It was a breast cancer scare at the age of 49 that forced Elle to re-evaluate her life.
‘I thought I had cancer, I was shooting Britain And Ireland’s Next Top Model, so I couldn’t see my doctor and I was really panicking,’ she said at the time.
‘It was four weeks before I got the biopsy results, so it was a long, drawn-out and stressful period of not knowing.’
Elle was lucky. It wasn’t cancer, but she describes the ordeal as ‘a really big warning’.
‘I decided that if I was to maintain my body, it had to come from the inside.’
Following the scare, Elle overhauled her diet – sleeping more, drinking more water, eating less red meat and adding more fruit and vegetables to her plate. Within weeks, she felt like a ‘completely different person’.
‘I didn’t realise how these relatively small changes to my routine could make me feel and look so much better,’ she says.
Ever since, Elle, who credits her career longevity to ‘love, laughter and water’, has spruiked the benefits of alkaline living.
‘I discovered the profound benefit of good nutrition and living alkaline from my nutritional doctor, Dr Simone Laubscher, and I wanted to share it,’ Elle says in a new book, The Game Changers by Samantha Brett and Steph Adams.
'The most important thing to me is how I feel and I’ve found that if my body is getting the nutrients it needs, then it shows on the outside – beauty from the inside out.’
The alkaline diet is based around the idea that the foods you consume can change the acidity of your body, affecting your wellbeing.
‘The body has a natural pH level that makes it easy to sustain good health. According to many alternative health theories and natural medicine practitioners, an acidic environment can lead to problems and discomfort in the body over time,’ Australian nutritionist Jessica Sepel tells New Idea.
‘With our modern lifestyle being so busy, time-poor and stressful we often opt for the ‘easier’, more convenient choice when it comes to feeding ourselves.
‘Unfortunately, the consumption of these quick options such as bread, soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, takeaways, sugar, processed and packaged foods is the main reason that we become over-acidic.’
According to Jessica, opting for a more alkaline diet can promote healthy body weight, more energy, digestive health and immunity.
If you want to optimise your health using these principles, Jessica has shared a five-day alkalising meal plan that will set you on the right track.
Protein shake, blended with kale, and topped with nuts and seeds.
Green salad with ¼ avocado, carrot, tomato, cucumber, ½ cup cooked sweet potato, onion and 100g tuna.
Grilled Cajun salmon fillet with broccoli, mash and a green salad.
150g coconut yoghurt mixed with cinnamon and stevia powder.
1-2 poached eggs, sauteed greens, ¼ avocado and 1 slice gluten-free bread.
Large tuna salad with cucumber, onion, tomato and a sprinkle of cooked quinoa.
Garlic and ginger chicken stir-fry with broccoli, green beans, mushrooms and bok choy (use olive oil to fry).
2 brown rice cakes with a smear of almond butter and sprinkle of cinnamon.
½ cup cooked oats, ½ banana, sliced, handful blueberries, 2 tblsps protein powder.
½ cup brown rice with 1 boiled egg, steamed broccoli and with drizzled lemon and tahini.
Healthy san choy bow – fill lettuce cups with protein of choice, diced tomato, cucumber and avocado.
Carrot sticks with 1-2 tblsps hummus.
Protein shake topped with crushed nuts and seeds.
Big salad with turkey breast, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, lettuce, broccoli and carrots.
Grilled fish (snapper, if possible) with sauteed garlic spinach. Drizzle with lemon juice.
A handful of raw nuts.
1-2 poached eggs with ¼ avocado, sauteed greens and 2 brown rice cakes.
Tuna lettuce wrap filled with avocado and vegies.
Grilled salmon served with tomato, onion and avocado salsa, and ½ cup brown rice.
Carrot and celery sticks dipped into 1-2 tblsps hummus or tahini.
The meal plan is from The JSHealth Program. Visit: theprogram.jessicasepel.com.