Optimize your health by becoming more alkaline

I am always trying to learn more about ways in which we can become healthier and live disease free.  Recently, I have been studying a lot about the pH of our bodies and how they effect health.

The pH of your body is the acid-base balance that the body likes to maintain. Alkalinity means that the body has pH higher that 7. The human body is sightly alkaline with a blood pH around 7.4.Why our Body needs to be Alkaline.

If the body drops to a more acidic pH and is not returned to homeostasis through processes in the body, the cells of the body have a decreased ability to produce energy in the mitochondria.

Even a small shift towards being more acidic results in the impaired function of the electron transport chain which results in less energy production. This state of the body also results in a decreased supply of oxygen available which impairs the cells ability to repair and replenish themselves.

The low- oxygen environment associated with acidosis (a lower pH in the body)  promotes growth of harmful microorganisms! The body’s immune system works the best in a narrow pH range. Acid- alkaline imbalances can weaken the body’s ability to ward off infectious microorganisms. The decreases oxygen state enables microorganisms that previously would not cause harm to become pathogenic.

As you can see, the body works the best in an alkaline state. Here are ways to promote this state and optimize your health.

1.Reduce Stress 

Stress in the body results in an increased production of acid. This hyper-acidic environment results in many detrimental things: one of them being inflammation. Our bodies are so strong and can maintain homeostasis if the stress is managed and not too excessive. However, unmanaged, chronic stress is extremely detrimental. The hyper-acidic environment that too much stress causes, allows microorganisms to thrive.

To reduce stress I recommend removing tension from the body. Here are some tips to reduce stress:

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My last tip to reduce stress is to truly only focus on things you can control. Focusing all of your attention on becoming the healthiest person you can is one of the things you have a lot of control over. Quieting down your external environment will in return quiet down your internal environment.

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2. Eating

While we have evolved several buffering systems to balance our pH when we consume acid-producing foods, eating too many and not enough alkaline-producing foods makes it even harder to achieve pH homeostasis. A quote from one of my favorite books, The Primal Blueprint , ” As you might guess, heavily processed foods, sugars, grains, deep-fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners are acid-forming in the body, a precursor to many health problems and diseases. In contrast, by eating sufficient amounts of alkaline-forming foods- vegetables, local fruits, nuts, and seeds- you optimize your acid/base balance and improve metabolism to burn fat, build muscle, and reduce your susceptibility to environmental and dietary toxins.”

3. Appropriate exercise

Exercise impacts the body’s pH levels in various changes that can often be buffered by systems in the body. However, exercising at extremely high heart rate zones for extended periods of time results in a flood of stress hormones in to the bloodstream.  I am not saying that high intensity exercise is bad, I think there is a time and place for it. However, if the goal is to reduce all stress and inflammation in the body and keep our bodies more alkaline, then optimal heart rate zones are 55-75% HR max. To make this easier, to ensure you are not in too high of a heart rate zone, make sure you can still speak sentences when you are exercising.  I would suggest walking, hiking, cycling or just finding ways to move more often. Low-level exercise for longer duration promotes stronger capillaries (blood vessels) which provide oxygen and fuel to each muscle cell.

All in all, find things that make your body feel good and do more of those things. Most humans intuitively know that eating 10 cookies and drinking 3 beers does not make them feel good. Be smart with your decisions and focus on promoting optimal health!

Reach out if you would like a more personalized approach to this topic!

Stay fit, strong, healthy and happy !

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Em ❤

 

 

 

 

References:

http://mrhawkeyeviews966.blogspot.com/2018/03/why-our-body-needs-to-be-alkaline.html

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324271

https://alkalineforlife.com/

Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

 

Too connected and so alone

We are all connected through technology and other modern inventions, yet we are all so alone. What happened to connections and real, intense care for one another?

We used to rely and put our trust in others in order to survive. Now we rely on Amazon Prime and Uber Eats. Our sense of partnership and connection has changed. Americans go from their house, to their car, to their cubical, back to their car, then back home. We are so focused on being successful and wealthy that we forget how much our happiness matters.

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There is no lack of information about others… We can find anything we want about someone on social media. You will for sure know that the rate of robberies has increased in New York City because of the news, but you will not know about the school play going on next weekend a mile from your front door. We spend a lot of our energy consuming news and media about strangers. You probably know more about a certain celebrity than you know about people you spend your time with. Instead of listening to other people and really trying to understand others, we put up walls against anyone who does not view life the same as us. 

In my opinion, real connection is necessary for happiness. Feeling like someone cares about you is vital for security in your life. We used to trust others to help us survive when we were running low on food or other resources necessary for survival. How many people could you truly rely on? 

