(I know… I promised pineapple salsa. It wasn’t just a ploy to get your attention; I just ate all the salsa, so no photo op. I’ll try to include at least one fruit salsa this week!)
Back in August, I wrote a post about a friend who was doing a raw diet. At the time, I was interested in her motivation, and she offered to loan me the book that started the whole thing for her.
It took a few months, but I finally borrowed the book, and then read enough portions of it (I didn’t read all the included recipes) to get the gist of the eating philosophy. If you’re unfamiliar with raw diets (I’m gonna go out on a limb here and hypothesize that most Americans are indeed unfamiliar, unless you live in some uber-hip area where your average citizen leans heavily toward edible things chic and trendy), they are based on the idea that your blood needs to remain within a certain pH range in order to remain physically and emotionally healthy (yes, I am grossly paraphrasing here — if I am misrepresenting then feel free to correct me via the comments section). Certain foods are acidic, and certain foods are alkaline, and you need to eat more of the alkaline foods to keep your blood in its zen state (i.e., blood being slightly alkaline), in turn keeping you thin and healthy and happy. Some of the foods that are alkalizing were surprising — such as tomatoes, which I always thought of as acidic. Turns out that to maintain slightly alkaline blood, you need to eat mostly raw foods, specifically raw greens and other vegetables, and totally bypass meats (excepting limited amounts of fish), sweets, mushrooms, yeast breads, and many fruits.
The book is scattered throughout with first-hand accounts of how the diet has changed lives. There are anecdotes from people who have been very ill for many years — with everything from chronic pain to depression to cancer — and their stories tell of dramatic improvement after being on the pH diet. And I don’t necessarily doubt these stories — I firmly believe that what you eat is more important that just about anything when it comes to your health (I recently told a friend who was disgusted by her husband’s new habit of pipe-smoking that before she tried to convince him to give up smoking, she needed to convince him to stop drinking diet Coke). I also buy the fact that a heavily acidic body chemistry can wreak havoc on everything from immunity to emotional health — it leads to candida overgrowth, prime parasitic environments, and weight gain. So dramatic changes in diet that reverse this direction would logically begin to reverse the damage that was being done in the acidic body. In short, I believe the personal testimonies in the book.