Monday, December 19, 2016

Enjoying the Season, A Mindful Nutrition Round Up

Seasons greetings!  This is a magical time of year for many and also a potentially stressful time of year for those of us trying to hang on to healthy habits.  
So, how do you enjoy the season, the food, and the companionship without guilt?  Does it involve hours at the gym or a Spartan diet the rest of the week?  Here is a round up on some great holiday eating help to enjoy the last month of the year.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Over-Eating: Nip it in the bud

We’ve all been there before. At our family holiday party with our elastic waistband pants on and ready to indulge in the buffet style feast. It always seems like a great idea until the food hangover hits and your stomach feels like it could explode and walking seems impossible. Why do we do this to ourselves each year when we know the awful outcomes? Fatigue, cramping, bloated, guilt, and holding up the line for the bathroom. This holiday season nip over-eating in the bud with these simple and useful tips.

  1. Never go to a party on an empty stomach. You may think you’re “saving calories” by skipping a few meals throughout the day knowing you have a party at night but you’re setting yourself up to consume more calories and overeat.
  2. Stay hydrated. Often we make the mistake of being hungry when really we are just thirsty or dehydrated. Go easy on the eggnog, Starbucks lattes, and alcohol beverages.
  3. Portion control! While portion control is always important, it seems to be pushed to the wayside during the holiday season. Moderation is key.
  4. Eat slowly. It takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. Eat slowly, take small bites, create conversation with those are you, or help with the dishes.
  5. Walk it off. So a few years back my entire family went to Charleston, South Carolina for Thanksgiving. It was quite warm in Charleston compared to what we were use to with Thanksgiving in Cincinnati each year. So my aunt insisted we all go on a walk after we stuffed our faces with our Thanksgiving meal. Initially, it received quite a bit of push back hence the name Charleston death march but it has quickly become a new and accepted tradition in our family. Whatever you do, just be active! Walk, clean dishes, run, play football, etc.
  6. H.A.L.T. Lastly think of the acronym H.A.L.T.
    1. H – Am I really hungry?
    2. A – Anxious or angry. Ask yourself if you are anxious, angry, stressed or another emotional reason?
    3. L – Lonely. Am I just lonely or bored?
    4. T – Tired. Am I tried or sleep deprived?
Think of the real reason you are eating. Is it because you haven’t consumed food or water in over 4-5 hours and are physically hungry? Or is it because the food is just there or you’re emotionally eating?

Follow these helpful tips and you won’t have to worry about those extra pounds that creep up on you during the holiday season! Remember, you ARE in control this holiday season.

Allison Bokenkotter is an RDN in Cincinnati.  In addition, she’s the diversity/national nutrition month chair for the Greater Cincinnati Dietetic Association.  You can find her on LinkedIn: Allison Bokenkotter. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Call For Posts

Interested in being a SCAN blogger?  Want to increase your online exposure?  E-mail SCAN blog coordinator, Gina at for more information.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SCAN Symposium 2017

We have been working hard to put together another outstanding Symposium for our members and friends and now we are excited to announce we are open for business!
Looking to register as an attendee? Or to exhibit? Submit a poster session proposal? A graduate student research grant proposal? Or event nominate another SCAN member for an award? Now is the time!


Advancing Knowledge & Building Skills
March 31 - April 2

Click here for attendee information and registration.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pumpkin Spice My Life, The Healthy Way

Oh yes! It’s that time of the year again. Before the Halloween costumes and candy, before the Christmas music on the radio, before the New Years resolutions, comes the obsession with the pumpkin spice flavor. The endless pictures of college, sorority girls posting pictures with their Starbucks PSL on Instagram is in mid-season by now. Yes, I’m just as guilty of posting a Starbucks cup of coffee accompanied by a corny, motivational quote. Instead of rolling your eyes or shunning the pumpkin spice craze that occurs every year, we need to embrace it! Yes, I said it, join the pumpkin spice movement.  

If you’re in the minority and aren’t one of the millions of people with an obsession of pumpkin spice, you have to admit, nothing pairs better than fall weather and pumpkin. Therefore, below are some healthy pumpkin recipes to help everyone stay committed to those 2016 New Years resolutions we made just a mere eight months ago!


