If the alkaline diet is new to you, it might seem confusing or complicated to try to a healthier lifestyle, plant-based diet. One of the reasons why, is there is so much conflicting information! One health expert will tell you an ingredient is good for you, and the next, will say it’s bad! Who do you believe???
But the truth is, it’s all about making smart choices consistently – with no rocket science degree required. This is all common sense stuff. Eat the food your body craves for health and wellness.
And I can tell you this – it doesn’t matter what DIET you look at – Ketogenic, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Paleo, etc…what is the ONE thing these diets all have in common? GREEN VEGETABLES!
So today, I’m going to give you 7 of my best, easiest tips on how to successfully make the change from an acidic diet so you can GET OFF YOUR ACID and keep your body’s naturally alkaline state balanced on a daily basis.
Let’s get started!
Why Does it Matter if You Live Alkaline?
The purpose of eating alkaline foods and drinking alkaline water is NOT to try and raise the pH of your blood. The whole purpose of eating alkaline is to prevent your body from having to do all the regulating.
Let me explain…
Since your body needs to tightly regulate its temperature at 98.6, it will do anything to maintain that. If you were to stand on an iceberg in a T-shirt, what will happen?
If you’re there long enough – you will die. But before that happens, your body will start to shiver and will expend massive amounts of energy to generate heat to maintain that temperature. Next, your body will start to move all the blood from the arms and legs to the organs, causing hypothermia. Why? To keep you alive.
The same goes for your pH!
Your body has a built-in buffering system (lungs, kidneys, adrenals, blood proteins, etc.) to neutralize daily acids created by breathing, digestion, energy production, etc. Just like the iceberg, your body will do what it takes to counteract the acidity of the soda you drink.
Did you know it takes your body about 20 glasses of water to neutralize all the acid in 1 cup of coffee, carbonated water, or soda? That’s crazy! If you consumed one glass of water with alkalizing minerals, it will accomplish the same thing.
This is why it is a problem when we consume too many acid-forming foods from the Standard American Diet (SAD), which depletes our innately intelligent buffering system.
That’s why I want you to take small steps to GET OFF YOUR ACID!
What Makes a Food Alkaline-Forming or Acid-Forming?
Here is the most important thing I am going to say today – it has NOTHING to do with its pH!
For example, a lemon has a pH of 2.4, which makes it HIGHLY acidic, but most of us put lemon in our water or tea, knowing it is good for us. WHY is it good for us? Because while it’s a citric ACID outside of the body, it is highly alkaline-forming once consumed, INSIDE the body (explanation ahead).
Same goes for spinach, with a pH of 6.4, putting it on the ACID side of the scale, but as Popeye knows, spinach makes you strong and energizes your body, because it is alkaline-forming.
Remember algebra from high school?
Don’t worry, I won’t quiz you on it. But if you think back to those simple equations you did in algebra class, where you solve for X… that’s the basics of how you figure out if a food is alkaline-forming, or acid-forming.
On one side of the equation is mineral content, or how much magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and other minerals a food has. These are minerals necessary for your body to process all nutrients on a cellular level.
The more minerals a food has, the more alkalinity it gives you.
On the other side of the equation is sugar content. Foods with more sugar are less alkaline. Same if a food is high in yeast, is fermented, contains fungi, or is highly refined, then it’s also acidic.
So for example, most fruit is acidic because it is high in sugar. Fruit is high in minerals, though, so low sugar fruits like avocados, tomatoes, lemons, limes, grapefruits, coconuts, and pomegranates (and watermelon, which is neutral) are alkaline.
Processed foods like chips might be low in sugar, but they are also low in minerals, so they are acidic. Not too mention, they are processed, and usually cooked with inflammatory vegetable oils which are BAD!
By thinking about how high in minerals and sugar any given food is, you can pretty well guess whether it’s acidic or alkaline. Then you can make a smart, informed decision about whether or not to eat it.
How Do You Get Off Your Acid?
If you’re trying to transition from an acidic lifestyle – full of fried foods, refined sugars, meat, and dairy – to the alkaline lifestyle with lots of plant-based, nutrient-dense foods, it might seem daunting at first.
But the great news is that there are small steps you can do each and every day that add up in a big way. Here are my 7 favorite tips to help you ease the transition to the alkaline lifestyle.
- Don’t think of it as a diet.
This is the best place to start. While we may refer to it as the alkaline diet quite often, going alkaline is NOT a diet. This is not about 30 days and then back to whatever you were eating before, or only eating “shakes” with who-knows-what ingredients until you’ve lost 10 pounds. Nope. This is different.
You are making a LIFESTYLE change. No crashing and burning here. The idea is to make small changes, one after another after another, and keep them up for the rest of your long, healthy life!
Does that mean you’ll never indulge in another slice of birthday cake again? Or a steak or whatever your idea of indulging is? No, not at all.
You can have those things on occasion – with no sense of failure or guilt – because then you’re right back at it with your next meal.
Now, I’m going to let you in on a secret about that cake, steak, fries, or whatever you think you’ll miss when you go alkaline… Chances are, once you stop eating those foods, when you do eat them, you’re going to feel the difference.
You may experience a headache, stomachache, or other symptoms, but for myself and many people who have gone alkaline, sooner or later, we decide those foods aren’t worth it. I feel so GREAT eating alkaline. Why would I eat any other way?!
