2. Planning Meals
Meal planning advice is intended merely as a guide to enable the individual to work out his own menus. The object is to understand the principles of food combining so that you (and your students) will be independent and never at a loss, no matter where, in preparing meals from the foods at hand.
Food availability varies with location, season, climate, altitude, soil and market factors. If you know how to combine your foods correctly, you may usually select compatible combinations anywhere—at the market, at the home of a friend or relative, or even at a public eating place. An intelligent adult should learn these principles and learn to apply them. Soon the practice becomes habitual—almost automatic.
We will start with an outline of how to plan your daily food program.
If you have Dr. Shelton’s book, Food Combining Made Easy, you will notice (pp. 55-57) that his daily menus usually include a breakfast of fruit, a starch meal for lunch, and a protein meal for dinner. He even includes such items as lamb chops and eggs on some of the menus (simply to show how to combine animal products, if you use them).
My daily menus (in this lesson) will also include three meals, even though it is best to eat only two meals on most ( days. Many people do better with two meals daily, some do better alternating between two and three meals (two meals one day, three meals the next, etc.).
On days that you eat two meals, you may use the menus as a guide, selecting two meals each day from the variety offered. I would suggest selecting one fruit meal and one salad meal, being sure to include enough protein foods, according to your needs.
My menus will not advocate the use of a starch and a protein every day. My recommendation is to have some concentrated protein most days, and salad every day. Some people get along quite well with concentrated protein every other day, others need some every day. The amount of concentrated protein you need depends on how much you take at each sitting, your tolerance, and the efficiency of your assimilation. How much concentrated protein you need also depends on whether you are eating all raw food.
The proteins to be found in almost all vegetables and many fruits, though usually not concentrated, are of high biological value when eaten unchanged (without cooking), and are an important source of dietary protein. People on all-raw-food diets may need less concentrated protein, but it is an individual matter. Your own needs may best be ascertained through personal experimentation.
On the other hand, people who eat some cooked starches and cooked combination foods should realize that these are supplementary sources of dietary protein, and that it may not be necessary to also use concentrated proteins on every day when concentrated starches or combination foods are used. Again, this is an individual matter.
But four ounces of nuts or seeds at one meal, a serving of brown rice at another meal, and a serving of dates at a third meal on the same day, may easily result in overburdening the body with too many concentrated foods, and too much protein.
How much concentrated protein you need is also dependent on another extremely important factor. How active are you? How much regular vigorous exercise are you getting? Everyone should make it a point to use the body energetically every day. People who engage in little physical exertion need less food, particularly less protein. Sedentary people who consume more food, especially more protein, than their bodies are capable of metabolizing efficiently, are incubating future serious pathological problems.
I find that I personally need to take some concentrated protein almost every day. I usually can eat only two ounces of nuts and/or seeds at a sitting, supplementing my protein needs at other meals with other lower protein foods, such as large green salads and avocados. I use alfalfa sprouts with almost every salad meal, and sometimes use lentil and mung bean sprouts.
My recommendation includes a program that does not utilize concentrated starches or combination foods (whether raw, sprouted or cooked) more than four or five times weekly. You will note that the menus which include some cooked food indicate cooked foods not more than four times weekly. It is hoped that cooked foods will gradually be de-emphasized even more.
I am not, by any means, saying that Dr. Shelton’s fruit-starch-protein daily menus may not be applicable to some people, nor am I saying that some people may not use more fruit and less concentrated foods than are included in these menus. I am simply offering suggested alternatives, determined through research and practical experience of many years and by many people.
Study the daily menus in this lesson, compare them with Dr. Shelton’s and others, if you wish and determine, by experimentation, which daily meal plan is best for you.
2.1 Your Daily Food Program
Breakfast: Starting with breakfast, you have three ways to go, with many variations of these three basic choices. The first choice—the best choice for most people—is the “no-breakfast plan.” That would mean you would be eating only twice daily.
The second choice is a light breakfast of one kind of juicy fruit—citrus or melon or any subacid fruit, such as grapes—no dried fruit. Fresh fruits are the best choice for the first food of the day—one or two varieties. They should be eaten whole, uncooked and unjuiced. Eat until pleasantly satisfied, not stuffed. Three to five oranges, or a grapefruit and two oranges, or one-eighth of a medium watermelon, or a medium cantaloupe or honeydew melon, or one pound of grapes, should be maximum amounts for an all-fruit first meal of the day. Most people would want less.
