Steak and potatoes, tuna-noodle casserole, scrambled eggs with toast… these classic American meals are also classic examples of why the Standard American Diet is making us fatter and more prone to disease.
America the land of abundance, of opportunity, of choice and free expression. Yet, every Monday morning, millions of people make the choice of starving themselves, vowing not to eat again until they lose the pounds they hate so much. Thus begins the ridiculous counting of calories, the use of artificial sweeteners, skim milk, carrot sticks, diet pills, diuretics and laxatives. It’s a never-ending nightmare, and without the proper education, victims, left and right, are cutting back in areas of nutritional importance without realizing the damage they’re causing. America isn’t overweight. It’s overfat! America is number 1 in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity! America is 65% obese? With all of our education, health food stores, health clubs, infomercials on fitness equipment and commercials on eating light, low and natural, we earned the great reputation of being the fattest country in the WORLD! This is scary, but when you look at how and what we eat and the fact that 64% of the adults do not exercise properly and 25% do not exercise at all, there is really no wonder why! It’s about time we take charge of our bodies and make responsible decisions before we eat. Don’t let the waiter, menu or elegant restaurant intimidate you into accepting the cheese just because “it comes with it.”
Our main purpose in writing this article is to teach you the truth about your body’s biochemistry so that you’ll have control over your health. And health doesn’t mean being obsessed with being thin, which is an infinite word. Once you’re thin, you’ll want to be thinner. You’ll never be satisfied.
After eating one of those traditional American meals, you might experience bloating or feel gassy, dehydrated or tired. No wonder! They violate all the principles of food combining.
Many diet companies, like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, tell you to eat less and exercise more, with little regard to what you actually combine together in your stomach. What they don’t know is that what happens in your stomach and digestive tract is important AND can be the key to long-term health and weight loss!
Many years ago, our ancestors worked hard at physical jobs and returned home each day to eat big meals of meat, breads, cheeses, and even sweets with no adverse effects. They had iron stomachs and digested everything. Our ancestors also had healthier inner working system. A healthy inner working system is made up of the friendly microflora (good bacteria) that reside in our intestines and keep us healthy and strong. A healthy inner working system also means more beneficial microflora helping you digest the foods you eat.
Over time, the introduction of antibiotics, pasteurization and processed foods, along with a lifestyle of constant stress, has damaged our inner working system. An unhealthy inner working system can lead to fatigue, poor health and a digestive tract that functions inefficiently.
Today, more than ever, we need to take extra special care of our bodies because they have never been more under-nourished and overstressed.
The good news is that you can eat your way to better health and healing… and achieve a naturally slim body at the same time! The proper combining of food teaches that it’s more than just what you eat; it’s also how you eat.
Health is about balance, and in order to achieve that balance, the key is to spend less time counting calories, and more time considering what the calories consist of. Think about it. What’s better for the body: 200 calories of fresh cut pineapple or 200 calories of an artificially sweetened, chemically designed food? So throw that scale out the window. It’s designed to weigh weight, not fat! It’s that simple. A weighing device is simply not going to tell you the truth about your health or how much fat you’ve lost.
It’s pretty obvious we’ve all become casualties of a world that preys on laziness! We’ve learned to depend on TV commercials, magazines, the fashion world and what “so and so” says is healthy. You’ve heard it before. “I don’t care what we eat, as long as it’s quick and easy.”
The thing to remember is that there’s no such a thing as a well-balanced meal. Only a well-balanced day! Gas is not natural, nor is constipation and diarrhea along with bloat and flatulence. Why are you choosing to live with these problems, and why are you continuing to eat the way that you do, momentarily solving the situation with antacids?
The answer is bad conditioning. And so, without further ado, I’d like you to start taking the necessary steps to change your diet which has been so carefully programmed by momentary fads, myths, wives’ tales and family patterns. It’s time to use your food, not abuse your food.
The process of digesting each meal takes a great deal of energy so you want to increase your ability to digest or your “digestive fire.” But what happens if your digestion is not working properly, like so many Americans today?
The undigested food stays in your digestive tract 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 essence, your inner ecosystem is damaged and you are more prone to illness.
Proper food combining is a system of eating f 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. You can learn the basics with these guidelines.
From now on, when you think of food, I’d like you to think of it categorically. Not whether it’s Chinese, Italian, Japanese or Mexican, but whether it’s fruit, carbohydrate, protein or fat. To begin the Proper Food Combining, you first have to put foods into their proper food combining group. So let’s start with the fruit world.
