Osteoporosis: Are You At Risk?

July 22, 2023

Bone thinning is a serious health risk and, as you move up in age ranges, your percentage for developing osteopenia or osteoporosis goes up too. In today’s show, we’ll discuss what can lead to bone thinning, what bone-building foods to add into your prevention plan, the side effects of some medications, and what to look for in a calcium supplement if you choose to use one.

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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today we plan on having a serious conversation about osteoporosis. We want to address some of the risk factors that can lead to bone thinning, and we'll also share ideas for bone building foods that can help prevent osteoporosis. We'll also be discussing what calcium supplements that are well absorbed, and also point out some calcium supplements that may not be good choices for your bones.

Currently, according to the CDC, 22% of women aged 50 to 59 have osteoporosis, and if you are 60 to 69 years old, your percentage goes up to 39%. If you are in the 70 to 79 age range, you have a 70% chance of having osteoporosis. Bone thinning is a serious health risk. In fact, more women die of a fracture from osteoporosis each year than they do from breast and uterine cancer combined.

BRITNI: That is a very surprising statistic.

MELANIE: It's a scary silent killer that I feel like a lot of women are not aware of. But you know, and it used to be when you turned 50, you, you had a bone density scan.


MELANIE: You had a colon colonoscopy and a bone density scan. Now they've pushed it out where insurance won't cover it until you're 65.


MELANIE: Unless you have risk factors. So we also want to share a little bit about some of the possible dangerous side effects of the osteoporosis medications that are widely used for bone loss. I'm Melanie Beasley, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and I'm in studio; you heard her voice with Britni Vincent, who is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Besides coming to this conversation as a dietitian, because of my own health history with breast cancer, I have fought the battle. I'm fighting the battle with for osteoporosis. So it's a passion of mine and I've researched extensively on how to prevent osteoporosis and what to do if you have it.

BRITNI: She is our resident bone expert.

MELANIE: A bone lady. We, I also love to research. Obviously this is what I do; the foods that build strong bones. And in addition, I understand and practice weight bearing exercise. I mean it's a, it's an effort to build back bone. And I, I've really dug in, done the research and found the best bone building supplements and the ones that are not the best choices because of their poor absorption. And this is what I want to give to my clients is all of the information that I've gleaned.

So in addition, I like to talk about possible side effects of the medications that are highly and regularly recommended, and they come with a toll on the body. So personally, I've decided to build my bones back naturally. Every woman gets to decide for themselves. But if you have all the information you get to make an educated decision of what is going to work the best for you.

BRITNI: Yeah, it's a great point; gathering all the information so you know, like you said, what the best plan is for you individually.

MELANIE: And I think a lot of women when they're given that the diagnosis of osteoporosis, you walk out of there, you feel like you're made of graham crackers, and you feel, and you've been told you cannot gain back bone naturally. And that's just is not true. Yes, you can. We see it in clinic all the time, right Britni?

BRITNI: Yeah. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. I think women do feel like they have no other choice.

MELANIE: No other choice. And then, you know, there are those clients that the smallest movement and they will fracture, but that's not the case for everyone.

Science of bone growth & breakdown

BRITNI: Yeah. You know, so your body all of the time is breaking down old bone and building new bone and to take a deeper dive into the science of it, the osteoclasts are what break bone down. And then the osteoblasts build new bone. And I remember it, the osteoblast: “B”: building.

MELANIE: Oh, that's good.

BRITNI: Otherwise it's easy to confuse the two.

MELANIE: Yes. I always think of osteoclast like a little C that's like a Pac-Man.

BRITNI: Yes. It's a great way to think about it.

MELANIE: That's shooting up dead bone.

BRITNI: Yep. And then the osteoblasts are like building a retaining wall.

MELANIE: Yes, your brick layers.

Why do some people develop osteoporosis?