The third breakfast choice is for people who find that they do better with a more substantial breakfast. This is preferred by some men (and also a few women), and especially by individuals who will be away from home during the day and will perhaps be unable to obtain good food conveniently. This plan might also be preferred by those who find that they feel better if they eat some protein early in the day—notably, people who might have the problem of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). However, many people who have had hypoglycemia (or have been diagnosed as hypoglycemics) have successfully progressed to the two-meal-a-day plan.
This more substantial breakfast might consist of citrus or other acid fruit, such as pineapple or strawberries followed by raw, unsalted nuts and/or seeds. It might be advisable to wait thirty minutes or longer before eating the nuts, to allow the sugars in the fruit a chance to leave the stomach. This is a precaution often taken by people with impaired digestions. Maximum amounts of fruit in such a meal should be about half the quantities used when eating only the fruit. Two to four ounces of nuts and/or seeds may be used. Lettuce and/or celery would be an excellent addition to this meal.
This type of more substantial breakfast, or brunch, might be more advantageously used around noon, rather than early in the morning, if the circumstances permit, and if you are willing to postpone eating until after you have done something to “earn” your meal.
Luncheon: Now we get to luncheon, where we again have multiple choices. Even if you have not eaten breakfast, you might prefer to have a lunch of juicy fruit or melon. If you choose melon (most people do better with melon only, only one kind) eat as much as you want, but stop before you are uncomfortably full. Some people have no problem when combining more than one kind of melon, or combining melon with certain subacid fruits. (See Lesson 22.)
If you decide on a mixed fruit lunch, this is an excellent and satisfying meal, if you are careful about the combinations. You should not use acid fruit with sweet fruit; for example, don’t use oranges and bananas at the same meal. Your mixed fruit lunch could consist of grapes, peaches, apples or other fresh subacid fruit—one or two varieties (two or three pieces)—plus one or two bananas and/or one-half of a medium avocado. It is better to choose either the bananas or the avocado. Lettuce and celery also make an excellent addition to this meal, especially if you are including avocado.
If desired, you could also have a small serving of figs, dates, raisins, soaked dried apricots, or other dried fruit, if you have not had avocado. Or you could occasionally have acid or subacid fruit, lettuce and celery, and four ounces of cheese, if you use it. If you do use cheese, use it sparingly and rarely. Actually, lettuce and celery may be used with almost any fruit meal, but I would not recommend their use with melon.
Another type of luncheon, especially if you have had a fruit or melon breakfast, would be a salad meal. You could have as much salad as you want, consisting of one or more dark green varieties of lettuce: Romaine, Boston, Bibb, leaf, or any garden lettuce (not pale iceberg head lettuce), plus tomatoes, cucumber, celery, or any nonstarchy vegetables, along with or followed by avocado or nuts or seeds.
The Evening Meal: New we get to the evening meal, where the choices are almost infinite. Much depends on what you have already eaten. If you have already eaten your fill at breakfast and lunch, you need very little additional food, perhaps none.
If you ate a citrus and nuts breakfast, and a salad and avocado lunch, you might want a mixed fruit supper. If you had a fruit or melon breakfast and a salad and nuts lunch, you might want a salad and avocado supper. If you have not yet had any nuts that day, you could have salad and nuts for supper.
If you are still using cooked food, it is better to eat it in the evening, after the day’s work is done, when you may rest and relax, and accomplish better digestion. Many people have a tendency to overeat of the cooked food—so eat a large salad first; this may help you to eat more conservative amounts of cooked food. Try to avoid second helpings, and stop before you feel stuffed. In any event, it is preferable to eat raw food before cooked food, juicy food before dry food, and easy-to-digest food before foods that need more time for digestion (such as starches, proteins and fats).
2.2 Sequence of Eating
It is true that all the food will be mixed in the stomach, but the so-called “Ideal Order of Eating” is helpful to some extent.
Eat raw food before cooked food. Raw foods contain live enzymes, which influence digestive efficiency; cooking destroys all enzymes. Moreover, the consumption of raw foods stimulates gastric enzyme secretion, which is necessary to initiate good digestion. Besides, the more raw foods eaten as the first course, the less cooked foods will be eaten.
