Calcium: Do You REALLY Get It?

Drink your milk! It necessary for healthy bones and teeth.

I think we’ve all heard this advice at one point or another in our lives. If you haven’t, consider yourself kind of lucky because it’s not even close to the reasons why we need calcium!

Our bodies require calcium for:

Muscle Contraction, which includes all body movements and joint stability

Posture

Clotting of the blood

Release of neurotransmitters (signals to fire up specific actions, processes and responses) for the entire body including heart, sleep, mood, hormones. Note: Lack of healthy neurotransmission is found in patients with epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

Enzyme activation

Regulating our heartbeat

Cellular fluid regulation

Healthy strong bones

Healthy strong teeth

Prevention of CANCER and OSTEOPOROSIS

Nearly 100% of the calcium in our body is carried and stored in our bones and teeth. The amount within our bones can be measured through a test of BONE DENSITY, which checks the amount of calcium and minerals in a segment of bone.

A higher measurement equates to higher bone density and stronger, healthier bones.

Calcium also makes up a significant amount of our body weight.

Because if it’s role in our daily capabilities and functionality and because we require muscles, hormones and brain function to live, it’s pretty safe to say that calcium is much more important than simply preventing brittle aging bones and unnecessary fractures!

Did you know that nearly 90% of adult women and 70% of adult men DO NOT CONSUME enough calcium to maintain appropriate functions within their body?

If we aren’t consuming enough, then much do we need?

Our bodies do not make their own calcium, therefore we must obtain calcium from outside sources. Those sources will be discussed later.

In all actuality, calcium travels around in our blood and works diligently to ensure things are functioning well. The body only needs about 1% of its actual total stored amount of calcium to function. If blood levels get too low, it goes into the bone bank and writes a check in order to replenish blood stories.

If the bank carries 100 calcium dollars as it’s storage, then the body only needs $1 dollar to operate and that is found in the blood. When you spend the dollar and fail to make appropriate deposits, then the body goes back to the bank and takes what it needs.

As long as you keep making appropriate daily deposits, the ebbs and flows go unnoticed and we remain healthy, strong and capable. When we start writing checks against our bone storage, we begin to lose the density in our bones and of course, that leads to a collapse of functions.

Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and Sarcopenia are often associated with the aging process, however, body mechanics and hormones play a huge factor in their prevalence, and both hormones and body mechanics are affiliated with calcium needs.

Therefore, making sure you take in enough calcium for your body each day can help offset and even eradicate some of the so-called age related deterioration of the body we have come to simply accept as normal. It’s not.

Studies show those who ingest less than around 550 mg of calcium per day have greater instances of osteoporosis and the deterioration of other functions such as heart function, blood clotting and general movement. These issues, however seem to be absent in populations where they receive over 1200 mg each day, depending on age.

As a general rule, both men 65 and under, and women 50 years and under need anywhere from 800 mg-1000 mg of calcium per day.

Women 51 and older, and those who are going through menopause need 1000 mg-1200 mg per day.

Women who are post menopausal, up to 65 years old need around 1500 mg.

Men and women over 65 also require around 1500 mg.

Although many factors can impact the amount you need, age seems to serve as a litmus for daily intake.

Are you meeting your numbers?

The truth is that most people are not getting what they need and will often run to supplementation in an attempt to ‘temporarily’ change their habits.

They will pop pills and calcium chews as a means of attempting to offset the low numbers. Although well-intended, this may be a waste of time and money.

Did you know that in order for your body to absorb calcium, it must be bioavailable, or readily available for absorption by the body?

That’s right! Calcium must be bioavailable in order to be absorbed and effective. Many processes and variables can impact bioavailability.

In terms of food, only about 30% of the calcium you consume in dairy foods is bioavailable.

Beans, sesame seeds and spinach have a much lower bioavailability rate at about 5-10%, while foods like kale, broccoli, whole wheat bread and Bok-Choy have a much higher rate of bioavailability at about 50%.

Food choice matters!

If you choose to supplement, make sure you have a solid understanding of the ELEMENTAL CALCIUM, or bioavailable calcium available in each supplement.

An example of this would be supplements that are made with the most common and cheapest form, calcium carbonate, where the bioavailability in a 1200 mg serving is only about 40%, or about 400 mg.

