What Can I Eat? by Shelley Redford Young

For as long as I can remember, people have been talking about losing weight, especially women. When I was very young, my mother was on this thing called a diet. I remember she ate tuna fish every day and drank the new one calorie drinks.

Then when I attended high school, many of the girls I knew were trying to lose weight for the prom, a dance concert, or just so they could buy jeans a size smaller.

A few of my friends started taking this weight loss idea to dangerous extremes with bulimic and anorexic type behavior. One of them did this for so long that her intestinal tract dried up and no longer functioned well. Checking in at a whopping 83 lbs., she finally had to have an operation to remove large parts of her intestine and required a colostomy bag for the rest of her life! All of this so she could remain the skinniest cheerleader on our High School Squad!! Our nation–actually the world–appears to be confused and sometimes recklessly searching for some magic bullet or potion (the phen phen fiasco) that will allow everyone, especially women, to be at or below their ideal weight.

The diet industry continues to be a multi-billion dollar production that keeps offering up new methods, diets, and programs all making claims for results. However, obesity continues its epidemic climb, not only for adults, but for our children. It has become obvious that the solution will never be found in one little pill or bottle.

For the rising generation, we also need to focus on obesity prevention, not only for the emotional health of our young women, but also their physical well being since many diseases like diabetes and heart disease accompany obesity.

Women in particular are under extreme pressure in our society to remain sleek and ideal.

Super models and movie idols are almost always close to the physical ideal that most women would love to be. This is first brought to our attention as young females when we notice magazine covers in the check-out stand of the grocery store. Most of them portray beautiful slim fit women in desirable fashions. From a very young age, we develop a belief that if we can attain this look, we will be desirable, successful, and fulfilled.

Diet and exercise equipment ads remind us as women that we need our thighs trimmed and shaped, our bellies blasted and our buttocks busted!! Goals are set for women to remain in single digit dress sizes. Everywhere women are given a message that less is more when it comes to an ideal weight–and all with an attached sideline that we should remain toned, curvy and sexy. Now that’s what I call pressure!!! Some women choose to starve themselves thin or over-exercise until they have run every last extra calorie out of their systems. Eating disorders are substantially higher in women than men, as are appointments for liposuction, (the quick fix for unwanted extra fat baggage).

Women will do anything to remain slim and attractive and in some cases, it has cost them their health–or more. In these scenarios, food becomes a villain or a substance to fear rather than the safe friendly gasoline on which we should fill up on to nourish ourselves and to provide the best source of energy.

It is in this vein that I would like to approach women with a scientifically researched fact that when a woman is overweight, it is not a fat problem, but rather an acid problem. She is over-ACIDIC. This was once again confirmed to us recently as we heard from a plastic surgeon who had read our book and decided to send in some samples of fat to the lab to see for herself if what we were saying was true. She wrote: ‘You are exactly RIGHT…fat is full of acid!’

In The pH Miracle, Dr. Robert O. Young states that fat is created to bind acidity in the body and to store it away from the internal vital organs and delicate systems of the body. He believes (as I do), that when we gain weight as extra body fat, the body goes into a self-preservation mode to protect life.

So in reality, FAT could be saving your life! We should be thankful for this protective response, but in understanding its purpose and how and why fat is developed, we also have the option to change the way we live, eat, and think. In so doing, we no longer need to experience this fat-storing body mechanism and reaction.

