Cassandra Stirling - Staff Nutritionist
— Our staff nutritionist, has always had a passion for health and
well-being. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition
from Memorial University, Canada and has been counseling others about
the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle ever since.
Cassandra combined her love of nutrition with media while she worked as an “On Air” television personality, and among other things, reported daily heath segments. She is a firm believer in pH balancing for weight-loss, detoxing, and combating disease, and incorporates this wholeheartedly into all her nutritional counseling methods. Cassandra uses the principles of the alkaline lifestyle to keep her strong, lean and energized. She says, “There is simply no better way to live!”
Cassandra Stirling Staff Nutritionist, Diet and Support Coach provides nutritional guidance, menus, meal plans and advice on all aspects of nutrition for health. Members receive meal planning, shopping lists and more with Cassandra's expert advice. Her warm, gentle coaching offers you support as you change to healthy eating habits.
Join your friends on the Alkaline Lifestyle journey as we share our experiences "going alkaline." Blogs and Forums offer a glimpse into our personal lives, our daily struggles and successes on the Alkaline Lifestyle, plus tips and more to help you in your own alkaline lifestyle journey.
See our Membership Page for information on how you can receive personalized nutrition planning and advice from our Staff nutritionist.
Example Meal Plan:
Nutrition Blog Topics
- The Benefits of Raw Food 03-Jan-2014
- Are You Enjoying The Benefits of This Alkalizing Fruit? 09-Sep-2012
- Obesity and Acidity 07-Sep-2012
- 12 Alkalizing Foods That You May Not Be Storing Properly 29-Aug-2012
- Tart Cherries...A Natural Way To Speed Muscle Recovery 28-Aug-2012
Help Desk - Ask the Nutritionist
Our staff Nutritionist will assist members with their nutritional goals
Welcome to the Alkaline Lifestyle Fitness Help Desk staffed by our nutritionist Cassandra Stirling. Here you’ll find a wealth of information on every aspect of nutrition as an important part of your healthy Alkaline Lifestyle.
Alkaline Lifestyle members can get personal assistance from Cassandra through custom nutrition plans and the ability to get personal answers to your questions.
If you’re not currently an "Alkaline Lifestyle Member" <CLICK HERE> to find out how to join us today!
Alkaline Lifestyle Nutrition FAQs:
Your question might have already been answered, see FAQs (below) or <Click Here> for the latest general FAQs.
All animal products are acidic but that doesn’t mean you cannot eat them. Just eat them in moderation. Try eating meat twice a week instead of 7 times a week. Aim for each meal to consist of 80% alkaline food and 20% acidic food. The alkaline diet is about making adjustments that fit with your lifestyle and metabolic type. It doesn’t matter if you are a raw foodist, a carnivore, a vegetarian or somewhere in between. What matters most to your overall health is that you are a whole foodist and that you choose the most alkaline options where possible. Processed foods are usually the least nutritious, most acidic and most chemically laden foods out there. Also remember, you are free to cook foods but usually the more you cook it the less alkaline it becomes.
If you are following the alkaline diet and overall lifestyle, there is no need to take any other alkalizing supplement, however, in reality we know people are not perfect and not everyone is starting from the same place. Green powders are a great way to get alkaline more quickly and to help offset some acidic foods that you continue to eat. I like to think of green powders as giving you the edge. They are jammed packed with alkalizing chlorophyll and tons of other green super foods that help nourish your body. In a nutshell, they are not mandatory, but they are certainly an added bonus.
If you are overweight, you are likely acidic because the two go hand in hand. Excess acidity causes weight to get stored in fat cells in your body. The more acidic you are, the more fat cells you will have and the less inclined your body will be to lose them. In order to lose the weight, you must first become alkaline. This is where the alkaline lifestyle comes into play. Combine alkaline eating with some basic weight loss principles and the weight should come off effortlessly.
Contrary to what you may think, a high intake of dairy products does not correlate with a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis has more to do with how you’re your mineral reserves are being used. A body that eats an alkaline diet has adequate alkaline mineral stores like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chromium, selenium, and iron. On the contrary, a body that is too acidic (from overconsumption of acidic food like meat, dairy and processed foods) has all of these minerals used up as the body tries desperately to maintain an optimum pH balance in the blood. If in an effort to regulate blood pH, your buffer systems (minerals) are depleted, it resorts to buffer (mineral) reserves. Most of these minerals are readily available in the bone. So as the body works to buffer acids and maintain an optimal blood pH, minerals can be leeched and depleted from the bone, leading to increased risk of osteoporosis. You will best avoid osteoporosis with an alkaline diet and weight bearing exercises.
I’ve seen information about the alkaline lifestyle online, but it seems like you’re recommending a lot of vegetables.
Firstly, you may be surprised to know that the average daily recommend intake of protein is only 10% of total calories or 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. As long as your caloric intake is adequate, there should be no problem whatsoever in meeting your daily requirements for protein. Secondly, some alkaline vegetables such as artichokes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Swiss chard, yams and sweet potatoes are good sources of protein. In addition, the alkaline lifestyle provides many other protein sources such as various nuts, seeds, lentils and grains (oats, wild rice and quinoa). Thirdly, the alkaline lifestyle does not restrict you from eating organic animal protein, fish, or poultry. It simply means that you should only eat it sparely due to its high acidity. Try to choose the least acidic ones and as long as you keep the total amount of acid foods in your meals to about 20% you should be fine.
