A Fine Balance - Page 4
Your diet should be comprised of 10 to 20 percent EFAs, which can be as simple as drizzling extra-virgin olive oil or flax seed oil on your salad, topping cooked quinoa with sliced avocado, or sprinkling pumpkin or hemp seeds on a bowl of steamed veggies.
Avoid radical dietary changes and, instead, gradually replace processed foods with wholesome varieties, or start with making one meal a day alkaline. "It may take several weeks or more, but your body will start craving what's good for it and stop craving what's bad," says Brazier.
What About Protein?
When consumed in the right proportions, easily assimilated and alkaline-forming grains and veggies can counteract meat's acid-forming quality. "I eat animal protein but accompany it with a large amount of fresh vegetables and minimally processed grains like brown rice, quinoa or barley," says Kami Semick, of Bend, Oregon, current USATF 50-mile national trail champion and IAU 100K world champion.
While it's possible to eat small amounts of poultry and fish and still maintain a healthy pH, vegan endurance athletes like seven-time Western States 100 champion, Scott Jurek, thrive without any animal products. Brazier, a 2:29 marathoner and a vegan, satisfies his daily protein requirement with legumes, nuts and a hemp-protein drink mix made by Vega, a line of raw, whole-food supplements he created in 2004 (www.myvega.com). Eating a wide variety of veggies plus supplementing with a "green" drink like wheat grass or Green Magma (www.greenfoods.com), provides all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) your body needs to repair and strengthen muscles. Such chlorophyll-rich drinks also naturally cleanse the blood and raise blood-oxygen levels.
While alkaline athletes end up consuming fewer calories, their nourishing, high-fiber diets are more satiating than those comprised mostly of "nutrient-empty" calories from processed sources. They also report getting leaner while preserving muscle, which improved their strength-to-weight ratio and boosted their endurance.
"Eating an alkaline diet is a worthwhile investment," says Brazier. "It's a lifestyle, not a quick fix to better health. It takes time before you feel better, but once it kicks in, you really notice the benefits."
pH Food Guide
Eat mostly alkaline foods
- Green Beans
And limited amounts of acid-forming foods
- Peanut Butter