Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reader Request - Food Combining

I have had a reader request to discuss food combining. Back in 2003, I completely changed my life. Started to exercise (oh, the horror!), changed my eating habits and started reading any and all health-related books I could get my hands on. I started out following the Hallelujah Acres mostly raw food diet upon a recommendation from my massage therapist. (I had been having all kinds of health problems, mostly weekly migraine headaches) I had some VERY good results, but found it hard to stick with it during the winter months. I really wanted more cooked foods. As I was reading books, a friend suggested Marilu Henner's Total Health Makover. I devoured this book in 2 days and went out and bought the next book she wrote - The 30 Day Total Health Makeover, and started following the program. This made all the difference in my health. I own all of Marilu's books and highly recommend them all!

In the books, Marilu talks about food combining. I was intrigued, decided that it certainly wouldn't hurt to give it a try. It was very confusing at first for me, but I kept at it and soon I had the hang of it. It helped that I joined for more support and information. I am still a member there today and even helped to coach with her Body Victory program!

Food Combining basically means that you don't combine certain foods together. You don't eat your starches and animal proteins together. What? No meat and potatoes, you got it! No meat and potatoes. Fruit should be eaten alone. The fruit digests so quickly that if they are combined with other foods, they will rot and ferment. Source

Basic Food Combining Rules ( from Marilu Henner's Total Health Makeover)
1. Do not eat proteins and starches together (Your body needs acids to digest proteins and an alkaline base to digest starches.

2. Do not mix fruit with proteins, starches or any kind of vegetable.

3. Melons digest faster than any other food. These should be eaten alone, not mixed with other fruits.

4. Don't mix acid and/or sub-acid fruits with sweet fruits at the same meal.

Acid fruits include: grapefruit, pineapple, strawberries

Sub-acid fruits include: apples, grapes and peaches

Sweet fruits include: bananas, dates and raisins.

5. Eat only 4 - 6 different fruits or vegetables at one meal.

6. Fats and oils combine with everything (except fruits) but should be used in limited amounts. (They can slow down digestion.)

7. Wait between meals:

2 hours after eating fruit
3 hours after eating starches
4 hours after eating proteins

You can get a lot more info in Marilu's book. It may sound very confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy.

Reasons to food combine:

Better digestion
Increased energy
Weight loss
Feel better
Less bloating

So, this has worked for me. It may or may not work for you, but it isn't hard to try it out for a few days and see how it affects you. I think you will see results from it for sure.

Instead of eating a turkey sandwich, you could do a lettuce wrap. No meatballs with your spaghetti, but you could add veggies or mushrooms.

If you have any questions, please post them and I'll do my best to answer them. I am certainly no expert, but I do have some experience with it. I also highly recommend for tons of advice and support!