Remember food combining, developed by William Howard Hay MD? It has changed thousands of people’s lives, protecting them from fatigue, weight gain, degenerative diseases and early aging. The basic principles behind food combining are simple: Don’t mix foods that fight. Never eat proteins and starches at the same meal. Never eat fruit and vegetables at the same meal. And do not eat dessert after a meal. If you do, the dessert gets trapped in the stomach and starts to rot, since it can’t be digested properly. These fundamentals of what has long been known as Conscientious Food Combining are easy to learn and even easier put into practice. The benefits of doing so are many, including freedom from reflux, poor digestion and long-term fatigue.
DIGEST TO THRIVE
Your body expends more energy on the digestion of food than on any other function. Think how sluggish and sleepy you feel after a traditional Sunday lunch. It may surprise you to learn that the energy your body needs to digest food is even greater than that which you use when taking strenuous exercise. When you take in food, your system has to redirect blood supply—and therefore vital life energy—away from the brain and other organs towards the gut. Once there, your energy reserves get busy breaking down your meal. When you eat foods that fight each other, or more food than your body needs, you greatly diminish your overall vitality. You also build up body pollution. Any food—even good quality food—in excess tends to pollute the body.
PROTEINS AND CARBS ARE NO-GO
Leave behind the old practice of meat-and-potatoes or fish-and-chips. When the wrong foods are mixed together, this further delays digestion and produces toxicity while increasing both appetite and digestive upsets. Most people’s bodies are not designed to efficiently digest more than one concentrated food in the stomach at once. In the simplest terms, you need an acid medium to digest protein and an alkaline one to digest starch. Eat concentrated proteins and starches together—fish and chips, bacon sandwiches, meat and potatoes—and nothing gets digested. An awareness of this principle lies at the core of virtually every tradition of natural healing. Eating concentrated proteins and starches at the same meal wreaks havoc with digestion. It increases the number of incompletely broken down food particles that find their way into the bloodstream to cause food allergies, depression and exhaustion.
Concentrated proteins such as cheese, eggs, fish and meat must have an acid medium for good digestion. If there are any starchy or sugary food including breads, pastas or sweets in the stomach at the same time, they neutralize the acid medium, so the proteins remain incompletely digested and poorly assimilated. All carbohydrates foods need an alkaline medium for digestion and must be eaten at a separate meal. What you can get away with is the occasional garnish for protein foods or fruits—such as sesame seeds or raisins—but you would not want to add them in greater quantity.
OUT WITH Convenience FOODS
Ready-in-a-minute pre-cooked meals, junk foods, and the standard meat-and-two-veg Western meals are incredibly energy-draining. They present your digestive system with the greatest difficulty of all. Virtually all of these manufactured items are grossly deficient in essential nutrient. for it to break down and make use of. Convenience foods and junk foods are also grossly deficient in essential nutrients as well. So are chemically fertilized fruits and vegetables and foods which have been excessively processed to alter their natural state. Convenience foods contain additives such as artificial colorings and flavorings which are potentially harmful. Such foods include breads, sugar, most meats, sweets, and coffee and all the ready-in-a-minute snacks and meals that fill the shelves of our supermarkets. They have no place at the food combining table.
If you want to build energy quickly, start right now to separate your concentrated starches from your concentrated proteins, eating each at separate meals. This will help protect your system from a build-up of acid wastes, restore metabolic balance, and resolve the energy crisis which takes place when digestion is overtaxed. Most important, it can bring you a whole new kind of energy which can have you looking good and feeling better than ever with each week that passes.
It is not only separating the kind of foods that you eat that matters for an abundance of energy. You need to be just as conscientious about what you eat. The human body is not genetically equipped to handle the refined flours, sugars and excess quantities of poor quality proteins that make up the typical western way of eating. Our ancient ancestors, whose genetic makeup we share, had no bread, sugar, junk fats or pre-packaged, pre-cooked convenience foods. They ate simple, ordinary, wholesome foods—as much of them as they could kill or gather. Their diet was high in green leaves and vegetables—all complex carbohydrates—and moderate in protein. This is the way our own bodies genetically expect to be fed: Good, wholesome, preferably organic foods, simply prepared and eaten as closely as possible to their natural state.
FREEDOM TO THRIVE
This way of eating calls for real foods rich in fiber, and plenty of the best fats: Organic coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, for instance. The health-enhancing properties of real living foods have long been tested and eulogized by highly respected European and American physicians—from Gordon Latto and Philip Kilsby in Britain, Max Bircher-Benner in Switzerland and Max Gerson in Germany, to Henry Lindlahr and JK Tilden in the United States. Eating for energy asks that you combine your foods sensibly, and that as much as possible you choose foods grown on healthy organic soils and served as closely as possible to their natural state, either cooked or raw. This is not as complicated as it sounds. Here are the basic principles of eating of high vitality eating. They quickly become second nature.
EAT FRUIT ON ITS OWN
Fruit passes through your digestive system very rapidly. It needs little help from digestive enzymes to break it down. If you try to eat fruit at a meal with other foods, its digestion and assimilation are slowed drastically and you can get fermentation in the gut causing indigestion, wind and discomfort. If you have a blood sugar problem, insulin resistance or an overgrowth of Candida albicans, then stay away from sugary fruits altogether, or eat no more than a couple of servings of berries a day. Instead of fruit for breakfast you might have a green drink made from the tops of green vegetables in a juicer or a blender.
MAKE ONE MEAL A DAY A BIG SALAD
A vibrant, living salad based on home-grown or store-bought sprouted seeds and green vegetables is the mainstay eating for high energy. It’s the best way to get optimal support for rebuilding cells and tissues, rebalancing biochemical processes, and restoring normal metabolism. Sometimes, of course, this is not possible—for example, when you have to eat in restaurants all the time. In this case, you can replace the living salad with a big dish of lightly steamed or wok-fried fresh vegetables cooked in coconut oil and served with a side-dish of soup or a protein food. That being said, the more often you are able to make a living salad the focus of the meal, the sooner you will reap the rewards of your new lifestyle. Remember that your digestive system needs time to complete the digestion of a meal before you put anything else into it. Four or five hours need to elapse between lunch and dinner. Otherwise digestion is not complete, and increased toxicity ensues. Always drink as much filtered or spring water or herb teas between meals as you like. But don’t drink liquids at a meal as they will dilute the important digestive enzymes.
- Eat fruit or a green drink in the first half of the day followed by a protein or carbohydrate lunch and dinner, both of which should include a big, fresh, raw salad.
- Leave four to five hours between lunch and dinner for efficient digestion.
- Eat as much as your body needs and listen to its signals of how hungry you really are.
- Take your time, chew thoroughly and stop as soon as you feel you have had enough. Never overeat.
- Get rid of packaged convenience foods that rob you of vitality and undermine well-being. These include breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, sugar and all the so-called goodies made from it.
- Cut back on tea and coffee. If you drink either, make sure it’s organic so you avoid taking chemicals and pesticides into your body. After wheat, coffee is the second most sprayed commodity in the world.
- Restrict alcohol to a glass or two of good wine with a meal, once a day.
- Never eat a concentrated starch food with a concentrated protein food at the same meal. Eat fruit on its own, or leave at least 20 to 30 minutes between a fruit starter and the next course of your meal.
You can pick and choose your own foods and make up your own menus once you get your head around these basic principles. Practice Conscientious Food Combining for a month and I think you’ll be delighted with how you look and feel. You can also say goodbye forever to mainstream medications designed to treat GERD—gastroesophageal reflux disease—with all their nasty side effects. Meanwhile your energy will just keep on building.