Street Style at RAFW 2010 Image: http://vanessajackman.blogspot.com/
Flannel RAFW 2010 Photo by Victoria Rika-Heke www.rikahekephotography.com
Kate Sylvester RAFW 2010 Photo by Victoria Rika-Heke www.rikahekephotography.com
Alkalize and Energize!
By Shelley Redford Young LMT
Were you like me when you were a young girl? Did you gaze at the glossy magazine covers at the end of the check-out stands when you went grocery shopping with your mom? Didn’t we all learn from this that women HAD to be pretty with perfectly contoured bodies, chiseled knees, and China-white teeth? Do you remember studying the latest fashions which were draped ever-so-teasingly on these luscious role models of ours? Do you remember thinking, “I want to look like THAT and have killer abs like that bikini model. That’s what I remember. Back then I figured that THIS is what I needed to look like to be considered BE-autiful and DE-sirable. My hair had to be perfect with shimmering highlights. My thighs had to be firm and svelte--without dimples of any sort. I had to have thick eyelashes which beckoned “Come Hither!” Looking at these magazine covers each week steeped a huge, self-inflicted homework assignment within my youthful, girlish psyche--making sure I felt the pressure of attaining an AWEsome Appearance!
Regardless of age, the pressures which are placed on women in our society do affect our belief systems about what we need to do to be attractive and successful in life. This pressure not only can motivate us to strive for that Cover Girl look, but it can also instill feelings of inadequacy, not quite measuring up, or even giving up before we start! Goals which seem so unreachable can defeat us before we ever enlist to become our best selves. From my experience, I would have to say that appearance is the best way to make a good first impression. And let’s remember one of my favorite sayings:
“You never have a second chance to make a first impression”.
I live by this motto. I really do! When people meet you for the very first time, they have split-second judgments regarding how you come across. Do you look vibrant, rested, healthy, athletic, studious, intelligent, or well groomed? Or do you exude lackluster energy, depression, fatigue, negativity, stress, or worse yet—profound self-neglect? People will make their initial impressions within the first three minutes of meeting you. What do you want them to know about you from your appearance? Do you feel you have the proper tools and skill sets to become the most radiant you, or are you somewhat resigned to the limited look and feel of your genetic predispositions. Other things like your vocabulary and general communication skills also have a bearing on how you are received by others. But truly, your appearance, like the cover of a book, will give people their first clues about the rest of you--what’s inside you.
I want to share with you some treasures of truth which I’ve collected along the way. To be at our very best, we need to understand our physiology—our internal chemistry of our bodies. The truth of the matter is that your physiology affects your health, and your health affects your appearance and energies. This being so, it stands to reason that we should all seek the best way—the most conducive way to healing and regeneration. Only then can we live the most abundantly blessed life with true JOY, healthy self-interest, and self-esteem.
As BraveHeart women, we can truly affect our appearance and our ultimate states of health and well being by making lifestyle choices that contribute to the pH balance of our blood and tissues. I know you’ve probably heard of the pH factor when it comes to shampoos or skin toners. You might remember that the pH of your Jacuzzi, swimming pool, or fish tank is something that has to be correctly balanced. We all know that our body temperature is set at 98.6. We don’t vary from that number very much unless we get sick with a fever, or get too cold and go into hypothermia. To remain healthy and comfortable, we must keep our body temperature around 98.6.
Our body pH (pH stands for the power of hydrogen) is also engineered with a specific setting. It is balanced at 7.365, which is alkaline. The pH scale goes from 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above 7 is called base or alkaline. The fact that we can make conscious, health-minded choices which will keep our bodies in a more perfect state of pH balance is an exciting discovery, especially when we consider how this also affects our appearance, health, and energy levels. I want to tell you my story so you can appreciate the journey I went on to find “my Cover Girl” look, and optimum health.
Like I said earlier, I wanted to achieve my best womanly appearance. I wanted to remain slim and athletic because I liked how clothing hung on the mannequins in the mall--not to mention the lacy lingerie in
Once I understood the pH scale and which foods and drinks were more alkaline, like the human body, it became easy! Unwanted pounds melted off almost magically and I rarely or never got sick. Not even when everyone else was sniffling and sneezing during the holidays. I noticed an energy level which was boundless, and to me-- that was priceless. To look how I wanted and feel vibrantly healthy was such an exciting prospect. Once I grooved into this way of pH balanced living, eating, and thinking, it became second nature to me, and it has remained so--even today. Now I automatically make good alkaline, dietary choices because they always guarantee my desirable weight and best energy reserves. I also keep a regular exercise program as a compliment to alkalizing. I run three miles every other day and then do Kundalini Yoga on the alternate days to keep myself limber and flexible. I am 56 years young, the mother of 4, the grandmother of 3, and I’ve never felt better than I do now! To me, this is miraculous, and it’s part of why our book publications are called The pH Miracle.
