Posts Tagged ‘Acid/Alkaline Food Books’

National Library Week: Two Book Reviews, Part 2

Friday, April 14th, 2017

 

 

Dropping Acid: THE REFLUX DIET COOKBOOK & CURE by Jamie Kaufman, M.D. and Jordan Stern, M.D. and French Master Chef Marc Bauer is an eye-opening discussion of a condition similar to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) called LPR or Reflux Laryngitis. In medical terms it is called laryngopharyngeal reflux.

Personal Experience: One of the ENT’s (Ear, Nose & Throat Dr.) I visited recommended Dropping Acid to me when I had severe laryngitis last summer; in fact, I was diagnosed with paresis (partial- paralysis) of my vocal chords, possibly from a virus (two medical opinions, my D.O. and first ENT dr.). Paresis can be caused by a virus, and also be the result of the aging of the larynx, leading to either bowing or atrophy or a reflux of the vocal chords. I stayed on the food program for about six months, but felt that some of what the second ENT had diagnosed did not apply to me, since the greater part of the foods to avoid are those that are highly processed, especially those that have acidic components added to them to guarantee they will not spoil quickly. Here is what the book says:

Prepared foods have been increasingly acidified to prevent bacterial growth and add shelf life. Today, many prepared foods and beverages are just as  acidic as stomach acid itself” (p. 22.)

Because the amount of acidic prepared foods has become more popular as fast foods and prepackaged foods have proliferated, younger people are now experiencing LPR, and according to the book, LPR is approaching epidemic proportions. The common symptoms include: hoarseness, chronic cough, choking episodes, trouble swallowing, a lump in the throat, chronic throat clearing, postnasal drip, too much throat mucous, heartburn, and asthma. Since most people with LPR do not have heartburn, LPR is called the “silent reflux.” However, the list of all the symptoms on page 33 tell me that many people are suffering from LPR, but have been misdiagnosed because the symptoms are associated with another diagnosis.

The information indicts highly processed foods and foods that are inherently too acidic, and recommend foods whose pH values are at least above pH4 and preferably closer to pH6 levels. (pH discussed at length) And during the induction phase of the diet (first 2 weeks), the recommendation is that you eat nothing below pH 5. A few examples of high alkaline foods are: avocados, bananas, carrots, red beets, ginger, green beans. A few of foods to avoid reflux are: barbeque sauce, coco-cola, cranberry juice, gatorade, cranberry juice.

I have explored the acid/alkaline balance diet in postings here on Menupause, not realizing that a diet too acidic could cause LPR, so I am grateful for the doctor who recommended the book, because I have paid more attention to making my diet even more alkaline than I thought it was. (Link to my posting on this topic in Nobody Eats Like Me: https://www.menupause.info/archives/7237. Pictures of cookbook covers seems to bemusing, but theinfo is there.)

There are charts, statistics, and recommendations in the book that are not too difficult to follow. The food lists that provide acid and alkaline levels are helpful. But when I searched for a more complete list, I found that the numbers on each chart did not always match, so you need to be a bit of a sleuth and compare some of the charts to see which ones seem to match up. Best of all, there are 75 recipes to demonstrate that you can eat well on a low acidic diet. I made the one below two or three times and thought it was delicious!

Because this is a silent condition, you may want to check with an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor if you have symptoms that aren’t being addressed with medicines or protocols already prescribed. A functional medicine doctor might be able to tell if you have LPR, but an ENT has the equipment to view your vocal chords and see if they are swollen or otherwise not working properly. I went to two ENTs, because this can be a very serious condition and wanted a second opinion.

Dropping Acid is published by The Reflux Cookbooks, LLC, a division of  Katalitix Media and costs $29.95.  There is also another book that just has recipes to keep  your diet more alkaline than acidic. It is called: Dr. Koufman’s Acid Reflux Diet: With 111 All New Recipes Including Vegan & Gluten-Free: The Never-need-to-diet-again Diet.

 

Here is the recipe I chose and made several times, sometimes substituting green beans when asparagus was not in season. I also used fresh mushrooms, not dry. I  omitted Parmesan since I do not like it. Now asparagus is fresh and plentiful, so try it soon! Buy organic when possible.

