Gluttony: The Morning After

It’s early in the morning on a day that I expect my children to sleep late. The house is quiet. I could be sleeping, but I’m not. And it’s not by choice.

Why, you may ask, am I squandering such a golden opportunity?

It’s because I have a tummy ache.

After weeks of eating a mostly raw, healthful diet with good food combining along with our detox, we were excited to have some of our old favorite not-so-good-for-us foods again. Not that we’d eat them all the time (we never did before, anyway), but I’m sure you understand.

So, last night we had a celebratory meal. I advertised on our Facebook page what we were having for dinner: a Thanksgiving style meal: turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato, green beans, apricot/cranberry/pomegranate sauce, challah (freshly made with real flour), fresh grape juice. And apple crisp that we didn’t even eat since we were so full and it was too late.

It was really tasty. It was also a great example of gluttony, defined by Merriam-Webster as excess in eating and drinking; greedy or excessive indulgence.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not at all trying to tell you that you should never have such a celebratory meal. However, doing it frequently or finding a reason almost daily to have a “treat” is actually worse for you than having it once in a while. Your body can much more easily recover from a lot of bad stuff at once than a little each day. I discussed this in my post on Celebration Days vs. Regular Days.

Our dinner last night was not only made of completely cooked foods (with the exception of the grape juice, which was completely wasted nutritionally on top of all that other stuff in our stomachs), but it was combined poorly.  We had too much meat and bread and potato…a tiny bit of green beans. Not good. Putting those things in at the same time was just asking for trouble. (Wanna know why? Read The Combo Platter: Eating Harmoniously-Proper Food Combining)

And so while I’m a little frustrated that I lost some sleep this morning, I’m glad my body functions well enough to react in a way that reminds me that this should not be a way of life. Not my life, anyway.

Are you a meat and potatoes person? I used to be. You can change this habit, one meal at a time. Start with dinners; how ever many per week you eat meat, lessen it by one. And how ever many of those left include potato/pasta/rice/any carbohydrate, lessen it by one. Try the meat with only vegetables. And lessen the amount of meat, making it more like the side dish than the main dish.

I love to hear of your changes and struggles with meal planning and health….Let me know how it goes!

The Combo Platter: Eating Harmoniously (Proper Food Combining)

Is this your idea of good food combining?

If it is…’d better keep reading! 😉

Did you know that it’s not just what you eat, but what you eat together? Even really healthy food, when combined improperly with other really healthy food, can cause indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, cramps, general malaise, fatigue, and more. Alternatively, proper food combining causes you to digest and assimilate the most nutrition out of what you eat.

Who Should Worry About Food Combining?

* Anyone who is sick or in recovery
* Anyone trying to detox their bodies
* Anyone with signs of indigestion
* Anyone in need of an immediate energy boost

Food combining is eating the proper combinations and quantities of foods at a meal as to contribute to easy and proper digestion of all the nutrients in the food you have eaten. Remember, digestion doesn’t just mean that you put it in your mouth and swallowed it. Digestion means also that it must be assimilated–converted into living tissue.

Proper food combining helps avoid all the symptoms of not doing so, which most would be classified under the heading: “INDIGESTION.”

There are 3 basic categories of macronutrients. They are

* Carbohydrate (fruits, potatoes/squash, and grains/breads/pasta/beans)
* Protein (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, nuts/seeds)
* Fat (nuts/oils, butter, avocados, coconut)

Non-starchy vegetables (like green leafy type) don’t fall under any of these categories. They have few calories and are eaten for their mineral & vitamin content.

The easiest digestion comes when you eat foods that contain most of their calories from one macronutrient source (carbs, protein, or fat).

Combine any of these three with a nice green salad, and you are good to go. HOWEVER, if you combine 2 or more of these 3 together, you are asking for trouble!

Example: Baked Potato (carbohydrate) and salad, GOOD.
Baked Potato (carbohydrate) and Steak (protein), BAD.

