Simple Food Combining for Optimal Digestion

Recipes and Food Combining for the discerning pallet.

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Simple Food Combining for Optimal Digestion

Post: # 26Post DrJessieND »


One of the first things that my mentor, Dr. Theresa Dale taught me was the principles of proper food combining. As she walked me through the basic rules, my mind was truly blown. Here was a way to make sure the proteins digested well, and didn’t putrefy the liver.

I had learned in Naturopathic school that fermented animal protein created 10 different toxic gases, one of which I still recall: Cadaverine! So I knew it was important to digest cleanly. However, they did not teach food combining at that institution, so thank goodness I ended working with Theresa on my health.

The rules are simple, but fly in the face of modern eating and even modern so called "healthy" diets.

Let’s take a look at the controversy: First of all, in proper food combining we do not combine protein with starches/carbs/sugars, as they always get broken down first. The enzyme needed for protein, called protease, is a little more challenging for the pancreas, so it gets secreted later. This gives the simple sugars a chance to start fermenting our protein, which is exactly what happens. Then these toxic gases form, and go out into our bloodstreams, and our poor liver has to neutralize them before they can send it to the kidneys. This is a lot of work and when you add in the disastrous food pyramid, which emphasizes complex carbs (starches) you can imagine why there are so many people with weak and stressed livers.

The liver has over 100,000 functions that we know of so far, and this one little trick eases a great deal of those.

Let’s look further, as I am sure you want to know what to combine with your protein: Always with vegetables, and I don’t mean potatoes, as they are a starch! Always combine protein with a little healthy fat, such as virgin olive oil based salad dressing, avocado, coconut oil or grass-fed butter. Use low-sugar veggies such as greens, asparagus, broccoli, etc.

Another huge controversy, as if that wasn’t disruptive enough, is to either eat fruit alone, with no other type of food or leave it alone! So that meant a big change for me, right there, but we are not finished.

Next was to combine starches (complex carbs) with vegetables and a little healthy fat. Ok, that is not so challenging. But look at all of the “famous” American/Western meals: Burger with a bun and fries, Sandwiches with meats and breads, almost any Italian meal, Eggs, toast and Orange juice for breakfast, etc.

I could easily see lots of substituting and going without in my future. Fortunately, I was raised cooking and my Mom was a terrific cook. As Theresa also took me off of wheat and cow dairy products except grass fed butter, I had to put those skills to use. You will see the fruits of that endeavor in the form of menus/recipes that I will post regularly.

The next rule of simple food combining was to NOT drink beverages with the meal, as it directly dilutes your digestive enzymes, which are also in liquid form. That one was hard for me. One day Theresa took me to lunch and while we were eating, asked me to look around the dining room at the restaurant, so I could see how people were eating, talking, (yes, with their mouths full) barely chewing and gulping beverages to wash their food down. That did it for me! I immediately got it, and stopped doing that except when I had to take some supplements after the meals. I did learn to take very little water, even with lots of pills!

Dr. Dale insisted I drink all of my water in between meals, and had me set a goal of at least 8 10 ounce glasses of pure water daily. It took me about a month, and I still do it today.

Here are the rules in a short list:
  • Combine protein with veggies and healthy fats—no starch or carbs!
  • Combine Starches/Carbs with veggies and healthy fats.
  • No fruit with meals; either eat it alone or leave it alone.
  • No beverages with meals except to take your supplements.
  • Hydrate thoroughly in between your meals. Aim for 80 fluid ounces of more if your exercise is strenuous. Do not drink tap water, as it contains poisons beyond belief.
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