If your body is a temple, as the old adage goes, then you must worship it.
If you subscribe to our mantra of ‘Health Conscious Hedonism’, then how exactly do we strike the right balance between our health and the pursuit of pleasure?
Much of it comes down to the body’s optimal ‘Acid/Alkaline’ balance. Kind of like the yin yang of our pH levels, which may indicate our overall state of health.
Dr Robert Young, author of The pH Miracle and one of the world’s leading experts on the subject of alkalinity, said that a healthy person should have a urine and saliva pH of 7.2 to 7.4. Blood pH should be between 7.35-7.45 at all times. If it falls below 7.35 then your body starts to suffer from systemic acidosis.
Acidosis, caused by too many toxins circulating around your body, causes the vital organs to work harder to maintain optimal pH. This systemic stress may cause fatigue, aches and pains, illness and accelerate the ageing process.
How then do we avoid acidosis?
Quite simply, by choosing foods which are classified as alkaline – green leafy vegetables such as kale, sprouts and spinach (the magical ingredients of our famous green smoothie), ancient grains such as amaranth and quinoa as well as healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado and olive oil.
We must endeavour to avoid (or at least minimise the staples of our Western diet – sugar (which forms acid in the body), coffee and refined carbohydrates (animal protein, white bread and pasta).
It’s not as simple as just avoiding certain foods, our lifestyle contributes to acidosis too. Lack of sleep, stress, pollution and too much exercise can impact upon the body’s alkaline balance.
Supermodel and entrepreneur Elle Macpherson switched to an alkaline diet two years ago after falling into a dietary ‘rut’. She attributes her newfound vitality and weight loss to the alkaline diet and believes it cured her of her sugar cravings and skin dryness while emotionally, she believes it has dramatically stabilised her moods. All within two weeks of making the switch.
While Elle’s experience makes the alkaline diet seem very appealing, it may seem like an impossible task to us mere mortals. If you’re keen to make the change, as a guideline, aim for a diet ratio of two-thirds alkaline to one-third acidic.
It’s not worth beating yourself up about eating a burger for dinner when you know you’re having a green smoothie for breakfast.
If a raw kale salad with amaranth and apple cider dressing is the yin, then the accompanying glass of single vineyard pinot noir is the yang. It’s about balance.