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The Art Of Food Combining for A Healthy Gut

Some rather lucky individuals have supersonic digestive power and do not experience bloating, acid reflux, weight gain around the middle, or any other symptoms from combining the wrong foods. However, the rest of us must pay attention to which foods are best eaten together so that we can maximize our health.

There are very simple rules to follow when it comes to eating the right combinations of food to optimize digestion and assimilation of nutrients and to prevent fermentation from occurring in the belly. The concept of food combining is so popular that even Donna Gates, creator of the Body Ecology Diet, is a firm advocate of it. However, many are overwhelmed by the concept of food combining, so let’s break down each step.


FRUIT: Fruit digests itself, passing through the digestive system within 20 minutes. By eating fruit alone, you avoid fermentation occurring in the belly. Fermentation can lead to gas, rob you of energy and slow down your digestion.

STARCHES AND VEGETABLES: Foods such as baked potatoes, sweet potatoes or sweet corn should be eaten alone, with a vegetable or with a small amount of fat. It is advised to eat starches, such as quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, millet or amaranth only with vegetables, as starches require different digestive enzymes than proteins.

PROTEIN AND VEGETABLES: Unlike starches, proteins require an acidic environment for ideal digestion, so it is best to eat protein with vegetables and healthy fat. When you add starch, you force your body’s natural enzymes to compete to digest your food.

A Special Note About Smoothies

In addition, many of my clients ask me about smoothies. If you have a sub-acid fruit or an acid fruit, it will combine well with a low-starch vegetable such as..., but not with a grain or protein (e.g. oats).

Examples of sub-acid fruit are: (e.g., apples, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherimoya, cherries, grapes, loquat, lychee, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums).

Examples of acid fruit are: (e.g., cranberries, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, kumquat, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, pomegranate, tangerine, and tomato).

Examples of low-starch vegetables include asparagus, bean sprouts, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, squash, and tomato.

As for me and many others, we can't combine any kind of milk, dairy or plant-based with our smoothies. So if you find that you are bloating or gassy after consuming a smoothie that's mixed with different fruits vegetables and milk, omit the milk and see what happens.

If you are adding things like dates or other dried fruits, this can also be a culprit. I know that honey makes me a bit bloated and agave makes me sneeze!

Finding out what works for your gut and what doesn't is a very lengthy and intuitive process that you need to be patient with and act with loving-kindness to yourself. This is where a food diary comes in, I personally have never been able to keep up with a food diary because I am lazy but over the years I've figured out what works for me and what doesn't in my own way.

Don't let the "hard work" of tracking what you eat and how you feel put you off from pursuing your health goals. We put a lot of work into friendships, family, studying, and our career or business, even more energy into "looking good" by buying certain fashionable clothes, shoes, and make-up seeking the satisfying emotions of love, comfort, intimacy, confidence, and money.

We can transmute that same energy, passions and focus into adapting a holistic healthy lifestyle, whatever it takes, to feel good from the inside out. To be able to wake up feeling and looking awesome. To carry an alert and high energy throughout the day. To lose or gain weight with purpose.

I know that changing the way you eat can be one of the most challenging tasks to take on because we have spent so much time within a family culture that eats without thinking.

I will tell you this, no doctor or health coach or anyone can tell you what is best for your body but YOUR BODY! They can only educate you and act as a guide but your body gives you the answers.

Listen to it, it's always speaking to you!

Happy Healthing!!!


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