Now that you have an understanding of what the alkaline diet is and how it can potentially help you. You have the opportunity to give it the old college try. But how are you even supposed to start? Don’t think of this as a cold turkey all in or nothing type of diet. Because it’s not a “diet” as typical western culture has lead you to believe.
“Diet” – A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons:”I’m going on a diet“
Diet – The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats:”a vegetarian diet“
This doesn’t have to be a painful process. You won’t have to go without your favorite foods, feel hunger pangs between meals, or feel unsatisfied when you do eat. I’m not going to tell you how horrible Oreo’s are for you or that you have to get rid of half the food in your house just to have a fresh start. For many of us myself included this simply isn’t realistic. Food costs dollars. Dollars that you have worked hard for and I’m not about to ask you to fill garbage bags with perfectly good food! What I will ask you to do is to take a look at your diet. That’s right your diet. You are already eating according to a diet. Anything you put into your body is a part of your diet.
To be truly Alkaline and get all the health benefits that go along with it there are scarifies that must be made. Below is a list of foods that cause the body to become more acidic. Leading to increased inflammation among other ailments.
- 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.
- Dairy. Milk, butter, ice cream, even non cheese chips have dairy in them.
- 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. Wine, beer, vodka, whiskey, aka the good stuff.
- Caffeine. It’s in your morning coffee, black and green teas, and sodas
Now I know this may seem like you will have NOTHING to eat but sad salads and rice. This isn’t the case I promise you.
So how do you get from point A to point B without emptying out your pantry. Well you will have to empty your pantry, but gradually and naturally as you eat the food. If you eat a lot of red meats try cutting back. One day at a time. This week have red meat one day less than the week before and so on until you are only having red meat once a week. Do the same with poultry and fish. When you run out of meat in your fridge and freezer try your best to avoid buying more. Do the same with all the food items listed above.
If you absolutely must have one of the foods listed above do your best to only do so once a month, and buy local! Local eggs, dairy, meats, alcohol, baked goods, and coffee/tea are generally of better quality and are more ethical than there supermarket counter parts. Farmers markets are a great place to find local goods and produce. If you aren’t sure where to find one a quick google search of “Farmers markets in _______” should point you in the right direction. Farmers markets are also great places to find vegan food products, gluten-free and vegan baked goods, and fresh produce.
Replace meats with protein rich beans such as chickpeas, black beans, and soy beans.
Eggs can be replaced in baking with ground flax seeds, ground chia seeds, mashed ripe bananas, and egg replacer. Scrambled eggs can be replaced with tofu scrambles. There are even vegan mayonnaise options!
There are lots of tasty gluten-free products lining supermarket shelves these days. Everything from flour to cookies and everything in between.
There different kinds of milk replacements available coconut, almond, soy, cashew, oat, hemp, try them out and see which you like best. Vegan butter, margarine, ice cream, coconut whip, cheese cakes, and more replace some of your loved favorites.
Switch from refined white sugar to natural cane sugar for your morning herbal tea and baking. Be wary of added sugars in your everyday products.
Processed foods are best avoided but if you must keep some, frozen vegan goods in your freezer for the days when life gets out of hand. Frozen ready meals, chips, and vegan meat alternatives are all processed foods.
Alcohol was one and is one of the hardest for me. I love me a good ginger beer with my feet up after a long days work. Save your drinking for a wedding or a social gathering of some sort. Do your best to only have a few. If you really want to get sloshed only do so once or twice a year.
Whatever your caffeinated vise may be do your best to ween yourself off of it. This may take longer than the rest especially if you are an avid caffeine consumer.
Go slow and steady. Don’t force yourself to give something up. If you “need” that chocolate bar once a week. Have that chocolate bar once a week. Don’t push yourself too hard and turn yourself off for your diet change. “Old habits die hard” What you eat is a habit. You can’t expect that to change magically overnight just because you have decided to make healthier choices. Don’t beat yourself up over slip ups. They are going to happen trust me. All you can do is aim to do better tomorrow. Keep making small gradual alterations to your diet. Have a handful of almonds instead of a handful of potato chips. Have a glass of water instead of a can of pop. Have a side salad with your meals instead of a side of french fries. Have a vinaigrette dressing rather than a creamy one. Have a home cooked meal instead of eating out.
Learn how to cook! It’s the best thing you can do for yourself because you have full control over what does and doesn’t go into them. There are lots of easy to follow recipes and videos all over the internet. All you have to do is look them up. If you have a craving for some of your favorite foods that you “can’t eat” now that you are eating Alkaline. Type in “How to make vegan gluten-free ___________” either on google or in the youtube search bar. You will be amazed at all the recipes you will find. There are even some recipes on my blog that you can try.
Little by little day by day your habits will change. Your taste buds will change. Your diet will change. If you stay committed to making small changes every day, every week, every month, every year. You will feel stronger and healthier than you ever had eating your old diet. You will find delicious healthy alternatives to some of your favorite foods and you will find new favorites along the way. Making conscious food choices is something that will become a habit. Just stick with it. Take baby steps. A small step in the right direction will help get you there faster than no step at all.