Sunday, May 27, 2007

Supporting my training through a healthy lifestyle

Two years ago, I started changing my diet to help support my body's efforts to heal itself. I started to eat based on a food combining philosophy. I did notice that many things about my health has improved since following this manner of eating.

I thought that I'd share this dietary information in case anyone is interested in it, and would like to learn more about it. The main concept is that starches and bases do not mix.

"The principles of food combining are dictated by digestive chemistry. Different foods are digested differently...

* Starchy foods require an alkaline digestive medium which is supplied initially in the mouth by the enzyme ptyalin;

* Protein foods require an acid medium for digestion- hydrochloric acid.

As any student of chemistry will assure you, acids and bases (alkalis) neutralize each other. If you eat a starch with a protein, digestion is impaired or completely arrested!" Food combining

It isn't as easy as it sounds to try to separate starches from proteins. If you think about it almost every meal in our society is a combination of the two. For example, hamburgers, pizza, tacos, spaghetti and meatballs, fish in batter, sandwiches. I honestly had to slowly acclimatize myself to keeping the two separate. There have been times when I craved a hamburger, and cheated on my food combining rules a little. The result was for my skin condition to flare up, and cause me quite alot of itchy distress. I quickly learned that my body does not like the combination of protein and carbohydrate.

My family is starting to get used to the different way that I eat... and I am getting to a point where I can comfortably choose a vegetarian dish in a restaurant with a smile on my face.


[Mat] said...

Nice Sensei!

Good for you. It's actually quite hard to do. But like any other habit, just another habit to take.

Keep it up!

Steve said...

When I started training in BJJ, I realized pretty quickly that I had to get my diet under control, as well.

I do try to eat well now, and basically subscribe to the Jack Lelaine diet (if Man made it, don't eat it.) In other words, I avoid food that's been processed, avoid enriched flour (whether it's white or wheat), and avoid processed sugars/corn syrup.

But, I wouldn't be a proper BJJ zealot if I didn't point out the Gracie diet.

You may find that interesting. It has a lot to do with food combining, and seems very much in line with your current diet changes.

lizzie said...

You added to your Blog!!! Good for you.

I don't believe about not combining certain foods combining because what I learned in school. I think it's probably junk science. The mouth starts breaking down food by grinding the nutrient and mixing it with saliva that contains the enzyme amylase. Amylase catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch into maltose and dextrin. This form is also called ptyalin. Ptyalin will break large, insoluble starch molecules into soluble starches producing successively smaller starches and ultimately maltose. Salivary amylase is inactivated in the stomach by gastric acid. There isn't a base that will neutralize digestion in the stomach because its PH varies around 1 to 3. That means it's VERY acidic. Probably, acids in the stomach will break down soluble starches. Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) is naturally produced in the stomach so digesting protein wouldn’t be a problem. Acids in the stomach further break down the food, turning it into a liquid or a semi-liquid. From here, it goes to the small intestine, where digestion and some absorption occur. This area contains the pancreas that secretes more amylase for the break down of starch. Next is the large intestine, where the stuff is in a form called chime. Water absorption occurs and chime is concentrated to make a semi-solid. Therefore, eating starch with protein wouldn’t cause any problem because they are digested more or less different times from each other. They will not interfere with each other!

lizzie said...

Where is the science and the research behind the Gracie diet? Again, I say it's junk science and therefore, it's false.

lizzie said...

Interview me!!!!!!!!!

supergroup7 said...

Hi Lizzie, long time no see!

OH.. I add to my blog pretty constantly now. Almost 2 or 3 postings per week, I'd guess. I do it more for myself than anything.

Food combining is what some people have chosen to live as a lifestyle. They do have various scientific studies to support the claims, but I haven't followed those. All I did was take up a challenge to try this new way of living for 3 weeks and to see if there were any changes.

These are the positive things that i noticed happening right away:

My skin condition started healing up on it's own. Huge plaques of psoriasis were turning into normal skin in front of my eyes. I was healing so fast that my youngest daughter started crying telling me "But Mom.. you are supposed to have spots, where are they going?"

I was able to sleep better. First of all the itchiness, and flaring up of my skin condition lessened. Secondly, I just was able to lie down and relax more easilly (maybe that is because of the first thing that I mentioned)

My perspiration smelled less. I'm not kidding. My sweat used to have a horrible acidic smell to it. I took tons of baths, and put on deodorant to try to cope with it, but it didn't get rid of that nasty smell. To my surprise, my sweat has hardly any smell to it now. It just pours off of me like salty water, and doesn't leave awful yellow stains on my gi.

I have developed 10 times more stamina, and energy. If I could do 5 laps before this diet, I can now do 50, or close to 100. I do not tired out as easilly.

I'm now going to head into a "Too much information" section: My bowel systems are working far better. Everything is fast, efficient, and constant. No constipation, gas, stomach cramps, or diarrhea. I am totally regular with each day having an equal amount of going in and going out.

This is what I experienced from living a food combining diet. I really don't know how it all works, but I can tell you that the only negative effects that I have felt is in the first week I did have some strange "withdrawal" like symptoms. I was told that I was detoxifying.

supergroup7 said...

The Gracie diet makes alot of sense to me. They are encourageing people to eat fruit separately from other foods. Makes total sense because our bodies recognize fruit as a "to be digested as fast as possible" item. Our stomachs will send the fruit out into the bowel system within less than 10 to 15 minutes while it will keep the rest of the food in the stomach for hours because that is how long it takes to digest. Eating fruit with other foods sends the contents of the stomach out too early causing improper digestion. There have been studies done on this..

I ALWAYS eat fruit alone in the morning hours before I eat anything else. I do not eat fruit mixed with other things. Just by accident I have been following the Gracie diet.

supergroup7 said...

Yes Mat... changing one's diet is really hard to do. Even something as small as drinking more water is cumbersome. But you are right, it's a habit, and like any other habit, it will develop in time if you keep up doing it.

Thanks for the encouragement.

supergroup7 said...

I wish that I could stay away from processed foods Steve. I'm working towards that.. but time is a limited factor in my life. To try to avoid processed foods is to get rid of time saving "just open the package and eat" moments. I know it's unhealthy.. I'm working on it. Baby steps.. baby steps.

I didn't know that the Gracie had such a special diet.. Thanks for sharing that link. It looks like I've been following the majority of the rules of that diet by fluke for the past year and a half.

Steve said...

Lizzie, I don't go in for the food combining diets. That said, simply because I don't understand something doesn't doesn't make it junk. Same can be said for things that haven't been scientifically substantiated or perhaps simply adequately explained to me.

There are many things that science is only now "proving" that have been common sense for years, decades or in some cases centuries. For example, I get a kick out of the current Omega fatty acid stuff. Of course fish is good for you. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out what is good for us and what isn't. Unfortunately, that's what it takes for some people to believe it.

And for what it's worth, saying that something is junk science does not logically follow to being false.

As I said before, the Jack Lelanne diet is the one I subscribe to: if Man made it, don't eat it. Eat foods in moderation, particularly the things you know are bad for you, and eat it as unmolested as is reasonable.