Tracie Cone has always been a trailblazer. This award-winning journalist is the former California Newspaper Executive of the Year. She shares a Pulitzer Prize with fellow staff members at the Miami Herald for coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and has twice been nominated individually. She has focused her writing on helping the underdog and empowering those without a strong voice of their own. Now she takes us on the fight of her life.
Contact Tracie

What to eat, when I can?

When my dad was dying of prostate cancer, he once mentioned to me that he had seen something on TV that said cancer can’t grow in an alkaline body. What did that mean, we wondered? Did it mean those people don’t get cancer, but the others do?

It didn’t occur to us that you could help control the levels of alkalinity versus acidity in the body through diet.

This is the part of my program that has gotten the most pooh-poohs from the healthcare professionals I know, yet lately a few are coming around. Lovely nurse Lisa is reading a book “Eat Your Greens” (I think) and sent me over a copy of a chapter called “Greens Make the Body More Alkaline.” The chapter began with a discussion about cancer.

The page Lisa sent to me

An AP story appeared in the Fresno Bee recently about a 95-year-old man retiring from the Post Office in Riverside. His secret to a robust work life? He drinks alkaline water. After that story appeared a previous doubter asked to see the list of foods I eat.

My other doctor, Dr. Oz on afternoon TV, talks nearly every day about foods not to eat to avoid obesity and cancer. Without saying they are specifically “acid,” it’s like he’s reading from the list of foods I’m supposed to avoid: white processed breads, flours, etc.

Some friends have asked me to publish a list of foods I eat. You can find more comprehensive lists with a quick Google search on the Internet. Basically you want fresh and green, whole grains and seeds. Try to eat at least 75 percent of your foods from the alkaline category.

This is not a comprehensive list, and some lists don’t agree which foods are acidifying and alkaline, so it’s confusing. The effect often has no relation to the pH of the food itself. It’s how it reacts after digestion.

Asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, onions, cauliflower, radish, swede, lambs lettuc, peas, courgette, red cabbage, leeks, watercress, spinach, turnip, chives, carrot, green beans, beetroot, garlic, celery, grasses (wheat, straw, barley), cucumber, kale, Brussels sprouts, cilantro, fresh salsa, hummus, green tea.
Lemon (fresh), lime, avocado, tomato (vine ripened), grapefruit (which you can’t eat on chemo), watermelon, rhubarb.
Soy and almond milk (non sweetened)
Brown rice, almonds, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, buckwheat groats, spelt, lentils, cumin seeds, any sprouted seed, black and pinto beans.
Braggs apple cider vinegar and liquid aminos
Tahini, hemp. Figs are really high. Tofu. Sea salt.

Meats, poultry and fish, dairy products, especially milk, vinegar, white pasta, break, biscuits, soy sause, tamari, condiments (tomato sauce, mayo, mustard), artificial sweeteners, honey, oranges, coffee, tea (except green), beer, liquor, wine (boo hoo) fruit juice, dairy smoothies, sweets, chocolate, processed microwave meals, canned foods, powdered soups, fast fod, saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, margarine (worse than butter), corn oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, peanuts, cashews, pistachios. Aspirin, herbicides, pesticides, tobacco.

There’s a good chart here:

and here:

In closing, my runner friends Alejandro and Maria stepped up with advice regarding my dehydration. I had resorted to Gatorade, and who knows what the heck is in there besides waaaay too much sugar. Alex suggested bananas and Maria coconut juice. Both would restore my depleted electrolytes.

It just goes to show we know so very little about what makes our bodies run at optimum performance. We are more careful about the gas and oil we put in our cars than the fuel that keeps us healthy.

One Response to “What to eat, when I can?”

  • Tracie, I’m a friend of Rachel Nichols-Bernyk. She JUST sent me to your blog. I’ve read a good deal of it just these past few minutes and am in awe of you, your upbeat ‘can-do’ attitude. When you wrote on Alkaline v Acidic foods, it made me pause here. One of my best friends gave me a book, years ago, on this very topic. After reading it (it was not edited and needed to be!), I was convinced that living an alkiline life is the right path–at least I try.

    I wanted to wish you the best of everything and will pray that your news is only good news.

Leave a Reply

Meet Tracie
Copyright 2010 by Tracie Cone. All rights reserved.