Your fruit meal (and fruit by itself can be a meal) should be the number one feast of the day. It’s a crucial food source first thing in the morning for a couple of reasons: First, after sleeping all night, your blood sugar is low and your body is rested. You need simple carbohydrates to jump start your battery… You’ve been laying horizontal for a number of hours and expect your warm idle body to hop to it and begin functioning without fuel.
Well, surprise! Your heart, lungs, liver, intestinal tract, gall bladder and every organ in your peritoneal cavity requires an energy supply to operate. After all, if you don’t gas and oil your car, it won’t go very far, nor will it take long for the engine block to literally crack. What makes you think your body is any different?
Second, fruits (especially tropical fruits) have Divine-given digestive enzymes that will help to clean out the residue left over from the food you’ve eaten the night before. Pineapple, for example, is known for its powerful enzyme “bromelain,”which amongst other things, is a great fat burner, and papaya, rich in “papain,”has a number of medicinal qualities and has proven to be an effective meat tenderizer.
It’s really interesting. Fruits seem to have magical healing and cleansing powers. They travel through the digestive tract very quickly (within an hour) which is why it’s so important not to eat them with any other food group. When you combine a fruit with, say for instance, cereal or waffles, it ends up getting held up in the stomach, unable to move through the “pylorus” (the exit opening of the stomach) and into the small intestine where it undergoes the little digestion it requires. When this happens, bacterial decomposition follows, and the fruit begins to ferment and turn into wine!
If you can, try to eat fruit, not just drink it. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have fruit scrubbing the stomach and walls of your digestive tract, clearing the way for your second meal. Try to think of pineapple as a roto-rooter, scrubbing and cleansing its way through your intestinal tract.
There are absorption sights along the walls of your gut lining that are specifically designed to absorb certain nutrients as your food make its digestive voyage via the miracle of “peristalsis” (the worm-like movement by which the intestinal tract propels its contents). If you do decide to drink fresh fruit juice once in a while, try to at least cut it with distilled water. There’s almost 5 to 6 oranges in a glass of orange juice, and without being diluted, they will put undo stress on your pancreas.
There are four different kinds of fruits:
Melons (which are practically all water) are in a world all by themselves. The human body breaks them down immediately and it’s important not to mix them with other foods, including other fruits, which is why the expression “Eat ’em alone or leave ’em alone” came about.
Acid (or citrus) fruits have the most fibers and are rich in antioxidants.
Sub-acid fruits are easy to identify because of their stones, pits, seeds and cores.
Sweet fruits have no juice, are more concentrated and take longer to digest. They’re not the greatest of cleansers, but do provide minerals and concentrated sugars.
All dried fruit should be soaked at least four hours before eating as they will digest and assimilate ten times faster. Approximate digestion time for fruits are:
Melons: 5 to 10 minutes
Acid: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Sub Acid: 1 to 2 hours
Sweet: 2 to 3 hours
The second food combining group is made up of the more complex carbohydrates that I like to categorize (depending on their molecular structure) as dress lengths. MINI, MIDI and MAXI.
For example, the loose-knit molecules that hold together a lettuce leaf are a lot easier to break apart and digest than the molecules found in a tighter and more complex starchy russet potato.
The body, amongst other things, utilizes complex carbohydrates to break down protein and absorb amino acids, which is a hard journey to complete without the energy to do so.
The most commonly used are:
|MINI (No Starch)
Carbohydrates have at least a 51% glucose count in their molecular makeup and are the foods that give us not only our fuel and roughage, but also the vitamins and minerals needed to boost our immune system. They are the most important source of energy for the body, and in general, must be available for us to properly digest and assimilate our other food groups.
The amount of time it takes carbohydrates to pass through the digestive tract varies depending upon the amount of carbohydrates eaten, their complexity, and how much of the enzyme “ptyalin” is released in the mouth during the chewing process. However, the general rule is:
Mini: 1 to 2 minutes
Midi: 2 to 3 hours
Maxi: 4 to 5 hours
Bear in mind that all uncooked grains should be soaked overnight which will convert them to simple sugars and allow you to combine them better with plant and nut protein.
Protein, the third food combining group, is divided into four categories (animal, plant, dairy and nut). It’s the hardest of all the food groups to digest and has at least a 51% amino acid count in its molecular makeup.
Next to water, protein is the most plentiful substance in the body, and is one of the most important elements for good health and vitality. It’s the major source of building material for muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs, including the heart and brain.
