Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vegan/Alkalizing diet and fatigue.

Question: Hello Monique; I am a vegetarian. I also eat an alkalizing diet. Vegetables, soy burgers, soy milk, and millet. I also use wheat/barley grass, vitamins, herbs, essential fatty acids, and other supplements like whey protein and CoQ10. The problem is that I think the soy burgers, and soy milk may be causing problems. I seem to lack energy. One of my books warns about the overuse of Tofu saying it weakens the adrenal system, and causes impotence, loss of hair/gray hair, and a lack of energy.

The problem is that being a bachelor, I'm not too great at preparing a variety of foods, and am limited to the alkalizing diet. The alkalizing diet has allowed me to avoid being sick even when I miss sleep. I suppose I'm looking for alkalizing/vegetarian foods that are different than the ones I'm using. I really only use carrots and green beans as vegetables. I would like to find vegetables/foods that come prepared or are at least simple to prepare.

Thank you very much. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, John

Answer: An alkalizing diet is one in which 80% of our food intake should come from alkaline-based foods like fruits (except for plums and prunes), green-leafy vegetables and other vegetables, and tubers (root vegetables). These foods are highly alkaline and help to alkalinize the blood and other tissue fluids in our body. The other 20% of our food intake can come from acidic-based foods like beans, breads, cereals, eggs and meat. Animal products like meat, cheese, and eggs have the highest acidic content. These are best to be avoided.

The main goal of an alkalizing diet is balanced eating in order to avoid acidosis. When this occurs, our blood losses its ability to eliminate carbon dioxide from the body among other things. When we reduce the alkalinity of our blood, it creates symptoms like hunger, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, headache and drowsiness. Acidosis is the breeding ground for many disorders, and can interfere with the way our glands and organs function.

While soybeans are in the legume family, it is not considered acidic because it leaves an alkaline ash when our body processes it. Other beans and lentils leave an acidic ash. Whenever you eat acidic foods such as beans and grains, even though they are not as acidic as animal products, you need to counteract their acidic effects. Eating more alkaline-based foods will neutralize the pH balance in your blood.

From what you told me, your diet may be lacking in enough greens and other vegetables. Carrots and green beans are not enough to bring your alkalinity level up. Try eating more salads made with romaine lettuce or spinach. Top these salads with more alkaline foods like cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, red peppers, red cabbage, cauliflower, celery, almonds and raisins. You can find ready-made salad mixes in most supermarket produce sections. Then all you need to do is top it with some of the suggestions I made before. Also, drink more juices, especially citrus and grape. While you may think citrus tastes acidic, it has a high potash content which increases the alkalinity of the blood.

You state that your alkalizing diet has kept you from getting sick when you miss sleep. The little amount of sound and restful sleep you get most likely is the cause of your lack of energy you described. Most people rob themselves of proper rest. When we sleep, our body does most of its cell repair and rejuvenation. If you do not get enough, you will feel fatigue. For the most part, your diet is good. My suggestion is to increase the variety of fruits and vegetables you eat, and to make sleep a top priority!

Read more about fatigue at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatigue

Also, check out these books ...

 The Alkalizing Diet: Your Life Is In The Balance
by Istvan Fazekas

The Ultimate pH Solution: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Prevent Disease and Lose Weight
by Michelle Schoffro Cook

The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on pH Levels
by Susan E. Brown and Larry Trivieri Jr.

The pH Balance Diet: Restore Your Acid-Alkaline Levels to Eliminate Toxins and Lose Weight
by Bharti Vyas and Suzanne Le Quesne

The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health
by Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young

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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.

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