FOOD | Nutrient & Food Combining
On this week's food topic we are continuing our conversation on combinations. Last week we started to dive a little into the proper combinations of products and ingredients and today we want to shift into some education around food combinations. Whether you feel well balanced and hold a pretty general knowledge on what to eat or you are trying to find a balance and understanding on what works for your diet, we have a simple way to help you navigate food combinations, ingredients, and the "why" behind it. Since there is so much good stuff to cover on this topic we're going to break it down into a few posts so we don't miss anything. Today, we will focus on food combining.
Before we get started we want to add a brief disclaimer that SFT does not preach only one singular dietary theory since we believe that one diet doesn't fit all. Rather we like to look at multiple dietary theories and principals and help you gain knowledge on what works for you specifically. Our knowledge of the body and our lifeforce in food is always evolving just like you. So continue reading with an open mind and let us know what resonates best with you.
Food combining is a dietary theory that we find has a few key points which can be beneficial for those looking to discover what their bodies do best with, understand how food makes them feel, and optimize digestion. Balanced health begins in the gut and supporting digestion is the best way to begin to find balance in your overall wellbeing. Following the three key points of food combining below may help you support digestion, tune in, and understand how food can affect you. Here are our three key takeaways from the food combining theory:
Start your day with warm water and lemon. Each night when we drift off to sleep our bodies begin to do some heavy lifting by processing and catching up with our daily habits. It's important that we support the hard work our bodies do each night in order for it to not feel so worn out. You can do this by starting your day with something that will ease us into what you will be consuming for the day. Warm water with lemon is gentle on our systems, alkalizing to the gut, and supports the release of toxins we process each night. It helps the elimination process feel more natural and smooth. We even like to add a dash of cayenne pepper into the mix to give a gentle boost of support and stimulation.
After your first cup of warm water in the morning, you may want to try avoiding drinking water or any other liquid drinks with your meals. Instead, you can to have water at least 30 minutes before and after your meals. Avoiding liquids during meals help your natural digestive enzymes do their job more effectively as we consume our food. Liquids could potentially disrupt the enzyme's process and therefore it's best to avoid until after you have finished your meal. If you experience bloating this is something worth trying out for sure.
Only eat fruit an hour or two before or after meals. According to the food combining theories, it's important to have only one type of fruit at a time or avoid altogether while starting the food combining journey. Keep in mind that some fruits like lemons, limes, and cherries are an exception to this rule as they do not contain as high of sugar content. They can also be great for your digestion as mentioned in the previous principal. Most fruits will digest very quickly as they contain a lot of water and natural sugars. This can lead to indigestion if you add a fast digesting food after foods that take a little more time like proteins and carbohydrates. And while fruits are different than refined sugars they can still cause a spike in blood sugar so it's better to reduce your fruit intake while working on improving your digestion.
Do not combine starchy vegetables or grains with protein. Instead fill your plate with leafy greens, sea vegetables, non-starchy vegetables (like garlic and onions), and a protein as your main course. You can also combine a starchy veggie or grain with leafy greens, sea vegetables, and non-starchy vegetable. The reasons behind this are that different foods require different types of enzymes to properly digest. For example, proteins require enzymes that are acidic to help break them down while starches require enzymes that are alkaline. Proteins and starches, when eaten together, tend to neutralize each other, inhibit, or potentially disrupt proper digestion. So keep the grains/starchy veggies separate from your proteins and make sure to add leafy greens to each meal.
It's important to give these food combining principles a try for at least 2 weeks in order to truly observe any difference in digestion. In order to keep track of what you notice try and log what you eat in a food journal. Write down how you feel after each meal and then look back to understand what made you feel your best. Let us know what you think and comment below with any questions. Stay tuned for post 2 on ingredients in a few weeks!