“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This tenet attributed to Hippocrates, the father of medicine as a rational science, couldn’t be more true. Today, there are so many diets, so many varying notions about food, but how to eat healthily has always been a big question mark. We are truly in the middle of a food crisis, and by that I do not mean shortage of food (in some areas of the world that tragically is the case), but, I’m talking about what people are choosing to eat when their choices are unlimited. According to Samuel Hahnemann, in the Organon of Medicine, “…if the physician, in each case, knows the obstacles to cure and how to remove them, so that recovery is permanent, then he knows how to treat thoroughly and efficaciously, and is a true physician.” Poor nutrition and toxicity, in other words the diet on a daily basis, can be a very significant obstacle in the healing journey that one must consider. The answer is straight and simple. Eat an alkalizing diet. Eat a diet that daily cleans the body of its acidic waste products. The less the acidosis accumulated in the body, the less chance it has of being afflicted by disease. Disease thrives off things like mucus and acid. No, that does not mean that you should use pH strips to test your urine or blood to find out how acidic or alkaline you are. It’s ALL IN THE SYMPTOMS, not in the tests or even the diagnoses. The symptoms don’t lie.
“Life is a tragedy of Nutrition” ~Arnold Ehret
What does an alkalizing diet look like?
Plenty of organically produced fresh fruits and vegetables. Some good fats. Minimal proteins, minimal grains. No dairy. No sugar. No processed foods.
Let me break each of them down for you further. Has anyone ever told you to eat your fruits and vegetables? Most of us have heard this advice at least once before, and know that including more fresh produce is important for our health. But no one knows just how important fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens really are because medical and food science and research have only discovered less than 1% of the miraculous and plentiful healing properties of these foods. Simply put these are life-changing foods. The plant kingdom is at the bottom of the food chain, they are the producers, and they produce food naturally for the rest of us consumers. Without man-made chemical interventions, and with the proper soil composition, rain and sunlight, plants are able to produce nutrient-rich foods appropriate to the environment they grow in, keeping on par with the constantly mutating microbial kingdom. Plants are clever. There’s a whole conversation going on out there in nature that we’re not privy to. Eating these nutrient-dense foods from the plant kingdom (original food source) can help heal you from any chronic illness, as there is no substitute for the innate ability of fresh fruits and vegetables to nourish, clean and naturally drain your lymphatic system to prevent acid wastes from building up in your body. Furthermore, these are the perfect prebiotics for your microbiome to feed on and flourish. Animal proteins do not provide that. Below is a simple guideline for planning meals to incorporate these fruits and vegetables. They say BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day. No kidding, but, what I propose below is a far cry from what you have probably heard so far in the dietary and nutrition world.
A simple and effective diet consists of nutrient-dense, unprocessed, organic real foods, and restores two critical and natural functions of the body
○ The ability to clean itself thoroughly each day
○ The ability to self heal from injuries, imbalances, and inherent weakness(es)
Breaking the Fast with FRUIT
First step to restore your body’s ability to clean and heal is to implement the practice of “breaking your fast” with a cleansing meal of fresh raw fruit(s) each and every morning. The amount needed to accomplish the goals for optimizing elimination will vary for different people depending on body types and constitutions, but, for the most part eat fruits in the morning until mid-day, or as much as you can into the day. (Note that I mentioned FRUITS only, no seeds or nuts, or nut milks or yogurt or protein powders, or grains, or anything else with the fruit meal.)
WHY FRUITS? Because after a good night’s rest during which the cells and organs of the body (specifically the gallbladder, liver, lung, and large intestine) has had an opportunity to clean, it’s the lymphatic system’s job to carry the waste out to the primary elimination organs to facilitate their exit from the body. How we break this fast will determine our body’s ability to kick start the elimination process and function throughout the day. Fruits are the perfect foods to help with this cleaning process in the morning, as they pass through the digestive system quickly without the body needing to expend considerable energy. Some might think that coffee or a bowl of muesli is what helps them “dump”, but, coffee just adds to the acidic load in the system. If you have to have tea or coffee in the morning, have it AFTER your fruit breakfast. You may even be surprised to find that you don’t need that early drink of coffee to wake you up, as the fruit jump starts the alkalizing effect in the body and gives you a vitamin boost with the energy that you need. The goal of the muesli is to add fiber to the diet to help you “go”, however it does not have the lymphatic cleansing effect that fruit has, and fruit has plenty of natural fiber of its own.
