6. Question & Answers
I've heard that food combining is an individual matter. Why can't I ignore it unless and until I have symptoms?
That's the rationale of many people, especially people who stay on conventional diets and eat junk foods. Is it better to avoid damage to your body, or would you rather wait until damage is done, and then try to correct it? Most people already have damaged their bodies long before symptoms appear. It would be much more prudent and sensible to take the best possible care, as soon as you can, of the only body you will ever have in this life, rather than to wait until the road back is long and arduous, and when you would probably have to start with a prolonged fast.
You say an occasional deviation is not too important. How often is occasional?
"Occasional", or infrequent, means different things to different people. A man once said to me, "I eat meat occasionally," and when I asked him how often, he said he eats it once a day. If you do something unwise even once a week, I would call that regularly rather than infrequently. Once a month is less frequently, of course, and might be tolerated fairly well by a healthy body. Actually, the degree of harmfulness of a dietary indiscretion depends on the extent of your deviation and the state of your health. Are you speaking of bending the food combining rules, or do you mean going to a restaurant and gorging on a conventional meal? And, what is even more important, can you afford to deviate? If you are having problems, you would be foolish to do things that can only make those problems worse. For most people who feel they can "afford" to "deviate" "occasionally", it would be best to save such deviations for occasions when they find themselves in unusual situations when such a choice is the lesser evil.
You say not to have more than one concentrated food (protein, starch, sweet fruit) at a meal. Is it all right to have some meals without any concentrated food?
Yes, an excellent choice for the first meal of the day (for most people) is melon or juicy fruit only. Yet, some concentrated foods, especially concentrated proteins, have a place in the food program (See Mono Diets, Lesson No. 23). Starch meals are less important, and dried sweet fruit should be used sparingly. Including concentrated protein foods (usually nuts and seeds) in some of the meals enables the body to obtain a balance of the nutrients it needs. (See sample menus, Lesson No. 23)
I seem to lose weight on an all-raw-food diet, but hold a better weight if I eat some cooked food.
Usually, persistent adherence to an all-raw-food diet eventually results in improvement of assimilation, and one gradually puts on, and retains, more weight. However, if you have a tendency to be thin, or if some impairments cannot be completely overcome, you may have to settle for a leveling off at a weight lower than you prefer. If you feel well, the best thing to do is ignore your weight. In some instances, for emotional or physical reasons, it may be advisable to use a small percentage of cooked food. But most people will be much better off if they can decide to stay with an all-raw-food diet. Those who are convinced that they maintain better weight, feel better or have more energy if they use some cooked starches, legumes or grains, will probably be happier on an 80-90 percent raw-food diet.