Tag Archives: pH

GUEST BLOG – Alkaline Lifestyles by Julie of The Alkaline Sisters

I am a firm believer in eating an alkaline diet.  Fortunately eating a plant-based whole foods diet tends to be an alkalizing diet.  I know that this is a new concept for a lot of people, so I contacted my favorite alkaline blogging expert for a better explanation.  I am thrilled to introduce today’s Guest Blogger, Julie of the The Alkaline Sisters website.  Julie stumbled upon this way of life in an attempt to fix a back injury that despite her best efforts (chiro, physio, acupuncture, aqua therapy, osteopath, surgery, cortisone shots, on-line exercise programs and some serious medications for pain) would not get better.  Through the recommendation of a friend she went to a local alkaline lifestyle facilitator and her life was forever changed.  

I really enjoy all of the posts I receive from the Alkaline Sisters.  The posts are always packed with valuable information and Julie’s photography and styling is amazing!

I hope you take the time to read today’s post thoroughly…your body will thank you.

For more information please visit The Alkaline Sisters by clicking here.  

~Gretchen


You may wonder “what the hey” is an alkaline lifestyle? Maybe you ARE familiar with it but don’t know the specifics.  I call it a lifestyle cuz it’s NOT a diet, it’s a way of life.  Alkaline living is getting a lot of press lately and a Google search yields pages and pages of results.  But thinking back just a year or two, no one even knew “what the hey” I was talking about.  Now there’s alkaline water in grocery stores-amazing!  So it’s high time we spread the word about how to live this lifestyle and how to enjoy delicious food while you’re at it.

It’s pretty simple, really.  Essentially the goal is to bring your body’s pH –acid versus alkaline– into balance by consuming a higher volume of alkaline foods and fluids.  Ideally 70% to 80% of each daily meal should be alkaline foods combined with 2-4 liters of alkalizing water thru the day.  Super hydrating daily with water and adding powdered greens is very energizing and flushes unwanted toxins and is a super way to flush fat cells too.  The 70-80% portion for alkaline foods is basically vegetables, mostly raw-some warmed, either whole or juiced and low sugar fruits.  The 20%-30% acidic balance can be made up of cool or cooked foods such as whole grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, proteins-plant or animal-preferably organic turkey or chicken and the sweeter fruits in moderation. Some Alkavorians do consume a little tiny bit of dairy and eggs, many do not. The least processed food possible is key.  In a nut shell, one could easily transition to this lifestyle diet just by increasing their raw greens or gently warmed veggies to 70-80% on your plate at lunch and dinner and fresh veggie juice in the morning.

An Alkaline balanced body is healthy, vibrant, and energetic, free of sickness and disease. An Acidic body is one that is degenerating, breaking down, showing a myriad of symptoms of ill health from the simplest form being a cold or a rash all the way to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  We all know 1-5 people or more that are ill or dying of these or many other terrible diseases that can be solved with a change in their lifestyle and diet.  High levels of stress, negative thoughts, lack of exercise and poor shallow breathing (which most of us do all day long) all play a key role in this lifestyle and are acid forming.  Changing your diet will improve your pH and reduce your symptoms to a certain degree, but you must also manage and balance these other pieces of the puzzle to reach optimal health.  The most amazing thing about this alkaline lifestyle is that it is measurable because it IS a science.  If you have a live blood analysis done by a trained microscopist (where you can see your blood cells actively moving on screen) before you begin this lifestyle change, after as little as 30 days, you will see a change in your blood cells and the fluid that they live in.  It is utterly astonishing to see the yeast, parasites, (we all have them to some degree if you eat meat), stress indicators, pre-cancerous crystals, and many other unhealthy organisms floating around in your blood and how they change or disappear with only a diet adjustment and further more, with a healthy lifestyle.