How did I first become interested in this pH phenomenon? It all started when I decided to marry a
After Rob finished his college tennis days, our lives got wrapped up in raising 4 kids. Eventually, he decided to study more about the blood and tissues, becoming a microbiologist, a Naturopathic MD, and a nutritionist. He perfected a way to view live blood cells (from German research) and started to develop ideas and theories about what diet would be best to maintain pH homeostasis. We also learned during this period that the body has an alkalinizing buffering system to assure the pH of the blood and tissues remains alkaline. As a self-preservation mode, the body will go to great lengths to maintain its slightly alkaline fluid environment. If the body or tissues becomes too acidic through diet or stress, it will tap into alkalizing buffering reserves-- like calcium from the bones and magnesium from the muscles to neutralize acidity and maintain its delicate balance of 7.365. Our body is so intelligent that it will do this in an effort to keep us alive and well. You may know people who have been able to eat and drink anything they wanted with no ill effect. This would most probably be due to their strong constitutions, including a strong alkalinizing buffering system, a good lymphatic system, and good genetics.
Once we learned the significance of pH balancing for the blood and tissues, we had to discover and research which foods and drinks were acidic and which were alkaline. We could then create a new food pyramid which would contribute to health and vitality instead of sickness and degeneration. Everything we eat or drink metabolizes down into an ash residue which can be neutral, acidic, or alkaline. Acidic diets high in animal proteins, dairy products, carbohydrates, and fermented foods like alcohol, vinegar, and soy sauce can cause the body to manifest with symptoms of sickness and disease. Other foods which create an acid residue ash are coffee, black teas, soft drinks, baked goods, and even high sugar fruits, like bananas, apples, and oranges. As the blood becomes saturated by these types of food and drink, excess fermentation takes place, giving rise to acidic residues in the blood which need to be neutralized. Weight gain is a sure sign of being over acidic, as is water retention. As a protective mechanism, our bodies create fat to bind and hold acid residues away from our vital organs. This is why we pack on pounds just under the skin on our hips, thighs and stomachs. An acidic person can actually look puffy as the body retains water to dilute acids in the system. Edema and puffy bags under the eyes are typical acidic traits. Skin conditions like acne, ruddiness, and blotchiness are also signs that over acidification in the body, causes acids to come to the surface. Even more serious conditions like eczema and psoriasis are manifestations of acids that take a strong hold and erupt through the skin which is sometimes called the “third kidney”, because of its filtering ability. The body can also rob the skin of precious moistures leaving a person looking parched or dehydrated. Premature wrinkling and aging are more prevalent in people who choose an over acidic lifestyle. Many other serious symptoms can appear in the internal environment of our body’s rivers and streams. Eventually they can become sluggish and polluted. If a person doesn’t make changes in their diet and lifestyle and they continue to bombard their systems with acidic foods and drinks, organs and tissues become affected. Diagnoses such as diabetes, cancer, fibro myalgia, and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) are common. Acidic diets and lifestyles are so hard on the body that it’s like making an energy withdrawal from our body bank accounts instead of an energy deposit. We always come up with a deficit!
Otto Warburg, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in Medicine in 1932, stated the following:
When the pH is wrong, oxygen falls, cells respire in an anaerobic environment by fermentation giving rise to increased acidity - cancer is a result of an ACID environment. - Otto Warburg, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1932
The main thing to consider here is that everything we eat and drink affects the way we look, think, act, and feel. If a person chooses a highly acidic diet and lifestyle they set themselves up for proliferation of certain types of microbes which thrive in an acidic terrain. These are referred to as endotoxins and mycotoxins which have yeast and fungal base forms that can wreak havoc in our systems. Many of you have experienced or heard of yeast infections. Sometimes they are re-occurring. Headaches can also be a signal that the brain is somehow connected to a toxic bowel. Just like our earth’s environmental pollution, this needs to be cleaned up in order to bring relief from inflammation and pain. General aches and pains such as in arthritis, bursitis, and even carpal tunnel syndrome involve acidic saturations of the blood, lymph, and affected tissues.
I want to introduce an analogy here so you can think about your cells and how they are suspended in an alkaline fluid. Think of a fish bowl and the fish swimming around in the water. If the fish were to get sick what would be your first inclination? Would you treat the fish, or change the water? Most people would choose to change the fish’s water--the environment he functions in. We realize that the fish needs a properly balanced environment to remain healthy. All of us have witnessed what happens when toxic calamities occur in the ocean. The fish are immediately affected by the change to their alkaline, pH-balanced ocean. Scientists claim that even small changes in the pH of the ocean will affect all life found in it. Think of your own cells as the fish in the fishbowl. Your cells are suspended in an aqueous solution which needs to be maintained as an alkaline environment. The cells can remain healthy as long as this pH factor is maintained. Once that inner terrain is compromised by unhealthy choices or extreme stressors, the cells can morph into unhealthy forms. Then we get sick and tired.