BRITNI: Yep. Mm-Hmm. And I think the big question is why do some people develop osteoporosis? You know, sometimes osteoporosis develops when more of your old bone is broken down and then there's just not enough of those building blocks to build new bone to replace it. So the inside of your bone matrix gets thinner and so does the outer wall of the bone, which gets weaker and weaker, and weak and fragile bone effects about one in every five women over the age of 50, while one in 20 men have osteoporosis.

Smoking & alcohol consumption linked to increased risk of osteoporosis

So are you at risk and what puts women at risk? Smoking either presently or in the past definitely is a risk factor. Drinking alcohol is a risk factor. The recent research on alcohol recommends no more than one drink daily for women. And actually, you know, a lot of research recommends zero alcohol consumption for the best brain and bone health. So alcohol and smoking are both risk factors for osteoporosis. In the past, you know, it's an easy habit to get into. Couples have a happy hour cocktail together, and then maybe they have wine with dinner and maybe another glass.

So it's easy to drink two alcoholic beverages a day, which again is just not going to serve your bone health. So perhaps that habit can change to an herbal iced tea or sparkling water. Recently we came out with an article of different mocktail recipes, which, which are really fun. So it feels kind of special. And again, all of those drinks are going to support your bone density.

Certain medications increase risk of osteoporosis

MELANIE: And that's, that's really what we want. Another risk factor for osteoporosis are certain medications, and this is not something they tell you when they place you on these medications. So some of these are corticosteroids. These are often prescribed because of chronic inflammation or asthma. Long-Term use can lead to thin, fragile bones. Another medication that can be damaging to your bones are proton pump inhibitors. Now these are the ones you are on if you have acid reflux. So if you've been placed on that, I say, why not fix your gut health?

BRITNI: Absolutely.

MELANIE: And get off of those because they are thinning your bones. Another medication that can put your bones at risk is if you're on anxiety or antidepressants. Medication for those conditions can also be thinning your bones. Sometimes we need these, but we want to know how is this impacting my body?

BRITNI: Yeah. Getting all the facts.


Proper gut health & nutrient absorption are critical for bone health

BRITNI: And you know, if you're experiencing acid reflux, it's much safer to just take a good quality probiotic. Acidophilus specifically really works wonders for reflux. Because it lines our stomach also helps line our bladder, our vaginal tract, helps our colon. Lots of good stuff. And then you're going to be absorbing your nutrients from the food that you eat. You mentioned gut health. I mean, that is a, that is a piece of this puzzle here.

MELANIE: Yeah. Because if we cannot absorb our nutrients, we, we cannot absorb the nutrients we need to build a bone.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. And you know, many acid blockers interfere with digestion leading to nutrient deficiencies. And a lot of people do not realize that these acid blockers were designed to be used only for two to three weeks: not long term.

MELANIE: Two to three weeks.


MELANIE: So listeners ask yourself if you have been on Omeprazole or Prilosec. How long have you been on that? And is it taking a toll on your bones? So better to fix the root problem than to keep medicating it. Right?

BRITNI: Absolutely.

MELANIE: It also prevents you from absorbing nutrients because we need the acid to absorb nutrients.

BRITNI: Yeah. And break down your food. And you know, I'm sure you have too. I've been able to help clients get off of these medications who've been on them for, you know, a decade or more. So it is possible. And then you can focus on the gut healing part and that will in turn help help your bone health.

MELANIE: I remember when I first started here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, I observed Britni with a client. And that's exactly what you were doing, is you were teaching them how to wean off of it and what to replace.


MELANIE: So it was really informative. I took notes.

BRITNI: That's a funny memory.

MELANIE: It's time for our first break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. And today we are discussing the importance of eating real food to maintain strong bones through your life. A bone building plan includes eating 12 to 14 ounces of cooked animal protein per day, several cups of vegetables, and a tablespoon of natural fat at each meal. It's a simple way of eating to keep you supporting those bones. We'll be right back.