Trying to create a sense of community can be hard, but I challenge you to focus on creating and sustaining real, close connections. Most Americans spend an average of 5 hours on their phones, take 15 minutes of that time and try to talk to someone new each day! 

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I challenge you to push outside your comfort zone and try to create connections with others. You never know what people are going through and who needs someone to just listen to them. Real connections matter.

 

A new state

Hello!!! I am finally back on my blog. I was extremely busy the past couple of months moving my life to a new place, by myself, again! I recently moved to Redmond, Washington!

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As college came to an end, I was faced with a major decision. Where should I move? Part of me wanted to move back to Colorado (my home state) and part of me wanted a new adventure. I lived in California for four years and while I appreciate everything I learned from that experience, I needed a change.

I made the decision to move to Washington after accepting my dream job at Pro Club. 🙂 YAY!

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When I moved out here one month ago, I did not know anyone. It was a new solo journey! Obviously I was a little scared, but I also knew it would be good for me and make me grow as a person. I ultimately want to relate and understand as many people as possible. By living in multiple places (Colorado, California and now Washington) I am able to surround myself with different people and new environments!

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It has been one month since I moved here and I am very happy! It is so interesting to see how people react to my story of moving out here alone. A lot of people say things like “you’re so brave” or “wow, crazy for a girl to do that all alone” I don’t get it. I feel like you may as well take risks in life in the chance that it will be for the better. To me it is not being brave, it is realizing that life is short and I may as well experience as many things as I can 🙂 

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I have learned both in studying and through personal experience that the environment impacts our health in so many ways! I want to be in the best environment possible to maximize that aspect of my health. I want to create a life in an environment that makes me happy!

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I love being out of my comfort zone and forced to try new things and meet new people. I think everyone should follow their dreams and do whatever is necessary to be happy. So far, I love Washington!

Come visit! XOXO

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Embem ❤

Top 3 hikes in the world

The past couple of years I have been blessed to hike in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Each hike is special to me for a different reason. I enjoy hiking alone because I feel free and connected with the world, however all of my top three hikes were completed with people close to my heart. The first hike that I will always remember was a hike in Sequoia National Park.

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This was a long hike but did not seem too challenging because of the amazing landscape. Completing the whole hike you pass by three breathtaking lakes.

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I completed this hike with one of my close friends. This hike was so special to me because I was going through a challenging time in my life, it was so refreshing to just be outside with nature and see the beauty this world has to offer.

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If you are ever in Sequoia National Park, I highly recommend this hike!

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To find more information on the trail search it on All Trails.

The next hike that I put on my top three is in Chamonix, France. The hike is to Lac Blanc.

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The route I took for this hike was actually 12 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain. It was HARD! But, it was so pretty and had unbelievable views of the peaks in Chamonix. I started from the base of the mountain so had to hike through trees before reaching mainly rocks.

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Half of the hike was shaded by trees, but I was hot and tired from the steep inclines! After 4 miles of climbing up through the tree line, it was mainly rocky paths to the lake.

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I was so exhausted by the time I reached the lakes but the view made it all worth it.

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The water was freezing so no swimming for me!

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After resting and refueling we hiked the long trek down. We went down a different way than we climbed up and ended up having to go down steep ladders!

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I was so scared but it was also really amazing and a good adrenaline rush!

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This hike was pretty challenging and I would recommend having poles, good shoes, and a lot of water and snacks! The views were amazing and the climb was worth it in the end!

The final hike on my list is a 14er in Colorado. This hike was special to me because I completed it with a good friend of mine and it signified the last day of my summer in Colorado. This hike is beautiful and if you complete it early enough, has an amazing sunrise!

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We started this hike at 5:30am. When you climb 14ers, you want to start early so that you can get up and down before the afternoon storms hit!

The sunrise hit when we were about halfway through this hike.

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This was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen in my life. The world was so quiet and peaceful that this moment was very spiritual for me.

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There is a lake below Mt.Evans that you can see from the top that just adds to the beauty. This hike is challenging due to the high elevation of 14,264, however, as far as 14ers go, this is one of the easiest ones I have done.

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If you venture to Colorado and want to complete a 14er, make sure you have good shoes, warm gear, a lot of water, snacks, and are acclimated to the elevation.

A few of my other favorite hikes are Angels Landing in Zion National Park, Reservoir Canyon in San Luis Obispo, part of Eiger in Grindelwald, Cinque Terre in Italy, and the Dolomites (read my post on that). Every hike I do is special to me and I hope to keep on climbing mountains for the rest of my life!