Eat juicy foods before dry foods. During the process of digestion, hydrolysis occurs—that is, the combining of the food with liquid from the body’s reserve supply. Juicy foods contain some of their own liquid, which facilitates the initial processing of the food mixture. (Do not take water with dry foods as an alternative—this causes problems—see Rules for Drinking.)
Eat easy-to-digest foods before foods, that require a longer digestion time. The digestive process starts while the meal is being consumed, and the most liquid portion of the food mixture, the chyme, leaves the stomach at intervals. Thus, some of the easy-to-digest foods may be processed and leave the stomach before the end of the meal. Even if this does not occur, if the concentrated foods are eaten last, you may possibly eat less of them, which would be an advantage for many people, especially those who have a tendency to overeat of the concentrated proteins and starches.
An exception may advantageously be made in the case of eating salad alternately with nuts, rather than consecutively. Many people find that eating the salad along with the nuts actually aids digestion, and also eliminates the dry or thirsty feeling that sometimes follows the eating of nuts after the salad. Do not use the tomato or lettuce to moisten the nuts to help get them down. The nuts must be thoroughly chewed.
Dr. Vetrano’s article on the “Sequence of Eating” indicates that she does not attach importance to the sequence of eating concentrated foods and less concentrated foods. You might want to experiment to determine your own preference.
When combining several fruits at a meal, it is a good idea to eat the sweetest variety last. (Oranges after grapefruit; bananas, persimmons, dates, figs, after grapes, plums, apples etc.) If you follow a sweet fruit with one that is less sweet, the comparison actually seems to make the less sweet fruit usually taste acid or sour.
On the other hand, I sometimes like to eat a small amount of subacid fruit after the sweet fruit to dilute the excessively sweet taste at the end of the meal. Either way, there is no food combining principle involved—please yourself.
If you sometimes would like to eat fruit in combination with a mixed vegetable meal, the best way would be to eat the fruit first, and then, if possible, delay at least fifteen minutes before eating the other foods, starting with the salad.
As previously indicated, exceptions to this arbitrary “eating order” are not serious. After all, it does all go into the same stomach, and is quickly combined into a mobile mixture, the chyme.
2.3 Rules for Drinking
Drink no beverage except pure water, only when thirsty, and not with meals, as drinking at meal time dilutes the digestive juices and retards digestion. Most beverages commonly consumed are loaded with harmful substances, interfere with the digestion and assimilation of foods, and may be addictive and destructive of vital organs.
No particular amount of water is necessary; thirst is the best guide. Hygienists usually drink very little water because no spices or seasonings are used, and there is so much liquid in foods as provided by nature. If thirsty, one may drink ten to twenty minutes before meals, one-half hour after a fruit meal, two hours after a vegetable or starch meal, and four hours after a protein meal. It is best to sip water, not gulp.
If one ignores the feeling of thirst that sometimes follows a meal and resists the impulse to drink, the thirst may soon disappear, having been satisfied by digestive secretions, and good digestion will be accomplished (since the digestive juices will not have been diluted). If very thirsty, and you feel that you must drink, try a few sips, instead of gulping large quantities of water. Drinking water with meals, or directly after meals, causes the stomach to dilate, and may lead to chronic indigestion, gastritis, ulcers, or even cancer.
Juices: Foods should not be juiced for use as a beverage, but should be eaten in their whole state. If exceptions to this rule are occasionally made, it should be with the full awareness that this fragmented food does not contribute anything “extra” to your health or nutrition, and is definitely a compromise of Hygienic principles.
In fact, this bombardment of the body with concentrated portions of fragmented foods may actually cause unpleasant, even serious problems. If carrot juice is consumed in large quantities, it may cause carotinemia and discolor the skin—the liver cannot handle too much of it. I have seen yellow palms (a symptom of carotinemia) that, fortunately, disappeared when the juicing habit was discontinued (prior to irreversible damage).
If you do insist on using juices, it would be best to follow the following guidelines: Never use large quantities of juiced foods and don’t use them as part of your regular food program. If you use juice occasionally, four to six ounces of vegetable juice may be taken twenty to thirty minutes before the evening meal at which a salad and, perhaps, some cooked food are eaten. Fruit juice— preferably fresh-made at home—may occasionally be used prior to a fruit meal. However, keep in mind that juices, either fruit or vegetable, are not beverages but fragmented foods.