Healthiest Pumpkin Pie. Ever.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Pumpkin Granola Bread

Curry Pumpkin and Walnut Soup

Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (or Bread) of Deliciousness

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Tarts

Allison Bokenkotter RD, LD is a Cincinnati based dietitian and is the membership chair elect for the Greater Cincinnati Area Dietetic Association.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Whey Not?

We’ve all seen it before. In our local grocery store, supplement store, or even the convenient store down the street. An isle of eye-popping, flashy, enormous jars of whey protein powder. To many people, the gaudy, Arnold Schwarzenegger protein powders can be a turn off, however, I would urge people to give it a second look. After all, whey protein has tremendous benefits for are health plus it can easily be incorporate to every day living.

Before we dig any deeper in this article, I want to clarify that I won’t be discussing the details about certain ingredients in protein powders or what protein powders are better than others. That’s a whole topic in itself. Also, I want to point out that I’m not encouraging the replacement of food with any supplements (protein powders) but rather using whey protein in addition to food.

What exactly is whey? Great question. To put it simply, it comes from the dairy produced by cows. Special enzymes are added to milk to form curds during the cheese making process and what is left behind is liquid whey. The liquid whey is pasteurized, filtered and dried into a powder. This powder is a high quality protein source that is fast acting, easily digested and rapidly absorbed. Natural whey is said to have a neutral flavor but of course we’ve all seen the cinnamon bun or chicken and waffle flavored whey protein in the stores.

I know what you’re thinking, why the push for whey protein? I thought you’d never ask! According to multiple evidenced-based research studies, whey protein promotes satiety, maximizes muscle growth and recovery with resistance training, helps maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass as you age. A recent webinar sponsored by the National Dairy Council and U.S. Dairy Export Council now recommend a minimum of 1 gm of protein per day for healthy, active individuals (19-70 years old) versus the previous minimal intake of 0.8gm of protein per day (19-70 years old). Also keep in mind that a body of evidence supports that evenly distributing protein consumption throughout the day rather than consuming protein needs at one meal, can stimulate a greater 24-hour protein anabolic response.  Now that science has backed us up, let take a look at some ways we can easily incorporate whey protein into our every day lives.

Whey protein is such a versatile ingredient. While most of us think about adding whey to our smoothies, I encourage you to think outside the “scoop” (corny saying, I know).

Breakfast Ideas: Add a scoop – oatmeal, overnight oats, muffins, or pancakes, French toast (anything that needs baking), ice coffee.

Lunch & Dinner Ideas: Add a scoop – any sauce or veggie dip, pizza crust, mashed potatoes, or creamy soups.
For recipe details:

As always, thanks for reading!

Alli Bokenkotter, RD, LD


Monday, November 7, 2016

Alcohol Consumption and the Athlete

Alcohol has been shown to make up to 5% of an athlete’s calorie intake, and consumption in any volume can interfere with performance, recovery, muscle building, vitamin function, and hydration. As an athlete, your goal is to improve performance. Here are some important factors that are affected when alcohol is involved:
·         Hydration
o    Alcohol can dehydrate your body; altering your body’s ability to regulate its temperature. A small change in body temperature will affect your reaction time, motor skills, balance, and even your memory during performance.
·         Recovery
o    Alcohol can cause muscle cramps, pain, and hypoglycemia. Having sufficient glucose allows your muscles to heal and stimulate growth after a workout. Recuperation time is vital in making sure your body is able to rejuvenate itself post-workout.
·         Growth hormone (GH)
o    Plays a huge role in recovery. This is an important hormone that stimulates cell and bone growth and development. GH is secreted within the first few hours during sleep, but if you’re not sleeping well or getting enough sleep, this process is disrupted. Alcohol often disrupts sleep cycles, thus affecting growth hormone and therefore, cell development and overall performance.
·         Calcium (Ca) and vitamin A
o    Alcohol inhibits absorption of these vitamins. Ca is stored in your bones, teeth, and in your bloodstream. A lack in either vitamin D or Ca can lead to Osteoporosis, Liver disease, and increased risk of fractures. Your bones need to be strong and healthy in order to perform. If you have brittle bones, you’re at risk of fractures and possibly ending your career as an athlete.
·         Calorically

o    There are 7 kilocalories (kcals) per gram in alcohol. Anywhere from 7-14 drinks per week can tack on an easy 600-1800 extra calories which can lead to a long-term weight gain. Here’s a table to show the calorie intake of different drinks.