This is where the chemistry of our bodies comes in and where the approach of alkalizing the diet makes perfect sense. By not understanding that an acid diet means fat development also explains why so many women yo-yo with their weight when they hop back and forth from dieting to not dieting. It becomes a vicious cyclical imbalance. I believe that we can teach women that food can be USER friendly. By just understanding the chemistry behind the digestive process, they can find hope and confidence in a sure way to remain at their ideal weight throughout their life. Along with that, they can experience the best health they could ever imagine. One is a by-product of the other. Ideas weight can be the end by-product of a simple understanding of digestion. Here are the FACTS The first thing we all have to realize is that our bloodstream is set at an alkaline count of 7.365. The pH scale goes from 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above is base or alkaline. Our blood, like our body temperature, is set at a specific number. If it varies from that, we experience problems just as we do if our temperature varies from 98.6. Because of this, the body will go to great lengths to maintain its slightly alkaline fluid environment. If the body or tissues becomes too acidic, the body will tap into alkalizing buffering reserves to neutralize acidity and maintain its delicate balance of 7.365. Some of those alkalizing buffering activities would include taking calcium from our bones and magnesium from our muscles.

Hmmmm! So perhaps this is why osteoporosis and flabby muscles set in as we age. Maybe our diets have been too acidic! The ratio of acidity to alkalinity in the body is something we need to understand too. It takes 20 parts alkalinity to neutralize one part of acidity. This one fact makes the investigation of an alkalizing diet even more key to maintaining our ideal weight and health.

So from here the most important thing to know and put into practice would be: Which foods are acidic? Which foods are alkaline, or said more properly, alkalizing?

From there, if we could make the alkalizing foods in our diet absolutely delicious and more plentiful, I think we would have found the ultimate solution to the weight problem we have today. In fact, I know this to be true from our studying, living and experiences over the last 15 years–and from talking and working with thousands of people.

Digestion and Food

All food that is digested in our bodies metabolizes down to an ash residue. This ash residue can be neutral, acid, or alkaline. It is important to understand that the cells of our body are bathed in an alkaline fluid. Over-acidification of body fluids and tissues signals a state of imbalance, opening the door to sickness and disease–and extra fat. Further, an overly alkaline blood pH signals a generally over-acidic condition as the blood pulls in alkaline salts to neutralize the acidity. Foods which create an acid residue are coffee, black teas, soft drinks, meats and other flesh proteins, eggs, dairy products, yeasty bread and yeast products, fermented foods like soy sause, miso, tempeh, vinegar, alcohol, sugar and high-sugar fruits.

Through scientific research, Dr. Young has found that sugars, white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, high-sugar fruits and fruit juices and even high-sugar vegetable juices like carrot and beet juice contribute to excess fermentation in the blood. This creates excess acidity in our body fluids. This in turn triggers one body response (from among many) which creates fat in order to bind (or to hold) the acidity. It then stores it under the skin of our stomachs, thighs, buttocks, arms, and even under our chinny-chin-chin in order to keep it from harming our vital organs.

Acids, as their names imply, burn or erode. So, creating fat is really a life-saving occurrence. We should be thankful for it, but we don’t need to become a slave to it if we understand why it happens. Once we begin to adopt a new way of eating, living, and thinking, we can require less self-preservation-mode reactions in our bodies (like creating fat), and we can have much leaner, more energetic bodies.

If we can find delicious foods and drinks that will not require this fat triggering reaction, we should be able to freely consume food and drink that will satisfy us, nourish us, and help us maintain our natural alkaline environment. This will also serve to deposit many essential alkalizing minerals into our bodies that will keep us strong and healthy.

This would also be the best way to prevent premature aging. Alkalizing our diets would be the best, most conducive way to maintain our ideal weight all our life! This makes our choices easy. We can choose from a plethora of delicious, energy enriching alkaline foods and make sure that they take up about 70-80% of our plates. In turn, our bodies will easily digest and maintain homeostasis or balance.

At Last! No more fad or extreme diets, but rather an alkalizing lifestyle. This will include hydrating, easy-to-digest foods and drinks along with other healthy habits like plenty of fresh air, sunshine and proper exercise.

I believe the body has incredible capacity to heal and function properly for many years if given the right fuel that is life generating. This is why we must begin to look for those foods that are most molecularly supportive for maintaining our inherent alkalinity. Once a person becomes balanced, is down to their ideal weight, or symptom free (over acidity causes many other symptoms besides extra fat on the body), then high sugar fruits could be eaten occasionally for cleansing purposes. In an out-of-balance body, they contribute to additional fermentation and stress on the body.

