Upon discovering the alkaline way of life, Natasha Corrett was inspired to turn her life around. The daughter of interior designer Kelly Hoppen and step-sister of Sienna Miller, Natasha wasn’t a stranger to celebrity tricks and diets. But breaking free of the fad diet cycle, alkaline convert Natasha has devised two cookbooks and founded a food delivery service, Fridge Fill, centred upon the food philosophy. Catching up with the chef and entrepreneur, she explains how alkaline is a lifestyle choice, and how easy it is to make the transition.
“I tried everything when I was younger and nothing really ever made me feel good.” Natasha explains. “When I tried going alkaline for the first time it felt like a revelation; it wasn’t ever a diet, it was a lifestyle, and that’s what we feel like we’ve created now, a lifestyle where people can feel fantastic all the time.”
It was a trip to the chiropractor that opened Natasha’s eyes to the differences between acidic and alkaline eating. Being informed that her back was harbouring the signs of an acidic diet, she soon became an expert in all things alkaline.
“I didn’t know what it meant when I was told I was acidic. But looking into it I realised that everything from sugar to processed food, to wheat, dairy, animal produce, is all very acid forming.”
“When you put your body through certain amounts of stress, be it through dieting, work related or emotional, your body gets into an acidic state, and that’s what had happened to me.” Natasha explains.
Foods like apricot, almonds, cinnamon, broccoli, ginger and cabbage were on the agenda, and Natasha was encouraged to avoid foods of an acidic quality, including spaghetti, spelt, kidney beans, bacon, lentils and beef, at least 70% of the time.
One thing that might dissuade potential converts to the cause is the lack of meat in an alkaline diet. Is there room for a little leeway here?
“In general, no, because meat is acid forming, however if you feel like you need to, stick to organic chicken and ethically sourced white fish. But definitely no to any red meat.”
And for those who struggle to cut everything out at once? This, Natasha explains, is where fad diets become unsustainable, whilst the alkaline lifestyle promotes longevity.
“People have massive problems when they suddenly just cut everything out of their lives. Make small changes that make small differences to your health.” So if bread is your weakness? “Go from white bread to brown bread, then from brown bread to spelt bread then from spelt bread to gluten free bread and you won’t realise such a change and you’ll want less and less. It’s little things making small changes that I think is key.”
Natasha is also embracing the new research which maintains that we should up our fruit and vegetable intake dramatically.
“A lot of people don’t actually understand that eating a healthy variety of fruit and vegetables can help us ward off diseases like cancer. I think it’s fantastic that scientists are finally starting to shout about it, that fruit and vegetables and fresh produce is going to keep you healthy – it’s not pills and the potions, it’s all about prevention, not cure.”
“I think the more the better, and don’t try to get your portions through fruit juice. It’s about proper vegetables and try to keep fruit down to a minimum because they turn acidic in your body. Green and leafy, that’s the main thing.
Natasha’s own miracle fruit would be the lemon, “because it’s alkaline and it makes everything taste amazing!” And when it comes to vegetables, she’s quick to champion spinach. “It’s so versatile, you can put it into smoothies, turn in into puree, you can have it with salad, you can steam it, you can do so much spinach. It’s so high in iron, especially for vegetarians.”
So take heed; add lemon and spinach to your diet, and even guilty pleasures can be healthy if you make the effort.
“With my new book, I’m addressing the idea that everything can have a healthy alternative. It may still have a certain amount of sugar but it’s refined sugar-free, it’s gluten free, and dairy free. I’ve done everything from brownies, to cookies, to jelly and toffee popcorn. There’s no stopping once you start playing with ingredients – you can create pretty much everything.”
Natasha Corrett and Vicky Edgson’s alkaline cookbook, Honestly Healthy for Life, is now available on Amazon and on the shelves of most UK bookstores RRP £25.