Alkaline Diet Explained (and made easy!)
Hey I’m Ross, I’m the owner and CEO of Live Energized – the World’s largest and longest-running alkaline diet site, and I absolutely love helping people to get to the health of their dreams, the health they deserve AND make it as easy and enjoyable as possible.
I am guessing you’re here because you want a higher level of health, you want more and you are looking for a roadmap, a plan, a strategy that’s going to help you to get there. And I have committed my life to help as many people as possible achieve that, folks just like you – and my goal is to make living an alkaline diet as achievable as I possibly can for you.
Now, I don’t know you personally (yet), but if you’re anything like me when it comes to your health:
- You’re sick and tired of conflicting information
- Fed up with everything seeming so complex and impossible to stick to
- You don’t have hours and hours to spend crafting in the kitchen – you need things to be quick and easy
- You don’t want to keep having to wonder ‘what’s for dinner (or breakfast…lunch…or snacks)
- And not prepared to give up everything and be ‘perfect’ or ‘on a diet’ for the rest of your life
I’m here to tell you now that isn’t how it needs to be!
I’ve spent the last (almost) fifteen years teaching tens of thousands of people how to live the alkaline diet to get to their dream health and energy AND find it easy and fun, AND not have to give up everything, AND still have treats, nights out, blowouts and have an enjoyable social life…
All while rapidly reaching their health goals, skyrocketing their energy, and getting an incredible level of mental clarity and vitality.
And my Alkaline Diet Plan (I make it very easy) is How It’s Going to Happen for You
If you answered a resounding YES to being sick of ‘conflicting information’ then I am sure you’ve probably already read a few guides about ‘the alkaline diet’ that seem to be discussing completely different topics.
It’s frustrating because following the alkaline protocol is the fastest and most powerful way to completely reset your health – but it is without question the most misunderstood. And as with anything, when it’s misunderstood it will likely lead to poor results and frustration. Let’s put an end to that.
Because when I explain the alkaline diet properly to people, not only is there a great big ‘a-ha’ but the results almost always start to flow right away.
It is based on scientific data and research (I only EVER suggest things to you that have already been rigorously studied and proven), AND it’s super intuitive and common sense. I love it.
So let’s get into it and cover the basics!
What is the Acid Alkaline Diet?
It’s an approach to health that focuses the majority of your foods and drinks on those that will have an alkaline-forming effect on your body (put simply, alkaline foods), while limiting those that will have an acid-forming effect on the body (note the word-forming, important and we’ll get onto why in a minute).
It is as simple as that – eat mostly alkaline foods (alkaline forming foods), and don’t eat too many acid-forming foods. Don’t get bogged down in the detail, don’t strive too much for perfection, go easy on yourself, and take it one step, and one day at a time – it’s actually less of an alkaline diet and more of a lifestyle, the Alkaline Lifestyle if you will.
Why an Alkaline Diet / Alkaline Lifestyle?
To keep this simple and not too science-y (references are all below if you want to explore the science too): the body HAS to maintain the blood pH levels and other extracellular fluids at a slightly alkaline pH of 7.365. Nobody disagrees with this, it’s an accepted truth in the scientific community. We need this slightly alkaline environment.
However, the damage caused by the body doing this is where there are some misunderstandings and disagreements…
Your body will do whatever it takes to maintain this balance.
If your blood pH levels drops below this level your kidneys shut down and you die, pretty quickly. It’s kind of important that your body keeps blood pH levels within a very tight range, just slightly alkaline, and so your body will sacrifice your long-term overall health to keep you alive in the short term – it will do things to maintain this blood pH balance even if, long-term they will slowly damage your body. Again, if your blood pH levels go out of that tight range, things go very badly, very quickly.
And here’s where the problem of an acidic diet comes in (or the benefits of alkaline diets) – your body having to correct the blood pH levels and neutralize the acidity is hugely stressful. It puts your body in a state of emergency. But the body will always choose to do whatever it takes to keep your pH levels from falling too far, no matter what the long-term damage of this will be.
And this balancing act leads to your body stressing your kidneys, liver, thyroid, adrenals, digestive system (especially the stomach and pancreas), and more – calling these organs into action to help balance the blood pH levels back to slightly alkaline.
The damage caused by being chronically in this state of emergency (i.e. by constantly eating and drinking acid-forming foods and drinks), forcing your body to raise your blood pH levels back up from acidic to mildly alkaline, is huge, far-reaching and touches practically every organ, gland, and cell in your body – from your brain to your bones, and from your lymph to your lungs – they are all at risk of damage when we are in a chronically acidic state.
