IF the 80s was about hip and thigh diets and the 90s was all about low fat and the dreaded WW starvation style diets, I believe the future of health and nutrition lies in our acid versus alkali balance.
Did you know that certain foods, like sugars, dairy, meat and grains create a highly acidic state in your body? We’re not talking necessarily about the sorts of acids that rot your teeth but about the bi-product of digesting certain foods and the way it affects your body at a cellular level.
From cancer, to obesity, digestive complaints, thyroid and adrenal function, an acidic body is a toxic body, which, over time is literally rotten.
In the short term, an acidic body wants to store fat and has a slower metabolism. It’s a protective mechanism, a way of preventing acid damaging vital organs and tissues. An alkaline body on the other hand is a fat burning machine, with a stronger metabolism – an alkaline body is lean, mean and green!
So where do we start:
STEP ONE: Cut out the cr*p
Processed foods, sugars and highly refined foods are hugely acid forming and provide little nutritional benefit. Put simply, on a pros and cons scale these foods are B.A.D. Nasty. Just no need to go there foods. So scrap them. They will make you feel like garbage. End of discussion.
STEP TWO: Neutralize your vital food stuffs
Foods like meat, eggs, some dairy and grains are important for you to function but are also acid forming. So in order to neutralize their acidity, choose high quality protein sources and eat them with a plate full of (you know what’s coming) veggies! Yes. Yummy vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach, watercress … mmmmmnnnn. And if the thought of green vegetables leaves (ha ha) you cold, never fear, my next blog will be all about interesting ways with vegetables.
STEP THREE: Start the day in an alkaline way
You may have heard those earthy, naturally slim types chattering about how they start each day with a mug of hot water and lemon. Well it works, one way of alkalising your body first thing is to go lemon tastic. Your body gets acidic over night so the first thing that crosses your lips needs to be alkali.
If lemon doesn’t float your boat then try a 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a glass of water. It’s cleansing and also a top tip for pepping you up if you ever have tummy troubles or gripes.
You could be really brave and try a greens drink. You can create your own in a juicer/blender by whizzing up spinach and watercress with apple juice, avocado and lemon or buy one. Now I’ll come clean, powder green drinks are pretty grim. The best one I’ve found was created by a fitness colleague, Paul Mort: http://www.leangreens.co.uk/
And that’s it. If you only do two things to reduce your acidity I’d suggest green veggies with every meal and lemon and hot water first thing.