Friday, March 6, 2009

Got Milk?

  • Milk does a body good
  • Don't cry over spilled milk
  • Got Milk?
  • 3-a-day of dairy
  • She must be the milkman's daughter (I hear this one a lot---kidding Dad! I know I look exactly like you, but without the moustache)
This is a horrible picture of us, but it's the only recent one I have!

Milk, milk, milk. Man, I hear a lot about milk, but I don' think I drink it enough. Do you?

As a woman, I should be (and am) very concerned with my Calcium intake. Approximately 1 in 3 women will have an osteoporosis-related bone injury in their lifetime. I try my darndest to get my recommended 3-a-day of dairy because a few years ago, I received some startling news via one of my favorite college professors.

This particular professor was--and I believe still is--very interested and involved in Nutrition Research about Calcium, Vitamin D, and Osteoporosis. He made it possible for our entire class to go to a nearby hospital and get a DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scan to determine our bone mineral density. I had an inkling mine wouldn't be great, but I wasn't sure...

When my brother and I were little, my mom made us drink milk with dinner every night--that is, until we were old enough to start making our own decisions in the food/drink arena. Milk started grossing me out, so I stopped drinking it. Big mistake. Needless to say, when my professor handed me my results of the scan he said in his kind Indian accent, "Ooh, this is not good."

Uh-oh, what had I done? And could it be un-done? Luckily, I wasn't the only one with poor results and he informed us that we still had time to build up our bone density. Bone mass peaks in early adulthood, but the need for calcium to help with maintenance is constant. He told us that supplemental Calcium would not be necessary unless we were unable to get it through diet.

From then on, I began drinking milk once again, but this time, I liked it! I also enjoy yogurt, almost daily, so that was a plus as well. If you're not a big fan of dairy, you can get Calcium in other ways: fortified Soy milk or cereal, tofu, beans, meats, poultry, eggs, dark leafy greens (kale, mustard greens), and fish. Fish offers up the most Calcium if you eat some of the tiny bones; I know it sounds gross, but they're hard to detect in a can of salmon or sardines (see Recipe below).

Another way to build bone density is through high-impact activity such as running, sports, jump-rope, etc. I was never an athletic child- I played volleyball (low-impact) and softball (I was the catcher= not very high-impact). Now, I try to exercise in ways that will benefit my overall health, including my wimpy bones.

Here is a recipe that one of my favorite Dietetic internship preceptors gave me for bone-building, mouth-watering Salmon Burgers. I have changed it slightly because I am still unclear as to what the rules are concerning putting recipes online.

Salmon Burgers
1 Can (14.75 oz) Salmon
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup whole-wheat cracker crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, or 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces (toast in oven or in nonstick pan on stove until lightly brown and fragrant)
2 more tsp. olive oil
  • Drain the Salmon and pick out large bones and skin (sort of gross, but worth it!)

  • Flake the salmon and add to a large bowl

  • Meanwhile, cook the onion with the first tsp of oil until golden and tender

  • To the Salmon add: cooked onion, 1/3 of the cracker crumbs, beaten egg, parsley, mustard, and pecans. Mix.

  • Shape the mixture into 6 patties

  • Press both sides of the burgers into the remaining cracker crumbs

  • Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the next 2 tsp oil, and cook the patties on both sides until brown (I usually have to add more oil in the process)

Serve with:

Cucumber Dill Sauce (Recipe from Nutrition Council of Cincinnati Cookbook)

~10 oz plain nonfat yogurt

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp dried dill

1 tsp Dijon mustard

~1/4 cup finely chopped, peeled cucumber

~1/4 cup finely chopped green onion

  • Combine ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve



  1. this sounds incredibly amazing. and i like how its canned fish. i can handle that. i'm sure that i dont get that much calcium either. i have the worst diet, i really need to step up my game. myabe i'll start with some cheese sticks and yogurt. yum.

  2. hi there! that salmon sounds so good i really want to try it. in terms of drinking milk my favorite is the horizon organic skim milk. its really good. i've always been a fan skim cause it doesnt have that thick "milky" taste. it also not as fattening which is an added bonus. i'd say give it a try or you could always go with yogurt and cheese!