The Alkaline Diet

The Alkaline Diet – It All Comes Down to the PH

The acid/alkaline diet may be something you have heard of before, but what does it mean? Foods have different properties when consumed. Acid or alkaline refers to the effect the food has within the body, being acid forming or alkaline forming. A common misconception is that foods such as lemon are acid, however when consumed in the body they are actually highly alkaline forming.

pH is a scale used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of certain things. The higher the pH, the more alkaline, the lower the pH, the more acid.

  • Acid – 0
  • Alkaline – 14
  • Water – 7
  • Seawater – 8.5
  • Blood – 7.5
  • Urine – 6
  • Wine, beer and cola drinks – 3

The ideal blood pH is 7.5. Eating too many acid forming foods can reduce this pH, leading to acidity in the body. The correct pH is needed for ALL bodily functions to work correctly, from the cellular level to our metabolism and organ function.

Foods which are acid forming should therefore be reduced in the diet, and limited to 20% of your total dietary intake.

Foods which are the most acid forming in the body include:

  • Sugar
  • Refined and Processed foods
  • Soft drink
  • Wine, beer and other alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Black Tea
  • Dairy products, especially milk and milk powder
  • Wheat
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Rancid Oils
  • Most grains (except buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa)
  • Most legumes (except lentils)
  • Most nuts and seeds (except almonds, pepitas and sesame seeds)

Alkaline forming foods should form the basis of your diet, making up 80% of the food you eat.

As a general rule, most fruits and vegetables are alkaline forming, with the most alkaline foods being:

  • Lemons
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, silverbeet, kale etc)
  • Broccoli
  • Raw salads
  • Tomato
  • Almonds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pepitas
  • Raw honey
  • Buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa
  • Spirulina, barley or wheat grass

Changing your diet

Most people have a very acid forming diet, being high in wheat, refined foods and sugar. Substantial improvements in most health conditions can be obtained by reducing acid forming foods in the diet to only 20% of your intake. This is not an easy task initially, as significant changes will need to be made to achieve this.

A good start is to look at substituting some of the acid foods for the alkaline foods:

  • Wheat – use buckwheat, millet, amaranth or quinoa.
  • Sugar – use raw unfiltered honey instead (honey is acid forming once cooked).
  • Dairy milk – try rice milk or oat milk on cereal, BONSOY milk in tea and coffee – these are still acid but less so then dairy.
  • Coffee – try a herbal tea or roasted dandelion coffee.

Try looking at your meal and imagining how you could make it more alkaline. Adding green leafy vegetables is a good way to do this, or having a salad on the side can also help. Lemon juice in water can be had on rising and before meals (30 minutes) to stimulate digestion and alkalise the body (always rinse your mouth out with fresh water after having lemon juice).

Oat, Honey & Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt or rye flour
  • 1/2 cup white spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rice bran or macadamia oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup organic plain yoghurt
  • 3 small, or 2 large eggs
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed with a fork

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius, and grease or line a 12 hole muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, place all dry ingredients – flour, oats, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, yoghurt and oil, then stir through banana.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Spoon into greased muffin pan, top with rolled oats if desired.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Take out of oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
Enjoy!

Male Fertility

Male fertility issues account for at least 50% of all infertility cases, but is often overlooked with the focus usually on the woman’s fertility rather than both parents.

Katherine ideally treats both the mother and father to be, as this will ensure the best chance of healthy, happy baby.

There are many causes of male sub-fertility, including:

  • Low sperm counts
  • Poor semen quality or quantity
  • Poor perm morphology
  • Sperm antibodies
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Ejaculation issues
  • Hormonal deficiencies

Male fertility issues respond very well to naturopathic treatment, with measurable improvements being made in sperm quality and quantity.

Assessing male fertility is an important part of natural fertility management as it ensures that the sperm are the best possible quality, which can increase the chances of healthy conception occurring.

For information of female infertility, click here.

For more comprehensive information about natural fertility care for both mothers and fathers to be, visit Katherine’s natural fertility website.

Pre Conception Health Care Program

Katherine loves working with couples who have decided to start or expand their family, and uses a variety of techniques to promote a healthy conception and pregnancy.

Having optimum nutrition and general health is the best way to ensure that a healthy pregnancy is achieved and that your baby has the best chance of good health.

Katherine finds that the best way to achieve this is with a healthy diet and lifestyle, but often uses herbs, nutrients and other interventions to help a couple in their quest for a healthy conception.

Studies have shown that good preconception care can improve your chances of falling pregnant, with 81% of previously infertile couples being able to fall pregnant with natural fertility management according to the foresight study.

Research is strongly indicating that your health prior to conception has huge impacts on the health of your child, from immune issues as children to having a higher chance of developing disease as adults. Ensuring that your health is optimum prior to conceiving is the only was to ensure you have given your child the very best start to life.

Focus on Food – Quinoa

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, was the staple food of the Incas. It is gluten-free, has the highest protein content of any grain and contains many nutrients including calcium, iron, zinc and B vitamins.

The seed coating contains saponins which can irritate the intestines, so quinoa must be soaked and washed under running water thoroughly to remove these. Quinoa is available from most health food shops.

Preparation of quinoa:

1 cup quinoa + 1 1/2 cups cold water

  • Soak overnight then rinse under running water OR soak for 15 minutes then rinse under running water for 5 minutes. The first option is more effective and better for the environment as it uses less water.
  • Drain quinoa well in a fine sieve.
  • Place quinoa in a pot and add the water.
  • Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer.
  • Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with lid on.
  • Fluff gently with a fork and serve.