So what can I eat?

You may have noticed that the list of acidic foods is a familiar list of most common everyday foods ingested by most people. And isn’t it interesting that the incidence of disease is rising in peoples all over the world. Cancer is up, diabetes is in epidemic proportions, and inflammatory conditions of all types are very prevalent in our fast-paced modern societies. CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), AIDS, lupus, and arthritis are plaguing more and more women. Even mental disorders are on the rise. Depression, ADD, ADHD, and anxiety disorders are all commonplace in most families.

So the journey we must all take is to find alkalizing foods and drinks and replace our acidic choices with healthier ones. We don’t have to sacrifice taste, texture or even calories. All we have to give up is some known toxic substances that are causing us to rot from the inside out.
Once the body reaches a state of balance, it will find its ideal weight effortlessly. Losing weight has never been so easy. Many women who take this first step to drink and eat more alkalizing foods notice an initial drop in body weight or what is considered water weight. This happens, once again, because the body no longer needs to retain fluids to dilute the acidity present in the blood and tissues. Alkalizing foods or those which create an alkaline residue include vegetables and especially greens of all kinds such as spinach, cucumber, lettuce, grasses, celery, broccoli, soaked and sprouted seeds, nuts, and grains and low-sugar fruits such as avocado, lemon, lime tomato, and bell peppers. Raw foods are more alkalizing while cooked foods are acidifying. Gosh, could that mean we really need to cook less? How convenient!

To maintain a balanced and alkalized pH in blood and tissues, the diet should contain at least 70-80 percent alkalizing foods, and no more than 20-30 percent cooked or acidifying foods. Our bodies are like the earth which is 70 percent water and 30 percent mass. Therefore it makes sense to keep our meals based in high-water content foods that are alkalizing to the blood and tissues.

What about Protein and Calcium? Our bodies break down to:

70% water
20% fat (give or take)
7% protein
1-2 % vitamin and mineral
½ -1% sugar

It is evident that most people think protein and calcium need to come from meat and dairy products to be complete. This simply is not so. Women live in fear that their bones will turn soft if they don’t get enough calcium and protein in their diets, but once the bone leaching reaction is understood as one of the ways that the body continually tries to neutralize acidity in the body (calcium is a main alkalizing buffer or neutralizer in the body), women can understand that they don’t need to lose bone mass when their diets are high in green foods containing the chlorophyll molecule. All leafy greens are inherently high in calcium, magnesium and many B-vitamins which are so important to good central nervous system health.

Osteoporosis is also on the rise in women and it is my belief that this reaction is caused by too much protein or acid-causing food and drink in the diet. Even Dr. Atkins advised strongly that a calcium supplement needed to be taken if someone went on his diet. He knew the leaching affect his diet had on the bones. When I lecture to women, I put it very simply: Where does the cow get her protein and calcium? It’s from grasses and grazing which are the precursors to complete proteins found in all green foods.

I am 53 years old and just had a full bone scan. I am happy to report that my bone scan showed only a 4% decrease in bone mass showing me to have the bones of a 30 year old! I’ll take it!!!! Thus, the issue is not always where we get our protein and calcium needs met. The issue is how well our bodies will assimilate and absorb those elements and what are the best sources for protein and calcium that we can find.

For more information on the Protein/ Calcium myth see The pH Miracle or Back to the House of Health I.


So how do I make this work?

A good place to start is to load up the greens on your plate. Mom always told you to eat them and she was right! (Mom’s are like that, ya know!) Increase the beautiful leafy greens in your diet and decrease the acidifying foods. There are great replacements for vinegars and other fermented substances that greatly acidify your system. Lemon juice is one of those replacements. Although the pH test of lemon shows acidity outside the body, because of its low sugar content and the bicarbonates that it pulls into the blood during digestion, it leaves an alkaline ash as a residue.

