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The Body’s pH Balancing Act

10 Jan

The human body needs to maintain a pH level of 7.3 to 7.5.  It does this without us having to think or really work at maintaining that level.  Did you know that if our bodies don’t keep this precise level, we’ll end up at the ER real fast!  Not maintaining the correct acid-alkaline balance can even be fatal.  Our bodies depend on this delicate balance in order to perform various cellular functions.  So, to keep us alive, our bodies use minerals from our extracellular fluid—this is the fluid that is outside of the cells…kind of like a river and the cells are the rafts floating in the river—to maintain the pH balance.  When the fluid doesn’t have the right amount of minerals, specifically calcium, magnesium, and potassium; it turns to the stores of these and other minerals in our bones.  This weakens the bones.

Drinking one 12-ounce can of soda, causes such an acidic condition in the body that the kidneys are not able to handle the acidic level of the urine.  In order for the urine to be at an appropriate pH level, the body must draw on the alkalizing minerals in the extracellular fluid and possibly from the bones.

Stress is another factor that causes acidic conditions in the body.  Again, to maintain the delicate pH balance, the body must draw upon its stored minerals.  Decreasing stress and learning to manage stress is important to each person’s health even beyond acid-alkaline balancing.

Eat foods rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium so that your extracellular fluid is rich in these minerals and build up stores in your body.  Some suggested foods are cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic, broccoli, ginger, citrus*, and, avocado.  Take a deep breath, thoroughly chew each bite of food, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables several times a day to step in the right direction toward better health.

*Although citrus is acidic, within our bodies, they create a more alkaline environment.

Lipski, Elizabeth. 2012. Digestive Wellness, 4ed. United States: McGraw-Hill.


A New Broth

8 Nov

I made a vegetable broth, specifically named Magic Mineral Broth, for the first time the other night.  I’ve made chicken bone broth in the past, but don’t do it too often because of the unappealing smell created while it simmers.  This vegetable broth was different.  It actually smelled warm, homey, and delicious!  It made me excited to try the broth.  Unlike the many, many hours of simmering time that the chicken bone broth takes, this vegetable broth was done in just 3 hours.  The hands-on time was about 5 minutes.  Magic Mineral Broth is rich in minerals and nutrients.   It’s easy on the tummy too.  It’s perfect for an easy go to for a nourishing drink on the go, a soup base, or a healing drink when you aren’t feeling very well.

Kombu at Whole Foods

The kombu that the recipe calls for seems expensive but there’s so much in the package that you’ll be able to make several batches of broth before buying more.

Magic Mineral Broth

Ready to simmer!

Golden color of broth I laughed when I took this picture when I realized what the jar says.  The broth really is golden!

The Flu and Maintaining Health

11 Jan

There’s quite a bit of talk about how bad the flu is this year.  Everywhere you go you hear people talking about the flu and the flu vaccine.  I urge you to make sure you make an informed decision prior to getting the flu vaccine.  Getting sick is no fun, but getting sick usually is not the end either.  Here are some pretty informative sites regarding the flu vaccine: Food Babe, Real Food Forager, and this one about Tamiflu, and here’s an older article, but it has some good information.

Edited to add this timely article by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

If staying healthy and trying to prevent the flu either with or without the vaccine is high on your priority list, I suggest trying a few things.  First is apple cider vinegar tea.  I first saw this recipe posted by Catherine Slezinger, but have since seen it in many different places.  To make this tea you need 4 ingredients: Unpasteurized, raw apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg brand, it’s available in many stores), raw honey, cinnamon, and hot water.  This is a tea that you can customize to your liking, within reason–don’t add too much honey.  We like about 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a half to 1 teaspoon raw honey, and a couple dashes of cinnamon all added in to a steaming hot mug of water.  Stir it up and enjoy daily.  Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits such as promoting a healthy immune system and boosting digestion.  Second, I recommend eating coconut oil.  Coconut oil is antiviral and antibacterial (and has a tremendous amount of other health benefits).  Coconut oil can be used in baking and cooking like butter.  One quick, easy, and delicious way to start eating more coconut oil is to melt some oil along with some cocoa, vanilla, dried fruit of choice, some chopped nuts, and either some maple syrup (invest in the real syrup, not Aunt Jemima!) or raw honey. Mix it all up, then spread it on some wax paper and chill it in the freezer.  You just made yourself a candy bar! 🙂  Another simple way to eat coconut oil is to use it to scramble your eggs or saute vegetables.  Lastly, increase the amount of organic vegetables and fruits you eat.  Have a smoothie, eat a salad, quickly saute some spinach or kale with some onion then serve along side an egg, enjoy kale chips.  There are many quick ways to eat more vegetables and fruit.  Fruits and vegetables have many nutrients that the body needs to maintain and regain health as well as fight inflammation.  A delicious smoothie that we’ve been enjoying lately is this Kick the Cough smoothie.  It is sweet with a bit of a kick.  The smoothie is made with pineapple (I buy it fresh, cut it up, and freeze it), orange juice, lemon juice, fresh ginger (buy a large ginger root and keep it in the freezer, just cut off what you need when you need it), apple cider vinegar, raw honey, and a dash or 2 of cayenne pepper.

Also, did you know that when you exercise in your target heart rate (getting that heart rate elevated while working out) for 30-60 minutes your immune system gets a 3 hour natural boost?  Pretty awesome!