Quinoa is delicious on it’s own or served with anything you would normally use rice for.

You can tell when quinoa is cooked as the edge of the seed separates as a white spiral and the seed turns clear.

Try adding the rinsed grain to soups and casseroles or use it as a porridge.

Focus On Food – Wheatgrass

Have you been asking yourself what the craze is with wheat grass? Wheat grass is a fantastic companion to a healthy diet, as it contains high levels of chlorophyll, the nutrient that gives it its deep green hue.

Chlorophyll is structurally very similar to haemoglobin, the molecule responsible for carrying oxygen around our bodies, and therefore is said help oxygenate our body.Chlorophyll is traditionally used as a blood cleanser and alkaliser, so is great for detoxification.

Wheat grass contains 82 of the 92 minerals found in soil, including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. It also has B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A.

Eating the grass provides little nutrition as our digestive system cannot break down the cellulose int the plant to release the minerals. Wheat grass should therefore be consumed juiced.

A special expresser is required to juice wheatgrass. Top of the line juicers can sometimes have an attachment, or you can buy a manual one to clamp on the bench.

To grow your own wheatgrass, use a seedling tray filled with organic soil. cover soil with whole wheat grains and put a piece of newspaper on top. Soak thoroughly daily. When the grains have sprouted (2-4 days) remove the newspaper and leave in a sunny position. Water daily.

Wheat grass should be consumed within 12 hours of juicing, but ideally straight away to maintain its nutrient value. Most people don’t mind the taste, but you can follow with a slice of orange to help if you don’t like the taste of wheatgrass.

Don’t want to buy a juicer? Wheat grass juice shots can be purchased at most juice bars for around $2, so try it today!

High Protein Oat & Honey Muffins

High Protein Muffins These muffins are a great snack, being high in protein and free of sugar and wheat. Wholegrain spelt flour is much higher in protein than wheat which helps to increase the protein content of these muffins. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup plain protein powder (pea or rice protein works well)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rice bran or macadamia oil
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup organic plain yoghurt
  • 3 small, or 2 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius, and grease or line a 12 hole muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, place all dry ingredients – flour, protein powder, oats, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, yoghurt and oil.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Spoon into greased muffin pan, top with rolled oats if desired.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Take out of oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.

 

Enjoy!

Sleep Disorders

One of the most common problems that people experience is difficulty sleeping. Sleeping is the single most important process in the body. While we sleep the body detoxifies, repairs and regenerates, so with poor sleep we can not truly heal ourselves.

Labna

Labna is a cheese which is easily made from yoghurt. It has the benefits of containing good bacteria that is beneficial for your gut, and is easier to digest than most other cheeses.

You will need:

  • Muslin cloth for hanging
  • Pot or bowl to catch liquid
  • Probiotic yogurt (preferably organic) – Jalna biodynamic is a good choice

Optional:

You can mix in pepper, herbs, chilli, garlic, or anything else you might like into the yogurt to make a flavoured labna.

Instructions:

  1. Place the amount of yoghurt that you wish to make into cheese onto the muslin, then bunch the ends and hang to something with a bowl beneath it to catch the water (a pot with a lid can work well for this).
  2. Leave overnight, or until cheese has become firm and most liquid has been drained
  3. If you live in a warmer climate, you may need to hang it in the fridge
  4. Store in a sterile airtight container in the fridge

Serving suggestions

  • Rolled into small balls and tossed through a salad with baby spinach, roast pumpkin, capsicum and olive oil
  • On ryevita or a cracker of your choice with smoked salmon and cracked pepper
  • As a dip mixed with avocado, paprika, garlic and lemon juice served with carrot and celery sticks

Depression

Depression is very common, with antidepressant medications being one of the most frequently filled prescriptions in Australia. Depression is an emotion which most people will experience at least once in their life, and is normal when temporary and due to distressing events, loss or heartache. Prolonged continuation of depressive feelings is however not normal, and help should be sought to address this issue. Many people suffer a mild form of depression which can impact on their lives, making them feel down and negative.

Clinical depression and major depression are more severe forms of depression. These forms of depression are diagnosed by a doctor or psychologist, after careful evaluation of your symptoms, length of time depressed and the severity. Clinical and major depression has profound effects on the person’s life, and can often be associated with eating disorders, weight loss or gain, feelings of helplessness , sleep disorders and fatigue.

How does naturopathy help depression?

Depression is often caused or exacerbated by neurotransmitter or nutrient deficiencies, which lead to feelings of depression. A deficiency of the neurotransmitter serotonin has been associated with depressive symptoms, which is why the most commonly prescribed drug in the treatment of depression is a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, which work to try and increase serotonin levels in the brain.

Serotonin is produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan which is derived from protein. A protein deficient diet, or poor digestion of proteins can therefore lead to a serotonin deficiency. Other nutrients are needed to help with the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, so a deficiency of these nutrients can also impair the production of serotonin, leading to symptoms such as poor sleep, irritability and depression.

There are several herbs which are effective in reducing depression, enhancing mood and increasing a feeling of wellbeing. These herbs are selected depending on your individual case, and can have an effect within the first couple of weeks.

Flower essences are a therapy that works on an energetic level, being very useful for emotional related complaints. Flower essences can therefore be very useful to reduce feelings of depression, promote a positive outlook and help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Natural therapies (when used under the supervision of a qualified naturopath) are safe to use in conjunction with conventional antidepressant medications. Katherine will work with you to develop the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

If you would like to ask Katherine whether she can help you please do so using the form here. For appointments, call 07 3367 0337 or use the form here.