Monday, January 17, 2011

The PH Diet. Thanks to our friend Jen this started it all! I'm so Grateful!

The Whys, Whats, and Hows To Jenn’s PH Diet

So many of you have asked me about my new “way of eating”; I hate to call it a “diet”, but prefer to call it my “lifestyle”. My intentions were not to lose weight, but to cure my mom of cancer. I didn’t cure my mom of cancer, it was too far along. But I did change my life. I lost 10-12 pounds in 2 weeks and have kept it off. I found a new and healthier way of eating that has given me amazing energy and power when I am teaching and just living. I have cured my plantar fascitis in my foot, rashes that I have had for years, and night sweats that were out of control. I feel healthy and hopefully will prevent myself from getting cancer or help me fight it if I do; or prevent any other ailment or disease. I am completely hooked. Scott started it two weeks after me. He has also lost about 8 pounds and has amazing energy and power as he continues to race. When I eat now, I think of it as a way to keep me healthy. I will be very honest. In the beginning, it was not an easy thing to do. My attitude about food was, if I taught three classes a day, I should be able to eat anything I want and I did. I never deprived myself of anything. I would watch my portion sizes, but you name it I ate it. This was a drastic change for me. I have to admit, it helped to have my spouse commit to the changes too. You will change your eating completely and at first you will feel like you want to give up. You will cleanse many toxins out of your body. You will realize you are full, but you miss or crave certain tastes. You will realize a lot of the way we eat is mental and emotional. It is hard at first, and it takes some organization, preparation, and commitment. But, then it soon becomes a way of life. The cravings are very minimal. I have made it a way of life and it is not hard anymore. I love it now and I love the way I feel. You must change the way you think. I now “eat to live” I don’t “live to eat”. When people ask me if I will do this for the rest of my life, I realize, I can’t think that far into the future. I started this in May of 2008. I have done pretty well so far. I think of it one day at a time, even one meal at a time. That is as far as I can comprehend. What will I have for breakfast? When I make it through that meal, then I ask myself what would be a good snack? After a few nuts or a piece of fruit, I think about what I will make for lunch and so on. I have truly seen and felt the benefits of this way of life and it has been amazing.

As I share my thoughts with you, please remember, I have done a lot of research in a little time. I continue to study and research things daily. I am not following one specific “diet” completely. I have taken a variety of ideas and made them work for ME. They may not all work for you. There are a lot of different opinions and concepts to this way of eating. Some people only eat fruit, some all vegetables. Some limit the grains. Some add a little fish or chicken. Some believe you should drink carrot juice daily, others say no carrots at all. So tweak it and play with it, and find what will work the best for YOU. Once I decided what I was going to give up and what I was going to eat, it was easier for me to go into it all at once with full commitment. You may have to make the transitions slowly by cutting out one thing at a time. It is important for you to also find something that makes YOU happy and something you can do for a life time. If you don’t, you will be miserable. I will share with you in great detail how I have made it successful for ME.

The Whys:

My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic malignant melanoma in May of 2008. There didn’t seem to be much hope and no one was doing anything to help her. No treatment was being done and I felt helpless. So I began to research success stories for advanced stage melanomas. I found one who had similar symptoms to my mom and had tried a diet that had shrunk the tumors. He was still alive six years later. So I read on. The diet was called the Hallelujah Diet. You can read about it if you visit the web site It was an extreme diet made up of mostly raw vegetables, a lot of carrot juice, some nuts and seeds, some fruits, and some grains. You only could cook one meal a day. It was pretty rigid and extreme, but that is where we started.

Then, two different friends gave me a study from Johns Hopkins University about cancer and diet. (See attachment) It explained all of the why’s to the Hallelujah Diet, but wasn’t as strict and rigid. It just explained that some foods feed cancer and some starve cancer and we need to stay away from the foods that feed cancer. So, this seemed a little more doable. I could tell they were talking a lot about the PH of the body, acid vs. alkaline. Cancer loves an acidic body and most of the foods we eat are acidic. I set out to keep my mom’s diet more alkaline. She was willing to try and I promised to do it with her so she would have support and help.

I knew of a neighbor that was extremely ill and diagnosed with a terminal illness a few years ago. I knew he had changed his diet in a similar way and basically changed his life. He is doing great and feeling great. I began talking to his wife and she brought me a stack of books to read. I set out to do my research and find ways to make this work.

