How I Broke the Alkaline Diet
I’ve been living alkaline for a long time, almost eight years, and it has been quite a journey. I know how it feels when you’re just starting out (or if you’ve been trying but not seeing results) because I’ve been there too – more than you probably would think.
Over the years I’ve spoken, coached and connected with so many of you and our stories are so similar.
But when I first started out I got it so badly wrong in so many ways. Even though on the surface I was doing EVERYTHING RIGHT! I practically broke the alkaline diet – and the chances are, you could easily be doing the same thing, without even realising.
In this new, free 3-Part Coaching Series I want to share my THREE BIGGEST ALKALINE DIET BREAKTHROUGHS that took me from someone who was struggling, not seeing results, crashing every week and frustrated to someone who now lives alkaline effortlessly and loves the way I feel, am full of energy, vitality and have not been sick in years.
Alkaline Bootcamp Series – My Free 3-Part Training Series
When I first started to try and live alkaline after Tony Robbins UPW in 2004 (see we are alike!) I went at it hell for leather. Then I crashed. Then I tried again – full steam ahead. Then I crashed. Then I tried again….you can see where this is going.
The reason why I wanted to live alkaline was not just because of Tony’s very persuasive description of it, but because I had set a whole lot of personal goals at UPW and I knew that I would need ENERGY and lots of it if I was going to achieve all of this (90% of which I have by the way – all down to the power of goal setting – I recommend you write your goals down!).
To give you some idea of why I started on the alkaline path:
- I felt drained every day, woke up feeling like crap – I needed to feel fresh and vibrant
- I am a naturally slim guy but I had somehow gotten overweight. When you’re naturally slim this looks hilarious as you maintain your skinny legs and arms but get a lovely big belly and manboobs. My self esteem plummeted. This HAD to change.
- I was 23 but I STILL had terrible acne. I clearly wasn’t going to ‘grow out of it’.
- My digestion was TERRIBLE and it was causing me many, many problems – if you have any level of digestive issues I am sure you can relate.
- My Dad made it clear to me that we were predisposed to blood pressure/heart problems and I knew I HAD to address this now.
- I lost several family members to lifestyle-based degenerative disease during my early childhood and saw the effect of that on my parents and HAD to GUARANTEE I didn’t go down that path
I’m sure you can relate to one or more of those points above. It’s not anything unique and I’m sure you have got a motivation that is similar to at least one of those. Sure it might not be exactly the same (maybe it is eczema instead of acne), but I am sure there are similarites.
The reason I am telling you this is that I started from a place that is probably very similar to where you are now, or where you started – and I have already done the hard work for you!
In this 3-part series I am going to share with you the biggest breakthroughs I have made that had the biggest, quickest and longest-lasting impact on my journey from being a health mess to being alkaline.
The three parts will be:
- The Three Mistakes You HAVE To Avoid To Get Alkaline: that’s this post (the juice is below) – these three mistakes held me back so much and made life SO much more difficult than it needed to be. Once I’d figured these three points out life got VERY easy and the alkaline diet became VERY enjoyable.
- The Alkaline Trifeca: when I learned to combine three simple principles (instead of just one – pH) my results went through the rood and my growth went exponential!
- The Secrets of Making Alkaline Foods Enjoyable: my simple techniques you can use right away to start to ENJOY alkaline foods – rather than finding them boring, restrictive and an uphill battle.
ALKALINE DIET BOOTCAMP #1: The 3 Alkaline Diet Mistakes You HAVE To Avoid To Get (and stay) Alkaline
As you read the rest of this guide you will learn, in the next three minutes, the three mistakes I made that set me back YEARS in my question to become alkaline – and as you learn these three mistakes you will realise that you are about to make HUGE leaps forward on your health journey.
The chances are you are probably making one of these three mistakes without even knowing it – and it will be the single biggest reason that you are not getting the results you want, and deserve.
Alkaline Diet Mistakes – #1: Fats & Oils
When I first kicked off my new healthy, goal-oriented lifestyle after that fateful UPW in 2004 my idea was to commit to running the London Marathon. The logic being – if I get myself in good enough shape to run a marathon I would imagine I’d have to be pretty healthy. A fair assumption?
