Kristen Suzanne is an accomplished Raw food chef and former competitive bodybuilder. Through radio, television, books, classes, and her blog and email newsletter, Chef Kristen Suzanne helps people live life to the fullest with the healthiest cuisine in the world.

Kristen is based in Scottsdale, AZ, and offers the following services:

Author of Raw food recipe and lifestyle books

Media spokesperson and Raw food advocate

Public and private demonstrations and lectures

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What Is Food Combining? Is it Important?

After you eat a meal, blood is shunted to your digestive system, and away from the muscles, brain, and other organs. This is why you feel like resting after eating a big meal and not going out for a jog. If food is in your system too long, it can ferment and putrefy, causing indigestion, heartburn, and weight gain due to improper assimilation. In contrast, fruits and vegetables, which are mostly water, take only a short time traveling through the digestive tract. Moreover, different types of foods require different types of digestive enzymes in your system, meaning they'll digest more efficiently if you avoid mixing foods from one group with those of another. It is therefore good to know how to combine foods so that meals require as little time as possible in the digestive system. Correct combinations assist proper digestion, assimilation, and elimination of each food eaten. You'll also experience better sleep when you combine your foods better.

Some basic food combining principles that many Raw food enthusiasts follow:

  • Drink juices alone on an empty stomach, or 30 minutes before other foods.
  • Lettuce and celery combine with all fruits. Other greens, such as kale and parsley, combine well with fruit when juiced or blended into a green smoothie.
  • Eat high-water content foods first with meals.
  • Dried fruits combine well with nuts and seeds for some people, but not all, so your results may vary.
  • Eat melons alone. That means that if you're eating any melon, don't eat any other type of food within 20 minutes of eating the last bit of melon.
  • Don't combine starches with acid fruits (such as grains with tomatoes).
  • Drink your liquids between meals, not with meals. Liquids dilute your digestive enzymes and slow digestion.
  • Try to reduce eating between meals. Contrary to contemporary advice, most people notice having much more energy when they don't eat mini-meals all day. Instead, they eat fewer meals and drink more of them at that!
  • Very important: Don't stress about it. Keep it simple and you'll succeed.
  • Pay attention to when you're full! Stop eating when it doesn't taste as good as the first few bites. That usually means you're satiated. It is better to stop when you're "no longer hungry" than waiting until you're "full." If you feel full, you've probably eaten too much.

Back: Raw Food FAQ

The above is one of the more frequently asked questions that come up when I give classes and talks about Raw food. For a very comprehensive introduction to Raw Food lifestyle and expert tips and advice on making it work for you, see my ebook:

Kristen's Raw: The EASY Way to Get Started & SUCCEED with Raw Food