If you are just starting to eat more alkaline to improve your overall health or are interested in achieving 80% alkaline/20% acid balance, part two of the Beginners Shopping Guide for Adopting an Alkaline Diet and Lifestyle should be a valuable resource which will help you know what to shop for. In part one we covered Equipment and in part three we will cover Green Cleaning and Beauty Products.
One great tip to help you get started with the alkaline diet is to analyze your existing everyday shopping list. Go through it and mark everything as either ac (acidic), ak (alkalizing), or uk (unknown). Make note of what percentage of alkaline and acid your current list is, and then aim to shift it to be 10% more alkaline this week, 20% more next week, and so on until you reach the ideal 80% alkaline/20% acid ratio.
Items you will want to start crossing OFF of your list or at least cut back on include: sodas, processed foods (i.e. most TV dinners, snack foods), bottled water, sports drinks, processed fruit juice/punch, sugar and artificial sweeteners, white bread/flour, meat products and dairy products. Remember to read all labels. Avoid items containing citric acid, mushrooms, algae, yeast, vinegar, peanut products, and corn products.
- Non-sweet fruits and vegetables: You are going to want to start buying your favorite non-sweet fruits and vegetables (with the exception of potatoes and mushrooms) in bulk. You can add some sweet fruits to your diet once you are in balance. The 7 most alkaline types of produce are: kale, spinach, avocados, broccoli, cucumber, celery and bell peppers.
- Lemons and limes: Although lemons and limes contain citric acid, they actually have an alkalizing effect on the body once digested. You can juice them and add them to your beverages and salad dressings, and squirt over steam frys.
- Powdered green drink – You will want a quality green drink that contains several green vegetables and can be added to water for days you don’t have time to make fresh juice or to supplement your diet. You can find these online or in some health and vitamin stores for $20- $100. I get mine online from pH Miracle Living. I know that Trader Joes carries a $20/green drink but the problem with theirs is that it contains chlorella, which is an algae that Dr. Robert O. Young advises against due to its acidifying effect on the body. Still, any green drink may be better than no green drink at all.
- Organic firm tofu – Tofu is a great and filling alkaline additive to stir frys and for mock scrambled eggs. You can find packages for around $3-5 at most grocery stores and all health food stores.
- Sprouted or wheat tortillas and pita bread – These are great for making wraps for quick lunches. You can find packages for around $3-5 at most grocery stores and all health food stores.
- Hummus – Hummus is a spread made with chickpeas that’s great as a spread on wraps and sandwiches and as a dip for vegetables. You can find containers for around $4-5 at most grocery stores and all health food stores.
- Seasonings – When cooking alkaline, you will want to have a variety of seasonings onhand like rosemary, basil, oregano, and cayenne pepper. I get as many of mine as possible at the 99 cents store, and whatever they don’t carry at the grocery store for an average of $4-$6 each.
- Healthy oils – Healthy fats are a necessary part of the alkaline diet and can be incorporated into your diet by cooking with healthy oils, drizzling them on wraps and sandwiches, and making your own oil-based salad dressings. I recommend extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, hemp oils, as well as coconut oil for Cristco-like purposes. You can find these healthy oils for around $4-$20 at most grocery stores and all health food stores. You can also try a blend like Udo’s Choice, which averages $35 online or in vitamin stores.
- Natural sweeteners – There are a couple of healthy and delicious natural sugar alternatives on the market with a low glycemic index. Stevia is extracted from herbs and comes in both powdered and liquid form. I got a large shaker jar at Trader Joes for about $10. Agave nectar is a thicker syrup-like sweetener that’s great for beverages or in place of corn syrup when cooking and is available in light or dark. I get mine at a Super Walmart for just under $6.
- Healthy salt – Ditch traditional iodized table salt in favor of natural sea salt, Celtic salt, Himalayan salt or Real salt which are alkaline minerals needed by the body. Available in health food stores for $5+.
- Almond butter – Almond butter is a delicious alternative to peanut butter that is more alkaline and can be spread on sandwiches and used to dip fruits and veggies in. I get mine at Trader Joes for about $4.
- Non-dairy milks – Dairy products are acidifying and making the switch from cow’s milk to a more alkaline alternative may be easier than you think. I recommend that you try unsweetened almond, coconut, and soy milks and see which you like best. In my opinion, almond is the most nutty and salty, coconut has very little flavor whatsoever, and soy is the most milk-like. Available for around $3-$5 at most grocery stores and all health food stores.
- Apple cider vinegar – This is a great alkaline supplement that can be taken daily and added to water. Look for a natural unsweetened version. Available for around $4-$20 at most grocery stores and all health food stores.
- Soy sauce substitute – Soy sauce is fermented and acidic. A great substitute is Bragg Liquid Aminos, which in addition to being used in place of soy sauce, can be added to everything from soups, to salads, to casseroles because of its salty flavor and to increase your intake of amino acids. Available at vitamin and health food stores for about $8 depending on size of the bottle.
I hope you found part two of this starters guide helpful and wish you luck on your journey to better health through acid-alkaline balance. Be sure to check out part one which discusses Equipment and part three which covers Green Cleaning and Beauty Products. Please comment with any questions or additional suggestions and follow me on Twitter for updates.