If you have that slight burning feeling at the base of the esophagus 1and are taking digestive pills for indigestion & heartburn most or all the time you eat a meal, then these simple food combination tips can help.
I knew I had to take some action, when my physician prescribed me Zantac, Ranitidine, Tagamet and other heartburn remedies stating that my stomach was producing too much acid and over the counter medicines were not working. But what really got me worried was the long list of side effects of these medicines.
Here are few of them:
Stop using ranitidine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
• chest pain, fever, feeling short of breath, coughing up green or yellow mucus;
• easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
• fast or slow heart rate;
• problems with your vision;
• Fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering,
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: immune system problems, kidney problems, liver problems, lung diseases (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), other stomach problems. Source: http://www.rxlist.com/zantac-drug.htm
This got me into action. I started reading and meeting with my health plan’s nutritionist to see what was causing my stomach problems. After a few months of following the list of foods to avoid and general tips I was feeling slightly better, but still I could not get rid of the meds. I went back to my physician and he told me that I have an acidic stomach and that I need to be on the medication or I can get ulcers. He also assured me that he will monitor my genetically fatty liver (I don’t drink alcohol) every three months to see if the drugs were doing any damage. After being on these pills for a couple of years I also noticed some of the above symptoms like sore throat, unusual weakness and problems with my vision. My Primary Care Physician as well as my Gastroenterologist wanted me to stay on them indefinitely.
It is at this point that I came across Dr. Vandana Soni, an Ayurvedic practitioner in Newport Beach, CA. Ayurveda means “Science of Life” Dr. Vandana introduced me to Dr. Vasant Lad’s various books on the teachings of Ayurveda.
The first thing Dr. Soni asked me to do was to write down everything I ate for a week. This was very illuminating.
I told Dr. Soni, that I was eating healthy – Eggs and cheese with beans, spinach & whole wheat toast for breakfast followed by fruit like melon and apple. Different things for lunch at office like tuna sandwich from the deli with fruit, or 2 or 3 slices of pizza with fruit. Salad and Chicken with cheese and beans from a Mexican place etc. I was also drinking about 4 to 5 cups of coffee and tea with milk throughout the day.
At this point Dr. Soni gave me a Food Combination Chart plucked from a book of Dr. Vasant Lad. This was fascinating. I slowly started making small changes and in a matter of days I had reduced my dosage of the deadly pills that I had been taking for two years. But, still I could not get rid of these pills totally until I took this final step which I will reveal at the end of this article.
One important tip that I got was not to eat any fruit with meals. Dr. Soni said “Eat fruit half an hour before the meal or 2 to 3 hours after a meal and three hours after a non-vegetarian meal, since it takes longer for meat to digest. Harvey Diamond also explains this in his book “Fit for Life.”
Harvey Diamonds explains that body functions have a daily cycle: noon to 8 p.m. — appropriation (eating and digestion); 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.–assimilation (absorption and use); 4 a.m. to noon–elimination (of body wastes and food debris). Fit for Life aims to return you to a lifestyle based on your natural body cycles. That means 70 percent of your diet should be “high-water-content foods”–fruits and vegetables–which facilitate all body functions. Consume nothing but fruit or fruit juice until noon, and then eat salad and vegetables with every meal for the rest of the day.
Coming back to the Food Combination tips, here are the ones that were the most beneficial:
Don’t eat Beans with fruit, cheese, eggs, milk, meat, and yogurt.
Based on this information, I made changes to my breakfast. I ate fruit 30 to 45 minutes before my breakfast followed by eggs, toast and spinach. I left out the cheese and beans.
Immediately I noticed that the burning sensation below my breast bone that I used to get was gone. Hallelujah! This was big. I was excited. I stopped my morning Zantac!
Don’t eat Eggs with fruit, especially melons, beans, cheese, fish, milk, meat and yogurt.
This is a classic breakfast at any of the diners in America. Now I could see how these drug companies were staying in business and spending billions of dollars in ad campaigns (as well as lobbyists and marketing to doctors) showing people popping their pills before they go out to eat. They make it sound simple “Just take this pill and eat to your heart’s content. Just don’t read the long list of side effects.
Don’t eat yogurt with fruit or cheese, eggs, fish, hot drinks, meat and milk.
This is a deadly combination. Dr. Vasant Lad says “Many fruits create a sour and indigestible “wine” in your stomach when mixed with other food.”
I passed this information to a very dear friend of mine who had been eating yogurt and fruit for 20 plus years. This is what he said “Steve, I cannot thank you enough. I always thought that I was eating a healthy breakfast of yogurt and fruit…but I always had this slightly sour taste and uneasy feeling. It never crossed my mind that it was this combination.”
