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  1. Understanding why I need to eat such a heavy diet has been a lifelong preoccupation. Many years ago, I met some folks who were fasting and said they felt wonderful—light, energetic, spiritual. That sounded pretty good, so I tried water fasting. In 30 hours, I felt so bad, I wanted to die. Eventually I decided that it must be because I was so toxic, and lymphatically congested. Which was partly true at the time, but it wasn't the reason I felt so awful. People kept telling me about the right way to eat: low fat, a little fish and chicken if necessary, and a whole lot of fruit and vegetables. Skim milk if you must have it, avoid full fat anything. Problem was, I felt truly awful if I ate like that, often ravenous in an hour. I needed much heavier food to feel good. Fast forward many years of wisely ignoring popular dietary advice, eating to feel good, but not understanding why that advice didn't work for me, even though it worked fine for most of my friends. I finally came across the book that explained why I needed to eat heavier food. BioBalance: The Acid/Alkalline Solution to the Food-Mood-Health Puzzle, by Rudolph Wiley, PhD. Wiley explains that your venous blood pH determines what you need to eat. If you have an alkaline pH (>7.46), measured by venous blood, NOT by saliva or urine, you will do pretty well eating as advised above. However, if you have acid blood (<7.46), you will feel like crap eating like that. AHA! A clue! Acid metabolizers need to eat not just a heavy diet, but one that is specifically heavy on purines, which means lots of organ meats, sardines, some other fish, and relatively few specific veggies. In people with this acid blood, the purines actually alkalize their blood, bringing the pH up to optimal! To most people who have delved around in "dietary theory", this sounds flat out nuts! But here's the thing: it works. Few people want to spring for a special blood test measuring blood pH to the nearest hundredth to find out if their blood is alkaline or acid. So Wiley gives us a ball park method: just answer two questions. Can you feel good all morning with just coffee for breakfast? Can you feel good on a water fast? If you answered yes to both questions, you are an alkaline metabolizer, and you'll probably feel pretty good on that light diet. But truly acid metabolisms react poorly to caffeine, and they do not do at all well with water fasting. That's because they metabolize food too quickly, and their blood sugar tends to tank. (Acid metabolizers can use some caffeine if they feed it, that is, drink it with some substantial food.) Most people are in the middle, not too acid, not too alkaline, and can actually eat pretty much as they like. But 10% or so are at the extreme ends, and need to follow opposite diets pretty strictly in order to feel well. Some women are actually acid during one part of the month and then alkaline for the remaining days. If the "lite diet", vegetarianism, or paleo is working for you, don't bother with Wiley's book. But if your regimen doesn't work for you, (or women, if it works part of the month, but not the other part) check out the book. Note: this isn't about paleo: it's about purines. If you are an acid type, just eating a lot of meat/protein won't cut it. You need the purines. One of the most fascinating elements of Wiley's book is his claim that blood pH deviations of even a couple hundredths percent profoundly impact your psychological well being. If you eat right for your metabolic type you will feel remarkably stable and optimistic. If not, you— and maybe others around you—may start thinking you need a psychologist! His client stories are pretty impressive. I went to a live blood test with 2 friends. One I knew was an alkaline type who had been eating a lot of meat and purines. The other was an acid type who was a religious vegetarian—both wrong diets for their metabolic type. The fellow gave us a dietary lecture before testing our blood, recommending a PC lite diet. The vegetarian was eating pretty well by his standards. I was doing almost everything wrong, eating right for an acid metabolizer. Both my friends' blood pictures had major problems, but mine actually looked pretty good. BioBalance is THE most helpful book I've ever read on dietary regimens. Bar none. And I have read a LOT of them! If you're puzzled by your reactions to food, or contemplating switching dietary regimens, do check this one out. [Note that alkaline metabolizers need to avoid purines, as they raise uric acid levels which can result in gout.]