I see the trend toward alkalizing growing in leaps and bounds because there is such a great awareness of how SAD the typical North American diet is.  Made up largely of meat, dairy, sugars, alcohol, saturated fats, highly processed foods and caffeine, we have become a very sick nation looking for quick cures from pills.  With the ever increasing rate of grim diagnosis’s of disease that we are surrounded by, I believe many of us are at a cross road.  Change your Diet …..or Die.The number of books being published on healthy eating is at an all time high and many of them are slamming the typical diets that many of us thought were “healthy”!  Instead of maintaining what we thought was a healthy body we have created a hostile acidic environment within our body that now needs correcting before we develop disease or before we die from one we’ve just been diagnosed with.  The beauty is that you CAN reverse the negative effects of an unhealthy diet if you sincerely have the will to do so.

There’s no doubt about it, change what you eat and the way you live to more alkaline choices and your symptoms will diminish and slowly disappear.  I am living proof and so are many others who have even reversed cancer and are living a vibrant life, well into their late nineties with very little degeneration.  It’s really been more than a 100 years that this model of healthy living has been buried due to the mainstream medical model that has been blind to it but finally….. the awareness of how to live a life of health and well being, free of disease, is surfacing.  I challenge you to try it for 30 days and see how much you like the gain of energy and the positive changes that happen.  A food chart to help guide you, showing the value of alkalinity or acidity, is right here.

Where to Start and What to Avoid
Identifying WHY you want to alkalize is a good place to begin.  What’s your motivation?  Is there a pain strong enough to make you stick with it?  How badly do you want to be healthy?  Are you choosing this or is someone else?  Are you craving energy and vibrancy?  Aren’t we all?  Then give it a go for 30 days and see how you feel, see if you are addicted to the feeling?  You might be pleasantly surprised and change your life forever!  I did!  Forever, no lie!

So a good way to begin is to decide- would I choose cold turkey or a slow go?  Cold turkey if you are not chronically ill can do wonders and work out the toxins fast which means you may feel lousy until they flush thru and then you’ll be ready to change the world.  A slow go means less pain but slower gain.  Either way, you will be WAY better off than not doing anything different at all.

I recommend reading a few books before or while you begin because knowledge is POWER.  It will inspire you to keep on trucking and you will develop a lifestyle habit that you will become addicted to.  For further reading I recommend picking up a soft cover copy for under $10 of the pH Miracle by Dr. Robert O. Young.  As a scientist with over 40 years of research, exploring and uncovering he shares the steps to gain control of your health again.  Another recently published book that I am devouring is Crazy, Sexy, Diet by Kris Carr who is a cancer survivor who alkalized to heal and has brought together a wealth of knowledge thru her own experience and that of many health experts that will inspire you to take the plunge.

The following is a list of things to begin eliminating or dump right off the bat.  After skimming the list it may seem to you like there’s nothing good left to bother eating but you’d be surprised.  If you haven’t looked at my recipe page then check it out cuz there’s some incredibly mouth watering ways to nourish your body that will leave you craving more and feeling more energetic after a meal than you ever have before.

Foods that Acidify:

  • Sugar
  • Dairy Products
  • Meat (aside from occasional coldwater fish)
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Wheat (aside from sprouts or wheatgrass)
  • Fruit (apart from those mentioned above)
  • Bad fats (saturated, transfatty acids, hydrogenated)
  • Junk/ Processed foods
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Peanuts and Cashews
  • Pasta and White Rice
  • Condiments
  • Fermented Foods

If you really want to kick it up a notch the best way to kick the acid is a juice feast where you nourish and flush the body at the same time in order to alkalize and regenerate healthy new cells.  It’s possible to put you one year ahead in the healing process by beginning with a juice feast cleanse.  For the full details and recipes on a great way to jump start your alkaline journey see this post here.

All living things exist because of a balanced pH level.  In nature some “plant varieties” thrive in an alkaline soil where as others prefer a slightly acidic soil.  When these conditions are not ideal symptoms begin to occur.  Most inexperienced gardeners would head to the garden center and purchase a product recommended to cure the ailing plant and spray it on the leaves and the plant would perk up but shortly there after it needs another application.  However a well seasoned gardener knows that an adjustment to the soil in which the plant grows is what will improve the health of the plant.

