‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, is a saying often heard. Yet I find it hard to eat a full blown breakfast at 6 AM in the morning. A bit later in the day it is no problem for me, but first thing with an early start I cannot eat too much. For years, I therefore ate a small meal and had a mid-morning snack around 9 or 10 AM. The result? I was hungry all the time and barely made it to lunch. Until I read about food combining theory and decided to put it into practice.
I first read about food combining online. There seem to be different methods to it, but the one I read about most is the theory of not eating starches and protein together in the same meal. This theory divides all foods into three categories: starches, protein and neutral. The idea is that different foods digest differently in your stomach, leading to gas, stomachaches and other discomfort. It should be able to sort out tons of intestinal problems and is based off of Ayurveda medicine practices.
For me this strict division and properly combining foods for all meals in my day and week, seemed a bit stringent. When I started reading up a bit more about foods, I found a book called The Complete Book of Food Combining, which suggested that even if you properly combine foods once a day, would make a big difference. A good start, according to the book, would be to eat fruit as early as possible and always before a meal instead of after. Fruit is digested most easily and thus ‘evaporates’ the quickest into your system. Eating it first thing in the morning, or at least 4 hours after your last meal, will allow your system to digest it properly and not let it sit on top of other foods making you feel uncomfortable.
The book very specifically states that having fruit WITH breakfast is killer. It would be much better to first have some fruit and some water or vegetable juice (or a green juice if you have a juice, which I don’t) first thing in the morning. You can then have a proper breakfast within 1 hour after you had your fruit shot. The idea is that you kickstart your metabolism by putting something small in there already that is not only easy to digest, but also contains some carbs that your body needs to keep the motor running. You can then have a protein based meal a little bit later and that should keep you full until lunch time. No mid-morning snack needed.
So that’s when I decided to cut my breakfast into two parts. Rather than having fruit with my yoghurt, I took out the fruit, added half a glass of vegetable juice and that is now my ‘home breakfast’. Mostly I have kiwi fruit or something else that’s small. I then eat my ‘real breakfast’ about 45 minutes later while I’m on the train. Usually this is some yoghurt & fiber combo, because it is easy to take away in a small container. However, I’ve also switched things up by having porridge or egg muffins on the train too.
The result? I get up at 6 AM, have my first breakfast around 6.30 AM, am on a train by 7.16 AM and have breakfast number two. I am no longer hungry around 9 or 10, can keep going until lunch time and require less food throughout the day. I can now leave my banana for that late afternoon lull and since my mid-afternoon snack contains nothing but raw veggies, it’s not too big of a deal to follow that up with a banana. Lunch is usually a combo of veggies and protein, but I sometimes throw in some carbs. I’ve actually taken to having left overs for lunch lately, and that’s been a great thing too. Now all I have to sort out is that end of the day sugar crave…
What do you have for breakfast?