What is your favorite hike? Let me know so I can go climb it!

XOXO

EM

 

The Dolomites

 

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Visiting the Dolomites in Italy was such a breathtaking experience for me. These peaks are insane!

The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps. 

There are many towns you can stay in to hike the Dolomites, but upon research and word of mouth: we stayed in Madonna Di Campiglio. This town is right in the center of some of the most famous hikes and peaks. It is also a very famous ski town!

The first hike my mom and I conquered was Cinque Laghi. This is a hike to 5 lakes (we ended up doing 2 lakes). We took the gondola up and then began our trek to the first lake. It is very common to take gondolas up to higher parts of the mountain when hiking in Europe.

 

The walk to the first lake was not too challenging. There were signs to the lake and the trail was very maintained. 

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The hike to the next lake was challenging! It was very steep and rocky and had some pretty exposed parts. I was happy I had my poles and a lot of water 😉

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It took us an hour to hike to the next lake. The views were incredible and I would highly recommend this hike to anyone hiking in the Dolomites if you are up for a challenge.

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Lago Lambin (Lake Lambin) in Dolomites & Views looking back to part of what we hiked.

After the second lake, we decided to turn back and finish the hike early. We did not have enough time to hike to the other lakes and the return gondola at the end of the fifth lake wasn’t going down! After a good nights sleep, we returned to the mountains the following day to hike Spinale.

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The Dolomites shoot up to the sky directly above meadows of green grass and flowers. The contrast is amazing! We hiked on a clearly marked path for the majority of the hike, then hiked straight up a rock field to reach the top!

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This was a tough hike but once again the views were more than worth it! If you ever head to the Dolomites I suggest doing these two hikes: Cinque Laghi and Spinale!

Also don’t forget to stop at a mountain chalet at the top and treat yourself to a much deserved glass of wine 🙂

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I hope to travel back to the Dolomites to climb more mountains some day. This place made my heart beat faster.

Stay tuned to see my blog posts on hiking in Lugano, Zermatt, Luzern, Grindelwald, Interlaken, and Chamonix!

Get out and enjoy the amazing world we live in!

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XOXO

Em ❤

Staying positive

I recently turned 22 years old! I am an Aries, which if you know much about horoscopes and my personality, you would agree, my sign fits me quite well! I am competitive, ambitious, and VERY optimistic. 

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In my twenty two years on Earth, I have experienced open heart surgery, tragedy, and the death of people close to me.

I have also experienced miracles, beauty in my surroundings, and more blessings and opportunities than I ever imagined.

Throughout my life, I try to always remain positive. Being negative does nothing for my soul. Having a negative attitude toward things will only make the situations worse. I am a firm believer in the power of a positive mind. We seem to forget  that we are in control of our reactions to stimulus we encounter.

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If something bad happens to you, what do you do? Do you complain and pout and make the situation worse? Or do you try to learn from it, become a better person, and move on?

Even though life can be unfair, being able to say you can breathe on your own, walk on your own, and speak on your own, means you are blessed. I challenge you to truly think hard about the way you react to stimulus in your life. Take a deep breathe and realize that you are in control of your emotions.

XOXO,

Emily

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Fitness meets Nutrition- Q&A with Nutrion Grad Student

Hey Hey! A healthy lifestyles not only involves exercising, but also consuming foods that are beneficial for your body! I reached out to Marta Tabatabai, a friend of mine who is very knowledgable about nutrion to do an interview for us! What an amazing person! If you have any more questions for her, reach out to me @fit_by_embem , or her on instagram: @cauligirleats_ 

Hey girly! I hope you are doing well! Can you first introduce yourself and tell people what you are currently studying?

Hey I am Marta and I am currently a graduate student at the nutritional science program at CSU Chico. I am passionate about helping people live a healthy lifestyle by sharing a positive approach to nutrition with evidence based advice. 

 

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How did you become passionate about nutrition?

I have always loved the science behind nutrition that I learned in my animal science classes as an undergrad at Cal Poly. I took an intro to nutrition course thinking I wanted to go into the healthcare industry. I really loved it and at the time I was training for a half marathon and saw how nutritious food could be used as fuel.  I always grew up with lots of healthy options at home, my parents always had cut up fruit and vegetables at the house. I decided to dig more deep into the science behind nutrition and take some metabolism courses. I was amazed at how complex our bodies are and how nutrition can have such an impact on our health!

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Do you have tips for eating healthy while not spending a lot of money?

