Part 1 – Why
If so far I kept preaching you should follow the 80:20 principle in your diet, today I’m introducing a new concept, just as important. If you end up understanding this concept and applying it correctly, it can radically change your life, by improving both your health and your looks. This is the concept of correctly combining types of food.
I ignored these rules for a while myself, to my cost. My health and level of energy improved a great deal when I started only eating vegetables, but at some point, my weight was stagnating. I still had a layer of fat over muscle and abdomen, and I really wanted to get rid of the last 2.5 kg. Not to mention that I was so exhausted, I needed a small espresso every day, I felt bloated and… what’s with those pimples?! Shouldn’t a whole plant-based diet be so clean that such troubles should just go away? Something was not right.
Choose smart, instead of just cutting down
I had heard about rules of combining foods, but like most vegetarians, I chose to ignore them. After all, I had already cut so many types of food from my diet, I didn’t want to further restrict my choices. When I tentatively tried, having seen nothing else that could work, I was amazed by the results!
Since nothing compares to your own experience, do yourself a favour and try following this concept in order to really understand the impact of what I’m describing.
My energy skyrocketed, I lost the last extra kilograms, I got rid of bloating, and I seemed to be in a much better overall mood! Last time I felt this way was last November, when I followed my 10-day liver and gallbladder flush, which I do twice per year. I couldn’t believe that just by mixing food types in a certain way, food types I would have eaten anyway, I could feel so well and… just so alive! Cross my heart: now, I’m following a restriction-free diet, because I learned how to mix food types.
From “what we eat” to “what our body uses”
It’s essential for us to understand that what we eat is not important: what matters is what our bodies can use from all that we eat. If we don’t assimilate vitamins and minerals from the fruit we’re having between meals, our skin won’t be young and supple, our immunity won’t grow and neither will the other advantages become apparent.
Also, if we eat a product whose labels presents a content of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t mean our bodies will fully benefit from them, as seen on the label. Foodstuffs must be fully and correctly digested for us to assimilate nutrients. Most of us don’t do this the right way, so we don’t make the most of our food.
Our bodies are warm, at a little under 37o C, a temperature at which various biochemical reactions happen. Evaluating a specific type of food separately is completely different from evaluating the qualities of food digested and broken down by our bodies. Since our bodies are warm, the more the food stays in our body the larger the risk it will leave behind residues and sediments (accumulation, generally layered, of minerals and organic leftovers).
Correctly mixing foodstuffs has a direct impact on our body’s capacity to quickly and correctly break them down and, implicitly, impacts the energy it can save. This concept is not very prominent in our modern world and classic medical doctors don’t want to hear about it, saying that as omnivores we should be able to digest anything. Every day, most of us eat heavy food combinations. The digestive effort of our bodies is huge. It won’t kill us on the spot… but what’s the long-term price we pay? Getting fat and ageing ever faster. It’s not a coincidence and, for most people, not something to be desired.
Combining foods works in every kind of diet, no matter if you eat meat, fish, or if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Lacking energy? This is for you!
The supreme result of the principle is the release of energy – the number 1 problem of the West. You see, chronic lack of energy is a vicious circle of over-eating, constant snacking and drinking sugary and caffeinated liquids, all in order to “boost our energy” or make the day go by faster. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that lack of energy leads to excessive body weight and… well, not so good looks. Why are we so tired? Because we don’t mix foods correctly.
Now: in order to mix foods, the right way, we need to go back to chemistry basics. A little bit of focus here will go a long way.
Foodstuffs use different enzymes during digestions – some need an alkaline environment, others a more acidic one. Dr. Herbert M. Shelton, one of the pioneers of healthy food mixing, explains in Food Combining Made Easy: “Any student who learn physiology knows that digestive enzymes have their well-defined limits, and that to digest various types of substances from food there are several types of gastric juices being secreted”.
I will dedicate all of my next article to talk about the basic rules of correctly mixing food types, by making an analogy between the meals we consider to be healthy and how we should in fact eat. And because I’m here to make your work easier, there will be a handy pairing cheat-sheet you’ll be able to save and keep close by!