Making the change from an acidic to an alkaline diet is one you’ll be happy with, but it will definitely take willpower and dedication. “You need to be realistic and make choices that most easily fit into your lifestyle,” says celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson. “Once you have conquered the initial steps of following a pH-balanced diet, you can make more challenging modifications.”
STEP 1: Don’t quit cold turkey.
Unless you want to send your body into complete disarray, slowly cut out acid producers and replace them with more alkaline foods. If you go full speed ahead without working your way up to it, you will experience cravings and headaches from withdrawals and will find it to be more of a struggle than it should be.
STEP 2: Eat small amounts of acid-forming foods.
The body needs a small amount of acid in order to maintain homeostasis. You want to choose healthier options over processed or refined ones. Here’s what to add into your diet and what to avoid:
Instead of red meat, eat seafood
Instead of cow’s milk, drink almond milk
Instead of butter, choose coconut oil spreads
Instead of soda, drink green tea
STEP 3: Make sure you’re following the right percentages.
When you’re starting out with a pH-balanced diet, you should eat 60 percent alkaline foods and 40 percent acidic foods. After about one month, you can start to remove more of the acid formers, bumping it down to 20 percent, and eating 80 percent alkaline foods.
STEP 4: Pair properly.
Bam! Bam! Body’s organic health and wellness coach Natalie Cacciatore explains that what you eat in a single meal has just as much of an impact on your body as the specific foods you combine because each food is digested at a different rate. Fruits and green vegetables metabolize quickly, whereas starches take longer and proteins take the longest.
STEP 5: Be prepared.
In order to successfully follow an alkaline diet (or really any diet for that matter), you need to be prepared and have the right foods on hand so that you don’t end up eating whatever is accessible. Keep plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator and try to cook in advance, when possible.