Is this You, too?

Goodness, just looking at that chart I can sit here and say ‘yes’ to all of those! Though I don’t keep track of my cholesterol or triglycerides, when I don’t maintain my lower carb/alkaline lifestyle no doubt those two things are out of whack since it leads to increased fat storage.

One of the things I dealt with for three years were excruciating migraines. Not just any kind of migraines that came on, pop a pill and magically disappear. They would last for three days, usually with an upset stomach, extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. Rendering me useless around the house, it wasn’t until earlier this year that another condition forced me into changing what I eat. No longer was lower carbohydrates enough for me. I had to incorporate some alkaline food as well. It cleared up the ulcer in my stomach, got rid of my acid reflux and heartburn, did away with my fatigue, burns up the fat a lot faster, and has healed me of my migraines. Do I recommend it for everyone? No, there are those out there who would not fair very well with an alkaline lifestyle but everyone should get plenty of fruits and veggies on a regular basis.

I know there are plenty of folks on both sides of the aisle who would probably tell me that it isn’t possible to do lower carbs and alkaline together. If that were true then I should not have been able to lose 35 pounds in three months. I should have gained more weight, felt worse than better, and wound up in the hospital with doctors pumping all kinds of medication into my system. January 2013 was a turning point for me, a time that I’m grateful that I had a stomach ulcer, it woke me up to what I needed to do to further my health.

So how does an alkaline lifestyle, with lower carb lifestyle, work? First off, what is an alkaline lifestyle? Basically it’s going from eating meats and tates to veggies and fruits with textured meat substitutes (soy). The average alkaline dieter may live a 70/30 lifestyle. Meaning that 70% of what they eat is alkaline and 30% is carbs and gluten or gluten free (if needed). Knowing my body I couldn’t do that. Since I can’t have gluten and most fruits/veggies are naturally high in fructose I have to steer clear of them as well. Back in January, after extensive reading, very little sleep, and constantly running the battery down on my iPod, I figured out how I could get lower carb and alkaline to work for me. It was all about the ratios…since I can’t do 70% alkaline(wide variety of fruits and veggies) and 30% carbs and gluten (free), I had to change what those ratios meant. Basically, I had to go at it backwards.

I had read that people who jump into going alkaline feel sick after a few days I decided I didn’t want to feel any worse than I already was. That meant I had to ease into it, I started out with a 90/10 ratio. 90% of what I ate was lower in carbs and 10% was alkaline. Within days of eating that way I was feeling so much better! Two weeks later I was back to 100% health. No more stomach issues, I could lay down at night without propping up, and I wasn’t feeling tired throughout the day (plus no migraines)! By February I decided to amp it up to 80/20…80% lower carb and 20% alkaline. That’s when I began noticing the weight falling off of me. Every week I was shedding about 2 pounds a week, sometimes three if I had been extra diligent in my work outs.

Ok, so it worked for me…what exactly was I doing that was making it work?

For starters I had to give up my gummy vitamins. They’re sugar coated and not a good alternative for anyone with ulcer issues or a low carb dieter. The second thing I had to do was increase the lower carb veggies and fruits. Low carb safe vegetables are as follows::

  • Greens–dark lettuces and kale have become my staple.
  • Herbs–parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, cumin, chili powder are my go to flavors for most dishes
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Mushrooms, fresh
  • Cabbage
  • Jicama
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers, organic only
  • Green Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Green Bell Peppers, only
  • Summer Squash
  • Zuchinni
  • Green Onions and Leeks
  • Eggplant, especially the white Japanese variety
  • Turnips
  • Spaghetti Squash, in small quantities
  • Onions, in small quantities

I don’t keep all of this in my fridge at the same time. I choose to eat seasonally and shun the imported varieties. It’s important for everyone to eat according to their dietary needs, mine just happen to be lower carb. How does that translate into alkaline? Well, if something has a hint of sweetness to it I can only indulge in it a little, not on a regular basis. If something is naturally high in fructose then that fruit or vegetable would remain acidic in my system. Oranges for example, they are good for you, full of vitamin C. But they are naturally sweet. Instead of my body working to convert it into an alkaline fruit, because of the fructose, it remains acidic wreaking havoc on my body from the inside out. It raises my insulin levels dangerously high which is followed by crash. Fatigue, sudden tiredness, hits me and all I want to do curl up on the sofa for a little nap. People who are like me, you notice you fall asleep after a meal, need to reexamine the food you eat and cut out the food (and most often the carbohydrates will be the culprit) that’s causing you to feel tired.