UPW was in August I believe and the marathon in April the following year, so it was an achievable target. Especially as I’d now discovered this whole alkaline diet thing.
So I set about ordering my first ever tub of greens and going on long runs, eating salads, lots of juices and raw soups. I was the perfect student…or so I thought.
One simple ingredient was missing – OMEGA 3
I was probably more healthy than most, after all I went from 8-10 teas and coffees per day to none. Went from eating big thick bread sandwiches with cheese and mayo every lunch (and the occassional mars bar of course) to having salads and soups. I went from drinking wine practically every night to only at weekends (and not at all for 4 months of training…I know).
But the simple missing ingredient of OMEGA 3 meant that everything else I was doing was pretty much being wasted.
Are you following any of these healthy actions:
- Drinking greens
- Drinking fresh juices
- Avoiding sugars, caffeine, alcohol and junk food
- Eating heaps of salad
- Staying hydrated
…and are you not seeing the results you’d hoped for?
…but at the same time are you missing OMEGA 3 in your diet?
This is the reason.
Omega oils (I am saying omega 3 specifically as we often get some level of omega 6 and 9 in our diet from olive oils, avocados, sunflower/vegetable oils etc) are THE MOST CRITICAL SUPPLEMENT.
I really mean it, they are THE MOST CRITICAL SUPPLEMENT – and in my experience SO few people get anywhere near enough.
It is estimated that 80-90% of the Western world is chronically deficient in omega 3 and Harvard research has shown that omega 3 deficiency is the 6th biggest killer in the USA. Crazy.
The reason we’re so deficient?
- Omega 3 is an Essential Fatty Acid – meaning the body cannot synthesise it on its own from other nutrients – you have to consume it
- Its really hard to consume enough, even in a healthy diet. We should be consuming 30-50ml of omega 3 per day and it is almost impossible to get this from a normal diet, unless you REALLY try hard and eat a LOT of oily fish, nuts etc.
- Most people still associate fat with getting fat. There is still a nagging feeling, even in the nutritionally aware, that if one would take a bunch of fat as a supplement it would make us fat and unhealthy – this couldn’t be further from the truth – healthy fats actually don’t get stored as fat and they speed the metabolism, thus making us thinner 🙂.
SIMPLE WAY OF GETTING MORE ENERGY, LOSING WEIGHT, BUILDING MUSCLE MASS, CLEARER SKIN….
Unless you’re taking a good, high quality omega oil supplement you will be experiencing one of the following:
- Fat retention (being overweight)
- Low energy
- Skin conditions, both dry and oily (acne, eczema etc)
- Poor immunity
- Low libido
- Unwanted weight loss
Omega 3 is absolutely CRITICAL in all of the above. I’m in no way saying it is a cure-all that will ‘fix’ the above problems, but without enough omega 3, no matter what else you do you will really struggle to reach your health goals.
And this is exactly what I found.
Sure I ran a good marathon. But I ended up SO skinny, still with low energy, still with skin problems, still sleeping 9 hours and feeling tired and still not alkaline.
But as soon as I started taking a high-quality Omega 3 everything clicked into place.
I know there are loads of you out there who are NOT using an oil supplement but are doing so much other hard work to reach your health goals and are even spending heaps on other supplements. Omega oils are one of the cheapest, but most powerful supplements you will ever buy. I strongly, STRONGLY recommend you start taking omega 3 NOW.
Alkaline Diet Mistakes – #2: Proper Hydration
The second mistake I made went well beyond my first year of trying to live alkaline. It’s quite an admission – but I didn’t really appreciate quite how important proper hydration was until 2009 when I met Ronnie Ruiz.
Ronnie taught me several VERY valuable lessons about water, and in reality – quite honestly – changed my life forever.
At this stage in my alkaline diet life (I would have been 5 or so years into it) I thought I was pretty much set. I thought I had, give or take a couple of percent, reached my peak in terms of energy, vitality, health and wellbeing. Sure I had other health goals too, but my ‘holistic wellbeing’ was probably a 9.5 out of 10.
Or so I thought.
