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Food combining and mono meals for better digestion

Food Combining

You’ve probably heard the saying “You are what you eat.”  I believe this to be true.  But I also believe that you need to take it one step further.

“You are what you can digest.”

For someone who struggles with digestive dysfunction or symptoms of a sluggish digestive system, eating mono meals and/or paying close attention to food combining could be very beneficial.

What is a mono meal?

What exactly is a mono meal and why is it beneficial? Very good question which can be answered by taking a step back in time. You see our ancestors, for thousands of years, wouldn’t have had access to the diverse array of delicious foods we have when we open our fridge.  It would’ve been more of a scenario like you found a berry bush at it’s prime ripeness. Ancestrally we would’ve understood that with no way to preserve such bounty, we’d have to eat as much as we could right then and there. Our bodies and brains are much better adapted to this since it’s how humans ate for the majority of their time on this earth.

food combiningA mono meal is just a fancy way of saying, fill yourself up on a meal that consists of ONE thing. Eat a big bowl of just watermelon, eat four bananas, a big bowl of steamed sweet potato etc.  The benefits of mono meals are mainly to do with digestive health. They remove the burden of your digestive system having to differentiate from an array of different substances which all require different enzymes.

The way we eat doesn’t always make sense. Combining starches, proteins, fats and sugars is bound to create a digestive burden which shows up as discomfort, gas and other pesky digestive issues.  When you take a break from complex meals, your organs have a chance to rejuvenate. Detoxification naturally happens at this point and you might find that when you go back to eating as usual, you digest your food better and have more energy.

This leads me to my next point…

What is food combining?

Food combining is a system of eating foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy.  It takes into account the area of digestion for each food within the digestive system and the complexity of digestion for each food.

There are three primary categories of food: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.  Each category of food requires different enzymes for proper digestion.  So here are a few good rules of thumb to follow:

DO NOT EAT PROTEIN AND STARCHES AT THE SAME MEAL.  Proteins begin their digestion in the stomach where the stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin to break down the food in a highly acidic environment.  When you eat starches, digestion first begins in your mouth, then your stomach secretes the enzyme ptyalin to create an alkaline condition.  Eating starches and proteins at the same meal will neutralize each other and will prevent proper digestion of either food.  Proteins need a highly acidic environment.  Starches need an alkaline environment.

food combiningEAT FRUITS ALONE, ESPECIALLY MELONS.   This is because when fruit is eaten, the digestive process works very quickly and our body uses different enzymes to digest the fruit. The simple sugars contained in fruit need time to be completely absorbed by your body.  If you eat fruit close to a meal, especially right after a larger meal and combine with other foods, it’s held in the stomach too long along with other foods and will rot and ferment in the gut.  Fermentation can lead to gas, rob you of energy, and slow down your digestion.  Now let’s talk about melons.  Melons do not digest well with other foods, period.  And they will frequently cause problems unless consumed by itself.

To recap, here are the best methods for food combining.  

  1. Eat fruit alone.
  2. Eat proteins with non-starchy foods.
  3. Eat starches with vegetables.

Your gut is really your first line of defense for sickness prevention and ultimate health.  It’s easy to forget so I always like to remind my clients that 80% of the body’s immune system lives in the gut.  If you have suffered for a long time with energy issues, poor digestion and inflammation, then you may want to consider food combining.  What have you got to lose?


Do you need support for your digestive health?  Nutritional therapy could be just what you need.  I work with clients across the US and specialize in digestive health, adrenal health, blood sugar and so much more!  Learn about my practice and services here.  http://cecemcclintick.com/work-with-me/

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