Now available in Upstate NY! Wee! First up on the agenda? A shower. A nice, hot shower! Or maybe even (GASP) a bath! Oo la la! I tell you. You don’t appreciate 20th (and 21st) century conveniences until they’re taken away from you. Bravo! Brava! All you men and women of Central Hudson Power Company. Thank you for working tirelessly round the clock to enable me to post my mindless drivel on the interwebs. Merci!
UPDATE: spoke too soon. The roads are an absolute mess. NYC is fine, but upstate? Oy. Trees are down everywhere. It will be another two days before we have power again. Many homes decimated by floodwaters and falling trees. And I can’t get up there because every major roadway is flooded or closed because of downed power lines or felled trees. I hope the renters did not leave the water faucet turned on by mistake (when they discovered the power was out and there was no water.) If the power comes back on while I’m not there and the water is turned on, it will be a flood of a different sort in my house.
New York says yawn. I cannot believe all the media hype. My dad has been writing me in a panic since Friday — two days before the hurricane was even supposed to arrive — asking me if I was okay. He said that Diane Sawyer said the hurricane was going to “come up 5th Avenue and through Central Park.”
We had a tornado rip through Riverside Park last spring that did more damage / was more terrifying in terms of noise, violent wind and tree damage.
P.S. I am not complaining. I’m glad the windows in my building weren’t blown out last night. But I am annoyed at the fever-pitch panic of the weathermen and newspeople across the country.
Upstate, the renters in my house say I have a couple of trees down (where?) and the power is supposed to be out until Tuesday. But other than that, everything is fine.
How is everyone down in North Carolina? S’okay? Holly? Nola Jean, you okay out there in Jersey? Everyone check in and let me know you’re still standing.
And there may be. Merrell makes a barefoot shoe as well. I sort of like the little bootie. Be sure to read the comments/reviews on the Merrell website. They’re helpful.
And Nike has something called a “Barefoot Ride” collection, although in truth the “Racing” collection looks more slimline. (I find Nike’s website annoyingly slow, overly busy, confusing to navigate. Just show me the dang shoes, will ya?)
And I can’t believe I’m saying that because I think they are possibly the ugliest shoes known to man. When I see people, particularly women, wearing these shoes my first thought is “have you lost all sense of reason?” There are ugly shoes that are sorta cute. These are not they.
But here’s my thinking: if impact is good for bones, might something like this be a good thing? Since regular walking shoes and running shoes are padded out the wazoo (whazoo? whazooh?) Without the padding, you’d definitely be getting more impact with every step, would that translate to more bone-building?
But here is the caveat: if your bones are fragile, would that much impact be a bad thing? The bones in the feet are very tiny and very delicate. Without the protection of a regular shoe, might you be more prone to a fracture of the metatarsals? And a fracture of the metatarsals could feasibly keep you off your feet and grounded from exercise for months, meaning you’d lose even more bone density.
These are the questions with which I struggle. And I have no answers for you.
The shoes aren’t cheap. They run roughly $80 to $110.00 a pair. I wish someone would just give me a pair to try out. (Are you listening, oh ye shoe gods?)
I tried this pair on at the shoe store around the corner.
They were extremely comfortable. I like the way the fabric hugged my feet. And the sole (what sole there is) was an interesting feeling. Pleasant. FYI, I would recommend if you’re even thinking about getting some that you get the toe socks to go with them. Because after wearing them just long enough to walk to a mirror, check them out, then walk back to the bench and remove them, there was a noticeable foot odor. And I am not one who typically suffers from foot odor.
Because I hate tying laces, if I were going to get a pair for running, I might go with this instead. (P.S. I almost, almost think these are cute. Have I been brainwashed? Possibly.)
Then I realized these shoes might be good for yoga on the road. No need to pack a sticky mat. You’ve got sticky feet. Yoga mats take up a lot of real estate in an overhead suitcase.
Since I don’t want to buy two pairs of these things, I figured it might be good to get something that could function as both a yoga shoe and a running shoe. With that in mind, the website came up with a couple of recommendations. I liked the Sprint.
