If you're going to follow a healthy lifestyle, it needs to be as easy as possible. Which is why we called upon natural nutritionist and yoga teacher Hayley McAlinden, to get her to share her expert tips on how to make living in accordance with the alkaline lifestyle easy where possible, as well as hearing her personal benefits to health since she decided to follow the alkaline diet.
Water for Health: How much time do you spend on balancing your pH through eating an alkaline diet?
Hayley McAlinden: I don't stress about it, I just eat like it most days, obviously summer is a better time to eat alkaline, in winter the body wants more acidic dense foods.
WfH: That brings me to the main point of this Q&A session. Our regular blog readers really want to learn how they can make eating the alkaline diet second nature for them. Through eating this way for a number of years, what tips or short cut ‘cheats’ have you picked up that help make it easier for you to implement on a daily basis?
HM: Always have your green smoothie! Add a good greens blend to boost the alkaline mineral balance. If you start your day with a green smoothie, you will be inclined to eat healthy the rest of the day!
WfH: What are the biggest improvements to your health you have seen through eating an alkaline diet on a daily basis? And do any of these improvements help keep you motivated to keep eating in this healthy way long-term?
HM: The reason I discovered the importance of an alkaline diet was because I had tons of acidity related health problems ranging from chronic cystitis, thrust, acne and chronic fatigue. Needless to say, once I addressed my pH these symptoms disappeared!
WfH: What is your favourite alkalising recipe to make? And how do you make it?
HM: The green smoothie is the simplest and quickest recipe I love to make.
Add 1 apple
2 dried figs (soaked) or 1 fresh/or handful berries
handful of spinach or another green leafy veg,
1tsp coconut oil,
1 tsp ground flax,
1 scoop of a good quality green food supplement,
dash of stevia.
WfH: Earlier, you touched on winter time being when the body needs more acidic dense foods say compared to summer. As winter is almost upon us, what types of foods would you say these are? And why does the body need different foods in winter to summer?
HM: In the summer it's fine to live off fresh salads and raw food. Whereas in winter your body wants more warming foods. Stews and crock-pot meals is a good way to get these in, in a convenient way. Including more fats and protein in winter is something you might also find beneficial, but just listen to your body. Just make sure to add some extra vegetables. I always have steamed veg with every meal, season with coconut oil, nutritional yeast and coconut aminos and you’ll want to eat a whole plateful!
WfH: Some people are skeptical about the alkalising diet, but given the fact it is helping a person eat more vegetables and wholefoods, and avoid refined sugars and trans fats, would you agree that actually this type of diet isn’t something to be feared? Do you also have any advice for people curious about starting out on the alkaline diet?
HM: Yes, my advice would be limit wheat, sugar and trans fats and up your intake of fresh steamed vegetables, salads, green smoothies, juices (If you are into juicing, go easy on the root veg such as carrot, beetroot and use just one apple to sweeten) and stay hydrated with filtered water and herbal teas. Limit meat to a few times a week and limit dairy unless it's raw. Simple tweaks can become part of your everyday life that will sway your body into the favourable alkaline pH without having to get obsessed.
Hayley McAlinden is a holistic lifestyle consultant, natural nutritionist and yoga teacher. Hayley works with clients one-to-one mostly via easy-to-attend Skype consultations, offering tailored programmes for every health concern. If you would like to get in touch with Hayley and have her address your health concerns in a naturopathic way, or sign up to one of her yoga classes in Bristol, then visit the contact page on her website Empowered Living.