When I started my health journey Kimberly Snyder’s blog was one of my go-to resources for all holistic health related topics. I have two of her books and she now has her fourth coming out in a couple of months. Besides explaining so well why whole plant-foods are crucial for our health, she also introduced me to an interesting topic of food combining which is something I never even thought about before. I took tons of notes while going through her book and wanted to share with you some of the information about food combining. I’m most definitely perfect when it comes to food combining, but I do my best whenever possible. Progression, not perfection is the key.
Food combining for healthy digestion and beauty
1.Our bodies can properly digest only one concentrated food at a time
- non-water-containing foods (=concentrated foods) are anything that’s not a fruit or a non-starchy vegetable
- examples of concentrated foods: nuts, bagels, yogurt, toast, scrambled eggs, flax cracker, ice cream, peanut butter etc.
- non-concentrated foods are much simpler to digest than concentrated foods
- we can handle most concentrated foods pretty well, but can eat only one type at a time in order to maximize digestion
2.Proteins and starches don’t mix
Protein: Examples of protein: chicken, dairy, egg, meat, fish protein powders, seeds and nuts.
Starch: Examples of starch: crackers, pasta, cereal, bread, grains, starchy vegetables, like corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini and yams.
- when acidic and alkaline get together they neutralize each other
- since the food is not breaking down naturally (being neutralized), our stomach has to secrete more digestive enzymes trying to break down the food. But because of the opposing digestive enzymes at work, they’re getting neutralized again and again
- the longer the food stays in the 98.6 degree body and the slower it moves through our digestive system, the greater the chance of it becoming toxic
- when the food is finally pushed out of the stomach (after hours) it has to navigate through about 30 feet of intestinal tract. Food can take some 24 hours (or more) to get through the intestines.
Examples of improper food combinations:
- chicken and potatoes
- turkey on whole wheat bread
- omelet on a whole grain toast
- bagel with cream cheese
- fish over wild rice
- salmon sushi rolls
-not combining proteins and starches at the same meal will optimize the amount of nutrients you can extract from foods and will free up a lot of energy
-if you’re going to miscombine do it later in the day, ideally at dinner, and start with an oil-free green salad, which will help to neutralize some of the digestive distress and coat your stomach with fiber and help the heavier foods digest better.
3. Vegetables are neutral
- they’re alkaline, non-concentrated foods and great to mix with proteins
- for starchy dish, try having some pasta salad or baked yam with vegetables.
4. Mixing starches is ok
- even tough starches are concentrated foods, they aren’t as complicated to digest as protein
5. Mixing two different type of animal protein is not ok
- proteins as whole are the hardest food group to break down
- proteins are made of complex chains of amino acids and our body must break down protein into amino acids in order to digest them.
- animal proteins are much more complex and difficult to break down than plant proteins (incl. seeds, nuts, algae), meaning this only applies to animal proteins. You can mix seeds and nuts without a problem.
6. Fats should be eaten moderately with protein (animal and plant), but ok to eat with carbs
- fat mixes well with starches but has somewhat inhibiting effect on the digestion of protein.
- it’s best not to mix lots of nuts (protein!) together with a whole avocado (fat)
7. Fruit should be eaten only on an empty stomach
- fruit breaks down the quickest of all foods; it’s out of the stomach in 20-30 minutes. If it has to sit on top of foods that take longer to digest, like concentrated foods like starch and protein, it will ferment and acidify the whole meal.
- fruits (except melons) combine well with greens
- fruit passes in 20-30 mins (bananas 45 mins)
- starches take few hours
- proteins are the slowest
- breakfast should start with fruit, veggie sticks or a green drink
- rule about breakfast: never eat when not hungry
- morning time til noon is key for cleansing and achieving complete elimination
- the second you eat you turn off the cleansing mechanism
- we cannot get energy from the food until the nutrients from the food have been absorbed in the small intestine
- eat dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime
- lunch is light and always properly combined
- dinner is when we can relax a bit about our food choices, since we’ve eaten so well during the day and achieved our bodies to cleanse all day long