"You have three wishes for free", the fairy godmother said, "and you wished
The fairy godmother is right, I tell you!
And I know what I am talking about:
I did not intend to loose weight at all,
I just out of curiosity tried the tasteful Food Combining meals
which my wife had prepared for herself,
and I didn't take the Food Combining rules too seriously,
but then I suddenly noticed
that the new food made me feel much better:
You see, Food Combining is no singular diet, but a lasting new form of nourishment, with a small but important change of your nutritional habit.
How Food Combining works
That's the trick. To see what food you can combine please look at these three groups (the table1 is incomplete, but it can give you a first impression):
Please combine only the food of two neighboring groups:
Protein and Neutral, or Neutral and Carbohydrate.
Never combine food of the two distant groups:
Never eat Protein and Carbohydrate at the same time!
You can eat Protein und Carbohydrate one after the other, of course. But be sure that there are at least three hours between eating food with protein and eating food with carbohydrate to give your body enough time first to digest one food sufficiently before the next food comes which requires another way of digestion.
Why Food Combining works
Food Combining is derived from the biochemistry of our body which has two different ways of pre-digestion: for protein and, on the other hand, for carbohydrate:
Carbohydrate is predigested in our mouth with help of the alcalic saliva,
Protein is predigested in our stomach with help of the acid gastric fluid.
Biochemistry with a correct food combination
Already when we first look on our plate, and "our mouth waters", our body has made its choice between these two ways of pre-digestion, and prepares our saliva and our gastric fluid for the expected food:
Biochemistry with a wrong food combination
If you give your body a mixed food of protein and carbohydrate at the same time, the digestion process is more complicated, needs more time, and yet the food is not digested completely.
That is why: Food Combining!
A correct food combination, on the contrary, gives your body only food for one of the both natural processes of digestion: From your "watering mouth", which is your first physical response to the offered food, to the final digestion in your guts the whole process follows the same rule: The food is correctly pre-digested, passes your stomach in maximally two hours, is digested properly and excreted daily. You feel easy, brisk, and healthy ...
How old is Food Combining?
The method of Food Combining was developed in the USA by Dr.Howard Hay in the thirties of the previous century, and it soon has found followers in the whole world. According to new medical findings it has been modified, optimized, and specialized again and again, and to the actual application spectrum belong medical therapeutic methods of Food Combining, vegetarian and full value health food variants, regional versions preferring the native foods of their countries, and fashionable movements like "Fit for Life" and "Wake Up". But I think, Food Combining is much older:
Biogenetically we all are created for Food Combining
Most researchers are convinced that the evolution of manhood has begun about 1,000,000 years ago. So, before we settled down about 10,000 years ago and became farmers, we for 990,000 years, that means for 99% of our evolution, have been roaming collectors and hunters who lived from hand to mouth and ate their fill with that what they just found: In the morning maybe berries, in the afternoon nuts, next day they dug out eatable roots, and then the hunters had killed a bison from which they all could eat for many days ...
This was pure Food Combining which we practised for nearly the whole long time of our biogenese because we simply had no choice: The case that the prehistoric wilderness offered different food at the same time and at the same place must have been very, very rare. Most likely, there was only one single food to be found, and it was eaten up and digested properly before the next food was found several hours later. So our organs were optimized for the separated digestion of either protein or carbohydrate.
Even if in the last 1% of our evolution finally also mixed food became avaible regularly by grain-growing and cattle-breeding and the new possibility of storing supplies, and though mixed food has become predominant nowadays biogenetically we all were created for Food Combining!
Children are spontaneously practising Food Combining
According to the theory that a man in the course of his life repeats the whole biogenese of the human race, let's have a look at the children: Did you ever notice that children very often practise Food Combining by their own choice? They can eat their fill with noodles and sauce and vegetables but disdain the offered meat rissole, or they put aside the potatoes and eat only meat and salad.
But then we, the adults, teach them our behavior rules, that one first has to take something of every offered food, and then has to empty one's plate completely ...
But perhaps the children are more prudent than we in this respect? Perhaps they still have a more natural understanding of their body and know better than we what is really good for them?
