Staying Fit During the Holidays

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

Have you ever wondered, why after eating your favorite delicious meal, you may feel bloated, “heavy”, or the dreaded “itis”??? Well, if you’re eating the wrong foods within the same meal, your food combining skills need a little sharpening. The idea of food combining has ancient roots. Focusing on proper combinations can prevent disease, digestive distress, and toxic buildup. For example, eating steak and potatoes is probably one of the hardest meals to digest. Steak (protein) requires an acidic digestive enzyme and potatoes (starch) need an alkali enzyme. If you recall your pH scale from 7th grade science, when two foods meet each other in the stomach; whichever is greater in quantity wins. If their quantities are equal, then they cancel each other out. “There are three main types of digestive enzymes. They’re categorized based on the reactions they help catalyze:

  • Amylase breaks down starches and carbohydrates into sugars.

  • Protease breaks down proteins into amino acids.

  • Lipase breaks down lipids, which are fats and oils, into glycerol and fatty acids.

(Roland, 2019)

Each time you eat the same process takes place. Because the steak and potatoes do not digest well through the body it is not too surprising that you may feel heavy or lethargic after such a meal. The digestive juices your body generates as you eat help facilitate digestion and, for argument sake, coverts food to fuel. The ever-popular eating for fun is not a scientific concept it is simply a practice some humans have adopted. Keep this in mind as you prepare meals for the holidays. If you’re that person that prepares everything they can think of that goes with turkey or ham; this goes double for you.

In the South we’re known for our “southern hospitality” and that extends to our cooking. We tend to add a little extra “love” to every dish this time of year, if you know what I mean? So much so that the normally innocuous vegetables that are put forth by the earth as sustenance and nourishment are transformed into a nutritionist’s worst nightmare.

So, while I dare not stand in between a man and his favorite holiday meals, keep in mind the following ideas when preparing your meals any other time:

· Eat fruit only on an empty stomach, especially melons.

· Do not combine starches and proteins.

· Do not combine starches and acidic foods.

· Do not combine different types of protein.

· Sugar should only be eaten alone.

Overall be mindful of what you are eating and practice moderation regarding intake. Both are never a bad idea when a healthy eating lifestyle is the goal. If this isn’t necessarily a goal and more of a practice in practice, then consider adding a mild stool softener around your heavy eating days. This will help keep things flowing and circulating through the body.

Hope this helps!!!

Citation: Roland, James. “Why Are Enzymes Important.” Healthline, 16 Jan. 2019,

Author: Anthony Stanback

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