Veggie Juice

Happy Wednesday!

Today’s blog post is on the art of juicing.  Veggie juice is the answer to eliminating caffeine dependency and reclaiming your energy.  Yes I realize this sounds a bit insane… but don’t knock it till you try it.

With a little ginger and the odd piece of fruit, fresh juice is actually quite delicious.  Today I will introduce you to some of the tips and tricks I use for juicing veggies – and link you to some easy to try recipes. If you’re not ready to buy a juicer go out and try some first!  In Victoria try Cafe Bliss, they have a great selection and their food is yummy too.  Or visit happycow.net to find vegan/vegetarian places in your city or vacation destination.  

Once juice is part of your daily routine its best to purchase a juicer.  There are many different kinds to choose from depending on your budget.  Jack Lalanne carries a wide variety of affordable juicers, mine cost $140 and works great!  Check them out here.

As for recipes… The Alkaline Sisters have several for energy filled juices and smoothies like the one you see to the right.  Check them out here to avoid any sludge during the learning process.

Juicing is important for improving energy levels, cleansing the body, losing weight and most importantly getting nutrients from your vegetables.  It is important to buy organic veggies when possible, and if they aren’t organice peel them first to remove any pesticides on the skin.  Below are my personal tips in addition to some videos from expert juicer Kris Carr.

Now comfortable with juicing I’m more apt to use different ingredients like cucumber, kale, mint, ginger, pear, apple, green pepper, carrots, beets & celery.  You can juice any hard fruit or vegetables, but take a look at the juicer pamhlet to see what yours is intended to handle.  Also, if you prefer blended drinks/smoothies the juice can be mixed in with avocados, bananas and almond milk like this recipe!

Making juice on a budget:

  • try to pick ingredients that produce the most juice
  • buy only what you need
  • make enough for the day to save time
  • refrigerate in sealed mason jar with the least amount of air to conserve nutrients!

Below is some more info on Juicing from crazysexylife.com

Juicing helped me quit coffee, and its been over a year now :) I do enjoy a chai tea latte once in a while, but now its a treat not a dependency.  To find the best latte I look for local coffee shops with liquid chai & almond milk~

Cheers!

- B

My Bookshelf

Blogs, Books, Documentaries, Links, Videos & Websites

Below is my library/tool box/medicine cabinet of literature that I continually reference.  Any links you find here are ones that have been especially useful for me ~ in hopes to connect you with only the best resources ~ *Please use the comment box to post any helpful ones I’ve missed ~ always looking for new ideas!

Blogs

alkalinesisters.com ~ my staple blog. Julie and Yvonne are sisters from Victoria BC who blog about alkaline recipes and healthy living as part of inspiring others to make lifestyle changes.  There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts and each is attached to a bit of information about living well.  Julie Cove also teaches cooking classes seasonally in Victoria, BC if you are interested.  These ladies and their site have inspired my lifestyle journey and I hope they will be a staple for yours. – facebook: alkalinesisters.com & twitter: @Alkalinesisters.

crazysexylife.com ~ a key blog for inspiring you to become well.  There are posts about food choices, exercising, juicing, balancing stress, meditating and much more.  Kris Carr does some of the posts and vlogs and also brings forth guest bloggers and experts to share their knowledge and experiences.  I follow on social media to keep up – facebook: Kris Carr & twitter: @Kris_Carr.

mynewroots.blogspot.com ~ this recipe blog is lovely to look at, read and learn from.  Sarah Britton is a holistic nutritionist and vegetarian chef with an archive of tasty meals and treats that are fun to try.  She also writes for Martha Stewart’s Meatless Mondays, which are linked to her site. – facebook: My New Roots.

greenkitchenstories.com ~ a vegetarian recipe blog.  From the beautiful layout to delicous recipes, this blog is a must subscribe for any kitchen.  Davide, Luise & Elsa post weekly recipes that are so yummy! If a recipe has dairy I will substitute the ingredient for something else or simply search ‘vegan’ on the site and up comes all of the recipes catered to dairy-free :)facebook: Green Kitchen Stories & twitter: @gkstories.

crudessence.com ~ this Montreal whole food/raw restaurant makes amazing meals and lists their recipes online. They also have cooking classes to help us newbies learn the best ways to cook without meat and dairy.  If you plan to visit Montreal or are living there I would definitely recommend this place – meals and smoothies are SO good.  They have locations at 105 Rachel St. W and 2157 Mackay St.

