Well, you would think I would listen to my own advice. This weekend I was in the mood for meat. I don’t know why, because as a Monkey Diet Type (higher carb, lower fat and protein diet) I try to eat more vegetarian meals and feel best when I do. I made BBQ pulled pork, roasted chicken, and the end-all-be-all, roast sirloin stuffed with garlic cloves and wrapped in bacon! (I will include a few of those recipes because, boy, were they good!) Well, you might be thinking, “What’s wrong with those foods—they sound great!” They are great—if you are supposed to be following the Lion or Otter Diets or even the Bear Diets.
What’s happening in Chicago right now? We are experiencing an unseasonably warm spell right now, with temperatures reaching the low 80’s. All of a sudden we went from the 40’s to the 80’s in what seemed to be overnight! What happens to people with alkaline blood pH tendencies in the heat? That’s right—they get hotter! Instead of realizing that I better adjust my diet to be more vegetarian, I went ahead and went for the beef! What was I thinking?
ADJUST!!! Well, better late than never! Last night I made a huge salad for dinner with fresh veggies, orange slices, onions, dried cranberries, and tomatoes. I added a homemade vinaigrette dressing with minimal oil to drizzle on top of it. I served the left over beef to my Lion husband and stuck with the garlic smashed Yukon gold potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts along with my salad as my staples for the night.
As I was cycling this morning, I felt somewhat better, but still tired, hot, and sluggish. After cycling, I had a piece of whole grain bread with sliced tomatoes and fresh basil. Hum, I am feeling better already! Seriously, I feel good today! Not only my physical, but my mental state as well. The power of food is truly amazing. I did not test myself, but I am sure eating all that meat, pushed my alkaline blood pH even more alkaline, making me feel unlike myself. It’s amazing how often patients will come in feeling anxious, upset, or just not “themselves” and we end up determining that all that they needed was a little pH adjustment using food!
How does this apply to the athlete? Well, Sunday our Oak Park Cycling group went out for an afternoon ride. It was 80 degrees. I should have felt great, but I didn’t. I would have been really disappointed if it were race day and I did the same thing! Remember to take the weather, as well as your blood pH, into consideration when you are training or better yet, when doing a race.
Here are some pH tips to keep in mind:
For those with Alkaline blood pH
- You tend to feel warm all the time and perform best in cooler temperatures.
- Carbs are your friends—choose whole grain breads and cereals, veggies, and some fruits.
- Fats and proteins may cause your “hotness” to worsen and drain your energy, so avoid them when the temperatures are rising!
- Add a vitamin C or other acidifying supplements to your daily routine.
For those with Acid blood pH
- You tend to feel cold all the time and perform best in warmer temperatures.
- Protein and fats are your friends—choose meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, nut butters, and seeds.
- Carbs are not your friends! Avoid simple carbs such as sugary foods and drinks, fruits, and fruit drinks, as well as white bread and pasta. These will give you less energy in the long run.
- Some carbs are okay for short runs/races. But for endurance events, make sure to include adequate protein and fat in your bento boxes!
If you are an athlete and you don’t know your pH level—you should! It is one of the keys to not only training better, but smarter!
Okay—for you Lions/Otters out there—here’s a great, simple recipe:
Garlic Dijon Roasted Sirloin of Beef
- 3-5 pound roast sirloin, tied with twine
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 Tbsp Dijon mustard, divided
- 6 slices organic bacon
- Kosher salt and pepper
What to do: Preheat the oven to 275 to 300 degrees F. Make slits in roast and insert garlic slices throughout the roast. Rub 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard all over the roast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay bacon strips across roast, tucking them underneath. Roast in a slow oven until internal temperature is 160 degrees F for medium, 140 degrees for rare. Watch closely, these cook fast! Ovens differ, but 75-90 minutes is average. Remove roast from roasting pan and let sit on cutting board. Add a few tablespoons of flour to the drippings, as well as the additional 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard to make a zippy-tasting gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. DELISH!