THE QUALITY OF YOUR WATER IS TRULY THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON THE QUALITY OF YOUR HEALTH
This is my #2 core belief and something I want you to put into practice right away.
I’ve written plenty on the importance of drinking enough (see my alkaline water article on hydration here) – but the factor that I missed for YEARS was that the more important consideration is the QUALITY of that water.
After all – if you’re drinking the recommended 3-4 litres per day – this is the substance that you are consuming the most volume of, so you better be sure it is the best quality and not doing any damage.
Think about it, we have to stay hydrated right – so if you’re drinking plenty of water, but then found out that the water you were drinking contained something that wasn’t so healthy or good for you – wouldn’t you be concerned that you were drinking it and taking in this unhealthy thing in such massive volumes?!
Previously I had just relied on drinking tap water, sometimes filtered, with my good ol’ trusty pH drops (when I remembered or was not on the road).
Not. Good. Enough.
Water Quality: 3 Ways to Massively Boost Your Health & Energy
- Filtration: you HAVE to filter your water. There are LOADS of different ways to filter your water from a £15 brita (which is…ok) to a £2k whole house super-system (which is probably a bit better, in some ways…). But please, please, please filter your water one way or another. And don’t buy bottled. It’s just as unhealthier (and even more so in some respects), costs you more per month than an ionizer would and is poor for the environment (a whole blog post is coming up on this).
- pH (Alkaline Water vs Acid Water): just as important is the pH of the water. There are probably half a dozen ways you can make your water more alkaline ranging from pH drops to minerals to ionization. I don’t really care which method you use (although I STRONGLY recommend ionization), but please – if you’re drinking 3-4 litres of water per day and it’s acidic – this is not good.
- Oxidation Reduction Potential (known as ORP or REDOX): all waters and liquids have an ORP measure that is either positive (+ORP) or negative (-ORP). What you want is negative.
+ORP means the liquid is oxidising to the body i.e. it causes oxydation (death) of your cells. You know how everyone under the sun recommends antioxidants? This is to fight oxidation. Oxidation occurs in the body all of the time, but when oxidation occurs and cells die, free radicals are produced. Not good news.
According to WebMD:
“Free radicals” is a term often used to describe damaged cells that can be problematic (and) free radicals often injure the cell, damaging the DNA, which creates the seed for disease.”
Again, not good news.
OK, so here is the big news:
Tap water, bottled water, distilled water, reverse osmosis water ALL have a VERY positive ORP. They are ALL oxidising to the body, leading to the creation of free radicals.
So in reality you HAVE to be drinking water with a -ORP.
This is something you can easily measure if you want to invest $150 in a REDOX meter such as this one – but I know most people don’t want to, so I will give you the most trusty, surefire way to guarantee that you’ll get a -ORP drinking water.
Now – I know that all three of these is a big stretch – and if you can tick all three boxes you’re laughing – but I don’t want you to feel that you’re doomed unless you go and buy a heap of filtration and other equipment, so I want you to know right now that just filtering your water is getting you a lot of the way there – this is SO much better than doing nothing.
And filtration and pH do not have to be expensive. Again I recommend downloading my free water guide here to find all the different ways to get alkaline, quality water. Don’t be intimidated!
And if you need any reminders or reasons to drink enough quality water – this is my favourite:
a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25-30% loss of energy in most people
Remember, your body uses at least 1.5 litres per day keeping you functioning – please put back in at LEAST 2 litres.
Alkaline Diet Mistakes – #3: VARIETY
This one is massive and it is a mistake I see happening OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER….. and it is the biggest healthy lifestyle killer – boredom and repetition.
So often when I am emailed by someone asking me to help coach them through a challenge with the alkaline diet or to help with a specific problem I ask them for some info on what they are currently doing – and it is shocking to see how often that person emails back to say:
“Every day I do the following:”
Before listing that they have the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
I can only imagine this is because a lot of you believe that there are SO FEW ALKALINE MEALS out there, whereas in reality there are LOADS AND LOADS!
This issue of the lack of variety is exactly why it took me almost 3 years to be living comfortably alkaline.