Calcium citrate is approximately 20% bioavailable (240 mg of 1200)

Calcium lactate is approximately 13% bioavailable (155 mg of 1200)

Calcium gluconate is less than 10% bioavailable (110 mg of 1200)

Moreover, keeping the amount ingested to around 500 mg at a time, focusing on meal times, allows it to be MORE bioavailable than trying to take 1200 mg in a single dose.

Supplements can also have uncomfortable side effects such as excessive gas, bloating and even constipation, so try your absolute best to obtain calcium from food sources.

MORE calcium ISN’T necessarily BETTER and will not increase bone density. Check your sources, the frequency you are taking you calcium and other factors that could impact its absorption.

What foods provide the greatest benefits of calcium?

Although this list is not comprehensive, it is a great skeletal representation (see what I did there?) of the foods you can implement into your daily nutrition plan in order to boost your calcium intake.

Low fat dairy options

Milk. 300 mg, 96 mg bioavailable.

Yogurt. Same as milk.

High calorie/ High fat

Cheddar cheese, Same as milk.

Beans

White 113 mg, 24 mg bioavailable.

Pinto 45 mg, 11 mg bioavailable.

Greens

Mustard greens 212 mg, 85 mg bioavailable.

Bok-choy 79 mg, 42 mg bioavailable.

Kale 61 mg, 30 mg bioavailable.

Spinach 115 mg, 5.9 mg bioavailable.

Other

Goats milk 330 mg, unknown.

Hemp milk 300 mg, unknown.

Almond milk varies by brand from 0-450 mg, up to 95 mg bioavailable.

Tofu 258 mg, 80 mg bioavailable.

Almonds 97 mg, 20 mg bioavailable.

Sweet potatoes 44 mg, 9.8 mg bioavailable.

Sesame seeds 23 mg, 5 mg bioavailable.

Can of sardines 350 mg, unknown.

1 scoop whey 97 mg, unknown.

1 egg 25 mg, unknown.

1 medium potato with skin 35 mg, unknown.

Oatmeal 187 mg, unknown.

Is that it, or is there more to the equation when it comes to calcium?

Calcium is pretty much straight forward. It’s absolutely necessary to muscle development, function and capability. It should be consumed primarily through whole food sources, with plant sources offering up a excellent means and at spread out across each meal and snack.

Other factors that can contribute to your calcium intake are often ignored. Here are a few worth considering:

Weight lifting! Some call it resistance or strength training, but simply put, it’s adding resistance to movements and the mastering bodyweight as well as building muscle mass. It promotes the growth of new bone and aids in the prevention of bone loss affiliated with aging, with some of the highest benefits being realized after 9 months of continuous training.

Vitamin D and Vitamin K are both necessary in calcium absorption. Vitamin K is essential, especially in menopausal women. Also making sure magnesium and zinc levels are optimal is essential to calcium absorption, bone health and many other functions.

Stomach issues can cause the malabsorption of nutrients, including calcium.

Prescription and over the counter medications can inhibit calcium absorption as well as the functions the allow the body to uptake many essential nutrients.

Low-calorie, dairy restrictive and other diets that limit certain food groups starve the body of essential nutrients, with studies showing women who ingest low calories having higher instances of reduced bone em density in their hip and upper thigh bones.

Being too thin or carrying too much extra weight can negatively impact bone density, as does losing and gaining weight. Stability in weight seems to be the key.

The bottom line is knowing your needs and meeting those needs daily! Eat your kale salad in the beautiful sunshine for maximum absorption.

Pain IS Pain

I was once fallen. It doesn’t matter why. What I live for now is why I got up. I live life with great absolute intentions. I don’t care what discomfort comes with my intent because I was living in pain and living in the past.

PAIN IS PAIN.

Pain doesn’t distinguish which pain you’d rather endure. That’s your choice. I made mine. The only difference is the outcome. I see so many men my age living a life of self-destruction filled with self-induced pain. Physically and emotionally.

The young men and the boys today see this and will soon follow. As men, we are responsible for laying down the foundation for our future men.

Representing a team, a brand, a politician, a preacher or a certain band doesn’t make you a man.

