Did you know? Just about every disease, every symptom has its origin in hyperacidity. Tina, my interviewee today, has experienced firsthand what hyperacidity can do to you – and the benefits of an alkaline lifestyle. Her dharma (life mission) is to serve. She is sure to be on this earth to make it a better place, a place full of health, abundance, consciousness and bliss. She pursues this path as a yoga teacher and soon as a holistic health coach, always keeping in mind the alkaline way of life. That’s what I talked to her about.
Dear Tina, let’s start right away with what I’m sure many are wondering: what is an alkaline lifestyle anyway? What does an alkaline lifestyle entail?
Great question, thank you so much for that. I take a holistic approach to this. It’s a holistic concept, starting with an alkaline-surplus and nutrient-rich diet, to proper breathing, to stress management strategies, to proper skin care, to the appropriate mindset.
You can think of your acid-base balance a bit like a bank account.
In what way?
With every decision you make, you are either depositing alkaline-rich, or withdrawing acid-heavy. As long as the postings are in balance, all is fine. But many factors contribute to many people overdrawing their account, letting it slip too far into the negative. And then you find yourself with symptoms, then you are weakened and live virtually on credit. With an alkaline-surplus lifestyle, we make sure that the alkaline-forming part predominates, so that we can live healthy, fit and vital lives.
The acid-base balance is a physiological control circuit that keeps the pH value of the blood in a relatively constant range.
What does this mean?
PH stands for Potentia Hygrogenii and means the power of hydrogen H, it is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of a liquid. The PH scale ranges from 0 – 14, with 7 being the neutral midpoint. Anything below 7 is acidic, anything above 7 is basic. We work here on all levels body-mind-spirit, because a slagged mind is just as unhealthy as an over acidic body. The point is to return the body to its natural balance. Because just about every illness, every symptom has its origin in hyperacidity.
Every day our body struggles to regulate the acid-base balance. Every day we are confronted with many acid traps, starting with our diet, but also electro smog, noise and especially stress contribute to our slagging. Your body has a certain buffer system that can cushion all the influences; but at some point, even these reserves are exhausted and our body becomes enormously burdened.
Of course, we can control a lot through our diet. It is always about the metabolism, into which building blocks a food is broken down in your organism. For example, a lemon is alkaline, but this does not necessarily have anything to do with its taste. We differentiate here between alkaline-forming foods (80% of the diet), which provide our organism with valuable minerals such as vegetables, fruits, herbs, sprouts. Good acid-forming foods are metabolized in a weakly acidic way, but also provide us with important vital substances, such as pseudocereals like quinoa and legumes like chickpeas. Good acidifiers make up about 20% of our diet. Bad acidifiers actually deprive us of nutrients during metabolism, as they must first be neutralized for processing in our organism. Bad acidifiers include alcohol, nicotine, highly processed foods, meat; in the alkaline-surplus lifestyle, we avoid these entirely.
How can I know that I may be suffering from hyperacidity?
There are many signs of hyperacidity: frequent infections or colds, lack of drive and energy, aching joints, bone loss and even osteoporosis, cellulite, brittle nails, menstrual cramps, skin problems and any kind of inflammation are just a few of them.
How did you get into the alkaline lifestyle?
I experienced firsthand what it means to be affected by hyperacidity. I spent almost a year of my life virtually non-stop at doctors, in clinics and in waiting rooms. My chronic, cramping headaches, irritable stomach, irritable bowel and chronic gastritis had me in a tight grip for a long time and ruled my life. I could hardly take part in life, was numb and slowed down with little quality of life. I constantly had to cancel on my friends because I felt too bad to do anything. My everyday life was dominated by the pain. The odyssey from doctor to doctor also cost so much time and energy. No one could help me; I was desperate and felt alone. I was given medications that supposedly fought the symptoms, but never the cause.
Then in 2017, the alkaline lifestyle came to me… there’s no other way to put it. I turned all my habits upside down, changed my way of life. And achieved what no doctor, no medicine could give me: I got my life back! All the symptoms disappeared and have not returned until today. Instead, I got more energy, more quality of life, more zest for life and more strength than ever!
Wow, what a story! This radical improvement was then probably your reason for sticking with the alkaline lifestyle?
Yes, this new attitude towards life was the total confirmation that the alkaline-surplus lifestyle is exactly right for me. It is very easy for me to stick with it because it is never a MUST for me, but a WANT. I am totally motivated because I can feel the positive effects directly. I’m not a fan of short-term diets, blanket diets or anything like that – no, rather my philosophy is a sustainable, all-encompassing lifestyle change.
I think it’s so important to get to grips with what’s going on in our bodies, because it’s through this knowledge that we find it easier to integrate things into our everyday lives. When you are aware of what the impact of your (consumption) behavior is, then your motivation of implementation becomes intrinsic. Then you will WANT to implement the things instead of “HAVING TO” from the outside. It is not at all about doing without something – on the contrary, mindful enjoyment is in the foreground. Every decision you make is either FOR your health, for your well-being, for yourself. Or against it. YOU have the choice, you are the creator of your circumstances, of your life. With every decision, day after day. I am very aware of this power I have.
Does this lifestyle fit into a stressful, hectic everyday life?
Absolutely! Because if your body, your mind and your soul are strengthened and in balance, you can face all the challenges of everyday life well-armed! It’s also a lot about mindfulness and self-reflection. Once we identify the stress factors, we can come up with a strategy to either eliminate them or, if that’s not possible, navigate them skillfully.