The photo below is from the book. All the recipes have great pictures of the finished recipes. This one is Marc’s Kick-Ass Risotto with Asparagus and Morels:

Ingredients

1 cup arborio rice
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound)
(peel the skin 3 inches below the head, cut to 1 inch lengths)
3 Tbs. dried morel or porcini mushrooms (soak for one hour in water or veg. stock)
2 cups vegetable stock (or 1 veg. bouillon cube dissolved in 2 c. water)
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
salt to taste

Directions

1. Remove the reconstituted mushrooms from the water. Reserve the liquid.
2. Bring the vegetable stock (or veg. bouillon cube and water), thyme, bay leaf, reserved mushroom liquid to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes and remove bay leaf and thyme.
3. Cook the asparagus in the stock for a few minutes until al dente. Remove and cook immediately to preserve the green color. Reserve the stock.
4. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and 1/2 cup of the stock. BRing to a simmer while continuing to stir.
5. Once the rice has absorbed nearly all the liquid, add another 1/2 cup of the stock and continue to stir until the rice is creamy and al dente, about 20 minutes. Add more stock if the rice is too al dente or dry.
6. Add the asparagus, reconstituted mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese, and salt to taste. Serve immediately in a soup bowl. 

Notes: Adding 2 tsp. of Roquefort cheese to the risotto adds a twist to this classical dish. The skin of the asparagus (about 3 to 4 inches below the head) tend tobe fibrous. By peeling it, you’ll get a nice al dente crunch. If dicing, cut on a bias.

 

 

The Amazing Acid Alkaline Cookbook & The Acid Alkaline Food Guide

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

“Balance is the key to good health.” Bonnie Ross

I call these two books from Square One Publishers the dynamic duo of acid-alkaline balance, a concept that seems to have increased in popularity since I first learned about it when I co-owned a health food store in the late 1970s. I always thought of a balanced diet as one that involved proteins, carbohydrates and fats as well as vitamins and minerals in appropriate proportions to keep one’s body healthy. I never thought much about the importance of balance between acidifying foods and alkalizing foods. But these two books have brought my attention back to this researched concept and prompted me to share some of the important information on Menupause.

 

The first book, The Acid Alkaline Food Guide by Dr. Susan E. Brown and Larry Trivieri, Jr., is divided into two important sections. Part One is titled Understanding Acid-Alkaline Balance and Part Two is simply called “The Food Tables, which you can use once you understand Part One.

In a nutshell, here is the key quote to understanding acid-alkaline balance:

When it comes to health, balancing is everything. Specifically, to ensure good health, the body needs to maintain the proper balance between two types of chemical compounds:acids and alkalis. The balance of these compounds is essential for both minute-to-minute and long-term survival, and creates what is know as the pH value of our body’s fluids, which include blood, saliva, urine and the fluids both between and inside the cells. (Brown/Trivieri, pg. 9).

The rest of Part One goes into detail (in lay terms) about the consequences that an acid-alkaline imbalance can have on the body, such as: impaired cellular function that can affect one’s entire body, fatigue, diminished immunity, inflammation, osteoporosis and other mineral loss issues, premature aging and accelerated muscle loss.

In Part Two you can find instructions on how to test your pH levels so you can determine if your daily diet is too acidifying or too alkalizing, as well as a preliminary explanation of the food tables. Since our bodies like to be slightly more alkalizing then acidifying (and our Western diet tends to be more acidic), many of us are in a chronic state of acidosis.  This can be corrected by adding more alkaline-based foods (which can be found in most fruits and [green] vegetables, herbs, wild rice, root crops, etc.) and reducing acid-producing foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, highly processed foods, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. as well as many medicines prescribed by doctors for chronic ailments.

Once you test your fluids for their pH levels (with the use of special pH paper), you can redesign your daily menu to include more of the foods you need to restore the delicate acid-alkaline balance necessary for better health. In most cases, more alkalizing foods are called for, although occasionally someone may be extremely alkaline. In either extreme, checking with your doctor is advised.