The philosophy is taken from the European medical doctors who believe that Americans solve every ailment with a pill or surgery. If we would just test the PH of our blood and change our diet we could solve a lot of our issues. Some doctors refer to it as acidosis. “Acidosis is the basic foundation of all disease.” Our blood PH should be slightly more alkaline than acidic. On a scale of 1-14 optimal health has an alkaline PH of 7.39-7.42. If our Ph falls below 7.39 then we are too acidic and have acidosis. This is when illness, and ailments occur, because our body can not eliminate the acids so they sit in our organs and tissues causing diseases. We do need acids to balance the alkaline but the problem is most American diets are way too acidic. When our bodies become too acidic many problems occur such as; asthma, ulcers, colitis, intestinal problems, rashes and other skin issues, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, cancers (especially colon cancer), obesity, allergies, fatigue (most common ailment), memory problems, diabetes, respiratory conditions, ADHD, mood disorders, depression, acne, and many others. (See the acidity test attachment.) When there is a balance of alkaline vs. acidic blood the body’s immune system can eliminate the problems in our body.

This made so much sense to me. No wonder we have so many problems. We don’t eat right. What we eat is doing us more harm then good most of the time. So, I set out to learn about the PH of the food I was eating. Everything I ate needed to provide me with good health and energy, not sickness. It wasn’t hard to convince me to change my diet once I realized what the food was doing to my body, both the good and the bad. I found out that my body was using all of my energy just to digest all the bad food I was eating. My body needed a break. It was working so hard to digest the acidic meat, the dairy, the sugar, the processed chemicals, etc, etc, that I didn’t have any energy left. So I set out to find foods that would give me the energy my body needed to live, not to mention, teach three fitness classes a day.

The Whats:

I started by finding many charts of foods that were highly acidic and foods that had an alkaline affect on the body. I knew I needed some acids for balance so I had to decide what acids I would choose to eat. I choose the foods that had the best and most nutrients. Then I needed to learn what foods were alkaline based and I needed to incorporate all of them into my diet. (I have bought PH test strips and I do test my urine every so often to see if I need to adjust my diet or my stress levels.)

THIS IS MY DIET. I would say I follow it 90-95% of the time. Scott follows it 80-85% of the time. And my kids follow it about 70-75% of the time. I will try to make it as simple as I can. I try to think of all the good foods “I Can” eat, not all of the foods “I Can’t” eat. Basically, I eat foods that are “alive” not dead, and all foods that can be “picked”, with the exception of a little bit of fish once in a while.

1. I eat ALL fresh fruits and vegetables. (I don’t buy organic; I just wash them really good.) I eat potatoes and sweet potatoes and squash. Many fruits are acidic, so this is one of the acids I have chosen to eat for balance, but a lot of fruits are alkaline too. Tomatoes, avocados, bananas, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are the most alkalizing fruits once they enter the body. They may taste acidic but they alkalize the body in digestion. I also juice a lot of vegetables. I use a lot of canned pumpkin and unsweetened applesauce. (This has replaced my eggs and butter in baking.)

2. I eat ALL frozen fruits and vegetables. (Make sure there is no added salt or sugar.) Frozen fruits make great smoothies and you can buy them in big bags at Costco. I also eat dried fruits, but, be careful of the sugar. Raisins are great and very alkalizing. I will occasional drink or cook with 100% unsweetened juices.

3. I eat whole grains. Some grains are acidic but I needed them for energy, so these were the acids I chose for me. Some people cut out wheat and gluten. And I prefer not to eat a lot of gluten. I don’t eat anything white. (I eat brown rice, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, whole grain breads from Great Harvest, sprouted whole wheat tortillas, corn, air popped popcorn, and corn tortillas, oatmeal, special cereals, whole wheat pastas, quinoa, barley, whole wheat couscous, buckwheat, millet, etc.) Check the labels for added salt, sugar, and oils.

4. I eat all beans. This is your main source of protein. If you eat them out of a can there is usually added salt, just wash and rinse them really good. I eat a lot of hummus which is garbanzo beans or chick pea based.

5. I eat all raw seeds and nuts except peanuts. (peanuts are hard to digest and very acidic) I love almond butter and almonds are very alkalizing. I put pine nuts in everything. Chestnuts are alkalizing. Coconut is also alkalizing, so I use canned coconut milk to cook with. I also eat a lot of sprouts. Keep a bag of nuts and raisins with you to snack on.

6. I drink rice milk, almond, and soy milk. I use this in cereal, smoothies, and baking. (All the nut milks such as hemp milk or almond milk are fine.) I also cook with coconut milk.

7. I eat tofu. This has replaced my meat. I have even found a few tofu cheeses that I like. Tempeh is similar to tofu and is a little more nutty. I like to fry mine in olive oil first because I don’t like it mushy.