The importance of keeping bone strong & flexible

BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today as we discuss ways to prevent osteoporosis, I want to point out that your bone building plan should include nutrients to help make your bones not only strong, but also flexible. Especially if you were to step and fall. Some osteoporosis medications can make your bones dense, but make them more brittle so they're no longer flexible. So when you fall, the bone breaks, or it could even shatter.

Healthy fat consumption supports strong & flexible bone

The beneficial fat in your diet such as butter, coconut oil, olive oil are really one of the important ingredients to keep your bones strong, but also flexible.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners are harmful for bone health

MELANIE: So when we went to break, we were talking about factors that can lead to osteoporosis and, and a poor diet is obviously one. That's why we're here today. So what do I mean by a poor diet? Foods that contain sugar and artificial sweeteners: there's a big clue, right? If it's full of sugar, if it's full of artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium. The American Heart Association recommends only six teaspoons of sugar a day. And if you swing into your local coffee house and pick up your special chai tea latte or caramel macchiato or whatever it is, it's going to have a whopping 56 grams of carbs. So that's like you're getting 14 teaspoons of liquid sugar.

Now, not really good for your bones, not really good for your health overall. Certainly not good for your heart. So it's not going to be good for your anxiety or your weight. It's just not good for the body. It doesn't support the body: sugar doesn't.

Low fat diets are NOT supportive for bone health or weight loss

BRITNI: No. No. And what are some other poor food choices or habits you have that may be thinning your bones? You know, so many women still have a fear of eating fats and some even have a fear of eating because they don't want to gain weight. Some of my older clients have followed a low fat, low protein, high processed carb diet for years. And you know, many of them also skipped meals or snacks just to save on calories. Because we've been told it's all about calories in, calories out, but the low-fat diet did not work for their bones. And it does not work for weight loss long term.

Healthy fats support fatty mesh in the bone

So what does healthy fat have to do with strong bones? You know, fats are essential to build strong bones because beneficial fats like butter, coconut oil, even bacon grease helps with the fatty mesh in the bone. And you need that fatty mesh for all of the minerals to essentially bind on to.

MELANIE: Bind onto. If you think of it like a soccer netting, and those minerals that we're eating get thrown at that net and it's going to stick if you don't have holes in your net. So that's what we need, that we need that fat.

BRITNI: That's a great graphic.

MELANIE: …for it. So I want to circle back a little bit too. I, I read an article. We were talking about coffee drinks or the chai tea latte. When you have a cup of coffee, you lose about 136 milligrams of calcium.


MELANIE: For caffeinated coffee. So I thought that was interesting.

BRITNI: Yeah. So consider switching to organic decaffeinated coffee then.


BRITNI: Mm-hmm. That's a good point. You know, a lot of people are surprised to learn that broccoli is a vegetable that's high in calcium and when you put some butter on it, chances are you're going to eat more of that broccoli and then it's going to help you to absorb nutrients. And healthy fats again, make up that mesh for strong bones. We often recommend omega-3 fish oil and GLA, gamma linoleic acid, to also support healthy bone.

Fats to avoid

In addition, we are talking about healthy fats to eat more of, but you also want to be mindful of the refined oils to avoid too. Like vegetable oil, soybean oil, cottonseed, canola, corn oil: those are all going to be damaged fats and are not going to provide that healthy mesh in your bone.

Client success stories

MELANIE: Mm-Hmm. So once you switch everything around, it can be a challenge. But it can be done. And so I had a client recently and she dove head in. She had severe osteoporosis, “severe”, according to her doctor.


MELANIE: She had some big negative numbers in her spine and her hips. And so she embraced everything. She let me be the boss of her. And so we changed her diet around, put her on some key supplements, the Key Osteo Plus, put her on omega threes, good vitamin D with K2, a lot, a lot of supplements. It seemed like a lot, but she was willing to do it. And then a, a few other key ones. And then she started really popping up her protein intake because she wasn't eating that much.