The charts in Part Two are most helpful, because they divide all the major foods into low, medium or high levels of acidity and alkalinity. Except for eliminating highly processed foods, which often contain sugar and artificial sweeteners, this food plan requires a shift in your food choices, rather than an elimination, so it is not a “weird” plan, but a common sense plan to restore balance to your “internal environment.”

The 4″ X 7″ Guide is $7.95 and can be purchased directly from Amazon by clicking on this link:

The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on pH Levels

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Here is where the second book, The Amazing Acid Alkaline Cookbook, subtitled Balancing Taste, Nutrition and Your pH Levels, jumps in to fill the gap between theory and practice.Bonnie Ross’s cookbook provides you with natural recipes that provide an appropriate balance between acid and alkaline foods listed in the charts of The Acid Alkaline Food Guide and Ross’ book in abbreviated form .

Actually, Dr. Susan Brown wrote the foreword to Ross’ book, so I feel comfortable reviewing them together, since they are already linked. The cookbook also has a chart of basic foods before the recipes and some introductory pages about how pH levels are an indication of your body’s alkalinity and acidity. However, it is not as detailed as the guide reviewed above, so I think they need to be read as a set.

In the cookbook, Ross does gives us what I call a Top Ten list, that is a list of the top ten acidifying foods and another of the top ten alkalizing foods, which may be handy to have when you are food shopping. Here are the two lists:

Top 10

Alkalizing Foods (Alphabetically)

Asparagus
Celery
Chestnuts
Citrus fruits
Collard greens
Kale
Kelp
Miso+
Onions
Sweet potatoes

Acidifying Foods

Artificial sweeteners
Black Olives
Cheese
Coffee
Corn
Cranberries
Flour
Meat
Refined sugar
Soybeans+

+NOTE: Miso, usually made with soybeans,  is alkalizing because it is mixed with other ingredients that are not acidifying. Soybeans in their natural state are acidifying. You can also buy miso made from other beans or rice if you avoid soy.

 

Ross points out that acidifying foods should not be viewed as “the bad guys,” since balancing your pH level to be slightly alkaline is the key. The problem, as I noted above, is that our North American (and Western) diet has become too acidic and that certain acidifying foods may need to be avoided or eliminated (ex: refined & artificial sweeteners).

What I find interesting about this food plan and cookbook is that it can be a tool in most any diet or food plan you use.  For example, if you are on a low carb diet, you can use the charts and recipes to help you make low carb food choices that also balance your pH levels.

Also, while this food plan is not a weight loss diet, per se, Ross does note that “by cutting out the processed foods and increasing your vegetable intake, you will be able to lose weight and maintain a healthy pH balance” (pg. 8). Don’t all healthful weight loss diets ask you to eliminate highly processed foods anyway? So this plan  seems to have common sense, body sense, and food sense built into it.

Below is one of the recipes from the cookbook. As you will see, it does not have super-strange ingredients, but perhaps some that you are not overly familiar with, which the book explains. (Some are available only in health food stores.) I made this gingerbread and shared with others and it was a hit! The format of the ingredients in a shaded box to the side of the directions is also a feature that I really like about the book.

GINGERBREAD CAKE
I love this cake! It is pretty easy to prepare and makes
the kitchen smell wonderful. I really have to watch
my portion control with this one! Bonnie Ross

(Note: In the book, the ingredients are listed in a box to the right of the recipe.)

YIELD: 9 SERVINGS
11/2 cups light spelt flour
1/2 cup kamut flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup Sucanat sugar+
11/2 tablespoons grated ginger root
1 tablespoon orange zest

+ I used date sugar es

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-x-9-inch baking pan
with clarified butter and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, ginger,
cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, and allspice. Set aside.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the milk, oil, molasses,
sugar, ginger, and orange zest. Mix well with a spoon until well
combined.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well
with a spoon just until moistened.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan, smooth it out
evenly, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted
in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes and
serve warm with Zesty Lemon Sauce (page 98).

The 7′” X 9″ cookbook with 148 recipes is $17.95 and can be purchased from Amazon by clicking on the link below:

The Amazing Acid Alkaline Cookbook: Balancing Taste, Nutrition, and Your PH Levels