Once you know how to work with your new condiment friends, you can give up the old acidifying standards that are keeping the weight on you.
(See Back to the House of Health 1 and 2 for more instruction on phasing and transition.)


Realize that the chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to your own blood hemoglobin. Choosing more foods that closely resemble your blood’s molecular structure will result in food that is more supportive inside your body (because they build good blood) and take less effort to digest. So, switch the proportions that foods take up on your plate. Have a huge salad with avocado and good Olive Oil or Flax seed oil and just have a single side serving of pasta or grain, or fish. Switch your rice side dish to raw steamed buckwheat which is a high protein seed, not a starchy grain.

Also, start hydrating the rivers and streams of your body by drinking more alkalizing drinks. There are many great green drinks that are available, but the ones that are the most alkalizing are those with a variety of grasses and green leafy vegetables. These regenerative foods give the best fuel and keep the weight off because there is no need to bind and hold acidity.
Drink plenty of pure, structured water that adds to the alkalinity in your system and watch the pounds literally melt off you. It’s all a matter of finding great alkalizing recipes and knowing how to order from a restaurant menu to achieve the most alkalizing result.


Once your taste buds have adjusted to the more humble, subtle sweetness of raw foods, you won’t consider this lifestyle as one of deprivation, but as a gift you give yourself with the best payback–vitality, great health, and your ideal weight for a lifetime! Can eating FAT be healthy? Can it help me lose weight? Another misconception I find out there in the field is a ‘fat’ phobia. I believe it stems from the NO-fat and low-fat marketing propaganda that was placed before women a few years ago. This was actually a dangerous attempt to convince women that they should eat NO fat in their diets whatsoever. This simple deception was presented as ‘if you don’t eat fat, you won’t get fat.’ This silly notion alone tells us how little most health professional understand about diet and nutrition–and how recently they were still in the dark. I don’t believe that most women–or their advisors–have had a good understanding of the different kinds of fats that exist and the essential roles they play in our bodies. As you may remember, this fad didn’t last long because women then ate more sugars and carbs and ended up gaining more weight than ever! Science, however, teaches us that essential fats (as their name implies) are vital for good health and even help us drop extra (acidic) body fat when we are eating an alkalarian diet and our health is in a state of balance.

The body’s blood cells are all equipped with a bio-lipid membrane (lipid means fat). The brain is approximately 90% fat. Fats also need to be present in the system for normal healthy hormonal production and development. With this information understood, it would seem that healthy fats in the diet could only help us maintain our ideal weight as women.

I have actually seen women start crying when they finally realized that they could eat avocados again as they were so overjoyed to find this out! Most women believed that avocados were too high in fat and they thought that they would gain weight from eating them. The truth is that avocados are one of the most perfect foods on the planet, being rich in nutrients, minerals like copper and iron, with more potassium and less sugar than a banana, with vitamins A, B complex, C, E, H, K and folic acid.


The other information that most people don’t know about avocados is that they provide all of the essential amino acids, more protein than cow’s milk, and Omega 3 and 6. The avocado ranks as the most easily digested rich source of fats and proteins in a whole food.


Approximately 63 % of the fat contained in avocado is monounsaturated and only 17 % is saturated fat. The 17% is medium-chained fats that help reduce yeast and bacteria in the body which creates less sugar cravings and thus less acidity to make us sick, tired and fat.
In addition, both types of fat serve as good energy sources in the body once we convert to fat as the source of our fuel rather than sugars, carbs, and high levels of protein which are more stressful on the body and leave acidic residues. The rest of the fat found in an avocado–about 20 %–is polyunsaturated and serves in cellular construction of the cell’s membrane. No wonder I call avocados ‘God’s butter!’