MELANIE: And so she would, we got her at 14 ounces of protein a day, some collagen, and worked in a way that it was palatable for her so she didn't feel like she was just this, you know, carnivorous woman sitting down to a huge steak. She also really embraced activity because we got to stress the muscle, which is attached to the bone to tell the bone to shore up. And so she was doing jumps throughout the day to trigger the bone. She was standing on a vibration plate. She was weightlifting three times a week and she went from osteoporosis to osteopenia in a year and a half.

BRITNI: Oh, that's amazing.

MELANIE: So her body really responded. So listeners, you are not a hopeless case.


MELANIE: It can be turned around and she was on absolutely no medication that was demineralizing her bones. And we talked about, you know, some of the things, you know, she would take for headache, you know, so we wanted to decrease her, her headaches so that she didn't have to take ibuprofen, which was affecting her gut health. So it was, she was thrilled.

BRITNI: It’s amazing.

MELANIE: You know, she sent me her numbers. And said, is this good news? I was like, this is fantastic news.

BRITNI: Oh, I love it. I love it. I also, within the last year had a client get her DEXA scan redone and she was diagnosed with osteoporosis and then in her DEXA scan this year showed a 10% increase in bone and also went to the osteopenia range; did a lot of the same things that you were talking about as your client did. And she has been on a medication that negatively affects her bones. So that was a piece of the puzzle with her.

MELANIE: Is she, was she, did she stay on that medication?

BRITNI: She was able, if I remember correctly, to change that to something that would better support her bones and yeah, the exercise piece, increasing protein, the supplements, collagen, all of it. You know, it has to be…

MELANIE: It's a plan.


MELANIE: But it's doable.


MELANIE: I do it every day. It's doable.

BRITNI: And also, you know, this is for bone health, but it's going to support your body in many other ways positively.

MELANIE: Yes. That's a really, really good point. It's not just about your bones. It's really taking care of your entire body. It seems like just a bone plan.

Protein intake is critical for a bone-building plan

BRITNI: And you, you know, you mentioned increasing the protein. That is so critical to a bone building plan. Your bones need, you know, really at least 12 to 14 ounces of protein most days.

MELANIE: And that's, that's animal protein.


MELANIE: Because it has all of the amino acids and there are certain amino acids that are specific to building muscle, which in turn builds bone.

Simple menu idea of incorporating sufficient protein

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah. That's a great point. So, you know, here's a simple menu that would give you an idea of how to get that much protein. You eat eggs for breakfast. If you could eat three, four eggs, I mean, if you can eat five eggs, that's great for breakfast. Lunch, maybe you have four to five ounces of fish or chicken over a delicious big salad. For dinner, maybe you grill four to six ounce burger patties or turkey, salmon. And the protein contains collagen rods. So you mentioned the amino acid part, and then you're also going to get lots of good collagen from the, the protein.

MELANIE: And it's delicious.

BRITNI: Yeah, absolutely.

MELANIE: I don't know if I could do five eggs for breakfast.

BRITNI: That that is pushing it for most people.

MELANIE: I do make a protein waffle.


MELANIE: And I also, I will have a protein waffle and then I'll have two eggs and two sausage patties.

BRITNI: Yummy.

MELANIE: And that's yummy. But five eggs would I would find daunting.

BRITNI: Yeah. Same, same. I did have a client this morning and she's doing it.

MELANIE: That is awesome.

BRITNI: She feels really good.


BRITNI: But yes, for most of us that that is pushing it a little bit.

MELANIE: I love eggs. I, I'd be afraid that they become sickening for me after a while.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah.

MELANIE: To build bone density, you do need about 14 ounces of protein, a tablespoon of natural fat. And remember what our mother said about eating vegetables. Mom was right. We need good two fistfuls of vegetables at each meal. A study out of Oregon State University found that many vegetables are high in calcium and vitamin K. So if you think, “I'm dairy free, I'm not getting enough calcium.” No, that's probably not true. We're already ready for our second break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Many of you understand that taking a good quality calcium supplement is important to prevent osteoporosis.

