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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions


  1. THANK YOU. I’m a holistic Nutrition Consultant and I’ve been trying to explain this to people – that food combining doesn’t really solve the problem. You’ve summed it up really nicely.

  2. This is a terrific read. Thank you! Years ago I attempted the Fit for Life diet for a few months and struggled with fatigue, hunger and indigestion. Your article is a well-researched and clear discussion on healthful eating. Mindfulness is probably the greatest tool. Thanks again, Lauren.

  3. The principles of food combining you cite didn’t originate in the 1980s. My mother was persuaded of them by a natural health practitioner in California in the 1920s, so it goes back at least that far. Thank you so much for your posts and emails.

    • The author didn’t state that the principles of food combining originated in the 1980s. The 1980s diet book Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond popularized the principles of food combining. That book was based largely on the work of Herbert M. Shelton.

  4. I’ve been looking for this information! I’ve had a crack at food combining after reading Donna Gates’ book, The Body Ecology Diet. The aspects that I like the most which have worked for me personally, are the mindfulness of eating and being present with your food – not just while eating but even preparing food. I’m more inclined to plan meals based around the acid-alkaline balance rather than the notion that the body is equipped only to digest certain foods at a time. It’s made me aware of my body’s reactions to foods, something one would probably also find by following an elimination diet – I’m more in tune with how my body reacts.

    I’m truly fascinated by dietary concepts such as this and am constantly on a personal quest to find out what my body wants and needs – it’s a life-long learning process!

    Thanks for this insightful article!

  5. Hey Lauren, thank you soooo much for all of you research and efforts. Your website has helped me in more ways than you can imagine, and i know it will continue to. That being said I find a lot of what you say about eating and eating habbits partcularly interesting. I come from a very french home, because my step father was born and raised in france. He installed many french habits firmly in the our house, but most especially those concerning food, as I’m sure you can imagine ;). Well the majority of these habits being exactly what you preach. My mother and i
    have studdied about why the french do what they do AND WHY
    THEY ARS SO SKINNY! For exmple, the french never snack, they
    plan three separate meals which they make themselvs and sit
    down to eat. Eating is a ritual to them. Anyway I thought you
    might be interested in looking into french eating to see how
    amazingly these built in traditons, that they dont even really need
    to think about , parallel detailed studies on the best way to
    approach eating. So thats my two cents. Thanks again for all you do 🙂

  6. So interesting! I’ve tried food combining and it was just way to stressful to remember all the rules and meal plan accordingly. Does the fruit first rule still apply though? I’ve read you need to eat fruit on an empty stomach since it breaks down so quickly. Is that a myth?

  7. Hey Lauren,
    Great article with some really great points. In the end, we always have to get to the root cause of our digestive problems and not believe some dietary dogma. In point 2 of your Food Combining Rules 2.0 you recommend not drinking a large glass of water with meals as it can dilute stomach acid which in turn negatively affects digestion. I’ve actually come across evidence contrary to that, and that water doesn’t negatively affect digestion and it can actually improve digestion when people drink water with meals. I’m curious to know your thoughts on this. I know you do a great job researching and am always trying to learn more myself.

    I really enjoy your blog so thanks for the great info!


    • Thanks for the links, Allison! I trust the research at Authority Nutrition so that’s interesting. But many clinicians, including Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride don’t recommend drinking more than a cup or so of liquid at meals. So, as with many things, I’d leave the final word to the individual, their experience, and their intuition.

      • Definitely! Depends on the individual because in the end there is almost always conflicting information and scientific “evidence” about what, how and how much to eat. Cheers.

  8. Here’s my thought. I think “food combining” while it may work for a few with specialized needs, doesn’t really hold any weight for the majority of people. I was born and raised on the island of Hawaii. My ancestors from Hawaii, as well as my Japanese ancestors (I’m mixed) ate healthy unprocessed, whole foods in all types of combinations. It really bugs me when they come up with these restrictive complicated diets that turn normal people away from healthy eating because it’s so much work.
    I know people who mean well, want to eat healthy, then read about the next complicated food trend, can’t do it, then give up. Thank you for being one of the only blogs I’ve seen to shed light on this topic. My philosophy is if you can catch it, gather it or grow it in nature(as we often can here on an island )then it doesn’t matter the combination your consuming it. Whole foods, unprocessed, cooked yourself.

  9. Another well-written and researched article, Lauren! I notice the words “healthy fat” repeated many times – not just here but in health and wellness articles all over the place. I do think that’s one of the major keys to enjoying good health. Fortunately the healthy fats are really appealing to me and I don’t have to think twice about eating them.

  10. Lauren! I enjoyed this Articel, I ‘ m German , so We were raised not to drink while having our meal, only afterwards, being an Adult now , I do enjoy a glass of wine or beer with my meal, but please no water, and I do sip my wine! Thanks!

  11. Great info Lauren! And I completely agree…the people that rave about food combining probably feel much better because it eliminated many really poor choices, like milk and cereal. The same way people that switch from the SAD to a raw vegan lifestyle…they are finally eating whole foods and feel amazing. But eventually they need more saturated fat, etc. I read Body Ecology and think Donna Gates is awesome. But I think it just gets so restrictive. I feel great focusing on real, whole foods. Tons of veggies, some fruit, healthy fats, and animal protein. I do my best to sit down to meals and relax, including a moment to think about how grateful I am for my food. But not every day is like that. Either way, eating real foods seems to eliminate any need for food combining for me.

  12. I tried food combining a few years ago and it actually made me worse. I didn’t know then that I was insulin resistant, and so eating fruit on its own and not being able to combine protein and starch wreaked havoc on my already unstable blood sugar levels. Unfortunately I stuck with it too long because I didn’t know what was happening 🙁

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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