16 April 2008

May is Osteoporosis Month & an Award

Artichoke and Tuna Panini with Garbanzo Bean Spread
It is officially Spring here in the valley!!! Let's raise the roof!!!Once the forsythia bloom then it is a done deal. Next will come the flowering almonds and the magnolias then it's... here comes summer!!!

Over the long Canadian winter, especially for a hiker and polewalker it is easy to become sedentary during the cold months. With the warmer weather and the sunshine I find myself more inclined to hit the trails with my poles. Walking or some form of exercise is essential for healthy bones as well as muscles. The way we live our lives can have a major impact on the health of our bones. It's worth remembering that bones are alive and constantly changing. Old, worn out bone is replaced with new bone in a process called 'bone turnover'. A child's whole skeleton is replaced within about two years. In adults this process takes longer - about seven to 10 years. So...we need to give our bones a helping hand. We think our skeleton will provide a solid framework for life but it needs tender loving care just like our skin, hair or heart!

Susan of Food Blogga is holding a Beautiful Bones event in support of osteoporosis. Like many women she has osteoporosis. Check out her site for all the calcium rich foods needed in your every day diet. May is National Osteoporosis Month and she has decided to host a food blogging event to alert women of the potential risks of osteoporosis and encourage them to take steps to protect their bones at every age. Elderly men can also have osteoporosis so they need to be aware as well. For information about prevention and support check out the National Osteoporosis website. It also has a list of calcium rich foods.

It's important to tuck into bone friendly foods to provide the proper nourishment our skeleton needs. The body contains 1kg of calcium, 99 percent of which is stored in our bones. It is important we eat plenty of calcium. Vitamin D is also essential to help our cells absorb the calcium!!!!

It's a good idea to avoid:

Too much protein - particularly animal protein such as meat and cheese. Excessive amounts of protein may upset the acid balance within the body which then takes calcium from the bones to neutralise it. Too many grain foods like cereal and bread may have the same effect, although how significant this is is unclear. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables should keep your body's acid balance stable.

Lots of salt - high levels of sodium can increase the amount of calcium the body gets rid of through urine. Watch out for 'hidden' levels of salt in processed foods .

Drinking lots of fizzy drinks - phosphate, in the form of phosphoric acid, is used to improve the flavour in a lot of fizzy drinks and too much can cause the body to use calcium to balance levels. While there is no hard scientific evidence about its effect on bone health it may be a good idea to only drink these in moderation, particularly for children who are still growing.

Drinking too much caffeine - again, a high consumption of caffeine could affect the balance of calcium in the body. Try adding milk to your coffee to counteract this effect or try to limit your intake to one or two cups a day.

Letting your weight drop too low - being overweight is not good for general health but being underweight increases the risk of broken bones when you fall. In younger women severe weight loss may stop menstrual periods because hormone levels drop which can also increase your risk of breaking a bone.

I applaud Susan for bringing osteoporosis to our attention. It is important to get the word out for both men and women. Elderly men are also at risk of developing osteoporosis, of course they are not as high risk as women, but it is important to know for themselves as well as for their wives and daughters. To promote a healthier lifestyle at any time is important!!

This is one of my new favourite sandwiches. Clean, fresh hearty flavours make this a winner for me. This time around instead of arugula I added baby romaine and pea shoots. This is a nice light sandwich. I also had this same filling and garbanzo spread in a whole wheat wrap the following day...excellente!!! It is rich in calcium as well with both the artichokes and tuna...perfect for this event!!!

**Artichoke and Tuna Panini with Garbanzo Bean Spread**
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Garbanzo Bean Spread:

1 (398 mL)(15 1/2-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh mint
2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Tuna Mixture:

1 cup pitted black olives, finely chopped
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (5 1/2-ounce) cans Italian tuna in olive oil, drained
1 (13 3/4-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
8 mini baguettes, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 green onion, chopped
2 cups arugula

To make the Garbanzo Bean Spread: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

To make the Panini: Combine the black olives, olive oil, salt, pepper, tuna, onion and artichokes in a bowl. Lay out the sliced baguettes. Spread the Garbanzo Bean Spread on both halves of the baguettes. Spoon the tuna mixture over the bean spread. Top with the arugula and close the sandwich. Wrap 1 end of the sandwich in parchment paper to make it easier to eat. Place the sandwiches on a platter and serve.

