Reduce Holiday Bloat + Gas Using THIS Technique
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and if you’re not out in the streets burning off calories (and through your wallet) hunting down the best Black Friday sales, you’re probably at home watching tv, surfing the web, and drinking water to recover from the drinks and food coma from yesterday’s festivities. In the midst of recovering, you may be experiencing more gas, bloat, and discomfort than normal. After slaving away in the kitchen in preparation for the holiday feast, the last thing I wanna do is throw away all that money and effort away, nor do I want to be discouraged to eat because of digestive discomfort. Even though I’m not a fan per say of leftovers, I am a fan of saving my money, so here is the technique I’ll be using to make the most of my holiday leftovers without the “stuffing” - food combining.
What is food combining? Food combining is a theory based on food transit times (how long it takes food to digest) and food enzymes (foods with similar enzymes are grouped together). Different foods digest at different rates aka transit times, and some food groups digest better with others. When you eat food groups that don’t combine well together, it can cause a lot of gas, bloating, and discomfort.
Lemme hook you up with a chart to break out the groups:
The Food Groups
Fruits: Fruits are best eaten alone on an empty stomach in the morning. They can also be paired with dark leafy greens from the veggie food group. Fruits best digest when eaten within their subgroups:
sweet fruits - bananas, dates, dried fruits like raisins, jackfruit, and mango.
sub-acid fruits - pears, plums, peaches, apricots, grapes, figs, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries.
acid fruits - oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, pineapples, pomegranates, cranberries. Can be combined with fat.
melons - melons do not combine with any other food group and are best eaten alone in the morning. These foods include watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
Veggies: Veggies are a neutral food group and can combine with all other food groups excluding melons, which are best eaten alone. Foods in this group include: kale, lettuces, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, bok choy, celery, cucumbers, green beans, spaghetti squash, zucchini, cabbage, corn, fennel, artichokes, cucumbers, jalapeños, habanero peppers, green beans, peas, asparagus, ginger, and garlic.
Starches: Starches combine best with veggies and fat. Foods in this group include: sweetened white potatoes, butternut squash, squash, quinoa, rice, wheat, pasta, amaranth, millet, all beans, lentils, and breads.
Protein: Proteins combine best with veggies only. Foods in this group include: fish, lamb, chicken, turkey, chicken, ham, milk, cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, eggs, as well as plant-based options: tofu, seitan, and tempeh, and any other processed plant-based meat alternatives.
Fats: Fats are best combined with veggies, starches, or acidic fruits and when eaten one at a time. Foods in this group include avocado, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, olive oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, coconuts, and olives.
Each food group has an estimated transit time, or the time it takes to be digested by the body.
Fruits (30 - 60 min)
melons (20 min)
Veggies (1 - 2 hours)
Starch (1 - 3 hours)
plant protein 2 - 3 hours
animal protein 3 - 6 hours
Fats (2 - 3 hours).
Benefits + Key Principles
Don’t drink water while eating. This dilutes your digestive acids and makes digestion harder for the body. Instead have water 30 min before meals to prep the body to eat by getting the digestive juices flowing. Quench your thirst about 30 min - 1 hour after meals.
Eat fast digesting foods before long digesting foods. If you eat proteins before greens, the greens will break down more quickly than the protein, sit on top of the protein, and eventually putrefy causing indigestion, gas, cramping, and irritability. Poor digestion also makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.
This food combining chart isn’t law. It is a set of rules meant to be used as a tool you can use to help restore your digestive fire, reduce bloating and digestive discomfort, and to get the best out out of your meals via improved nutrient absorption.
A meal of crappy food that is well combined will digest better than healthy options combined poorly. If you are wanting to transition to a plant-based diet and are having issues with gas and excessive bloating, give food combining a try to see if this may be causing the discomfort.
Have 1 fat at a time. I like to use grapeseed oil to cook and this same oil in my dressings - sans any avocado or nuts.
To get in all food groups in your day, try the following meal plan:
Breakfast: green smoothie (mango, banana, and spinach smoothie) // sweet fruit + veggie
Lunch: small Caesar salad with cucumber and avocado + sweet potato with steamed broccoli and bell peppers // veggies + fat + starch
Dinner: small salad + baked chicken breast or tofu with baked veggie blend // veggies + protein
Now that you know more about food combining, here are some holiday combos to try out and see if you can enjoy your leftovers a little longer without feeling heavy and uncomfortable.
Good Leftover Holiday Combinations
Collards (veggie) + sweet potatoes (starch) + black-eyes peas (starch)
Collards (veggie) + string beans (veggie) + corn (veggie) + ham (protein)
String beans (veggie) + mac n cheese (starch) + sweet potatoes (starch) + sliced turkey (protein)
Collards (veggie) + mac n cheese (starch) + mashed potatoes and gravy (starch) + sweet potato pie for dessert (starch)
Bad Leftover Holiday Combinations
Sliced turkey (protein) + mac n cheese (starch) + apple pie for dessert (fruit)
Ham (protein) and pineapples (fruit) + collards (veggie) + black-eyes peas (starch)