Dear me...

“If I knew that cutting out food groups would put my future bone health at risk I would have paid more attention to what I ate. Calcium and vitamin D are so important – make sure you get plenty in your diet now - before it’s too late”

a message to my younger self.

You’re here because you want to start the conversation with your family about their bone health. You’ll find lots of great information and ideas on keeping bones healthy along with hints and tips to get your family talking.

Nutrition

A healthy balanced diet is vital for good bone health. Explore and share tried-and-tested family recipe ideas.

Exercise

Weight-bearing exercise is essential for healthy bones. Walk with your family this Summer for good bone health.

Your message...

Read and share your messages with a younger generation on the importance of keeping bones healthy.

Nutrition

There’s no better place for a family chat than over a delicious meal

It’s so important to build good bone strength in early adulthood. You can find out why here, along with some inspiration for balanced, healthy and bone friendly recipes that you can serve up for yourself and your family.

Unlock recipes and bone health tips

Want more recipes, tips on how to talk to your family and more about good nutrition and healthy exercise?

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Submit a recipe

Do you have a favourite family recipe that you’d love to share with others? Click below to use our simple form.

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Exercise

Have a walk with your family and friends – it’s brilliant exercise for all ages and a great opportunity to talk.

We all know walking is great for our bones and better still, it gives us all the opportunity to have a chat, especially if we’re walking with younger relatives. This Summer we want to help you to take healthy exercise with your family.

Take on a walking challenge

If you or your family would like to join in something to stretch yourselves, you could take part in our 206 Challenge and walk 206 miles in 2017 – one mile for every bone in the body.

How you meet the 206 target is up to you. Find out more…

Your Message

Tell us what you would say if you could pass a message on to your younger self about keeping bones healthy.

It’s so important to build good bone strength in early adulthood. By the time we get into our thirties the opportunity may have passed. Share the message you would give to your younger self with the next generation – and help start conversations about bone health.

Submit A Message

Your inspirational messages will be shared here from May 2017…   

It was when my dad had his first heart attack. I was 15, and suddenly my secure world seemed precarious. I became withdrawn, made less contact with friends, and slowly but surely became convinced that I had to control the food I ate - everything else seemed to be careening out of control. I discovered an iron will I never knew I had - what a shame I did not use it for a positive purpose. I went from 9 stone to 6. My periods stopped. I was anorexic for just over a year but the effects were huge. I went through an early menopause at 23, and have osteoporosis. Now I'm 51 and wish I had had someone who understood anorexia to talk with back then - my parents loved me and helped me every way they could, but there was no professional help to avail of (just horror stories about hospitalisation). I cured myself but carried the anorexic mindset with me for years. I wish I could tell my younger self the damage not eating can do. If telling my story will stop one other girl from falling down the dark hole of anorexia, I'll shout it from the highest rooftop. Life is too precious for the negative horror of anorexia.

Gillian Martin, County Down

“Dear Liz, Things are so simple for you growing up now. It’s going to be much harder for the next generation with the pressure they will face from social media. You are lucky, you have a cook-from-scratch diet of home cooking that features all the food groups, which will serve you well in the years to come and ensure you build healthy bones. Fast-food and things out of packets have yet to appear on your kitchen shelves – aside from Angel Delight (which I suggest you don’t get a taste for!). I know you love to dance – this is great! It’s a weight-bearing exercise that’s the other essential component in building strong bones. Your walk to school and college is also good for your bones too – and why not try a bit of running? You don’t fancy the idea now I know, but if you try it, you may well find you do actually like it after all (instead of discovering it in your fifties). Regarding eating well and taking exercise, my message to your bones is please don’t put it off! Leaving it late increases your risk of developing osteoporosis in later life – by the time you’re in your late twenties it will be too late to store any more calcium and build bone density. You will care about this when you’re older. Getting a little bit of sunshine is also important! You’ll grow up to be part of the beauty world that shuns the sun, but don’t lose sight of the fact that just ten or twenty minutes a day during the spring and summer months will help your body to produce vitamin D, an essential for healthy bones. Remember to take a note of those favourite family recipes we have – they’ll come in handy for your future work. Cooking and eating together is such a good and social way for families to build healthy habits – and you’ll want to pass that love of healthy food and wellbeing on to your own children too. And it will be even more important for your children than it is for you, as they face the pressure to match what their idols on Instagram are eating. This thing called ‘social media’ will cause a lot of confusion over what is ‘healthy’ and the next generation will need to get their understanding of the best nutrition from the wise who deliver good information and not just a pretty image on the screen.”

Liz Earle

"My message to my younger self would be to have confidence in myself and not allow others to dictate what you should do. If you want to go down a road that may be different to the one your peers are travelling, don’t be scared or intimidated into not taking that path. This may be something as simple as wanting to play football or cricket as a girl, or as important as not to smoke or take drugs just because everyone else is. I wanted to be an actor and it was quite hard when I was a teenager to stick to my guns and try and do something which was quite out of the ordinary then. I wanted to do it so much that I dredged up the confidence from somewhere, even though I was quite shy and a bit too eager to please. Unfortunately there were a few other areas in which I wasn’t so single-minded! I definitely wish I’d never taken up smoking - I had to force myself to start, even though I initially hated it, largely because all my friends smoked. It took years to break the habit."

Trudie Goodwin

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