Another great discovery we made was that our bodies are alkaline by design, but acidic by function. This means that while our blood and tissues need to be kept in a delicate balance of 7.365, every function of our bodies, such as running, thinking, eating, and breathing produces acidic, metabolic waste products. There is also a scientific ratio which exists concerning how our body neutralizes these acid by- products. It takes 20 parts alkalinity to neutralize 1 part acidity in our systems. More specifically for you chemistry buffs; it takes 20 parts sodium bicarbonate to neutralize 1 part carbonic acid in the body. With this guiding information at our disposal, we then set out to create an “alkalinizing” lifestyle program that anyone with the desire for optimum health and radiance can follow. You simply eat and drink 80/20: 80% high-water-content, high-fiber, chlorophyll-rich, alkalinizing foods and drinks (like fresh vegetables from the garden), and 20% more grounding or mildly acidic foods such as sprouted wheat tortillas, cooked legumes/grains, or some oily fish or tofu. When you start changing your diet and lifestyle to this 80/20 ratio, you can achieve the ideal weight and radiant energy you’ve always desired. Before you commit to this healthy regimen, however, it’s good to know more reasons why it would be so beneficial.
1. Our bodies break down to:
20% fat (give or take depending on your body type)
1-2% vitamins and minerals
½-1% sugar. (ONLY ½-1% sugar)
To simplify, we could state that our bodies are 70% water and 30% matter. This is similar to our earth’s composition, and also a good way to visualize each plate of food we eat. The majority of the food and drinks we ingest should replace our internal rivers and streams (our blood and lymph fluids) with fresh, alkalinizing hydration. This means food predominantly from the garden and the more chlorophyll-rich, the better. Try to think of your blood as a living streaming organ in your body that feeds and brings nutrients and oxygen to every other organ and system. Then realize that chlorophyll-- the “blood” of green plants, is molecularly structured almost identically to our own hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen around the body. This would mean that chlorophyll might be considered one of the best blood transfusions we could ever get. Some even tout chlorophyll as a blood purifier. Even recently in the new Iron Man 2 movie, you see him was swigging on chlorophyll to slow down the toxicity in his degenerating blood.
In the chlorophyll molecule there is a center atom of magnesium which is an electromagnetic sync, or more simply put, the sun-sensitive element in the process of photosynthesis.
Dr. Klinik Bircher-Benner has said:
“Absorption and organization of sunlight, the very essence of life, is almost exclusively derived from plants. Plants are therefore a biological accumulation of light. Since light is the driving force of every cell in our bodies, that is why we need plants.”
With this understanding, we found that the best way to alkalize was to first drink 3-4 liters a day of alkaline water with a pH of 9 or above. Our choices of the most alkalizing foods was the next step. Moving towards an alkalinizing lifestyle was a process, not an event. I started to implement more alkaline choices while phasing out acidic options. Some of those decisions were as simple as substituting fresh lemon or lime juice for something as highly acidic as vinegar. At this point you may be thinking, “Well, isn’t lemon juice acidic too?” It’s actually true that if you took some pH paper and tested lemon juice it would test acid, but once the lemon juice is metabolized in the body, the inherent alkalizing mineral salts contained in the lemon juice leaves a residue of alkaline ash in the bloodstream. Also because of their low sugar content, lemons and limes do not ferment in the blood.
Other substitutions took place. I started using avocado and healthy oils like flax seed, hemp seed oil, and coconut oil in place of butter and margarine. A huge mixed green salad became our main entrée and we doctored it up with goodies like sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, pine nuts, and garbanzo beans. I started to use many more dark green leafy vegetables in our diet: kale, spinach, and collard greens. Onions, garlic, and ginger became our natural antibiotics. Our morning smoothies went from sugary fruit and yogurts to english cucumbers, spinach, avocado, red ruby grapefruit, fresh coconut meat, some ice, and a little raw green stevia, (an herbal sweetener that is 100 times more sweet than sugar!) It’s “delish”, and so easy! We still could have sides of pasta, fish, or cooked grains, but we found that steamed buckwheat and quinoa were better than white rice, baked potatoes, or yeasty breads. We also added the benefits of good mineral salts. The proper salt is vital for your health, and helps keep you alkalized. Once we got rid of most of the acidic foods and drinks from our diet, we noticed improvement in our health and appearance. Those last 10 vanity pounds disappeared almost immediately. My son’s sinusitis which he’d been struggling with for years cleared up. Headaches became more of a rare occurrence. Clarity of thought, better sleeping patterns, and much more energy were also noticed. We still splurged on a dessert once in a while, but not every week like we used to. Hay fever and other allergies disappeared completely. Like Benjamin Button, we felt like we were “youthing”, instead of aging.