I think the biggest thing would be to plan out meals ahead of time. Go to the grocery store prepared to know what you are going to get. A lot of times people will go and grab things that they do not need. Getting seasonal produce is cheaper. Frozen vegetables and fruit are an option also! Canned beans and dried grains are very affordable options! Also buying things in bulk and freezing them (buying a large pack of chicken) and defrosting only what you are using. By preparing meals ahead of time, you set yourself up for success and you end up saving money by not eating out!  

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What are some things people should always pick up at the grocery store? (top 5)

  1. Spinach! It is so versatile! You can easily add a handful to anything (scrambled eggs, curry, a smoothie)
  2. Nut butter! I have to throw that in there! I love any type of nut butter!
  3. Apples! They are easy to pack in a bag, they do not get squashed easily, and they last awhile! The crunch is very satisfying! They are also full of fiber!
  4. Carrots- They are a great snack and they can pair perfectly with your favorite dip!
  5. Chickpeas- They are also very versatile- you can roast them and have them as a snack, you can use them as protein in a dish, or make your own hummus

How do you balance going out and still being healthy?

Living a healthy lifestyle is all about having a balance that works for you! Every individual is different. When I go out to eat, I tend to pick what is going to be the most nourishing and satisfying in that moment. For example, if I am really wanting a pizza, I will allow myself to have that! If I deprive myself of it, I feel restrictive and not satisfied. I also really enjoy eating lots of veggies and healthy foods! There is always an option to get something healthy that is more exciting than a plain green salad! I tend to cook most of my meals at home with foods that I know provide me with energy and make me feel good. So, if I go out to eat and I feel like having something just to nourish my soul, I will have that!

Thoughts on intermittent fasting? (what is it and what you think of it)

From my understanding, it is fasting for a certain time whether it be hours or days and then allowing yourself to eat in the other time. I believe the most common one is fasting 16 hours and eating 8 hours. I personally wouldn’t advise it. I don’t think enough research has been done yet. I also think it goes against our bodies internal cues to regulate hunger and fullness. Our bodies are really good at regulating how much fuel we need and when we need it. I don’t think restricting to a time window is the healthiest option physically and mentally.

Thoughts on intuitive eating? What is it and what you think of it)

Intuitive eating is a concept that was come up by two dietitians in the 90’s. It is comprised of ten principles:

  1. Reject the diet mentality
  2. Honor your hunger
  3. Make peace with food
  4. Challenge the food police
  5. Respect your fullness
  6. Discover the satisfaction factor
  7. Honor your feelings without using food
  8. Respect your body 🙂 
  9. Exercise and feel the difference
  10. Honor your health with gentle nutrition

 

It basically is about letting go of any external cues that influence what we eat. Whether it be from social media or from a friend doing a fad diet. It is about being in tune with your body, realizing what foods satisfy you, nourish you, and make you feel the best! It is about being mindful when you eat, so you can tune into your hunger and fullness signals. Also, respecting our bodies and the way we naturally are. 

I honestly think that it is what we are naturally born to do! It is what children do! If someone hadn’t dieted, they wouldn’t think this was any different. This is something that everyone can adopt and is a great way to live a balanced lifestyle.

 

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Biggest piece of advice?

My biggest piece of advice would be to add some more fruits and vegetable into your diet. Also figure out a fun way that you enjoy to cook them! You do not have to eat plain kale with minimal dressing. You can figure out if you like roasting veggies, or maybe having them with some sauce! Play around in the kitchen and see what works for you!

 

Lastly, what are some meal ideas you would like people to try?

Breakfast idea: Overnight Oats!

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Overnight oats recipe:

1/2 cup oats

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 greek yogurt

1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Enough milk to cover it all

*stir it all up, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and top with fruits, nuts, nut butter, and whatever else you like!

 

Lunch: Pesto Avocado egg salad!

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Recipe:

2 sliced hard boiled eggs

1/2 of an avocado

1 tbsp pesto

sprinkle of Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning (or salt and pepper to taste)

*Mash avocado, mix in pesto, slice eggs in both directions, add eggs and seasonings

 

Dinner: Curry!

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Ingredients:

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp fresh minced ginger

2 cups broth of choice

1 cup coconut milk

4 cups small cubes of butternut squash

1.5 cups green lentils

dash of turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

4 big handfuls of spinach

 

Directions:

-saute onion and garlic in olive oil till translucent on medium high heat

-add in curry powder, ginger, broth, coconut milk, squash, and lentils and bring to a boil

-once at a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes

-turn off heat and stir in turmeric, salt, pepper, and 4 big handfuls of spinach

*the dish may not need salt if the broth has salt in it

-enjoy over brown rice or another grain

 

THANKS MARTA! 

Follow her on instagram for more awesome tips and recipes- @cauligirleats_ 

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