That’s right. Meat plus potatoes is NOT a good food combination.
The same can be said for meat plus grains (that Big Mac)

The reason these things need to be divided into categories is:

The chemistry of your body, because you have one stomach, does not let you digest efficiently when you create a contrasting environment in that one stomach. Protein digests in an acid environment, and carbs digest in an alkaline environment. Remember chemistry? If you mix an acid and a base together, you get salt and water. You cannot digest food anything in salt and water! The food will pass through the body undigested, never broken down, not assimilated. It becomes food for bacteria which have a good ole’ time. Of course those produce gas, etc.

The quantity of the food matters, too. If you eat a baked potato and feel good, that does not mean that you can eat 3 baked potatoes and still feel fine. That is because your body only has a certain amount of digestive enzymes available at any given time. You eat too much of one thing, even if it’s a good thing (and properly combined), and you will get indigestion.

So it’s best to not mix multiple sources of the same macronutrient you are eating at a single meal. Example: Don’t eat bread AND potato AND dessert in one meal.

Practical Plan to Institute Good Food Combining In Your Diet

* Stop eating proteins and carbohydrates in the same meal.
* Do eat concentrated protein meals and concentrated carbohydrate meals with a big veggie salad.
* Stop eating 2 or more types of carbohydrates or protein in the same meal
* eat grains and foods derived from grains no more than 3 times per week (unless gluten intolerant)
* Eat animal proteins no more than 3 times per week (if at all).
* Eat fruits alone
* Stop drinking with meals. Do drink 8 oz of water 30 mins prior to meals.

WellWithU Radio had a show on this same topic last week. Click here to listen to it.

Food Combining and Stewed Crockpot Chicken with Vegetables

I love using my crock pot. I don’t do it very often, because it seems to work best for stewed type meat, and we only eat meat for dinner about once a week. ( I do also use it for soups and beans). But when Friday comes and I have SO much to do before our special family dinner that night, it really takes a load off my mind to make a one-dish-meal that I can start in the morning and forget about until dinner time.

It’s simple. And it simplifies. Something that I REALLY like.

I recently listened to this WellWithU radio show about proper food combining and why it’s important. I was reminded that meat & potatoes or grains is not a good combo. This I already knew; we don’t do it much and seem to tolerate it all right once in a while. But the important thing that I was reminded of was that couscous AND potatoes AND bread all in one meal would be TOO MUCH of the same type of thing in our bodies (even if it were properly combined). So, I made a change in the dinner I was preparing. I usually add potatoes to the stew, but realized that it would be much better to leave those out and fill up with more veggies instead.

Crock Pot Stewed Chicken

About 2 lbs chicken parts*. I’ve done it with wings, legs, thighs, whole bird cut up. Whatever.
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
Any other veggie that you have laying around and want to use up. I usually add cabbage or zucchini. This time I added 1/2 a bag of frozen green beans.
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tin tomato paste
About 1/3 c white wine
A big pinch (approx 1 tsp) each of Basil, Oregano, Thyme
1 Bay leaf

Put everything in, turn it on, walk away, come back 8 hrs later to dinner. Serve over rice/couscous/quinoa (whole grain, of course)

*I recommend that you only consume animal meat that is certified organic and free to roam, with no antibiotics or hormones injected. And even then, do so sparingly. Accompanied by lots of veggies.

Proper Food Combining: Radio Show

Did you know that it’s not just what you eat, but what you eat together? Even really healthy food, when combined improperly with other really healthy food can cause indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, cramps, general malaise, fatigue, and more. Alternatively, proper food combining causes you to digest and assimilate the most nutrition out of what you eat.

My friends over at host a BlogTalkRadio show every Monday at 2pm EST.

Click here to listen to The Combo Platter show.

Join Dr. Jeff and Chaim to find out what a healthy “combo platter” looks like.
Topics to be covered: * Who should worry about food combining?
* What is food combining?
*Why is proper food combining essential for many people?
* Common symptoms of not combining well.
* Combining foods properly.
* A practical plan to institute good food combining in your diet.
*** Plus the last 15 mins of the program is reserved for listener questions. *** (Dr. Jeff broadcasts from Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Chaim from Jerusalem, Israel.)

You can listen to the player here (after the show, of course), or click this link to the archive.

This is an important topic: I haven’t gotten to it yet as a post, but realized I can just send you over to the good information there. Enjoy! I know I will.

update: I created a newer post from the info in this same radio show. If you prefer to read than listen, you can go here for it.