Now what are some alkaline foods that I have had to incorporate? Really not so much about what alkaline foods I need to be eating but rather noticing what acidic foods I need to cut out in order to make the alkaline lifestyle work for me. I was a huge ground beef and pork lover, after seeing that those are two of the most acidic meats on the list I had to cut those out. It was no wonder my Mom’s chili (which in my opinion is the absolute best) was causing me so much grief at night! I can still have turkey and chicken, just in normal portions and not in copious amounts. Next I had to further cut out any uses of artificial sweeteners. I had always had a problem with aspartame, acne and headaches, so that meant no more sugar free teas or drinks when eating out. Water only. And no more sugar free jellos, puddings, ice creams, candies or anything! In substitution of aspartame I have opted for Stevia. It’s all natural as it’s origin is a plant, and I can use it in whatever I’m cooking or baking. There are those that speak out against Stevia in the Raw but I have yet to have any problems with it personally. I think it all depends on who’s more sensitive to it will determine the reactions. I especially love to use Stevia in the Raw in my homemade alkaline lemonade.

Whoa, alkaline lemonade? Yes, you read that correctly! Lemons are alkaline, hard to believe it but it’s true. The citric acid in a lemon is lower than most think or have been led to believe. That whole thing that lemons are so acidic and they’re harmful to your body….pfft! If anything lemons have actually aided me more than any antacid has in the past. It is my go to after dinner antacid. Here’s how it works… the lemon is being digested it starts to leave an “ash” in its wake. That “ash” is the alkaline properties, which are greater than the citric acid. For my son’s birthday we had pizza…oh pizza is my food sin of choice! I only indulged in three pieces and forgot to have some alkaline lemonade afterwards. That night I woke up choking on my acid reflux. Before I would munch on about ten antacid, drink several cups of water and sit up the rest of the night with that icky burning sensation in my throat and stomach. Instead of doing that I went downstairs and poured some of my lemonade into a glass and sipped it slowly. Within 30 minutes to an hour I was feeling better. The initial burning of the lemonade was unpleasant at first but in my homeopathic studies I found that you have to treat like with like. Treat acid with acid. Sounds crazy but it worked! There are people who take apple cider vinegar for an upset stomach, it works the same way. I’m never without my alkaline lemonade now.

Alkaline Lemonade Recipe

16 oz filtered (or alkalized) water

1/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed or concentrate)

1/4 cup Stevia in the raw (or more if needed)

Mix the lemon juice and Stevia together in the glass first, add water and stir to dissolve the Stevia. Add ice and enjoy!

The affects of this remedy will greatly depend on your metabolism. For me I notice it working within an hour, someone else may feel it working within 20–30 minutes. I usually make this by the bottle and keep it with me especially on a Friday night when I allow myself to have some grilled brats and turkey bacon. Blasphemous sounding I know, but the one time a week when I indulge I choose to enjoy some grilled brats with onions and peppers. It’s low carb and the alkaline lemonade helps to neutralize the pork. I can sleep at night with no repercussions.

I say all of that to make this point: alkaline and lower carb can work together. Alkaline is great for PCOS in that it promotes fertility (not that I’m in need of it at this point in time), it protects the body from calcium loss,helps to prevent and reduce aches and pains, and will also reduce inflammation, boosting your energy, and over all health! Lower carb is great for PCOS because Cysters are more prone to a fatty nonalcoholic liver. A ketogenic diet helps to improve the overall health of the liver and once that is regenerated the weight loss will begin to speed up. Taking cinnamon pills will aid in the regeneration of your liver. Just be careful to not take large doses of cinnamon, it can lead to skin irritations and allergic reactions. If you are unsure you might be such a person to have a reaction to cinnamon, start with a lower dosage and increase it up to the full dose if no side effects are present. And as always consult your doctor first and discuss such changes before proceeding with any new remedy. It’s for your protection and well being.

I leave you with this last thought…if you are a woman suffering from the above mentioned symptoms in the chart and are in your child bearing years please get tested. Go to your doctor and start asking questions. Don’t be shy in telling him or her about the issues you face on daily basis. If you have missed your period more than five times this years and are not pregnant please request an ultra sound to see how your ovaries look. If you are always tired after meals please consider changing up what you eat, add some more veggies and fruits through out the day with every meal and snack. Reduce your soy intake, unfermented soy is not safe for anyone. Fermented soy, such as Soy Sauce, is a better option but again in small quantities. Bottom line do what you have to do to make yourself feel better. If that means going lower carb then do it, if you choose to go all alkaline then I encourage you to do that as well. Whatever works, we’re all so different, especially when it comes to the different phenotypes of PCOS. Don’t succumb to a one size fits all diet or lifestyle. Chances are you could be doing more harm to your body than helping it.

As always, have a blessed day!

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