Food Combining

Posted on April 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When you eat a lot of food, you eat a wide variety of food; that’s good, right? Maybe not, at least according to the rules of food combining. Food combining, at its core, breaks down foods into their categories and suggests which to pair together for optimal nutrition and which to avoid combining. Proper food combining is supposed to lead to proper digestion.



Fruit, for instance, should always be eaten alone. Accordingly, I snacked on this nectarine before lunch eaten all by itself. I first heard of food combining from Gina, and my first reaction was “Finally, the key!”

A little more time and thought and I’m ready to call this one busted. Why? Well, in a bit of research, I’ve came across a slew of articles such as this article which make it sound more absurd than miraculous; 20,000 years of food digestion and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. I also took in to account that nothing usually digests on its own; that nectarine I ate was undoubtedly sitting on top of my breakfast in my gut even if eaten an hour later. The final straw was that I’d have to accept that 19 years of eating have been done “improperly” if I’m to believe food combining now. I’ve had some bad times on the toilet, but not that much.

Grass-Fed Burger, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Butternut Squash

Grass-Fed Burger, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Butternut Squash

Burgers and sweet potatoes “don’t combine well”; if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’d know that meal is a staple in my diet. I meant to have it for lunch, too, but instead I cooked some brussels sprouts in the beef fat and steamed butternut squash in the microwave to the point of being soft. I then tossed those with sea salt, turmeric, and cinnamon. That combination of spices was magnificent and anti-oxidant rich–love it! Dessert was my cookie Friday creation:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

How do chocolate, peanut butter, and brownie combine? I obviously didn’t stick around with it long enough before looking in to debunking the myth to find out. All I know is that in my mouth they combine heavenly. The inside was a peanut butter gluten-free chocolate brownie, surrounded by Endangered Species 70% dark chocolate and a layer of 365 brand peanut butter sweetened with Madhava vanilla agave.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

OK. I actually ate it uncombined more like this because it was so clumpy; it was still delicious! 😀 By far my favorite bit was the chocolate with peanut butter on top, which was perfectly bitter-sweet. And this chocolate bar is on sale at Whole Foods for the next week! I’m going to stock up over the weekend since I obviously have no problem going through them.

Sweet Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, And Tofu With Maple Syrup

Sweet Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, And Tofu With Maple Syrup

This was my dinner: quite literally combined! I gave new meaning to shake and bake by filling a bag with tofu, sweet potato, and brussels, shaking it with maple syrup to spread that around and baking it at 350 to roast the veggies while cooking the tofu to the perfect texture.

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

I loooooove this combination of maple baked tofu with sweet potato and greens. This feels like the perfect Friday night meal because it’s so homey and warm, and it’s been rain clouds all day. I just wish good food didn’t take so long to prepare! I start dinner at 4:30 to eat at 6:30. But if time is the cost for a healthy meal, I’ll pay up and pay it forward. I added a secret ingredient on top I’m “testing out”. I don’t want to say too much, but I think the flavor works well, and I can’t wait to try making a real recipe with it.

My Verdict

I will not be striving to keep separate my starch from my flesh from my fruit any time soon. Had you heard of food combining? Do you practice it? Does it work for you? I’m not saying my disbelief of it means it’s not the key for somebody. I just read an article last night saying there’s no scientific evidence for a gluten intolerance short of Chron’s Disease, but I know my body enough to say I don’t have Chron’s and still gluten from wheat, barley, and rye upset my stomach. Similarly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear if food combining is what works for some people. Just not myself.

A giveaway for WoW baked goods–I love these!

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19 Responses to “Food Combining”

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Oh my gosh! That dessert is the BOMB!!! Love it.
I don’t read into the food combining much…honestly, there is so much different info out there – and there is WAY more to life than what’s on your plate…if your analyzing that much, then you need to get out in reality and find some higher purpose in life..

true THAT! I havent ever practiced this-but ive really been reading a lot about this lately! I feel like ppl try to analyze EVERY little thing about food. lets just eat and enjoy!

Heard of food combining. Everybody looking at me strangely and telling me that it’s gonna ferment in my stomach when I say that I like fruit as a healthy dessert. For myself, eating too much or eating unhealthy upsets my stomach much more than “wrong” food combining. In fact, I don’t recall having felt bad after eating fruit right after a starchy dinner. But I know some people that swears only by food combining. I guess it depends of people!

Maple Baked Tofu?! I will definately have to try that 🙂 I like your blog!!!

You probably get this a lot, but it’s cool to read a guy’s food blog! Can’t wait to read more posts!