The best fruits to break your fast with are the following – Apples, Berries, Citrus, Melons*, Mangoes, Grapes, and Pears. (*If melon is your choice, do not combine with other fruits.) In general, mono fruit meals are ideal as they digest the most quickly. Followed by more of the same or any other fruit that you can think of, for as long as your body likes it. INITIALLY, YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL HUNGRY QUICKLY WHEN YOU EAT LIKE THIS OR THINK THAT IT IS NOT GOING TO SUSTAIN YOU, before your system gets used to the new way of eating. Unlike the heavy protein or grains breakfast that sits in your stomach like sludge for hours, that also slows down your mental faculties as you down coffee after coffee in an effort to stay sharp at the workplace or whatever that is you are trying to accomplish. When you keep up with eating fruit, you might notice how clear-headed you feel, and how light you feel, even if you are feeling hungry which you can easily satisfy just by eating more fruit, or drinking green juices. Bottom line, you can not eat too much fruit. Even for those with diabetes. I know that this information is contrary to many mainstream as well as alternative dietary recommendations out there, and it may come as a surprise to you. But, I am yet to find a chronic illness that does not benefit from the fruit only for breakfast directive. If you are having trouble with it, then it is NOT the fruit that is the problem, but very likely that the acidosis in your body is high. In that case, start with cucumber, celery, leafy greens, or a green juice. Some tweaking and additional organ support WILL be needed whilst working towards the goal of incorporating fruits in the morning to break your fast. The ultimate goal is to have the right foods accomplish the job of cleaning your body efficiently DAILY. Fruits, berries, and melons are that food group, no other. With continued cleaning and drainage of the lymphatic system through open primary elimination channels achieved with the help of diet and valuable support from Gemmotherapy and Homeopathy, acidosis reduces over time thereby resolving symptoms from the inside out. No suppression, no masking, no supplements, no temporary relief mechanisms, and no intense-detox regimens. (By the way, vitamins and supplements are not by any means a substitute for poor nutrition or mal-absorption issues, they will help initially and can be useful as a temporary relief mechanism, but, they take away gland function and you end up worse than when you started!)
Lunch and Dinner
Follow the above breakfast routine with more fruit for lunch, or a lunch of salad greens, or cooked vegetables, or both (raw first then cooked), including good fats derived from plants, such as coconuts, avocados, nuts. Or if you’d like to add some animal protein, make it less than 20% of your meal.
Afternoon snacks are a perfect time to add in the seeds, nuts, dried fruits like dates, apricots and figs. There are some great recipes on the internet for making energy balls/bites, gluten-free crackers, etc. that can be prepared ahead of time during the weekend to serve for the whole week. Below is a list of snack ideas for adrenal fatigue or in general. I am not a fan of packaged foods in general but if you do choose packaged snacks, please choose ones with the fewest ingredients. I suggest keeping it as simple and as unprocessed as possible.
Dinner can be salad greens, followed by cooked vegetables, grains, and animal or plant protein if preferable, again limit the grains and protein to 20% of the entire meal.
Do not combine raw with cooked vegetables, IF YOU HAVE A SENSITIVE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM. Try not to combine proteins with starches either! It is quite common to find recipes in the current domain of healthy food blogs, that create salads containing raw as well as cooked produce, including grains and proteins. Please try to eat all-raw salads or all-cooked salads. Eating food categories with similar digestive times, helps keep digestive distress to a minimum.
