For healthy bones we are prescribed calcium and vitamin D but the amount of protein in our diets also affects bone health. A high protein diet is associated with an increase in bone mass for those whose calcium intake is adequate (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
However diets high in dairy, meat, and chicken can increase our acid intake. Since the body maintains a balance of acid and alkaline, a diet high in animal proteins alone may cause bone loss. An acidic diet makes the body leach calcium from bones to reduce the acid and this can cause weaker bones.
So how do we get twenty-five grams of protein at each meal without piling on the meat? Protein comes from many sources. A salad that includes broccoli, kale, nuts, seeds, fruit, and beans can adequately fulfill this target amount of protein without adding a lot (or any) meat, chicken, or fish. A salad like this will also add other nutrients, including calcium, that animal proteins will not. Even with a small amount of shrimp or meat, these types of salads tend to be alkalizing to the body, so we don’t have to worry about the acidic overload of meat-heavy meals. Other foods that have a negative effect on bone health are caffeinated drinks, salty foods, and sugary desserts and sodas (all acidic).
Bones and muscles go together so that increased physical activity will have a positive effect on bone health. Holy Yoga combines the discipline of yoga with Christian spirituality. Yoga has a positive affect on bone health because it stimulates bone remodeling and increases calcium absorption. Yoga can also correct posture and increase balance. Running and walking stimulates bone-building activity in the lower regions, while weight lifting and yoga poses affect the entire skeletal system.
It is my nature to immediately envision perfection. If having too much animal protein is bad then having none at all must be perfect. If salt, sugar, and caffeine are harmful, completely eliminating them is perfect. If yoga is good for me, then performing gumby-like poses must be perfection. When I hurriedly jump to expectations of perfection, I lose my joy over the small successes I achieve. Perfection is not what it is about.
Every step on the journey to spiritual and physical health is a great one, made to be enjoyed and celebrated. Efforts at increasing bone mass may take months, even years to see. Learning to cook one healthful meal to share can be a reward in itself. Yoga, weight lifting, running, and walking often take time to see improvement. None of these efforts need a perfect outcome, they all take time and each improvement needs to be enjoyed.
In Matthew 5 Jesus calls us to be perfect like our father in heaven. Who can be? If we break just one of God’s commandments, we are condemned. We can offer sacrifices and do penance but Christians know that Christ is our sacrifice. He has already done our penance. What a relief, and what joy it is to know that Christ is our perfection. We can enjoy our less-than-perfect efforts at life, knowing that Christ loves us just as we are.For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.–Romans 5:10 & 11