Books

Crazy Sexy DietKris CarrCrazy Sexy Diet ~ My praise for this book is endless. Kris walks you through living an alkaline lifestyle and details a 21 day cleansing process step by step with plenty of recipes and insight into the art of juicing.  Kris is healthy and living with cancer, which for her is possible through an alkaline diet, exercise, cleansing and meditation.  Her insight into wellness is unmatchable. Also check out crazysexylife.com for Carr’s other books, blogs, documentaries, vlogs and expert guests.

wholefoods to thrive Brendan BrazierWhole Foods to Thrive ~ I had heard of Vega supplements but never tried them until I saw a tweet about a seminar Brendan was hosting in Montreal.  I picked up his book and read as much as possible before I attended the talk.  To my pleasant surprise his knowledge was the nutritional edge I needed to add to my alkaline experience.  This book breaks down the nutritional information of all different products and speaks truthfully about the harmful processes of meat and dairy.  Brendan taps into farming and the environment, explaining that switching to a vegan diet can significantly reduce your carbon footprint (as much as getting rid of a car/year!).  He also outlines plant-based nutrition and compares it to conventional understandings of where we get out calcium, protein, iron and so on.  As a bonus this book is also fifty percent recipes from Brendan and his favourite vegan/vegetarian restaurants.  This one is an absolute must have!

*Being that Brendan is a vegan triathlete he has other books worth checking out, especially if you are interested in diet and lifestyle as an athlete.  Here’s a link to his books on amazon.  For more information on supplements check out Vega and download their informational brochures.

Dr. Robert O. Young & Shelley Redford Young - pH Miracle ~ this book offers a more scientific perspective on living alkaline through the lens of a medical doctor.  The pages are full of information on how different bodily activities such as eating, stress and exercise affect our pH levels.  I found this book useful as a reference tool, however less inspiring than the books mentioned above.  I will admit it is very useful to have scientific literature to support your lifestyle choice, should you find yourself in a dietary disagreement with friends or family.

Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming - Quinoa 365 ~ I usually rely on blogs for my alkaline recipes, but this cookbook is very useful for introducing newbies to quinoa.  Not all recipes are vegetarian/vegan, however most can be easily modified.  The book also outlines different types of quinoa, nutrients, and how to cook it properly.  I find this one useful because it inspires different ways of preparing quinoa that I can then translate into my lifestyle needs.

Documentaries

Food Matters ~ Director/Producers James Colquhoun & Laurentine ten Bosch ~ This documentary takes a different approach from Food Inc (also worth watching), by looking at nutrient deficiencies in our foods.  This film consults several experts who discuss cooked food, vegetarianism, veganism, pesticides, soil and the immune deficiencies created by our foods.  I have watched this film more than a few times, and with ratings at 9 out of 10 on Documentary Heaven I am not the only one who continues to find it enjoyable/educating ~ “Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food” – Hippocrates.

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days ~ Simply Raw ~ This documentary has a low budget style, but is great if you are interested in disease prevention and lifestyle cures like me! It follows six diabetic Americans on a thirty day journey off their medications and onto a raw/alkaline lifestyle.  The results are undeniable and just amazing.  The video is available in parts on YouTube or can be purchased on here.


Videos

Kris Carr ~ “how can I participate in my well-being” – her story & book Crazy Sexy Diet

Dr. Hyman’s Ted Talk ~ “diseases don’t actually exist” – on functional medicine and disease prevention.

Dr. Hyman on 6 Reasons you should avoid Dairy at all Costs

This is only a small taste of the information Mark Hyman has to offer, visit his site for more articles and videos ~ drhyman.com.

Websites

kathyfreston.com ~ author of Veganist, Quantum Wellness and more, Kathy Freston is a vegan advocate for animal welfare, environmental change and overall health.  This website has links to videos, recipes and blog entries all worth checking out.  I am especially interested in her insights leaning into a plant-based diet and developing consciousness. zuchinni

Curl up and read a good book,

- B

A Healthy Social Life

Sure there are a few obstacles involved, but choosing a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean giving up who you are or your social life.

