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Three Holiday Bone Building Tips

Everyone knows the holidays can be hard on your wallet and your waistline. Unfortunately that’s not where it ends. For many reasons, the festive season can be hard on your bones too.

Or to be more accurate, the Holidays can make your bones soft!

And I bet right now you’re thinking “Great – here comes another list of Holiday things I love to eat and do- that I shouldn’t eat or do.”

If you thought that, I’m happy to say you’d be wrong! I agree that so much is prohibitive these days, with ‘experts’ constantly telling you what not to do. But at AlgaeCal we rarely follow the herd, so please read on to learn…

3 Things You Should Do Over the Holidays To Build Your Bones

Eat What Surrounds the Turkey or Ham

It would be plain rude to turn down invites to festive dinners as a way to stay fit. Instead, fill your plate with the healthy bone building trimmings that surround the turkey. Keep on the lookout for the often ignored nutritional calcium-rich unsung heroes like Brussel sprouts, salads, mandarin oranges, brazil nuts, spinach, celery and broccoli.

Filling up on these nuts, fruits and veggies creates two positive outcomes: you nourish your body with the vitamins and minerals your bones and whole body needs to thrive.

Plus, if you become too full to eat dessert then you’ve done yourself a very big favor. Because sugar is a very effective foot soldier on behalf of bone loss!

Excessive sugar in the blood leads to inflammation, which promotes osteoclasts. (1) Osteoclasts only exist to break down your bones, so go easy on all those holiday sweet treats!

Drink Rum n’ Eggnog – But Hold the Rum!

Toast the Holiday season with family and friends with a calcium-rich, Shirley Temple eggnog. It packs more calcium than a glass of milk and tastes great too.

But as much as possible, refrain from adding the rum, as alcohol is one of the main culprits of weak bones.

As little as 2-3 ozs of spirits meddles with the stomach and pancreas and its ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D. And they increase parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, which also reduces the body’s calcium reserves. (2)

Too much “liquid courage” tends to produce less testosterone in men, a hormone that is needed for the production of osteoblasts (the cells that help bone formation).

And too much imbibing by women can produce irregular menstrual cycles, a factor that reduces estrogen levels, increasing osteoporosis risk.

Walk or Bus – Don’t Drive to the Store

Instead of automatically jumping in the car to do seasonal shopping, consider walking to and from the stores, or at least to the bus stop.

Walking is one of the crucial weight-bearing exercises necessary to help stave off osteoporosis.

Because when physically strained, the bones react by going into growth mode- in anticipation of more physical stress. This kind of internal intuition is another one of the incredible coping mechanisms of our bodies.

So unless you’re shopping for big ticket items, strap on a backpack, and fill it up with treasures just like one of Santa’s elves would. Your bones will respond to the challenge of the extra weight by building more bone.


  1. Eaton SB, Eaton SB 3rd. Paleolithic vs. modern diets–selected pathophysiological implications. Eur J Nutr. 2000 Apr;39(2):67-70. PMID: 10918987

Author: Monica Straith, BS

Monica is the PR and Outreach Manager and Fitness Lead at AlgaeCal. She’s an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist, and has a B.S. and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played varsity soccer for four years. Monica pulls from her experience in athletics and health to contribute to AlgaeCal and has also been featured on myfitnesspal blog, Prevention, and Huffington Post.