Just under four years ago, I became a vegetarian for ethical and environmental reasons after watching these videos back-to-back:
Yes, PETA got me. I wasn’t even looking to become a vegetarian, I had come to their website for business purposes and literally stopped eating meat the very next day. (My then 7-year old animal-loving daughter followed suit the day after with virtually no persuasion.) Even though I realized that going vegetarian had significant health benefits, health was the least of my concerns. I was 26 years old, newly single, and more interested in going out and having fun, which at the time often involved large amounts of alcohol. I decided that being health-conscious and fit could wait until my 30s when I was ready to settle down again and be more responsible, serious, and grounded. I wasn’t ready to be a yoga mat-toting health nut, not yet. But saying goodbye to meat I could do, and even though I wasn’t a true animal lover I did have grave concerns about the environment and its sustainability so it felt good to find a way to do my part.
I adopted what was more of a carbitarian diet than anything. Instead of pepperoni pizza I ate cheese pizza, instead of tacos and meat burritos, I ordered bean and cheese burritos and cheese enchiladas. Instead of spaghetti with meat sauce I got marinara sauce. I replaced lunchmeat with egg salad or grilled cheese. I ultimately wanted to become vegan for the sake of the animals and the environment but what would I do without cheese now that it was largely what I ate? I had never really developed a taste for vegetables, and aside from an occasional salad, I really didn’t bother to incorporate any more into my vegetarian diet. Eliminating meat really wasn’t that hard, and the theory that your taste buds change when you cut meat out of your diet really did hold true for me, I no longer craved it at about the six month mark. I did experience more energy and felt better overall those first few months after eliminating meat. But because I was still eating so much dairy and starch and so few vegetables, I soon got back to feeling sluggish and periodically depressed, although I have never been overweight at any point in my life. My friends called me “the worst vegetarian ever” teasing that I shouldn’t even classify as a vegetarian since I rarely ate vegetables.
Then, shortly after my 30th birthday, I took a job which requires me to read and write about health–particularly alkaline-acid balance and the benefits of alkaline water–40 hours a week. And this was the push I needed to shift my focus to health, right on my self-appointed schedule. I first read “The Miraculous Properties of Ionized Water” by Bob McCauley, which literally changed my life. My mother and stepfather had given me a water ionizer years before but I was too busy chugging half a dozen Cherry Cokes and Dr. Peppers a day to take advantage of it. After reading the book I promptly had my fiancee hook up our water ionizer and said goodbye to sodas, which are one of the most acidic liquids we can consume. I began drinking the recommended amount of alkaline ionized water daily and immediately noticed increased energy, general wellness and fewer headaches and chest pains. That was about three months ago and I have since read dozens of books, watched a handful of documentaries and written over a dozen articles on the subject of alkaline living and the benefits of a plant-based diet as well as added tons of vegetables to my diet and created some delicious alkaline recipes of my own. I am excited to share some of the things I have learned and the recipes I have with you here. I can now truly say that health is my #1 goal and I am genuinely working towards an alkalarian diet diet and lifestyle, which is best described in Dr. Robert O. Young’s book “The pH Miracle” but I will sum up as:
*Daily consumption of good quality alkaline water (I recommend Chanson Water ionizers)
*A virtually raw vegan diet consisting mainly of alkaline fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds
*An 80% alkaline/20% acid balance
*Alkaline-forming exercise like walking, rebounding, yoga, and jogging
*Positive thoughts and meditation
Stay tuned for future posts in which I will cover the above topics and provide recipes and resources.