Have you ever eaten a really healthy meal like wild rice, fresh wild caught fish, and a big salad but then felt groggy and tired afterwards? Why are you feeling sleepy and slow after eating a meal that should give you energy? Probably because you are combing the wrong types of food! Kimberly Snyder, clinical nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution introduced me to the theory of food combining.
Our bodies digest enzymatically, means different enzymes are used to breakdown the different types of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Unfortunately, we don’t have one universal enzyme that can digest everything. Since it takes so much energy to digest our food, food combining helps take the burden off of our bodies and allows that energy to be used elsewhere like burning fat or detoxing heavy metals. If you don’t properly combine your food, it will get stuck in your digestive tract and the undigested food stays there and putrefies, creating a toxic environment that makes your blood more acidic and allows yeast, viruses, cancer cells and parasites to grow inside you. In short, it makes you more prone to illness. Proper food combining is a system of eating foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy. It is the easiest most non-restrictive way to get rid of bloating, drop some pounds, and allow your skin to glow!
Here is how is how it works:
Proteins + Starches = do not mix
Proteins + vegetables = mix
Starches + vegetables = mix
Different starches = mix
Different proteins = do not mix
Fats + protein = do not mix well, pair moderately
Fats + starches = do mix
Fruits = ALWAYS eaten on an empty stomach
Fruit + raw greens = mix
Bagels and cream cheese, egg sandwiches, sushi rolls, meat and potatoes are all bad food combinations! In the stomach, protein requires an acidic environment in order to break down, whereas a starch requires an alkaline environment. When an acid and an alkaline are put together they neutralize each other. Since these enzymes neutralize each other, the food is not breaking down naturally but your body continues to try to break it down with more enzymes and this cycle results in exhaustion. All of your energy is going to this process and it’s not making any headway. Other side effects can include gassiness, bloating, or heartburn. Now this food is passing through your digestive system very slowly, and since our bodies are a warm 98.6 degrees, this allows the food to literally rot. Improperly digested foods have no nutritional value which means all that work was for absolutely nothing!
Vegetables are very easy for our body to digest and are great to pair with protein. Fruit is the quickest for our bodies to digest so should be eaten first, on an empty stomach. It passes through our digestive tract in about 20 minutes. That means if you eat fruit after eating say, scrambled eggs, it is going to get stuck behind food that is going to take a lot longer to digest. This gives the fruit time to rot and putrefy.
A simple way to think of it is eating light to heavy. This is the order of fastest digesting foods to slowest:
So start with your salad, then eat your rice, and finish with your grilled fish. This will give your optimal results and not create any digestive issues or drain your energy. Remember, this doesn’t mean you can’t have something, it just means you need to change the order in which you eat it. Obviously, we can’t be perfect and eat this way all the time. Don’t stress yourself out but give it a go and see how you feel. I promise that it works!