Being overall acidic is often accompanied by other physical problems and diseases so the symptoms can range quite widely. Some of the more main stream include low energy, chronic fatigue, headaches, depression, weakened immune system, dull skin and hair, weak nails, ulcers, muscle wasting, bone loss and tendency to get infections.
However, if you have been doing some or all of the following, you are likely acidic:
- Eating a processed diet for much of your life
- Regularly drink alcohol, tea, or coffee
- Use tobacco or recreational drugs
- Regularly take prescription or non prescription drugs
- Eat little vegetables and leafy greens accompanied by high amounts of meat
- Are chronically stressed
- Are overweight or obese
- Have metabolic diseases such as diabetes or respiratory conditions such as asthma
Your blood maintains a strict pH between 7.3 and 7.4. Acidosis occurs when blood pH falls below 7.35 and alkalosis occurs when blood pH rises above 7.45. These are both life-threatening conditions. The rest of your bodily fluids (the fluid in cells, between cells etc) seem to like it best at a neutral pH of 7 or slightly above (7.5). You can determine your blood pH through a blood test.
However, an indicator of pH trends can be established by measuring the pH of urine using test strips. Unlike blood pH, which must be maintained within a strict range or else you would die, your kidneys (in order to keep the blood pH stable) can produce a urine pH anywhere from 4.5 to 8 and it is highly dependent on what you eat. Therefore, they are a great dietary indicator of how much acidic vs. alkaline food you are eating. For example, if your urine is consistently acidic, your kidneys are working very hard and you are likely eating a disproportionate amount of acidic food. Try to keep you urine pH on the alkaline side around 7 to 7.5 to ensure all buffering mechanisms are working properly.
It is important to understand that the pH of your blood is unlikely to change from its strict zone of 7.35 to 7.45. If it did you would be rushed to the emergency room and could eventually die, if it wasn’t corrected. However the blood is able to remain in this safe zone because of special systems in our bodies. The three main mechanisms are your:
- Kidneys which eliminate hydrogen ions
- Your lungs through exhalation of carbon dioxide
- Buffer systems including a carbonic acid buffer, protein buffer, and phosphate buffer
These 3 main systems are constantly working to buffer acids from
- Foods, liquids and everything else you ingest
- Acids you generate through everyday metabolic activity
Food does not affect the pH of the blood directly, it affects the pH of other bodily fluids, which need to be buffered (through the mechanisms mentioned above), and this in turn keeps the pH of blood regulated.
When you ingest foods and liquids, the end products of digestion and assimilation of nutrients results in an acid or alkaline ash, which needs to be buffered. Therefore when we eat and drink too many acid-forming foods like white sugar, alcohol, coffee, and other processed foods, we over burden our buffer systems and this results in ill health. Our other systems have to pick up the slack and/or or bodies compensate in not so favorable ways in order to keep the pH optimal.
An example of this is when you eat too much acid forming food for long periods of time, your body will draw upon its calcium phosphate reserves (in bones) to supply your phosphate buffer system in order to neutralize the acidic ash from your diet. This can result in osteoporosis. Muscle can also be broken down to obtain alkalizing amino acids resulting in muscle wasting.
Because the diet is something we can control, we need to focus on eating more alkaline forming food so that the body store minerals and so that we don’t create unnecessary work for our buffer systems and force them to use precious alkaline reserves.
A variety of factors could be causing you to crave sugar. These could be hormone imbalances, stress, nutritional deficiency, yeast overgrowth or swings in blood sugar level. You should talk to your doctor to rule out the various possibilities. Regardless of the origination, if you have been fulfilling these acidic cravings, you are likely toxic, meaning your body is dealing with more toxins that than it can handle and this results in acidic buildup. This creates a vicious cycle where your brain craves the very thing that the body does not need which in your case is more acid sugar. You need to eat clean to end this cycle once and for all. The alkaline lifestyle will naturally detox you with the high cleansing, nutritionally rich food it provides as well as the detoxifying lifestyle approach it promotes. When you body is balanced and clean, the cravings should disappear. In the meantime, eat low glycemic alkaline foods regularly to avoid swings in blood sugar levels.
The alkaline lifestyle is all about transitioning. No one expects you give up coffee overnight or at all if you don’t want to. It’s about making gradual choices that move you closer to an alkaline state. You can work towards this goal as extremely or as gradually as you want. Every step toward alkalinity is a good one. If you can cut your coffee intake from 3 cups to 1 cup every morning, than that is still progress. It is best to limit coffee as it is extremely acidic, and I am convinced that as you start eating more alkaline foods, you will be inclined to curb this addictive stimulant. Good substitutes for coffee include green tea, herbal tea, redbush tea and dandelion coffee, etc.
Cassandra's Nutrition Corner - Ask your own nutrition question? (Members Only)
NOTE: Our Alkaline Lifestyle Staff Experts address member questions about health, nutrition, fitness and mind/spirit well-being and emotional eating disorders. Our Nutrition expert will attempt to answer all questions within 48 hours weekdays; however, due to the periodic large volume of emails received, we may take a bit longer; but will do our best to provide you with an answer in a timely manner. When requesting a member meal or exercise plan, please allow up to 72 hours weekdays.