Meagan Duhamel
Montreal, Canada

Welcome to my healthy living blog! You may know me as a 2-Time World Champion Figure Skater, Olympic Silver Medalist, and 6-time Canadian National Champion in pairs skating with my skating partner Eric Radford. But away from the ice, I am an animal loving vegan, a yogi, a holistic nutritionist and a wife. My passion for Figure Skating has been part of my life since I was 3 years old, but more recently I discovered a new passion: Healthy Living!

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food combining
Nutrition Wellness

The Lesser Known Power of Food Combinations

By on February 4, 2017

Food combining is almost a ground-breaking idea in comparison to the standard “American” diet. (Or Canadian, or simply modern day). This theory derives from the 2000-year-old Ayurvedic texts that were written by doctors in India.

Food combining is based on the premise that all foods take different lengths of time to digest. Combining our foods the right way allows us to digest and utilize the foods and their nutrients properly and optimally, and it allows for the bodies natural biochemistry to take over. It’s very common to overstress our digestive tracts when we eat large meals. It is entirely possible to avoid digestive issues such as bloating, cramping, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain and belching if you apply some basic rules of proper food combinations. Pharmacy shelves are filled with medications and pills to aid these problems, but if we go directly to the source, we can eliminate a lot of these issues from ever occurring.

A healthy approach to eating includes simple meals of few ingredients, all organic, and using a variety of foods with a good balance over time. There are 4 basic principles to follow for food combinations.

Meals should be balanced to our individual needs

We don’t need every nutrient in every single meal. Erase the image from your mind of a dinner plate that is ½ protein ¼ grains or starch and ¼ vegetables. There is absolutely no scientific research to support a meal plan such as this. When we are healthy, our bodies are very flexible. If you only want to eat fruits in the morning, that is fine, as long as you pay attention to your overall nutritional intake and food combinations throughout the day.

Large amounts of foods that are concentrated in one single nutrient do not work well when combined with others

For example, fruits and meat. Fruit is made up of highly concentrated sugars. And meat (A piece of steak for example) has 140-150 grams of protein – that’s like eating 7 cans of beans!!

Our bodies are not meant to digest 30 grams of sugar or 140 grams of protein! This will cause indigestion, bloating and discomfort. Since we already have trouble digesting these foods alone, it is not recommended to try to combine them with anything else.

Fruits are thought to be best eaten alone as they are more easily digestible. It is best to eat fruits between meals or as a cleansing way to start your morning. High-protein foods also require the same special consideration. The acidity needed to digest meat is so far from the alkaline environment needed to digest starches and vegetables. So avoid combining this together at all costs.

It’s fine to eat foods alone

Fruits come into this category once again. Water does as well. Water should never be drank during or after a meal. Drinking water slows down our Agni and digestion. It dilutes the strength of your digestive juices and makes it more difficult for your system to breakdown foods.

Food combining is something we need to take seriously

The healthiest cultures do not just eat whatever they want. They eat seasonally, organically and locally. They mix very few foods. Only in cultures like North America where disease is widespread do we toss all the foods we want onto one plate.

Guidelines for Food Combining

  1. Fruit are only eaten by themselves or with other fruits.
  2. Proteins and starches are not eaten together.
  3. Combine protein and vegetables or starch and vegetables.
  4. Do not eat more then one protein per meal.

I have also gathered a few other helpful tips to think about when following proper food combinations.

  • Greens and non-starchy foods go well with pretty much anything
  • Avoid cooked foods and raw foods in the same meal
  • Do not mix carbs and acids
  • Never combine proteins with proteins, fats or sweeteners
  • Never combine starches with other starches, fats or fruits
  • Never combine fats with protein or fruits

Here are some charts to follow if you are thinking of starting to eat meals with proper food combinations. Remember that your health is in your hands! Use food as your medicine and begin to heal yourself.

Food Combinations and Choices

Food Combining Chart

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