Peace, Love, Joy, pH ??
- Friday, 19 December 2008
The holidays are upon us, and that means it’s time to get festive, gather the family and be thankful for the year that was.
A warm buzz permeates this chilling season and we feel a collective glow and gratitude towards those around us like at no other time of the year. It truly is the time to express our positive thoughts of love, joy and peace.
For many of us, the holiday season offers us a brief respite from our scurried lives and a chance to take a step back from our regular routines and take stock of our lives.
Whatever will we do with all this free time? Relax? Hardly. So many of us spend this most sacred time running around like a herd of untamed animals; shopping, stressing, spending, not getting enough sleep, stressing, overeating and drinking more than usual.
Did I mention stressing?
The question is, how do we keep the holiday rigmarole in check? Chances are most of us have neither the time nor the money needed to just pack up and head for a balmy beach where the drinks come with tiny umbrellas.
Well, we can start by keeping our bodies alkaline, but don’t worry, it’s got nothing to do with batteries.
Many will remember the subject of pH balance from high school chemistry classes, but probably only in the context of acids, bases and those baking soda volcanoes. Still, a knowledge of pH balance is not only necessary for science fair projects but can help you maintain a healthy body.
This holiday season, let’s try and keep our bodies a little less acidic and a little more alkaline. The pH scale runs from 0 for things like battery acid to bases or more alkaline compounds, such as bleach or lye, which can have a rating of up to 14. Water is right in the middle of the scale with a pH level of 7.
Human blood must maintain a pH level of between 7.35 and 7.45 and the slightest deviation in these levels can lead to serious health conditions and even death.
When it comes to nutrition, foods are rated acidic or alkalinizing depending on the effect they have on the body. It is very important to have a balance of both acidic and alkaline foods in our diet.
Many scientists and nutritional experts including William Howard Hay -- originator of the Hay Diet in the 1930s -- believe that 80 per cent of our diet should consist of alkaline foods while the remaining 20 per cent should be acidic foods, after all, our blood is on the alkaline end of the spectrum.
The next question, of course, is: which foods are acidic and which are more alkaline?
It’s a little trickier than you may think. Acidic foods are the ones we tend to love the most: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, grains such as bread and pasta, sugars, most nuts, most seeds, most beans/legumes, pop, candy, drugs, alcohol and preservatives.
While there might not seem to be much left that isn’t acidic, somehow 80 per cent of our diet must come from what is left.
So what’s left? Fresh raw fruits, vegetables and sprouts.
Sprouting transforms dormant, acidifying grains, beans, nuts and seeds into alkalinizing foods which are alive and carry the life energy of a whole potential plant inside its compact little structure.
Just a quick glance at the list of acidic foods can give you an idea of just how easy it can be to mess with our blood’s proper pH levels.
Even if you are not a “raw foodist” or a vegetarian, it is fun to play with raw food recipes and to discover new ways of sneaking nature’s original foods back into our diet. We must slowly re-learn that these alkaline foods should be fundamental staples of our diet and that all of the other “goodies” -- hopefully organic, whole foods for the most part -- can be eaten, but in smaller doses.
Let’s get back to the matter at hand, the holidays. Tis the season for overindulgence and elevated stress levels, and this is a rough combination for our body’s pH.
An overly acidic body can play host to many chronic and acute diseases that thrive in this type of environment. An acidic body can lead to sleep problems, arthritis, cancer sores, chest pain, fatigue, constipation and cancer to name a just a few.
What’s worse is that acid levels can affect our mental state. So while we’re running around trying to make everyone happy over the holidays an acidic body can slow us down. Our body is always striving to keep us alive, that is its primary job. When we are too acidic our body will use the minerals in our bones, our nerve cells and our muscles to buffer or neutralize the acids and therefore keep our blood’s pH stable. Mineral loss can make us highly irritable, cause headaches, depression, fatigue and slow in our thinking processes.
This is not how we want to feel with our loved ones and when we are facing the inevitable mall frenzy!
Here are some handy pH strategies.
Keep ample supplies of fruits and veggies cut and on hand; in your glove compartment or purse while on the go or in the fridge when family heads over for the holidays. Eat as much as you would like -- the crunchy vegetables are great when stress hits -- so that you can enjoy some traditional and possibly very acidic favorites during festive gatherings.
You can also try keeping a mug of homemade soup broth close at hand. Whether it is veggie or meat-based, minerals do not get destroyed by heat and are leeched out of the soup bones and vegetables during cooking so the broth becomes a warm and comforting mineral drink.
Have a green smoothie an hour or so before you go out and you will be amazed at your decreased desire for high fat, high sugar and high refined carbohydrate-based foods.
Make raw desserts such as fruit and veggie platters. Start the holidays off by creating healthy options and kick off some new wholesome traditions.
If nothing else, take a good liquid trace mineral supplement and a green powder such as chlorella, spirulina, or blue-green algaes that have a remarkable calming effect and energize at the same time! Not to mention it will alkalinize you and sweep toxins right out of your body.
Apply these suggestions and desperate New Year’s resolutions can be a thing of the past.