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Rearrange your plate

Posted Nov 24 2009 11:06am

I am sure you have wondered why I always drink a juice for breakfast and eat fruits as my snack in the morning.. here is why…

Why do I always eat my fruits first?  

I am a big believer in eating light to heavy.. light as in easier on my digestive system.  As you probably have noticed from my posts I start my day EVERYDAY with a glass of Green Juice, or as I like to call it 16 ounces of goodness.  I ONLY eat fruits in the AM and usually eat vegetables of some sort for lunch i.e. Eggplant Boat, Veggie Soup, Salad etc and rarely I eat things like Rolled up Lasagna

Why the order?

Different food require different digestive enzymes and therefore take different times to digest and pass through our digestive system, by properly combining meals (See Proper Food Combining ) and eating foods that are quicker to digest before ones that take longer you eliminate bloating and/or indigestion.  Let’s say you eat a healthy lunch of Turkey Sandwich, or in my case almond butter sandwich and about 30 min after lunch you have a piece of fruit, this is something I used to do all the time.  About an hour after that you feel bloated, gassy and miserable.  The reason for that is your diegestive system is focused on digesting your sandwich which takes longer to digest then the fruit.  Meanwhile the fruit is waiting for its turn and is fermenting and creating gas in the digestive track, which is why you feel bloated and gassy after otherwise a healthy meal.   The best way to avoid any problems is to eat the fruit 30 – 45 min before your sandwich and allow it to pass through the digestive track before eating heavier foods.   

Here are the digestion time (DT) for each group and a few key guidlines to keep in mind;

  • Fruit - DT: 20 – 60 min  – Easiest and fastest foods to digest and therefore should be eaten ALONE and on an EMPTY stomach
  • Vegetables – DT: 30 min to 2 hrs, depending on starch content – All vegetables can be combined with one another. Only low or mildly starched vegetables should be combined with protein. 
  • Grains & Raw Nuts - DT: 2-3 hrs - Grains/nuts can be eaten alone or combine with low or mildly starched vegetables.  DO NOT combine grains with protein or starchy vegetables. 
  • Protein – DT: 2-4 hrs – Protein can be eaten alone or combined low or mildly starched vegetables.  Protein should not be combined with Carbohydrates or Fats.  Avoid eating steak and potato or chicken and rice (protein & high starch vegetable/grain).  Only eat on protein at each meal, $19 surf and turf might be light on your wallet but not on your digestive system.

Some healthy eating tips that also help keep your digestion at ease;

  • Make time for your meal.  At work don’t sit in front of your computer and surf the net while you are eating.  Avoid eating in the car or standing while doing other things.  Sit at a table and slowly enjoy every bite of your meal.
  • ONLY eat when you feel hungry.  Most of us eat breakfast shortly after we are up, wait for your body to give you the que that it is ready for some food, even if it is a glass of fresh juice.
  • Eat slowly and chew completely.  As you chew salivary juices start to flow and start the break down process, also smaller food particles means easier digestion and less work for you system.
  • Eat fresh and organic as often as you can, fresh fruits and vegetables carry enzymes that help the digestive enzymes in your track in processing the food and keeping your digestive system healthy.
  • Give your body a rest.  Try to have your last meal no later than 7 pm to give your body at least 8-10 hr of digestive rest. 
  • Do not drink liquids with or immediately following your meal. 
  • Avoid processed foods.

Take care of your body and it will take care of you :)

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