8. I eat succanat, agave nectar, honey, molasses, and 100% maple syrup as my sweeteners. (I do not eat any sugar so check all of your labels. Sugar is one of the most acidic and cancer causing foods there is. Corn syrup is just as bad. Be careful, everything has corn syrup.) I do eat cane juice in things and there are a few sugar substitutes that are acceptable such as “Stevia” very alkalizing. Substitute any of these sweeteners in place of sugar when baking or cooking. Honey can be substituted exactly, agave nectar and pure maple syrup are sweeter so adjust them. Agave Nectar is my favorite, because it has a very low glycemic index, it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels.

9. I eat Braggs liquid aminos, sea salt, Mrs. Dash, and all herbs and spices as my seasonings. (I do not eat table salt it is acidic, sea salt is alkaline.) I also found a great seasoning called Braggs Amino Acids, it is a great salty replacement for soy sauce without the salt, I spray it on my popcorn and my salads. Braggs also makes a great salad dressing and I use it for pasta salads too. Braggs also has a seasoning that is full of herbs and no salt. Be careful of condiments. Apple cider vinegar is alkalizing, but all other vinegars are acidic. I use all spices that don’t have salt. Cinnamon is great. I cook with a lot of fresh garlic. Herbal teas are very alkalizing as are green teas but I would pass on the caffeine.

10. I eat a little bit of salmon. This is the only meat I eat in my diet. I only eat it once or twice a month. I felt like I needed the omega 3 chain that you can only get from fish and I would rather eat it than take fish oil supplements.

11. I eat extra virgin olive oil. This is my main source of fat. This is really the only oil I eat. I also eat a lot of avocados.

THIS IS WHAT I DON’T EAT. It is hard to be perfect, but I do the best I can.

1. No dairy.

2. No meat.

3. No sugar.

4. No salt.

5. No bad oils and fats.

6. No processed foods or chemicals.

7. No white flour, white rice, white pasta, stay away from white.

8. No eggs.

9. Nothing artificial. (I try to eat everything in its purest form.)

10. Anything that has more than 5-6 ingredients or ingredients I don’t recognize.

11. No caffeine. (I will cook with baking cocoa once in a while, but not very much.)

12. No alcohol.

I have found if you eat a wide variety of fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, etc. you will get all of the nutrients that you need. You will not be lacking in any vitamins and minerals with all of the fruits and veggies you eat. Nuts and seeds and grains also have a lot of vitamins and minerals. (I do have a chart of all the required vitamins and minerals and what foods have them in it. See attachment.)

People will be most concerned with your protein intake because you are not eating meat. Animal protein is not the only source of protein. Someone of my size and weight requires 30-50 grams of protein a day. Most people eat way too much protein. Dark green leafy vegetables have a ton of protein. Nuts and seeds have a lot of protein. Rice milk and soy milk have protein. Beans are full of protein. Tofu is all protein. Even your grains have protein in them. Quinoa is a complete source of protein because it includes all of the amino acids. A slice of Great Harvest Bread has 6 grams of protein. Make an almond butter sandwich with honey or apple butter or fresh berries and you have a great source of protein. Even a strict vegetarian can easily get all of their protein requirements. And, if you eat a variety of rice, beans, potatoes, and fruits and veggies you can easily get all 9 amino acids required. Diets too high in protein can actually be harmful to your health. Our biggest and strongest animals that carry the largest muscle mass are the bull, the gorilla, the elephant, the rhino, and the hippo. They are all vegetarians. The cow doesn’t eat a cow or drink milk to provide you with the steak you eat or the milk you drink, the cow eats grass.

One of the greatest benefits of this diet is the potential of high cleansing of toxins in the body. Foods that nourish, strengthen, and best support cleansing and repair of the body are raw fruits, salad greens and other vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, dates, figs, raisins, raw honey, pure maple syrup, herbal teas, steamed vegetables, brown rice, carrots, lima beans, millet, quinoa. Raw foods have more nutrients per calorie than cooked foods, but all of the above foods support exceptional cleansing, growth, and repair, healing, and weight loss. Make sure you drink a lot of water to clean out the toxins and impurities in the body and eat foods with high water content; fruits and veggies.

Refined and processed foods, sugar, oil, and animal-based foods do not provide enough nutrients, or fiber. They are full of acids and fat. They produce toxins and waste, and produce many imbalances in the body. Overuse promotes disease. Unfortunately, 90% of Americans’ calories come from the above sources. Our bodies are being abused. They need a break. We care more about what kind of fuel we put in our car than what we put in our own bodies. And that is scary.


