Sunday, April 13

Beautiful Bones: An Osteoporosis Food Event

Since I started this blog in January 2007, I have shared a lot of things about myself. One thing I haven’t shared is that I have osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) osteoporosis is "a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break."

I’m not a senior citizen; that really is me in pictured to the right. But as I discovered last summer, you can be an otherwise totally healthy woman in her (let's say 30's) and still have osteoporosis.

Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, 8 million are women. In fact, osteoporosis is actually believed to be under-diagnosed which means there are likely many more women who are unknowingly afflicted with it. It is sometimes discovered by an astute internist (which is what happened to me) but unfortunately is often discovered after fracturing a bone (which happens to many women).

According to the NOF, there are many risk factors for osteoporosis in women, including:

  • Just being female
  • Missed periods (amenorrhea)
  • Low estrogen levels (especially during menopause)
  • Family history (especially mother and grandmother)
  • Being of a particular race/ethnicity such as Caucasian, Asian, or Latino, although African-Americans are also at risk
  • Low Body Mass Index (BMI) (being thin and small)
  • Lack of calcium and vitamin D, especially in childhood (this can be a real problem for lactose intolerant people)**
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Certain conditions such as anorexia nervosa and asthma
** Amazingly, 90% of adult bone mass is acquired in girls by the age of 18! That means that after 18, you have only 10% of your bone mass that you can still build.

I have decided to host a food blogging event to alert women to the potential risks of osteoporosis and encourage them to take steps to protect their bones at every age. I am sure that I am not the only food blogga who has osteoporosis and was not aware of it.

Here’s the plan: May is National Osteoporosis Awareness Month which is the perfect time to hold an event. If you’d like to participate, then kindly follow these steps:

  1. Post one calcium-rich recipe on your blog any time between May 1st and May 31st. (Please no back dating or late entries.) And of course boy bloggas are welcome to participate.
  2. Include a link to this announcement.
  3. Email the following information to foodblogga [at] yahoo [dot] com, and mention beautiful bones in the subject line.
    • Your preferred name
    • Blog name
    • General geographic location
    • Your post URL and recipe name
  4. Please attach a 200 pixel image if you'd like an image to appear in the round-up.
  5. I would, of course, also appreciate your placing the event logo in your post.
No blog? No problem. Just email your preferred name, location, name of the recipe, and a 200 pixel image to foodblogga [at] yahoo [dot] com, and mention beautiful bones in the subject line.

The recipe can be for any type of dish you like as long as it contains at least one calcium-rich food as a main ingredient.

Calcium-rich foods:

  • Dairy products: all types of cheese, especially mozzarella and Parmesan, milk, soy milk, yogurt, soy protein or whey protein (for smoothies)
  • Soy: edamame, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and other soy products
  • Nuts and seeds: all kinds, especially almonds and sesame seeds
  • Legumes: all kinds, especially black beans, black-eyed peas, and navy beans
  • Seafood: oysters, salmon, sardines, and shrimp
  • Green leafy vegetables: beet greens, collards, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens
  • Other vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, avocado, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, cremini mushrooms, fennel bulb, garlic, green beans, okra, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, romaine lettuce, summer squash, tomatoes (yes, it's a fruit, but come on)
  • Fruits: bananas, blackberries, cantaloupe, grapes, kiwi, lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, watermelon
  • Whole grains: (grains that are not milled) such as barley, cornmeal, oats, popcorn (no kidding!) quinoa, rice, rye, spelt, and whole wheat flour
  • Spices and herbs: black pepper, caraway seeds, cinnamon, coriander seeds, dill seed, parsley, oregano, poppy seeds, rosemary
  • Others: leavening agents, such as baking powder; corn tortillas; calcium fortified juices, breads, and dairy products
Meal ideas:

  • Breakfast: frittatas, granola, muffins, oatmeal, quick breads, scones
  • Lunch: burritos, salads, sandwiches, soups, stuffed potatoes, wraps
  • Dinner: pasta, pizza, grain dishes, seafood, stir-fries, tofu, vegetarian entrees
  • Appetizers/Snacks: bruschetta, crostini, cheese, dips, nuts, popcorn
  • Desserts: cakes, cookies, fresh fruits, ice cream, pies, puddings
  • Drinks: milkshakes, smoothies, yogurt drinks

During the month of May, I’ll write several posts for this event, sharing information about osteoporosis with you and providing a recipe with each post.

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you may have in the comment box or email me directly at foodblogga [at] yahoo [dot] com. I'm looking forward to your bone-building, delicious submissions!

