Does it seem that things are changing too quickly, and you sometimes want to just go back to the way things were? While we enjoy some things about modernity, we lose some of the purity and simplicity along the way. The\is longing for the bygone ways shows up in music preferences. It also appears in our whole metabolism, because whether you long for the old ways or not, your body does.

Note the changes in music
What would you consider to be the most popular music genre in America? The statistics would say that “pop music” is the most popular, but “pop” is shortcut for “popular”, so of course it is at the top of the list. Just what is pop music? It’s a fuzzy category that can cover many styles of music. The genre has shifted many times over the decades, and pop music from decades back is no longer considered to be pop music; rather, it is termed “golden oldies.” A lot of current pop music bears little resemblance to the oldies.

There is another genre that probably deserves the title of being most popular, only because it is a less fuzzy category that has experienced less shift over the years. Certainly this genre has also experienced infiltration of new styles and instruments, but the old, simple instruments and vocal styles are still current and acceptable. The most popular and enduring genre is country music, when you consider preservation of the original styles within this music format.

Around 42% of Americans listen to country music. Some major icons in this format are still recording new hits – Dolly Parton is just one example. Many of the works of country musicians recorded decades ago still sound “modern”. Sure, there are spinoffs of the pure country strain that meld with other musical styles, but the pure strain remains. So unlike other shifting, evolving genres, the classical country style is virtually timeless.

Inside, we never changed
We are like the pure strain of country music, living in the changing world of today with bodies that haven’t changed. While food popularity has changed to match our fast-paced, industrial, high-tech culture, our bodies have not kept pace. They are wired to react to food the same way they did decades, even centuries ago. The pure, unchanged biology of humans is basically the only biology that exists today – no genetic miracles have occurred that let us operate better on processed food, high sugar snacks, and toxins than our ancestors. If we don’t eat like they did, we are worse off because we haven’t adapted to modern technological foods.

What has changed is our response to the problems that these new foods cause because we can’t process them any better than our ancestors. Rather than blame the foods, we try to counteract each symptom that crops up in our health with drugs, or perhaps we swap one processed food for an upgraded version from the health food store that is also processed. The last thing that we do is revert back to the old way of eating close to the land, as our society is not geared to that.

So we supplement, using pills to add back what we don’t get in food these days. We eat vitamin-poor foods, so we take our vitamins to fix the problem. Well, that’s usually better than not getting the vitamins at all, but it is no substitute for nutrient-rich natural foods. Maybe we have no choice, because the farmland in America and much of the world is no longer rich in the broad spectrum of minerals and nutrients that plants need, so we can’t get food of the same quality as our ancestors. None of that changes the fact that we need those nutrients just like our ancestors did.

The basic acid problem
One of the popular counter trends today is supplementing to produce alkalinity. There is a growing recognition that we are not eating well, that the modern American diet is not good, and that we need to do something about it. But we are addicted to shortcuts. The alkaline trend is no exception. If we can pump alkaline products into our bodies we figure we can counteract some of the problems that our poor diets produce. Why should most of us be more alkaline, and is supplementation the best way to get there?

Published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, researchers from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada reviewed studies that explore the effect of alkaline diets. First they explain how our diets have changed from the pre-industrial age, resulting in lowered levels of magnesium, potassium, and fiber in our diet while increasing levels of saturated fat and simple sugars. The potassium (K) to sodium (Na) ratio was once 10 to 1, and now it is reversed, being 1 to 3 in the average modern diet. They also note that the soils that our crops grow in have been generally depleted of critical minerals, lowering the levels of these in the plants that we eat. Then they consider the impact of a high protein diet, which is a high acid/low pH diet, which causes the body to pull calcium from its calcium stores (the bones) to compensate for the acidity. It must, because the body keeps blood pH in a very tight range, and it will do whatever it has to when the pH is out of balance to keep that blood pH exact.

