Gisele Bundchen’s alkaline diet changed my life.
The Gisele Bundchen Diet Saved My Skin
When Boston.com interviewed Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen’s personal chef, Chef Allen Campbell, the internet world went nuts with criticism, disbelief and straight-up derision. Everyone thought he was a quack and no one could believe that two people (and their children) could ever be happy eating a diet that cut out caffeine, sugar, refined, and processed foods.
Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s truth to Chef Allen’s lifestyle and I only know this because I tried it for myself. Before going on about how, what I like to call, the Gisele Bundchen diet changed my life, I should first say that I’m vegan and am totally open to implementing lifestyle changes. When I first transitioned to veganism, a sharp transition from my hardcore meat-eating days, I did it after learning about the horrific ways in which animals in both factory and free-range farms were treated. The health benefits — which included increased energy and a boost in mood — were just cherries on top of an already delicious chocolate cake.
But when I learned that being vegan could also improve the appearance of my skin, I was all for ramping up my diet to one that included raw foods only — a diet that lasted a week — before I grew tired of the constant prep eating raw required. But though I love being vegan, I never really reaped any of the skin benefits espoused by nutritionists and actresses alike. I still broke out around my period in large, painful cysts and my skin never adopted that youthful glow cutting out meat and dairy brings people.
Then I read about the Gisele Bundchen diet which was 80% plant-based (easy) and 100% alkaline (hmm, a bit more difficult) and decided I’d try it out for myself.
After eating an 80% alkaline diet for the past 10 days, I can definitely say that it’s been the best transformation I’ve ever undergone for both my health and well-being. For those interested in trying it out for themselves, here’s a recap of my experience going alkaline:
Day 1 was tough. Like, “I’m famished and was perfectly fine eating chips, hot dogs, pizza and hamburgers (all vegan, of course) before this, why did I ever try this out” tough. Having dived into the diet without much planning (that was a totes my bad), I went into my workday prepared with only a salad at hand and thought that would be enough to suffice my usually ravenous appetite. It wasn’t and by the time my husband and I returned home (he’s doing it with me too except his is the “Tom Brady diet”) to cook dinner, we realized very few things we had in our fridge were alkaline which then led to a trip to the grocery store which then led to me feeling like I was going to pass out and desperately wanting a bag of Kettle Salt & Vinegar chips. Nonetheless, I survived and our first day being alkaline concluded with gluten-free sprouted corn tortilla tacos filled with steamed broccoli and seasoned chickpeas.
After the first day, we learned that planning meals is key to succeeding in this diet, so we bought enough produce to last us a week and planned our meals with the enthusiasm and rigor of a
Jillian Anderson personal trainer. The second day was still difficult, but easier given that we knew what we were going to eat and were never without an alkaline snack (important given our ability to munch). By Day 5, I was feeling fantastic and wonderful, and just as importantly, my skin was as soft as it’s ever been. Having had my period at around the same time I started this diet, I was afraid I would get my usual menstrual-related breakouts but, for the first time in years, didn’t! With this alkaline diet, my skin stayed blemish-free and supple, which means that I definitely have a hormone imbalance not even birth control can tame. That’s to be dealt with at a later time.
Increased energy, clearer thinking and soft skin continued on to Days 6,7,8, and 9. During these days I also foolishly forgot to refill my birth control prescription (a refill I’m still waiting on my doctor for) and have been freaking out over whether not being on the pill would adversely affect my skin. Thankfully though, absolutely nothing has happened and while my skin does appear a bit drier than it had been, it’s still clear and smooth.
But as I mentioned earlier, it’s not all about the clear skin! The alkaline diet has given me leaps and bounds of energy, helped me think clearer and more rationally, and reducing my cravings for fried and sweet foods. Whereas I would once crave a mid-day doughnut or salty snack before, I find myself reaching towards a bag of baby carrots and raw almonds instead, choices I would have never voluntarily made in the past.