Although I think the Performa Jane is probably more lightweight. If I were just going to get a yoga shoe, I’d probably go with it. It is not recommended for running.
So that’s where I am on that. The shoe store around the corner does not carry all these different models, nor do they ever, EVER carry my size. Harry’s Shoes also stocks Five Fingers. They almost never carry my size either, but they do have almost all the models in which I’m interested. I may walk down there after lunch and try them all on to see how they look (beside the obvious – ugly.)
Does anyone own a pair of these? I resisted them because I think this whole barefoot running thing is such a fad. But then the impact angle got me interested.
Thoughts, people? If you want to visit the Vibram Five Fingers website, click here.
Interesting article in The New York Times that looks at how bone health may affect fertility rates in both men and women. Give it a read here.
Okay, so here’s Spunky’s routine. Supplement-wise, she pretty much follows Dr. Bill Davis’ advice on a Homegrown Osteoporosis Remedy found on his Track Your Plaque website. (NOTE: He used to have a HeartScanBlog, but that’s now defunct.)(NOTE: I’ve made a lot of “NOTES” on Spunky’s email.)
400 mg x 2 of magnesium glycinate (NOTE: Dr. Davis recommends dividing this into two doses per day.)
99 mg x 2 potassium citrate, 2 x per day (NOTE: this helps reduce acid if you eat animal protein. I have two after lunch and another two after dinner. Spunky puts more time in between the two doses. She has two after breakfast and two after dinner. Be careful if you have heart or kidney problems. Talk about it with your doctor first.)
Life Extension Two Per Day Multivitamins (NOTE: This particular multi has almost no calcium in it. So if you’re not getting your 1500 mg per day from food, you’re going to need a separate calcium and magnesium supplement. I like the Now Foods brand with calcium, magnesium and zinc.)
Life Extension Super K. (Spunky says she took 2 per day, but the bottle only calls for 1)
Doctors’ Best Strontium Bone Maker, 2 capsules per day, taken away from food and calcium.
2000 mg of vitamin D3 separated into two doses at 1000 mg each.
1000 mg x 2 of Costco Brand fish oil capsules.
Jarrow’s Lactoferrin, one tablet per day.
Garden of Life Perfect Food, one tablet per day.
You’ll notice that she does not take any additional calcium in pill form at all. As for diet:
Not good on the vegetable front. Still haven’t busted open the juicer that you were kind enough to ship to me. We still have some processed foods. Trying to have a big salad every night. Far from perfect. On a positive note–doing good on the exercise front. I gave up coffee. Didn’t give up alcohol. Also, for dinner I have a couple shakes of Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops in my glass of water. Lots of different minerals in there! Mostly magnesium, though.
As for exercise, Spunky said she is religious about it, taking a jazzercise/aerobics class 4 to 6 nights a week. Dr. Davis says that bone follows muscle, and she took that exhortation to heart and doubled her exercise efforts.
I go to Jazzercise 4 to 6 times a week. It’s an hour class… The cardio is about 40 minutes, then for the remaining 20 minutes, I do my own thing–the bridge pose, the crunches and a few other exercises. I am lying on the floor on all of them. One of the floor exercises that I do is a Yoga position called the bridge. I have 7 lb weights in my extended hands. I hold the bridge for a minimum of 75 seconds. I usually do the bridge twice, maybe three times
Spunky does crunches, but everyone please remember they are considered a very dangerous exercise for someone with osteo because of the spinal flexion involved. If you search the exercise database on this website, you’ll find better abdominal alternatives that are safe for you.
So I went on Inspire this morning, figuring that Spunky would have posted her results there and I wanted to cheer her on. Within seconds I was reminded why I don’t go to Inspire anymore. Misinformation.
For those of you who avoid strontium because someone has told you it is a heavy metal, and as we all know some heavy metals are toxic, strontium is not a heavy metal. Nor is it a heavy metal rock band. It is on the periodic table, yes. But it is not a heavy metal. It is classified as an alkaline earth metal. You know what else is classified as an alkaline earth metal? Calcium and magnesium. (Sadly, radium is also an alkaline earth metal, but lucky us! No one is selling that in jars at the drugstore. Yet.)