Chief among them are:
Crustaceans (Clams, Crabs, Lobster, Shrimp)
Fish (Cat Fish, Halibut, Salmon, Sole, Trout, Tuna)
Pork (Bacon, Chops, Ham, Sausage)
Red Meat (Hamburger, Liver, Roast Beef, Steak, Veal)
Salami (Packaged Lunch Meat)
Beans (Black, Garbanzo, Kidney, Peanuts, Pinto, Soy)
Tempeh (Fermented Pressed Soy Beans)
Tofu (Tofu Dips, Tofu Hot Dogs, Vege Burgers)
TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
Wheat Gluten (Seitan)
Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Filberts, Hazel, Peanut, Pistachio)
Seeds (Pignolia, Pumpkin, Sesame, Sunflower)
The amount of time it takes protein to pass through the digestive tract varies depending upon the amount of protein eaten, its complexity, and how much“pepsin” and “HCL” (hydrochloric acid) the stomach releases to break it down. However, the sample list below will give you a rough idea.
Beans: 4 to 5 hours
Egg Whites: 4 to 5 hours
Dairy: Dairy never really digests and will take at least 12 to 15 hours to pass through your system
Fish: 5 to 6 hours
Meat: 9 to 10 hours
Nuts: 4 to 5 hours
Poultry: 7 to 8 hours
Seeds: 4 to 5 hours
Like uncooked grains, all seeds, nuts and beans (legumes) should be soaked, drained and rinsed several times over a 24 hour period. This helps to convert them, specifically beans, to a more usable protein by pre-digesting their inherent starch that normally cause gaseous bloat. In fact, if you check soaking beans every 4 hours, you’ll notice the water full of white foamy bubbles. This is called a“stachyose reaction” (caused by gas being released), and believe me, you’ll thank God it’s happening in the pot and not in your stomach!
Fats (also known as fatty acids) are the fourth and final food combining group, made up of at least 51% lipids. When oxidized, they furnish more than twice the number of calories (units of energy) per gram than those furnished by carbohydrates or proteins. One gram of fat yields approximately nine calories to the body. In addition to providing energy, fats also act as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. And by aiding in the absorption of vitamin D, they help make calcium available to the body tissues, particularly to the bones and teeth.
The thing to remember is that there are two basic types of fats: saturated (the wrong kind of fat) and unsaturated (the right kind of fat). Saturated fats are found in dairy, meats, coconuts and palm kernel oils. They’re very hard on the body and cardiovascular system, not to mention a main contributor to heart disease, obesity, liver disorders, lymphatic congestion and acne.
Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives. Unlike their counterparts, the body finds them easy to convert into heat and energy, and, when used in conjunction with a workout, they will actually help in the leaning out process.
The right kind of fat helps you “cut up” or “get lean” as they say. There are three things to consider when it comes to picking your favorite unsaturated oils (nut, seed and vegetable). One, always try to buy them cold-pressed, and two, when ever possible, buy organic, and three, always try to keep them refrigerated. When too much oxygen connects itself to the carbons in a fatty acid, its quality degenerates. Just because oil doesn’t smell rancid, doesn’t mean it isn’t.
The most commonly used:
So, now that we’ve discussed and categorized the four food combining groups, I’d like to talk about how to properly combine them and the reasons why.
When you “mis-combine” (mix incompatible food groups together at the same meal), two things happen: first, the food does not digest properly and ends up rotting and putrefying in your stomach, and second, because the food isn’t being absorbed properly, you don’t get the nutritional value you need from it.
It’s important to note that we process foods in four simple steps: digestion, absorption, metabolism and elimination. And don’t kid yourself. We derive no value from foods that are not digested. In fact, to eat and have food spoil in the digestive tract not only wastes the food, it produces toxins and poisons which are injurious to the body.
Digestion, the first step in the digestive process, is the method through which“enzymes” break down food into nutrients.
Potential problems arise because each food group requires its own set of specific enzymes to be properly broken down. That is to say, an enzyme capable of breaking down fats cannot break down proteins and carbohydrates, or vice versa. So, when you have conflicting enzymes present in the stomach at the same time, they are very often antagonistic toward each other, and the presence of one can actually prevent the other from doing its work. In other words, you’ve got a strike on your hands! Enzymes are very particular substances, and while there are many, I’m only going to mention a few:
Ptyalin: Essential for digesting carbohydrates, it appears in our saliva and is activated when we chew.
Hydrochloric Acid: Not really an enzyme, but when combined with the enzyme “lipase,” is essential for the digestion of fat.
