8 pillars to optimal health – Alkalise

Different body compartments / fluids have different pH levels. The stomach is extremely acidic, the colon and small intestine less so, while the blood is very slightly alkaline for example. However, many nutrition experts will support the notion to become more alkaline. The Western diet with its excess of meat (which are generally acidic) and lack of vegetables (that are generally alkaline) leave the body in a more “acidic state”. Some researchers and nutrition experts claim that disease, such as cancer, thrives in an acidic environment. More conservatively enzymes and hormones work optimally in a very narrow pH band, so it seems pertinent to become more alkaline for optimal health.

Here is a table to acid / alkaline foods, base your diet around more alkalising foods.

Foods

Alkaline

Acid



Fruits



Dates, figs, melons, grapes, papaya, kiwi, lemons, watermelon, limes, grapefruit, mangoes, apples, raisins, avocado


Cherries, rhubarb, blackberries, cranberries, prunes




Vegetables, beans and legumes


Onions, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Tomatoes Asparagus, onions, parsley, spinach, broccoli, garlic, green beans, celery, lettuce, courgette, sweet potato and lentils



Potato, pinto beans, navy beans, lima beans, chocolate


Nuts and seeds


Almonds, chestnuts, almonds and coconut

Milk



Brazil nuts Pecans, cashews, peanuts, walnuts


Grains


Amaranth, millet, quinoa


Wheat, spelt, brown rice, white rice, corn, oats, buckwheat, rye, white flour, pastries, pasta



Meats


None


Fish and Shellfish

Bacon, Beef, Chicken, Liver, Lamb, Veal



Eggs and dairy



None


All


Beverages


Herb teas, lemon water, green tea



Beer, soft drinks, coffee, black teas


One if the most acidic thing you can eat is grains, conventional nutritional wisdom will suggest getting 6-11 serving a grain based products a day. Well this will increase your acidity and make you fat. Instead eat small servings of meat, fish etc… with unlimited amounts of vegetables. Add in small portions of grains for balance but don’t centre your meals around them.

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8 pillars to optimal health

These are my 8 pillars to optimal health, if you focus on centring your nutrition and lifestyle around these 8 pillars you will undoubtedly have a very long and healthy life.

Control insulin

Pillar one is controlling insulin. This is the hormone you have the most control over. You can’t control how much cortisol you secrete in response to stress or how much testosterone you produce, however you chose what you eat, therefore you chose foods that will either cause a little insulin release or a lot of insulin release. Insulin is important but it needs to be well controlled, some authorities suggest that too much insulin is the hormone of aging, castration and obesity. Genetics aside you simply can’t get fat if your insulin levels are well controlled.

The easiest way to control insulin is to control blood sugar levels; this is done by eating a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet, and choosing foods that are low on the glycemic load scale. This invariably means all the fibrous green vegetables, some fruits, minimal use of some grains, beans and legumes, eating nuts and seeds and combining this with meat, fish, seafood and poultry. You will also need to avoid any and all processed and junk foods as these foods that are rich in sugar such as high fructose corn syrup and processed fats cause huge amounts of insulin to be released.

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Three tips for dealing with the pace modern day life

I woke up bleary eyed this morning and managed to wolf down some cornflakes before rushing out the door. I got stuck on the tube for a while and was late for work. I was in meetings all day and managed to grab a sandwich at lunch. When I got home late, I threw something in the oven, ate and then went to bed, as I was totally wiped out – sound familiar?

With the pace of modern life we are getting more and more stressed and have less and less time to sit and eat healthy meals. But guess what, our nutritional needs are higher than ever before.

Consider that we live in a much more polluted and toxic world than that of our grandparents. These toxins are everywhere – cars exhaust fumes, the chemical cocktail of pesticides, dyes and preservatives in food, factory emissions and the countless chemicals in personal care products. Your liver, kidneys, lungs and skin take the brunt of this insult. All of these chemicals and hormones need to be detoxified and these vital organs – chiefly the liver – needs lots of quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to survive.

Some of you reading this will say – “but I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and make good food choices” – I commend you! But did you know that the food you eat today has less vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than food tested in the 1930’s. “But I eat organic food you retort” – fantastic! But research has pointed out that organic food does not necessarily have greater amounts of nutrients than conventionally farmed foods. Well, “we’re all doomed” I hear you say – not so.

By simply being savvy in the supermarket and ignoring the food manufacturing hype, making sensible decisions to support your liver and using some non-toxic health care products and supplements where appropriate you can make a big difference to your life and to your health.

Don’t fall for the marketing hype – food labelling
Functional foods are the flavour of the day. Chances are you won’t be able to walk though the supermarket isles without seeing the world omega 3, it’s in bread, margarine, breakfast cereals and it’s the panacea for health and longevity. The same can be said for fibre and antioxidants. Don’t get me wrong, these nutrients are fantastic but you won’t get any viable amounts from any of the fortified processed foods bought in the supermarkets. You will also probably need a nutrition degree to work out what is a sensible amount of fat, salt and sugar to consume in the food products you buy.

