One of the greatest way to detox and nourish your body is to follow an alkaline diet. Eating and drinking alkaline ensures the body is able to achieve an optimal average pH of 7.3 easily and without stressing other bodily organs or functions. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is very acidifying to the body and this constant state of acidity is a sneaky culprit behind fatigue, headaches, chronic illness and premature aging. Say goodbye to SAD and hello to health and vitality.
I know from experience that this is easier said than done. I’d like to make the alkaline lifestyle easy to begin and even easier to stick to. I’ve made the switch. It’s not always been easy. It has been a lot of trial and error for me. Abundant health and vitality is easier than we’ve been led to believe. Make these core principals your mantra:
- Baby steps! Take it one day at a time, easy does it, small changes rather than going full-throttle from day 1!
- You’re don’t have to be perfect. You can and should enjoy life. Take a day off,eat treats, enjoy your favorite foods and socialize. Don’t feel like you have to overhaul your personality to be healthy.
- Being healthy is meant to fit your lifestyle, not the other way around!
5 Steps to an Alkaline Lifestyle
1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
90 percent of people are chronically dehydrated and this is having a huge impact on their quality of life. There are so many benefits to drinking water and it never ceases to amaze me that people don’t drink enough, if any. I don’t know how they function. They must feel so rubbish!
Being properly hydrated will make a massive difference to your health, vitality, energy and even immunity. Everything is influenced by the quantity and quality of the water you drink. Making your water as alkaline as possible with a pH between 8 and 9.5 is the optimal way to alkalize your body.
Action Steps to Hydrate
- Drink 6-18 cups of water each day. How much? A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. Drink a full glass of warm water upon waking and follow it with a glass of lemon water and you start your day on the plus side!
- Drink lemon water: A glass of lukewarm, filtered or spring water with freshly-squeezed juice from 1/4 lemon. It helps cleanse the digestive system, ignite your metabolism and rid your body of excess acids. Despite the lemons being acidic in their natural form, lemon water, once consumed, forms an alkaline ash in the body making it a delicious and healthy way to boost hydration.
- A 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 quart of water will make even the more acidic water alkaline.
- A pinch of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt in a glass of water helps nourish adrenal fatigue sufferers and boost alkalinity.
- Enjoy organic herbal teas such as rooibos, peppermint, ginger, lemongrass, and nettle.
The alkaline diet is also about alkaline foods. There is so much conflicting information out there in books and on the internet as to which foods are alkaline and which foods are acid forming. It can be frustrating trying to figure out what’s correct. This simple rule covers 90 percent of foods:
- Alkaline foods are those you already know are good for you: fresh seasonal vegetables, salads, leafy greens, low-sugar fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy oils; unrefined, organic, high-water-content foods.
- Acidic foods are those you already know are bad for you: refined foods, fast foods, trans-fats, meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, white bread, white pasta and rice, condiments, alcohol, chocolate, chips, ice cream and pizza.
- When choosing your diet you want to work towards consuming a ratio of 80/20: Consume 80 percent alkaline foods to 20 percent acidic foods.
Take it slowly! Most people that attempt a “guns blazing” approach by going alkaline 100 percent from day one fails within a week and usually after 24 hours.
The alkaline diet is not restrictive at all, not difficult and is really simple, once you get used to it. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. People who try to be perfect from day one miss the opportunity to learn, experiment with different foods and find meals that work for them and their family. They end up feeling hungry, frustrated and stuck.
It is far better to take baby steps and get there slowly, by sticking to it for the long-term rather than being perfect for a day or two and then falling off the wagon.
Oxygen helps bind toxins and gets them ready to be carried out of the body along with being very alkaline. By doing a simple breathing exercise once or twice per day you give your body a leg up in removing these acids. More to the point, it allows you to stop, focus your mind, visualize and relax, which is also nicely alkalizing.
This breathing pattern is called Prana Yom. It helps the adrenal gland to reset and reduces cortisol levels. I recommend this breathing pattern for everyone but is exceptional for women trying to conceive.
Sit comfortably, close your eyes and follow this simple breathing pattern:
- Breathe in for the count of 4.
- Hold for a count of 4.
- Breathe out for a count of 4.
- Hold out for a count of 4.
- Repeat 10 times.
I am not a huge believer in supplements as a rule. I do not like multi-vitamins as they have no synergy in the body and do not metabolize as we have been led to believe. Which supplements that are important to take is one of the most overwhelming and confusing parts of the alkaline diet for most beginners. With so many supplements out there, all promising different things and all claiming they are better than the others it is hard to separate fact from fiction.
Here are the core supplements I recommend:
Green powder: This is a combination of powdered grasses, fruits, vegetables and sprouts with a focus on wheatgrass and barley grass. Though I prefer you get as much green vegetables fresh, green powders give you a boost during the day or as an addition to fruit based smoothies.
Alkaline water: You can make alkaline water in a number of ways including using a water ionizer, pH drops or adding freshly squeezed lemon, baking soda, or Celtic Sea Salt.
Alkaline minerals: The primary way that your body buffers acids is through the alkaline minerals: sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Celtic Sea Salt is a good sodium mineral, while magnesium, potassium and calcium are better taken in powdered formula with calcium being better absorbed when coming from a whole foods source.
Omega oils: Taking an omega 3 supplement or an omega oil blend including omega-3, -6 and -9 is really beneficial. Udo’s Choice Omega Oil Blend is one of my favorites. Udo is a world-leading researcher in omega oils for nutrition and he has made a superior product in both oil and capsule formulations.
The alkaline diet is easy when approached from a simplicity standpoint, when you aim for 80/20 rather than perfection and still allowing yourself fun little treats. Go easy, have a sense of humor about it and enjoy it.
Keep it simple and if you fall off the wagon one day, don’t beat yourself up! Go for a walk, breathe, refocus and just start again! The rest of your life is a long and interesting journey, so enjoy it with the health, energy and vitality that the alkaline lifestyle brings!
Wishing you peace and balance,