Logo was adapted from an image from the National Museum of Health and Medicine.


Sarah said...


This event sounds great. I admire the attempt to host an event that is for a good cause! I'm already thinking of things I can make!

I have tagged you in a little game, Six Word Memoir. If you feel like playing, check out my post:

Thanks for the great recipes!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Very worth while event Susan!

Manggy said...

I wasn't paying attention and when you said you were pictured on the right, I just glanced at the logo and though, "Wow, that's a very dynamic x-ray." Anyway, I hope I'll be able to participate.

RecipeGirl said...

Sounds like a good one Susan- I'll plan to seek out something good to blog about for this event!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for calling attention to something that we all need to know about!

Kalyn Denny said...

I hope you are doing ok with it; I honestly don't know much about it or how treatable it is. This is a great idea for an event, and I'm guessing a lot of people don't know much about what foods are high in calcium. May is a bit crazy around here with last month of school and first month of garden, but I'll really try to participate.

Susan @ SGCC said...

Great idea for an event, Susan. I love it when we can all learn a little something from one of these things! Count me in.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

What a fantastic idea for an event. One of my grandmothers was badly affected by osteoporosis and was almost literally bent double by the time she died. Her daughters (my aunts) have had to take supplements for years - so I guess I, too, should be on high alert. Sadly, I have no kitchen at the moment, so can't participate - but I'll be checking in to see the results for sure.

Peter M said...

The event sounds fun, informative and the possibilities are endless for ideas.

Finla said...

Wonderful event susan.
I will try to send u something. Am planing to go on a one month break byend of April as my sister is comming for visit

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Great idea, Susan, and a wonderful way to raise awareness of an important health issue.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! Count me in.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, Susan. I will put my culinary nose to the grindstone and try to come up with an offering.

Núria said...

I'm in Susan, count on me! Good information and good recipes are a magnific way to fight against Osteoporosis!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I definitely have something in the works for this event Susan:D

Sugarcraft India said...

Thats great information Susan and a great event as well..All the best to you and will look forward to the lovely and innovative recipes!!

funwithyourfood said...

Honestly, I worry that I may have this. I am a very small person and while growing up we weren't very well off and most of my diet consisted of ramen noodles...
I'll be posting a few calicium filled recipes for sure.
Great post!


Patricia Scarpin said...

Susan, what a wonderful idea! I'll be participating - and you take care of yourself, ok?

Le Flâneur Novice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Le Flâneur Novice said...

Osteoporosis is something I also worry for... In fact I had a good diet till 18, and no osteoporosis in my family history as I know, but I thinnk everyone -every woman- must be aware of risks.
Therefor I do thank you for this event, Susan. And this is something so specail that you share your situation, and try to help others as well. I do respect...
I've been a bit busy for the last week, and will be busy then, but I really want to take part on this event.
Thanks again Sue...
Best wishes...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I know the perfect dessert - risotto rice pudding!

It's shocking that you have osteoporosis - you're so young. However, I'm happy to see that you are bringing this affliction to our attention. Your food event will open my our eyes & the recipes will compliment our awareness. Thank you!

xoxox Amy

Annie said...

Great idea Susan! It runs in my family and currently my mom has it.
Thanks for listing the calcium rich foods, I know exactly what to make for the event.
Good luck with it... :)

Elle said...

Wonderful event, Susan! People are not aware about the prevalence of this condition, but also don't realize that is it painful, too. Hope you are taking good care of yourself and not only getting calcium, but also magnesium and Vitamin d...they work together.
Hugs, Elle

sra said...

I hope you're doing okay, Susan! I've been thinking I should explore bones more ever since I tripped over my pajamas and had a hairline fracture in the foot three months ago (which I thought was just a sprain) - the pain doesn't go away.

Unknown said...

brilliant idea...not to mention noble ^_^...goshhh i can get osteo just for being female? :( mannnn...i was already suffering from hyperthyroidism just becos i am female :( :(

but i am getting well and plan to stay so :) hohoho!

lemme work on something for this event cant wait!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

good give me the will do something..i am in it

Cara said...

Great idea for an event!

Ivy said...

Thanks for sharing this with us Susan and hope that everything will turn okay for you as it did for my husband. Most people think that osteoporosis affects only women. That is wrong. Maybe the percentage is bigger for women but after a major operation, and staying in bed for more than two months, my husband had osteoporosis and lots of pain in his thighs. Thank God his is much better now. You can count me in as well.