But if you’re not there yet, don’t stress about that now. In fact, it’s not even something that you will stress about ONCE you ARE there – that is the exciting road ahead!
2. Moderation. Not deprivation!
Depriving yourself of things you want never works. Kelly Ripa is a perfect example of this. When she came to me, looking for a solution to her aches and pains (because every other specialist she saw, could not get her results!), the one thing she could not embrace about going alkaline was giving up coffee. She said, “If I have to give up coffee, I won’t do it.”
And I said, “That’s fine. Eat alkaline with everything you put in your mouth other than your morning coffee, and you’ll still move forward, progress, feel better, and reduce acidity and inflammation.
And guess what? That’s EXACTLY what she did, and her aches and pains went away. She felt amazing…in THREE DAYS! Check it out…
So rather than focusing on what you’re NOT eating, I encourage you to focus on what you ARE eating. By slowly adding nutrient-dense foods and habits into your lifestyle, eventually the good will outweigh the bad.
That kind of moderation will sustain itself. And your body will thank you for it.
- Keep it simple!
Some people get caught up in all of the details of going alkaline. It doesn’t need to be complicated.
After all, this is the benefit of not having to count calories, or fat grams, or net carbs! Those days are OVER.
Stay super hydrated with water. Eat more raw organic greens, healthy fats, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Eat less sugar, dairy, meat, soda, and coffee.
It’s that simple and you will be amazed at how quickly you can reclaim your health and energy.
- Reduce (or eliminate) the 3 P's.
What are the 3 P’s? Packaged, prepared, and processed foods.
Processed foods are not only acidic, they are usually high in inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids. So your body has to do a lot of work to recover from even a small snack. Think of it this way…
Processed on the outside… Process on your insides.
Here is another one of my mottos – if you can’t pronounce it, you can’t digest it!
You’re better off eating whole plant-based foods that look like the form nature created them in. The more you do that – the more alkaline and healthy you will be.
- Know your body.
The more you move toward the alkaline lifestyle, the easier this one will get. Pay attention to what your body is telling you… Are you bloated? Feeling brain fog? Tired?
How about after eating that pizza? Did you feel better or worse?
Likewise, how about after that green salad with lots of veggies, chickpeas, and avocado? Did you feel a spring in your step? Did you avoid the late afternoon crash that hits after a heavy lunch?
Knowing your body is about paying attention – and tracking if you need to – what you eat, how you feel, and what symptoms you experience.
I’ve got a free download available: the 7-Day Acid Tracker (no email address required) that will allow you to keep track of your symptoms, your diet, your supplements, and your pH level.
If you want to know how your pH is changing along with the way you eat, you can track the pH levels of your urine and saliva on a daily basis using our Alkamind pH Test Strips. If you have a copy of my new book, GET OFF YOUR ACID, I do a deep dive into the different ways to test your urine and saliva pH, as this is a great way to TRACK and MEASURE how you’re doing!
6. Begin a daily exercise routine.
You already know that exercise is important for fighting all kinds of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Well, working out regularly is also the key to keeping acid in check. Sweat excretes toxins from the body. As your blood is pumping oxygen at a greater rate with increased activity, it’s also carrying away toxins from your muscles and other areas of your body.
So find what you love doing to work up a sweat, and do more of it!
Mix it up between AEROBIC and ANEROBIC…
Rule of thumb – whatever aerobic exercise you choose to do, you should always be able to maintain a conversation. By doing so, you will be aerobic, NOT anaerobic. This will alkalize your body, not acidify it.
By adding exercise to your daily routine you are also increasing the positive impact of your diet changes and growing the pool of energy inside you. And when you do incorporate anerobic, be SURE to drink our Alkamind Daily Minerals DURING, or immediately AFTER. You only have a small window of 10-15 minutes after the workout to get these minerals into the cell, to neutralize the LACTIC ACID!
If you don’t currently exercise at all, you can start with something as simple as going on a daily walk or a couple of crunches, squats, or even a swim, which is so good for your spine and your joints.
Do something you enjoy, because the likelihood of sticking with it will skyrocket after the honeymoon phase wears off.
A little bit of exercise is certainly better than no exercise at all, so even just squeezing in a short session is better than doing nothing. It’s all about consistency.
- Use the 80/20 rule.
This final rule is a savior to most people. Here, I am giving you permission to have some ACID, if you so desire!
When you think about what you eat now, how much of it is alkaline? And how much is acidic?
80% acidic to 20% alkaline? That’s where I was when I first learned about the importance of eating alkaline.
Now I’m eating the opposite: 80% alkaline and 20% (or less) acidic foods. That’s what you want to aim for, but you can work your way to that incrementally.
First, strive for 50/50, then 60/40, and so on. That’s the way to make it last because you won’t feel like it’s a huge lifestyle change. It’s small.
And that’s the same reason I don’t tell you to eat 100% alkaline. It’s hard to sustain that and most people will rebel against it, sooner or later.
The great thing about striving for 80/20 is that when you notice that your 80/20 lifestyle has come closer to 60/40… you can course correct. Again, no guilt or feeling like you failed required. Just time to do a cleanse or detox and get back on track.
BONUS TIP: Drink your greens and minerals!
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GET OFF YOUR ACID!