Although she was exercising, eating no red meat, drinking three liters of water and consuming no alcohol each day, supermodel Elle Macpherson noticed a few years ago that she had less energy and was gaining weight around her middle.
Today, at the age of 50, the statuesque model credits her remarkably fit and youthful appearance and her overall sense of vitality with some key changes she has made in her diet and lifestyle. Since Elle’s program closely follows my Nutrition Reform plan, I thought I would share some of the diet “secrets” Elle has shared in recent interviews.
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First, Elle consumes a plant-based diet, which is one of the key principles of my Nutrition Reform program. She emphasizes alkaline foods in order to keep her body’s pH between 7.35 and 7.45. With an alkaline-based diet, the goal is to eat 80 percent alkaline foods, which include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, and 20 percent acidic food, which include fish, meat and dairy products.
High acid levels in the body can create a breeding ground for disease and lead to constipation, bloating, gum disease, dry skin, weight gain, decreased energy and increased signs of aging.
With the advice of her nutritional doctor, Elle cut down on her coffee habit, (drinking one espresso in the morning instead of three), began eating only one animal protein during the day (usually fish), increased her fresh fruit and vegetable intake and traded her several nutritional supplements for one super-green supplement.
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Elle focuses on eating in-season organic foods, explaining that while it can be challenging, especially when she travels, it has made a positive effect on the way she feels.
She told an interviewer that she noticed differences in the way she looked and felt after only two weeks on her new regime, explaining that she had more vitality, less dry skin, no sugar cravings and more stable moods. In addition, the model noticed she was losing that unwanted weight around her middle.
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Another part of Elle’s new regime is lymphatic dry skin brushing, which is an effective detoxification tool I recommend to my patients and clients. She uses a dry brush to exfoliate, detoxify and soften her skin and has been pleased with the results. Dry skin brushing stimulates both your lymphatic system and your circulation, which helps the skin shed toxins and grow healthy new cells. Dry skin brushing also helps reduce water retention and the puffiness it can cause.
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Along with her doctor, Elle created The Super Elixir, an alkalizing supplement that contains greens, Chinese herbs, prebiotics, probiotics and medicinal mushrooms and can be mixed with fresh juice or water and consumed daily. She also has realized the importance of a good night’s sleep to her health and well-being. She strives for a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night.
The best part of her eating plan, Elle says, is that she never feels deprived. Here’s a run-down of what Elle eats and what she avoids:
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Foods to eat:
- Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and sprouts
- Quinoa and amaranth
- Avocado, olive oil and coconut oil
- Fruits such as berries, apples, banana, avocado, lemon, lime and mango
- Pumpkin seeds, almonds, olive oil and coconut oil
- Herbal tea, almond milk, coconut water and fresh filtered water
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Foods to cut back on:
- Animal proteins
- Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and alcohol
It’s interesting to note that some foods that have an acidic taste — such as lemons and apple cider vinegar — actually have a positive alkalizing effect on the body when they are digested.
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In going “alkaline,” Elle joins other celebrities, including Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow. In a 2009 paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Dr. Joseph Pizzorno maintains that an acid-forming diet is a more serious problem than experts previously recognized. In addition to diet, environmental factors such as stress and pollution can contribute to the problem of too much acid in our bodies.
As my patients consider the benefits of a plant-based diet and other aspects of my Nutrition Reform program, I encourage them to take it slowly. Making slow but steady substitutions in your diet, while adding in regular, rigorous forms of exercise will bring real, life-changing and sustainable results in how you look and feel.