Moove Over Milk-Featured in the Blackbelt Gazette

Moove Over Milk
As summer lingers, toddlers to school age children, are gearing up and practicing for fall sports. So we expect the inevitable bumps, cuts, scrapes and bruises, but a child’s broken bones are our worst nightmare. By incorporating more plant based foods into our diets, we can protect against, prevent, and even reverse bone disease and brittleness.

Throughout the years slogans, like “Milk does the body good” and “Got Milk?” motivated many to increase their intake. But the latest research and discoveries are now making us question, “Why not?” to drink milk.

Besides the ever growing number of those diagnosed lactose intolerant, many are seeking dairy alternatives. The undesirable amounts of antibiotics and hormones found in milk are another reason to leave it on the shelf. Although a high source of calcium, milk has not proved that it is the best and only source of calcium in preventing bone diseases. A person on the average Standard American Diet or SAD diet is consuming high amounts of animal protein and fats from meats and dairy products. Ironically, studies have shown that those on the SAD diet and drink milk regularly still developed osteoporosis or brittleness. The proteins in meat/dairy products are more acidic than plant proteins. When consumed in high amounts, the body is forced to steal alkaline calcium from the bones in its attempt to rebalance and neutralize itself. A rule of thumb for meat portions is measured slightly larger than a deck of cards.

So where else can you get your calcium? Good sources of calcium are found in: dried peas, dried fruits (apricots, dates, raisins), legumes/beans (red beans, white beans, chickpeas, soy beans), blackstrap molasses, dark leafy green vegetables (kale, collard, turnips, and mustard greens, bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, spinach), soy products (fortified soy milk, tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers, edamame), whole grains (whole wheat, quinoa), nuts and seeds (almonds, pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds/tahini, etc), sea vegetables (arame, kelp, dulse), fortified rice and almond milk.

Although highly neglected, magnesium also enhances the absorption of calcium. The ratio for calcium to magnesium is 2:1. Foods high in magnesium are: bananas, dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, avocados, blackstrap molasses, chocolate, black and navy beans, whole grains, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds, and tofu.

Considering the benefits of calcium rich plant based foods, why not add them to your diet to meet the daily requirements. So, have fun in the kitchen with your kids and teach them the benefits of a whole foods diet.


Pineapple-Kale Smoothie:


½ pineapple or 2 cups fresh

2 bananas (frozen is best)

Juice of 1 lemon

4 stocks stalks of kale

Add pineapple and lemon juice first then blend until all is smooth

Best when chilled

Serves 2-4

Almond, raisin, chocolate trail mix

2 cup almonds, cashews, peanuts mixture

½ cup raisins

½ cup chocolate nibs or dairy free chocolate chips

A pinch of salt

Mix thoroughly


Spinach Mix & Chickpea salad

1 head of leaf or romaine chopped

½ Tbsp olive oil

1 ½ cup spinach

1 tomato thinly chopped

½ cup garbanzo beans (cooked or sprouted)

1 small garlic clove minced

1 stalk of scallions chopped

1 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup sliced olives (optional)

Assemble in that order and toss thoroughly

Dressing: 2 Tbsp tahini

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