Ok, so the part you've all been waiting for.
Well after doing my preliminary research on Saturday, I decided to immediately cut out coffee. I couldn't pull the caffeine plug all at once though and so I switched to tea until yesterday, when I realized that black tea is just as bad as coffee. I also promptly ordered some ph test strips so that I could try to determine how acidic I am. Well these weren't coming in until Wednesday, and I had to go grocery shopping before then because we were out of food. So as I wandered the aisles (because I went shopping without a list, which I do not advise), I kept thinking ooohhh, that's got a low pral value, etc. etc. I ended up buying 3 bags of spinach, apricots, prunes, and chocolate covered plum bites impulsively. I also decided that I was going to try to eat spinach and some dried fruit every day. I don't particularly like dried fruit, but the kids like apricots and I can make the babies eat the prunes, so that's what I went for. I am afraid to try a date for some reason, but my mother and another friend both love them, so I'm working up the nerve. At any rate, I grocery shopped emotionally.
So I spent the next couple of days reading on some more foods and just kept getting lots of conflicting info but I finally came to some conclusions as far as what I myself am going to do. I couldn't do anything too radical, because I am after all still nursing twins. I have to eat a whole lot to be able to do this (nurse, that is). I'm unfortunately not one of those people who can nurse and not eat much and just have pound after pound fall off. I have to eat and eat and eat or I won't produce milk, and well, the weight just sort of takes it's sweet time coming off. This is an aside here, but I remember when my cousin nursed her twins and almost whittled away down to nothing. She had to safety pin all of her pants to even keep them up. Somehow, I had visions of grandeur that this would be me. It was not. So, all of that to say, I can't cut out anything too radical in my experiment.
Meanwhile, I'm waiting for my test strips to come in, trying to decide what dietary changes I'm going to make, and thoroughly enjoying my chocolate covered plums. I went so far as to ask hubby to look up the pral value for chocolate, which he graciously did. Then I asked him to look it up for plums. I was so excited to discover that the plums are more negative than the chocolate is positive, so I'm satisfied that the net is negative. I even went so far as to pick the chocolate off of a few plums to try and determine the chocolate to plum ratio. I was pleasantly surprised that it seems to be almost equal. Finally after reading numerous lists and wondering what waffeolo cereal is because it's one of the worst offenders, I decide to go for the big numbers - dried fruit and spinach (since it's the only leafy green that I really enjoy eating). I'm going to eat spinach daily, and add a serving of dried fruit. And maybe another serving covered in chocolate. I'm also cutting out coffee and tea daily. I only have one soda a week - it's a little guilty pleasure. I haven't decided if I'm giving that up yet. I'm also cutting back on my milk consumption. I realized that I probably drink between 4 and 5 cups (8 oz) of milk daily. This is excessive. I drink two at breakfast, two with dinner, and usually at least one more during the day. All of the reading I've been doing (before this even, when I got fixated on sheeps milk a few weeks ago), suggests that all of the real nutrition in milk is in the cream of non pasteurized and non homogenized milk. So I'm also going to start getting 2% milk from my local farmer people and drinking a little of that every week. Incidentally, I'm cutting down to 3 cups a day. I also am going to measure out my water for the day in a little sports bottle - I need to drink 2 full ones. Because I know I don't drink enough water. Finally, I'm going to try to cut my portion size down for meats at all meals, and if I feel like I need to eat more make it up with veggies (except corn).
So, satisfied that I am changing the daily pral values of my diet sufficiently, the ph strips came in and I started testing. I combined a bunch of different suggestions into my own, which is what I do with most things I do in life. One suggestion was that you test for 5 days, then average it. I am going to do this. The other was that you test in the morning and at night, because the morning one will tell you what your body's baseline is, and the evening one should tell you how what you've eaten that day affects your numbers. So I'm doing that, too. Then another place said that any dietary changes needed to be made for 6 weeks in order to affect your baseline, and then retest. So I think I'm going to do that. I really only want to do it for 5 weeks, because unfortunately for me Thanksgiving falls on day one of week six. Now, for the past 8 years, we have spent Thanksgiving day with my in-laws, and then the day after Thanksgiving at my Uncle's house with my cousins and more recently parents and siblings. This means I enjoy two straight days of pure gluttony because there is just no other word to describe it. My m-i-l normally smokes or brines her turkey, my Uncle fries his. They are both wonderful. And I love stuffing, and sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes, and the cheesy corn that one of my cousins makes.... and the desserts. You get the picture. I'm not sure how that's going to affect my experiment. So I am wondering if 5 weeks will be enough? I guess even if I stop at the 5 week mark, I'd have to test over Thanksgiving, so either way, Thanksgiving is going to be a most inconvenient wrench in my experiment here because I might have to show some restraint. Well, I'll just cross that bridge when I get to it.
At any rate, I'm on day 3 of my testing. This was initially just a little frustrating because I couldn't find any consistent opinion on where these numbers should be coming in. Regardless, I think my urine (which I also tested, and of course the kids had to get in on it, so I tested theirs, too) is normal. My saliva may or may not be normal. I *think* my baseline for my saliva is around a 6.75 which is either slightly acidic or on the low end of normal. My strips came in Wednesday night, so I tested then, and then twice yesterday, and twice today. Yesterday morning and today I had a 6.75 reading. Wednesday night I also had a 6.75 reading. Last night I had a 7.25, and tonight I had a 7.25. At this point, the only conclusion I've drawn is that Zaxby's is probably not helping the acidity in my body at all.
So, I'll be interested to see how this turns out. After I do my initial testing, there should be a long enough span of time to where I would normally have a break out. I am ending one right now - the remains of one of the whoppers are still in there, but almost gone. So, if this works, I'll just plan on skipping out on dental school and just writing my dissertation. I'll keep you posted.