Like I have said before this lifestyle change positively affected every aspect of my life, and especially friendships.  I slowly implemented changes to my social sphere to adapt to a new way of consuming food.  Here is a bit of my story and a few tools that should help you!

Dining Out

When it comes to maintaining friendships, I love to be social and explore the city – which naturally means restaurants, coffee dates and drinks.  To work my way around obstacles such as caffeine, meat, dairy and alcohol I am always sure to suggest places that are somewhat accommodating to my needs.

For example, when I go for ‘coffee’ with friends I order a peppermint tea, a chai tea latte (with almond milk), or treat myself to a bit of quality dark chocolate.  For lunch or dinner we might go to restaurants with vegetarian options or places that have a reputation for serving fresh whole foods.  Above all my favourite option for dinner is having friends over and making a meal together, this way we can accommodate different food needs, preferences or allergies and save some money in the process.

Drinks

Drinks are a little more challenging because alcohol is highly acidic, but I am learning some tricks to deal with this one too.  First I will admit that I choose to drink socially on occasion, but I make sure that it is a treat and I am prepared for the physical repercussions.  If I am just going out for a few ‘drinks’ with friends I will usually opt for a water with lemon or San Pellegrino.  You may be thinking, really? but the way I see it buying two alcoholic beverages is pricy and in many situations unnecessary.  If it is a special event and I plan on drinking I will either stick with one type of wine or order a vodka water.  Vodka water has lno sugar and maintains some hydration so that you can have fun and not feel like crap the next day.  Sure the taste is a bit acquired – but all alcohol is that way, and I promise you’ll get used to it – with a bit of lime.  As I mentioned above drinking is less frequent for me now, because I value my happiness and body too much to put it through this kind of abuse on a regular basis.

Labels

Undoubtedly you will have a few bad experiences with restaurants or servers who get annoyed when you ask to take the meat and cheese off your salad, but just shrug it off and keep going – you will quickly learn what does and does not work for you.  The key to success is realizing that you can’t always be perfect and there will be situations beyond your control where you end up eating something that isn’t the best.  Keep to a plant-based diet wherever possible and the more you adapt the easier it will become.  Avoid defining yourself as vegetarian, vegan or otherwise because it creates room for judgement and especially in the beginning it sets you up for failure.  Implementing this lifestyle into your social scene is a learning process, so give yourself time, forgiveness and room for error!

Dietary Disagreements

Some of your friends and family might be skeptical about your decision to try an ‘alternative’ lifestyle.  Remember their concerns are out of love and try to prepare yourself for these conversations.  Anytime I find myself in a dietary disagreement, I always remind them that I feel wonderful and my doctor agrees that I am healthy.  If that doesn’t end the discussion I let them know that I appreciate their concerns and change the subject.

My number one rule is not to preach – I share the information I am learning because it is exciting, but it is not my place to tell others in my life how they should live.  In the same way I am not willing to listen to their objections about alkaline living, I cannot be too critical.  I have learned that people will come around, and start asking questions – because they too are interested in feeling better and living a more wholesome life.  It is important to research a great deal so that you have the resources to steer such conversations.  Today I know that what I am doing is the very best thing for me, and that is what’s most important.

As far as my friends and family, most are intrigued and ask a lot of questions.  They see the difference in me and its enough to make them believers.

Here’s a great article by Kris Carr to help navigate dietary disagreements… worth a quick read.

Being healthy doesn’t translate to boring, in my opinion it gives us the potential to be fabulous. Everyone wants to be happy and look great with ease… so what’s standing in your way?

A healthy dietary lifestyle may seem restrictive initially, but with a little time it ends up being pretty fantastic.

Future blog posts will expand on how to be a healthy socialite with recipes, restaurant recommendations and tips for navigating your social life on this journey to happiness :)

Loves.

- B

My Simple Pantry

Awareness to ingredient information on the back of products is key to your new lifestyle.  However reading these tables is more complex that simply noting number of calories.  Caloric counts mean little if you are unaware of the ingredients being used in the product.  As a rule of thumb I always make sure I recognize what the ingredients are, and if I don’t then I look it up.  Words such as dextrose, fructose & corn syrup are code for sugar, and worse processed sugar – zero calories and unidentifiable ingredients do NOT mean healthy.  Here are some products with simple ingredients and their approximate price to get you started!