The medical research community discussed the alkaline diet in terms such as ‘diet-induced acidosis‘ or ‘diet net acid load‘, where we eat a diet that is loaded towards acid-forming rather than alkaline foods (alkaline forming foods).
And here is the CORE TRUTH of living the acid alkaline diet (that so many people misunderstand – see my ‘rant’ here “Five Things the Media Needs to Know About the Alkaline Diet & Alkaline Lifestyle):
The goal of is NOT to make your body ‘more alkaline’. The goal of the alkaline diet is to give your body all of the tools it needs to it can effortlessly MAINTAIN your blood pH levels at 7.365. You need to easily maintain this alkaline environment, and support the body in it’s efforts to do this.
Read that again – it’s essential you fully understand this – we are not aiming, with the acid alkaline diet, to make your body ‘more alkaline’, we are just aiming to eat more of the foods and drinks that enable the body to stress-free, effortlessly maintain critical blood pH levels – and LESS of the foods that are acid-forming and that cause it stress.
Make sense? You with me so far?
YOUR Alkaline Diet Plan: The Most Important First Steps to Get You Started
Let’s get you started! The next section is all about the simple things you can do right away to build your alkaline plan, and get moving. The acid alkaline diet doesn’t have to be difficult. It certainly doesn’t require you to be perfect or to eat ONLY alkaline foods. To start your plan, you just need to take a few simple steps forward.
And it would be very easy to either get bogged down in too much detail right now, or indeed too little. I could go into all of the intricacies of every food you should and shouldn’t eat, their nutrient profile, what all of those nutrients do, the mechanics of how it all affects the body, and so on…
Or I could just say: eat good stuff (alkaline diet), don’t eat bad stuff (acidic diet)…easy!
Truthfully, both of those approaches could have their time and place, but today I want to give you your actionable first steps to getting started on the alkaline diet.
These are the easy, but powerful things you can start to do right away that will have the most impact. They will start to support your body in maintaining the delicate blood pH levels and therefore you will be giving your body everything it needs to thrive.
Now, some are very intuitive, but even if you feel “I already know that”, unless you’re doing it right now you don’t know it well enough. So put those thoughts aside and stick with me.
If you put these simple things into practice for just a few days, you’ll start to see and feel a massive difference and understand just how powerful the alkaline diet can be.
Next: Focusing on the Alkaline Foods
So our focus should always be on alkaline-forming foods and away from acidic foods. These alkaline foods are (of course alkaline-forming foods, but also) nutrient-dense, rich in vitamins, minerals, natural anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, electrolytes, chlorophyll, and more that all support our body in doing its job – keeping us healthy, vibrant and alive.
It’s really simple – the alkaline diet is simply a focus on alkaline foods, drinks, and other lifestyle choices rather than those that have an acidic effect on the body.
We’re Aiming to Give the Body the Tools It Needs to Thrive!
And this means building 70-80% of your alkaline diet around fresh, alkaline foods, natural, whole foods like fresh vegetables, greens, salads, nuts and seeds, healthy fats from eating foods like avocado, oils and protein-rich foods like quinoa. It means getting well-hydrated every day and exercising well.
And of course staying away from acidic foods such as sugar, gluten-containing grains, processed foods, fast foods, pizza, chips, ice-cream, cakes, biscuits, microwave meals, processed meats, animal protein, sugary drinks, and snacks…you know the stuff.
The alkaline diet is pretty intuitive, and it makes a lot of sense.
Eat fresh, eat your veggies, drink lots of water, and exercise…and don’t eat crap. That’s pretty much it.
Of course, there is more detail to it than that, and I will cover everything you need to know below. But I wanted to explain it to you first in super-simple terms because when you hear it like that, it’s pretty easy to get on board.
What Are the Alkaline Diet Foods vs. Acid Forming Foods
This is REALLY intuitive, all except for a few random foods (I’ll cover them for you below).
In fact, if I held a banana to your head pretending it was a gun and asked you to separate a list of common foods into alkaline and acidic, I bet you’d be able to guess about 90% of them correctly.
With following the alkaline diet, I don’t think confusion about what is alkaline and what is acidic is the reason people don’t stick with it. I think it’s a matter of knowing HOW to make it easy and delicious which you are learning today.