Howling at women and making sexual comments to each other doesn’t make you a man.

Drinking and smoking cigars doesn’t make you a man.

Working and paying your part of the bills doesn’t make you a man.

Hanging out with your bros or buddies doesn’t make you a man.

Treating your wife like a paid maid or prostitute doesn’t make you a man.

Letting women or society raise your children doesn’t make you a man.

Being an example of TRUE strength and integrity with absolute intent makes you a man.

I’ve concluded over the past couple of years…there are very few true men left.

At least very few I would consider “men”, or would strive to be like or take advice from.

The age of the Man Child is among us. It’s sad, because so many of you have just given up. It’s too painful for you to get up anymore.

Abundance and Gratitude

Abundance is not something we acquire. It’s something we tune into. – Wayne Dyer

What is abundance?

In truth, the definition varies from person to person. And rightfully so, because we are ALL unique beings and have different experiences of what creates fulfillment and genuine happiness within our soul.

It can be simple or complex. It can be giving or receiving. It can be a gesture or a thought.

As a connected couple, we find abundance in some of the seemingly mundane chores. When we are pushing our cart through the grocery store, we fully honor the bounty sitting inside the cart. This is our abundance.

When we snuggle up to one another at the end of an exhausting day or at first light, we honor our connection and the energy and light in one another. This is our abundance.

When we sit across from one another, running our business together as part of our day to day routine or creating new ideas and discussing our future, we honor ourselves in that we created our current existence. This is our abundance.

People struggle because they choose to struggle. In life. In health. In finances. In wants and desires. In career. In education.

They create negative energy around their own beliefs and practices; an energy that stresses them out instead of shifting the negative energy into a more positive form and becoming something or someone different!

This usually starts by being grateful for what YOU HAVE.

Your abundance.

If you are working long, exhausting hours to simply PAY YOUR BILLS, your own path may be your own creation. Working to pay for debt is not a way of life, but rather a distraction from what heals and what is real. Add work to the other distractions in our routines taking us away from a rich and fulfilling life, such as alcohol, football/sports, shopping and the obsession with tradition, and you have a cocktail of confusing and erratic energy.

This can create a feeling of scarcity and not being enough.

Working long hours, unrealistic labor practices, conflict over silly issues and the inability to break away and recover through practices like relaxation, are all signs of misalignment.

If you are stressed out to boot? You are trapped! You are not where you are

Intended to be, but where you choose to be. How can you find and claim abundance with this distracted existence and mindset?

Yesterday, while celebrating my birthday lunch, I observed a husband and wife seated at an adjacent table. I listened to them argue, although they pretended be talking. Their facial features were on the edge of anger, and yet through lowered voices, they masked the truth of their words.

They hadn’t spoken for about 10 minutes and the husband stepped away from the table. In what appeared to be her discomfort with being alone, the woman picked up her phone to make a call. began dumping copious energy into ‘setting up’ some sort of event or attendance to an event for a group of teenage girls, speaking very loudly in the restaurant for all to hear.

It felt as if she was trying to assert her own importance by drawing attention to her skills, her self-importance and her I identity. The quintessential stage mom!

After she hung up, she carried the shallow conversation into her husbands space and this sparked honesty within him. He clearly explained in a low voice to her that she was wasting her time and energy, creating stress over something that required no stress.

She became irritated with his words, defending herself and her identity. Conflict arose.

For the next 10 minutes, you could hear her put all of her energy into a shallow and meaningless argument, creating stress in her marriage over an event!

Stress is the result of feeling the opposite of gratitude and abundance.

We become stressed because we feel as though we are lacking or that scarcity exists. That we aren’t doing enough or that we won’t have enough in some facet of our existence.

Stress is the result of FIGHT or FLIGHT, which is the natural response to a REAL stimulus which somehow threatens our existence and our resources. We all experience stress, but some create their own in order to feel comfortable.

Questioning our stress by asking:

Is this genuinely a threat to my safety?

Becoming clear on the source of stress and it’s relevance in your present and to your safety can help identify whether or not you are creating it. Are you ‘stressed out’ over holiday gifts, baking or cleaning the house for holiday festivities?

Is it genuinely a threat to your safety to make sure your child has the best outfit or attends many activities in a false sense that it brings happiness?