Collagen is an essential ingredient for bone health

Over the years, collagen powder has been shown to be another essential ingredient for bone health. But not all collagen powders are created equal. You want to make sure your collagen powder has a collagen peptide called Fortibone. And Fortibone is key to increase bone density. So make sure you're getting a good grass fed collagen powder. One that I like is Key Collagen and I take it every day. So we'll be right back.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Let's talk more about why collagen and the peptide, Fortibone, is essential for strong and flexible bones. So first of all, collagen makes up 95% of the bone matrix and helps to prevent brittleness and breakage. And if the bone matrix is weak, there's not enough binding sites for nutrients, then bone density cannot be built.

So many research studies have shown the effectiveness of using collagen powder that contains this Fortibone peptide. What some of the studies showed is using one to two scoops a day in increase the thickness in the spine between five to 8%. So that is something to consider incorporating into your day. And it's easy. You can add it to your coffee. You could add it to a smoothie. I know we have some more ideas how to incorporate that collagen on our website too.

MELANIE: When we went to break, we were talking about the diet and how the healthy diet can help build bone density. So, and specifically we were talking about, you know, 12- 14 ounces of protein is really important, but also a tablespoon of that healthy natural fat makes food taste delicious, helps us absorb nutrients.

The importance of eating sufficient vegetables for calcium & vitamin K

And to remember what our mothers taught us, we need to be eating our vegetables. So two fistfuls at every meal is great. A study out of Oregon State University found that many vegetables are high in calcium and vitamin K. So calcium is not just from dairy. The vitamin K actually helps the calcium from vegetables to be absorbed. Vegetables, I'm thinking that are high in calcium are leafy greens and broccoli, cabbage and okra; all good bone building vegetables. Being from the south, do love some okra, Britni.

BRITNI: We don't find it too much up here in Minnesota. So just think every time you eat a meal of animal protein, healthy fat and vegetables, you are supporting your bone density. But sugar, flour products, those you can think of as bone robbers. They can actually deplete nutrients from your bones.

MELANIE: Unfortunately, gluten is a big one. So if you're eating a lot of processed foods, A, they're nutrient void.


MELANIE: But B, if they're loaded with gluten, we have found that, that it it will bind certain nutrients in the gut and create inflammation in the gut.


MELANIE: So we're not absorbing like we should. So having a broken bone, especially as an older woman, can change your life. And studies show that when you get one broken bone, you can have a cascade effect in the body to where you can have a succession of broken bones. It's a scary, it's a scary vortex. So what, what do we need to help to install a bone building food plan into your life? Listeners, when you think about this, what comes to mind as we're talking? Ooh, I don't do that. Ooh, I should do that. Or Ooh, I need to eliminate this.

Side effects of medications for osteoporosis

So usually the very thing that pops into your brain is the very thing you can start working on. So yes, we have heard it is just easier to take a medication, especially when you're, you feel terrified of a fracture. I understand that. So let's talk about some of the medications, some of the side effects that they can have. Each medication always comes with a side effect. So there are often side effects such as bone or muscle pain, nausea or heartburn, inflammation of the esophagus, gastric ulcer and constipation.

And as nutritionists, we understand building strong bones through good food and weight bearing exercise, it does take a lot of effort. It does take focus, but there's no side effects other than feeling really great. And you're not going to have heartburn, constipation, nausea, or bone pain. So most of these bone protocols you are, you have to kind of commit to five years of this once you start for many. And I, we have seen clients that said, “I just couldn't do the medication”.


MELANIE: “So you are, you're my last hope”. And after our discussion today, you know, sugar and processed foods can be bone robbers and meat, vegetables and natural fats, bone builders. So I encourage you record what you're eating for three days. If you don't want to write it down, take pictures with your phone. And then, you know, in the evening or in the morning when you're having your cup of coffee, scroll through how'd you do?

