Do you ever feel heavy and tired when you’re eating all raw food? Do you know someone who is going through this experience? I mean, isn’t the raw food diet supposed to make you look and feel better? Where is the glowing skin, svelte body and endless amounts of energy, right?
Although changing your diet is key to shifting how you look and feel, the other half of the coin is about making sure you’re eating the right foods at the right time. Doing so helps your body assimilate nutrients for energy and cleanse out waste. If food can’t move through the body properly, it becomes overloaded with toxicity, leaving you feeling bad even though the quality of food you’re eating is good. With a few simple tweaks to your diet, proper food pairing can have you experiencing more energy, better skin, better sleep and natural weight loss within a couple of days.
What is Food Combining?
The gist of food combining is that different types of foods digest at different rates and with different enzymes. Some foods digest better in an acidic environment, while others digest better in an alkaline environment.
When you eat several foods that digest at different rates, call for different enzymes or need different pH levels, your digestion gets out of whack and things begin to rot and ferment in your body. This “sludge” turns into stored toxins. When your body can’t digest food properly, it misses out on being able to absorb the nutrients in food, leaving you with low energy, breakouts and poor sleep. It’s an all around bad deal.
All food combining guidelines take into account the speed at which food digests. Fruit digests the quickest, then greens, then non-starchy vegetables, then starches and finally, digesting the slowest is protein. Eating foods in the correct order (according to their transit times) ensures a traffic jam-free (and toxin-free) digestive tract.
When you get the combining right, your body gets to use the nutrients in the food. This leaves you with more energy, which inevitably equals more beauty.
Here are the food combining basics:
- Starches + Veggies = OK
- Proteins + Veggies = OK
- Proteins + Starches = No No
- Plant Proteins + Plant Proteins = OK
- Animal Proteins + Animal Proteins = No No
- Starches + Starches = OK
- Fats + Proteins (animal or plant) = No No (or pair moderately)
- Fats + Carbohydrates = OK
- Fats + Starches = OK
- Fruits are best eaten on an empty stomach
- Fruit + Raw greens = OK (except melons)
Common Raw Food Combos That Can Wreck Havoc on Your Health
All of these guidelines can seem overwhelming at first, but it’s really quite simple to find meals that work. Let’s get on the right track by eliminating a couple of common food combinations in the raw food world that are just plain bad for your body.
1. Avocado with Nuts
Most raw foodies are really into avocados because they’re a good source of fat. They’ll put them on and in everything. You’ll see them on salads, in dressings, in smoothies and on sandwiches. The combination you want to stay away from is eating avocados (a fat) with nuts (a protein). The raw fat properties of the avocado have an inhibiting effect of the digestion of the protein in nuts.
2. Fruit for dessert
Fruit digests the quickest. It passes through the stomach in a matter of twenty to thirty minutes. Eating fruit for dessert will cause a traffic jam in your digestive tract. The fruit will sit on top of whatever else is in your stomach and begin to ferment. By the time it reaches your intestines, there will be barely any nutrients left to absorb. This will leave you feeling bloated and tired. Fruit is best eaten first or with green veggies. After twenty minutes, you can follow it up with a protein or starch.
3. Green smoothie with seeds and/or nuts
Green smoothies can easily turn into a hodgepodge of ingredients. It’s easy to get excited about a nutritious drink and go with the mentality that the more nutrients you can pack in there, the better. To keep it nice and easy for the digestive tract, try to stick with green veggies, fruits (except for mangoes) and water in your smoothie. Things get difficult when we add in seeds, nut milks, fruit juice, sweeteners, etc.
4. Olive Oil + Nuts
Olive oil and nuts are commonly combined in pesto and salad dressings. Olive oil is a fat and nuts are a protein. Again, the raw fat has an inhibiting effect of the digestion of the protein.
5. Quinoa Salad
Starches (like quinoa) and greens (like a salad) are okay to eat during the same sitting, but really should not be eaten together. The greens digest faster than the quinoa, so they are best eaten first.
6. Hemp milk with an un-sprouted grain for breakfast
Hemp milk is considered a protein, even though the seeds have changed form. The grains are a starch. Proteins require an acidic environment to be broken down. Starches require enzymes that act only on an alkaline environment. If an acidic environment and an alkaline environment are attempting to coexist, they end up neutralizing each other. The digestive system then goes into overdrive in an attempt to secrete more digestive juices to try to break down the food again, and so on and so on. This will leave you tired, gassy and/or bloated. Sprouting your grains is a good option. Sprouting grains neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors and starts the production of beneficial enzymes, which make them easier to digest.
Please leave a comment below. What has been your experience with food combining? Does it make a difference?