It’s been absolutely one of the richest blessings in our lives to find this treasure of truth. And it makes so much sense. Just eat and drink those foods which are best suited to your body’s pH chemistry and watch the dividends appear! What a pay out! We hardly ever get sick. We have energy levels that match what we had back in high school, and we’re the same size we were back then, too! As Brian Regan states: “Can life get any better?... I submit that it cannot!”
You can even learn to do this out in your busy working world. The menus in most restaurants can be navigated to create a beautiful alkaline meal. Here are some examples:
If you eat at an Italian restaurant:
Order minestrone vegetable soup as an appetizer
A big green salad with avocado, tomato, lemon juice and olive oil
A side of pasta with marinara or pesto sauce, or some fish.
Also, if you’re still hungry, order a side of steamed veggies like broccoli or spinach
If you’re eating at a Mexican restaurant:
Order a large Taco Salad without the meat and cheese.
Use fresh salsa stirred up with guacamole, lemon juice and some salt for your dressing.
Order a side of beans (preferably black beans and some rice for your 20%) or a tortilla
If you’re eating in an Asian/Chinese or Thai restaurant:
Order a vegetable-based soup if available. Some Thai restaurants have a good veggie soup with coconut milk broth.
Order a large stir fry or steam fry (with water, if possible) of a mixed veggie medley,
(leaving out the mushrooms and corn if possible.)
Add tofu to the entrée as part of your 20%.
Use a good salt like Real Salt or Liquid pHlavor Salt instead of Soy Sauce
Order a couple of side veggies like spicy green beans and broccoli or asparagus.
You can even eat at a place like The Cheesecake Factory!:
Order avocado and tomato egg rolls with cilantro sauce for an appetizer
Order a roasted artichoke and use lemon and oil as a dipping sauce.
Get a large mixed veggie salad and use oil, lemon, herbs, and spices for the dressing.
Order beautiful sides of steamed broccoli and other available veggies of choice.
If you’re flying on an airplane, try to pre-order a special vegan meal if it’s available. This will ensure you don’t get an acidic meal like an egg omelet with mushrooms.
When you’re willing to make some simple changes in the way you feed your body, and realize that everything you eat or drink affects your body’s delicate chemistry, appearance, and energy levels, then alkalinizing makes perfect sense. It’s not a program of deprivation, but rather freedom to choose and eat (as much as you want) the kinds of foods and drinks that will be best assimilated in the 9 yards of your intestinal tract. You also need to think of that intestinal tract as your literal root system--similar to how plants have roots to absorb their nutrients from the soil. You wouldn’t think of pouring chocolate milk into the soil of your favorite house plant, right? You’d kill it! It’s a fact that everything you eat or drink finds it place into your millions of intestinal villi and micro villi which are tiny, hair-like structures with the total surface area of a tennis court! Within each of these intestinal villi there exists a vein, an artery, and a lymphatic vessel. It is of utmost importance that you always provide the best possible nutrition so that your root system can absorb the minerals and vitamins that build your blood and tissues, and keep you fit and healthy.
In our minds, food is no longer just a choice about fat grams or calorie. It’s about the life force of the food and how it energizes us with electrons. Acidic food choices do just the opposite. They introduce more protons into our systems which take our energy levels down. The pH Miracle is an invitation to change. Change the way you look, feel, and set out to be the best you! Think about the way you take car of your car. You probably try to put the best fuel in it to keep it running for the longest season you can. Your body is the same! And depending on how many miles you already have on you, alkalinizing just might be your best bet for a long, healthy road ahead! Try it, and don’t be surprised if you get a few miracles of your own! Who knows! You may hit the cover of Cosmopolitan!
Shelley Redford Young, LMT (licensed massage therapist) is the co-author, along with her husband, Robert O. Young, of The pH Miracle trilogy of books: The pH Miracle, The pH Miracle for Diabetes, and The pH Miracle for Weight Loss. (Time Warner publications.)
She has also published two cookbooks entitled Back to the House of Health 1 and 2, and along with her son, Adam Young has published a children’s book on alkalizing,
She has appeared on The Early Show with Dr. Young and other TV appearances where she shares the alkalarian lifestyle and recipes with the public. She has been a keynote speaker at Life Mastery with Tony Robbins and has produced many DVD’s such as Shopping with Shelley, Hot Rox Lymphatic Massage, and several cooking DVD’s. (available at the Young’s website: www.pHmiracleliving.com)
Please go to their website to order any books, tapes, DVD’s, or products that will aid you in starting your own pH Miracle program. The Youngs also hold pH Miracle Retreats and microscopy courses at their Rancho Del Sol in