One of the items on the list of 10 components of a healthy diet is food combining. As I study, several of my textbooks reference the importance of food combining on our digestive system which has a direct affect on our health.
Some of you may have heard of Suzanne Somer’s “Somersizing”… she was food combining. You may also heard of Fit for Life… also food combining – both rages in the 90’s but viewed as “fad diets” — too bad — cuz they were on the right track. Some may have also heard of the Hay Diet. He is considered the “father of food combining” however he’s not really, but I’m not here to debate it. The Hay Diet has A LOT of rules that turned people off.
It’s not really that difficult, once you wrap your head around how screwed up our Western diet is.
There are three basic rules to food combining:
- Eat fruit alone, preferably first thing in the morning.
- Eat concentrated proteins with neutral vegetables.
- Eat concentrated starches with neutral vegetables.
So what’s difficult about this in our Western culture is that we mix proteins and starches – All. The. Time.
What do you eat with a burger? … White burger bun and fries. How do you fish? …. Battered and with fries. What do you eat for dessert?… fruit (and sweets)! Pot roast with? …. yup, potatoes. Pasta and? …meatballs
I read a great book, The Complete Book of Food Combining by Kathryn Marsden, that I highly recommend. It simplifies the rules and is easy to read. This is not one of my textbooks, but it does agree with everything I have learned so far in my course. It also provides lists of food, so figuring out proper combining is easy. My husband got sold on the idea too; with both of us putting in effort, meal planning is so much easier.
So, if I can’t eat pasta with meatballs, what can I eat?
It’s a matter of developing a new mindset. It’s no secret that our Western diet… umm… sucks. It’s awful, it’s processed, it’s killing us. The biggest thing that needs to happen is accepting that as fact and realizing that you need to make a change.
Why food combining?
The reason for food combining is that the body uses different enzymes to digest different types of food — proteins, starches, fruit sugar. When we mix the categories we expect our stomach to sort out which food needs which enzymes. Well, our stomach is just not that sophisticated. When the categories are mixed, it takes a very long time for the food to be digested and when that happens, it gives it time to ferment and that is what causes bloating, gas and discomfort after meals.
Eating in proper food combinations, makes it easy for our stomach to produce the correct type of enzyme to digest quickly. A meal can move through our digestive tract faster without time to sit around and be food for bad bacteria in our intestines.
Why fruit on it’s own?
Fruit is mostly water and fruit sugar (fructose and glucose). This type of sugar is ideal for our body to use as energy, thus fruit can be digested quickly. It should be consumed on an empty stomach, 20-30 minutes prior to other food, usually in the morning (preferred) or three hours after another meal. So technically as a snack between meals would be ok, if you have a long stretch between meals.
Marsden takes a simplified approach to food combining and even explains how some exceptions are okay. Don’t worry, the list of neutral foods is long.
The short list is:
Don’t mix concentrated proteins (meat, fish, seafood, tofu, eggs, dairy, peanut butter and soya/edemame beans) with potatoes, yams, corn, or sweet potatoes or grains. All other veggies are fine.
You can eat potatoes, yams, corn, sweet potatoes and grains with all other veggies. Grains are also starches (bread, crackers, pasta, rice, quinoa etc.)
Most nuts are neutral, with the exception of almonds and Brazil nuts (proteins) and chestnuts and tiger nuts (starches).
I will be blogging about meals we eat that are combined properly. We’ve found some great meals once thinking outside the Western box! I encourage you to read Marsden’s book. Food combining is encouraged in all of my textbooks as an essential for proper digestion and key for good health.