See how many times that you're actually eating foods that may not be the best for your bones. How many times are you eating enough protein? I cannot emphasize protein enough. In addition to bone building foods, we promise you we would suggest a good bone building supplement plan to support the meal plan. And I sort of touched on that with my client. It seems like a lot, but I tell my clients think of them as food extracts and not as medication.

BRITNI: Yeah. It's a great way to think of it. And all of this is a process. You don't need to make these changes overnight.

MELANIE: Yeah, good point.

The correct form of calcium matters

BRITNI: We don't want to overwhelm you. And I find most women are taking some sort of calcium. But the question is how much are you taking? What kind are you taking more importantly. So often I find it is a very inexpensive form of calcium called calcium carbonate, which is poorly absorbed. Research has actually shown it can create calcium deposits in the body. So often I hear, well I take two a day. And if it's that poorly absorbed kind, again you're not, you're not getting much out of that.

MELANIE: You know, it's good to think about some of the juices or the almond milks that are fortified with calcium. It's almost always calcium carbonate.

BRITNI: It is.

MELANIE: So roll your, roll your products over and read what you're eating.

BRITNI: Yeah. And avoid, I mean really try to avoid that calcium carbonate. It is not going to serve you. So the types of calcium supplements or the forms that you want to look for are there's one called dicalcium malate, calcium citrate and then micro crystalline calcium hydroxyapatite. That is a mouthful. It is often you can see it listed as MCHA. So those would be the forms of calcium to look for. And then, you know, also looking at your multivitamin, making sure that doesn't have calcium carbonate as well. So if you do have osteopenia, osteoporosis, we recommend a total bone building supplement called Key Osteo Plus.

MELANIE: My favorite.

BRITNI: Yeah, you mentioned that earlier with your client. And that also is the one my client took. It's great. It, I mean it gives you everything like a multivitamin does, but it is designed to build bone.


BRITNI: It gives you the calcium that you need in addition to vitamin K, vitamin D, magnesium and other nutrients.

MELANIE: It takes 20 different nutrients to build bone. And it's all in there. And that's, you know, I don't want to sound like a commercial, but that's why I take it.


MELANIE: It's easy. It's two packets.

BRITNI: Mm-Hmm. And we believe in it so much there is a guarantee when you use it for two years. So you can stop into one of our offices or call us at (651) 699-3438. We would be happy to explain not only the guarantee, but the details of Key Osteo Plus, and also, we do have more information about it on the Nutrikey website. There's a lovely video of Melanie on there, explaining it more in depth.

Shop Key Osteo Plus

Sufficient vitamin D levels are critical for bone health

MELANIE: Judge me not listeners. And before we forget, it is critical to have your vitamin D level checked and we suggest that the range should be between 60 and 80 for best bone health. So if they, if your doctor tells you you're fine, go in MyChart or whatever you need to to find out what is your range. But the research supports between 60 and 80 is best. I always keep mine floating around 80.

BRITNI: And that is so critical because if you don't have adequate vitamin D, your calcium cannot be absorbed efficiently.

MELANIE: Yes. And it's one of the fastest ways that we lose, clients will lose bone if their vitamin D drops low. So that's, that's like step number one is to keep that vitamin D up and sometimes even correcting that, they'll start gaining bone. It's magic, right?


MELANIE: So another piece about vitamin D once you get those levels checked is you want to make sure that the vitamin D is the form of vitamin D3. And a lot of clients in Minnesota where we are will say, well I'm in the sun of the summer. I remember there was a study that showed you had to be in your bikini without sunscreen for an hour around prime time lunch in order to get enough adequate vitamin D if you live in the -northern states. And most of us are not doing that.

BRITNI: Sounds lovely.

MELANIE: Year round, we want that vitamin D3 supplemented.


Why is it important to supplement with vitamin D with K2?

That is a great point. And then I, you know, I always recommend choosing a vitamin D3 with K2.


BRITNI: And we're going to dive into why that K2 is so important after our break.

