In October, with winter just around the corner, nature is sending a strong message to alkalize now, before it’s too late. Find out:
- If it is safe to Alkalize year round?
- If Acidic Foods are all bad?
- How do you determine the right PH balance in your diet?
In nature, as summer transitions into winter, every living creature is making a life changing transformation in preparation. Birds and butterflies fly thousands of miles, whales cross oceans and leaves spectacularly fall off trees.
So what do we do? Most of us just pull out the sweaters and coats and eat the same foods we have been eating year round for years. But if we look closely at what is harvested in nature, it’s obvious that our diet was intended to dramatically change right now.
- Roughly two-thirds of your diet should be alkaline foods and one-third should be acidic foods. See the List.
- If you eat seasonal foods, your body’s pH will naturally balance. Find out how!
- October is a critically important season to prepare for winter by eating a more alkaline diet. This can help prevent against colds and flu, and that’s not all…
Keep reading to learn how and why to alkalize!
What is the PH balance?
Each seasonal harvest strategically shifts the body’s pH. The body’s pH is closely regulated and when it drifts out of balance, so does one’s health. The pH is a measurement of the concentration of the absolute power (p) of Hydrogen ions (H), thus the abbreviation, pH.
The more hydrogen ions in food, the more acidic it is and the lower the pH. Foods below a 7 are considered acid and foods above a 7 are considered alkaline. Alkaline foods, which include most fruits and vegetables, are considered healthier because the body cleanses or detoxifies itself better in an alkaline environment. Studies done on those eating a more alkaline diet were found to:
- Helps reduce hip fractures in women over 50. (1)
- Helps maintain muscle mass over 65. (2)
- Helps lower rates of inflammation, resulting in less heart disease risk, cancer risk, free radical damage and glycation, which is associated with diabetes and obesity. (3)
The Pros and Cons of Acidic Foods
Acidic foods are typically more dense and harder to digest. Healthy acidic foods like meats, grains, legumes and dairy may be higher in protein and fat content and thus can be more anabolic or bodybuilding. Acidic foods are more readily stored in the body than alkaline foods. Squirrels, for example, eat nuts in the winter to store protein and fat to both insulate, bulk up, and reserve energy for the long winter. If that same squirrel ate only an alkaline diet of just fruits and veggies in a cold winter, the cleansing effect of those foods may make the squirrel freeze to death.
The problem with our diet is twofold:
- We have lost touch with eating seasonal foods, which naturally balance pH.
- Our diet has shifted to eating foods that are highly acidic: processed foods, packaged foods, comfort foods and “junk foods” as well as sugar, coffee, baked goods, alcohol, most fast foods and soft drinks.
Because acidic foods tend to penetrate deeply and store better than alkaline foods they need to be eaten according to nature’s harvest or they can cause trouble. Packaged or processed acidic foods are often loaded with preservatives, chemicals and toxins that can be difficult to detox. They need to be avoided as they may predispose the body to early degeneration or disease.
A Healthy Meal Plan?
Most health experts agree that a healthy diet will be two-thirds alkaline and one-third acid foods.
For even health conscious folks this can be a herculean task. For example:
- Breakfast – Oatmeal with raw honey and rice milk, fresh-squeezed orange juice (100% acidic)
- Lunch – Organic turkey sandwich with a small salad. (70% acidic, 30% alkaline)
- Dinner – Alaskan salmon, veggie, rice and small salad. (60% acidic, 40% alkaline)
This Day’s Acid Alkaline Balance: 230% acidic, 70% alkaline FAILED
Accomplishing a 2/3 – 1/3 alkaline-acid diet is probably not going to happen for most people. Even aiming for 50/50 would be quite a challenge given our American standards.
The good news is that nature effortlessly balances pH with each seasonal harvest.
While the west is still set on making sure we get the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) each day, traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, which study nature, recognize that it is impossible to get same dietary nutrition each day. In nature, the nutritional cycle is an annual one. It takes 365 days and each seasonal harvest to get all our nutritional needs met.
Here’s why: (Each season represents 1/3 of the whole year)
- Fall/Winter: high fat and protein harvest (mostly acidic)
- Spring: rich in cleansing low fat greens (mostly alkaline)
- Summer/Fall: loaded with fruits and veggies for cool quick energy (mostly alkaline)
Resulting in an annual Nutritional Cycle of: 2/3 alkaline, 1/3 acid
If you were forced to eat off the land and only eat foods that were locally harvested, your diet would dramatically shift from one season to the next. Remember, experts say that roughly two-thirds of the diet should be alkaline and one-third should be acidic. If we only ate food that was grown or raised on a farm, following the seasons, then the body’s pH would naturally shift to become more acidic in the winter and more alkaline in the spring, summer and fall.
In Ayurveda, these are the three primary growing seasons that we follow:
FALL/WINTER: (November-February) 1/3 of year, acidic.
In the winter the harvest is predominately acidic. Grains, meats, fish, dairy, and eggs were a traditional requirement in order to survive colder climates, as veggies were sparse. It is the one time of year to store proteins and good fats. If you are a vegetarian, it is critical that the diet is enhanced with high sources of proteins and fat during this time of year.
SPRING: (March-June) 1/3 of year, alkaline.
In the spring, greens and sprouts fill the harvest baskets making spring a season to alkalize. The more alkaline the diet, the more efficient the body can naturally detox. Cellular metabolism and lymph flow are also supported by an alkaline diet.
SUMMER/FALL: (July-October) 1/3 of year, alkaline.
The summer harvest is rich in fruits and veggies, which are easy to digest, cooling and very alkaline. These foods deliver high energy for the long days and short nights of summer.
Hence, the title of my book, The 3-Season Diet.
Note: I am not suggesting that everyone should eat meat. I have always believed that a vegetarian diet is the healthiest. That said, vegetarianism is difficult for many to do well. Whether or not you prefer to eat meat is your personal choice.
Based on this concept of growing seasons, October (“Alk-tober”) is a critically important season in to prepare for winter. This is the last chance to alkalize, which will:
- Pull heat out of the body to prevent winter dryness
- Detox the liver, lymph and blood
- Flush the intestinal track
- Cleanse the inner and outer skin (the inner skin lines almost all the surfaces of the inside of the body)
- Reduce inflammation
- Prevent against cold and flu season
During the month of October especially (plus each spring and summer), look at the acid-alkaline food list and circle all the alkaline foods that you enjoy. Make a point to eat as many of those as possible. Eat smaller portions of protein and grains while eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Some Alkaline Super Foods For “Alk-tober”
- Veggie juice
Halloween: The Acid Season Begins
After November 1, the rules change as the cold and dryness of winter arrive. November through March is the time to build the body’s stores of proteins and fat. These foods can help insulate the body from cold by lubricating the mucus membranes to protect against colds, constipation, dry skin and achy joints, as well as other benefits.
Note: In a perfect world the diet would shift dramatically with each season. If you have not thoroughly alkalized in the spring and summer then the need to significantly eat more winter acidic foods will be less.
This is a gentle process. Slowly shift your diet back in alignment with Nature’s Nutritional Plan. Be gentle with yourself and listen to your body’s comfort signals – don’t strain. I see the best success with folks who let their new desire for seasonal foods dictate the foods they eat.
1. Journal of gerontology – Oct 2000
2. Journal of Clinical Nutrition – March 2008
3. Energy Times – 2011. Acidity Basics