So… I know it is Superbowl Sunday, and while I love stuffing my face on chicken wings, potato skins, pizza rolls, and basically ANY kind of cheese dip… let’s face it, your body NEVER feels right after abusing it so royally. In fact, there came a point in my life where I had abused my digestive system SO badly, that I developed a bleeding ulcer and breath that would make a dragon’s seem pleasant. We will get into the bleeding ulcer later (his nickname was Mr. Pickles and basically had a persona all of it’s own).
Indigestion problems have become almost normal in our society, and the antacids that we pop like candy after eating poorly can have extremely negative long term effects.
Which brings us to a very simple, yet little known solution known as food combining. Not only does food combining greatly reduce indigestion problems, it can also help with weight loss and weight maintenance. We must remember that our body is a machine, and in order for it to function properly, we cannot overload it all at once. The order in which we put food and liquids into our bodies is ESSENTIAL to proper digestion.
The number one rule of food combining is that proteins, starches, and fruits should never be combined in a single meal. These three distinct categories are digested in different parts of the body, and if combined all at once, your body gets overworked in trying to simultaneously produce the different enzymes that are vital to properly digest the food.
Here is a simple chart that outlines the basics:
Basically, for each meal, choose from one category and stick to those particular foods. The “neutral” category can be combined with them all, and provide the necessary variation to keep things interesting and satisfying! I mean, who doesn’t love a little dark chocolate with anything? Oh just me… and every woman reading this! Don’t lie!
Wait 3-4 hours between each meal, before switching categories.
A starch meal might look something like this:
A sandwich on whole-grain bread, filled with avocado, mustard, lettuce, tomato and sprouts. Served with a side salad and a baked sweet potato topped with butter.
A flesh meal might look something like this:
A leafy green salad topped with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, followed by a piece of salmon served with a side of sautéed asparagus and cauliflower.
A nut & seed meal might look something like this:
A leafy green salad topped with dried cranberries and raw almonds, followed by a platter of hummus served with raw veggies.
Fresh fruit is best eaten in the mornings, on an empty stomach. This is because fruit digests so quickly! (typically within 30 minutes of eating) If you eat fruit after a meal, it will sit in your stomach fermenting, causing gas and bloating, and promoting bacterial overgrowth in the body. Fruits are perfect to eat as snacks, or after workouts to give you some extra energy and fuel!
***It is also VERY important to note that drinking water, or any liquid, while eating floods your body machine, and dilutes the digestive track. Also, the temperature at which you drink any liquid is KEY. We are warm blooded mammals, and drinking anything ice cold shocks our internal system. Stick to liquids at room temperature and above to aid in healthy digestion.
Obviously these are guidelines, and you absolutely WILL bend the rules. I expect you to. I mean, who can resist a cheeseburger every so often?! I am definitely not that strong. The MOST important thing to remember is that the POSITIVE energy we put into our food and eating, might be the most important “rule” of them all. So thoroughly let yourself enjoy that reward of a piece of pizza or chocolate cake without any guilt or negative energy every once in a while!!! Did I mention dark chocolate is in the “neutral” category and can be consumed anytime throughout the day?! Ok, maybe it’s just me again…
Happy food combining Super Bowl Sunday!