Hollywood's New Diet Craze!
Have you ever wondered how Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kirsten Dunst stay skinny without starving themselves? Us too, until now. Forget no carbs, low-calorie or faddy detoxes, the latest craze to sweep Hollywood is much more scientific, and it’s good for you too!
Known as the Alkaline Diet, it works on the principle that to stay healthy and slim we need to maintain the perfect pH balance in our bodies by eating 80 per cent alkali-creating foods. Sounds complicated, right? Don’t worry, it’s not. In short, the normal pH of human blood is anywhere between 7.35 to 7.45, but if we eat too many processed foods, our pH levels fluctuate too much and we get sick. Or worse, fat! And it hasn’t taken T’Town long to take note. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Kirsten Dunst are all said to live alkaline, eating 80 per cent raw vegetables, nuts, and some fruits and 20 per cent acidic foods, like meat, fish and eggs, to keep their bodies’ pH at the optimum level.
Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre’s nutritionist, Lily Mueller, tells Ahlan!, “Numerous health problems are associated with having an acidic diet. In fact many doctors believe that just about all health problems stem from being acidic.” Lily explains, “This is because parasites, bad bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic environments. The over-acidic person usually suffers from high acidity in the stomach, may experience sleep problems, headaches, body aches and pains, and suffers from mood swings. In the long run the immune system will be overtaxed and more serious diseases like cancer can develop.” But it’s not just our health that can benefit from an alkaline diet, as Gwyneth and her famous friends have discovered. The diet’s great for weight loss too, as Lily can testify: “The correct acidic/alkaline food intake helps balance the pH of your blood. This ensures better health and allows you to lose weight and keep it off.”
So what foods should we be eating and avoiding? “Fresh vegetables and fruits, potatoes, various nuts and seeds (especially almonds), coconut, full fat milk and creams, avocado, herbs and spices, cold-pressed vegetable oils and apple cider vinegar are all good. These should form 80 per cent of your diet. The other 20 per cent can include meat, fish, cheese, animal fats, eggs, grains, pulses, refined and processed foods, coffee and tea, but no more than 20 per cent,” explains Lily. There are also supplements to make the process more effective. The Dubai-based nutritionist advises, “Besides watching what you eat and finding the right balance between acidic and alkaline foods, take a good organic mineral supplement to help alkalise the body. These minerals are carbonates of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium and are available at the Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre.” International experts have been equally quick to praise the many benefits of eating alkaline, as long as the diet is properly managed.
According to the healthy living website LiveStrong, “Doctors Robert Young and Shelley Young at pH Miracle Living claim that acidity can cause both weight gain and weight loss. These doctors claim that fat forms as protection against your body’s over-acidic conditions. On the other hand, acidic conditions can reduce absorption of nutrients causing you to lose weight and important nutrients. In addition, your body treats acid as a toxin and reacts to an acidic environment with allergy symptoms and fatigue.” The site adds, “According to the Alkaline Diet Encyclopedia, benefits of undertaking an alkaline diet include reducing inflammation, boosting immune function, improving digestion and lowering your risk of high blood pressure and osteoporosis. The experts at pH Miracle Living claim the Alkaline Diet can promote smooth skin, weight loss and increased energy.” Why didn’t we know this is how the stars looked so good sooner? Pass the potatoes, people – bikini season’s looking much brighter!
10 High Acid Foods
1 Hard cheeses
5 White bread
9 Artificial sweeteners
10 High Alkaline Foods
9 Brazil Nuts
Oats cooked in half water, half milk (preferably almond or soy milk), topped with banana, honey and some flaxseeds.
Avocado, cucumber and tomato on a slice of wholemeal bread, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper.
7 large handfuls of peeled and diced root vegetables of your choice (EG beetroot, carrots, parsnips and celeriac)
3 tbsp rapeseed or grapeseed oil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (preferably organic)
A bunch of fresh coriander
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp coriander
1 piece of fresh ginger, cut into small pieces
1 tin of coconut milk
Freshly ground pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200C. Put one large roasting tray into the oven to heat up.
2 Dice the root vegetables into about 3cm-sized pieces and put into a bowl. Coat with oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the vegetables onto the tray when it is hot and shake to distribute evenly. Roast them for about 40 minutes.
3 Toast the coriander, fennel seeds and cumin in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes. Grind them until they form a rough powder and mix in the turmeric.
4 Put the chilli, ginger, garlic and onion in a blender and purée. Gently heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over a medium-low temperature and put in the spices. Fry for about a minute and add the paste. Stir for about five minutes until the paste has softened and reduced in volume. Add more oil if needed.
5 Stir in the coconut milk and tomatoes. Add the cinnamon, simmer and stir constantly. Season to taste. Pour the sauce over the roasting vegetables.
6 Bake everything for about 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened. Finish with fresh lime juice squeezed over it and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
INFO: Get more advice from Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre; 04 335 1200, www.dubaihtc.com.
T’Town’s Boys Love it Too!
Chris Hemsworth ups his greens to balance the animal protein he eats to keep buff.
Mark Ruffalo switched to an alkaline diet after following it while training for The Avengers.
Josh Duhamel drinks an alkaline green smoothie every day to give him energy.