Now let’s consider another study: published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers determined that providing athletes with sodium bicarbonate dramatically improves performance in high intensity activities. The reason: it counters acidity. Metabolism itself produces acid, and faster metabolism means faster acid buildup. Muscles go into a low oxygen, highly acid mode when used faster than they can get oxygen and sugar. Countering the acid buildup naturally improves performance. As helpful as that is, using a single alkalinizing chemical is a far cry from alkalinizing through nutrition.

Animals have metabolism too. They build acidity simply by living. Plants essentially reverse the animal metabolic process, working backwards as photosynthesis grabs sunlight energy. Plants are our natural metabolic mirror, the perfect complement to our metabolism. We know that we need alkalinity to counter metabolism, modern convenience food, and even acidity as a result of stress and negative emotions. And sodium bicarbonate provides even more sodium, which the first study showed we receive way in excess of what our ancestors ingested. Just because it’s alkaline doesn’t mean it’s nutritious

Our diet has radically changed, for the worse, while our bodies expect the same dense nutrients as before. Our soils are less mineral dense, so we must try harder to get those nutrients. If anything, our diet should be even more plant based, heavy on the most phytonutrient-dense plants available, which are the dark green vegetables. And many phytonutrients are damaged or destroyed by cooking, so those vegetables should be living and raw.

Real ash-urance
When you eat food, it’s pH may change as it passes through your digestive tract. If you were to touch a pH test strip to a lemon, you would get a strong acidic reading due to its citric acid content. When a lemon hits your stomach, it aids your digestive juices, which include hydrochloric acid (HCL). Your stomach pH is very low. But is a lemon an acidifier? No, it alkalinizes your body after your digestion completes because of its mineral content. When it digests, or “burns down”, the “ash” it leaves behind is very alkalinizing. This action is typical of plants, but animal products have the opposite pattern, being fairly neutral to start with but producing a very acidic ash.

If it weren’t for the glycemic index (high sugar level) of most fruits, they would be perfect, because many of them follow the same digestive pattern as your body: acid first, then alkaline ash. Lemons and limes are clear exceptions to the sugar problem.

A watered down solution
And finally, what about alkaline water? Some of those simply add sodium bicarbonate. But the same applies to water as with food—a few chemicals are no match for real nutrition. So improve your drinks by juicing those living plants, concentrating those nutrients beyond what our ancestors even could. That’s living water, where the life of the plants is still in the juice. Unless you go to a fresh juice bar, store-bought vegetable juices won’t cut it, because the processing damages the nutrients. Make your own from fresh plants if you want the real value.

Popular music is quite different from the oldies. Many flock to classic country for the way it preserves the old styles. Do the same with your diet, because even if your tastes have changed, your body expects the old style foods. Why should you be less healthy than they were? It takes extra work to get their level of nutrition, and it starts with quality alkaline foods.

 

Dr. Nemec’s Review

Alkalinity versus acidity: this is basic biochemistry. Every cellular reaction in the body requires alkalinity. Your body works in an alkaline pH and if you were to become truly acidic at the cellular level, you body would shut down rapidly. So the body does everything possible to conserve alkaline balance.

You were not meant to eat dirt
Minerals are the key in alkalinity. But then people try to take shortcuts and just take the minerals. You can do this and it will have some value, but — and this is big — but this was not the way alkalinity was intended in the body. Just looked at nature. Look at the giraffes, at the zebras, at the elephants. What do these animals eat all day long? Green leaves and green grass — that’s pretty much all. What do you think are in those green leaves and green grass? They contain a tremendous amount of minerals and vitamins in the most absorbable form because they’ve been first eaten by the plant. What do plants eat? Well in a sense they eat dirt. What is dirt? Mostly minerals. So the plant eats the minerals, takes those inorganic minerals from the ground and turns them into organic minerals when they’re incorporated into the plant cells and fibers.

So what’s the difference between the zebra and you? The zebra eats living grass, meaning the grass has not only living minerals, but living vitamins, living phytochemicals, living enzymes, and living biophotons, which is the energy of light contained in biological cells.

What does living mean?
It means it has the highest energy and vitality and highest amount of health. When you eat living food, it’s like eating a blood transfusion. It brings oxygen, a huge amount of nutrients that are absorbable and enzymes along with biophotons.