Larabars ~ These snack bars are an excellent alternative to granola or protein bars because they are made with whole, simple ingredients.  My favourite flavour is apple pie (so yummy), but there are many others worth trying.  The average price is $1.50 per bar, but I have seen them as low as $1.29 and as high as $2.49.  In this case it’s important to shop around and find a reasonable deal or by them in bulk. Check out all the flavours and nutritional information at Larabar.com.

Quinoa ~ commonly referred to and used as a grain, this superfood is actually a relative of the leafy green vegetable family.  Quinoa is gluten-free and full of protein, making it a great fit for vegetarian/vegan lifestyles.  You can buy quinoa in bulk or packaging for around $1.29/100g but prices vary depending on the type, brand and organic status (there is also quinoa flour for baking recipes).  I usually cook quinoa in almond milk and add berries for breakfast or in water and add veggies for dinner. Check out the different types available at Gogoquinoa.com, and for recipes take a look at Quinoa 365 Cookbook.  Try not to consider quinoa a meal replacement, you still need 60-70% vegetables on your plate to aide in the digestion of this alternative!

Almond Milk ~ This alternative milk product has been a saviour for me! I use it to substitute milk/cream in tea, recipes, salad dressings and baking.  Almond Breeze is soy and lactose free! The price per 946 ml goes as low as $1.79 and as high as $2.99 ~ I usually buy it at $2.29 or $1.99 depending if there’s a sale.  They have recently introduced 2Ls as well which would be a better size for a family.  As far as expiration, almond milk is good in the fridge for approximately a week once opened.  As far as dietary consumption, I count this as part of my 30% nuts/grains. For all the different types including, original/vanilla/chocolate/unsweetened check out Almondbreeze.com.
Dark Chocolate ~ yes chocolate… quality dark with simple ingredients & 70% cocoa or more! I look for local and organic chocolate because they usually have the least ingredients.  An average dark chocolate bar costs $2.99, but I usually buy em on sale they last as long as i eat only few a squares at a time.  In addition to dark chocolate, organic cacao powder is great for treat recipes such as puddings and desserts like this one Alkaline Sisters: Raw Chocolate Pudding!

Silver Hills Bread ~ ‘simple, honest and wholesome ingredients’. This company makes bread and bagels without dairy or gmos and they use biodegradable packaging.  I use this bread to make sandwiches or toast wtih avocado and sea salt.  The bread lasts longer if stored in the fridge or freezer and still tastes good!  Check out all the different flavours and nutritional information at silverhillsbakery.ca.  Not all stores carry this yummy bread, but their website has a store finder worth checking out. The cost of a loaf should be $4 and $5.

Nuts ~ I usually pick up almonds for a light snack in between meals.  With this new lifestyle I find it necessary to eat more often, every 3 to 4 hours in addition to keeping hydrated.  When it comes to almonds, brazil nuts and cashews it is best to consume small amounts at a time to ease digestion.  I try to buy organic when possible, and it is important to soak them for optimum nutrients.  Nuts are the perfect alkaline snack or addition to salads and recipes.  Prices range, buy in bulk and find the right stores!
Rice Pasta ~ this gluten-free pasta is tasty and leaves me satisfied without a stomach ache.  Although its not a staple in my diet, I enjoy it on occasion with some lightly roasted vegetables.  Check out this recipe, Grilled Vegetable Pesto Pasta for some inspiration.  Rice pasta is sold at most grocery stores and nearly all healthy food markets, and it should cost around $3.49/pkg.

Add these products to your plant-based diet to shake things up a bit.

- B

All Things Green

Being akaline is ALL about living green, from eating chlorophyll rich veggies (kale/spinach/chard) to reducing waste by composting and buying fresh foods (sans packaging).  Awareness to healthy food will turn your attention to the importance of living a green life.

Suddenly I am surrounded by produce, lots of produce.  This means frequent trips to the grocery store, a full compost and books on the carbon footprint of industrial farming.  My political science background tells me that the ‘green’ movement has its critics, and none of us are perfect BUT I do believe that we all have a responsibility to make a few changes ~ plus organic & green is trendy.