As for food combining, I think it’s a good way to motivate people to eat healthier foods and try a wider variety of healthy foods, but for those that already do that, I think it’s kind of useless. Like you said, our bodies know how to digest food the way it needs to…

last post
homemade pecan butter
sweet utopia…have it and havnet read it that thoroughly but i hate it as well when books point out vegan 101 stuff. like eggs are not vegan. really. you dont say.

honestly i know how to tweet and post somethng @ someone. That’s about it. I dont even get # and by and large if someone follows me, i follwo them unless they are really freaky then no.

food combining
i do believe that for some ppl it’s really helpful. i am not sensitive enough that it really matters. however, i eat plants. and so really, what order i eat them in doesnt matter. if i was eating processed carbs, meat, tons of fats with it, etc then it would matter more.

gluten intolerance can happen to FAR lesser degrees than chrons or true celiac. that research is antiquated 🙂

I’ve heard about food combining, but I think it would be too much work for me to think about it all the time!

Food combining intrigues me, but to be honest, it’s just too complicated for me. Plus, I generally feel really good– so I guess if I started having severe stomach problems or something, I might try it, but hey– if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 🙂

I don’t food combine because it’s kind of a hassle most of the time…even with Crohn’s and gluten intolerance, so long as I avoid gluten my tummy is happy. One small exposure to it and all the discomfort comes.

Food combining seems like a hassle. Too many rules. I will take the occasional stomach ache 😉

i’ve heard of food combining but more so in the sense of different nutrients get absorbed better when they have their partner in crime. but i don’t typically pay much attention to that aspect as i try to eat things that i think taste good together.

I don’t buy into the whole food combining thing. Even if I did, I don’t think fruit alone would ever satisfy me if I wanted a full snack.

Hey just thought I’d throw a comment out there about food combining…I’m in an advanced nutrient metabolism class right now so it has given me a lot in insight into things like this. Honestly, our bodies know what they are doing and do not need any help from us 🙂 we even use some things together (like lipids and protein…lipoprotein) so no matter what the nutrients end up in the same place. In addition, we have different enzymes in our small intestine to digest CHO, PRO, and lipid respectively so digestion is not stolen from one either one if all eaten at the same time. Learning about the science of it all is really fascinating and I think it would change a lot of people’s views if they knew it all for themselves w/o others trying to tell them what they SHOULD or NEED to do! 😀

I don’t try too hard- I like to enjoy what I eat and I don’t really look at it too much as a science!

The only method of food combining that I swear by is the consumption of fruit, by itself, first thing in the morning. Since I love fruit so much I eat at least 2-3 servings of it to satisfy my daily “fix”. But the grains and flesh stipulation? Meh…not as important to me.

Ironically I usually eat fruit alone as a snack, though never thought about the food combining side of it. I’m convinced peanut butter goes with chocolate, just like cheese and veggies go together. My stomach is basically made of steel!

I’ve never paid much attention to food combining, as I’ve been blessed with a pretty solid digestive tract. I think I’ll stick with what I know works:)
The seasoning on that b-nut squash sounds amazing!

I think the whole food combining idea, while I respect everyone’s opinions and their differences in their GI systems- is an elaborate gimmick. It would be a great way to solve digestive problems and the like, but, every food has fats/carbohydrates/proteins present, just in different proportions. It makes no difference as to how we take this in, in that the gastric and pancreatic digestive secretions contain the whole cohort of enzymes needed to break the different food components down. Further more, its good to say, take in some lipids along with fruit/veg to aid absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Its a bit like some raw foodists saying they ‘preserve the enzymes’ in their food, which makes them better for us- firstly, as soon as we take the food in, these ‘enzymes’ ie proteins are inactivated, then broken down and have no role other than as fuel molecules inside us (there are other benefits to raw foods though, like lack of acrylamide formation). Our bodies are quite capable of producing the full spectrum of enzymes we need for all our metabolic processes. And yes, you can have gluten intolerance without having Crohn’s- if you have Coeliac disease and, it is theorised, possible Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The scientific research isn’t antiquated- what one reads in the blogosphere or media is often many years behind the scientific research. The great thing about scientists is that they don’t talk with certainty about things that haven’t yet been proved- unlike many ‘nutritionists’. Hope you’re having a good weekend!

I have to agree with you here. It’s hard to believe all this when people are perfectly healthy and not food combining. It may help, but for years we have eaten this way, and I don’t think it’s necessary to change now. Plus, it’s too hard to pass up sweet potatoes and steak together! And in Bethenney Frankels Naturally Thin book she always tells you to eat protein with your fruit to stay full longer. Who knows what is write and whats wrong anymore…I say just eat everything in moderation!

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