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Food Combining to Detox
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Food Combining to Detox

What is detox? 

Detoxing, or cleansing, is the process of neutralizing and eliminating environmental and dietary toxins from the body while also encouraging the liver to further deep clean the blood and the body.  This process can help clear the body of long held sludge that can hinder optimal functioning, while also kickstarting positive change and rejuvenation of many essential systems.  Detoxes that utilize food and juice typically call for the elimination of things like meat, dairy, coffee and alcohol while infusing the body with an abundance of nutritious food and drink.  A detox can help the body’s natural cleansing process in five main ways:

  1. Giving the digestive organs a rest thereby allowing them to rebuild
  2. Stimulating the liver to eliminate toxins
  3. Encouraging proper elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin
  4. Improving the circulation of the blood
  5. Re-fueling & revitalizing the body with healthy nutrients

Detoxing & Digestion

Digesting food requires more energy than any other function in the human body.  Think about it; why do many of us need a 10am coffee perk-up, and suffer from the mid-afternoon slump?  Eating big meals can tucker us out!  We’ve long been told to eat huge helpings early in the day, and to include things like oats, and flesh foods that will really “stick to our ribs”, right?   Let’s think about this then, and say that the best way to free up some extra energy is to make our digestion as quick and efficient as possible, no?

Food combining is one trick to streamlining the digestive process, thereby assisting in the body’s ability to eliminate and cleanse efficiently.  The food combining technique has long been utilized in Ayurveda, and nowadays there are many nutritionists and medical experts who also back the principle.  In the simplest terms, this way of eating means picking one dense food type at each meal, and then rounding out the plate using a slew of free and neutral ingredients.  When keeping your food choices streamlined, the digestive system doesn’t have to tackle too much in one sitting, helping you to avoid that heavy, bloated, and sleepy feeling for the rest of your day!

In food combining, there are usually 5 categories:

  • Starch (includes starchy vegetables and & grains)
  • Dairy & Flesh
  • Trail Mix (Nuts & Seeds)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • And, nutrient dense leafy greens and fresh non-starchy vegetables

The idea here is that none of the first 4 listed categories should ever be eaten together at the same meal.  The fifth category, fresh vegetables, can be eaten in abundance at any time, and usually combines well with any ONE of the above listed groupings.  I like to refer to these combos as “quick-exit” food combos, meaning that they are eaten, digested and assimilated in the speediest time possible, thereby allowing for optimal energy output and digestive ease.  Got it?  Check out this chart for a visual cue:

CHART- MAPWellness

There are of course, a few exceptions and also a handful of “free” or “neutral” foods, as you can see.  Since we are talking about Raw Food Detoxing here today, we could in effect eliminate the flesh category all together, and that makes things even simpler.

Bottom line, is that when you are able to eat in abundance an array of awesomeness, you are more likely to stick to it.  No need to count calories, restrict or go crazy.  While eating this way can seem tricky at first, in time it can become second nature, and you really can’t lose anything in trying!  So why not Raw Food Detox at home and try food combing for a time?  And if you are interested in immersing in this detox a little further, check out our Raw Food Detox retreat, available all year long!

Meg Pearson with Map Wellness is Hacienda del Sol’s Resident Raw Food Culinary Expert.