What is an Alkaline Diet?
Oh how I dislike the word diet! Eating should not be classed as ‘diet’, a word that conjures up restrictions, calorie or point counting, fasting, false promises, effort and the pretty sure knowledge that any benefits will be wiped out when returning to ‘normal’ eating. The pounds will inevitably pile back on, blood pressure and sugar levels increase, cravings, aches and pains return, sleep becomes increasing more difficult, energy levels plummet ….. and I could go on, and on, and on ….. (I’m told I’m very good at that!)
Eating should be a pleasurable and stress free experience, providing all the nutrients needed from a diverse range of foods that Mother Nature provides for us, giving lasting, maintainable, sustainable change and health benefits. Simple.
To find a word or a phrase that best describes this way of eating, that resonates with people providing an understanding of what it offers and the benefits that can be gained is difficult. You only have to look on the bookstore ‘diet’ section to see all the diverse titles on the shelves.
But an identity has to be given, sorting out the wheat from the chaff, and the ‘Alkaline Diet’ fits the bill perfectly. It’s used by those following a natural diet to attain their true health potential. Plus the phrase doesn’t make promises nor provide false hope. It doesn’t promise you’ll lose 10lbs in 10 days, although you may well do if that’s what your body needs to do. Conversely, if you’re underweight, you’ll put weight on. We are all individual and unique, and the benefits will reflect that. The Alkaline Diet works with you and for you. (I’ll explain the word ‘alkaline’ a little later.)
Why follow an Alkaline Diet?
It’s a very simple and straightforward approach to health. Our body is designed to be alkaline with the alkalinity, or pH (potential hydrogen), of our blood constantly being maintained at 7.365, which is mildly alkaline. Other fluids may be of a different pH. Your body will do everything it can to regulate and maintain the pH balance of these fluids within an acceptable range that allow all of those lovely 75 trillion cells to work at their optimum, keeping them happy and stress free. Happy cells = happy tissues, organs and all systems within our body.
The foods we consume are ‘burned’ within the body and leave behind either an acid or alkaline ash, or base. It’s very similar to burning wood or coals in a fire, when burned they leave behind an ash waste.
While the body naturally produces some acids through normal day to day metabolism, there is a wonderful buffering system within the body that neutralises these acids, perfectly maintaining that mildly alkaline environment. Your body will do ANYTHING it can to maintain this balance and neutralise any acids produced naturally, however we add heavily to this acidic load through the foods we eat and the lifestyle we lead.
A lifestyle of high stress, smoking, recreational drugs, lack of exercise, alcohol, sugars, caffeine, processed foods, meat, plus meat produce, treated with antibiotics and hormones, farmed fish, excess dairy, the chemical products we put on our skin, even our negative thoughts and emotions, all severely add to the acidic load, creating extreme internal stress depleting the buffering systems in place to maintain the acid:alkaline balance within the body. As an example, when we continue to live an acidic lifestyle, the body is forced to keep leaching the alkaline buffering mineral calcium from bones and teeth to buffer acidity leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Which are the acidic foods?
The most acidic foods contain salt, sugar, trans-fats, yeasts, dairy, refined simple carbohydrates, alcohol, chemicals, preservatives, colourings etc. so a diet high in colas and fizzy drinks, pizza, fries, sauces, crisps, bread, cakes, biscuits, pastries, ice cream, dairy, cheese, cream, caffeine, alcohol, take-aways, microwaved meals. Most often referred to as ‘junk food’.
All foods with little or no nutritional value. Does this make up most of your diet?
Add in a lifestyle of stress, negative thoughts and emotions, little or no exercise ….. how acidic do you think you are?
What happens if you keep eating an excess of acidic foods?
Quite simply you’ll become sick. Can you imagine the cells in your body being like a fish in a fish tank?
When you first get the fish and place it in clean water, with a fresh oxygenating plant, he’ll swim around happily amusing himself in his clean environment.
However, should you feed him the wrong food, forget to change the water and don’t replace the oxygenating plant, over time the fish will become lethargic and sick. His environment becomes dirty, contaminated with microbes and bacteria and ‘acidic’, a totally unsuitable environment to maintain health and vitality.
Change the water, clean the environment and you give the fish the ability to heal himself!
It’s the same with the cells in your body. Keep the environment clean, change the water, feed the right foods and your cells also have the ability to heal themselves, becoming far happier and healthier.
Which are the alkaline foods?
It will probably come as no surprise the learn that the alkaline foods are fresh vegetables (preferably green), some fruits, salads, foods containing the omega oils, nuts, seeds, pulses, beans, whole grains. All whole foods packed full of wonderful vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants, protein, fibre, essential fats, water and nutrients, the building blocks for healthy cells.
It’s really easy to facilitate a change to a more healthful alkaline diet. Look at this simple acid/alkaline food chart, check out how many acid and alkaline foods you are eating, and one step at a time make the commitment to consume more alkaline foods every day. Aiming ultimately for a 70% alkaline, 30% acid balance.
For an extra boost include wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella or spirulina. Finally, add into the pot some exercise for body and mind e.g. meditation, mindfulness, yoga, gratitude, you’ll very quickly turn all those unhappy acidic cells into a happy and healthy community enabling you to achieve your full health potential.
What’s stopping you? Make the right choice and take responsibility for your own health now!
YourNewLifePlan is a 10 week transition to health, wellbeing and weight-loss plan incorporating a powerful 28 day core alkalising nutrition, life coaching and exercise programme. Find out more at www.yournewlifeplan.co.uk