BUT it’s still important to get the basics covered…
So, here’s a list of the most common alkaline, and acid-forming foods:
[Note: if you haven’t got it yet, you can download my full, complete Acid/Alkaline Food Chart & Alkaline Diet Guide HERE for free – it’s got over 400+ foods listed]
Quick Reference List: Alkaline Foods
Lettuce (all varieties)
Spring Onions (Scallions/Salad Onions)
Kale (all varieties)
Capsicum (Bell Pepper)
(and heaps more, the list could go on…)
Quick Reference List: Acidic Foods
All sugar (inc. syrups)
Deep Fried Foods
Processed Meats (esp. bacon)
Excessive Animal Protein
Fruits (eeek, see below)
Baked Goods (muffins etc)
Again – you can get the FULL list of alkaline foods & acidic foods here (plus my alkaline diet beginner’s guide)- with over 400+ foods ranked and explained. If you don’t have this already – you really should go grab that, it’s pretty much required reading.
OK, so, if the alkaline diet is as simple as eat mostly alkaline-forming foods, avoid mostly acidic foods and processed foods and that’s it – you’re all set… then we could stop the guide here right? Well, almost. Not quite!
How to Make it Easy to Get Alkaline & Stick to the Alkaline Diet
As mentioned, I am SO passionate about making the alkaline diet journey for you as easy, effortless, simple and enjoyable as possible. No good comes from being stressed. Not only is an increase in cortisol (your stress hormone) acid-forming to the body (more on this in a later guide I’ll send you!), but when you’re stressed you’re WAY more likely to give up.
So let’s keep it really simple, just the way I like it 🙂
The overall way to follow my alkaline diet plan is to eat lots more alkaline foods and less acidic foods. Easy right? But where do you start? Well, my answer to that would be RIGHT HERE:
Make It Easy Step 1: 80/20 (or the Minimum Effective Dose)
The concept of Pareto’s Principle, often known as the 80/20 rule, is absolutely core to the way I coach, and it gets amazing results over and over again.
The general gist of it is this: 80% of the result always comes from 20% of the input. In other words, 80% of your desired health result will come from just 20% of the actions you take.
This is exciting. You can get 80% of the way to your ultimate health goal, with just 20% of the actions. You just have to pick the right things to focus on, focus heavily on just these things, and get 80% of the way to your goal. This works like crazy with the alkaline diet.
So many people make the mistake of striving for perfection, trying to be 100% perfect from day one – and it’s just too hard, it’s just too much, relies too heavily on willpower (which is a doomed strategy which I’ll explain another day), and they give up. In my experience, those who try to be perfect from day 1 are usually back to square one within 48 hours.
By focusing on just a handful of key, core, powerful actions (your 20%) you can easily get huge gains, getting 80% of your desired result, and when you have mastered these few actions, got an incredible motivation that such amazing results bring, then you can fine-tune, add in more and start building more of the healthy steps into your lifestyle.
These 20% of actions are different for everyone, but they always have similar themes. I’ll cover them in my next guide I send you in more depth, but for most people, these alkaline diet actions include:
- Adding a fresh green juice or smoothie daily
- Getting proper levels of hydration each day
- Getting sufficient fats and oils
- Getting fresh turmeric and/or ginger each day
- Eating 5-6 serves of leafy greens every day
- Minimising sugar, gluten and caffeine
- Cutting back or cutting out processed foods, and other acidic foods
Again, I’m not saying you have to do ALL of these, or ALL OF THEM AT ONCE, I’m saying these are examples of some of the things commonly in the 20% of beginners who work with me.
It’s all about baby-steps and taking it day-by-day, one step at a time. Each day you make a positive contribution to your body is a step forward. You don’t need to make the alkaline diet hard.
Remember (and people do tend to forget this) – you are on the same team as your body. You are the same you’re not in competition. So many times people will have this negative self-talk that almost separates them from their body – “oh I wish my body wasn’t like X” or “why does my stupid body do this when I eat Y” or “I wish by body didn’t crave Z”.
Be in alignment with yourself, align with your body’s needs – your needs. All your body wants is for you to give it the tools to thrive, the tools to do it’s job. When you do this, you’re going to see a HUGE lift in your health and energy.
Make It Easy Step 2: Delicious Alkaline Diet Recipes That Are EASY
When people first grab my Alkaline Food Chart they get it, they understand the alkaline foods vs acidic foods and they understand the alkaline diet…BUT…then they ask “but what am I going to eat?!”.
I get it. At first glance, it just looks like a lot of salads and veggies. But it really isn’t.
