Raw//Live//Local

Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds.


2 Comments

The Importance of Having an Alkaline System and Three Ways to Improve Your Own

— Olivia Janisch

Image

You may have heard the words ‘alkaline’ and ‘acidic’ used together lately and wondered what on Earth it’s got to do with you, and why these are the new buzz words in nutrition. I’d like to briefly explain what they mean and why a proper understanding of these terms is vital to your overall health, energy levels and quality of life.

Just as we have a normal temperature of 98.6 degrees F, there are other measures of homeostasis within our systems. One of the biggest measures is that of our pH level, which is the balance between alkaline and acid. Ideally, we want our pH of all bodily fluids to be 7.4, which is slightly alkaline.

By having this slightly alkaline balance within our bodies we’re able to fight off illnesses more efficiently, have higher energy levels, reduce inflammation that leads to ailments from headaches to heart disease, and create an internal environment that is easy to maintain and supports our everyday lives in a healthy and non-intrusive way.

Unfortunately, the typical American diet is extremely high in acid forming foods that cause our bodies to use excessive energy desperately trying to return to an alkaline state, and to call on stored reserves of alkaline minerals.

Not all acid forming foods are unhealthy (ie organic meat and eggs, organic unrefined oils), and you want to have a balance of 20% healthy acid forming foods and 80% alkaline forming foods for every meal. The problems arise when there is a stark imbalance in one’s diet. This imbalance occurs with over-consumption of processed foods like sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed and antibiotic-laden meats, soft drinks, dairy, tofu, refined grains and alcohol.

Common discomforts like fatigue, headaches, bloating, and poor sleep- things many people deem to be a normal part of life- can be resolved by eating more alkaline forming foods and reducing acid forming foods. While cutting out processed and excessively acidic foods is the best thing you can do, here are three small steps that will make a noticeable difference.

1. Drink hot water with organic lemon in the mornings on an empty stomach

I know what you’re thinking: aren’t lemons acidic? Lemons on their own are acidic, however in our systems they are very alkaline. After a long night’s sleep it’s important to first hydrate in the mornings. Hydrating this way cleanses your body from the day before – hot water and lemon help to detoxify your system – and activates your metabolism. It also boosts your immune system and helps with weight loss (If you’d like more info, check out this article http://ow.ly/ccyea). There’s literally no reason not to start your day off like this.

2. Eat celery before, during, and/or after meals

Celery is extremely alkaline and contains a balanced content of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. It helps to neutralize acid that is created by things like meat, breads and sugars, and has high water content good for hydration. You can add it to salads, soups, or sandwiches, or eat it on it’s own with almond butter or hummus. It aids in digestion and is a great source of vitamin C, reducing inflammation and discomfort after a meal.

3. Pair your foods properly

This one is probably the hardest as many common recipes combine foods that actually require different enzymes to be digested properly. When food isn’t digested properly it gets stuck in the digestive tract and putrefies, causing a toxic and acidic environment. Here is a basic breakdown of what foods do and don’t go together:

Proteins + Starches = do not mix

Proteins + vegetables = mix

Starches + vegetables = mix

Different starches = mix

Different proteins = do not mix

Fats + protein = do not mix well, pair moderately

Fats + starches = do mix

Fruits = ALWAYS eaten on an empty stomach

Fruit + raw greens = mix

For a more in depth explanation on food pairing, here is a great article: http://ow.ly/cb6B6

Combining your food the right way will reduce bloating and gas after meals, help control or more likely reduce your weight, and will increase your energy levels.

To give you an idea of a balanced day, here is a little menu.

Breakfast:

Hot water with lemon (on empty stomach)

(20%) Scrambled organic eggs (1-2)

(80%) Sautéed onions and greens, sliced avocado

Lunch

(20%) Quinoa (1/4 cup)

(80%) Sautéed carrots, peas, asparagus

Lentil soup

Dinner

(20%) Grilled salmon

(80%) Green beans with garlic

Leaks and yellow squash sautéed with oregano

When making diet changes, always remember to be gentle on yourself. If you try and change every meal or several habits at once, chances are you’ll get burned out and frustrated. Small steps are easy to incorporate into your daily routine and don’t take a toll on your lifestyle so that your good intentions are able to have long-lasting, sustainable effects. Good luck and let us know what works for you!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Food Combining

Image

Have you ever eaten a really healthy meal like wild rice, fresh wild caught fish, and a big salad but then felt groggy and tired afterwards? Why are you feeling sleepy and slow after eating a meal that should give you energy? Probably because you are combing the wrong types of food!  Kimberly Snyder, clinical nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution introduced me to the theory of food combining.

Our bodies digest enzymatically, means different enzymes are used to breakdown the different types of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Unfortunately, we don’t have one universal enzyme that can digest everything. Since it takes so much energy to digest our food, food combining helps take the burden off of our bodies and allows that energy to be used elsewhere like burning fat or detoxing heavy metals. If you don’t properly combine your food, it will get stuck in your digestive tract and the undigested food stays there and putrefies, creating a toxic environment that makes your blood more acidic and allows yeast, viruses, cancer cells and parasites to grow inside you. In short, it makes you more prone to illness. Proper food combining is a system of eating foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy. It is the easiest most non-restrictive way to get rid of bloating, drop some pounds, and allow your skin to glow!

 Here is how is how it works:

 Proteins + Starches = do not mix

Proteins + vegetables = mix

Starches + vegetables = mix

Different starches = mix

Different proteins = do not mix

Fats + protein = do not mix well, pair moderately

Fats + starches = do mix

Fruits = ALWAYS eaten on an empty stomach

Fruit + raw greens = mix

Bagels and cream cheese, egg sandwiches, sushi rolls, meat and potatoes are all bad food combinations! In the stomach, protein requires an acidic environment in order to break down, whereas a starch requires an alkaline environment. When an acid and an alkaline are put together they neutralize each other.  Since these enzymes neutralize each other, the food is not breaking down naturally but your body continues to try to break it down with more enzymes and this cycle results in exhaustion. All of your energy is going to this process and it’s not making any headway. Other side effects can include gassiness, bloating, or heartburn. Now this food is passing through your digestive system very slowly, and since our bodies are a warm 98.6 degrees, this allows the food to literally rot. Improperly digested foods have no nutritional value which means all that work was for absolutely nothing!

Vegetables are very easy for our body to digest and are great to pair with protein. Fruit is the quickest for our bodies to digest so should be eaten first, on an empty stomach.  It passes through our digestive tract in about 20 minutes. That means if you eat fruit after eating say, scrambled eggs, it is going to get stuck behind food that is going to take a lot longer to digest. This gives the fruit time to rot and putrefy.

 A simple way to think of it is eating light to heavy. This is the order of fastest digesting foods to slowest:

 Fruit

Greens

Non-Starchy vegetables

Starches

Protein

So start with your salad, then eat your rice, and finish with your grilled fish. This will give your optimal results and not create any digestive issues or drain your energy. Remember, this doesn’t mean you can’t have something, it just means you need to change the order in which you eat it. Obviously, we can’t be perfect and eat this way all the time. Don’t stress yourself out but give it a go and see how you feel. I promise that it works!