Balancing the Doshas with 8.8 Alkaline Water, Asian Food Plants, and ‘Dirt! The Movie’

I’m giving 8.8 alkaline water a try. The Buddhai approves.

In the spirit of trying every health food trend out there, last weekend I bought several gallons of prepared alkaline water.

There’s no magic to alkaline water. It’s simply water with a pH (‘pH’ represents the concentration of hydrogen ions) of over seven (so it’s less acidic than tap or spring water). The water I chose has a pH of 8.8.

There are lots of reported benefits to alkaline water – including improved digestion, increased energy, and a stronger immune system - but my interest is its possible effect on the doshas and its hydrating properties.

The science makes sense, so I’m giving it a try. I live with a cool Kapha-dominant dosha made troublesome by strong elements of the fiery Pitta disposition. Pitta bodies run hot and acidic. Luckily, I have no digestive problems, my energy levels are decent, and my skin is good, but I’m not fond of drinking lots of water. I know many people can drink water all day. I don’t unless it’s hot outside and I’m working in the gardens. My naturopath always tells me to drink more water.

Some days, I get pretty seriously dehydrated before I reach for something to drink. If alkaline water is a more effective hydrator than spring water, then this will be an easy win. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve started drawing up plans for this summer’s food garden. Crops are going to be planted in order to shelter the greens’ beds throughout summer. Last season, they were getting too much sun and bolting too quickly.

We’re going to be growing, for the first time, two kinds of very cool Thailand beans in addition to regular green beans, so more space is being given to beans. There will be a raised bed exclusively for basils. This year, we’re growing tons of the usual Genovese basil and additionally, two kinds of Thailand basils.

Thailand and Japanese veggies will star in our food gardens this year. I encourage all food gardeners to consider Asian and other global varieties of vegetable seeds. There’s a much bigger world of fresh, delicious veggies beyond the standard tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, squash, and eggplant. Asian vegetables bring in new flavors, amazing textures, and nutritional benefits that you may have never dreamed you could produce in your own food gardens.

For Japanese and other Asian herb and vegetable seeds, check out my faves, Kitazawa Seed Co., and

‘Dirt! The Movie’ is one of my favorite documentaries. Last night, we watched it for probably the fiftieth time. This 2009 award-winning film by Gene Roscow and Bill Benenson explores our relationship with soil – the precious, life-giving skin of Mother Earth.

We are steadily rubbing away the thin and fragile soil skin of the planet through practices like monocropping, deforestation, and urbanization. On a global scale, corporate agriculture – with its gargantuan appetite for money - is laying our dirt to waste without a thought to consequences. 

On a small and personal scale, we can replenish our garden soil through composting, which is an easy and effective way to turn waste into living dirt while powering up our soil and hence, our food. No kitchen scrap should ever enter the waste stream when it can become soil for growing food or trees. Don’t forget to check out this important film.

Feeling a little bit of a sore throat today, like I may have a bug. If so, it’s my first of winter. Not good. I’m not great at physical suffering. My husband said that if I were to find myself stranded on an island with no hummus, banana sushi, or cozy chindis, I would die a terrible death within the first five minutes. That sounds about right.

Live in peace.

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