Don’t eat Milk with Bananas
Dr. Vasant Lad says that “If we consider having a bowl of sliced bananas with milk for breakfast, what might happen? Although both these foods have a sweet taste and a cooling energy, their post digestive taste is very different – bananas are sour, but milk is sweet – and this causes confusion to our digestive system and may result in toxins, allergies and other imbalances. These incompatible food combinations not only disturb the digestion but also cause confusion in the intelligence of our cells which can lead to many different diseases.”
This was all too apparent when one of my colleagues called in sick one day and had bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. When asked what he had eaten the night before, he said he had some chicken with cheese, potatoes, beer, no vegetables followed by carrot cake and fruit.
In the morning when his stomach was feeling a little better he ate a banana with some milk. This combination made his stomach queasy and he had diarrhea for the better part of the morning. Upon questioning his habit of bananas he admitted that each time he ate bananas and milk he had the same reaction. It’s been a year and he has not had any issues since he stopped eating bananas with milk. Many of the individuals I coach were wary of eating fruits. They always had the same remarks “If I eat a fruit or especially bananas with my meal, my body does not react well. So I stay away from fruits” I tell them that even FDA recommends 9 to14 portions of fruits and vegetables and that if they ate the fruit half an hour before a meal or 2 to 3 hours after a meal, they will begin to like fruit again and start getting healthy. I have seen many people regain their health with this simple tip. This brings us to another combination…
Don’t eat grains with fruit
This is a hard one for most people, since we all are so used to eating our cereals with fruit and pancakes with fruit toppings. On another note, my health plan nutritionist and Dr. Soni both agree that any packaged cereal is dead food since it is processed and loaded with sugar and probably is 6 months to a year old before we consume it. They both recommended making fresh oatmeal or other grains like bulgur wheat, millet, barley. The oatmeal should not be the instant kind but the one that takes 5 to 10 minutes to cook. Once we become aware and sensitive to how our body responds to the food we eat, you will be able to feel the effects of eating the right combination. So, try eating oatmeal with fruit one day and without fruit another day and feel the difference.
Don’t eat Melon with ANYTHING
Especially dairy, eggs, fried food, grains and starches. Dr. Lad even goes further in saying “Melon more than most fruit should be eaten alone or left alone.”
This is quite interesting. When I walk in a diner or a restaurant in the morning for breakfast and look at what people are eating. I see most of the plates loaded with eggs, cheese, some kind of bacon or sausage, potatoes and a side of fruit plate that has mixed fruit and melon.
Let’s see what’s wrong with this combination:
Eggs and cheese
Eggs and bacon or sausage
Eggs and fruit
Fruit with the meal
Fruit with melon
Now someone asked me what to eat in this situation. Try eating a piece of fruit before you leave for the restaurant or if you have to eat fruit with the meal, then ask for either pineapple or papaya. Dr. Soni says that these fruits have the same digestive juices as the one the stomach produces and will have almost no side effects.
My favorite breakfast when I go out is a side order of home style potatoes followed by a bowl of oatmeal with no fruit or milk. I use a tiny bit of brown sugar, raisons, cinnamon and a few pieces of walnuts or pecans. This may sound like a crazy idea, but you will be rewarded with no stomach problems, high energy and a feeling of well-being. Your stomach will be happy; you won’t reach for the antacid pill, or have any side effects. Now you can go about your day, full of energy and vitality, instead of feeling heavy and sluggish with a burning, sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach.
Most of the time for breakfast I got used to Harvey Diamond’s suggestion of eating only fruit till noon. I get up in the morning and drink a glass of room temperature water with a splash of pomegranate juice followed by some stretches and yoga. I may then eat a banana and take a shower, shave etc. Before heading off to office I always eat an apple and a papaya. Apple has the best carbohydrates to give the right energy and is wonderful for the bones. No wonder the saying: An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Next, I bring a fruit salad enough for eating twice to work. Once around 11.30 am an hour before lunch and again around 4 PM. This keeps my energy level high, blood sugar even and mind sharp since the stomach does not have to do any work digesting the usual heavy breakfast of omelet, potatoes, cheese etc.
You can look for some recipes and suggestions on what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner in my other articles and blog.
I would also highly recommend reading the attached Food Combining chart and tips that Dr. Vasant Lad has listed. Keep copies of it in your wallet, at your office and home and slowly make the change. Here’s to great adventures and great health!
Yes, I did not forget how I got rid of my second Zantac. It was simple. I stopped eating Dairy Products. 70% of the population is lactose intolerant. All the allergies, the four yearly sinus infections, colds, flu etc. just disappeared the day I quit milk. That makes for my next topic… Why Milk is Dangerous!