I have done a lot of the hard work for you. I have foods that I always keep in my cupboards, and take with me when I travel. It is important that you have snacks readily available. This is not a diet high in calories, so I eat all the time. Be careful not to overload the grains. (Add the grains to all the veggies, not veggies to the grains.) You want to make sure you don’t get too hungry, or you will eat anything you can find. Be organized and be prepared. I still love convenience, so I have found a lot of great products that I can make fast. I found some great snack foods. I have found things that replace my cravings. I have found ways to eat out and even on vacation. I will share everything I can with you, where I shop and what I buy. Also, I will include a list of my recipes. Clean out the bad in your cupboards and take some time to replace it with the good.

Let me give you some advice. Read every label. You will be surprised at all the “crap” in food. Be careful of salt, sugar, corn syrup, preservatives that you don’t recognize, and bad oils. If it has more than 5-7 ingredients, be leary. Be creative and share recipes and ideas with others who are eating this way too. Keep things simple. Develop a network of support. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you have a bad day. Just get back on track as soon as you can. When you go out to eat do the best you can. What works for you, may not work for someone else and what works for someone else may not work for you. Take it one day at a time, one meal at a time. If you refuse to give something up, then don’t. Just do better in the other areas. If you cheat one day, don’t stress. Stress and guilt cause more acid in the body than food sometimes. Just over alkalize your next meal and move on. You have to be able to do this for life and still be happy. It is not hard for me anymore. I find my bad cravings have disappeared. I now crave the healthy whole foods that make me feel good and now taste so good to me. It is now a way of life. Just learn how to substitute something good for something bad. I don’t use sugar I use honey or maple syrup or agave nectar. I replace meat with beans. I use whole wheat or buck wheat flour and oatmeal instead of white flour. I use sea salt and a lot of herbs and spices instead of salt. I eat real whole fresh foods instead of boxed and processed foods. I use rice or soy milk instead of dairy. I love how I eat and I especially love how I feel. Learn how to really taste your foods. Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck!

Breakfast Ideas:

Oatmeal with honey, rice milk, fruits, nuts, blueberries, or agave nectar

Fresh fruit (fruit is a great cleanser, so highly suggested in the morning)


Toast with honey, or almond butter and pumpkin spread

Almond butter sandwich

Almond butter smoothie

Homemade whole wheat pancakes or waffles.

Special cereal with rice milk and berries. (flax seed cereals at Costco, Nature’s Path Brand or Kashi brands are pretty safe or Ezekial cereals)

Banana spice muffins

Fresh carrot juice


Breakfast potatoes in parsley and olive oil


Spinach salad with broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, pine nuts, and Braggs Dressing

Pasta Salad with Braggs

Veggie sandwich with hummus and avocado (the artichoke tempanade is a good spread)

Veggie wrap

Bean burrito with brown rice

Leftovers from the night before


Fruit smoothie

Stir fry

Bowl of fresh fruit

Veggie Burger

Almond butter and honey and berry or banana sandwich

Dinner: (Think simple, don’t combine a lot of foods together)

Spinach salad

Fried rice

Baked potato or sweet potato

Roasted potatoes, or garlic mashed with olive oil not butter

Steamed veggies or stir fry

Whole wheat pasta with sauce or olive oil, garlic, & veggies, pestos

Salads; Taco salad with beans and salsa, pasta, salad

Soups (I make a lot of soups and freeze them in smaller containers for other meals)

Veggie Burgers or black bean burgers

Lettuce or Cabbage Wraps

Whole wheat pasta salads


Veggie pizza on whole wheat crust

Burritos w/ beans and rice

See the recipe books


Dried fruit, raisins

Raw nuts

Organic chips and salsa or guacamole or hummus

Crackers and hummus

Fresh fruit and veggies, make a big bowl of fresh berries in season

Fruit leather

Piece of bread with honey or pumpkin butter

Air popped popcorn with sea salt or Mrs. Dash (sometimes I spray a little Pam to get the salt to stick or use the spray bragg’s liquid aminos.)

Roasted almonds in olive oil and cumin and sea salt (see recipe book)

Roasted almonds in maple syrup and cinnamon

Coconut rice with raisins and almonds, or mango

No salt rice cakes with hummus on top

Eating Out: (You can’t always be perfect, but there really are a lot of great options)

*Jamba juice has an all fruit smoothie

*Subway has a veggie sandwich on whole wheat or honey oat bread. (No cheese or dressing.

*Mexican Restaurant order veggie or bean burritos or meatless salads. Use salsa or guacamole. Hold the cheese and sour cream.

*Taco Time has a veggie burrito on a whole wheat tortilla, and Taco Bell claims they do not use lard in their beans.

*All Asian Restaurants will almost always have a vegetarian choice and ask for brown rice.

