Saturday, December 4, 2010
Recently, I became somewhat obsessed with the fear of a stress fracture. It started when I met one or two patients at work who were suffering from stress fractures. Then I got back into reading running blogs, and there were more stories of stress fractures. Finally, Melissa started having symptoms of a stress fracture - and what did all of these people have in common? They are all female recreational runners in their mid-40's. Yikes!
I have never been good about including calcium in my diet. Even when I was pregnant and nursing my children, calcium was just not a priority. Then there's my (recently broken!) addiction to diet coke, which may or may not leach calcium from the bones. I just know I am a walking time bomb with regard to a stress fracture.
So, I decided to do something about it. Certainly, calcium supplements are easy enough to take, but I think it's better to get your vitamins and minerals from your diet than from a supplement. And it's easy enough to get calcium in your diet - just eat more dairy and green, leafy vegetables!
With that in mind, I started aiming for three servings of dairy a day. Researchers found that adding dairy to the diet helped with long-term weight loss. Now, I haven't noticed any huge weight loss since increasing my dairy intake, although my slow and steady loss continues. What I have noticed, though, is that my appetite has changed. I'm just not as hungry anymore.
Here's the thing: I think the dairy products I am eating are modulating my appetite swings. Before I started the great Dairy Crusade (aka Operation Prevent Stress Fractures), I was always starving between meals AND I craved sugar like crazy. Now I can still appreciate a nice dessert, but having one once a week is just fine. Believe me, this is new ground for me.
I freely admit that this could be simply a coincidence - the reduced appetite and lack of sugar cravings might be due to my overall increased level of fitness and the fact that I've been eating more real, healthy foods for the past year or so. But on days that I miss my dairy mark, I'm often hungry and crabby. For the moment, I'm going to continue eating yogurt and cheese and having chocolate milk after my workouts. Hey, it works for me!
Disclaimer: One of the researchers linked to in this post is a professor at the University of Tennessee. I teach at the university but am not affiliated with the researcher in any way, and I am not receiving any compensation from any source (including the Dairy Council!) for posting this. I did steal the photo from the Dairy Council, though, via Google!
Big Fat Greek Marathon Fund: $62.50
Goal: Unknown (they send out information in February)
Days until next race: 37 (Disney!!!)