Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pull My Finger... The Truth About Gas

Gas -- it's everyone's worst enemy. Most of you suffer from it all of your waking hours and have accepted the discomfort as apart of your life. Some only get it after certain foods: frijoles, fruit, granola, whatever. Either way, it's there. What feels like gas may be indigestion, cramps, constipation or diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome or worse! Did you know there are ways to prevent and avoid this discomfort??? Well, food combining is the #1 way to get rid of these intestinal problems. Eliminating all dairy, or at least cow dairy products is #2. There's really no #3, so if you have one then leave a comment.

Let's learn about food combining. Food combining is something I learned from Gillian McKeith's You Are What You Eat. Like human relationships, food has relationships too; the key is finding which foods are compatible with each other for optimal digestive chemistry - - in other words, what combination of foods will go down your digestive tract easiest and what combination of foods will help the nutrients get absorbed best. Every person is different, so keep that in mind when putting food combination to use! Ok?!

So the Rules of Food Combining:

There is a whole lot of chemistry involved when explaning this. I am giving you the lay person's explanation. I am not a chemist and most likely, neither are you.

Food is divided into four groups:

1. Proteins - poultry, meat, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, nuts, beans
2. Carboyhydrates
- bread, pasta, cereals, flour, starchy vegetables, potatoes, yams
3. Selective Veggies and other stuff - non-starchy veggies, roots, salads, nuts, seeds, herbs
4. Fruits

Never eat Groups 1 and 2 together. I know, I know. You can't eat mashed potatoes with meatloaf!!?! Or granola with milk!!?! Sure you can! But you know the consequences. It's something about these groups requiring certain digestive enzymes that makes them just not mesh very well together. Who cares the reason why - - it works!

Eat Groups 3 with either Group 1 or Group 2.
Group 3 is excellent to mix with proteins or carbs, but not both! Make sure you leave 2 hours after eating a carbohydrate to eat protein.

Never eat Group 4 with any other group!
That's right, no more cereal with bananas. But listen, it's for your own good. Fruit is the fastest digesting food and needs to be eaten all by itself. In fact, it should be eaten before anything else so that the nutrients get absorbed properly. If you feel like a fruit snack while at work, eat it 30 min. after your last meal. One more thing, when eating grapes, eat them alone. Never eat grapes with other fruits. Get the book if you want to learn why (see Entry #1 for details). It's as simple as that.

Alternative Solutions:

So you're a little disappointed about the combination method. Well, let me offer some solutions, and if you have any, leave them in the comments!

So with your chicken dish, puree some carrots and they will mimic those mash potatoes. For cereal or granola, instead of milk use soy or nut milk. For additional suggestions, feel free to ask.


Eliminating Milk Products:

Most people are lactose intolerant. Yes, it's really true. Our bodies were not made to digest cow's milk. It begins with the body not having enough lactase to digest the lactose from cows. So your wine and cheese habit... it can stay, but just understand why intestinal discomfort is happening to you. Despite what you may think, goat's milk is an excellent alternative to cow's milk and is far more easy to digest. Goat's milk is most similar to human milk. The taste needs getting used to, but add goat cheese on your salad, in your stuffed peppers, on your nachos, etc. There is even goat cheese brie! I love it. Find it at Trader Joe's. Seriously, it's goat heaven!

Other substitutes for milk products are soy (but use sparingly) and nut products (best choice). There are plenty of soy cheeses that taste like cheddar cheese or mozarella. I think even at Ralphs and other supermarkets sell shredded soy cheese for your convenience. Nut milks like almond make your tea or cereal so yummy! It's a nice sweet treat and its own nutritious value.

So, say "NO TO INTESTINAL DISCOMFORT!" Eliminate gas now. It's the best feeling to know that your stomach pains and the whistling from your bum can be prevented.

Peace, love and health!

1 comment:

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