I’ve been crafting and inventing alkaline-friendly recipes since 2005 – I’ve probably created over 400 of them. There’s over 200+ on this site, plus in my two bestselling Alkaline Recipe Books (now a complete recipe ‘system‘) and over my alkaline diet programs and courses like The Alkaline Base Camp, Alkaline Reset Cleanse, Anti-Inflammation Breakthrough and more (note: these are all full right now).
I’m here to tell you this: making delicious alkaline meals is EASY.
I am going to get you started here with some recipes for you to try (and the shortcut is to grab the Alkaline Recipe System – it includes BOTH of my recipe books, plus a bunch of bonus extras to make it even easier) – but I also want to empower you to be able to do this yourself too without needing to rely on anything or anyone else, so when you’re stuck, needing to make a quick decision, you have the skills to do it – so it can become an alkaline lifestyle, not just a ‘diet’, right?
Start From a Place You Already Know
When it comes to making alkaline-friendly meals, don’t try to start from scratch, staring blankly at your list of alkaline foods or a fridge full of raw ingredients.
The trick is to take your existing family favorites and make tweaks to those to make THEM more alkaline! Yep, we’re sneakily putting the family on an alkaline diet too!
What meals does your family already love, and happily eat, that you know how to shop for, how to cook, and how to make so your family will eat them?
A good example is spaghetti bolognaise:
- Instead of regular pasta, use gluten-free pasta
- Instead of it being 80% meat/ animal protein, make it 25% meat and make the sauce the star of the show
- Instead of a store-bought, sugar-laden, processed jar of sauce, make your own – just blend together tomatoes, onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrot, celery, basil and then warm it through – takes 5 mins, and is a huge hit of alkalinity and so much better for you
- Serve with way less pasta, and way more sauce
- Serve with a side salad of mixed greens, dressed with flax or olive oil and lemon – instead of serving with garlic bread
You’re still making a meal that’s quick and easy, a meal your whole family will love (nothing worse than having to cook one meal for you and one meal for them), but it’s now alkaline, fresh, lots of raw foods, delicious and kid-friendly too! And includes a LOT less acidic foods.
As an aside, if you’re living with a meat-a-holic, here’s my suggestion.
Alkaline Diet Recipes to Get You Started:
This mini-recipe booklet covers a couple of alkaline recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, even desserts to make kicking off your alkaline lifestyle as easy as pie.
Again, the shortcut is to grab the Alkaline Diet Recipe System – it includes BOTH of my recipe books, plus a bunch of bonus extras to make it even easier – but this is a fantastic start for you.
Knowing what to eat, drink and snack on – without it becoming stressfull – is one of the keys to getting alkaline, and turning it from a diet into that alkaline lifestyle. And that’s what it’s all about.
The Health & Energy of Your Dreams is a Lot Closer Than You Think
All the vitality and health you deserve is already inside of you. You have to know this. But for most people, all of that energy is being used up just keeping you in balance, maintaining the delicate homeostasis in your body. Your body can easily get exhausted just dealing with the aftermath of a chronic state of diet-induced acidosis (think candida, digestive imbalances, hormonal imbalances, liver and kidney stress, autoimmune and so much more – all of these can easily result from a heavily acid-forming diet).
But when you focus on that one simple thing: giving your body the tools it needs to thrive…and moving towards that step by step, day by day, keeping it simple, focusing on the 80/20 – when you approach it like this, your health begins to fly far quicker that you are probably expecting right now.
This guide pretty much epitomises everything I’m about – making the alkaline diet as easy, achievable, do-able, enjoyable and effortless as possible for you to reach your health goals.
I believe that when we have energy, health and vitality every other area of our life improves too – and we have a positive ripple effect to those around us.
So let’s get started, let’s do this.
I sincerely hope that I get to work with you more closely in one of my coaching programs soon (again, openings in these programs are pretty rare, but I’ll let you know when they’re coming) – and until then – if you have any questions for me please feel free to ask away in the comments (below the alkaline research section below).
