There are so many do's and don'ts when it comes to nutrition. It can make you want to scream.
I empathize. It can be overwhelming to track your omega-3 intake, make sure you're eating clean, count your calories, reduce the trans fats, up fresh raw fruit and veggie portions, limit your starch and carbs, eat three square meals a day, eat all three meals before dark and on and on and on.
But I do have one more good habit to push, and that is- Drink Alkaline Water!
What the heck is that you ask?
Well bare with me. I'm going to tell you all about it and then share with you a great recipe to make a glass of your own!
I was in Mexico on a wellness retreat when I first really understood the importance of an alkaline diet.
Sure I had heard people mention that it was important to eat alkaline foods here and there in the healthy food circuits in which I traveled but I was so caught up in being tri-doshic and vegetarian and at times vegan, raw and gluten-free that it was difficult to find space for yet another thing.
But luckily, going alkaline isn't too terribly complicated and once you understand the benefits, I'm sure you'll agree it's worth the effort.
Remember that old saying - you are what you eat?
Well in so many ways that statement is true. The foods we eat contain acidic or alkaline properties. The alkaline or acidic properties in the food you eat directly alters the acidity or alkalinity- aka the ph balance of your body.
Ideally, you want an alkaline internal environment.
This being said, you want to eat more alkaline foods than acidic foods in order to maintain this balance.
As a general rule, a diet of 60-80% alkaline-forming foods and 20-40% acid-forming foods creates and sustains this balance.
Um....so....what does that mean?
Typically foods like fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds and herbal teas are alkaline while foods like grains, beans, meats, dairy products, fish, fast foods and processed foods tend towards acidity.
This is wonderful news if you're already a vegan, vegetarian, a clean eater and or are following a gluten-free regimen. You may (depending upon your food choices) be quite alkaline by default.
But, if like most of us, you're left scratching your head. One way to ensure that the acidic foods you consume are being balanced by alkaline foods is by drinking alkaline water.
Now there are many different ways to make alkaline water. There's lemon water, there's the Himalayan sea salt method but my favorite blend is this- (It's quite tasty!)
Alkaline Water Recipe:
2 cups (16 oz) purified water
1 tablespoon raw apple cider
1 teaspoon liquid chlorophyll
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (liquid is best, powder will do)
Why raw apple cider vinegar?
Raw apple cider vinegar is unique in that it is alkaline forming to the body. It helps to balance the body's internal pH causing levels to become more alkaline and is a wonderful daily addition to the diet. In addition, raw apple cider vinegar has antibiotic properties (it's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral which means it wards off infections and supports the immune system-never a bad thing!)
Green is my favorite color. Need I say more!
Okay, green is my fav, but all jokes aside, chlorophyll is magical. Chlorophyll is a natural detoxifier. Not only does chlorophyll have the ability to lower the body's internal pH creating an alkaline environment, but it also binds with environmental pollutants (a handful of toxic metals and carcinogens) helping to flush them out of your system resulting in an increase in energy and mental clarity. Another benefit of chlorophyll, a direct result of it's detoxification effect is clear glowing skin. Astringent and slightly minty in taste, the chlorophyll is a wonderful compliment to the raw apple cider vinegar.
Turmeric is an Ayurvedic spice that happens to be highly alkalizing to the body. The bright yellow spice, a staple in curry, is mild in flavor, earthy and contains numerous curative properties. Turmeric is powerfully anti-inflammatory and has been used to treat cancer, arthritis, hypertension, ulcers, diabetes, colitis, acne and a whole host of other ailments.
The above recipe makes one serving of delicious alkaline water. Simply combine ingredients, swirl together with a spoon and enjoy!
The water is tart like lemonade, but not overpowering- perfect for a summer afternoon.
Note, if you're one of those people who likes their drinks sweet, then adding a teaspoon of agave or a tablespoon of raw maple syrup will do the trick!
So, keeping that 60-80% alkaline-forming foods and 20-40% acid-forming foods ratio in the back of your mind is helpful. But if you're not able to adhere to it as regularly as you'd wish, I have two words- ALKALINE WATER!