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!!!)


  1. I'm going through a dairy thing, I've had to take supplements because I switched to Almond milk and vegan butter. Can't give up my cheese though, so that's my main source!

  2. Molly, then you probably do need supplements. Remember that leafy greens are a good source of calcium for vegetarians and vegans!

  3. You know, I had a stress fracture (I think) this past summer and I wonder if my lack of dairy is partly to blame...In my attempt to avoid the fat & sugar in most dairy, I was cutting back. Hmmm. Interesting!!

  4. I am not a huge dairy fan and have always always had a hard time fitting it into my diet. I KNOW this is totally going to catch up to me one of these days, but thanks for this infor because I will make an effort to do better in the dairy dept.

  5. Kendra, the truth is that any injury probably has multiple causes - I'm just obsessive, sometimes! But I do think the dairy has helped my appetite, and I do think it's important to get enough calcium!

    Kim, I've started drinking chocolate milk after my workouts - it tastes great and I drink a large enough glass to make it two servings. Then I only have to have some yogurt or some cheese later in the day to finish things off!

  6. I LIVE for dairy ;) Cheese is one of my favorite foods!

  7. Matt, I used to hate it, but I have changed my tune lately! :)

  8. Dairy - especially full fat - definitely helps reduce sugar cravings and help with satiety! Good job on being so proactive about your calcium needs!! Your 3 servings are probably loads better than the pill form.