MELANIE: You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and we touched on calcium and I wanted to let our listeners know there's an excellent educational little 15 minute podcast on calcium and the types of calcium. So if you go to our website at weightandwellness.com, click on podcast and search calcium, you're going to find all about calcium, the right absorbable kind to take and how much to take and when to take it. We'll be right back.


BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. To follow up on our discussion about what calcium product is best for you if you have some type of bone density loss like osteopenia or osteoporosis, we suggest our total bone building supplement called Key Osteo Plus. One thing I like about Key Osteo Plus is that it's set up so you don't forget to take it. There's a morning packet and an evening packet. And the capsules and tablets contain all of the key ingredients to support bone density. So it is much more than just a calcium product. It contains vitamin D, magnesium, B vitamins, and a variety of other bone building ingredients. And as I mentioned earlier, it doubles as your multivitamin. I mentioned before it carries a guarantee. And for the month of July, all of our bone building supplements are being offered at a discount of 15% off. Call our office at 651-699-3438 or go on our website, nutrikey.net.

Shop Nutrikey products

So before break we were talking about the importance of vitamin D. You know, some other key players in in bone health are magnesium and that K2. I had mentioned, when you get a vitamin D supplement, I'd recommend getting one with K2 along with it. The, the magnesium and the vitamin K plus the vitamin D all help with metabolizing calcium efficiently. So the four of them really kind of work in harmony with each other. And again, you know, you can easily find all of that in the Key Osteo Plus and by taking vitamin D with K2.

What does a bone-building routine look like?

So I think our listeners would appreciate hearing what does a day look like to build bone. So Melanie, can you tell us, what does a daily routine look like to focus on building bone?

MELANIE: Well this is, I mean this is how I live my life.


MELANIE: So I start in the morning, I start in the morning with a good breakfast that, like I said, I try to make sure I have about 35 grams of protein and I do that through eggs, sausage patties. I make a gluten-free protein waffle. That's been lately what I've done. If I'm rushing and I'm just tired of eggs, then I'll do a protein smoothie that has vegetables and fruit in it.

BRITNI: And what is in that protein waffle?

MELANIE: Oh, the protein waffle. It has now listeners, it's actually tasty, but it has coconut flour, it has eggs, it has a little grass-fed gelatin. And it has, and then if I want it to make it cinnamon or whatever, so I make a bunch on my waffle maker. I put in between parchment paper and then I freeze them. Sometimes I will use them for buns for my hamburger or chicken salad.

BRITNI: That's a great idea.

MELANIE: And I get an additional, it's about seven grams of protein per waffle: animal protein. So anyway, I'm always very cognizant of that. And so then I work out, so three times a week I will lift weights and I lift weights. I got a trainer to show me how to do it so I didn't hurt myself. So I, I lift heavy weights, not five pounds, but I've worked my way up because you, the, when you trigger that muscle, the muscles attached to the bone and the bone responds by saying I better shore up to carry the weight. And so that's how we build bone with muscle.

And then I have the nutrients in there with vegetables. So the vegetables, I will have peppers, onions, mushrooms, stir fried and a little butter. And then that's, that's my breakfast. That's my morning routine. And then I take my AM packet and my little key supplements that I'm taking. And then lunch is typically I will have five ounces of some sort of like today was chicken and then I had two cups of leafy greens and then I had some blueberries in my salad and cauliflower and you know, a whole bunch of yummy vegetables and homemade poppy seed dressing.


MELANIE: …that I make it home. So you know, we're working. And so a lot of my meals are salads or leftovers. And then my lunch is typically if I didn't have a protein smoothie, my snack after lunch about two to three hours later, it's going to be either a protein smoothie or a protein snack with like a half a cup of berries. And I love coconut milk on my berries. If I don't do that, then I'll do apple and I like sunflower butter with my, you know, a couple hard boiled eggs or I'll else, I'll have some leftover hamburger patty or something with it.

