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The Basic Principles of Proper Food Combining

April 26, 2010

Food combining is a huge issue affecting raw foodies, vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. It’s just that most people don’t realize it. Before I even went completely  raw, beginning to properly combine my food was the first baby step which GREATLY enhanced my health. Prior to learning about food combinations and how the body breaks down different substances I believed like everyone else that anything and everything can go together. If you can imagine it and mix it together you can eat it. This belief for most, not all, leads to one thing, and one thing only…GAS.

Yep, I said it. Flatulence, burping, fatigue after eating, upset stomach, bloating etc. all of these things are signs of gas trying to escape and our system being backed up with food or overloaded with foods that are improperly combined and create an acidic internal environment. If disease can only exist in an acidic environment, then of course, proper food combining, which allows food groups to digest properly would assist in maintaining the opposite,  a healthy alkaline body.

Below is a list of some of the basics of food combining. I personally, do not fret too much about food combining when it comes to combining within fruit groups, but I do fret over the larger broader rules involving NOT mixing dense carbs and protein. As far as fruits, I do take care however not to mix citrus with other fruits much. Some people really do have stomach’s of steel and may think they do not need to follow these rules, but its most likely that they are not in tune with their bodies and therefore cannot feel the effects. Or…they just pass gas a lot and think it’s normal! We are all unique so listen to your body and do what works for you. -XoXo Raw Girl

1. Drink Liquids Alone. I know, I know, it make no sense at all right? Since we were children all of us were taught that eating and drinking were okay, but actually, not completely the case. Obviously if you are choking, please take a large gulp of water and spare your life at the expense of proper food combining. In normal eating situations, it’s actually best to wait 15 minutes after you drink something to begin eating or to drink liquids after the food you were eating is finished digesting! Why? Well imagine your tummy churning away at food, and working hard to break everything down into the smallest particles and here comes an ocean wave of water which dilutes the hydrochloric acid and flushes some of the food that hasn’t completely been broken down yet out of the stomach. Get the picture?

2. DO NOT COMBINE DENSE PROTEINS (meat, fish, eggs, dairy, avocado, dried beans, nuts, seeds) WITH DENSE CARBOHYDRATES (bread cereal, corn, crackers, grains, potatoes, pasta, yams) This one I had to put in all caps because it’s the most common food combining blunder. So many of our traditionally accepted S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) meals break this rule in a major way ie: hamburgers with french fries, or any sort of meat bread combination, rice & beans etc.

3. Fruits ALONE. This rule, when I follow it properly, definitely works wonders for remaining gas-free. You’ve got to wait enough time after eating fruit to eat something else, and it really is best not to combine food with other meals. At restaurants they love to break this rule and make you thing you’re getting an “exotic” salad with greens mixed in with fruit. Many seem enticing, but remember that these different food groups need different enzymes for the body to digest. So although upfront your kale-mango salad may be a party of flavor in your mouth, you’ll be having a  pity party later when your stomach is churning.

4. Avoid Combining Acid Fruits (Citrus, pineapple, pomegranates, strawberries) with Sweet Fruits (Bananas, Dates, Figs, Prunes, Raisins) This is a rule I break from time to time,  usually  with bananas. I love pineapple and banana together and sometimes have mixed in strawberries and banana in a smoothie and didn’t feel any weird side effects. I was glad because I love those fruit combinations enough that I would break the rule if I had a craving. Hey–a girl’s gotta have her smoothies!

5. Melons and Watermelon Alone. Both Melon and Watermelon contain more water content than other fruits and do not take long to digest and so should be eaten alone. I have broken this rule as well though, because I have made smoothies with melon. Like I said, these are just guidelines, feel it out and do what works for you!

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