Johanna GGG said...

that's great idea - I will be interested to see your posts as I don't know a lot about osteoporosis - and your suggestions are very helpful

I am aware that celiacs are suceptible to it because one of their problems is not taking in enough nutrients generally (as some of my family have it)

glamah16 said...

Informative post. I didnt realize the risks factors. Im going to try my best to come up with something.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous idea for an event Susan. Hope it gets people thinking - so many people don't realise just how much calcium they need until it's a bit too late.

kellypea said...

What a great way to bring osteoporosis more to people's attention. I can think of many yummy dishes to make to help the focus. Oh, and my bones, of course.

Anonymous said...

My mother also suffers from osteoporosis, so I'll definitely be taking part in this event! Great idea!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

sarah-I'm so glad to hear it. Thanks!

tanna-I hope it raises awareness.

mark-Hope you do too!

lore-Thanks! I'll look forward to it.

molly-You're welcome.

kalyn-Hope you do too!

susan-Thanks a bunch!

forkful-I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. That's part of the reason I'm hosting this event--so that we don't suffer so severely from the effects of osteoporosis.

peter-I'm glad to hear that.

happy cook-Hope you can submit something. Either way, please enjoy your sister's company.


linda-Thanks a lot!

kate-I know it'll be good. :)



swati-I'm looking forward to them too.

teddy-If you're worried, then it's probably a good idea to talk about it with your doctor.

patricia-Yay! I'm so glad.

bal-Thanks for the note; I do hope you'll be able to participate.

amy-I love, love, love rice pudding!

annie-Can't wait to see it!

elle-You make a good point. Yes, I do get magnesium and vit d, and I'll be addressing them in my posts. Thanks so much!

sra-It can't hurt to get checked by a doctor, right?

rita-That's kind of you to say. You'll come up with something delicious. And yup, being female has lots of health perks, doesn't it? ;)

anamika-I really appreciate that.


ivy-You're right. I'm so sorry to hear your husband had to have surgery, but I'm so relieved to hear he is doing better. Please give him my regards.

johanna-I'm looking forward to writing about it too.

coco-I hope you do.

sophie-Sadly, it's true.

kellypea-I can't wait to see what you make!

ellie-It's so nice to hear from you! I'm sorry to hear about your mom but glad you'll be participating. :)

Unknown said...

count me in, susan!!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I like the idea. It's hard to imagine that's it's you in the picture. You really have a lot of courage to put yourself in the logo. I admire you.

Susan from Food Blogga said...


helene-Oh, no, I meant the photo of me in the blue dress on the right side bar! I hope you still admire me though. ;)

Nic said...

I'm hoping to participate, thank you Susan.

Mansi said...

my mom suffers from osteoporosis and she's having such a tough time taking even her morning walks! and I'm pretty sure I'll inherit that from here as my knees are already weak:( but this is a great way to promote awareness, and I'll surely participate Susan!

La Tartine Gourmande said...

Great initiative Susan!

Jeanne said...

What an excellent idea. My mom had 100 other things wring with her but ironically her bone density was fabulous. I hope that I've inherited some of her genes but I do know I'm lacking in the exercise department... My best friend is in the early stages of the disease and has regular bone scans, so it's a cause that's close to my heart too. Kudos to you for drawing attention to this.

Cakelaw said...

What a terrific idea for an event - one that we can actually learn something for our well-being from. I will do some research and hopefully come up with something inspiring.

Teresa said...

What a great idea for an event! And a great cause. My mom has osteoporosis so it's important to me as well. Can't wait to participate!


Lisa Johnson said...

What a wonderful event Susan! I'm going to work on this. This will be a great learning process for me too trying to figure out how to get more calcium. I'm looking forward to it!

You always come up with such innovative ideas and are a real blog role model. I really admire that you are sharing so much with us here. Thank you! ; )

Helene said...

Great event Susan! Will participate for sure!

Chris said...

This is a wonderful event! Osteoporosis runs in my family and its something I really need to thik about!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

nic-Thank you!

mansi-I'm sorry to hear about your mom; my thoughts are with her (and you).


jeanne-Then that's good for your bone health.

jess-I'm sure you will, thanks!

teresa-I hope your mom is doing well. I can't wait to see your entry!

anali-Thank you for those sincere and thoughtful words. You really warmed my heart.


chris-Unfortunately, it runs in too many families. That's why I'm hoping to promote awareness.

Anonymous said...

Susan, this is great! i like it because there's so many choices for us to make something to contribute.

Julie said...

Great idea for an event, Susan! I will try to participate.

Jaime said...

great idea! funny that i don't think of fruit as being particularly high in calcium... i definitely need to take calcium and work out to avoid this... it runs in our family

Núria said...