Is it genuinely a threat to your safety that you stay late at work to get work done because you cannot get work done during the day because it’s too stressful?

These are all created, and prevent us from having gratitude for our true abundance.

The real stress comes from doing all of those things, and then putting so much pressure on ourselves and then onto others, our spouses, our children, our coworkers, that eventually will CRACK and BREAK under the pressure.

The stress you create will cause harm to your health, your marriage, your family and even your future. It will create lack and scarcity within, creating further stress and negativity.

Here are some TIPS for helping you prevent stress for the holiday season and your future:

Be grateful for what you have. Each and every day, speak aloud with gratitude for even the smallest experiences! If it brings you repeated stress, it’s NOT FOR YOU and is NOT IN ALIGNMENT with you. Alignment is fluid. It flows.

If it’s misaligned, FIX IT, set boundaries or throw it out!

If your health and wellness is beginning to suffer: fatigue, not working out, repeating old destructive patterns like drinking, overeating and smoking, frequent allergies or colds, stomach issues, constant conflict at home, then you are experiencing WARNING signs that something is broken. Pay attention and either fix it, create boundaries or get rid of it.

I’m not suggesting quitting your job or leaving your spouse, but if you value your future health and wellness, I am suggesting saying ‘NO’ to the patterned practices depleting your resources: time, energy, money. Saying no to your choice and participation in unnecessary stress!

1. Get aligned. See what you want and start moving in the direction you desire. Visualize what it looks like to already be there and act as though you are already there.

2. Open your eyes! If you genuinely believe your stress, health and drama is not of your own doing, then you need to wake up. Take ownership and responsibility for your stress then focus on eliminating it.

3. Stop collecting STUFF! Do you really NEED a new outfit for the party? Do you NEED another costly certification? Do you NEED a brand new car with debt for convenience sake? Does your kid NEED all of the additional stuff in their life, their room? Stop accumulating excess and get only what you NEED!

4. What is most important right now? If sitting on your ass and trying to figure out what is most important IS your priority, then give it life. If it’s cleaning up the shed or sweeping the floor, give it life. Priority means that it is most important to the present. In relationships, your priority is your SPOUSE and if what you are doing is creating stress, you need to shift your priority.

5. You don’t have the answers or all of the solutions. Be open and receptive to adjustments and new perspectives. If you are someone who changes their mind every time they read a new book or watch a new podcast, you are an amoeba. If you refuse to shift and see things from other’s views, you are a brick. Find the energy thread that aligns with you and your values and leave the rest. You do not have to be right for the world, only in alignment for you!

6. Yes, we all need a safety net, but stop stop stop creating anxiety over the ‘what if’! If you have ever turned around and looked at your own growth, you probably realized you were responsible for your own safety. Stop putting safety into the hands of others, giving them the power to let you fall. Stop relying on the fear of losing your safety as a means to not live out a dream or make a choice. You are responsible for your own safety.

7. Reach high! Stop doing things because it’s tradition or because your friends and family might judge you if you don’t. Reach high, be weird and creative. A genius of success and abundance does not do what others are doing. They do not follow another’s path. They do what makes their soul happy.

8. Be open to potentials, opportunities and gifts. These may come unexpectedly or in the form of people, experiences and new adventures. We all too often get stuck in the ‘yea, I would do that BUT…’ cycle of excuses. If an opportunity arises, take it. Especially if it is close to your goals in life. A job in another city may be your gift. If you are continually led to another perspective or a specific mindset, go. If you are struggling in a certain town, leave if an opportunity presents. Be open.

Abundance comes from seeing yourself where you desire to be and then aligning your environment congruently in order to be able to receive the gifts when they arrive.

It’s looking around and saying WOW, I have the best spouse in the world. My kids are perfect as they are. I have so many opportunities for purchasing good food. I am blessed with the time I have to work out. I have a beautiful home, great transportation, plenty of clothing, enough food, a great phone, an income source, great people in my life and fantastic gym (and if you don’t, then change it!). I have enough!

Gratitude comes from publicly and privately honoring and respecting that which you have TODAY with such overwhelming positive emotion that no one can deny your appreciation for what you have or your abundance.

Take charge of your happiness!

Live in abundance.