When we think of good 'ol American food, we might salivate over the thought of a good juicy cheeseburger, barbecue sandwich, or hotdog...but ever notice that bloated, heavy, fatigued feeling afterwards? This feeling is not normal! Instead, we should be feeling strong and energized after a meal! So, today I'm going to burst your bubble with a few food combining recommendations to create an environment that promotes better digestion and absorption of minerals.
More than ever, our bodies are overstressed and undernourished due to processed foods, pasteurization, antibiotics and the like. And it has affected our inner ecosystem, including our digestive tracts. It's important to note that how we eat is just as important as what we eat. Digestion requires a lot of energy, so we want to make the process as efficient as possible! While the below guidelines can be pretty complex, I'm going to break it down as simple as possible. If you are struggling with bloating + digestive issues, I encourage you to incorporate the below and see how your symptoms might improve; you might even lose a few lbs in the process!
1. Eat Protein with Non-Starchy/Ocean Vegetables
Animal protein is broken down in an acidic environment. Our stomachs produce hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin when we eat protein. On the other hand, grains/carbs require an alkaline environment. Our stomach produces an enzyme call ptyalin to break down carbs. When protein and carbs are eaten together, the enzymes neutralize each other and inhibit/slow down the digestive process. As a result, food can putrefy and become toxic, circulating in our bloodstream. This acidity in our bodies can lead to inflammation and an environment that cultivates disease.
Therefore, with proper food combining, it is best to eat protein with non-starchy/ocean vegetables. I know, this means avoiding the burgers and sandwiches! Eek! But try it out; see how you feel!
Examples: Salmon salad with leafy greens. Chicken with broccoli and cauliflower.
2. Eat Grains/Starchy Vegetables with Non-Starchy/Ocean Vegetables
Examples: Grain soups with a mixture of potatoes and veggies. Rice stir-fry with carrots, mushrooms, snow peas, lime, cumin.
3. Eat fruit alone.
Fruits are simple sugars that break down very quickly in our bodies. It is best to eat fruit alone and on an empty stomach. I prefer to eat fruit as a mid-morning snack. Also, avoid mixing fruits (goodbye fruit salad!).
-Start your morning with a warm mug or room temperature glass of lemon water. Lemon contains ascorbic acid which stimulates digestion.
-To make it easy, pick one category at each meal: fruit, starch, animal protein, nuts/seeds.
-Besides fruit, once you pick a food category, fill the rest of your plate with cooked or raw non-starchy veggies.
-Wait 3-4 hours before switching food categories after each meal.
-Avoid cold or iced drinks as they distinguish your digestive fire. Stick with room temperature or warm water and herbal teas. Drink lemon water 20 minutes prior to each meal to further prep digestion.
-Avoid sugar as it suppresses the immune system and does not combine well with the other food categories.
-You may want to consider incorporating digestive enzymes to help aid digestion.
I know it's not what you want to hear; these aren't the most fun guidelines to follow, but next time try that beefy burger on a lettuce wrap and pair it with a nice leafy greens salad. You might just notice yourself feeling stronger, healthier, more flat-bellied, and energized to take on the rest of your day. And who doesn't want that!?
To learn more, schedule a complimentary session with me! I want nothing more than for you to feel healthy, confident, and radiant!