Are You Absorbing Your Nutrients? Test Your Digestive Reserves with My Lemon Challenge!

When the body is whispering, it may be able to repair itself quickly, if you listen. It can be easy to misinterpret the body’s intent by underestimating the seriousness or destructive potential of its messages, especially the quieter ones. 

I’m going to take you through the lemon challenge, or what we call the digestive reserve test. If you are using micronutrients to heal the metabolism (which science tells us is the only way), we have to extract them from food. To do that, we have to digest them and break them down. This is why digestive reserves are so important. Our enzymes also help open receptor sites for hormones. 

Balancing digestive enzymes was life changing for me. When I was coming off prednisone and had a damaged kidney, I had a hard time responding to various therapies. Getting my ecosystem balanced really made a difference. If you don’t feel like you have the reserves to allow your body to let go of weight, this test is a great place to start!

First, print out your test instructions here. You can get a complete pH testing kit on my website for less than what they cost at most drugstores. (Tip: Some of my clients cut the test strips in half to get more use out of them!)

As I start to prepare, I use a plastic spoon—not a metal one because that can alter your results. You’ll also need a plastic cup, a timer or a watch with a second hand, nine test strips, and a lemon.

Eating within 35 minutes of this test can alter your results. Ideally, you’ve had nothing in your mouth for about two hours beforehand.

This is to test your digestive reserves, so we’re going to stress them with lemon. A result below 7 is considered acidic, while above 7 is alkaline. 

The first thing you’ll do for a baseline reading is swallow 10 times and either spit into the spoon and put the strip in, or spit onto the strip over a cup. Then match the color of your strip to the key and record your result. *These strips contain nitrazine dye, so do not put them in your mouth. Also, make sure you rinse and dry your spoon after each sample so there is nothing left on it to alter the next sample.

Next, combine the juice of half a lemon with a half cup of water in a plastic cup and drink it down. (Use spring water or tap water—not distilled water, pH water or water with anything added.) Then swish out your mouth thoroughly using the quarter cup of plain water, and swallow.

Wait one minute and record your first of the six pH readings, each spaced one minute apart. Don’t worry if you forgot to set your timer or the timing isn’t perfect. We’re looking for directional change after exposing the body to the stress of lemon, so if it’s 52 seconds or a minute and 10 seconds between tests, it’s OK!

I started slightly acidic at 6.6 before the lemon, and my strip turned very green after the lemon, jumping to 7.6. Then the color lightened more and more as I started coming back to homeostasis. That means I started using my digestive reserves to balance the acid in my body from the lemon. If you stay acidic, this tells us you don’t have a lot to rebound with, and you’ve got to fix that so you can adapt more efficiently. 

After testing six times one minute apart, do two more samples spaced five minutes apart. The strips can change color after a while, so record your numbers quickly. 

I work super hard on this for myself, having an autoimmune disorder that’s pro inflammatory and having had hormone issues. When I do a cleanse with alkaline veggies, it makes such an impact in my body. 

Chewing your food thoroughly also helps exercise those salivary glands. So I do a lot of celery, cucumbers, radishes, roasted chickpeas, or even turkey jerky is a really good one. If you’re not chewing, you’re likely not secreting as well as you could. I cannot tell you how inexpensive and effective chewing is for your metabolism!

I’m also very diligent about taking digestive enzymes, especially with a heavy protein meal. If you don’t take Metabolism Enzyme Balance, make sure you take one that has pancreatin in it; 8x is good, 10x is better. 

By testing every week, taking enzymes and trying one or more of my programs or events, you can start to make this better and better. 

Other Lemon Challenge Dos and Don’ts:

  • Best times to test are either early in the morning or around 4 pm. But you can get a lot of data by testing at any time. 

  • Ideally, you should have not eaten for at least two hours beforehand. 

  • Do not use water to help moisturize the mouth before your baseline test, or anytime during testing. 

  • Testing once a week is a good idea while you are working to rebalance your digestive enzyme reserves. 

  • If your body doesn’t rebound during testing, or if you dip below your original number, think about doing the 7 day pH testing protocol located in the member section.