And then throughout my day, every time, now listeners, this is going to sound crazy, but every time you go to the restroom it's easy to do little jumps. That jumping builds bone. So I will do 10 little jumps and then wash my hands and go about my day. So that is triggering my bone all day long. So I worked up from three little jumps to 10 little jumps. And so that's been shown in the research to build your bone. And my clients that have bad knees, I tell them go up on their toes and drop down on their heels 10 times. It’s called heel drops.

BRITNI: Great. And by doing it after you go to the bathroom…

MELANIE: It's a routine.


MELANIE: It's a routine. It just reminds me. And so if I'm going to the bathroom a lot more than 10 times, because of the water I'm drinking, I might do pushups on the counter of the, the handicap bar. So always working the muscle and is in functional fitness. It works throughout your day. And then dinner is kind of a repeat of lunch. It's going to be, you know, five ounces of salmon. It's going to be vegetables that might have some sweet potato in there, some healthy fat on butter on the sweet potato and, and on my vegetables. And that's kind of how I roll all the time.

BRITNI: Sounds delicious.

MELANIE: I tell my clients if they, if they love to walk, get a weight bearing vest. So a vest that carries additional weight. Most of the people with osteoporosis are slight. And so you add that additional weight, get one that you can start with one pound and then you can build up to two or three, you know, based on your body's, how your body can handle it. And there's a lot of little tricks of the trade that you can do to, to build bone in your day that doesn't really have to be, I'm at the gym 24/7.

BRITNI: Yeah, that is a really, really great point.

MELANIE: But weight bearing exercise. Building bone is site specific. So if you are walking, that's great for your hips, but it may not necessarily work your back. So then you're going to have to do some sort of exercise that works your back. And if you sit at a computer all day, you're not really working your hips. So these are some small things that you can do. We are more of a sedentary society now and it's taking its toll and we're seeing the highest rates of osteoporosis than we've ever seen.

BRITNI: Wow. Wow. I, I loved hearing that day. I think that will inspire our clients. And, and also if all of this just sounds too overwhelming, we are here to help. That's what we're here for.

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You know, another one of my clients that got diagnosed with osteopenia, we took a deeper dive into her health, just the big picture of it. And what we found was she really needed to do a lot of gut healing. We talked about this earlier when we were talking about the acid blocking recommendations. Come to find out, you know, through eliminating dairy and gluten and she really, we found out had a gluten and dairy sensitivity. So we eliminated those and focused on a gut healing approach so she's able to absorb her nutrients. Again, if you can't absorb the nutrients from the foods you're eating, then your bones aren't going to be able to get anything to build bone.

MELANIE: Really good point.

BRITNI: So you know, she hasn't had another DEXA yet, so we don't know the results, but I am confident knowing that, you know, she's eating more real foods. She's getting, you know, all of the components that she needs from a food standpoint and focusing on exercise, that her bone density will have have improved.

MELANIE: And I think it's important to note that when they take a bone density test, they're testing how porous the bone is. They can't really test how strong what's left is. These medications make the quality and the strength of the bone that's left weak. And so if you're able to get off some of these medications, if, then, then we can work on not only how porous a bone is, but how strong the bone is. So if you've had osteoporosis for about four or five years and you've never fractured, that tells you something about the strength of your bone.


MELANIE: And I had a client and she rounded a corner and she bumped into her husband and she jumped back and landed on her tailbone, fractured her tailbone. And so when she came to me, she was kind of in a panic because she had a fracture. And I said, if you are a 12-year-old and you fell as hard as you fell and you damaged your tailbone, would you be worried about osteoporosis? She said, no. And I said, there's trauma fracture, which we all are at risk for.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yeah.

MELANIE: And then there's osteoporosis fracture, which is from the fragility of the bone that's left. So the exercise and the nutrition really can strengthen the bone as well.

BRITNI: I am so glad you mentioned that and I, you are the one that taught me that previously, but I think that's really important to know.

MELANIE: Not to be freaked out. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life-changing. Thank you for joining us today.

BRITNI: Thank you.

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