Did you know that there are rules to how we should eat our meals? What if I tell you that you may not be combining your food the right way for optimal health and nutrition? I know; here goes the dreaded word, “rules” again. You probably feel that freedom is perhaps a figment of our imagination at this point, right? I assure you that freedom is, in fact, real. My four-year-old son told me that as long as he can do what he wants, he will be happy.
Consequently, I should not tell him what to do or not do. I was by no means appalled by what he said; instead, I was happy that he was able to express himself and saw this as an opportunity to enlighten him.
Even as a grown-up, rules make us crazy sometimes. I mean, why can’t we do what we want. Every facet of our lives has rules that we must follow if we expect a specific outcome or prepare to deal with the consequences of our actions. One can choose to follow or not follow, but rules have been around since the beginning of time, and since they are not ever going anywhere, we have to learn to cope. For me, I chose to look at it in a positive light, a mean from a Christian point of view. God instituted rules to serve as guidelines and keep us safe. And the majority of us need them. For example, How many of us drive at the required speed on the highway? Most do not, but as soon as Waze informs us that there are cops ahead, everyone suddenly becomes obedient by slowing down to avoid a ticket or fine. The same applies to other areas of our lives. There is disobedience in all of us, and as such, rules may not be so bad after all.
Living a healthy, happy, and long life is the goal for many of us. More and more people see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and have begun to take measures to get there, while others are still grappling with the decision. As we seek to grow and become better, we must be open to learning along the way. There is always something new that you will learn in any journey you take in life. Knowledge is ever-increasing and improving, and the saying holds that we are never too old to learn. So why do you think many successful people or companies continue to study or offer in-service training to employees? They realize that they have to be in the know to stay ahead of the competition and maintain their success. In the lifestyle realm of things, our goal is to stay ahead of sickness, early death, and diseases that will result from improper diet. And even though this is hard at times, especially when you give up so much of the things you love, you cannot afford to give up because it requires too much of you. Remember that the most significant investment is in your health.
So here I am several years later on my plant-based vegan journey. Everything was going well for the most part, and I felt accomplished; until I came across the topic of Proper Food Combination. Honestly, I was like, what the heck? I have gone ahead and changed my whole lifestyle, eliminated a lot of things that I enjoyed from my diet, only to now realize that I am still not eating correctly. As I read further and attended a few natural health classes, my arrogance surfaced, and I felt that soon there would be nothing good enough to eat if I followed these people. It was not easy for me, and I struggled with changing some things and others I was just not ready to give up. For example, I learned that I should not eat mixed fruits with vegetables. I quickly thought of my salad, and avocado and cucumber were two of my favorite ingredients. Since avocado and cucumbers are fruits, I would have changed that if I were to adhere to the rules and not have them together in one meal. I eat most things the same way for a while, but since my conscience will not let me ignore it, I slowly begin to apply the knowledge that I have gained to my daily life. Remember the Bible tells us in Proverbs 12:15 that ” The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.” I am by no means a fool, and neither are you, so let’s explore this whole aspect of Proper Food Combination.
We must put our food together in the right way. The American Dietetic Association claims that it does not matter how we combine our foods as long as we eat protein, carbohydrates, and some fat at each meal. I followed this rule even on a plant-based diet but is this so? Nonetheless, we are told that this is unscientific and ridiculous and will lead to gas, bloating, and acidosis. Since I am aware and many have said to me of people who have been eating healthy but still become ill, I became more interested in this new information. Chemistry tells us that when we combine a base(alkali) with an acid, they neutralize each other. Consequently, “fermentation and putrefaction become the digesters instead of digestive enzymes. This causes an improper breakdown of food and many unwanted chemical changes, leading to malabsorption, acidosis, and cellular starvation. But if we somehow manage to observe proper food combining rules, we will be able to avoid regurgitation, ulceration, bloating, and gas, which are caused by breaking these natural rules.”
There are several rules when it comes to the proper combination of food, but here are the two most important. A see the diagram at the end for more on combining food properly.
- Do not combine Protein with Carbohydrate
Since protein is acid and carbohydrates are alkaline, do not combine both. When we combine acid digestive enzymes with alkaline digestive enzymes, they will neutralize each other, thus altering proper digestion and causing fermentation. When both are combined, a clash results in the stomach, which may be why we feel so full and bloated after eating a meal this way. “Fermentation of sugar forms alcohol which stimulates or decreases energy levels leading to over-acidity, mucus congestion, protein toxicity and inflammation of tissues which then affect the liver, pancreas adrenal tissue the most. If you have diabetes and eat this way, regulating your blood sugar levels will be difficult.
2. Separate Your Fruits or melons from other Foods
Fruits and melons digest quickly when eaten correctly. However, whenever combined with other foods, digestion slows down. The sugars from these fruits are then held in the stomach and begin to ferment and become alcohol, raising blood alcohol levels. Many accidents have resulted from this. As such, it is safer to make a whole meal of only fruits or melons by themselves. Fruits and melons are high-energy cleansing meals that detoxify the body.
It may all seem too much but small changes are better than no changes. At times I fall back into habits but as long as you are open to doing better, it will be better. Be mindful that simple is always best; therefore, the fewer foods we combine at each meal, the better. I know that this is odd since many cultures enjoy having several foods on their plate at once and my culture is one of them. But it is not how much we can eat but how well our body can properly digest, absorb or eliminate all these foods that we have eaten.
If you want to learn more you can check out these books: Food Combing Made Easy by Herbert Shelton and Proper Food-Combining Works by Lee Dubelle.