Pepsin and Erepsin: When combined with hydrochloric acid, they are the driving forces in the digestion of protein.
I think the easiest way to picture food combining is to try to think of the alkaline digestive juices that break down starch as Alka-Seltzer, and the acid digestive juices that break down protein as stomach acid.
When you mis-combine your meals by mixing animal protein with, say, carbohydrates high in starch (Maxi Carbs), your stomach begins pouring in both alkaline and acid, and unfortunately they neutralize each other. It’s a stalemate, and since the stomach maintains a 104 degree temperature, what you end up with is sort of an “oven” where the undigested meat and starch begins to ferment, rot and putrefy, causing the undesirable symptoms of gas, flatulence, headaches, bloat, sleepiness, diarrhea, constipation, etc. We’re talking about a real mess, and if it continues over the years, undigested food will begin to pile up and ultimately clog your colon and intestinal tract (your life lines to health).
Also, bear in mind, as important as it is to drink fluids over a 24 hour period, try and remember not to drink liquid during meals since it will dilute digestive juices and impair digestion.
YOU HAVE TO EAT! So many people are convinced that in order to lose weight, they have to skip meals or stop eating totally. This is so wrong. Your body has to have fuel in order to run properly. As I mentioned earlier, the peritoneal cavity alone (which includes the heart, lungs, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, intestines and stomach) requires 700 calories per day to perform it functions. And that’s if you’re in a relaxed state. Now add to your life the stress of a job, relationships, housework, exercise, an injury, etc. All these extra activities demand even more nutritional support.
If the body doesn’t receive the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose, lipids and water it needs to work properly, then it will beg, borrow and steal from other parts of the body. Not only will the skeletal muscles suffer, but the heart and other vital organs will be consumed for nourishment as well. This is often the case in an anorexic death. The myocardial tissue weakens, and under the slightest bit of stress, the heart simply explodes.
To use my favorite analogy, you wouldn’t get very far without a full tank of gas in your car. So why would you start out the day with only a cup of coffee? Some people actually exercise on an empty stomach thinking the body will use its fat for fuel. They’re living in a fantasy. There is no nutritional value in fat. The body isn’t stupid, and after a short period of time, it will recognize the need for real food, and if you don’t have enough nutrients floating around, it will dig into muscle tissue for fuel and nourishment.
Think about it. If you were in the desert with only a small amount of food to eat, wouldn’t you hoard and ration the little that you had for fear of starving to death? Of course you would, and the body does the same thing. It stores its fat. When you don’t feed the body, it thinks it will never eat again and begins to build up a supply just in case. You may be losing weight this way, but unfortunately, it’s muscle weight, and your body is keeping the fat for a rainy day!
With respect to vitamins and minerals, they not only carry amino acids to their destination, they also strengthen the immune system, aid metabolism, help convert fat and carbohydrates into energy, and assist in forming bones and tissues. Simply put, skip a meal and you’re actually jeopardizing the quality of your life.
With respect to water, it’s what holds everything together. More than two thirds of your body weight is water. Besides being the essential constituent of all your cells, it also helps to maintain your normal body temperature and is vital in carrying waste materials out of the large intestines. I suggest you drink a lot of it (never tap), but as I said earlier, not during meals.
So there you have it. Food Combining is not simply a diet. It’s a way of life, set up for you to eat all four of your food combining groups twice a day, six to seven hours apart.
It’s a fact of life. We live in an energy draining society. Everyday life demands a nutritional program. If you wake up at 6 a.m., chances are you won’t return to bed until 9 p.m. That’s 15 hours of high voltage output, and without ingesting nutrients at least every three hours, how do you expect to perform up to par? I’m telling you, you won’t. And eventually, your body will break down from the wear and tear, and you’ll be asking yourself why — Why don’t I feel well? Why am I constipated? Why am I fat? Well, dear friends, the reason is, you’ve starved yourself from the very supplies you need to survive.
Don’t be afraid to eat. It’s what you should do! The important thing is to eat the right foods and in the right combinations. After all, you are what you eat. When you adjust to eating smart, you’ll not only overcome the gastrointestinal discomfort, but will instinctively know when it’s time to eat again (every three hours). All of a sudden, nature’s time clock kicks in. It’s called control, and it’s a wonderful thing.
With proper food combining a principles, you’ll find yourself eating simpler meals that nourish your body. You’ll also digest your food better and supply your body with even more nutrients. As your digestion improves, you’ll have more energy and vitality, freeing up your body to come into balance, heal and stay naturally slim!