Food Combining Menu Ideas

Vegetable and Pork Rolls
Vegetable wraps on a cutting board. (Image: daniaphoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Dr. Howard Hay pioneered the concept of food combining, according to nutritional author Jackie Habgood.His Hay Diet derives from the principle that digestive enzymes and the digestive process vary greatly depending upon the type of food you consume. Hay asserts that the digestive system should not have to handle foods that your body processes differently in the same meal. Followers of the diet must learn how to combine foods using meal plans and menus.

Separate Starches, Proteins

One of the fundamental principles of the Hay Diet is that people should not consume proteins and starches in the same meal, according to Peter Thomson of Peter's Food Combining Shop. This rule extends to highly starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, as well. In addition, highly processed foods that include white flour have no place in the food plan. An ideal protein-based meal might include a tomato- or chili-based soup containing beans, shrimp, salmon or squares of tofu. Try a peanut sauce over stir-fried broccoli or a salad sprinkled with nuts and seeds. A starch-based meal may center on a vegetable soup with a vegetable stock, served with whole grain crackers or brown rice.

Combining Fruits

The Hay Diet has particular guidelines when it comes to fruit. The guidelines recommend combining acid fruits, such as citrus, pomegranates or tomatoes, with sub-acid fruits that include berries, apples, grapes, pears, plums, apricots, kiwi, papaya, nectarine or peaches. Make a fruit salad and add a garnish of nuts or seeds for a blast of protein, but leave out carbohydrates, such as granola or muesli.

Fats, Vegetables

Alder Brooke Healing Arts publishes a chart illustrating excellent food combining menus. One of the top food combinations mixes a source of fat, such as avocado or olive oil, with a high-water content vegetable. Try a new type of taco, spreading a lettuce leaves or spinach leaves with guacamole. Drizzle olive oil on slices of heirloom tomato and cucumber. Saute eggplant, cabbage, sweet pepper, zucchini and sprouts in sesame oil for a fresh stir fry. You can also opt to add a carbohydrate or a protein to the mix, but not both. Make a yogurt dip spiked with garlic and dip in vegetables that include cucumber, celery and sweet pepper.

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