Duh! The Secret To Better Health

Good lord, it’s been almost three months since my last post! Time flies when you’re having fun, or not, as the case may be.

Several months ago I promised to tell you about the diet I was on to get healthy. Sorry it’s taken me so long, but at least I can tell y’all about some of my results. (Disclaimer and legal stuff – I’m not an expert or health care practitioner, and I’m making no claims. I’m just telling you what has worked for me. Don’t sue me.)

The first thing I’m going to tell you is that there is no magic bullet. The secret is that there is no secret. If you wish to continue eating, drinking (wine or double grande lattes, it doesn’t matter!) and laying on the couch while READING about getting healthy, this is not going to be the blog post for you. I worked hard, very hard, and it still isn’t easy.

Still with me? Good. If you remember, I had some strange scans last October, which turned out to be nothing, but scared me just the same. After making it through Nutcracker hell and the rest of the holidays, I went to see a local naturopath who over two hours scanned, poked, prodded, asked questions, and gave me a very thorough once-over. I had just had my yearly physical, so I had those blood test results as well. She identified my weak areas (adrenals – all those years of coffee and a high-stress work environment had taken their toll) and showed me how I could treat my body better so that the cancer had very little chance of coming back. If I did what she advised, I could be one healthy woman!

 

alkaline-diet-phchart

Taking the BASIC approach

The first thing she advised, and the foundation of the whole treatment plan, is the pH diet. She recommended a booklet found at Findingmyphbalance.com,  that outlined everything very simply, and it came with test strips that I was supposed to use every morning to measure my progress. Of course, when it comes to the Big C, everything about alternative treatment is controversial. There are plenty of people out there who will swear by this diet, just as there are those who will swear AT it. But I figured that anything that was mostly fresh, non-processed fruits and veggies, with some chicken and fish thrown in for good measure, couldn’t be bad. Just couldn’t.

I was surprised at how simple the ‘diet’ was. Not EASY, but SIMPLE. It was just a two-page list of foods, in order of pH from most alkaline to most acid. I was supposed to eat 80% alkaline, and 20% acid. It’s really, really hard not to have any acid in the diet, because all animal protein is acidic. I LOVE meat, and my blood type is O, the original hunter-gatherer, so I had to have meat, just less of it.

Also gone, wheat (had been pretty much gluten free for several months before that, so no big deal), soda, dairy, sugar, alcohol, COFFEE (argghhh!!!), anything artificial, processed, or deep-fried, vinegar, yeast, you get the idea. Anything with FLAVOR. No more wine after a concert. And this is is only the worst of the worst.

However, this was the first time I’d tried a diet where really nothing, even the list above, was forbidden. After 55 years I know myself well enough to know that if something was forbidden, that’s ALL I would think about! Also, I wasn’t doing this for my weight, but for my health, so I had to choose which was more important, that glass of wine or going back to chemo? It was great incentive, and I was determined to make it work. I told my naturopath, who also happened to be part of my upline in my network marketing business, that I needed to take some time off from that so I could focus on this. After all, I was going to be “shopping and chopping” in order to eat, as well as follow a very complicated list of supplements, juices, and teas.

So, I cleaned out my cupboards and refrigerator, made a list, checked it way more than twice, and headed off to Whole Paycheck and Kroger to stock up on everything I was going to need from arugula to zucchini. I wore out Google looking for new recipes for salads and vegetable recipes of all kinds so I wouldn’t get bored. I drank my water with lemon and took my supplements, at least as regularly as I could. If I could keep in mind WHY I was doing this, it was a whole lot easier.

That was January, and this is July. I’m 25 pounds lighter, my chemo port is gone, and I feel better than I have in years. I will admit that there was one cheat that I did consistently throughout this diet. Yes, I had a drink once in a while. I had dessert or a cookie now and then. I even had, gasp, bacon one time!  But the consistent cheat, the one thing I just can’t seem to go a day without, is coffee. I admit it. My day was not complete without coffee. It makes me happy! However, I gave up what seemed like gallons of brewed coffee I was drinking every day and replaced it with a few ounces of exquisite double espresso with two tablespoons of half and half, a second one if I had a concert that night. It’s what is known in Austria as a “cafe mocha” and I first drank it in Cafe Central in Vienna. I loved it so much I bought the tableware they used to serve it. This one thing keeps me sane.

 

A little bit of heaven in Nashville.

A little bit of heaven in Nashville.

 

 

So there, I said it. I cheated every day. But it helped keep me on the rest of my diet and by March I had raised my pH from 5.5 to 6.5! Sort of like digging a hole with a teaspoon, but I had 55 years of bad eating to undo. It’s time to check in with my naturopath again, and I’ll bet I’m getting closer to my pH goal.

Boredom is setting in, and it’s harder to stick with all the details, but I’m off work for the summer so my plan is to find some new recipes, forgive myself for not being perfect, and get back on the horse. No way in hell is the Big C coming back for me! Two other key components of my health plan have been logging my eating with an iPhone app, LoseIt, and walking/running between 50-70 miles per month, or about 2 miles per day. Don’t forget, I’ve run half marathons and a full marathon last year, and I NEVER LOST WEIGHT training for any of it. I’m still exercising as much, but it’s the eating part that has changed.

Before I end, I wanted to share some recipes I’ve found. I was surprised at how tasty these were, especially the celery salad. I HATE celery, but I could eat this salad by the crate. Enjoy!

Buckwheat Granola This is one of my core breakfast recipes. I eat it with berries, goat milk yogurt, and a tablespoon of flax seed oil. (ala the Budwig Diet)

Celery Salad This is the one I could eat all day, although some people have told me it takes all day to eat it.

Raw Citrus Kale Salad Since I’m not on blood thinners anymore, I don’t have to worry about eating kale!

Massaged Kale and Quinoa Salad Massaging not really necessary, but if you need some quick therapy, it’s very relaxing!

Other great recipes can be found at The Alkaline Sisters, ThriveForward, and Stalkerville websites, but be careful to pay attention to the pH rules! For meat, check out Nom Nom Paleo.

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