Here are a few things you can do to help the environment on your health journey.

1. always bring a fold-up re-usable bag with you ~ for groceries or any other items – (and Debbie Meyer Green Bags are re-usable for your produce shopping)

2. carry a water bottle/coffee mug when possible ~ imagine the $$ and plastic you’ll save

3. compost all biodegradable items ~including perishable produce, used napkins, and pulp from your juicer

4. conserve water when rinsing veggies ~ no need to leave the tap running

5. eat a vegan diet and you will significantly reduce your carbon footprint each year (as much as switching from driving a car to riding a bike – acc to Brendan Brazier) ~ processes for producing meat and dairy use mass amounts of water and fuels

Shopping alkaline will bring your attention to organic, fair trade and natural products in the food realm and beyond.  Paying attention to simple ingredients in food will motivate simple ingredients in the rest of your life including hair products, makeup, lotions & more.  The wonderful part is that these items are popping up everywhere.  Start living green, its a lot more friendly and can be fun.

go green!

- B

Daily Zen

My alkaline lifestyle has changed the way I associate food with body image.  Today food for me has nothing to do with calorie counting or body weight, instead its about my energy levels and how I feel.  ~ I am taking the same approach to exercise.  Exercise is no longer about how I look or how many calories I’m burning, now its about how I feel physically/mentally & psychologically.  With this shift in consciousness my new motivation to exercise is maintaining happiness and health.

I love running but I needed something more diverse, and that’s when yoga came along.  Being a former gymnast I’m not really sure what took me so long to turn this leaf, regardless it has been the mind/body connection my exercise routine was lacking.  Now I’m working on practicing yoga or going for a run for at least 45 minutes each day ~ which to me is an attainable starting point.  Kris Carr suggests that we make exercise like brushing our teeth, meaning that it happens easily without question or hesitation.  I think she’s right, the stigmas and intimidation surrounding exercise make us resistant to confidently commit to a routine.  So pick something you have fun doing and make it happen before or after brushing your teeth, EVERYDAY. 

Yoga may not be the right fit for everyone, but if you’re interested many studios offer great first time student rates for a month unlimited.  Or you could try something different like aerial yoga in the picture right.  Asking about promotions is the perfect way to test the waters and find which type of exercise is right for you.  In Victoria, BC I would recommend Cadence Fitness – awesome instructors and out of the box classes = fun.

Location is key!  Pick a place near work, school or home that won’t be a pain to get to ~ this way you will have fewer excuses not to go!  In Montreal my yoga studio was a minute walk from home and I never found myself unmotivated to attend.

Admittedly I am far from mastering meditation, however the processes of learning have inspired me to keep attending yoga practice and calm my mind while moving my body.  Meditation practices are especially useful for dealing with anxiety and stress that all of us feel from time to time.  The practice of trying to turn off the mind is challenging and relaxing at the same time, and I recommend it to anyone… we could all use a few less thoughts.

Meditation has also opened my eyes to mindful eating ~ which involves being present at meal time and paying attention to tastes, thoughts and senses, in order to really appreciate food and create consciousness around my consumption.  This has been very eye opening as I was previously the fastest eater alive (a consequence of siblings who eat off your plate growing up).  Slowing down my eating and being mindful has helped my digestion and allowed me to enjoy food in a different way.

Get out there and find the right exercise routine for you.  If its short and fun you will be motivated to do it everyday!  While you’re at it pay attention to the mind/body/spirit, after all its one important connection.

*And for those of you still thinking about weight, when you’re eating whole foods and in a fun workout routine you will look and feel fantastic effortlessly… so breathe and let it go!

namaste.

- B

My pH Balancing Act

Balance your pH and get your life back!

Welcome! My name is Britt and I’m a recent University graduate in my early 20s here to share my discoveries on the power of food for a life of health and happiness.

Until early 2010 I had fallen into depression with the state of my life as stress, anxiety and low energy made it difficult to cope with work and university. My closest friends and sisters have since testified that they were slowly losing me to this poor mental state. Then after a holiday meal at my Auntie Julie’s home I began to learn more about the alkaline diet and lifestyle she has chosen to live to deal with her back pain. In the beginning I was critical, skeptical and all together uninterested, but now I am aggravated i didn’t figure this out sooner!