This is quite a difference between eating living green plants and mixing some sodium bicarbonate in water to artificially jumpstart an acidic tending system.

Where did we go wrong?
Unfortunately, we have become lazy. We look for convenience instead of quality. We grab for quick fixes instead of long-term solutions, and most importantly we have become addictive and impulsive with very little attention and focus. This is the byproduct of technology: we can supposedly hack the system so we can get the same health benefits with minimal time and minimal investment. You know what it looks like: have you ever seen those pills that say they have 10 pounds of vegetables in them?

You can see where the world has gone. It tries to take the shortcut with everything. So I say that I can take a pill and then I don’t have to eat leafy vegetables. I can do that — that’s easy. I can take sodium bicarbonate and become alkaline without eating spinach, kale or collard greens. I can drink alkaline water and get added benefit. This is so easy.

Remember: most times in life, if it’s too good to be true that’s because it’s not true.

Alkaline water
This is the newest craze. Alkaline is healthy and I’ll just drink alkaline water and get healthier. That does seem logical, but let’s look at it from a biochemistry and physiology point of view. When you drink alkaline water, what’s the first part of the digestive tract that it reacts with? The stomach. And what is the pH of the stomach naturally? It’s more acidic for one reason, you need the acid to digest and break down the proteins in the food you eat. If you don’t break down the protein properly, you develop all types of digestive problems, deficiency problems, and even produce an inflammatory environment. So it is critical that you keep the pH acidic in the stomach. Well if you drink alkaline water, it quickly goes into the stomach and neutralizes the acid in the stomach so you lose your digestive power from that organ. But that’s just the beginning: when food exists the stomach, it must be acidic to turn on the natural digestive process in the small intestine, so the body was intended to have an acidic stomach, not only for the first phase of digestion but also for the second phase in the small intestine. You alter that completely when you drink alkaline water.

Do you know what does not upset the stomach and greatly change the pH in the stomach? Green leafy vegetables. Why? Because they release their living mineral alkalinity as the digestion process proceeds. You could look at it as time-released alkalinity: not just any alkalinity, but living alkalinity with so much more benefit.

So get back to basics, the way we ate in the beginning. Life is not about convenience alone: it’s about total health of mind, brain, emotion, and body. This level of health is only built with the basic foundation of making the best choices, not the quickest or easiest choices. Yes, you can go to a fast food restaurant and get your meal immediately, eat it in a matter of minutes, and you will absorb calories for some energy, but most of the minerals, vitamins, and all of the enzymes and biophotons have been destroyed with the processing of the food. And all you’re left with is empty calories that are highly inflammatory and highly acidic, and long-term extremely health depleting.

Have you ever seen the level of commitment, time, and energy that is put into top level performers, whether they be concert pianists or the highest level athletes? You’ll see the marketing all the time: learn to be a high level such and such player in such and such amount of time, which is usually impossible. There are absolutely no shortcuts in life. The the seeds you plant today will grow harvest, but the harvest will not be ready in five minutes. It takes many months to get the harvest.

Stop looking for convenience when it comes to your health and start seeking the quality choices that will produce 100-fold harvest in your mind, your brain, your emotions, and your physical body. And time will tell if you made the right choices.

So choose life — not quick impulses; choose health, not an energy boost; choose quality, not convenience. This is the better way. This is the best investment to have the greatest return in your life, and it begins right now with every choice you make.

Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:

(1)    Schwalfenberg GK. The alkaline diet: is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health? J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:727630. doi: 10.1155/2012/727630. Epub 2011 Oct 12. PMID: 22013455; PMCID: PMC3195546.  The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health? – PMC (nih.gov)

(2) Leach NK, Hilton NP, Tinnion D, Dobson B, McNaughton LR, Sparks SA. Sodium Bicarbonate Ingestion in a Fasted State Improves 16.1-km Cycling Time-Trial Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2023 Dec 1;55(12):2299-2307. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000003263. Epub 2023 Jul 28. PMID: 37535313.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37535313/