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5 Food Combining Rules

Image Credit: True Activist

Image Credit: True Activist Click to View Larger

The image to the left is a simple food combining guide. It is by no means exhaustive… but a good way to get the idea of what food combining is and how it works. There are much better resources posted at the bottom of this article.

Rule #1: Fruits are best eaten alone.

Fruits digest faster than other foods. It’s best to consume fruits in the morning – on an empty stomach. SWEET FRUITS, i.e. banana, raisins, dates, figs etc., should be eaten away from acid and sub-acid fruits. See examples of Acid and Sub-Acid Fruits in the chart on this page.

Rule #2: Eat melons alone… or leave them alone.

Melons should not be mixed with other fruits or foods.

Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon, Mush, Casaba, Persian and Crenshaw Melon, DO NOT digest in the stomach. These yummy treats digest in the lower intestines.

Eating melons with other foods, including fruit, will keep them in the stomach too long, where they will ferment – hence making the ‘ol “watermelon wine”! Fermented foods create gas, indigestion and quite literally alcohol! The tiredness that comes after eating watermelon on top of that BBQ? It isn’t just sleepiness… you’re drunk on your own stomach juices!

Rule #3: Proteins & Starch Do Not MIX

Proteins include MEAT (flesh), Soaked Seeds and Nuts and DAIRY. Starches include GRAINS, RICE, beans, carrots, corn, potatoes, squash and more. Proteins and Starches are digested by different internal digestive juices and enzymes. When protein and starch are mixed together, the various digestive juices necessary to digest each, cancel each other out. This is a critical point to know and understand.

So, let’s give a few examples of popular POORLY COMBINED meals…

  • Hamburgers (meat with starch/bread)
  • Pizza (cheese which is DAIRY and therefore a protein, mixed with dough which is a grain/bread)
  • Pasta with meat sauce (pasta is from GRAIN and meat is …well, protein)
  • Eggs and Toast with Grits or Fried Potato (Eggs are a protein, toast is a starch, grits are from corn, again a starch and potatoes are carbs aka “starch”)

From these few very popular common meals you can see how poorly combined meals can be.

Can you have eggs without toast, potatoes or grits? YES! Have eggs with cheese, some sour cream and slathered in butter. It combines beautifully, digest beautifully and provides great nutrition. Add the toast, potatoes, grits or any other carb (or fruit) and you’ve got indigestion, poor energy, fatigue waiting for you in less than an hour’s time.

Rule #4: Time

Time is another major consideration when following Food Combining. There are a few simple things to keep in mind. Proteins are more complex and take longer to digest. Starches, being less complex take less time, while fruits take the least amount of time.

Spacing your meals so the food you have eaten has time to pass out of the stomach, into the lower digestive organs (i.e., small and large intestines) will make a HUGE difference in how you feel physically. Therefore, not the basic chart below for how long to WAIT until eating your next feast

  1. Wait 1 hour after FRUIT
  2. Wait 3 hours after STARCHES/CARBS
  3. Wait 4 hours after Proteins

That’s it. Keep these time-lengths between the various types of meals and your body will be relieved of a massive burden that the average American today deals with every day… let me explain.

The average person carries round 7-15 POUNDS of fermented (i.e., ROTTING) material in their digestive system. These are meals that couldn’t be digested in a reasonable time-frame due to mis-combined food groups. This sludge works it’s way through the system at a snails pace. Hence… the average meal takes up to 18 hours to digest.

How long should a meal typically take to digest in a healthy body?

3-4 HOURS.

The longer food takes to digest, the longer it has to ferment and rot in the body, creating the perfect environment for lack of energy, fatigue, ill-health and dis-ease.

Rotten food isn’t appetizing. You wouldn’t eat if someone set it before you. You would hold your nose and run away! So, why allow it to sit in your stomach and digestive organs any longer than necessary to do you the most good?

Rule #5: Avoid liquids with meals

This is a tough one for most people. It’s easy to get used to drinking while eating… but should be avoided.

Why? Simple… liquids of any kind, including water, dilute the digestive juices that digest your food.

The simplest way is to WAIT 30 MINUTES to 1 HOUR before AND after a meal to drink liquids.

Additional Recommended Resources

Two excellent sources (from our experience) for more great material AND RECIPES that use Food Combining are: Suzanne Somers books (see below) and the Wayne Pickering Food Combining Guide $19.00

I love, love, LOVE Suzanne Sommers’ cookbooks. They’re amazing. Food combining is of course part of it so you don’t have to worry the dish won’t be properly combined. BUT…

…the flavors she infuses into each dish will teach you how to add zest, zing and flavor to all your own recipes. It is a learning experience to go through her book and make each dish.

Some of her dishes would be difficult in a truck, only because of the ingredients (numerous) – but there are many I do make on the truck. The spices aren’t the only source of flavor… the way things are prepared (i.e., method of cooking) supplies more as well. This is why it’s a learning experience par excellence! If you have to choose between the two, get “Great Taste, Lose Weight” first. It will be such a wonderland of tasty dishes, you’ll want the other book to take it further. They’re both great. – Andrea


The Wayne Pickering Food Combining Guide

The Wayne Pickering Food Combining Guide $19.00

The Wayne Pickering Food Combining Guide was my first introduction to “food combining”. I read it from side-to-side and top-to-bottom. The following day I started doing everything it said to the letter.

I was married at the time to a man who needed to lose roughly 50 pounds. Within three months, he had lost the weight and was in wonderful health. It worked so quickly we were both astonished. He felt better than he had in years and never felt hungry.

It was not a diet… it became a way of life.

For the next many years, I followed food combining to the letter.

Very slowly… very, very slowly …I began to get away from it. I will admit that it takes more effort to combine currently when every restaurant you go into has no idea how badly combined they’re meals are.

About two years before Jai and I decided to get our CDL and become husband wife team drivers, we started back on food combining due to various health issues that were cropping up.

As soon as we started on food combining again, the health issues melted away. Another personal experience that proved to us that it was well worth the effort to do it as a life-style.

We highly recommend Wayne’s Food Combining Guide. It lists nearly every possible food you can imagine into the proper areas and then explains how to food combine in detail. Well worth it! – Andrea

Photo Credit: Photo from web page –
NOTE: Food Combining rules do vary in small ways depending on the source. Your best approach is test the difference for yourself. Experiment to find out what works best for you.