Here’s to your health,
Alkaline Diet References & Scientific Evidence
Here’s just a handful of the research that has been recently published showing that the alkaline/pH diet works – for a number of reasons:
Alkaline Diet Study: Diet-Induced Acidosis Contributes towards Cancer Risk – An Alkaline-Forming Diet Lowers It
“Acidity is a well known factor associated with cancer. Lower pH levels in the extracellular space promote the invasive and metastatic potential of cancer cells…there is scientific evidence supporting the concept that appropriate alkali supplementation in the form of fruits and vegetables serves aptly to neutralize excess [H+”
Journal: Journal of Nutrition & Metabolism, 2012
Alkaline Diet Study: Alkaline Foods Prevents Chronic, Degenerative Disease
“The evidence appears to be strong that an alkaline diet high in antioxidants (fruits and vegetables) would help prevent chronic degenerative disease and cancer, and lead to a better quality of life”
Journal: Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2014
Alkaline Diet Study: Alkaline Diet Prevents Gouts & Hyperuricemia
“We conclude that alkalization of urine by eating nutritionally well-designed alkaline -prone food is effective for removing uric acid from the body”
Journal: Nutrition Journal, January 2012
Alkaline Diet Study: Eating an Alkaline Diet Preserves Muscle Mass
“Alkaline diets favor lean tissue mass in older adults. Metabolic acidosis promotes muscle wasting, and the net acid load from diets that are rich in net acid–producing protein and cereal grains relative to their content of net alkali–producing fruit and vegetables may therefore contribute to a reduction in lean tissue mass in older adults”
Title: Alkaline diets favor lean tissue mass in older adults
Journal: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2008
Alkaline Diet Study: Alkaline Diet Creates Better Sports Performance
“An alkaline promoting (low-PRAL) diet increases anaerobic exercise performance, as evidenced by greater time-to-exhaustion during high-intensity treadmill running.”
Title: Effects of Dietary Acid Load on Exercise Metabolism and Anaerobic Exercise Performance
Journal: Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, June 2015
Alkaline Diet Study: Eating Alkaline Reduces Risk of Diabetes and Coronary Disease
“This thesis appears to be consistent with previous epidemiological reports correlating high potassium consumption, or a high intake of alkaline fruits and vegetables, with reduced risk for diabetes and coronary disease. “
Journal: Medical Hypothesis, 2005
And a few more:
Alkaline Diet Research Title: Influence of nutrition on acid-base balance–metabolic aspects.
Takeaway Quote: “Nutrition has long been known to strongly influence acid-base balance.”
Author: Remer. T
Published In: European Journal of Nutrition 2001 Oct;40(5):214-20.
Alkaline Diet Research Title: The Role of Mitochondria in Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases:
Takeaway Quote: “The evidence appears to be strong that an alkaline approach high in antioxidants would help prevent chronic degenerative disease and cancer, and lead to a better quality of life.”
Authors: Dorothy D Zeviar; Michael J Gonzalez; Jorge R Miranda Massari; Nina Mikirova;
Published in: Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine
Alkaline Diet Research Title: A higher alkaline dietary load is associated with greater indexes of skeletal muscle mass in women:
Takeaway Quote: “This study found a more alkaline diet was positively associated with muscle mass in women suggesting a role for dietary acid–base load in muscle loss.”
Authors: A. A. Welch, A. J. MacGregor, J. Skinner, T. D. Spector, A. Moayyeri, A. Cassidy
Published in: Osteoporosis International
Alkaline Diet Research Title: Influence of diet on acid-base balance:
Takeaway Quote: “It is well established that diet and certain food components have a clear impact on acid-base balance.
For adults, in an alkaline diet the following factors are involved: 1) the chemical composition of foods (i.e., their content of protein, chloride, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium), 2) the different intestinal absorption rates of the relevant nutrients, 3) the metabolic generation of sulfate from sulfur-containing amino acids, 4) the grade of dissociation of phosphorus at the physiologic pH of 7.4, and 5) the ionic valence of calcium and magnesium.”
Author: Remer T
Published in: Semin Dial. 2000 Jul-Aug;13(4):221-6.
Alkaline Diet Research Title: Diet, evolution and aging–the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet:
Takeaway Quote: “Any level of acidosis may be unacceptable from an evolutionarily perspective, and indeed, that a low-grade metabolic alkalosis may be the optimal acid-base state for humans.”
Authors: Frassetto L, Morris RC Jr, Sellmeyer DE, Todd K, Sebastian A.
Published in: European Journal of Nutrition; 2001 Oct;40(5):200-13.
Alkaline Diet Research Title: The Alkaline Diet: Is There Scientific Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?
Takeaway Quote: “From the evidence outlined above, it would be prudent to consider an alkaline diet to reduce morbidity and mortality of chronic disease that are plaguing our aging population.”
Author: Schwalfenberg GK
Published in: Journal of Environmental and Public Health