12oz beer
12oz Light Beer
3.5oz Red or White Wine
6oz Martini
0.5 oz Hard Liquor
10oz Margarita
Pina Colada
Long Island Iced Tea
Rum and Coke
Vodka and Cranberry Juice

When it comes down to it, alcohol doesn’t have any nutritional benefit when it comes to performance. If you want to feel your best and perform your best, staying away from alcohol is encouraged. Being an athlete means you need to treat your body like the temple that it is. So next time you’re out with friends or encouraged to have a drink before a game, think twice.


"Alcohol Alert." National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 26.352 (1994): n. pag. Web.
Emanuele, Mary Ann, and Nicholas Emanuele. "Alcohol and the Male Reproductive System." National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
Vella, Luke D., and David Cameron-Smith. "Alcohol, Athletic Performance and Recovery." Nutrients 2.8 (2010): 781-89. Web.
Weaver, Cameron C., Matthew P. Martens, Jennifer M. Cadigan, Stephanie K. Takamatsu, Hayley R. Treloar, and Eric R. Pedersen. "Sport-related Achievement Motivation and Alcohol Outcomes: An Athlete-specific Risk Factor among Intercollegiate Athletes." Addictive Behaviors 38.12 (2013): 2930-936. Web.

Bio: Kristen Peterson is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist currently working in nutrition counseling and studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer. She aspires to work with weight loss and help clients reach their goals. She also maintains a personal blog filled with nutrition information and healthy, tasty recipes for anyone who’d like to try new foods:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November SCAN Twitter Chat, Post-FNCE Wrap Up

It's time for another #SCANchat, happening tonight night (Thurs. November 1st) at 8 pm ET on Twitter.  Catch us on @SCANdpg! 

Monday, October 17, 2016

HIIT me with your best shot: Why HIIT is beneficial for every size and shape

When I first heard of HIIT, I had no idea what it was all about. I wanted to dig deeper and figure out why HIIT has been all the rage lately. Turns out, it has so many benefits and anyone can do it! HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and can be explained as short bouts of maximal effort exercises followed by a short recovery, or low-intensity period, in between each exercise. This pattern of high and low intensity can vary by 30 seconds to 2 minutes for each exercise, depending on your goal.
Some examples of HIIT include:
·         Running
o   Sprint with an all-out effort for up to 1 minute, lightly jog for about 2 minutes, and then continue with another minute of sprinting, and so forth
·         Swimming
·         Biking
·         Body weight exercises like push-ups, mountain climbers, pull-ups, or burpees
·         Tabata
o   Workout with a maximum effort for 20 seconds, take a 10 second break, and continue this pattern about 8 times or for 4 minutes each exercise.
The biggest benefit is the efficient utilization of carbohydrates and fat during your workout. During aerobic exercise, carbohydrates and fat become more available for our body to use. This allows for carbs and fat to be used as fuel and meet the energy demands of your workout.
·         Glucagon is a hormone found in the liver that changes glycogen (stored form of glucose) to glucose.
·         Glucose is our body’s most readily available form of energy, especially during workouts.
·         With short bouts of exercise, glucagon production is increased, making more glucose available.
·         With more glucose available during a workout, fat breakdown is enhanced which allows your body to use fat as an energy source.
Another benefit of HIIT training is you don’t need a gym to do it! Body weight is completely acceptable for this type of workout.
·         Using body weight can be just as beneficial for a workout. Your body will adapt by increasing muscle size or strength when using just body weight.
·         Any variation of body weight exercise works. So long as intensity stays high, your body will continue to adapt regardless of mode or exercise.
It’s so important to know why each workout mode is beneficial if you want to know what’s going to work best for you. So if you’re tired of the same old routine, try out a HIIT workout. See what gyms around you are offering classes, most will allow you to try a class for free on your first time.

BIO: Kristen is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, also working towards getting her personal training certification through NSCA. She works in weight loss counseling and also maintains a nutrition blog. Instagram @KPCreations.RDN  and blog site:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SCAN Events at FNCE 2016

FNCE 2016 is so close! SCAN has so many exciting events planned this year at FNCE - come join us!

