What is Food Combining?

Do you feel sluggish, bloated, or like you could stand to lose a few pounds but you don’t know how you could possible eat any less?  It may not be WHAT you eat but WHEN.  Join us as we discuss Food Combining: Are you Absorbing the Nutrients You Think You Are? Saturday, October 14th, 2017.


Food Combining is the understanding that we need to eat food in a certain order and combination for optimal digestion.  If we don’t, we will either subject ourselves to digestive upset: decreased nutrient assimilation, intestinal gas, abdominal pain and swelling, and possibly even degenerative disease; or best case scenario - a lower level of vitality.

Much of what we know, ancestrally, adheres to proper food combining principles: salty appetizer, salad post entrée, sweets for dessert.  But along the way we’ve lost the connection with our instincts and we’re seeing greater levels of disease than ever before.  Different levels of dis-ease require different levels of dietary adjustment, but everyone can benefit from well designed meal prep

1. Eat salty foods first.  They go before other flavors because salt gravitates to the bottom of the stomach, stimulating gastric juices for the digestion of all other food.

2. Place highest-protein foods (legumes, nuts, seeds, and animal products) at the start of the meal. They have priority because they require large amounts of stomach acids whereas starches and other foods, by comparison, use very little.

3. Combine protein, fat, and starches with leafy green, non-starchy vegetables.  Protein, fat, and starches require different digestive enzymes to break down.  With normal digestion, protein doesn’t need to be isolated from the meal, it just needs to be eaten first and combined with generous amounts of green vegetables to aid in its digestion.

4. Eat fruit or sweetened foods alone or at the end of the meal.  When eaten in a meal they tend to digest first, monopolize the digestive functions, and cause the other foods to wait and ferment.

When many different foods are eaten at the same meal, the body gets confused and is unable to make all the necessary enzymes required for digestion.  Too much elaborate food encourages nearly everyone to overindulge, resulting in digestive fermentation and a confused mind.  (Ever feel foggy or like you want to take a nap after a meal?)  When this happens digestion takes place via bacterial action and fermentation occurs, leading to the common digestive disturbances noted above.  Dis-ease is the body’s attempt to eliminate these wastes and toxins.

All this can seem pretty overwhelming and confusing.  And it is at first, but when you break it down and work it out, it makes sense: Don’t eat meat with starch or grain.   Or, if you do: eat it first.  Eat sweet foods at the end of the meal or, better yet, alone.  Start you meals with salty foods and combine nearly everything with lots of leafy green, non-starchy vegetables.

If you have questions about how and at what level to incorporate food combining into your own diet, join us for our workshop on October 14th.  We’ll break it down for you.


Marannie Rawls Philippe is the Founder of Elm City Coach, Holistic Health and Fitness in New Haven, CT.  She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2013.  Through the Elm City Coach Health Coaching Program, Marannie will help you shift your behavior to develop lifelong healthy habits and a deep understanding of your bio-individual needs.  You’ll work together to create lasting changes to your health, energy, and well-being.  Elm City Coach also offers Private Personal Training and Small Group Fitness.


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