, and health history. Cholesterol is vital to health. And a small percentage of people may benefit from bone loss drugs. To understand why there are no one-size-fits-all guidelines, it is useful to understand how phytoestrogens, cholesterol and the prominent bone loss pharmaceuticals operate in the body.
8. Speaking with Your Doctor
Ideally a personal nutrition plan for bone health begins with a nutrition evaluation – something your doctor can order, interpret and work with you to address. If your doctor proposes pharmaceuticals alone, you may want to introduce some food for thought.
9. Launch a Plan and Start Cooking
To get started, make a one-day calculation of your nutrient intake. You may be surprised to find that your favorite foods provide most if not all the bone health nutrients, or you may be surprised to find your diet is deficient in just the nutrients you need. Probably you’ll be somewhere in the middle but wherever you are, here’s how to make sure you’re getting what you need to prevent and treat bone loss. It’s a plan you can undertake in a couple of months or a couple of years, with good results no matter the time frame.
Part II Cook for Bone Health
If you were to pour into a drinking glass all the chemicals used to prepare, preserve, and store a week’s worth of processed food, along with the chemicals used to manufacture that food’s packaging – including some known and suspected carcinogens – would you drink the contents yourself or offer it to anyone you love? Naturally not. That’s why we encourage you to choose nutrient-rich natural food.
10. Setting the Stage
Here are the lists: bone’s favorite foods, and what to stock in the fridge and the pantry. Now you’re all set to get cooking.
11. Quick Start
This is a six-recipe two-meal introduction to cooking for bone health and a showcase for the key bone health nutrients as they combine to make up delicious, nutritious dishes. And here’s where you learn how to sun mushrooms in order to stock up on a year’s supply of natural vitamin D.
12. Start the Day
Poached pastured egg on sourdough toast is so sublime you may be surprised that the yolk contains vitamin K2 which starts nutrients on the road to bone. Here’s how to make the perfect poached egg and then, for the adventurous, a chance to wander further afield.
Soup is a great food. It whets the appetite and allows the soup maker a great deal of leeway and creativity. Here are our delicious nutritious bone broths and other soups that will join the ranks of your signature dishes.
The compounds that give fruits and vegetables their rich color palette are phytochemicals – non-nutrients that function as antioxidants and cell signaling molecules. Each color represents a distinct subset of phytochemicals and all are vital to health. We capture the palette in salads traditional and seasonal to surprise and delight.
15. Sauces, Dressings and Marinades
Learn to make these popular sauces, dressings and marinades from scratch because ingredients in most commercial versions have been denatured in the manufacturing process, rendering the bone health value nil, and because typically they contain unwelcome additives.
16. Small Plates
Small plates, sometimes called prima plati, appetizers or amuse bouche, invite the chef to experiment with flavors, colors, and presentations.
17. Main Stage
From simple dishes to some that offer the chance to create a more complex meal, there is enough variety to cook for all tastes and preferences. You’ll find fish, meat, and vegetarian dishes that are beloved of many countries.
The focus of the chapter is all things vegetables – the familiar and the ones that catch you eye as you pass them by: how to choose them and how to prepare them for optimal nutritional absorption.
Each of us has a favorite yet we’ve received praise from friends and family for them all. Tahini Chocolate Cake, Four Season Strawberry Parfait, and No-Cream Ice Cream are just a few in this compendium of desserts to eat with the seasons.
Some of the good things in life include juices, smoothies, sodas and shakes – as long as you make your own.
Our snacks are energy packed nutrient-rich delicious foods to sustain you on the go.
22. Make Your Own
From the most nutrient-dense bone vinegar to growing your own sunned mushrooms, this is where you go to make your own basic ingredients. Helen says this was one of the most exciting to write.
To the many well-known chefs and experts who generously contributed recipes, thank you one and all.
Personal Nutrition Plan Worksheets
Use these worksheets to plan your bone health program. There’s no right time frame; you can proceed at your own pace and learn to combine and prepare bone health foods over time.
These are the authors’ sources for vitamin K2, magnesium spray, herbs for bone vinegar, sprouted flours and a few other ingredients we use routinely as we cook for bone health. The suppliers don’t know us and we have no relationship with any of them. We use them, and Laura recommends them to her patients, because the ingredients are pure.