So what are the heavy metals? Lead, mercury and arsenic to name the three heavy hitters. But strontium is not. So the next time someone tells you that strontium is a dangerous heavy metal, direct them to this article on the LifeExtension website (I know – it’s a vitamin company. But it’s a pretty thorough explanation of heavy metals.) If you need something more official in order to trust the veracity, there’s this.
And here’s an article on alkaline earth metals.
The two things really are different. Just like tin and gold: They’re also both metals but very different from each other. I may try to say they’re the same, but no one is ever going to give me as much money for a tin cup as they would for a gold one.
Now do the alkaline earth metals in strontium affect your DEXA scan and make the bone look denser because the light reflects off the metal or has a more difficult time passing through the metal (I’m not sure which is at play there)? Yeah, probably.
Does that mean your bones aren’t really denser? I don’t know.
Calcium is also an alkaline earth metal and doctors tell us to take it to improve our bone density / protect our bone density. Same goes for magnesium. If we don’t subtract X% from our DEXAs to account for the alkaline earth metals in the magnesium and calcium we take and/or eat, then why are we subtracting it for strontium? I’m not saying we shouldn’t, I’m just asking why we do?
Anyway, I hope that helps clear up the confusion. Let me know if you want to know anything else about it, or if you have information you can share with us about it.
When I started this blog back in October of 2009, one of my first entries was about prunes and how they were thought to increase IGF-1, slow osteoclastic activity and boost alkaline phosphotase levels (important for bone formation.) Just 10 to 12 prunes a day, and after 6 months the participants had better bone density.
And there was much pooh-poohing in the land. “Not enough study participants; the study wasn’t long enough.”
According to ScienceDaily, it is now official that prunes definitely reduce fracture risk and improve bone density. From the article:
Arjmandi and a group of researchers from Florida State and Oklahoma State University tested two groups of postmenopausal women. Over a 12-month period, the first group, consisting of 55 women, was instructed to consume 100 grams of dried plums (about 10 prunes) each day, while the second — a comparative control group of 45 women — was told to consume 100 grams of dried apples. All of the study’s participants also received daily doses of calcium (500 milligrams) and vitamin D (400 international units).
The group that consumed dried plums had significantly higher bone mineral density in the ulna (one of two long bones in the forearm) and spine, in comparison with the group that ate dried apples. This, according to Arjmandi, was due in part to the ability of dried plums to suppress the rate of bone resorption, or the breakdown of bone, which tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as people age.
10 prunes a day. I’ve got to go back to doing that again. I stopped because my corner bodega stopped stocking them and I got tired of walking around to get them. Then I went back on them again. Then stopped again. I actually like prunes, so I don’t find it difficult to stomach them. Writing the grocery list right now: get more prunes.
OK! I have my test results!!! IMPROVEMENT!!! My spine was -3.0–it’s now -2.7, which is a 4.3% improvement. My hip was -1.8–it’s now —-1.6, which is a 2.5% improvement. This is in ONE YEAR! I have been taking Strontium Citrate for 10 or 11 months and Lactoferrin for 3 months! I am HAPPY! I’ve been also taking vitamin d3 4000 mg, fish oil, magnesium glycinate, potassium citrate and Lifeextension super k. Plus my 2 per day vitamins from LifeExtension. I’m hoping that at my next dexa that I will be under the -2.5% and I will have osteopenia.
Even though my Dr mailed me a prescription for HCTZ, she said that I don’t need to go on it since my bone density has improved. Even better! YAY!!!!
Congratulations, Spunky! I’m dancing in the streets in Upstate NY.
Great. Did I mention I have sleep apnea (or so I’ve been told by friends and loved ones who have heard me gasping for breath in my sleep?) It’s odd, because I am not in the least bit overweight (usually associated with sleep apnea). But I do have horrible allergies. Sigh. On a brighter note, they say that frequent interruptions in sleep don’t necessarily pose a risk for developing dementia (otherwise mothers’ of toddlers everywhere would have lost their short term memory long ago). They say it is the oxygen deprivation that seems to do the damage. You can read the full article here.
Do I go get one of these machines?