When you go through the isles deciding what to buy, simply ask yourself this – was this food around 10,000 years ago? If the answer is no, it’s probably not worth buying. If you keep this simple tip in mind when buying food and allow yourself the odd treat, your cupboards will be stocked with foods that keep you healthy in this toxic world.

Organic food – do you believe the research?
You can’t definitely be sure that organic food will provide more nutrients to help your liver detoxify compared to conventionally farmed foods. What you can be sure of though is that you won’t be getting the chemical cocktail of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides from these foods. By eating organic you will be doing your liver a big favour. If you buy organic meat you will also be avoiding foods with traces of antibiotics and hormones that could possibly affect your health. The Environmental Working Group found that the following 12 fruits and vegetables were the most contaminated with pesticide residues:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

Make sure you buy these foods organic if you are trying to make better food choices and I also recommend you buy organic coffee, milk, poultry and other meats as well. The Environmental Working Group also found that the following 12 foods were the least contaminated with pesticides:

  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas
  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

Of these “cleaner foods” onions, avocado and sweet corn had almost no detectable levels of pesticides and would be safe to buy non-organic.

Support your liver
Your liver thrives on food rich in amino acids, B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. By choosing to eat good quality sources of proteins such as meats, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds you will be giving your liver the boost it needs to clean house. These foods combined with other liver super foods such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) onions, garlic leeks and all berries are rich in the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants the liver needs.

Personal care products and supplements
Read the labels on your personal care products, anything with the word or pre-fix paraben is bad news, switch to roll on deodorants instead of the aluminium laden spay on types, switch to natural brands of health care products such as creams, moisturisers and shampoo. Good brands include J/A/S/O/N or Neways. Finally use liver supporting supplements to help detoxify. Milk thistle, dandelion, a multivitamin and mineral, fish oil or DIM are all good places to start.

Woke this morning up feeling ok, managed to eat some muesli and eggs before going to work, and managed to eat some berries and nuts as snacks through the day. I ate a salmon salad for lunch and chicken with broccoli and onions for dinner. I took my multivitamins and I’m going to buy some natural roll on deodorant and personal care products tomorrow at the shops – this could be the new you, dealing with the pace of modern life.

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Oestrogen site modulators

Finally I’m going to talk about which supplements could and should be used to “supplement” a healthy way of eating and the avoidance all the oestrogenic toxins in order to prevent oestrogenic disease.

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The growing tide of oestrogen related problems part 4

So, today I’m going to consider oestrogen metabolism a little closer. The detoxification of oestrogen through the liver is controlled by the genetic expression of various liver enzymes, the metabolites of which can have a huge impact on your health. To make it simple to remember oestrogen can be metabolised to E2 which is a safe / protective form of oestrogen; E4 and harmful type of oestrogen; or E16 an extremely toxic and carcinogenic form of oestrogen. In fact the ratio of E2 to E16 is an indicator of getting breast cancer. If you have more E16 than E2 the risk is high, if you have more E2 than E16 the risk is lower.

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The growing tide of oestrogen related problems part 3

In order to do what Bob Rakowski recommends in terms of detoxifying oestrogens every day we need to make sure we are eating the right foods. As I stated yesterday avoid foods that are sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are oestrogenic and eat a clean, organic diet. This diet should be what some people refer to as a Palaeolithic diet. Before you chose something to eat, simply ask yourself “was this food available to humans 10,000 years ago?” If the answer is “yes” – eat it, if the answer is “no” – don’t eat it. So, were carrots, broccoli and chicken available to humans 10,000 years ago? Yes, so eat. Were bagels, cream cheese and Doritos available to humans 10,000 years ago? No – don’t eat it. For the most part, it’s that simple!

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The growing tide of oestrogen related problems part 2

Here is 10 ways to reduce your exposure to these harmful chemicals:

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The growing tide of oestrogen related problems

Since World War 2 there have been over 85,000 new synthetic chemicals that have been unleashed into our environment. Many of these man made chemicals came about as new purposes were found for the left over stock pile of industrial materials after the war. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) that get added back to our soil in the form of fertiliser were formed from the left over materials from explosives (don’t believe me? Well how do you think terrorists make bombs – with chemical fertilisers!). Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides were made from the left over materials of chemical weapon development. Not only have we seen a use for these left over materials of war ,we have also seen an array of chemical pollution as we have advanced our society. All manner of chemicals from pesticides to plastics to rocket fuel have been found deposited in the human fat cells, breast milk and umbilical cords of new born babies! Alarmingly many of these chemicals have never been tested for what they could do to human health.

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Breakfast cereal = junk food prt 4

So today I am going to talk about what I eat for breakfast almost every day. Bar the once a week healthy grill up or berries and yoghurt with some ground flax seeds, cinnamon and xylitol (YUM) I eat Meat and Nuts for breakfast.

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Breakfast cereals = junk food part 3

So you might be wondering what I do think is healthy to eat for breakfast. Here are my thoughts on a couple of conventional breakfast foods.

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