If you recall my last challenge was hot/cold showers to stimulate lymphatic flow and the immune system. I did it for 30 days last November and it was an incredible experience.
I have been waiting to be inspired to do another challenge. And after the conclusion of our second Weight Loss Pilot program, it hit me, that the challenge should be: 30 Days of Food Combining.
The theory of food combining is practiced in many cultures around the world. This is loosely taken from Ayurvedic Medicine food combining. True Ayurvedic Practice is quite complex and a few more rules. But this is the general gist of it. The aim is to increase and always support the "digestive fire". With strong "digestive fire", the theory is, most illness will be kept at bay; and current illness will reverse.
I encourage anyone who is intrigued to follow along. Even if it's a subtle rule that is followed…it doesn't have to be 100% all or nothing. And while you are attempting this, make note of any changes to sleep, weight loss gas, bloating, digestion, energy, bowel movements, etc.
Here the food groups:
1. Protein = (any meat, seafood, eggs) – take time to digest in the stomach, and the stomach needs Hydrochloric Acid, or an acidic environment to break down proteins.
2. Grains+Beans = (pasta, rice, quinoa, oats, granola, bread, all beans/legumes, yams, potatoes, corn). Digest quicker, and the stomach requires an alkaline environment to break down grains and starches.
3. Vegetables = any and all vegetables, excluding starchy ones as mentioned above (kale, broccoli, swiss chard, beets, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, celery, etc). Digest well in acidic OR alkaline environments, but take about 1-2 hours to digest.
4. Fruits = all fruit, I am putting avocado's in the fat category and tomato's in the vegetable category, even though they are technically fruits. (apples, pears, berries, citrus fruit, etc). Fruits digest very very quickly and are absorbed by the small intestine.
5. Fats = Butter, olive oil, virgin coconut oil, avocado, raw milk cheese, nuts, seeds.
Here are the rules:
1. Fruits must be eaten alone. For example, the combination of yogurt, which is naturally very acidic, with fruit, which is naturally very sweet, causes the stomach to bloat up and increase gas. The stomach holds the dairy for a longer period of time trying to break it down…and so the fruit is mixed in with it, will ferment in the stomach. The fruit should pass through the stomach quickly and mixing it with dairy will prevent this from occurring.
2. Proteins can only be mixed with fat and veggies.
3. Carbohydrates can only be mixed with fat and veggies.
4. Do not mix Proteins and Carbs. For example, hamburgers, pasta with meat sauce, sushi, eggs and toast, etc. Protein requires an acidic environment, and starches require an alkaline environment to digest, therefore, eating them together will neutralize the digestion of both, leading to incomplete digestion and digestive upset.
5. Avoid water with meals, small amounts of warm tea and/or soup is completely encouraged.
Exceptions to the rules:
1. I am still allowing a protein smoothie, which combines berries/half a banana/whey protein and almond nut milk.
2. On the weekends I am allowing 2 x "combo" meals, if needed for social outtings. During the week, if I need to go out to eat, I will do a vegetarian option if i go out to eat, or I will do a meat/fish and salad option/veggie – which will not break the rules.
Food combining allows foods in their own groups to be digested more completely and increases absorption of nutrients. This is how babies eat. One simple food group at a time. And this is innately how we want to eat when we are sick, simple, easy to digest food groups. This helps a sick body get more nutrients with less energy expended, resulting in quicker recovery.
Let us know if you incorporate any of these rules and how you felt. And if you feel like doing the full 30 days, even better! If you feel like following all the rules for 30 days, we can't wait to hear your experience.
I have already started, and have kept my meals really simple, nothing fancy or complex. I will blog about my experience at the end of 30 days.
Good Luck! Neetu