Of course, this involves a certain amount of structure, planning and preparation. This can be exhausting at times……but, you know what else is exhausting? It’s exhausting not to feel good; it’s exhausting not to feel good in your body. It’s exhausting not to live in your full power. Not being able to develop your full potential because your body is sending you little and big symptoms. And believe me, I know what I’m talking about, since I have been going through life like this for years! I just decided years ago to take responsibility for myself and my health! We all know the saying “You are what you eat” …. I would go even further and say: You are what you take in! You are the food you consume. But you are also the subjects you deal with, the books you read, the movies you watch. The people you surround yourself with. It is these many small, supposedly comfortable decisions that we make every day. But in the end, they make us uncomfortable!
Of course, it’s convenient to eat fast food, no question about it! But in the long run it will become uncomfortable, precisely because it doesn’t nourish your body and so you get into a deficit & your body then sends you symptoms or a disease. Of course, it is comfortable not to take responsibility for your own actions, to reflect on your own behaviors, to maybe look for the blame outside. All this is comfortable. But I’ll say it again: in the long run it is uncomfortable. Because this is NOT how you grow, because this is how you always end up in the same situation, because this is not how you can develop.
What role does yoga play in this?
Yoga is an integral part of a holistic lifestyle. This is because the movements circulate blood to the organs, muscles and tendons, and stimulate the lymphatic system. However, yoga is so much more than the asanas, the postures practiced on the mat. You relax and activate your autonomic nervous system, your parasympathetic nervous system. This allows you to reduce stress, inner restlessness, anxiety and tension can be released. Thus, yoga has a calming effect, promotes relaxation and helps us to cope with stress – and stress is an enormous cause of acidity.
CO2 generally accumulates as a metabolic end product in all cells. This gas is physically dissolved in the blood as carbonic acid. To remove the carbonic acid from the body, we exhale CO2 through the lungs. In everyday life, we often breathe shallowly, but in yoga, proper breathing plays an important role. Through targeted pranayama, or breathing exercises, we can consciously use the detoxification capacity of our lungs.
During yoga practice, we also practice presence and mindfulness, bringing more awareness to our actions. The advantage of conscious movement is that it allows us the opportunity to make a difference at any given moment. As a result, we are not stubbornly stuck in our automatism, but can be consciously aware of each moment and thus change direction as needed.
In connection with an alkaline lifestyle, you also often hear about “alkaline fasting”. What is it and how does it work?
As a small “reset” and time out, an alkaline fasting cure is highly recommended. I personally do it quite regularly and benefit from the many positive effects. Alkaline fasting is a mild form of fasting in which you eat only purely alkaline foods for one to two weeks, or sometimes just for a day or a weekend (otherwise the ratio is more like 80% alkaline, 20% good acid-forming foods). So, with alkaline fasting you do not starve. This makes it easy to implement and follow through. You completely avoid what burdens you; this leads to a cleansing and relief of the organism. The alkaline fasting period can be arranged individually according to one’s own needs and, for example, can also be combined with a colon cleanse. One speaks often also of the three steps of the purification. The first step is to dissolve the waste products in the organism, followed by neutralization and then elimination. We have various tools for this, such as alkaline teas, alkaline powders and alkaline baths.
Again, the holistic approach applies, sufficient sleep, relaxation, exercise, breathing, time in nature,… all this we may consciously integrate during the alkaline fasting. In general, I recommend – especially for the first fasting cure – the accompaniment of a fasting guide – like me, for example (laughs). If you already have experience with fasting, you can also do the cure on your own, although fasting together in a group is of course also additionally motivating and inspiring.
What are your favorite alkaline foods?
As a snack, definitely dates – they are so delicious and versatile. Alongside that, carrots – they just taste soooo good to me. Guess how many I eat per week?
Hmm, maybe a kilo?
Easily double that – between 2 and 3 kilos! I also love my sprouts very much; they simply refine every dish. The alkaline cuisine is so delicious and diverse! I always try to focus on regionality and seasonality, so it never gets boring.
What are your best tips for beginners?
Ridding yourself of accumulated waste and hyperacidity is not going to happen overnight. Just like your body didn’t get into trouble overnight. As a rule of thumb, for every 10 years lived over-acidifying, it takes one year to de-acidify. Every change is a process and succeeds step by step. Allow yourself to really take your time here. Start slowly. Piece by piece. Stay patient and celebrate the small progress along the way. Because as the saying goes, “The journey is the destination”! Always remember your WHY, be proud of yourself, don’t be so strict with yourself and don’t forget that you are doing all this FOR yourself. Detach yourself from all expectations and go through the process with an open heart, curiosity and joy. It’s not about reaching a specific goal, but rather having fun along the way.
Thank you for these great tips! You did mention your potential use as a fasting leader. How else could people work with you, what are your offerings?
I love to do consultings. However, I actually don’t have a lot of openings right now and am almost booked up for the time being. At the end of the year there will be a great offer for a 3-month coaching where we will work holistically on all levels – I will stand by your side, support you and help you to help yourself. You are so valuable! You are wonderful! It is your responsibility to take good care of yourself. I am happy to be able to support you in this!
I am also currently working on my first group Alkaline Fasting course…stay tuned 😊