And by comfortably alkaline I mean enjoying the alkaline diet, finding it easy, having it on autopilot – not what I imagine a lot of people think which is that the alkaline approach is going to be a lifelong battle and a question of willpower 365 days of the year.
I started, failed, tried, quit, started, failed and re-started the alkaline diet SO MANY TIMES in my first 3 years. The good news is for you – I learned a lot. I learned what works, what doesn’t and the simple things that make a big difference (such as the stuff I’m teaching you here).
The alkaline diet can be SO easy and with this quick exercise I am going to show you how you can start to build variety and delicious meals into your alkaline life:
How to LOVE the Alkaline Diet and NEVER Be Stuck for an Alkaline Meal Again!
The Alkaline Diet on Autopilot.
STEP ONE: Write down a list of your top 10 favourite recipes, the ones you cook the most often or love to cook.
Now for each recipe, write a list of ingredients that are used in each recipe and then use the alkaline foods chart here (free of course) and start swapping out the most acid-forming ingredients for more alkaline ingredients. You don’t have to swap every single one – remember you’re aiming for 80/20.
STEP TWO: Now you have your list of favourite recipes made alkaline, write them out on a new piece of paper and list all of the ingredients on a separate piece of paper (so you have a list of all of the ingredients used across all of the meals) and start to highlight the frequently appearing ingredients.
From here you can pick out 4 or 5 recipes that contain really similar ingredients – so when you go shopping you know you can shop for these core ingredients and you’ll always be able to make these core 4 or 5 recipes – no matter what.
Here is my example (click for a bigger image)
Just doing this one simple exercise will show you that there are SO MANY ways to make your favourite, ‘normal’ meals alkaline and totally rocking on the alkaline diet. It isn’t just salad and broccoli for the rest of your life! BELIVE me I would never have stuck with it – I LOVE food and flavours, and if I can make it work you definitely can.
With an armoury of 5-10 core meals, you can rest safe in the knowledge that you will never have that mind blank and pantry/kitchen cupboard blank.
I KNOW this has happened to you…
You get home from work, tired, hungry and wanting something quick, delicious and (preferably) healthy to eat for dinner, but you haven’t been shopping for a few days. The fridge is full of random vegetables and other bits and pieces and the cupboards feel like they’ve just got that usual crap in them that has been there for months (some of it even moved with you from your last house…right?).
You are stuck. You’re hungry, but it feels like you’ve got nothing to eat. You don’t know what to make, but you’re getting hungrier and hungrier. The last thing you want to do is embark on a massive mission to prepare something complicated but you don’t know what else to do.
If you’re like most people (me included), in this scenario one of three things will happen:
- You’ll cook something unhealthy, basic and acid-forming like pasta n sauce with cheese or something else crap but quick and filling
- You’ll order a takeaway (and then feel guilty afterwards)
- You’ll go out to eat (and feel guilty afterwards)
It’s the alkaline killer.
But if you have a bank of 5-10 (or even three) core, staple, enjoyable and easy alkaline meals to cook – which all share very similar ingredients, you know that as long as you have those ingredients there on a regular basis you’re going to be fine. And if you DO have to pop to the shops on your way home you can whip around buying those ingredients knowing you’ll be all set.
This SAVED the alkaline diet for me.
Alkaline Bootcamp #1 – Summary
There was a fair bit to take in here so in summary:
- Buy and use a good quality omega oil supplement (I recommend Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend)
- Tick one or all of the quality water boxes: filtration, alkalinity and -ORP (again, learn more here in my free guide)
- Arm yourself with a core of 4 or 5 alkaline meals to ensure variety and protect against the ‘I don’t know what to cook’ syndrome
I hope this all helps you in your quest to reach your health goals – no matter what they are!
REMEMBER – IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION AT ALL ASK IT BELOW – or if you just want to say hi then connect with me below!
- ALKALINE BOOTCAMP #2 – The Alkaline Trifeca: when I learned to combine three simple principles (instead of just one – pH) my results went through the rood and my growth went exponential!
- ALKALINE BOOTCAMP #3 – The Secrets of Making Alkaline Foods Enjoyable: my simple techniques you can use right away to start to ENJOY alkaline foods – rather than finding them boring, restrictive and an uphill battle.