In summer 2001 a big German journal2 has tested the twenty most popular diets and has found fault with Food Combining: "Hay's digestion rules", they criticized, are "scientifically not provable", and "for everyday practice Food Combining is too complicated". On the other hand, only two of these twenty diets are found to be successful without the risk of health damages, without big expenses, and without extreme challenges of patience and perseverance, and one of these two diets is Food Combining: "The loss of weight is granted."3
Dr.Hay's digestion rules
Dr.Hay's digestion rules have been discussed controversially since he first published them. There is hardly any other nutritional form which has caused such a flood of literature as Food Combining. But as long as the world of ferments and enzymes in the human body is not researched completely, every opinion is finally based on incomplete knowledge and speculative deductions, and Dr.Hay's digestion rules cannot be proved nor disproved in a scientifically unimpeachable way at the present time.
So let us keep to the facts which we can control and measure: Loss of superfluous weight and decrease of indigestions are the undeniable, measurable effects of this method.
And as long as the critics cannot produce a better hypothesis, Dr.Hay's digestion rules may very well serve as a useful reasonable medical explanation of these effects.
Is Food Combining too complicated?
That "for everyday practice Food Combining is too complicated", is strictly denied by my wife and she ought to know because she long since prepares tasteful and various Food Combining meals day by day.
Okay, as a Food Combining Cook she had to change several old habits, she says, and she had to learn what food she can combine, and how to avoid wrong combinations by using several new materials, but soon the new combination and preparation of the meals has become a habit as well.
I as a Food Combining Eater, however, need only a few rules of thumb: I have to separate meat from potatoes, fish from rice, noodles from shashlik. So in the restaurant I leave potatoes, rice and noodles on the plate and eat my fill with meat and vegetables. Is this complicated?
Can Food Combining guarantee a well balanced nourishment?
Food Combining is also reproached sometimes with the argument that is does not give you a well balanced nourishment. But these critics mix up two concepts which should be separated neatly, even if they both were developed by Dr.Hay, and are still in use in several Food Combining schools.
Concept No.1 is the Food Combining method as it is described here, based on the separation of protein and carbohydrate from each other. This method gives you a completely sufficient nourishment if only protein meals and carbohydrate meals are offered in a various sequence: This form of nourishment, in a whole, provides you with the same nutrients as the normal mixed food does, only in better digestible combinations, and as it contains much more fruit and vegetables you get even more minerals and vitamins than by mixed food.
Concept No.2, on the other hand, is in fact dubious: When Dr.Hay had succeeded to cure his own kidney disease by eating only food of extremely low acidity, he believed he could prevent respectively cure nearly all other diseases, including cancer, if only an "over-acidification of the body" could be avoided. So he recommended a nourishment containing 80% of food which develops bases in the body, like raw fruit and vegetables, and 20% of food which develops acids, like sugar, potatoes, bread and other grain products, eggs, cheese, meat, fish, and so on.
This disproportion, the critics say, must cause a malnutrition of the body with calcium, iron, iodine, vitamin B, grain roughage, animal protein, and so on. From the medical point of view, they say, a healthy body cannot be "over-acidified" on account of the self-regulation of the organism by excreting and breathing. The postulation of an "over-acidification of the whole body" is regarded to be as high-flown as the claim to cure nearly all diseases only by food of low acidity.
But all their criticism aims only at this dubious Concept No.2 which is based on the theory of "over-acidification" with its restricted nourishment rules and that has nothing to do with the Food Combining concept which allows you a full value nourishment without restrictions and only regulates its combination to achieve a healthy and natural digestion.
My Food Combining Page can only give you an appetite, not more. I did not intend to give instructions for use here. But if I could convince you that Food Combining is a reasonable, simple, and successful method to solve weight problems and indigestions and to increase your well-being all around, then you perhaps might want further informations now.
The Internet gives you everything you need. When I fed the search engine Altavista with my input "food+combining" in summer 2001, it listed 5,312 websites: literature, first hand experience reports, Food Combining recipes, and shops where you can order special cooking materials, Food Combining clubs, and seminars, and correspondence courses, and Food Combining hotels ...
Here I can only hope this page gave you at least some well combined food for thoughts, and for your personal life I wish you with or without this method of Food Combining at any rate health and well-being!
All quotations are translated from German into English language. Here you will find the source where the German version was published.
Table after I.Schlieske: Kochbuch zur Trennkost,
ISBN 3-7999-0237-6; shortened
© Kai Kracht 2001