The Alkaline Sisters

Our bodies that are all identically designed to function as the “human variety” require the same pH balance and treatment.  The terrain in which our cells exist is the environment that must be pH balanced just as the roots of the plant growing in soil.  Our inner terrain is everything.  When it is out of kilter we are out of kilter.

If we can clean up our systems, pair it with a healthy outlook on life, manage our stress levels, and incorporate daily fitness we can experience optimal health and a life of longevity and vibrancy.  THIS is how we were meant to exist on this planet and we should settle for nothing less.

If you require an alkaline coach to make this shift possible, I get it.  If you are seriously ill it’s the best way back to health and I highly recommend you reach out for support and guidance on this journey.  It’s a life changing path and having a coach will bring greater success and a confidence that will drive you to become the healthy You that you deserve to be.

Please contact me (click here) for further info and references for Alkaline Coaching so I can guide you based on your needs and your geographic location. If you desire live blood analysis Google it for your area or contact me in case I can help you locate a qualified professional.

If you’ve made it to the bottom of my long winded message for alkalizing I congratulate your earnest desire to make a difference in your health!

A BIG Green Smoothie Cheer to YOU!

Julie

Images courtesy of AlkalineSisters.com

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Filed under Alkaline, Education, Guest Blog, pH, Vegan, Vegetarian

VEGAN DIETS AND OSTEOPOROSIS

A question I often hear from people curious about my plant based diet is, “How do you guard against osteoporosis without drinking milk?”

There is a widely unknown concept in our society called Acid / Alkaline balance that refers to the pH levels of our body’s tissues and fluids.  Our body wants to maintain a slightly alkaline state to support the fact that our blood NEEDS to maintain a pH of 7.35-7.45 (according to www.medicinenet.com ).  When our blood becomes too acidic, our body is forced to leach minerals from our bones such as calcium and magnesium to correct the unbalance.

Dairy is highly acidic as are all animal products and refined foods.  Ironically, when you consume dairy, despite the fact that it contains high levels of calcium, the resulting acidification of your blood results in a net loss of calcium as your body is compelled to buffer the acid by drawing the calcium out of your bones.

It is for these reasons that a plant-based diet is the best defense against osteoporosis.  Vegetables are highly alkaline foods.  Fortunately leafy green vegetables are the best sources of dietary calcium.  Luckily the calcium in vegetables is highly absorbable due to vegetable’s alkaline status.  When we consume vegetables our blood pH remains alkaline resulting in our body’s ability to fortify its calcium stores.

It is time we come back to the generation’s old wisdom, “EAT YOUR VEGGIES!”

For a list of calcium rich vegetables click here.

Top image courtesy of healthrecon.com

Bottom image courtesy of qubeewater.com

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Filed under Education, Osteoporosis, pH

PROTEIN: Quality, Not Quantity Is Paramount

People are always so curious about where I get my protein.  There is a misconception that plant based diets are deificient in protein.  I stumbled upon the post below and thought you might like to read Brendan Brazier’s take on protein.  This post is from Crazy Sexy Life By Brendan Brazier on March 5, 2009.  To read the post directly on the Craze Sexy Life website click here.

Brendan Brazier - photo from Crazy Sexy Life

Brendan Brazier - photo from Crazy Sexy Life

Brendan Brazier: Professional Ironman triathlete, two-time Canadian 50km ultra marathon champion , bestselling author on plant-based performance nutrition, and formulator of Vega whole food nutritional products. www.brendanbrazier.com

Properly balanced plant-based protein can offer several advantages over more traditional animal-based options. I discovered this along the way when I was searching for a performance advantage. At the age of 15 I made the concerted decision that I wanted to race Ironman triathlons professionally. Aware that staking the odds of making this happen in my favor would rely heavily upon a sound nutritional strategy, I began to search for one. Going somewhat against the grain, I decided to experiment with a plant-based diet. As you might imagine, criticism flowed: where would I get my protein? Until it worked. I raced Ironman triathlons professionally for seven years, all on a plant-based diet. I honestly believe that the detail I applied to my nutrition program was a large reason for me even having a Pro Ironman career at all. The following is what I learned about protein and how you can apply it to boost your overall performance, improve muscle tone and increase your energy level.

