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A UTI had me home in pain all day Wednesday. Desperate for relief while I waited for an evening appointment with the on-call doctor, I reviewed the alkaline diet.

The alkaline diet’s high ratio of low-sugar fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes is supposed to put your body in an ideal condition to fight viruses, bacterial infections, fungal infections and even cancer. Alkaline diet websites recommend a 80-to-20 ratio of alkaline-to-acid foods in your daily intake. (It’s not an elimination diet, just a heavy-on-the-good-stuff diet.)

There are many websites on the topic, so careful what you read, and avoid anything that sounds too restrictive. There was a time when I swore by the alkaline diet; for now I’m just using it to help my body cope with infection and antibiotics for the next week.*

This website by Kris Carr has concise, user-friendly instructions to the alkaline diet – not to mention a tantalizing recipe section. Her avocado-and-toast adds spices to one of my favourite snacks.

I’ve been so freaked out by grocery shopping the past couple of weeks I’ve been living mainly on the simplest corner store finds – peanut butter and toast, coffee with milk, and apples. Oh, and tons of veggie burgers.

Today’s pain ushered me to Sobeys for a heavy basket of fruits and vegetables, fresh garlic and ginger, plain yogourt and sprouted grain bread. (Relief!)

Here’s the simple stir-fry I made for dinner, almost entirely with alkaline-forming foods. (A glass of milk, soy sauce and sriracha are slightly acid-forming.)

To make it, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add extra-firm tofu chopped into squares, 1 small head chopped broccoli, 1/3 each sliced red and yellow bell peppers, 1 clove chopped garlic, 2 tsp fresh ginger (I use fresh-frozen ginger cubes you can get at sobeys – so easy), 1/3 chopped onion, and 1-2 cups bean sprouts. Cover pan with lid to speak cooked, shaking/stirring frequently. At the end a few splashes of tamari (naturally brewed soy sauce), sriracha and Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds (cheap at any Asian grocery store) and eat with chopsticks.

*At the ED clinic I bet they’d be shaking their heads at me following any kind of restrictive diet, UTI and all. During recovery, we are encouraged to abandon notions of “junk” and “bad” food, instead adhering to the phrases “eating is good,” and “all food is good,” because as patients we struggle with eating in general.

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