The only time juices are indicated as part of a Hygienic program is when breaking a fast (though many people do very well in breaking a fast on whole fruit) or, very judiciously, as a temporary elimination diet. See Dr. Vetrano’s article “Mono-Eliminating Diets”. More details about the inadvisability of juicing foods will be given in a future lesson.
Pure water: The only beverage which should be used when thirsty is pure water. Avoid chlorinated city water, if you can. Don’t drink fluoridated water; do whatever you must to avoid it. Using fluoridated water in cooking is even worse, as it concentrates the fluorides, causing the water to be even less safe for use. Osteoporosis can occur from drinking fluoridated water. Sodium fluoride inactivates magnesium and some amino acids, and inhibits enzyme activity. Never drink artificially softened water because the miscellaneous inorganic minerals and impurities have been replaced by salt.
Minerals in water inhibit the absorption of the water. The minerals are inorganic substances and must be eliminated by the body. They are usually suspended particles of dirt and stone. These inorganic minerals are usable only by plants, which convert them to organic minerals, thus usable by man.
Professor Henry Sherman, in. his book. The Chemistry of Nutrition, says he doesn’t like to refer to such elements as calcium and iron as minerals, which may imply that they come directly from the mineral kingdom.
He says that these elements are usable by humans only when they occur organically in plant tissues—as complex, organized structures within the plant. This is the way in which these elements are adaptable to animal life, and this is the way we can make the best possible use of them.
Pure water from a rock spring is excellent; fresh rain water (if it could be gathered unpolluted) and distilled water are best. More detailed information about water, beverages and drinking are given in another lesson.
People with efficient digestions can withstand modifications more freely; people with impaired digestions need to utilize as ideal an eating pattern as possible.
2.5 Cooked Foods
No cooked food could even come close to the nutritional value of foods which are used as they grow in the garden and orchard. If you do use some cooked foods, choose the best available and prepare them conservatively and correctly. Lessons 24, 25 and 26 will help in the selection, storage, preparation and serving of foods for the best nourishment. This lesson will simply provide a preliminary outline of foods which may be cooked.
The variety of acceptable cooked foods is quite extensive. It includes such meals as broccoli and lentils, or green beans and steamed or baked potatoes, or eggplant casserole, vegetable chop suey, a mixed vegetable casserole, or thick bean or vegetable soup. Baked parsnips, beets and carrots have a delightful sweet taste and need no seasonings. You may select globe artichokes, cauliflower or sweet corn—the choices are many.
Plain steamed vegetables need no seasoning if they are not overcooked; most vegetables cook in ten minutes or less. Casseroles may require some seasoning, but we use no salt or pepper. Season with parsley, celery or sweet bell pepper. Recipes for casseroles will be included in the lesson on food preparation.
The best way to use whole grains is to sprout them.
Even those people who cook some of their vegetables should try to use as many as possible in the raw state. Try young sweet corn or sweet potatoes uncooked. Ground (Jerusalem) artichokes are delicious raw. Raw young sweet peas or edible pod peas are delicious uncooked. In fact, the edible pod peas are a gourmet delight. Of course, all meals that include some cooked food should be preceded by a large raw salad.
Individual needs: The foregoing suggestions for meals including uncooked and cooked foods are generally applicable to people not suffering from serious pathological problems. This program may have to be adjusted in various ways to provide for the nutritional needs and capacities of those whose health is impaired. It is not necessary or advisable to try to conform to a “blueprint” program. Certain people may have emotional needs, or other reasons, for requiring other foods.
We must think in terms of careful consideration of the needs of the individual. It is important to see each person in relationship to his emotional as well as his physical needs, and in relationship to his total life situation.
- 1. The Food Combining System
- 2. Planning Meals
- 3. Daily Menus
- 4. Mono Meals And Mono Diets
- 5. Application Of The Food Combining Rules
- 6. Trying Too Hard
- 7. Your Social Life
- 8. Your Family
- 9. Looking Forward
- 10. Food Classification Charts
- 11. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Your Probing Mind By Dr. Virginia Vetrano
- Article #2: Proteins In Your Diet! By Dr. Alec Burton
- Article #3: Food Combining By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #4: Chlorophyll And Hemoglobin By Viktoras Kulvinskas