It was once thought that only animal protein was complete and therefore a superior source to plant-based options. Complete protein is comprised of all ten essential amino acids. By definition, essential amino acids cannot be made by the body; they must be obtained through dietary sources. And, in fact, there are actually several complete plant protein sources. However, to obtain all amino acids in high quantities, it’s advantageous to consume several complementary sources of protein on a regular basis. For example, hemp, yellow pea and brown rice protein make up a superior amino acid profile that rivals any created in the animal kingdom.

Additionally, one of the big advantages of properly balance whole food, plant-based protein over animal protein is its only slightly acidic or neutral pH. In contrast, highly processed foods are acid forming, and even more so are animal based foods. Whey protein isolate, for example, is highly acid forming. Whey, strait from the cow, would be numeral and even slightly alkaline, but once the protein gets isolated (therefore rendering it no longer a whole food) and it is then pasteurized, these two steps of processing lower its pH, making it considerably more acid-forming. Meat, pork in particular, is also highly acid forming. Acid forming foods include all those that are cooked at a high temperature or highly processed. Among the most acid forming are meat, coffee, pasteurized milk and cheese, prescription drugs, margarine, artificial sweeteners, soft drinks and roast nuts as well as all refined flour-based foods. Refined flour-based foods include: most commercial breakfast cereal, white pasta, white bread, conventional baked goods.

As a basic rule, the more that has been done to the food, the more acid forming it will be. The less that has been done to alter its original state, the more alkaline forming it will be.

It’s advantageous to maintain a neutral pH. Eating too many acid forming foods will promote inflammation, reduce immune function and cause highly-alkaline calcium to be pulled from the bones to keep the blood in its neutral state of 7.35. This of course leads to lower bone density and in many cases, osteoporosis. In fact, the over consumption of highly refined foods is the reason that we as North Americans are contracting osteoporosis at a younger age than ever before in history.

The most alkaline forming foods are those with chlorophyll, the green pigment in many plants. Leafy greens for example. Hemp is an excellent example in that is contains complete protein, yet the fact that it is not isolated and that it contains chlorophyll helps maintain a more alkaline pH.

A large salad is also a good high-quality protein option. I realize that when many people think salad, protein is not usually what comes to mind. Although, dark types of lettuce are up to 40% protein and spinach registers at about 45% protein. Since leafy greens are light, of course, this doesn’t add up to astonishingly high numbers in term of grams of protein. However, since protein in leafy greens is already in amino acid form, the kind usable by the body, it doesn’t have to be converted; therefore it saves the consumer energy. The body can’t use protein as is, it must convert it to amino acids first. Therefore in my book Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life, I classify foods with this quality as “one-step nutrition” foods. They offer a significant advantage. Since the step of converting protein to amino acids is eliminated, the body will conserve energy through the assimilation process. And, because of this energy savings, you will have a greater amount. If you don’t spend it, you still have it; that’s the premise of another one of the core principals in Thrive called “energy through conservation as opposed to consumption.”

If a large enough salad is eaten, taking into consideration its “one-step nutrition” quality and therefore its ability to provide more energy than foods that don’t assimilate as efficiently, a substantial amount of usable protein will be ingested.

“Pseudo grain” is the term given to what is technically a seed, yet commonly referred to as a grain. Examples include: amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa and wild rice. Since they are all in fact seeds, their nutritional profile closely reflects that. They are gluten free, and higher in protein than grains. They can also be easily sprouted. The sprouting process converts the protein in pseudo grains into amino acids, putting them in the one-step nutrition category, thereby significantly improving their digestibility. Additionally, sprouting raises their pH making them an alkaline-forming food. And with greater than 20 percent protein in amino acid form and superior digestibility, pseudo grains are a sound protein source. Adding half a cup of sprouted buckwheat to a large salad will certainly yield a high-quality protein meal.

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