The Alkaline Diet is more of a lifestyle like being a Vegetarian than a stereotypical “diet”. I personally think of it as “this is how I eat rather” than a diet. Same as you probably think about the way you normally eat. Now technically that is a “diet” it’s your diet. Excuse me while I get nerdy on you for a moment according to the Oxford Dictionary Diet has two definitions:
1.The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats:”a vegetarian diet”
2.A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons:”I’m going on a diet”
For this particular diet let’s all think of it as #1 defines it. So one would say “I eat an alkaline diet” rather than “I am on an alkaline diet.”. When we say “I am on a diet” it means that we will soon no longer be “on” said diet once we lose x amount of pounds or fit into a size x.
What is this Alkaline Diet all about? It is designed to reduce inflammation in the body by reducing your intake of acidic food. I’m not talking about citrus fruits, they are actually alkaline! Every time you put food into your body it gets broken down. During this break down the food either becomes acidic or alkaline causing your body’s PH level to fluctuate accordingly. If you aren’t getting enough alkaline foods or too many acidic foods into your body your body will become acidic. This will cause inflammation that will show itself as illness and dysfunction in the body. For me it shows up as major Alopecia flare-ups and a weak immune system. For my boyfriend it shows up as acid reflex. It probably has it’s own unique way of showing up in you.
So what is on this list of acidic PH increasing foods? Well to keep it short and simple.
- Meat. Yes all meat. The red meat, the white meat, the meat of land, and the meat of the sea.
- Eggs. Liquid chickens count too, sorry.
- Gluten. Yup. Time to get on that Gluten-Free bandwagon.
- Refined Sugar. It’s more places than you would think. Like in your tomato sauce!
- Processed Food. Even the vegan grab and go meals are not healthy!
- Alcohol. RIP wine nights with the lady’s and cold beers after work.
Now I’m sure you are thinking “Well what in the F#@$ do you eat?”. I get asked that question. Every. Single. Time. I get to talking about the Alkaline Diet. The answer is always the same “Rice and vegetables”. How bland and horrible does that sound! But I can assure you that it is anything but. I have taken these restrictions as an opportunity to put my cooking and baking skills to the ultimate test. I have expanded my cooking from my fail-safes and go-to’s into the wonderful and delicious beyond.
The Alkaline Diet changed not only my recipe books but also my life. I have seen my immune system get stronger and my Alopecia calm down, and my boyfriends acid reflex has gone from unmanageable and dangerous to manageable and low risk. The changes started out slowly. After one week I noticed I wasn’t bloating after meals. After one month I had more energy, my quality of sleep had improved, and my acne was clearing up. After six months my Alopecia was improving and for the first time in years my hair was growing in faster than it was falling out. My immune system had gotten stronger I wasn’t as sick as often or for as long. Now 2.5 years eating according to the Alkaline diet I am almost ready to grow out my hair for the first time 3 years! Something I never thought my bodies inflammatory response would allow me to do ever again.
Along with all the other benefits it became easier to manage and maintain my weight. Something, like many of you, I have fought and struggled with my whole life. I have gone on some crazy diets. I lived off of granola bars and a handle full of almonds washed down with a big glass of cold water. Was I skinny? Yes. Was I hungry? Yes. Was I happy? F#@$ NO! And for what? Just so I could drop sizes?! After adopting the Alkaline diet I am full and satisfied after every meal. So if you were thinking that this is some sort of bite of food here and a bite of food there followed by huge dressingless salad every night type of a diet you are wrong. Tonight I am having rice noodles with stir fried tofu, carrots, and broccoli in homemade spicy peanut sauce. It’s a lifestyle choice. Not a “diet”.
Stay tuned for new tasty recipes, and a beginner steps on how to best get your Alkaline life started.