Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Bone-y Affair aka Ain't No Use Eatin' It if Ye Can't Absorb It

Oh yeah my cat loves to clean her teeth with the miswak :-)

A simple bone mineral density test about 6 months ago gave me a scare, because it said I was osteoporotic(!) While my MD friends pooh-poohed the idea due to my age and dietary intake, (plus those portable machines aren't really that well known for their accuracy either); I thought it would be a good idea to make a conscious effort to adapt a more bone-building lifestyle. So some pals who are into clean, healthy eating gave me some references and ideas, and I formulated a simple plan.

I increased intake of:
  • Gouda cheese, which is said to be high in vitamin K2, an essential bone-building nutrient
  • Vitamin D3 supplements at least 400 IU per day, which helps with mineral absorption
  • Magnesium
  • Homemade yoghurt almost daily, for both the probiotic properties (balanced gut flora helps with digestion and absorption of food) and bone-building nutrients within
  • Ghee and butter, used liberally in cooking and taken raw
  • Kampung chicken eggs, 2 whole eggs daily
  • Tapai (fermented glutinous rice) a few times a week to help with gut flora

I really like the changes I made, because seriously fat makes food taste so much better, and it satiates away the hunger pangs. I did notice cravings for fat when I started the vitamin D3 supplement, to which I responded by having some cheese, butter or eggs. Also I noticed feeling less cranky/irritable when I get enough fat. One of my favourite quickie dishes are bullseye eggs with sauteed onions and chillies in butter and coconut oil. Mmm hmm the aroma is amazing. Also butter with stir-fried veggies not only tastes luxuriant, they are also extremely good for you. And Gouda cheese in scrambled eggs with butter and coconut oil, and fresh veg from the garden, taste so satisfyingly good. Oh, and about the vitamin D3, although I live in a land of perpetual summer, it is good to supplement because apparently even Hawaiian surfer dudes (at least I assume they are) are found to have low vitamin D status.

Mmm. Soft boiled eggs with butter is good too. Look at the deep rich colour of the yolk, indicating high nutrient content.

I also started doing some kettlebell exercises a few times a week, using a 10kg kettlebell. To be honest I am not really one for exercise (lazy!) so I prefer really, really short workouts. So some sample workouts would be:
  • 20-30 kettlebell swings
  • 20 wall pushups
  • Tabata sprints involving jumping jacks 
Or I'd garden or take a walk instead. A few weeks ago some people organised a 3-hour Zumba workout at my husband's place of work. I thought I would be wasted during the 1st hour. To my surprise, I lasted almost the full 3 hours, but I had to cut it short and go home a bit early.

Some friends measure success by looking at their teeth and watching for more density. I became concerned that glycerine in toothpaste might block mineral absorption by teeth, not to mention the purported evils of fluoride. So I gave up both toothpaste and toothbrushes. Especially since my hubby read a book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, which details the story of the development of toothpaste as a consumer product. What toothpaste makers are actually marketing is the 'cool, tingly sensation', so that people associate the minty taste with cleaned teeth. Marketing ploy alert! You can read the story of Pepsodent here, which is an excerpt from Charles Duhigg's book. Quote from the book: "Even today, almost all toothpastes contain additives with the sole job of making your mouth tingle after you brush."

Instead I am using the miswak, or kayu sugi as it is known in Malay. I challenged myself to 1 week without toothpaste, then a week became 2, and now it has been about 6 weeks. I do feel my gums getting stronger, and somehow because there is no foam from the toothpaste, I became a bit more diligent about brushing in the most awkward of corners of my mouth. So far so good. I cut off the used portion of the stick once or twice a week, so it is like getting a new toothbrush each time I do that. Plus the great thing is that it is SUNNAH. I could definitely use the free pahala :-)

Another cat photo: Chunkey looking extremely annoyed because she senses Yinkey enroaching into her sacred territory: the worktop.


Autumn Belle said...

This is the first time I have heard about the miswak. Very interesting indeed!

Mama Pongkey said...

Thanks for dropping by! :-) Basically miswak is a twig from the arak tree that people in the Middle East use to clean their teeth. In supermarket shelves you can actually find toothpaste with miswak/kayu sugi extract in it.

TukangKebun said...

I also had the same problem. Apparently my vitamin D was very low and due to that the bones could not absorb calcium properly. After I took some supplement the backpain gradually lessen. Wish I know it sooner, or I would not have suffered for weeks.

Mama Pongkey said...

I don't think the vit D status test is easily available here. Did you see an allopathic doctor or a naturopathic one? Poor you.. :-( Magnesium also helps with absorption of calcium, as well as a lot of other things. Most of us are deficient.