Last week we invited HealtheMail subscribers here in Australia to try out our new Are You Acidic” Quiz here on our Australian Alkaway website. Wow! What a response!
Our readers must really like Quizzes – or they really want to know whether they are acidic or not. I spent most of yesterday studying the many responses you sent in, and working out the ‘real story’ of each individual submission.
If we had added all we wanted to know into the quiz I think we’d be asking you to spend an hour rather than five minutes! However it was a wonderful opportunity because we could see a real overview of our readers’ health and their strategies for maintaining it. Yet.. there are obvious misunderstandings, especially around use of alcohol. One respondent talked to me today. He was advised by his doctor to drink a glass of red once a day because of its positive health effects. Who am I to argue?
The quiz showed its weaknesses too. I should have given more options about the water you drink beyond just alkaline or acid. I should have provided multiple choices for diet because you can be a vegetarian AND eat bread, but the Quiz didn’t allow for this. It’s already fixed – courtesy of some really smart software – so future Quiz participants will get a more accurate picture.
I am committed to sighting every quiz because it’s obvious there’s a ’back story’ to every submission. Here’s an example:
‘Kathy’s’ Quiz results:
No tobacco, regular alcohol, no sodas.
One serve of green vegetables per day, one piece of fruit a day, 4+ serves of meat per week, white meat preferred.
Good stress manager, moderately stressful work, no mood swings.
6-8 hrs sleep, a little pollution some days, 5-8 glasses per day of acidic water.
Age 45-64, female, health oriented.
Eats bread every day
‘Kathy’ cares about her health. She is at an age where acidity gets worse and hydration gets worse, and she’s making intelligent choices of no smoking, no soft drinks, but (and here’s where our quiz is too liberal) she drinks alcohol regularly.
I think we all strike a deal with whole health. We ‘do the right thing’ so we can be ‘a little naughty’ in other things. ‘Kathy’, like me, likes some alcohol but we didn’t learn how much, so we can’t identify it as a serious acidifier.
But.. here’s the big takeaway I get from ‘Kathy’s quiz.
Kathy is trying to stop acidifying eating and drinking habits so she can have a little alcohol.
However… look at her alkaline intake – or lack of it. Recommended greens serve per day (admittedly difficult) is 5 a day. Kathy has one. Fruit is similar. She has one piece. I did state in the Quiz results that many fruits are actually highly acidifying. The humble banana, for instance, does have a small amount of potassium (which qualifies it in some alkaline diets as a good alkalizer) but it has a LOT of nasty addictive acidifying fructose! Berries are a safer bet as alkalizing fruit, also limes, lemons, grapefruits and oranges.
Her meat intake is another victim of the Quiz. What does 4+ serves of meat really mean? I had some people submit that they were ‘Big Meat Eaters’. Does that mean they eat meat every day, or does it mean they eat a huge steak at every sitting? Putting aside the meat vs. vegetarian argument, (I was a vegetarian for 12 years) I don’t look at meat as do most alkaline diet promoters. Yes, if you eat huge steaks, the body will convert what it can to energy, then stash the rest as acids in body fat. Your body will struggle to combat the rush of excess acids by carrying out a raid on all the alkaline sources in our body including our skeleton. This can’t wait. If we remain in an alkaline state things start breaking down almost immediately, so the decision to strip calcium from the bones is an evolutionary one, well designed, like everything our paleolithic body design. It wants to survive! If you eat the right amount of the right meat, this won’t happen and you’ll receive the broad spectrum of essential amino acids like no vegetable can ever match.
Cassie and I now eat meat because we are committed to changing our source of energy from glucose to fat. This is a big subject, and Cassie’s alkalinepaleodiet.com blog is a great source of more well researched info on this. This changes many assumptions including the value of saturated fats. We eat grass fed, grass finished red meat, fish once a week and I have very thin bacon (1 mm) plus some liver with my breakfast. We really try NOT to eat chicken anymore. We ate it because we thought we had to eat lean. Kathy probably believes (like most people) that white meat is better than red, (read this to change your mind!) but we now look for red meat with a good layer of fat because we know that’s where we’ll get our Vitamin K2, the hugely important vitamin with the ability to facilitate deposition of calcium back on our skeleton.
Our New Akaline Diet stresses that you really need to look at your relationship with two very pernicious foods both regarded with the love and devotion of an addict. I’m talking about sugar and bread. Both of them are acidifiers, and both are very addictive so when I see that someone eats bread every day, I remember how it was for me, ‘coming off’ both sugar and bread.
This relates back to the meat question because, fortified by the strong antioxidant effect of sufficient greens, supported by healthy fats that move us off glucose energy and onto a ketogenic metabolism, amazing things happen. In my case I used to be called ‘The Hungry Ghost’ for my habit of ‘vacuuming up’ any leftovers after every meal.
I was forever hungry, and forever furtively snacking. And suddenly I changed (well, not suddenly – when I got over my addictions) My desire for quantity disappeared. I developed a greater desire for greens and wonder of wonders – I ate far less meat! I still ate meat – grassfed, but I didn’t keep on eating! My mental acuity improved, me energy levels soared, and yes, I admit it, my libido even improved.
So.. when I see someone eating bread every day, I see an addict to a highly acidic food.
Kathy said she drinks 5-8 glasses of water a day which is great (and exceptional!), and again the quiz failed her because the only alternative to ‘Alkaline’ in the Quiz was ‘acid’. There are very few places in Australia where you can get acid water from your tap. It is against the Australian Water Safety guidelines. It corrodes pipes and in old houses, unleashes a dose of heavy metals from the brazed joints in the old pipes. I’m sure Kathy would have told me more if my Quiz had allowed her.
Finally, balance is not a concept, it’s a necessity, but if you are addicted to certain foods you’ll never believe me. I would predict that if Kathy got off sugar and bread, she would very happily eat more greens, alkalizing fruits, and less meat. Balance would return. But.. we are strange animals. The only thing that really forces us to alter our preferred diet is pain. This may be disease, or an intolerable procession of sub-health. So I can’t say any more on Kathy’s case because ultimately her choices will be determined by her own acceptance of what she believes health to be. If she accepts that a cold and flu once a year is good health, she probably won’t change. If she accepts my version of health, she may change. (I haven’t had a cold or flu since 2000
‘Kathy’, I’ve kept you anonymous for the purposes of this post. You know who you are and I can say, having read every Quiz, that you have many similar friends in the Quiz group! Thank you for being my ‘example’ and good luck to you!
To international readers, stick around! We’ll be installing the Quiz on our other international websites as soon as we can!
To locals who feel like throwing themselves under our truck – er – Quiz, here it is!