Serves 8

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
Best Blogger Tips


  1. Val, thanks for the 411 on eating healthier...you show know working for a Doc or two!

    I will try this sammy out...tund and artichokes sound like a delight.

    PS. where's the pic of you wearing the winning apron? ;)

  2. It's a real sandwich! And it's good for you :D

    Thanks for an interesting post Val :)

  3. Thanks for writing this post and including so much useful information. I appreciate the tips for "things to avoid," as you tend to hear that type of information (on newscasts and in print and such,) then forget most of what you learned, so it's good to be reminded!

    I also enjoy many of Giada's recipes and this sandwich sounds ideal for spring and summer-light, fresh and tasty. I recently featured a recipe for an egg & artichoke casserole on my own blog, so artichokes have been in the forefront of my thoughts as of late. Finding this recipe gives me another way to incorporate more of this vegetable into our diet without getting stuck making the same dishes over and over.

  4. Val, this is a very informative post and the cause is very noble. That panini is perfect for the event. I am hungry now :)

  5. What a yummy looking sandwich! I've been drinking milk like a crazy woman trying to get my leg bones to heal. Good thing I like milk, but it's nice that there's an event all about bone health too!

  6. Thank you Valli for the wonderful information for all of us who are "getting up there" in the age department! I love tuna and usually try to find some way new to have it every week. I will be trying this one for sure. Great lunch idea!

  7. What a great event - and a great panini!

  8. This is one of the best events I have seen during the past eight months of blogging. We must all support this so that more women (and not only the senior citizens) may be aware of what to expect if they do not not have a good diet and exercise.

  9. Excellent post and lovely sandwich. Thank you for the reminders!

  10. A very informative and educational post. And what a great sandwich in honour of this great event. Well done.

  11. wow...I am drooling over that. YUM Valli.

  12. Very informative post, Val. The sandwich looks terrific! Perfect for the coming warm weather! I always prefer tuna in olive oil. Even though it is is more caloric, it tastes sooo much better.

  13. Now that's a sandwich! You could charge $8.95 for that in a bistro.

  14. Great post Val and wonderful food too! Love artichokes :)

  15. Do you hear that rumbling? It's my stomach. Your panini looks incredible, Valli! :) What a great and informative post...thanks for the helpful tips and information! :)

  16. Great info! I totally echo Ivy's comments!

    About the panini - I'm making them tomorrow evening for CFY - but I am not entirely sure what I'm doing for fillings (they have to be vegetarian). If you see this before tomorrow morning and have some ideas,(or anyone else reading this) I would love you to email me a few! grumpyshoneybunch at yahoo. Thanks Val!

  17. Hola Val! YOu are so well documented!!! Nice to have it all there in one post! So instructive :D I'm up for healthy and full of calcium meals too! Taking part in the event... see you there, darling :D

  18. Superb sandwich Val, really good and a top post


  19. This is a great post and it reminds me of how much more consious I should be of the health impacts of my cooking (aside from the obvious stuff like fat and sugar content).

    And that sandwich looks excellent--wish I had *that* for lunch today instead!

  20. Great info, Val. One of the hazards we all face..or, at least most of us, eventually. I try to keep up on the exercise but life does have a way of interfering. But, that sandwich... I love having all of my favorite foods in one place at the same time... Makes it all so simple!

  21. This is an outstanding post, Val. You provide so much important information, especially the part about what to avoid. My heartfelt thanks to you for promoting my event. It was awfully kind of you. All the best, Susan

  22. Great healthy eating tips! That tuna sandwich sounds good. I like the idea of using a bean spread in a sandwich!

  23. That's for taking about the event. I'm heading to her blog right now. That sandwich looks yummy.

  24. Geat tips Val! Tuna with artichokes is right up my alley!

  25. Hi Val what an interesting post! Your sandwich looks so delicious!!

    Rosie x

  26. AnonymousMay 07, 2008

    I really like this recipe. I tried it last night and my eight year old enjoyed it too. Lately, I have gone the opposite route. Instead of getting a food and finding out what minerals and vitamins are in it that might work for me I am finding out which Vitamins and Minerals I need and preparing the best foods that provide the maximum nutrients I need! I feel great!


Welcome to my home. Thank you for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your support, comments, suggestions, and daily encouragement.


This blog uses comment moderation therefore SPAMMERS, SELF-PROMOTERS and ADVERTISERS will be deleted.