An Alternative Way to Diet: Proper food combining

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in Nutrition and Diet | 0 comments

They call this diet/eating regimen “proper food combining” and I learned about it in 1975 from a healthy 94 year old English physician named Dr. Norman Lovegrove, who first modeled its benefits to me. Suzanne Sommers has been promoting food combining in her books for many years, and now Dr. Oz has gotten on board, and recently described it benefits on his television show.

Norman lived near me in California and was vitally healthy for his age.  He would see 2 patients a day at his little cottage, “just for fun” he said.  He had graduated from medical school in 1906.  And he’d become a vegetarian at age 70.

He was a well known local character as he daily walked about a mile to the store and farmers market to buy his fresh fruits and vegetables that he would juice, to eat with his homemade bran muffins, and yogurt. He carried a handmade “stop” sign that he would hold up to cross the busy highway.  At 95, he successfully petitioned the State of California to get a stop light put in at the corner of the Pacific coast Hwy 1, and Hwy 92, which is still there.

I find that people who are struggling with weight issues or with stomach problems, if they incorporate this into their diet plan, they will have better success.  With some people, I have found that it is the only way they will lose weight. When I have someone who is “doing everything right”, often this works when all else fails.  It’s not easy to make these changes, because it is so foreign to our American way of eating, “what…no meat and potatoes!!”, but it is definitely worth it.

There are physiological reasons for eating foods in compatible combinations.  According to digestive chemistry, different food categories digest in different mediums.  Starchy foods (C) require an alkaline medium…which starts in the mouth by the enzyme ptyalin.  Protein foods (B) require an acid medium-hydrochloric acid.  Eaten together protein and starchy foods will inhibit the digestion of the starches, possibly causing fermentation, gas, and indigestion.  And you don’t absorb the nutrients as well either.

Norman taught me this simple way of properly combining your food, that I frequently share with my patients.

Here are the Categories of Foods

A.

Veggies

Beans

Legumes

Nuts/Seeds

Oils (Olive, Avocado, Grapeseed, etc.)

B.

Animal Protien foods

Eggs

Meat

Fish

C.

Starches (bread, potatoes, pasta)

Grains (rice, wheat, corn, millet, etc.)

Sugar in all forms

D.

Whole Fruits

E.

Dairy (and when eaten, fermented is best: yogurt, kefir, cheeses)

Here are the rules:

  • Eating A and B together is OK
  • Eating A and C together is OK
  • DO NOT EAT B and C together
  • Eat  D and E,  alone

Dr. Lovegrove said you can eat Fruit and Dairy together once in a while, like fruit and yogurt or cheese and fruit, but that it is best to eat them separately.  Melons should however always be eaten alone.

So think about it…what do American’s usually eat?:  Sandwiches made of Meat and Bread  (B & C)      Pizza  (B, C & E)

Spaghetti and meat sauce (B & C) Meat and Potatoes (B & C)   Hot dogs (B & C) Hamburgers and fries (B & C) even our Thanksgiving favorite: Turkey and Dressing (B & C).

No wonder we have indigestion and have to take stomach meds for bloating and reflux.  And when people come here from south of the border,  instead of traditional beans and rice, and beans and corn tortillas…(A & C)  They start to eat taco’s with beef and corn and white flour tortillas with meat and cheese (B & C & E).  When Asian’s come instead of Tofu and Rice (A & C) they start eating meat and rice (B & C).  And people from the Middle East instead of Falafel (chickpeas with a sauce made from Tahini (sesame seeds) and Rice or Beans (A & C) or Lentils and  Pita’s  (A & C) they eat meat and cheese in their Pita’s  (B & C & E)   And then they start to become overweight and have digestive problems too.

He also suggested that you don’t drink with your meals because it can dilute the stomach acids that are needed to digest your foods well.  Stay hydrated by drinking water between meals.   And especially don’t drink cold liquids with your meals…as it makes the fat harder to digest.

Norman lived to be 99 years old, and died gently in his sleep.  I think this is the goal of all of us…to live full, active and productive lives, till the day, we “rest in peace”.  And while food combining doesn’t guarantee you will live to be 99, it may mean that you will have a whole lot less burping, gas, better nutritional status, and your optimal weight may be easier to maintain.

Proper Food Combining Menu #1

  • Drink 12-24 oz of pure water when you first get up to rehydrate your body.
  • Breakfast:  2 oz of fresh squeezed vegetable juice and a whole grain bran muffin.  (A & C)
  • Coffee  or tea, if you want  it (beans and herbs)…but not with dairy in it.  Rice, Almond, or Soy milk is OK. (A & C)
  • Mid-morning snack:  Hand full of nuts(about 10) almonds, cashews, or ½ cup sunflower seeds  eaten alone, or as a nut butter on an apple, or stuffed inside a couple stalks of celery.  (A)
  • Lunch:  4 oz Lean meat, and a large Garden Salad with lots of veggies and sprouts and ½ – 1 Tbsp of salad dressing (not one made with milk) and a piece of Dark Chocolate ( A & B)
  • Mid afternoon:  whole piece of fruit   (E eaten alone)
  • Dinner:  1 ½ -2 cups of Beans and  Brown Rice, Spanish style with salsa, a few baked corn chips (non-gmo, of course), and some steamed veggies.  (A & C)
  • Early evening snack…a cheese slice, or yogurt (add a few blue berries if you like).  D and E

Proper Food Combining Menu #2

  • Awakening:  12-16 oz of Pure Water to rehydrate after the nightly fast
  • Breakfast:  Green onion, mushroom, and bell pepper omelet with salsa topping and ½ sliced Avocado   (A & B)
  • Coffee or Tea afterwards, if you would like that (but better to have it a little later in the morning, so not to dilute your stomach digestive juices from doing their job) .
  • Morning Snack:  1 whole peeled orange (be sure to eat some of the white pulp, because it is full of bioflavonoids) D
  • Lunch:  Grilled Chicken Salad on top of a large bed of field greens (A & B)
  • Afternoon snack: a hand full of dried cranberries (chewed well). D
  • Dinner: Whole grain fettuccini type pasta with seasoned olive oil, and mixed veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and broccoli.  For dessert:  A delicious piece of healthy Dark Chocolate.  (A & C)
  • Early evening snack: 1 oz of cheese with pear slices, or ½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt , with fruit if desired  (D & E)

With both menu’s, you have eaten from every food group.  There wasn’t a huge preparation time…you can even get your meat and salad lunch at a fast food restaurant.  The nutrient content has variety. You have had about 30 grams of Protein (daily recommendation).  You have had raw and cooked veggies. You’ve eaten healthy fat. You have eaten fruit.  You have had fiber, and whole grains.  And, you didn’t eat B & C together, so your digestion feels like it’s working well…and you are full, satisfied, and were never hungry all day.  And all for around 1,200-1,400 Calories.  Do this for a week and experience how well you feel, while you watch your weight loss plan succeed, with an expected loss of 2-3 lbs.

Vicki Latham P.A.-C.

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