Here’s a health challenge for you: what if you could only eat one food at any given meal?
If you’ve never heard of food combining, then this might sound incredibly strange to you.
Food combining is the principle of only eating foods at a given time that digest well together.
Different foods digest at different ph levels. If you combine foods that need to be digested at opposite ends of the acid/base ph spectrum, you’ll end up with a putrefying mess in your stomach.
Indigestion, gas and sluggishness naturally result when you combine foods poorly.
The Body Ecology Diet contains the clearest explanation of food combining that I’ve come across. (And it’s a fantastic book you should definitely check out if you’ve never read it…)
Here are the basic food combining principles listed in The Body Ecology Diet:
- Eat fruits alone and on an empty stomach.
- Always eat protein with non-starchy and/or ocean vegetables.
- Always eat grains, grain-like seeds, and starchy vegetables with non-starchy and/or ocean vegetables.
These principles are generally recognized as the best practices in food combining.
The purest form of food combining would be to not combine foods at all.
This is the logical extension of the entire idea of food combining–just don’t combine foods! Eat one thing at a time, digest it fully and then move on to the next thing.
Of course, every meal you’ve ever eaten is in direct violation of this principle. And I’m under no illusion that either you or I are going to go out and start only eating one food per meal.
That would be, among other things, incredibly boring.
However, what if we took this wisdom of food combining and eating just one thing at a time and applied it in surprising ways to our vegetable juices?
If you’ve never read the book Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth, I highly recommend it.
This book isn’t actually about diet, but there is a passage in which the mysterious central figure of the book lays out the dietary practices of the Tibetan lamas he’d spent time with (and from whom he learned the secret mentioned in the book’s title).
Here’s the relevant passage from this book:
“No lama is choosy about what he eats. He can’t be because there is little to choose from. A lama’s diet consists of good, wholesome food, but as a rule it consists of only one item of food at a meal. That in itself is an important secret of health…” (pg. 58-59)
And he then goes on to explain the basics of food combining right in line with what The Body Ecology Diet teaches.
We’re all familiar with mono-juices.
Apple juice, orange juice, grape juice, carrot juice–the sweet juices are all quite famous, and rightfully so. They’re sweet and delicious.
However, you never really hear about celery juice, cucumber juice, lettuce juice, parsley juice, zucchini juice…
…and if you’re like me, you might even be gagging a little bit at the thought of something as unappetizing as…lettuce juice.
I’m not suggesting you actually drink a juice made solely from lettuce leaves, am I?
Well, yes. Yes I am.
I want to encourage you to get to know your vegetables on a more intimate basis.
An easy place to start is with celery.
Celery is surprisingly tasty when drunk on its own.
It’s salty more than anything but the juice goes down quite easy.
Believe it or not, simple zucchini juice is another mono-juice that is quite easy to get into.
Simply put one zucchini in your juicer, juice that sucker right through and drink the small glass of juice that awaits.
It’s not as good as apple juice, perhaps, but zucchini juice is quite surprisingly tasty.
Cucumber juice is right up there with celery juice as far as these lesser-known mono-juices go.
If you’ve never loaded a single cucumber right through your juicer and consumed the juice, you’re missing out on the delicious cooling refreshment that IS cucumber juice.
Personally, I’d take a glass of cucumber juice over Gatorade any day.
If you enjoy your explorations in mono-juices and start looking for new juices to make, I’d just say go easy at first with the darker leafy greens.
Straight parsley juice is incredibly good for you–it’s a potent detoxifier.
It also happens to taste *super* intense. If you like parsley a lot, that’s a great thing. If you merely tolerate its flavor, I’d suggest starting with a tiny glass of straight parsley juice and perhaps add a little lemon juice. (Acid fruits are permitted along with vegetables in the rules of food combining.)
So that’s it for our quick primer on mono-juicing.
What are some unusual mono-juices that you’ve found to be surprisingly tasty?