Disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian nor am I a naturopath, so what I’m about to describe is anecdotal. It’s a combination of personal experience and tidbits gleaned from several online articles.
So what is this acidic diet/metabolism?
There are a number of foods that produce acid as a byproduct in the body and an abundance of this acid byproduct can lead to difficulties with metabolism, energy, and general resiliency. The route to neutralize this acid is through increasing the amount of alkaline producing foods that you eat. Simple enough, right?
So, which foods are acid-producers?
Most meat is acidic, with chicken breasts being one exception. Drinks that contain phosphates, alcohol, and caffeine (oh coffee! how could you betray me?!) are also considered to be acid-producers. Also add sugars, dairy, mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegars to this list. The rule of thumb that I found helpful when I was alkalizing my diet eight years ago was this: if it’s delicious and I love it, it’s got to go.
It’s not so grim. There are good eats in the alkaline family too. Take for example eggs, yogurt, sesame seeds, almost all vegetables, and a lot of fruits as well as legumes. I have a massive sweet tooth and while some people will tell you that the craving for sugar goes away, it just never did for me. I used brown rice syrup as well as maple syrup though, and they were lovely.
Another thing you’ve no doubt found in your searches for diet-fixes online are articles with information about so-called substitutes. For example, I was told by my naturopath to substitute soy milk or brown rice milk for dairy milk, and it always felt as if I was playing a cheap prank on myself. I achieved contentment the day I decided I was going to get used to drinking these drinks instead of dairy, and using brown rice syrup instead of sugar.
Notice I didn’t use the word, “happy”. I wasn’t actually happy until about Week Eight of the big change. By then I was feeling energized and my body craved the foods it was supposed to crave. No need to worry about eliminating milk — alkaline diets can be rich in calcium. For example, kidney beans, black beans, and quinoa are excellent sources of calcium as are leafy greens, figs, and molasses. Also, it’s important to note that I cater to my sweet tooth whenever it beckons. I deny myself nothing.
This is they key to success whenever you’re changing your diet. Wait, bear with me. Currently I’m still choosing a lot of white-sugary snacks, rich in animal fats. If I’m going to feel a change in my energy and health, I’ll need to stick with favorites like The Copycat Cook‘s black bean brownie!