WHAT IS ALKALINE?
Alkaline is a lifestyle choice for some and a requirement for others. The basis of this lifestyle sounds fairly simple – eat less acidic foods so that you can keep your body’s pH level in balance. Our bodies are designed to function at an optimal pH level around 7.0 – neutral. It will continue to function properly at a slightly higher level (alkaline), but if you dip lower than neutral (acidic range), you can suffer some major consequences. Eating too many acidic foods causes your body to move into inflammation state, which isn’t healthy! Inflammation is believed to be the driving force and cause of many of the chronic diseases we deal with today: cancer, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis (to name a few).
WHY CHOOSE Alkaline?
The last time I checked, nobody wants to have cancer or to be obese – plain and simple. As you know, cancer is very dangerous because once the malignant cells enter your body, they replicate at an alarming rate! But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Our bodies naturally produce acid through daily metabolic processes, and our body (being the awesomely smart machine that it is) balances it out the internal state without any trouble. For example, we produce carbon dioxide (acidic), but the levels of bicarbonate in our bodies act as “buffers” to neutralize the acidity.
Seems simple, right? Well it is, until we start adding stress, chemicals, and foods to our systems that push us into a highly acidic state. When we reach that point, our bodies can no longer get rid of all acidosis and it begins to break down.
Read more here!
WHAT CAN I EAT AND NOT EAT?
I’ll be honest – depending on the website you follow, you could find at least five different approved food lists and all of them differ. For example, some list mentioned that I could eat fruits, while another said I needed to stay away from fruits. One list mentioned that I could have almonds; others said I needed to avoid them.
I’ve researched this lifestyle twice in the past 6 months and come to the realization that it’s very difficult to switch from any lifestyle to Alkaline without some transition time. In fact I’ll be super honest with you – the first time I researched this lifestyle, I didn’t make it past the first 3 days. Granted there was a lot more going on in my life at the time (especially where hormones are concerned), but I found it incredibly difficult to go from my current, well-rounded diet to 100% alkaline.
After doing some research, I learned that you are supposed to ease into this lifestyle gradually. And this is what I would recommend for anyone who’s looking into trying this lifestyle. Even if you eat alkaline 80% of the time and still enjoy the non-alkaline foods 20% of the time, it’s better than not even trying to improve your health!
Everyone’s body is different and can tolerate different foods, so I’m going to share a variety of the Alkaline food lists that I found during my research. Based on what you already know about your body, choose foods from the alkaline-list and use them to build your daily and weekly meal plans!
WHAT DID YOU LIKE THE MOST?
I loved that I could eat more greens! I often feel that I don’t eat enough vegetables, just because the other food groups tend to overshadow them. I’ve definitely improved my intake over the past six months, but I could always stand to improve. Eating more alkaline foods meant that most other food groups were eliminated, leaving the vegetables to take center stage! One of my favorite dishes that I tried for the week was the vegetable crudite with the avocado dip – yum! How can you say now to more avocado??
WHAT DID YOU DISLIKE and/or miss the most?
I missed not having meat. Don’t get me wrong – tofu and tempeh were definitely some great sources of protein for me, but I’ve also discovered that my body can only handle so much soy. As a woman who has been through the heartache of not being able to get pregnant, I learned that soy acts as a phytoestrogen and can mimic this hormone. Too high of estrogen levels can send a woman’s body into “estrogen dominance” and cause health complications (such as difficulty conceiving).
When I learned about this, I of course began to remove soy from my diet. That was last spring and I can honestly say that until a few months ago, I wasn’t consuming soy. When I did my vegetarian research a few months ago, I turned to tofu and tempeh as my protein source. What I wasn’t expecting was the unpleasant side effects that came with these foods. I’m lactose intolerant and have to take medication or simply avoid products in order to feel normal. Sure enough, when I ate tempeh and soy, I actually had the same undesirable side effects as I do with dairy. Hence why I don’t look to them as a primary protein source.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT?
Having to limit my fruits!!! I am fully aware that fruits do contain sugar and shouldn’t be consumed in high quantities. However, I also believe that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. On some alkaline food lists, I found that fruit and nuts were considered ok, but on others I found that those should both be limited. Based on the 80/20 rule, I focused on consuming 80% alkaline foods and honestly used my 20% allowance on apples and almonds!
Three THINGS I LEARNED
- Do your research before choosing to try this lifestyle and don’t cut acidic foods cold turkey (unless advised by a physician). After two rounds of research, I found that easing into the lifestyle with an 80/20 approach allows your body to transition naturally vs. leaving it in a shell-shocked state.
- Ladies – don’t choose to try out this lifestyle 100% (meaning no acidic foods whatsoever – cut cold turkey) when it’s that time of the month. Your body is typically craving extra nutrients as your body is under a high amount of stress during that time and suddenly removing foods could through your body off balance. Trust me on this – I learned the hard way!
- Vegetables really do fill you up, so much so that you don’t really miss the carbs. I was very pleased that I didn’t miss red meat and carbs like pasta and bread all that much during my second round of research!
Interested in trying this lifestyle out? Find the sample week’s menu below to help get your acclimated! Here’s the 3 easy steps to get started!!
- Get your free Alkaline Menu for 5-day test drive!!
- Review the Alkaline tips above and choose 10 foods that you want try for snacks. Trust me – you’ll want to keep these handy when you’re feeling the urge to go acidic!
- Choose 1 food for each day that falls under the “acidic” area. Remember that the key is balance and starting with an 80/20 mindset will actually help you succeed versus going 100% all in one day!