Try these easy go-natural fixes from clinical nutritionist Alexandra Bwye to instantly upgrade your diet.

1. Swap the box

Boxed and bottled juices generally have added sugar, preservatives and are pasteurised, meaning the active enzymes have been made inactive. Juicing your own fresh juices will provide you with the active enzymes while staying free of harmful additives. Try juicing one head of lettuce, one lemon, a half inch of ginger, a small cucumber, a few stalks of celery and an apple – it tastes like lemonade!

2. Mind your Qs

White and brown rice are acid-forming in the body, meaning your body has to take minerals from your organs and bones in order to remain slightly alkaline. Quinoa and millet are alkaline-forming and much easier for your body to break down and assimilate. Cook them in place of rice in your recipes.

3. Live raw

When baked goods like muffins and biscuits are eaten in large quantities, we disrupt our body’s chemistry by giving our intestinal tract a hard time to process it. This causes an array of problems, from organ depletion to uncomfortable stagnation and energy depletion. When you need a sweet pick-me-up, try a raw bar made of simple nuts and dried fruit, or make your own.

4. Reinvent pasta

Unless it’s made from whole wheat, spelt, or other whole grain alternatives, pasta is acid-forming and difficult to pass through the intestinal tract (think of how mixing flour and water creates glue). Using a spiraliser to make noodles from zucchini is an excellent way to satisfy a craving for spaghetti. Add sauce as you would spaghetti.

5. Skip canola

Canola and vegetable oils are both disruptive to digestion and are omega-6 fats, a type of fat that we get more than enough of from other foods without trying. Utilise vegetable stock for stir-fries and raw coconut oil for frying onions and garlic in recipes that call for oil. Coconut oil is beneficial for the liver and much easier to digest.

6. Think whole

Processed grain foods like crackers, chips, and tortillas are typically refined and fried – a digestive disaster. Replace them with baked corn chips, whole baked potato chips, and sprouted grain tortillas. The same goes for any processed meats, whether real meat or a vegan ‘faux’ version: they are still processed. Drop the factory-processed foods in your sandwiches and salads for whole avocado and whole-bean sprouted tofu and tempeh for a high fibre, alkaline alternative.

7. Avoid at all costs …

Processed foods (these are acid-forming and disruptive to overall health); hydrogenated oil (high in trans-fats, these are extremely clogging for arteries and therefore disrupt heart health); food colourings (these are disruptive to neurological function, causing hyperactivity and an array or allergic reactions); chemical food preservatives (these consist of preservatives, benzoates, sorbates, nitrites and nitrates of sodium or potassium, sulfites, glutamates and glycerides. These are difficult for your body to process and can lead to allergic reactions, cancer and heart disease); and genetically engineered or modified foods (these are foods that contain DNA of bacteria, viruses, plants or animals spliced in. Studies have showed severe organ damage in rats and require direct herbicides and pesticides or to produce an insecticide. Evidence links GE and GM foods to health issues, environmental damage and severe violation of farmers and consumers’ rights).

Alexandra Bwye is a Clinical Nutritionist (CN), Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) and owner of The Enlighten Principle, a nutrition practice based in Los Angeles, California, where she lives with her husband, son and miniature poodle. Sign up for her Enlightened E-Zine for semi-monthly health-centred articles, tips and recipes!