Ai, Susan, the 1st of May is tomorrow!!! I wanted to participate so much... but didn't notice tomorrow is the last day and I don't have the post ready :( I'm sorry because I said I would... hope you don't take it bad, maybe next time... sorry again.

Mama Mia said...

Looks like a great event! I already have some good recipe ideas packed with calcium!

Anonymous said...

Good morning, dear! Here's my post:

I can't wait to see all of the creative calcium-rich recipes people post! Thank you for hosting this event.

xoxox Amy

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

Although now, I can't remember how I stumbled across your blog, I'm SO glad I did. Mainly because of your osteoporosis event. Your blog is delightful as well, but it was this that prompted me to post a comment.

I'm a nutrition therapist specializing in celiac disease (also exercise science). Osteoporosis and anemia are two of the most common adult presentations of celiac disease. Often people with osteoporosis don't realize they have celiac and are not absorbing their calcium (among other problems). I won't blah, blah about this on your blog, but I want to be involved because of my interest in osteoporosis from a different angle. People with celiac often have issues with dairy products (long story) as well, so they have to obtain calcium from other sources.

Sorry, I could really launch into this, but I'll spare you for now. I just wanted to introduce myself, say hello, and let you know I'm IN with your event. The odd thing with all this is that May is also Celiac Awareness month in most of the world -- except here in the US. We're a bit behind as far as mainstream medicine's understanding of celiac, but we're catching up. There is legislation to make May our awareness month too, so we have lots of reasons to spread the word about osteoporosis this month!

In good health,
P.S. I recently did a post on calcium-rich plant foods with a whole list of things (got milk?).

Susan from Food Blogga said...

eliza-That's what I love to hear!

julie-Thanks so much!

jaime-Yeah, not too many, but a few.

nuria-Nope, you have the whole month of May to participate!

lina-Looking forward to them!

amy-Well, thank you, dear! :)I'll be right over.

Anonymous said...

Food blogging events are a terrific way to raise awareness of important issues. Thanks for hosting this one. I write from Wisconsin - America's Dairyland, so I'll definitely be participating. After all, cows and calcium go together!

Lisa Turner said...

This is a fantastic idea for an event. A one stop place for calcium rich recipes. I have just posted my entry and sent you an email.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

cristie-We loved Madison when we visited a few years back. I'm looking forward to your submission!

lisa-Got it! Thanks so much for the delicious submission.

Miri said...

Just posted for this event and have mailed you the details....thanks for hosting this, I think it is a very important issue which women especially tend to ignore till it is too late!

Anonymous said...

I just discovered this event susan...been a bit absent. and it is a great idea...I'll definitley join!

Deeba PAB said...

Just posted for your event Susan...will mail you shortly. Lov

Melita said...

Great event! I have just posted for it, and have e-mailed you. Hope you like it! :)

@the_whisk_affair said...

Thanks Susan, for hosting such an event for spreading awareness abt osteoporosis. I will definitely be sending in something. Take care.


Sangeeth said...

Thanks susan for sharing such an important info and also hosting such a meaningful event. Count me in.

TBC said...

I just sent across my entry. Hope you have received it.

Anonymous said...

i'm taking part! thanks for hosting this. it's so very worthwhile.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Miri-Thank you for your wonderful entry!

ronell-That's great! Thanks so much.

deeba-Got it, and it's delicious!

medena-Loved it! :)

JZ-And thanks to you!

sangeeth-That's just wonderful.

tbc-Got it! Thanks so much!

diva-Received your entry too. Many thanks!

Marianna said...

This is a really great initiative, I will do my best to participate in this.

Hetal said...

Hey this is a wonderful idea you have come up with!!!This will really help in spreading awareness on Osteoporosis..

Susan from Food Blogga said...

marianna-That would be lovely.

hetal-I think it will! Thanks.

Rachel said...

Food Blogga:

Just found out about this great event and you can count me in with a new family favorite recipe for Polenta-Quinoa Sticks!

Rachel @ Wheat-Free, Meat-Free

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aleli said...

Hello! Enjoying your blog and will be making the recipe for Tres Leches cupcakes Beatiful Bones. What a wonderful phrase. I am Aleli Soliman and was diagnosed with Lupus - An autoimmune disease that also does attack the bones. But I refuse to be a victim of it and follow my heart and passion for baking. Thank you for the inspiration!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

aleli-Thank you for the thoughtful note. I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but it sounds like you're going to fight it with everything you've got! All the best to you. -Susan