Every morning for breakfast, Dr. Young and I have a shake with cucumber, spinach, a whole avocado, soy sprouts, lime and some ice in it. I add a little salt or stevia and mint and have a smooth, minty, rich, creamy, wonderful shake. I also sprinkle a little raw, unsweetened coconut on top and that helps to keep this busy woman burning strong for many hours. It’s wonderful and I know I’m getting the best blood purifier, bone builder, energy packed, alkalizing, fortified breakfast on the planet! Try it! Even my handsome son-in-law loves these shakes. For children, we pour them into popsicle molds and they love them as a healthy snack. Fats are also a better fuel for energy production in the body. If a woman is getting most of her energy-burning calories from sugars and complex carbohydrates, the bi-products, through fermentation, can leave heavy amounts of ethanol alcohol, lactic and other acids as residues that the lymphatic system must deal with. Once again, this can act as a trigger for the body to bind this acid with fat and pack it on women, tipping the scales upwards.

However, a body that has essential fats coming from good sources (flaxseed oil, olive oil, marine fish oils, Udo’s oil, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, etc.), and that provides balanced omegas and rich oils like lauric oil found in pure coconut oil, will ultimately use the fats for energy burning, anti-bacterial aids, and neutralizing acids. This, in turn, will never put on extra unnecessary weight. Fats also burn more slowly than carbohydrates in the body and will keep us satisfied for a longer period of time. They are wonderful for our skin too. In Dr. Young’s research he has found that diabetics who place more essential fats in their diets will ultimately heal better and have a diminished need for insulin.

For a more in-depth explanation of fat metabolism vs. sugar metabolism, read Sick and Tired, The pH Miracle for Diabetes by Dr. Robert O. Young and myself, or Slow Burn by Stu Mittleman)


In summary, This is the NEW BIOLOGY. The proof isn’t in the pudding, it’s in the parsley. The time has come, I believe, for women to assume responsibility for their health emotionally, spiritually, and physically. With the apparent surge of interest in holistic approaches, it’s an exciting time to be alive and share the information about New Biology with women all over the world.


The good thing is that it’s simple, affordable and available to all women (and everyone for that matter). That’s how I’ve always felt healing should be. We need to return to Mother Nature’s diet from our Creator’s Garden. Those are the foods (and as Hippocrates said, our medicines) that were designed with our needs in Mind and that were here before any of us arrived! Being aware of our unique chemistry and engineering will intuitively help all of us to heal ourselves and those we nurture as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and friends. The concept of balancing our body’s blood and tissues to achieve our ideal weight makes perfect sense to me and the thousands upon thousands of women who have put it to the test and have found out that it just plain works! I have spoken with women throughout the world who have expressed thanks for enlightening them with this lasting, pro-active alkalizing lifestyle. Not only will it ensure their ideal weight, but it also affords them the best vitality and longevity imaginable. You will never have to change the program again because as we all know, Mother Nature knows best!

But then, we all knew that right! We’re WOMEN.

Copyright 2005, pHMiracleLiving.com

For more information on the pH Miracle, healthy weight loss and the alkalarian approach to vibrant health please consult the following:

Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young’s website for information on the steps to the 10 day liquid feast, cleanse and FAQ section for answers to questions about the pH Miracle protocol.


Sick and Tired, Reclaim Your Inner Terrain, Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young contributor (Woodland Publications 2001) The pH Miracle, Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young (Time Warner 2002) The pH Miracle for Diabetes, Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young, contributor (Time Warner 2004) Back to the House of Health, Shelley Redford Young and Dr. Robert O. Young contributor (Woodland 1999) includes overview of the New Biology, Phasing and Transition ideas, and recipes for foundation, framework and roof sections of the Alkalarian diet. Back to the House of Health 2, Shelley Redford Young and Dr. Robert O. Young contributor (Woodland 2003) includes many delicious alkalizing recipes and also those entrees in the first pH Miracle Recipe contest. More nutritional information added.

Copyright 2005, pHMiracleLiving.com

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