For years I suffered with food sensitivities and digestive issues. First it was lactose intolerance which escalated to stomach aches after every meal. I visited my doctor on a bi-monthly basis complaining about several stomach problems, depression, anxiety and very low energy. After countless blood tests and physical exams both the doctor and the gastroenterologist diagnosed some variation of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Without a clear explanation of what that entailed both offered me laxatives and antidepressants. Their ignorance to my questions about diet and nutrition astounded me, and I came to realize the possibilities of taking action and changing my lifestyle.

So what did I give up? Well, I like to think about it as what I have gained -  A new found LOVE for avocado, kale, sprouts, quinoa, almond milk, juicing and water.

To find these gems I let go of caffeine, condiments, dairy, red meat, poultry and any products with any unidentifiable ingredients. I am not technically a vegan because I will eat some seafood on occasion. I eat a plant-based diet meaning 80% vegetables or alkalizing foods and 20% grains/fruits/lentils to minimize acidic waste in my system.

What were the results? Well my stomach aches are GONE, my energy is WAY up and my happiness is no longer a struggle. To be truthful I would have to say that it has altered each aspect of my life for the better. The change has been so significant that I am excited about motivating family members, friends and now you to join me on this road to discovering healthier foods.

The science of this alkaline lifestyle is intriguing, and I am still in the beginning stages of a long learning process. In addition to my posts I suggest looking into Dr. Young’s Ph Miracle for more information on foods and tips to alkalize your body – http://www.phmiracleliving.com/ 

The benefits of looking at food as both fuel and medicine are endless. When treated with the right food and exercise I believe our bodies have the power to give us long, healthy, happy lives.  My hope is that awareness on food, nutrition and overall wellness will help us reverse these epidemics of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

I suppose transitioning is the hardest part ~ I substituted coffee with vegetable juice and used a number of blogs to find alternative recipes.  Ultimately feeling this good allowed me to stick to it and make it a comfortable lifestyle.  The hardest part of lifestyle change is the criticism from others,

“What we choose to eat is one of the most emotionally intense topics of human discourse, ranking up there with sex, religion and politics.” – Dr. Campbell – Crazy Sexy Life Blog

But slowly you learn how to navigate your own wellness, and your new found potential gives you the power to deal with any criticisms thrown your way.

My goal is to create a site that makes wellness transition easy with links to blogs, restaurants, markets and information on alternative products and recipes.  I will also provide advice on navigating your new lifestyle through your work days, family celebrations and social scenes. Together we can disconnect our discussions of food from calorie counting and create a non-judgmental space to learn about its’ healing powers.

I challenge all of you to really look at your life and jot down a list of things you want to change…  Now go find the energy to make them happen.

Your journey begins here with tips on alkaline foods and overall wellness.

Follow me and find your simple ingredients for health and happiness!

- Britt

Big thank you to Julie Cove for making this change possible and starting me on my journey – www.alkalinesisters.com

Wellness for Immunity

What if we could prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, chrons, IBS, depression, anxiety and obesity?

Well I am not alone in thinking that we can, with the help of a plant-based diet and some peace of mind.

How good I feel now never ceases to amaze me. Recently while sitting in a coffee shop I came to the realization that my former life as a depressed individual made total sense. Through high school and university my definition of ‘healthy’ revolved around the fact that I was thin – but in reality there was nothing ‘healthy’ about my daily choices.  I lived off coffee, ate whatever was in front of me, slept a minimal amount and let stress rule my world… the only healthy thing I did was go running once in a while.  Somehow my socialization had me blind to the food right in front of me that was depleting my energy and causing stomach aches.

In my own defense I didn’t know any better… and none of us do.

The Standard American Diet, aka SAD has deprived us of the nutrients we need to live happy, healthy lives.  Many of us pay little or no attention to the nutrients we receive from food, and instead we are most concerned with counting calories. I believe that processed foods are responsible for making us sick or at least responsible for damaging our immune systems and therefore our abilities to fight illness.  For this reason I propose that lifestyle changes have the potential to prevent and possibly cure the epidemics of disease that are haunting the planet.

Post lifestyle change I have all of these questions… What is a calorie anyway? How does my body process it? What kind of foods have calcium, protein and iron? What role does digestion play in my health? – and most importantly where is this information coming from?

