Understanding Proper Meal Combination for Health and Weight Loss
By Raw Food Punk on May 07, 2009
One way to get healthy, lose weight, and detox your body is to organize your meals in a way that allows your body to digest them easily, saving your precious energy for more important things like detoxifying your body, fighting illness, and getting you pumped throughout your day! When you improperly combine your meals your body takes up to two times the normal 3-4 hours to digest. That could mean using your energy for up to 8 hours of digestion for one meal! Do that at every meal and you’ve got some serious traffic jams in your body! Inefficient digestion=waste=excess weight. Yuck.
Here is a simple run down of proper food combining to help you understand why your standard dinner might be dragging you down.
1. Know the food categories, mix within them but not among them. The next steps describe each food category including; starches, fleshes, nuts/seeds/dried fruit, fresh fruit, and vegetables. Basically starches can be mixed with other starches but not with fleshes. Nuts can be mixed with dried fruit and seeds but not fleshes. Keep reading to understand which foods go in each category and then keep them paired with foods in the same category.
2. Fresh Fruit. This one is super duper important. DO NOT eat raw fruit with anything else, ever. Fruit is digested super fast. When you mix it with other foods it gets stuck, doesn’t get out as fast as it wants to, ferments and makes you gassy and bloated. Gross. Eat your fruit alone and preferably 3 hours after any other food. I only eat fruit in the morning, this is a good reason to eat fresh fruit for breakfast, consume as much as you want. You only have to wait about 30 minutes before you eat anything after your fruit.
3. Starches: This category includes whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, potatoes, cooked corn, avocados (their a fruit, but they combine best with starches), legumes (any beans other than green beans), young coconut. So starches need to go with other starches. If you are having rice, don’t have meat. If you are having avocado don’t have nuts! Try pairing a salad with guacamole with a sweet potato or lentil soup with a slice of whole grain bread.
4. Fleshes (protein). Here you’ve got your fish, eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, and seafood. I know this is hard to handle since we’ve all grown up with meat and potatoes but eating meat with starch causes problems for your digestive system. The enzymes used to digest protein and starch actually neutralize each other in digestion causing inefficiency and back up. Pair your flesh foods with raw or lightly cooked vegetables. In terms of digestion, it is better to have two servings of chicken than it is to have one serving of chicken and one serving of pasta.
5. Nuts/Seeds/Dried Fruit. Here lie all the nuts (raw preferably), seeds, and dried fruit. Coconut goes here too! You can also have bananas with anything in this category and avocados can be paired with seeds and dried fruit, but not nuts! Weird, I know. Don’t worry too much about these weird exceptions right now. Keep it as simple as you need to until this becomes second nature. It will get easy, I promise! Don’t put peanut butter on your bread. I know, this is hard to take, but it is not going to help your body digest efficiently. Try putting natural peanut butter on a banana instead. I would even be so bold as to say its better that way than on toast!
6. Vegetables. This category is my favorite because it goes with anything! Raw vegetables can be paired with any of the other categories! YAY! Eat veggies with everything. Technically, fruit should still be eaten alone but if you throw some apples on an all-raw veggie salad, it probably won’t hurt you. If your veggies are cooked you should only mix them with foods from the starch or flesh categories.
I know this is a lot of information and can be a little scary at first but trust me, it is worth administering. I am not a rules girl, in fact I hate them. BUT even when I am eating a non-raw, indulgent meal I still keep this in mind. If I am having a huge dish of white pasta (GASP!) I will absolutely not have a flesh-based cream sauce. Your body will thank you when you help it out by properly combining your meals. You will feel more energetic and you will be able to eliminate waste from your body quickly!
Interested in learning more about raw foods, detoxifying your body and getting healthy? Feel free to contact me with any comments and questions and come check out tons of healthy recipes and more at rawfoodpunk.com.
Eat Happy. : )
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