What’s your pH? November 21 2014
I’ve always been a little bit fascinated with this ‘Alkaline’ eating movement. But if you have been living down a ditch for the last couple of years, then I’ll catch you up best I can.
It’s actually very simple; eat foods that digest in the body at as close to your blood’s optimal pH level of 7.3, simples? I know, I know when I first started reading about it I had these horrible flash backs of higher chemistry, wearing oversized plastic goggles, and ‘white’ overcoats that hadn’t seen a washing machine since the start of the school year; diligently dipping litmus paper into jars of rather watered down hydrochloric acid (pH of 0) which is super-duper acidic.
Nevertheless I remember also hearing that lemons were up there at around 2, along with household vinegar. So here’s a question, how come all these Alkaline foodies are going on about how great lemons are, surely now I know the truth, they will burn a hole in my stomach? I could have a law suit on my hands here… However, a little deeper investigation meant that my daily hot water and lemon habit could continue. When we DIGEST these substances they break down by various amazing little enzymes we carry in our bodies, until it is finally ready for absorption into the blood stream. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickled veg and other foods that taste tart on the tongue (and thus making you think they are acidic, break down to become alkaline and thus improve the digestive process, and there are millions of other delicious foods out there which help you to maintain an alkaline state.
Whereas some foods such as meat, dairy, processed foods and gluten, break down in the body and become acid forming. Many of these can be hard to grasp, because there are often foods that we have come to associate as helpful when ill, suffering from heartburn and some are even deemed very healthy! (milk, anyone?) The body does its best, and is very efficient at re calibrating your body’s PH when you have consumed some acidic foods. Nevertheless, if we bombard it with over processed foods, meat and dairy on a regular basis it puts extra strain on vital organs such as the liver and kidneys, as well as leaching minerals out of the bones.
This can result in fatigue, headaches, bad digestion, heartburn or other more serious conditions such as Crohn’s and chronic eczema.
If you do suffer from conditions aggravated by diet like the ones previously mentioned, it may be worth considering giving your body a rest from acid forming foods, and flooding it with alkaline foods and juices. I am not one to limit my research and stick to just one way of eating; I’m all for listening to what my body needs in the moment.One week I might be completely animal product free, the next I’ll have eggs for breakfast.
But one thing that I stick to is limiting (and hopefully one day eliminating) all processed foods.
These foods, in my opinion, make us sick and hopefully everyone is starting to realise it. I used to suffer from chronic heartburn, and from time to time it comes back to haunt me. I know it tends to happen when I am consuming more dairy, fish and eggs (i.e animal products) which has been my downfall recently. So true to form I have been doing that thing where I ‘listen to my body’ and I got back on the alkaline bandwagon! I was consuming 1-2 Of the Juice warrior ‘Alkaline cleanse’ juices per day. I didn’t feel like my body was ready for a full no-food juice cleanse just now, I have a job where I am active and on my feet all day, the last thing I wanted to do was keel over with hunger!
I started my day with a Chlorella Shot and a green juice like Goodness Gracious Green (Cucumber, Pear, Pak Choi, Spinach, Lemon) Bangarang! - (Cucumber, Kale, Pear, Lemon) Or Pearfect (Pear, Celery, Spinach, Lime) and a little snack later on. Lunch was normal food (Quinoa based salad, avocado and hummus on millet bread or buckwheat crackers etc.) then my afternoon pick me up would be the hardest of the juices to take- Essentials (Kale, Chard, Romaine, Parsley, Lemon) Not one for the sweet juice lover! Or my FAVOURITE which was Blood Pact (Beetroot, Carrot, Celery, Lemon, Ginger) I love anything with beets, ginger and celery - the ultimate juicing fruit and veg! I would have an easy plant based dinner as usual and I would then wind down my evening with a mug of herbal tea or some slightly warmed hemp seed mylk. (Hemp Seeds, Vanilla Pod, Barleygrass Powder, Dates, Pink Himalayan Salt, Filtered Water) You would think it would be hard to stomach, but I swear I love this mylk! I loved it so much that I used it in some Quinoa porridge on Saturday morning along side a green juice. Delicious!
I felt energised, I felt nourished, and I certainly did NOT feel deprived. Juicing doesn't need to be all about surviving solely on juice, because some of us just love to chew.