Luckily there is more and more literature being published by the day, and word is spreading like wildfire across social media sites telling us that we need to ask more questions. I plan to further my education in this field and soak up as much information as possible so that I can share it all with you. Still it is difficult to know who to trust and what to believe when it comes to the facts about our food.  The best advice I have is to read a variety of sources, ask lots of questions and develop a holistic understanding of your health… The truth about food is impossible to ignore once you physically and mentally feel the results.

Refer to My Book Shelf for some of the literature I recommend.  Notice that whole foods are the focus, not vegetarianism, or veganism or raw foodism – just paying attention to the ingredients of our food and our overall well being. Calorie counting is out, organic whole foods are in… and its finally time to put away the scale and take back our health.

I see a promising future of disease prevention and cures as individuals and doctors share their success stories with the world and open our eyes to the medicine on our plates and in our minds.

Check out these links for just a few success stories that have opened my eyes:

Dr. Mark Hyman – TED Talks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhkLcpJTV9M&feature=youtu.be

Kris Carr – Crazy Sexy Life

http://crazysexylife.com/press/

post your comments!

- B

Healthy on a Budget

‘healthy eating is too expensive’

Well I tend to disagree.  There are ways to make it work, plus think of all the money you’ll be saving on restaurant food, junk food and cold medicine when you are making your own healthy meals and building your systems’ immunity. I think of it as an investment in my capabilities to deal with life ~ and I promise it pays off!

Britt’s 10 Tips & Tricks for Eating Well on a Budget

1. pack your reusable bags (the ones that fold up small are best, a few in your purse or backpack & the rest in your car)

2. shop often (waste will cost you)

3. shop around (scope out your neighbourhood, compare and find the best deals on produce, dry products and bulk)

4. start off with the basics (jumping into the world of almond butters and premium organic crackers is expensive)

5. use veggie bags in the fridge (Debbie Meyer Green Bags help preserve your produce for longer)

6. always bring a detailed list! (I make lists for everything, and its especially important to shop with one so you don’t buy the whole store)

7. avoid shopping when hungry (purchase a Larabar or small bag of almonds to hold you over while shopping)

8. buy appliances as you need them (start with a juicer and slowly move to food processor, dehydrator and water ionizer as you can afford them – it will take some time to build your kitchen!)

9. plan meals ahead of time (think about what you will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and buy accordingly – and make meals with friends – need ideas?  visit Alkaline Sisters, My New Roots, Green Kitchen Stories ~

10. products such as quinoa, almond milk and nuts have long expiration dates (if you find deals stock up!)

Finding healthy foods to fuel your body becomes an essential part of the alkaline process. Search for grocery stores you enjoy shopping in because they will be your life line starting now.  Also find ones that make fresh wraps, sandwiches, salads or vegetarian sushi so that you can avoid fast food when you’re in a hurry. With the rewards this lifestyle offers, you may grow to love grocery shopping ~ just like I do!

~ Check out my Bookshelf, Pantry, Socialite, Green and Juicing pages for more tips on alternative product ideas and shopping methods ~


happy shopping!

- B

pH Charts for Alkalizing the Body

Alkalizing the body is the secret to ensuring energy, well being, good health AND happiness.  There is a direct relationship between a person’s pH levels and the oxygen content of their blood; therefore small changes in pH have great affects on a person’s ability to intake oxygen. Pathogens and cancers cannot survive in an oxygen-rich, alkaline environment, which means an alkalized body can prevent and cure diseases.

pH charts show the acid and alkaline effects of various foods on the human body.  Some charts show plus and minus numbers in terms of alkalinity or acidity but we have to remember that a foods status as alkaline or acidic has more to do with how the body processes it than the food after its prepared.  For example, citrus fruits are highly acidic before entering the body, but carry alkalizing properties as they are digested.  Brendan Brazier uses the term ‘alkaline forming’ to describe foods that work to balance your pH and ‘acid forming’ for the ones that work against you.  The goal is to create a lifestyle where alkaline forming foods are at the top of your grocery list!