*Café Rio has whole wheat tortillas if you ask. Go meatless, or do the salmon if you eat fish. Omit the cheese, use salsa and guacamole for dressing and squeeze on the limes.

*Chili’s has a great black bean veggie burger.

*Italian restaurants ask for whole wheat pasta with veggies or marinara sauce.

*Great Harvest makes a great veggie sandwich at lunch.

*Sweet Tomatoes has great choices. Sometimes I take my own dressing or just use lemon or lime wedges. If that is too hard, just get a light dressing on the side and stick your fork tines in it.

*Nice restaurants have salmon or other fish. Be specific on how to cook it. There are always salads.

*Some restaurants will even have a veggie plate with steamed veggies.

*In general order salads, rice, beans, or veggies, veggie burgers, or vegan style meals. Leave off the cheese, dressings, butter, and most sauces. Use salsas, guacamoles, olive oils, or light vinegarettes on the side, and lemons and limes. Stay away from meat, use tofu or beans instead.

*You could always order a side salad with a baked potato ala carte.

*Long Life Vegi House (1353 E. 3300 S.)

*Omar’s Living Cuisine Raw Food Bar (2148 S. Highland Drive)


*Costco:(They are always getting fun new products and they have a lot of great organic snacks) Soy or Rice milk, Almond butter, Mrs. Mays Almond Crunch, Potato Crisps, Fruit and Nut Medley, dried apricots, raisins, prunes, fresh fruit, raw nuts, tomatoes and veggies fresh or frozen, hummus, organic flax seed cereals, Kashi shredded whole wheat cereal, “Foods Should Taste Good” multigrain crackers and chips, frozen berries, frozen fruit mix, frozen veggies, apple chips, Bear Naked granola, pinenuts, pistachios, RW Garcia Organic veggie tortilla chips, frozen roasted garlic red potatoes, fruit leather, garlic cloves in bulk, olive oil, honey, pure maple syrup, Tuscan Tapenade (a great Mediterranean spread I use for wraps, pizzas, and pasta), artichoke tempanade, whole grain organic seeded crackers, ground corn tortillas, Amy’s organic canned soups, Dave’s Gourmet Red Heirloom Pasta Sauce (Organic and yummy), they have a great No-Salt seasoning that is so good (I love it on air popped pop corn) They have my favorite veggie burgers in a big tub 16 for 9.99). Organic salsa.

*Great Harvest: Dakota bread, whole wheat bread, 9 grain bread, muffins (this was a treat for me at first, now I don’t crave bread anymore.)

*Good Earth: raw nuts in bulk, almond crunch in bulk, grains and oats in bulk, organic nutrition bars, bragg’s amino acid, braggs salad dressing, organic marinara sauce, sprouted wheat tortillas, ultra gel (a thickener for soups and jams), tofu cheeses, stevia, apple butter, Ezekial Breads and Cereals, gluten free flours in bulk.

*Wild Oats: same as Good Earth, but a lot bigger, hummus, grind your own almond butter.

* Any grocery store: fresh fruit, veggies, tofu, brown rice, whole wheat pastas, veggie burgers, Mrs. Dash, sea salt, honey, whole wheat flour, avocados, oatmeal, beans, olive oil, vegetable broth (but read ingredients), unsweetened applesauce, pumpkin, coconut milk, 100% juices, Ezekiel 4:9 whole grain cereal (tastes like grapenuts—I get it at Smith’s or Harmons in cereal section under natural foods)

*Harmons: Harmons has a great health food section with a lot to choose from. I found the Ezekial cereal there for a $1 cheaper than at Smiths. It also has the Braggs amino acids and Braggs salad dressings. I saw almond butter and rice milk and apple butter. I bought a packet of organic pesto w/o the parmesan cheese. You just add olive oil, mix it into pasta and sprinkle pine nuts and sea salt. I buy my quinoa and whole wheat couscous there too. Agave Nectar is a great replacement for sugar. Check it out.

Books and websites I suggest:

Eat to Live, by Joel Fuhrman M.D. (I highly recommend this book)

Total Health Makeover, by Marilu Henner

The Acid Alkaline Diet, by Dr. Christopher Vasey

The PH Miracle, by Dr. Robert O. Young

The Acid Alkaline Food Guide, by Dr, Susan Brown and Larry Triviert

Alkalize or Die, by Theodore Baroody

The 21 Day Cleanse, Optimum Wellness, by Kathy Freston

Skinny Bitches, by Rory Freedman (Sounds harsh, but really says it like it is)

The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone (search title “How diet soda causes weight gain?’) This is a great lesson on the acid alkaline diet made simple!!!

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