I Attended an Alkaline Vegan Cooking Class and Here’s The Truth About Food

Photo by  Anna Pelzer  on  Unsplash

Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Almost two years ago, I decided to stop eating meat—cold turkey (who doesn’t love a pun). I didn’t do it for any substantial reasons typically associated with people who decidedly go plant-based. It wasn’t difficult for me. I didn’t have cravings or longings for certain foods that I used to love like shrimp or Harold’s chicken wings. Once I decided I was done—I was done.

Since that time a plant-based diet has become my new normal but it has come with some consequences. For starters, I loaded up on fun carbs, like French fries and croissants. I stopped reading food labels (except to check for meat-based products they typically sneak in food like lard, eggs or gelatin). During lunch meetings at work, there was never a meal for me because Texans love their meat. Traveling for work was also a bit difficult because I would have to scope out vegan restaurants ahead of time or be forced to consume an overpriced salad at traditional restaurants.

This plant-based lifestyle was getting some major side-eye from me.

I didn’t take the time to learn about the new lifestyle and as a result, I started gaining weight. I was furious! I gave up cheeseburgers only to still not be able to zip my jeans. However, the thought of going back to meat never crossed my mind. I knew that if I wanted to be in this for the long haul and stay excited about boring plants. I was associating “vegan” to mean “healthy” and that wasn’t the case. I needed to learn more about how to prepare my meals. Which included knowledge around food in general and nutrition.

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A few weeks ago, my husband found an alkaline vegan cooking workshop hosted by Bobo Cooks, Best Believe it’s Vegan. It was life changing not to mention it was #13 on my 35 Things to Do Before Turning 35 list! I implemented the new skills immediately and have seen major results so far. For starters—my muffin top has deflated. To be honest, after birthing my son three years ago, my stomach has never gone back to its original look. While I didn’t experience any stretch marks, I do have stubborn fat in my lower abs that make my life so difficult. In addition to that FUPA, I was eating foods that were causing inflammation which exacerbated the pooch. Dare I say it, most days I was walking around looking like I was in my second trimester. It was embarrassing and not cool!

During the two-hour class, I learned about alkaline foods. All foods have a pH from 0-14 and foods are either acidic or alkaline. For our bodies to function properly, it requires a neutral to alkaline pH level. Foods that are high in alkaline; supposedly fight off diseases such as cancer. High alkaline foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. While I partly knew this information, what I did not know is that all produce isn’t created equally.

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Seedless fruit—while I find to be a time saver and super convenient; isn’t the best for your diet. It’s often made through genetic modification or by other scientific ways that mimic nature. It’s something I never really thought twice about until the workshop.

Why does it matter?

The best example I can think of are man-made diamonds; more commonly known as synthetic diamonds. Yes, it’s a diamond. However, it isn’t as valuable as a diamond mined from nature. Frankly—I’m not trying to wear a synthetic diamond nor was I trying to eat synthetic foods.

I also learned about yeast and gluten and the reaction most people’s body has towards it. Additionally, the cook taught us alternative ways to enjoy foods typically created with white all-purpose flour like tortillas. There is nothing I love more than a warm tortilla but my body simply can’t handle it; let alone 3 tortillas with a side of rice. In the workshop, I learned how to make simple tortillas from chickpea flour. Mind blown!

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Lastly, I learned that almost any food can be created in its alkaline form even Caesar salad dressing. Recipes are a trial and error. Most importantly, just by shifting my eating habits for a few short weeks I’ve seen results that I like. For example, I recently purchased a body con dress and can’t wait to wear it. My skin is also glowing.

Oh yeah—I also bought some sea moss and have been adding it to my daily smoothies. Sea moss! Check out my (un)recipe. I call it an (un)recipe because i don't deal with actual measurements.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Smoothies

Photo by  Shawn Fields  on  Unsplash

Few ounces of spring water

Palm full of chia seeds (let them hydrolyze for five minutes)

Dash of milled flax seeds

A scoop of hemp protein powder

A handful of baby spinach or power greens

Tablespoon of cacao powder

Dash of cinnamon

Half of a red banana (not yellow)

6 strawberries

12 blueberries

Tablespoon of sea moss gel

4 ounces of spring water

Blend for 60 seconds

Fun fact: They only way I can enjoy strawberries is in a smoothie. Aside from that—I detest them; although I enjoy their high vitamin C content.

Love + Light

Ar’Sheill Monsanto