Debunking the Myths of Diets
I was born in South Korea in the 70’s and immigrated to the states in the 80’s. So during the 70’s when I was growing up in Korea, I remember hamburgers were a treat because meats were expensive I’m Korea.
So when we came to the states in the early 80’s my parents took us to McDonalds quite a bit.
Today, while McDonalds is considered an unhealthy food, it brings back fond memories of the past where we were indulging in the delectable taste of a Big Mac.
I remember during my pregnancy, I craved it, so I had it and so enjoyed it. This was despite my knowledge and understanding.
So my “memory” of the food took precedence over the linear thinking of whether it was good or bad for me.
Everything I learned in graduate school about nutrition has now evolved to a point where what I learned is obsolete.
Today with the internet providing all of us with a platform to speak up, everyone who’s someone is touting this or that diet.
Even on our Facebook page, if I have a picture of meat as part of a diet plan, some people had strong opinions about it as they truly believed in “plant based” diet.
I’m no stranger to the Vegan diet, as my graduate study was at Loma Linda University which is considered one of the “blue zones”, meaning people are the healthiest there. Vegetarianism is a part of their religion, so they don’t eat meat.
I adapted the most vegan diet at that time for over 3 years, and then I was diagnosed with Lupus.
When I sought out a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, he told me based on my body type That I needed to eat meat, and not just any meat, but red meat.
So I listened, and slowly got better.
All this to say that in my career as a clinical Dietitian, as well as a Physical Therapist and Functional Medicine Practitioner, I’ve practiced along side fellow colleagues (mostly highly educated in health) who fear the judgements from others so much so that what they eat in public is very different than what they eat in private.
PhD’s in Nutrition, Medical Doctors and my professors didn’t necessarily practice what they knew.
Today, from Ketogenic, Paleo, Plant Based, Macrobiotics, Mediterranean, to Whole 30, it’s become a “trend” to follow it for a short time because restrictive diets aren’t sustainable.
I’ve seen patients in my office struggle with their health despite their pristine diet, but I also have friends and colleagues that feel as healthy on a very poor diet.
So how do you make sense of this?
I’ve studied, researched, and refuted both sides of the findings and my conclusion is that it’s all about balance.
If you wanted a concept to embrace, I’m talking about acid-alkaline balance. There’s no magic. When our bodies are in balance, meaning they are slightly more “alkaline”, then our bodies will recover from sickness and health will be restored.
So rather than talking about this or that diet, or plant based or mediterranean, I think it’s more important to understand that the food is not our enemy.
It’s that we are more acidic on the pH scale.
In an acidic state, the diet can have a huge play. Most healthy foods like vegetables and whole grains tend to be “alkalizing”, and most unhealthy processed foods like fast foods and sugary foods tend to be “acidic”.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have any acidic foods, it’s about having balance to always shift the needle to more alkaline.
For example, I love wine and coffee, both of which are acidic to the body. I also get Benlysta injections for Lupus which is also acidifying. So for me, I know I’ve got to work hard to shift the needle towards alkaline. How? By eating alkaline foods to offset the foods that I like.
If you love a good hamburger, then having a healthy day after the hamburger day may be a way to balance.
Although sometimes, we may need a complete Cleanse, in most cases, we can enjoy the foods that are so much a part of who we are. I’m not advocating that fast foods are good, but sometimes they are enjoyable to have.
All I’m saying is that sometimes, we have the tendency to “label” something to the point where we don’t allow for flexibility, and we begin to view certain things as “bad” or “forbidden”.
Our bodies are miraculous and extremely flexible. So few key things to remember:
1. Eat what’s locally in season. Don’t have a watermelon from New Zealand in the winter months of Georgia.
2. Stay mindful of the effects of food. Too often, we tend to eat mindlessly and wonder why we feel the way we do.
3. Learn to actively enjoy your food. Food is much more than something to be consumed. It’s connection, love, memories, and feelings. Enjoy all the senses it brings forth.
4. Eat in moderation. Too often we consume too much too fast. Balance meals by incorporating Alkaline Foods with the Acidic.
5. Pay attention to your feelings. Drinking kale juice while distraught and angry will be acidic vs eating a birthday cake with all your friends in moderation can be alkalizing.
I hope this gives you some perspective when thinking about what “diet” to follow.
We do believe we need a reset every often to shift the body to the alkaline state to have it working in full order.
So if this is you, we’ve got the Alkaline Detox Protocol that’s done wonders for my health as well as thousands of our patients.
We believe in Acid Alkaline balance. We’ve updated our website. So please visit alkalinewellness.com and click “Start Here” to get FREE tips on how to alkalize your body.
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About the Author
Dr. Connie has suffered from Lupus for the last 16 years. As a result, she discovered that a holistic minded approach to health was most beneficial for herself in battling Lupus and for her patients, who battle everything from Autoimmune Disease to Weight Loss. Dr. Connie holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and a Masters in Public Health (Nutrition) from the renowned Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions. She is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in the State of Georgia. Additionally, Dr. Connie is a Functional Medicine Practitioner (Certification Pending 2017), a Registered RYT-200 Yoga Teacher & School (Yoga Alliance) and Certified Pilates Teacher (Pilates Method Alliance).