Monday, 27 June 2011

Ninja Bones

Did you know that you can get calcium from places other than dairy products?

I didn't, before I went vegan, and started tracking my nutrients on MFP.  Even when I first went vegan, I was still relying on fortified soya and rice milks.  Then I realised I was getting calcium from broccoli, and the Vegetarian Resource Group lists "calcium-set tofu, soybeans and soynuts, bok choy, broccoli, collards, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard greens, and okra" as other sources.

I realised this a few months back, but I mentioned it now, because I've been looking at the USDAs new food plate.  On the whole, I like the idea.  I think it's easier to understand and apply in everyday life than the food pyramid, and I think the focus on nutrition and health is a good thing.  Even so, I am making a squiggly-smile face over the "dairy" portion allocated.

This face.
Image from CommercialModGig.

Dairy isn't the only source of calcium, and it's kind of annoying that all official sources keep insisting that it is, to the point of totally ignoring all other options.  If you click on it, it brings up a list of commonly eaten dairy products, which are varieties of milk, cheese, and yoghurt.

The other groups are better; protein, for instance, lists a number of vegan options, and alternatives.  It's just dairy that's an issue.  Dairy is not a nutrient, it is a product, and I don't think advertising has a place in government supported health projects.

I get that this is a kind of gateway project, a way to get people on the standard American diet eating better.  So, yeah, it's very simple, and it's done in a way that, I think, would make it much easier to incorporate into the average life.  It's not too threatening, or strange.

That said, the point of a gateway like this is that you don't stay there.  Yes, half whole-grains and more fruits and veggies is a great start, and just fine for a lot of people, but I'd like to see more information for people who want to go further.  Even just an acknowledgement that other calcium-rich foods exist would be great, or more information on nutrients, for people who want to go past just sticking to portions, and understand why these foods have been chosen in these amounts, so they can mix it up a bit.

Going back to pure dairy, I've been thinking about how I'd go ahead and redesign it, since, as I said, I don't agree with the inclusion of a product here.  Maybe a 'calcium' box on the plate, and replace the drink with water, since a lot of people don't drink enough?  I drink 4 litres a day, and I'm still thirsty, but, of course, I sweat a lot.  And it would help make the point about getting off soda, or at least not using it as your main source of liquid.  At the very least, I'd like to see some other sources of calcium listed, other than dairy.

In other news, I've decided to take up Parkour.  It's something I've been interested in and admired for a while, but I never quite knew where to start.  Then I read this, and thought, if he can do it, what's stopping me?

I figured, well, I'll just go ahead and work on things like pull-ups, rolls, balance, and core strength, and search for a couple of places in the city that would make good obstacle courses for practice.  So, for that last part, I googled "Birmingham Parkour"...and found classes.

Actual classes.  Held regularly.  Suitable for serious beginners.  And very affordable (£4!  My Krav classes work out at just over £5 each).  And now you know the reason for the title of this post, because, of course, Krav + Parkour = Ninja.  And calcium is necessary for strong bones.

EMP Parkour, who run the classes, recently (as in, yesterday) opened their own training centre, which is doubly awesome.  I'm hoping to attend my first class this week, and I am so excited about this, I keep squeaking to myself.

I also took a look at some Parkour videos set in Birmingham, with the goal of recognising the locations used, for ideas.  Then I got blown away by the sheer awesomeness of these guys.  Take a look.

I chose this one because I like the hats.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...