Sunday Morning Breakfast
The Cranberry’s Fight Against Infections: Using Nutrition to Reduce Antibiotic Use
Sunday, October 16
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel – Pacific Salons A-D

Sunday Night Reception
Join SCAN for the first stop of your evening!
SCAN: Playing with the All-Stars
Sunday, October 16
Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom Foyer

Monday Morning Fitness
Yoga led by Mandy Unanski Enright, MS, RD, RYT
Monday, October 17
Renaissance Waterfront Hotel – Atlantic Ballroom 2 & 3

Monday Evening CPE
Yogurt: A Smart Snack with Surprising Benefits
Monday, October 17
Headquarter Hotel - Westin Boston Waterfront
Harbor Ballroom III

Tuesday Morning SCAN Spotlight Session
Going Coconut Over Saturated Fat? Why So Much Confusion?
Tuesday, October 18
Convention Center - Grand Ballroom West

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dietetic Internship Match Stories: Allison Bokenkotter

Editor's Note:  Allison is a SCAN blog contributor who is sharing some of her tips on getting matched.  She recently passed the RD exam this summer and works in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

What are you talking about? How could not receiving a match from DICAS be a good thing? Yes, I was one of those dietetic students who didn’t receive a match from DICAS on the second Sunday of April. I even refreshed the page a couple of times thinking maybe there was an error since about 6,000 other students were logging into DICAS simultaneously. I knew not receiving a match wasn’t a “death sentence” but if you’ve ever applied to DICAS you know the tremendous amount of work that goes into it. From endlessly researching different internships all around the country to practically being able to recite your personal statement in your sleep. I think I cried once that night and said “enough, if you want it, go get it.”

So I did what the other 50% or more of students do who don’t get a match the first round, I looked into the second round match. The second round is for programs who have a few openings after the first round (usually very rare). In my opinion, the second round match is similar to eating leftovers that have been in the refrigerator all week. The leftovers never taste as good (unless its Chinese food) but it’s better than not eating at all. There are slim pickings during the second round match and honestly, I didn’t want to apply for any second round openings because, well, none of them impressed me but at the same time I needed an internship in order to be an RD.

I graduated with a B.S. in dietetics three weeks later and stayed in close contact with my DPD director, who knew how hard I had worked on my DICAS application and in my undergraduate career. My plan was to continue volunteering at the VA hospital, get my masters in nutritional sciences where I received my undergraduate degree, continue to stay involved in my local dietetic association and apply for DICAS again in the fall. Until I received an email from my DPD director saying that the Coordinated Program (CP) at our university was accepting three students into the program for this years internship. So I applied, although I wasn’t overly confident, after all, I did not personally know CP director and never had her as a professor. Not to mention the other fifteen students who were applying for the three openings as well. Luckily, my DPD director was part of the decision-making panel on which three students would be accepted. Then the waiting game started yet again.

Two weeks after applying for the CP, an email was sent to me late one afternoon. As you probably already guessed, you’re reading my journey on how I finally was accepted to complete my internship! Not only did I get “matched” in an unorthodox way but I was also able to complete my internship locally, which saved me a tremendous amount of money. Any dietetic student knows being a dietetic student is rather expensive.  So although I didn’t get matched on that second Sunday in April with DICAS, completing my internship through the CP ended up being a better “match” for me.

Here are my tips to not only be successful but also get an internship:

1. Stay resilient, strong, and positive! If you want it, you will get it.
2. Get to know your professors – they want to help you succeed
3. Get involved: local dietetic associations, volunteer opportunities, etc.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

#SCANchat October FNCE and Boston TONIGHT at 8 PM EST

Please join our Twitter chat with all your FNCE questions tonight at 8 PM EST.  You can find us @SCANdpg.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

SCAN's 2016 All-Stars

The FNCE 2016 SCAN reception will be featuring our four 2016 SCAN All-Stars. Our All-Stars are longtime members of SCAN who are highly influential in their fields. You'll have the wonderful opportunity to mingle with them attending the reception, but here's an introduction of each of our All-Stars.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN --
Author, consultant, and contributor bringing the RD voice on wellness topics to major outlets such as U.S. News & World Report and the Food Network’s Healthy Eats blogs. She is active in multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (@tobyamidornutrition ), Twitter (@tobyamidor with more than 13,000 followers) and Pinterest (4,600 followers), carrying sound messages far and wide.

Roberta Anding, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, CDE, FAND --
The ultimate sports dietitian, board-certified specialist in sports nutrition working with athletes at youth, collegiate and pros levels, including the Texans, Houston Astros and Houston Ballet. As Director of Sports Nutrition at Texas Children’s Hospital she demonstrates what a sports dietitian brings to the table with her expertise in eating disorders and as a CDE who can handle complex medical issues like diabetes. She is a scholar, who can teach at the highest level, and a communicator who has served as an Academy Spokesperson and currently provides a sage voice through social media via Twitter (@RobertaAnding).

