I know they didn't teach us about food combining in high school and I also know I also didn't take much interest in biology either! How come, years later, the subjects that didn't interest us then, now become so important?
Take the digestive system for example. The amount of work it does with its balancing act of digesting acidic and starchy foods goes greatly unappreciated by the majority of people. We just throw everything 'at it' and expect it to work miracles. When we get a little older, we start to notice that 'things aren't working' as well as they used to 'down there'.
I first heard about 'food combining' from Gillian McKeith in her "You Are What You Eat" TV series on BBCAmerica. Gillian brought to light that when you eat a typical meal of starchy and acidic foods, and then shortly thereafter follow it up with a 'dessert' of fruit, you wonder why you experience gas and bloating.
Proper food combining is also a major topic of Sherry Brescia's too, whose book "Great Taste No Pain!" sits next to McKeith's book on my kitchen cookbook shelf.
And then along came Andrew!
See the right-hand sideber (or the bottom of this post if you're on your Smartphone) for more about this guy who totally changed how I see and eat food ... Thanks Andrew!
Back to Sherry: I totally agree with her on this point: proper food combining is grossly ignored or misunderstood by most of the western world today.
When we eat fruit after a starchy and acidic meal, our stomach is still working hard to digest the protein from the (acidic) meat, along with a starchy potato.
Both of these food items completely throw the acid-balance in our stomach out of whack (more on that farther down the page).
To add insult to injury, we then toss on top of the meat and potato some fruit — which digests very easily and rapidly — but the fruit has no-where to go!
It's trapped in your stomach, sitting on top of the meat and potatoes! Hence the gas and bloating as the fruit ferments!
Before I found Andrew Perlot and created this Go Raw Lose Weight site to help get Andrew's message out, I was still stuck in the standard-American-diet-way of eating to some degree. I tried my best to eat fruit before a regular meal, or at least wait a couple of hours before eating an apple, or a banana.
As I've voiced elsewhere on this site, I'm still miffed at all my lost years of not being a proper 'fruit-eater.' I was just messing around with the odd banana and apple every now and then, due to my dieting mentality of fruit "having too many calories" and "all that sugar." Sigh.
I had it all backwards!
So my digestive system was still stuck with dealing with the acidic and starchy foods — combined. PLEASE read this Acid-Alkaline Balance page. Thank you.
My last cooked meal consisted of chicken thighs, cooked in the oven with onion, rosemary, sage, thyme, with garlic, and 2 fresh lemons (an Ina Garten recipe!) I must admit it smelled and tasted delicious! Along with two pieces of this tasty chicken, I had a baked potato with some 'pretend butter' melted on it.
My mom came round to visit about 20 minutes later to pick up some of the chicken. I thought it was 'that good' so I'd better give it away. Otherwise I would have sat there all afternoon devouring the rest of it! In exchange for the chicken, mom gave me a slice of her homemade cheesecake, topped with cherries.
Down the hatch it went!
About an hour later, I was in the bathroom throwing up. I had been suffering from an ulcer for the past decade, and anytime I overate, the food would press against the ulcer, causing horrendous pains which were only relieved by being sick. Imagine all the acid that must've been sloshing around in my stomach, trying its best to break down the chicken's fat, (it was that good, I even ate the skin! argh) and the protein, and the starchy spud. And not to mention the fat in the cheesecake — and to get rid of all that food, you need your digestive system's acid.
And that brings me to the point about not mixing starchy alkaline foods with acidic foods and why we should use proper food combining.
The reason alkaline foods, such as potatoes, don't mix well with acidic foods, such as meat, is because the stomach needs to produce acid to digest the protein in the meat.
To the meat we then add the starchy foods (bad food combining) and one food cancels out the other — acid-wise. So there's NO ACID left in our stomachs to 'do the digestion-job'. So there it sits. Literally rotting away in our guts.
Human intestines are much longer than animal intestines. OK, so what? Well, animals are meat eaters and their digestive systems can digest meat, and with their digestive tracts being shorter, the meat travels through their systems faster.
Humans, on the other hand, eat meat, and it takes for ever to get through our longer digestive systems! And on its way, it's decaying and emitting obnoxious gas, leaving us bloated (and probably all alone!) :-)
When our digestive system gets too polluted, and slows to a crawl, pockets of pus, for some unfortunate people (and the number is rising), form in their large intestine — due to not being able to expel the food. They are constipated. Imagine how fiber from fruit can help this situation!
So when the food can't get out, and they're sat there straining, it forces little pockets to form in the wall of the colon which get infected. This is called diverticulitis, and I believe this is an extremely painful condition.
That information alone makes me, even more, want to take better care of myself and my digestive system and practice proper food combining!
In order for our stomach to do the job it was designed for, let's give it a fighting chance by using food combining to our advantage.
When we eat fruits combined, pay attention to which are alkaline and which are acidic in nature.
Here is a LIST of fruits and vegetables I've compiled for you:Acidic and Alkaline Fruits and Vegetables.
To give you an idea, here's a partial list of alkaline fruit:
Alkaline: Apples, bananas, grapes, honeydew melon, peaches, pears, raspberries, watermelons.
A partial list of acidic fruit:
Acidic: Blueberries, cranberries, and currants. Plums and prunes can also have an acidifying effect but when eaten separately, there's no problem, it's only when you COMBINE.
Here's a partial list of alkaline veggies:
Alkaline: Broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, most dark leafy greens, peas, spinach, tomatoes (which we thought were acidic, actually have an alkalizing effect), and lettuce.
A partial list of acidic vegetables:
Acidic: Acorn Squash, olives, and lentils.
Andrew Perlot goes into food combining on page 92 of his Raw Food Weight Loss & Vitality book.
I will go as far as to tell you this, Andrew Perlot does not eat meals with different fruit combinations at one sitting. Rather, he'll eat what he termed "Mono Meals" which consists of dining on one type of fruit per meal, as suggested by the title "Mono". Again, Andrew Perlot goes into detail on this in his excellent book mentioned above. This way, the stomach is happy, Andrew is happy, and you can be happy too!