What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects about 54 million Americans, and older women are at a higher risk. In this article we’ll go over exactly what osteoporosis is, how it forms, and how to prevent it.
What is osteoporosis?
As we grow older, we can start to lose density or mass in our bones and develop osteoporosis. Osteoporosis happens when your body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or a combination of the two. This causes weak bones and can greatly increase your risk of breaking a bone.
Osteoporosis is very serious. It’s estimated it is responsible for two million broken bones each year. For many older adults, this can lead to a loss of independence and a difficult recovery. While osteoporotic bone breaks often occur in the hip, spine, or wrist, they can happen in other places too. Osteoporosis can also cause pain, height loss, stooped posture, and limited mobility.
What causes osteoporosis?
The biggest factor in developing osteoporosis is your calcium intake through your lifetime. If you don’t get enough calcium, even when you’re young, it can have an impact on your bone density. In addition, certain diseases and conditions can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Some of these include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Leukemia, Sickle Cell, or other blood disorders
- Thyroid issues
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Certain cancers
- Eating disorders or poor nutrition
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Liver disease
- Organ transplant
How can you prevent osteoporosis?
While you can’t control certain things, like the amount of calcium you had access to as a child, genetics, or conditions that increase your risk, there are some steps you can take to lower your risk of osteoporosis. These include:
- Eating foods that support your bone health (high in calcium, Vitamin D, and protein).
- Exercising regularly.
- Not smoking or quitting smoking.
- Limiting how much alcohol you drink.
In addition, if you are at an increased risk of osteoporosis, you can be proactive. Ask your doctor for a bone density scan and talk to them about medication options that can slow down bone loss and/or rebuild bone.
How to Get Started with Healthy Meal Prep
Trying to figure out what to have for dinner can be so exhausting, and it’s all too easy to swing through a drive-thru somewhere or eat something that’s quick but unhealthy. Meal prep can be a great way to take the stress out of the dinnertime rush, while still ensuring you’re eating something healthy. In this article, we’ll go over some helpful tips to get started with healthy meal prep.
- Think storage. If you want to start meal prepping, you want to make sure you have a way to store all of your meals for the week. You want good-quality airtight microwave and dishwasher-safe containers, and you want to make sure they’re not so bulky that they’ll be hard to maneuver in your fridge. You want them to be big enough to store the majority of your meal, but don’t forget to grab a few smaller containers for sauces, dressings, or items that don’t need to be heated.
- Make a game plan. If you are going to commit to meal prep, you need to pick your day and time. You want a day where you have at least a couple hours, so the weekend works for many people.
- Simplify where possible. If the idea of giving up some of your precious Sunday afternoon stresses you out, think of ways you can simplify the process. Could you have your groceries delivered or use a pick-up service? Maybe you can buy frozen veggies instead of fresh or choose veggies that are already washed and chopped. You can also enlist your spouse, children, or grandchildren to help, and a crockpot or instant pot may give you more of a hands-off approach for cooking meat for your meals.
- Pick your recipes. Now it’s time to choose your recipes, but don’t overthink it too much. The secret to successful meal prepping is choosing simple recipes but swap things up often enough that you don’t get bored. You want to make sure you’re choosing a recipe that is truly healthy, so make sure your meals are well-rounded and are low in sugar, salt, fat, and other unhealthy things. When choosing recipes, think about what ingredients you can carry over. Maybe you cook a whole batch of baked chicken and use it for a healthy burrito bowl one day and serve it with a steamed veggie and healthy carb another day. If you’re not sure what to recipe to try first, check out the one below!
- Enjoy! Now that you have your day and time set and a few recipes, it’s time to get started! Make the meal prepping process enjoyable by playing some music or an interesting podcast or audiobook. If you don’t eat all of what you prepped, just pop it in the freezer for a week you don’t have as much time to prep.
One-Pan Teriyaki Chicken Meal Prep
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 3 skinless chicken breasts
- ½ bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup broccoli floret
- 1 cup baby carrot
- 1 cup green beans, trimmed
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
- Sesame seed, for garnish
- Green onion, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400º F (200ºC).
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the soy sauce, water, garlic, cornstarch, and honey. Allow the sauce to begin bubbling, then stir until sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.
- Spoon a little of the teriyaki sauce onto the center of a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Lay the chicken on top of the sauce. Arrange the bell pepper, broccoli, green beans, and carrots out on either side of the chicken.
- Season the vegetables and chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Coat everything well with teriyaki sauce, reserving some for later.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
- Remove the pan from oven and let cool. Slice the chicken into strips.
- Distribute the chicken and vegetables evenly between 4 resealable containers filled with brown rice, separating vegetables for 4 different dishes, if desired.
- Drizzle the remaining sauce over chicken and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.
- Refrigerate up to 4 days.