Carol Kirkpatrick, PhD, RDN, CLS, FNLA --
SCAN is thrilled to have Carol as one of our SCAN Spotlight Session speakers, where she will share her expertise on practical choices within cardioprotective eating patterns. She is a certified clinical lipid specialist and Fellow of the National Lipid Association – a group with whom SCAN has a network partnership. Carol was part of the writing group for Part 2 of the NLA Recommendations for Patient-Centered Management of Dyslipidemia, and has authored and co-authored professional and patient education publications. In the true spirit of SCAN, emphasizing cardiovascular nutrition as part of wellness, Carol is director of the Wellness Center at Idaho State University, where she is a clinical assistant professor.

Jessica Setnick, MS, RD, CEDRD --
Jessica is a champion for people dealing with eating disorders and disordered eating, and for the RDNs who work with them. Experienced in both in-patient and private practice worlds working with eating disorders, Jessica is now a Senior Fellow at the Remuda Ranch Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Arizona, and a speaker and author educating health professionals. Jessica is also a Certified Eating Disorder RD and a CEDRD Supervisor, supporting dietitians working toward this credential and mentoring the next generation of eating disorder dietitians. Twitter: @JessicaSetnick

For more information about attending the FNCE 2016 SCAN reception:

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 1, 2016


  • Room: Grand Ballroom West
Tuesday, October 18, 2016: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
CEU Credits:1.5
Level 3 - Advanced

Nutrition professionals are often asked about headline-making studies regarding dietary saturated fat and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Often these headlines conflict with one another or with advice people hear from health professionals. This session will guide professionals in how to evaluate studies examining the relationship between saturated fatty acids and CVD, summarize and translate the conclusions from the most valid studies to educate individuals on general cardioprotective eating habits, and apply the conclusions from valid studies to answer questions like “What about coconut oil?” and “Is butter back?”

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Get Organized for Back to School with #SCANchat on Twitter, Learn More about This Month's Topic Meal Planning

It's time for another #SCANchat, happening tonight (Thurs. Sept. 1) at 8 pm ET on Twitter.  Catch us on @SCANdpg! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SCAN @ FNCE Presentation: The Cranberry’s Fight Against Infections: Using Nutrition to Reduce Antibiotic Use


6:30 AM: Doors Open to Pre-Registered Guests
6:45 AM: Doors Open for Pre-Registered and Walk-Up Guests (Breakfast Buffet opens)
6:55 AM: Welcome & Introductions
7:00 AM: Speaker Presentation
7:50 AM: Q&A
8:00 AM: Event Concludes

Antibiotic resistance is a global problem - one that can be addressed by finding alternative prevention methods for common conditions like UTIs, which are the second most common type of infection worldwide and typically treated with antibiotics.
Annually, UTIs result in seven to eight million physician and hospital visits and $6 billion in healthcare costs in adults and account for 1.8% of pediatric hospitalizations. Additionally, recurrence is high with a 25-30% rate for adults and a 12-30% rate in children.
Many women turn to cranberry juice to prevent UTIs. In this session, you will learn about the polyphenolic compounds found in cranberries responsible for promoting urinary tract and their mechanisms of action, and how those can work to reduce the burden of UTIs and the antibiotic use associated with treating recurrent UTIs, as well as clarification on misconceptions around cranberries that consumers may have  You will also learn creative ways to incorporate cranberry products to help clients, patients and consumers meet daily fruit recommendations and obtain important health benefits.

Register here for this event:

Sunday, September 25, 2016

SCAN @ FNCE: Morning Yoga 10.17.2016

Join us for yoga with Mandy Enright on October 17, 2016.

Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT loves sharing her passion for healthy living. A prior career as an advertising executive fueled her mission for corporate wellness and helping busy professionals (particularly couples) learn how to live healthy lifestyles among life's daily demands. She is the creator and writer of the couples nutrition blog Nutrition Nuptials, featured in "Bridal Guide" and "Inside Weddings". Mandy is an avid yoga practitioner and teacher. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training under Sri Dharma Mittra at Dharma Yoga Center, and is continuing her advanced 300-hour teacher training with Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, both located in New York City.  Proclaiming herself the “adventure yogi,” Mandy also holds certifications and teaches aerial yoga and stand up paddleboard (SUP) yoga.