Where does protein fit into all this? Protein is way more over hyped than it needs to be. Protein should be at the tail end of all food groups. The need for protein by the body decreases sharply after the first year of life when the growth rate is at its most rapid, and breast-milk which is considered the perfect food for newborns in the first half a year of life only has a modest maximum of 6% of protein in it, down to ~1% by the 6 month mark. Go figure. Needless, to say, a high protein diet is simply a recipe (pun intended) for stressed adrenals and kidneys over time, it just locks up the lymphatic system.
What about grains? Again, limit your grains intake to the evening meal, if you have to include grains. Ideally gluten-free. Soaked and/or sprouted are best. The same applies to legumes, soaked and sprouted legumes are the best.
Sugar and salt? Use maple syrup or raw honey (preferably local), or coconut sugar as your sweeteners in homemade baked goods, in small amounts. Use sea salt such as himalayan pink salt or celtic grey salt, or hawaiian alaea sea salt to flavor your food.
Oils? Extra virgin cold-pressed unrefined Coconut oil, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Sesame oil, maybe Ghee (organic and grassfed).
Alcohol? Consumption of alcohol is not conducive to alkalizing the body. Consume only in moderation and follow with a day of raw meals.
AVOID DAIRY. Just avoid it. All dairy, cow, sheep, goat, camel, etc. Even raw dairy. I have been down that road, as an avid follower of the Weston A. Price traditional diet some years ago. However, I have seen many chronic issues stay unresolved in my clients until dairy is eliminated completely from the diet. Not surprising as humans lose the ability to digest milk beyond 2 years of age. Here is a list of health concerns from dairy products from The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Dairy is one of the most mucus-producing foods on the planet, and that adds to the acidosis in the body, yes, even kefir. Opt for fermented vegetables for food-derived probiotics, if needed.
Here is a link to list of studies on dairy for your reference. The only exception in this category, if you have to have it, is GHEE, in small amounts, but choose your source carefully, should be organic and grassfed. That being said, in Ayurveda, dairy is a sacred food and recommends boiling fresh, raw, grass-fed milk sourced from locally from cows (or goats, etc.) in their indigenous habitat, AND adding the right digestive spices to it before consumption. If you have access to a good Ayurvedic practitioner who can guide the consumption of dairy according to your constitution, see if that works for you. But, for the best intent and purpose of health, especially since sourcing of correctly produced dairy products is very difficult, if not practically impossible, I recommend avoiding dairy altogether.
NOTE: If all this seems too much to change, and you could only do one thing, then that would be to avoid dairy. If you can manage one more thing, it would be to have fruit only for breakfast, or the first thing that you eat or drink in the morning, other than water; it can be as simple as having an apple or a bowl of blueberries or a glass of freshly pressed orange juice or celery juice as soon as you wake up, then go about your regular day as usual (with no dairy, of course).
Developing a relationship with whole foods especially those provided by the plant kingdom is a very significant step that you can take towards healing. Something very special happens when you begin to understand what your food is doing for you – it amplifies the healing properties it offers you physically, emotionally, and spiritually because you will want to eat more of them. You’ll also learn how to eat them at the best time and in the best way.
NOTE: Some people do not do well on a fruit heavy diet. It is not that fruit is bad for you, or wrong for your blood type, etc. What it does is, it EXPOSES the weaknesses in the body that need to be addressed. Pay attention to that and seek to address the weaknesses. Do not write off fruits.
Here are some snack ideas that are great for ADRENAL FATIGUE, shared by Anthony William:
* Apple, celery, and dates
* Orange, avocado, and spinach
* Cucumber, avocado, and lime juice
* Banana, dates, and romaine lettuce
* Coconut water, dried apricots and celery
* Coconut water, banana, and spinach
* Mango, figs, and celery
* Oranges, cilantro, and butter lettuce
* Raspberries, tangerines, and green leaf lettuce
* Berries, raw honey, and cucumber
* Apple, dates, and collard greens
* Banana, grape, and red leaf lettuce
* Watermelon with lime juice, and celery juice
Ayurvedic recipe for Golden “Milk”, best consumed before bed to promote restful sleep
- 2 cups of milk of choice (preferably plant-based – almond, pecan, coconut all work in this recipe)
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)
- Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
- Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- First, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
- Then, Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Drink immediately