You might have been told by your Naturopath to avoid milk products, or you might have made the decision to ditch the dairy all on your own. Personally, I made the choice over a year ago when I found myself bloated, cramping after I had dairy products, and my skin no longer had that glow.
Being a woman in my forties, the need for calcium in my diet is strong. Girls and women, at every age, need calcium to keep bones strong, for muscle contraction (this includes your beating heart), and for nerve transmission.
The bad news is that many of us were brought up to believe the only way to get calcium was to drink a few glasses of milk a day. The good news is that we have choices, and there are several plant-based sources of calcium that are probably in your kitchen as we speak.
Let me share what this Holistic Nutritionist feeds her body, for her daily dose of calcium sources. Mooove over milk, I have 3 other choices for you.
Tofu (1 cup= 860mg calcium): Try spicing it up with some coconut aminos, turmeric, cayenne pepper and cumin. Let it marinate for a few minutes, then fry it in coconut oil. Let the edges get crispy and brown, then add it to your favorite salad.
Almond butter (2 Tbsp= 111mg calcium): I love using almond butter in bliss balls, granola bars, gluten-free baking and warmed up over fruit. The healthy fats and protein in almond butter help to slow the glucose release in fruit. Simply warm 2 Tablespoons in a saucepan, add some cinnamon and a pinch of cloves, and drizzle it over your fruit salad or apple slices.
White beans (1 cup= 190mg calcium): Aside from a good homemade chili, I use white beans in my garlic hummus. Rinse and drain 1 can of white beans and puree with olive oil, lemon, tahini (another great source of calcium), garlic, salt and pepper. Serve with veggie sticks or rice crackers on your next appetizer platter.
Sticking to what we are “told” to eat never really did work for me. I am all for choices and what feels right for my body. Don’t get me wrong, I eat the occasional piece of cheese pizza.
Life is all about balance, right?
Jen Casey is a Holistic Nutritionist with Next Bite Nutrition Coaching in Vancouver, BC. She focuses her practice on whole body wellness and building a solid foundation for the pillars of health. Learn more about Jen and her healthy recipes on Instagram.