Click here for registration information:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

2016 FNCE SCAN Reception

Come & Join SCAN and the SCAN All Stars for the first reception of the evening.
SCAN will be hosting the first reception of the night immediately following the Sunday sessions. Join us for a spectacular view of the Boston seaport and a chance to mingle with the SCAN All Stars - long time, well known SCAN members who are making a impact in their field. 

For more information:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

SCAN at FNCE 2016: Sports Track Agenda

Get an inside look at the latest sports nutrition and fitness trends used by today's experts. Apply these effective strategies to the adolescent athlete, professional athlete and everyone in between. For more information click here.

Sunday October 16th

8:00 - 9:30 AM 
203. The Emerging Field of Yoga Therapy in Dietetics
Annie Kay MS, RDN, Anu Kaur MS, RDN, RYT,  Sat Bir Khalsa PhD
10:00 - 11:30 AM 
358. Physical Performance and Nutrition Metrics: Defining and Assigning Value to the Sports/Wellness RD
Lindzi Howder,  Neal Baumgartner, Peggy Ann Milam

Monday October 17th

8:00 - 9:30 AM
Enette Larson-Meyer,  Lindzi Howder,  Nicholas Barringer, Roberta Anding
1:30 – 3:00 PM
Hope Barkoukis,  John Hawley PhD

Tuesday October 18th

9:45 – 11:15 AM
Karen Reznik Dolins,  Marianne Smith-Edge,  Melinda Manore PhD, RD. CSSD,  Rosa Hand MS, RDN, LD, FAND
12:00 – 1:30 PM
Ahmed El-Sohemy PhD, Flavia Fayet-Moore, Nanci Guest

Monday, September 12, 2016

No Bones About It: An Osteoporosis Post

We’ve all been there before, stagnant at the dinner table with moms voice in the background saying, “You can’t leave until you drink your milk and eat your veggies.” Well, turns out, you should have listened to your mother.

The latest research findings reveal that we have a relatively short window of opportunity to maximize our bone mineral acquisition (or bone density). Once we reach our mid-twenties bone density slowly decreases while bone mass continues to increase. Just to clear up some confusion, bone density occurs early in life until about our mid-twenties and it’s the composition of our bones. Bone mass is more about maintaining the strength and quality of our bone density after our mid-twenties. If you’re reading this and you are thirty or older, your body has most likely transitioned from maximizing bone density to maintaining strong bones.

I am just as guilty as the rest of us. When I was younger I was always playing a sport and busy being a teenager. Consuming adequate calcium and vitamin D daily wasn’t even on my mind.  Only 42% of teenage boys and 13% of teenage girls get the recommended daily intake of calcium per day.  However, there is some good news! While your window of opportunity may have expired to increase bone density, there are several things you can do to maintain strong bones.

Tips to strong bones:
·         Continue to consistently consume calcium and vitamin D daily.
·         Take it easy on the coffee or caffeine. Trust me, it pains me to recommend cutting back on coffee.  I am a coffee lover but excessive amounts of caffeine can increase urinary calcium losses.  However, if you consume adequate amounts of calcium through your diet, it shouldn’t be of concern.
·         Pick up those weights! Consuming calcium without exercising won’t result in maximizing bone mass, just as eating large quantities of protein won’t result in strong muscles.
·         Just as mom once said, drink your milk and eat your veggies. 
o   Sources of calcium: leafy greens such as kale, milk, yogurt, sardines, salmon, dry milk powder, and some fortified foods.
o   Dietary vitamin D typically has a more exclusive list including salmon, tuna, eggs, fortified dairy, and shiitake mushrooms.
·         Chill out on the added sodium (table salt). If you consistently eat out at restaurants or add salt to your food I’m talking to you. Sodium is important in your body but excessive amounts can not only lead to hypertension as age increases but also can increase urinary calcium excretion.

Gradually incorporate these tips into your lifestyle for long-lasting and sustainable lifestyle changes.  It’s never too late to maintain your bone density!

Sources:  Food and Nutrition Magazine – May/June 2016 Issue

SCAN  Allison Bokenkotter is a new RD in Cincinnati, Ohio.  You can find her on LinkedIn: Allison Bokenkotter.