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Ask Brendan: Alcohol and the Thrive Diet

A glass of wine. A pint of beer. Can you have the occasional cocktail and remain on track with your Thrive lifestyle?

Today, a question from Tim:

Q: Where do you sit regarding beer and wine (both red and white)? Are these substances alkaline or acid-forming? Is there a place for them in the Thrive Diet?

A: Great question, Tim. Up until about five years ago, I did have a glass of wine or beer from time-to-time. However, the further my diet shifted towards raw, plant-based foods, the naturally less interested I became in alcoholic beverages. My nutrient-rich diet recalibrated my body and I gradually lost my taste for alcohol - I currently consume none.

The pH value of wine ranges from 2.9 to 4.2, and the pH of beer ranges from 3.7 to 4.1, depending on the brand. Therefore all alcohol is classified as acidic (any pH value below 7). To encourage a health-promoting, alkaline environment in the body, all acid-forming foods and drinks should be avoided.

But rather than focusing on eliminating from your diet, concentrate on the inclusion of nutrient-dense whole food items. Over time the body will begin to crave high net-gain foods and lose interest in processed foods and stimulants like sugar, coffee and yes – alcohol. Your body will get all the nutrition it needs from the new diet and turn off the hunger/craving mechanism.

And don’t worry; the occasional drink will not sabotage your entire diet. Anything in moderation can be balanced out if the rest of your diet is where it should be.

Do you have a question for Brendan? Post it here and watch for your answer to appear in an upcoming Ask Brendan post.

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Comment by Lori on April 19, 2010 at 2:54pm
Great answer to that questions that most health conscious people have. I do notice that I do not crave alcohol in the same way since eating an extremely clean and plant rich diet, but still, I do enjoy wine. Everything in moderation is the key... but then, what is moderation...?
Thanks Brendan! Keep up the great work!
Comment by Barry Spencer on April 19, 2010 at 1:38pm
Isn't there less acid forming properties in organic red wines? What about gluten-free beers? If you're going to have a drink, aren't these better for you?
Comment by John Baynton on April 19, 2010 at 1:26pm
I find it really interesting how our bodies change regarding tastes and desires and cravings. I completely relate to the 'drying up' towards alcohol. While I do partake in a beer with friends or a glass of wine at times (rarely, but nonetheless), I truly have no desire to consume it. I've been following my own derivative of the Thrive Diet for years now and I certainly feel better now than I ever have. I suppose the other benefit is that my tolerance has dropped fall below what it used to be and therefore I really notice it after simply having had a single drink. It's certainly much cheaper! ;)
Comment by Becky on April 19, 2010 at 12:16pm
can you recommend specific foods or diet routines for a rehab period post knee surgery? I truly believe that diet will play an essential role in how I rehab and recover after knee surgery.
Comment by Michael James Slattery on April 19, 2010 at 11:56am
Is it possible to have too much alkaline? What is the effects?
Comment by Ron Granich on April 19, 2010 at 11:35am
Before you abstain from everything and anything please get yourself a back copy of this article in national geographic
then decide what you want to include and exclude
Also choosing your parents more wisely might help as well
Comment by John Coleman on April 19, 2010 at 11:21am
Great question and great response. I love the suggestion to focus on including nutrient-dense whole food items rather than eliminating things. So well said that a more gradual and gentle shift to nutrient rich foods will naturally decrease the interest in processed foods and stimulants. Love this approach and wording. Thanks Brendan!
Comment by Elmar Duiveman on April 19, 2010 at 10:53am
Great to read this article!!! Concerning this topic I also have a question. How many days/weeks before an event is wise to cut down on alcohol? I heard someday that one alcoholconsumption the day before a race makes you significantly slower...

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