If you subscribe to any social media influencers, pretty much on any platform, you've probably heard of food combining — a term that often goes hand in hand with the name Kenzie Burke. Kenzie, is a health guru and influencer who created the free food combining outline that is often showed and followed in the media.
So what is it?
Food combining is about the order in which you eat your food and which foods you eat together. Food combining is a complex practice that can get extremely technical, we are focused more on the basics. The theory, according to Burke, separates food into categories such as starches, protein, veggies, fruit, etc. Each of these categories has rules about what it can be eaten with to optimize digestion.
What does it do?
So why do people do it and what does optimizing digestion mean? Well, a lot of people do food combining to focus on their gut health. After doing it, they report much less bloating, feeling energized, and light, and not as full and yucky after a large meal. A smaller faction reports healthier eating overall, and clearer skin among other benefits. Here are some testimonials from some people that experienced said perks.
How do you do it?
So, although I won't be detailing all of the rules when it comes to food combining I will be outlining a few basics. If you're interested in a more in-depth explanation check out Kenzie's blog or you can look up charts online.
The majority of the people following Kenzie's plan start off with a cup of warm or room temperature lemon-water, which supposedly helps with digestion. Next, food combining says that fruit is the quickest food group to digest - it takes 30 minutes and is best to eat alone and in the morning so it doesn't just sit on top of the other food. Thirty minutes after the first breakfast, the popular routines recommend a second breakfast, and then regular lunch and dinner, just so long as they follow "the rules."
The rules are as follows: try not to fill up on liquids during meals, simple veggies can be eaten with almost anything. Starches (similar to carbs but not the same), however, can be eaten with vegetables but not other things, and same with proteins. This is because they take different time periods and amounts of energy to digest i.e. it's recommended to take three hours after eating protein before eating a starch meal so the protein can properly digest. These rules obviously have some exceptions, but those combined with the fruit rules these make up the basics of food combining.
Should I try it?
Well, that is up to you! I will say that you shouldn't let yourself be discouraged — it's not as hard as you think! You don't need to go all in right away, you can start off with just a couple meals to see if you like it or maybe try it one day a week or every other day. I began it because I wanted to try it out for myself and see if it lived up to the hype. I gave up quickly because, unfortunately, being a girl from Wisconsin I realized, all of my favorite food combinations include both cheese and carbs (cheese curds HELLO!!). When I did do it, however, I found myself way less bloated and always feeling vibrant and ready to go! The only downsides I noticed were that I couldn't always tell when I was full (SOS) and I found myself eating larger portions or more frequently.
Now that you know, my job is done. At a minimum, I hope you learned something new — bonus points for trying something different and new! Either way, I hope this article encourages you to continue to take care of yourself in the ways you know how to!