After only 10 days in, this is a diet I am officially adopting as part of my lifestyle and have no problem never looking back. I’ve loved the way eating mostly alkaline (don’t forget the 80/20 rule which means you can still indulge in your favorite snacks, just not as often) has made my feel and look. It’s increased my confidence, has reformed my decision-making process, and has given me energy I haven’t had since I was in middle school.
For those interested in making the transition…
Here’s what my meals have consisted of in the last 10 days:
- Gluten-free oatmeal with cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, and chopped pecans.
- Celery with almond butter.
- Herbal teas such as Celestial’s Roastaroma, spearmint tea, or Rishi’s turmeric-ginger tea.
- Salad with assorted veggies, nuts, seeds, and a homemade dressing.
- Bowls with assorted grains, steamed veggies, and a homemade dressing.
The trick with changing up your salads is to alternate between veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, greens and dressing. My favorite dressing is a tahini-lemon dressing which is made with tahini, alkaline water, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper. It’s a simple dressing that tastes fantastic.
As for bowls, I like to toss in whatever I have in my fridge. My favorite bowl has been a brown rice, pinto beans and roasted sweet potatoes bowl topped with chopped green onions, homemade pico de gallo, and a cilantro-jalapeno dressing. I made the cilantro-jalapeno dressing with soaked cashews, water, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and lemon.
- Roasted vegetable tacos with avocado and cilantro-jalapeno dressing.
- Gluten-free pizza with cashew alfredo sauce, pesto, chopped garlic, and broccoli.
My go-to roasted vegetable blend has been brussel sprouts, butternut squash, broccoli, and cauliflower which I like tossing in avocado oil and sprinkling with salt, pepper, turmeric, and chile powder. As for tortillas, I use FoodForLife’s Sprouted Corn Tortillas.
Tips To Going Alkaline
- Buy alkaline water! Filtered water is not alkaline water as it’s been shown to have a pH of 6, whereas alkaline water has a pH of 8 or higher, meaning it’s more readily absorbed by your body and will leave you feeling hydrated for longer periods of time. Believe me, I thought this was a crock of BS when I first heard it, but you really can feel the difference with alkaline water. I’m not only having to drink less, but have also found myself making less bathroom trips than ever before.
- Be prepared. Plan your meals and snacks the week before (I recommend doing your planning and shopping on Sunday to prepare for the week ahead). Everyone should do this, but this is especially important if you’re a frequent snacker as resigning yourself to only 3 meals a day with no snacks in between will leave you hungry and tempted to reach for a bag of chips or sugar-laden trail mix.
- Buy organic. As studies have shown, organic produce retains more nutrients than conventional produce which means you should be buying organic as often as possible. If you can’t afford to buy 100% organic food (hey, it gets expensive, I understand), here’s a list of foods you should always buy organic.
- Don’t go it alone! Eating alkaline only foods was tough, and I was already vegan, so I can only assume that transitioning from a standard Western diet to an alkaline-rich one is going to be ten times as hard. With that said, it can be done and will be much easier if you enlist the help of a friend! Ask your buddy or significant other to take the plunge with you.
- Leave yourself room to indulge. Now that you’ve started your 80/20, alkaline diet, do remember that the only way you’ll stick to it is it you leave yourself room to indulge. This doesn’t mean you should reserve a day to go to town on cake, cookies, pizza, and other foods, but when you do decide to snack on a sweet treat or comfort meal, choose the healthy alternative to your once-favorite foods. Being alkaline will help you make more conscious decisions in regards to what you choose to treat yourself to. I love sweets, but instead of driving to Donut Friend for an apple fritter, I find myself reaching for a raw chocolate-almond butter tart or sprouted granola bar. It doesn’t feel like I’m limiting my choices in any way. I am now more motivated to choose healthier.
While I know this sounds like a PSA post, believe me when I say that I am a true fan of the Gisele Bundchen diet and have gladly made it a part of my life. I love the way it makes me feel and, honestly, my skin has never looked better. Something that I only thought was possible through birth control or with an over-the-top skincare regimen.
If you’re looking for clearer skin, to lose weight, or to transform yourself completely, I highly recommend you get on the Gisele Bundchen diet bangwagon!