You will notice that processed foods such as condiments, canned or frozen items are acidic in part because of pH level, but also because they are more difficult for your body to digest (acid forming).  Recognizing alkaline forming versus acid forming is a learning process that will take some time, but soon enough you will physically be able to recognize what your body appreciates or doesn’t. As another heads up it is best to buy organic and local fruit and veggies when possible, in order to gain the mineral content absent from industrialized crops. Happy shopping!

Note on understanding the pH Chart below: It takes 20 parts of alkalinity to neutralize 1 part acidity – which is why Dr. Young, Kris Carr and Brendan Brazier suggest a lifestyle of 60 to 80 percent alkaline foods!  I stick to the three right columns for my 80% and consume only weak acidic in the other 20%, avoiding condiments, meat, dairy and coffee all together.

To be sure I am getting all the minerals and nutrients I need from my diet I also take Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer as a supplement each morning.  This makes up for the minerals that have been lost in our modern production systems, aides in my digestion and also eliminates the need for multiple vitamins per day.  If you have questions inquire with your nutritionist or read a bit of Brendan Brazier’s work on creating this supplement. (Tip: mix with water and leave in the fridge for a bit – tastes better cold! or mix it in with a vegan smoothie and enjoy!)

The chart is a good reference tool, but at first sight can be intimidating – please don’t fret I will have lots of recipes and alternatives for you! Alkaline foods are far more versatile than you might think!

Related Books:

Kris Carr – Crazy Sexy Diet & Crazy Sexy Canser

Brendan Brazier – Whole Foods to Thrive, Thrive Diet & Thrive Fitness

Dr. Robert Young & Shelley Young – pH Miracle Diet

pH Chart below or visit The Alkaline Sisters

Category

Strong Acid

(-)

Medium Acid

Weaker Acid

Weaker Alkaline

Medium Alkaline

Strong Alkaline

(+)

Vegetables, Beans, Legumes Baked Potato, Mushrooms, Cooked Corn Brussels Sprouts, Endive, Lima Beans, Bell Peppers, Well Cooked Vegetables from Medium/Strong Categories, Green Cabbage, Iceberg Lettuce, Lentils Lightly Cooked Vegetables from strong alkaline category, Radish, Peas, Garlic, Chives, Beets, Eggplant, Alfalfa Sprouts, Green Lettuce, Lemon Grass, Zucchini, Parsley, Cilantro, Celery, Sweet Potato, Carob, Green Beans Raw Spinach, Raw Broccoli, Artichokes, Raw Asparagus, Red Cabbage, Raw Celery, Cauliflower, Collard Greens, Cucumber, Raw Kale, Dandelion, Seaweeds, Raw Onions, Lemons, Limes, Rhubarb, Alfalfa Grass, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Black Radish, Soy Sprouts, Chia Sprouts, Wheat Grass, Ginger
Fruits Canned Fruit, Grapes, Berries, Dates, (Fruits high in sugar) Plums, Processed Fruits Bananas, Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Pineapple, Watermelon Avocado, Raw Tomato, Dates, Figs, Melons, Grapes, Papaya, Kiwi, Berries, Apples, Pears, Raisins, Alfalfa, Mango Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit
Grains and Cereals Oatmeal Brown Rice, White Rice Millet, Quinoa, Sprouted Grain Breads, Wild Rice
Oils Most Olive Oils, Primrose Oil, Coconut Oil, Flax Seed Oil
Nuts and Seeds Seasoned nuts Peanuts Brazil Nuts, Walnuts Raw Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds Veggie Juice, Wheat Grass shots
Drinks Black Tea, Coffee, Alcohol, soda, carbonated beverages Beer, Wine Distilled Water Tap Water Coconut Water Ionized Alkaline Water
Sweeteners White sugar, Sweet n Low (Artificial Sweeteners Stevia, Agave, Honey
Meat Pork, Veal, Beef, Lamb, Frozen or Microwave Meats Turkey, Chicken Fresh Water Fish
Dairy Whipped Cream, Cream Cheese Butter, Milk, Cream, Soft Cheeses, Eggs, Hard Cheeses, Pastries
Other Milk Chocolate, Condiments (Mayonnaise, Ketchup etc), Pickles, Cigarettes, Processed Foods, STRESS Vinegar, Dijon Mustard Dark Chocolate, Cocoa, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Braggs (alt. soy sauce), Sea Salt Cayenne Pepper