Everything in this world is made up of different frequencies of energy vibrating at different rates to produce the objects we perceive as being solid matter. Our food is no different. Different foods have different frequencies, and it makes sense that those foods would affect us in unique ways depending upon our own personal chemistry, energetic vibration, and level of cellular health.

For decades, we’ve been bombarded by books, magazine articles, television shows, and radio experts telling us what to eat, what not to eat, and why we need certain nutrients. There always seems to be a hot dietary item – one year it’s protein, the next it’s green powders, and still the next we’re being told to be sure and include that glass of red wine with dinner. People – highly qualified, highly trained individuals – argue to the gills about which dietary plan best suits our population. On the one hand, you have Dr. Atkins touting the low-carb diet and on the other extreme, Dr. Dean Ornish extolling the virtues of vegetarianism.

Why all the confusion? And how do you know what’s really, truly healthy to consume, what will give your body the most high-quality fuel for your life? It’s actually simpler than you think.

“The countless names of illnesses do not really matter. What does matter is that they all come from the same root cause…too much tissue acid waste in the body!”
- Theodore A. Baroody, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.

All foods create either an acid or alkaline state within the body. The Standard American Diet (SAD) contains very high levels of extremely acidifying foods, such as processed snack foods, grain and cereal, bread, and animal products like meat and dairy. Constant, heavy consumption of these kinds of foods create acid waste at the cellular level, which results in systemic inflammation. This kind of internal state is a haven for disease as well as fostering joint and muscle aches and pains.

Even worse, when your body is acidic, energy tends to be low. What do you reach for when you don’t feel like going to work in the morning? If you’re anything like us Seattleites up here, you’re probably headed for the coffee pot, and when the jitters wear off, it’s time for a sugar treat, right? So, you’re adding acid to acid and making the situation worse, further lowering your energy, and perpetuating a vicious cycle that results in states of dis-ease.

Additionally, food has a whole host of emotional components that we’re unaware of most of the time. How many times have you vowed to stick to lean protein and vegetables, or to give up chocolate, ice cream, french fries, candy, or mom’s chicken pot pie, only to indulge a few days or weeks later? The fact is, these foods have more than just physical addictive properties. They often symbolize a certain feeling or emotion.

For example, when I first went gluten free, I felt horribly isolated. My friends, all in their early twenties at the time, would be going out for beer and pizza (because I guess that’s what young twenty-somethings do), and it was an excruciating experience to me. I didn’t care much about the pizza, but how awkward is it to sit in the corner while your friends nosh on greasy food and down pitchers of beer? I felt like I couldn’t let down and relax with them, like I wasn’t invited to the party even though I was sitting in the midst of it.

We often use food to feel like we’re part of the crowd or even just to alter our energetic state. Lots of people have big heavy dinners in the evening. Think about how you feel after eating heavy foods like cheese, steak, or cream-based pasta. Chances are you won’t want to go out and conquer the world after a meal like that! Foods that are heavy can help us relax or unwind in the evening after a stressful day when we’re unable to let go of the tension we built up because they immediately lower our energy. We can also use them to self sabotage; it’s much easier to stay in an uncomfortable life situation when you don’t have the mental energy to think of a solution, and these foods enable us to do just that.

The fact of the matter is that there is no one single best diet for everyone on the planet. You have to pay attention to your body, lifestyle, mental/emotional state, and personal goals, and make the highest and best choices based on that. Here are a few tips to help you clean out and fuel up:

1. Check in with your why before you put something in your mouth. It may be that you’re feeding an emotion – stress, fear, worry, anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc. That’s okay! While some would say it’s never okay to feed your emotions, I am of the opinion that there is never a time when emotions are not involved in food. Instead of trying to stuff the feeling or deny yourself the food (which will result in a deep sense of not only negative emotion but also deprivation), see if there’s a healthier, happier substitute to satisfy the craving.

For example, if you’re on a chocolate binge, see if you can find some raw chocolate that is high in antioxidants, does not contain refined sugar, and tastes even better than the candy bar in your cupboard. If you’re eating a particular food because it makes you feel loved or relaxed or comforted, there is probably something better out there for your body that will satisfy the mental craving as well. A quick search online should bring up healthy recipe options.

If your food flubs are situation-based (i.e. parties, happy hours, work meetings, etc.), plan ahead and always have your favorite energizing snack with you so you never feel left out or deprived.

2. Cut the acid. The more alkaline you can make your internal state, the less stress there will be on your organs and tissues. Even if a food tastes acidic, like lemons or oranges, it may actually alkalize the body, so be sure and check the acid-alkaline food chart to be certain you know which foods have what kind of internal effect. You don’t have to eat entirely alkaline forming foods, just a majority.

Some of the foods that cause an acidic state include: meat, bread, cereals, cheese, chocolate, eggs, fish, flour, pasta, sugar, wheat, wine, and processed, packaged foods.

Some of the alkalizing foods include: alfalfa sprouts, apples, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, coconut, cucumbers, dates, flax seed, garlic, lemons, lettuce, limes, melons, nectarines, onions, oranges, parsley, peaches, pears, pineapple, pumpkin, raspberries, spinach, strawberries, swiss chard, and watercress.

3. Incorporate plenty of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices into your foods. Inflammation is suspected as playing a key role in heart disease, cancer, atherosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, allergies, and more. Reducing your systemic inflammation will result in you looking and feeling instantly 10 years younger. Herbs and spices are rich in phytochemicals that fend off cell-damaging inflammation, plus they add flavor and variety to all kinds of dishes.

The top 12 spices to have on hand in your cupboard are Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Basil, Cardamon, Chives, Cilantro, Cloves, Garlic, and Parsley. It’s best to use these in the fresh form, if possible, to get more of the vital enzymes present in raw plant foods. Also, it’s important to use organic or wildcrafted herbs, and make sure your spices have not been irradiated, a process that kills all the beneficial life force of the plant. Mountain Rose Herbs is an excellent and highly affordable resource for ordering all the herbs and spices you might need.

If you’re ready for a complete body makeover from head to toe so you can be more vibrant and pain-free, I’d recommend scheduling a series of Structural Integration. This work systematically realigns your body and reconnects your nervous system so you function as a whole again. Pain disappears and you start to feel more flexible, vibrant, and energetic! You can also sign up for your first session by emailing me right now!

Author's Bio: 

Holistic Arts Practitioner and Wellness Consultant, Sukie Baxter, helps clients achieve amazing mental, physical, and emotional vitality. To learn how to rejuvenate your body and soul using natural health strategies that get real results, register for her free weekly articles at http://www.SukieBaxter.com