Eating alkaline forming foods matter for several reasons. One, you help reduce nutritional stress. Also, you reduce inflammation, which improves muscle functionality, and you keep your bones strong. Keeping your blood PH at 7.35 is going to happen anyways. It doesn’t matter what you do, doesn’t matter what you eat, it’s going to stay there. However, if you eat acid forming foods or highly processed foods, wheat flour, meat, diary, synthetic vitamins, synthetic drugs, all these types of things cause your body to pull calcium which is highly alkaline out of the bones and into the blood to maintain that neutral PH. Over the course of time, your bones are going to get weaker, and very likely lead to osteoporosis later in life, which is of course happening a lot in North America. So to offset that, if we eat alkaline forming foods – things that have chlorophyll, obviously the green pigment in plants, that’s highly alkaline forming. So that’s going to offset that, so your bones stay strong. Also, when you eat alkaline forming foods, nutritional stress goes down. That’s huge, because that means cortisol, the stress hormone goes down. That means you’re going to be able to sleep deeply in the deep Delta phase of sleep, which means you wake up and you’re going to be fresh and rested and you’ll treat the cause of fatigue, not the symptom so that’s huge. A reduction of inflammation is also huge, because your muscles then work more efficiently. Your flexibility will go up, your ability to move will improve. If you don’t have to work as hard, if you don’t spend as much energy moving your body, you have more energy, because you’re not spending it. So eating alkaline forming foods – even though it doesn’t change your blood PH – makes a huge difference for just general, overall health. So how do you tell if a food is alkaline forming or not? Well, there’s a few basic ways. General rule is that the more processed something is, the more acid forming it is. The less processed, the more alkaline. So, the standard American diet is completely acid forming. White flour, meat, dairy, synthetic vitamins, synthetic drugs, soda, are highly acid forming. On the converse, anything that is natural is going to be alkaline forming. However, the most alkaline forming foods are the green foods. So anything that has that green pigment to it, which is chlorophyll, is highly alkaline forming. Also, the more mineral rich food is, the more alkaline forming it is. So the soil is huge. Minerals come from the soil. If there is no minerals in the soil, there’s none in the food. So that’s going to affect the alkalinity. Alkaline forming foods aren’t the only way to maintain a stable PH. Doing things that you enjoy actually helps a lot too, because stress relief largely has to do with perception. If you perceive something is enjoyable and fun, then it helps lower the stress hormone. So if you like running, go for a run. If you like doing yoga, do some yoga. Deep breathing exercises are really good too, because it helps get more oxygen into your body which helps lower cortisol as well. Therefore it helps keep the alkalinity higher. So, does everything you eat have to be alkaline forming? The answer is, thankfully, no, it doesn’t. If you’re transitioning, you may still be phasing out some acid forming foods. That’s fine, as long as you’re progressing, that’s great. That’s what we’re looking for here. But also, even when you are eating an ideal diet, not everything you eat is going to be highly alkaline forming. Lentils for example – great food, but they’re considered neutral to even slightly acidic. But that’s okay, because you’re going to be eating a lot of greens which are going to offset any acidity. It’s not about balance here. I think the word “balance” is often used out of context. Because of course, when one thing goes up, something else goes down. it’s a scale, and this is not about a trade off. This is about complementary, synergistic, benefit here. One of the main aspects of the Thrive Forward program is about improvement. It’s not about perfection, you just want to get better. As long as you’re improving, you’re making progress, and that’s what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter if you’re a world class athlete or if you’re just getting started. You always want to be better, and that’s what I want to help you do. So small changes – start off with small things and just progress. All about progression. In the beginning, don’t think about “not eating things that aren’t so good.” Think about adding things that are good. So, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, greens, all types of these new things you’re learning about in this program, add those in. Don’t think about getting rid of the soda and the meat and diary and all that stuff at first. That will just happen. So, inclusion, not exclusion. Simple things like putting a little bit of lemon juice in your water. Just like that, before you go to bed. Squeeze a bit in there. Even though lemon is acidic, it’s alkaline forming. So when you drink this before bed, it’s going to help put less of a strain on your body, and it’s going to help reduce inflammation. To expand on what you’ve just learned, you can check out the supplemental material on this page that includes a PH chart, lessons, and recipes.