Despite the tantalizing title of this post, I will not be meandering through the fascinating world of chemically-induced curls or the instruments of follicle
torture teasing today. Nope. *Let down alert:* When I say ‘perms and combs,’ I mean it in the geeky Math Club way– permutations and combinations. (Us math wizards just like to abbreviate certain “terms” to keep our secret language of “arithmetic” on the “down low”. Thx!)
Anyway, in case I have crushed some of your hopeful hearts a little bit with my double-barreled tactics of:
a) Not talking about permanent wave hairstyles
b) Forcing math upon your resistant brains instead,
I would like to extend a peace offering of sorts– an olive branch, if you will:
(Here is a photo of me with a fresh perm and an oversized, paint-splattered T-shirt dress. You’re welcome. Thank you for reading my blog and for indulging my random tangents and whims!)
So where was I? Oh, yes: permutations and combinations. Aside from cutting out dairy from my diet (which I’ve been successful with since January 2010), one of the first major recommendations I’m tackling in my Personal Beauty Detox Journey deals specifically with proper food pairings. Kimberly Snyder goes into considerable detail in her book, The Beauty Detox Solution, about which foods should be paired together to help optimize digestion and which foods should be eaten separately for the same purposes. Food combinations are not a new idea at all– indeed, I had heard the concept a number of times and a number of years before reading this particular book, but I had never really incorporated it into my lifestyle.
(OK, OK– you’ve got me: In all honesty, I actively resisted the notion that I should give up my beloved fruit/nut, hummus/crackers, eggs/toast, almond butter/anything else combos in the service of better digestion. The knowledge about proper food pairings was received, then considered… then consciously ignored. Ahem.)
But I’m on a Beauty Detox Journey now! And I’m willing to try new things! So I decided to attempt better food combinations as an initial step because it doesn’t involve adding in any unfamiliar foods to my diet or eliminating any of my routine staples, either. Instead, this suggestion simply asks followers to rearrange their already existing diets to minimize/eliminate any poor food combinations, which can be extremely taxing on the digestive system. According to the ‘real-life’ vignettes in Kimberly’s book, many people have benefited greatly from this one step alone– success stories of weight-loss, increased energy, and better digestion abound!
The First Step: Breakfast
After a quick review of the food combination guidelines (which are neatly summarized here— check out #3), I came to the immediate and dismaying realization that my normal breakfast dish– oatmeal with dried cranberries, ground flax seeds, and a modest trickle of flax seed oil on top– violates nearly every fundamental rule of food combining. It mixes seeds (protein/fat) with a grain, it incorporates oil, and it mixes in a fruit, which should always be eaten separately (let alone ripe and raw instead of dried!) 😦 Baby steps, right?
Undeterred (well, maybe a little bit deterred), I finished up the rest of our cranberries in our usual breakfast style and left them off the grocery list when they had run out. Then, to preserve the semblance of sweetness in our morning oatmeal sans cranberries, I started to cook the oats with a small amount of natural vanilla extract and added some nutmeg and cinnamon as well. I’ve still been using some flax oil on top– the ground flax seeds moved onto my afternoon salads– but the goal is to wean myself off of the oil as well when my bottle runs out. (Eventually, I will possibly even graduate to drinking a Glowing Green Smoothie at breakfast instead of cooking oats at all, but for the time being, a cooked a.m. meal is still de rigeur in Chez Baby Steps.) No big deal.
The Next Step: Lunch
Lunch hasn’t required as much of an adjustment on my part, because I usually eat a She-Ra sized salad in the afternoon, anyway.
I did transfer my ground flax seeds from the breakfast to the lunch time slot, and I’ve also subbed my regular balsamic vinegar with raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar– look at me, Princess of Power in the Beauty Detox department!! 🙂 Other than that, I’ve just been careful to include only one protein on top of my greens, instead of 2 or 6 or 8. Simple is better, no? I’ll either toss some pecans or slice a boiled egg on top of my salads now– not both anymore.
The Final Step: Dinner
Speaking of how simple is better, I was getting into the habit of making really elaborate, complex, and decadent dinners, most of which contained eleventeen hundred ingredients and naturally violated the fundamental tenets of food pairing. So I’ve yanked on the reins of my free-spirited inner chef and tried to keep things more simple in the kitchen. Baby steps! Simplicity! We eat a lot of greens, stir-fries, or soups for dinner, so nothing much has changed here. (Proper food combinations are a lot easier to achieve for a woman who never grew up with the typical “meat and potatoes” dishes.) Moving right along…
The Bonus Step: Fruit
Incredibly, fruit has been the most challenging food pairing recommendation for me. Defeated by fruit! Fruit is supposed to be eaten on an empty stomach (so either 30 minutes before a meal or a full hour– or more– following a meal). I have caught myself munching on homemade granolas or trail mixes that pair fruits with other foods like nuts or seeds, and I’m also mysteriously craving things like fruit pies and pastries (which I wasn’t really interested in until I learned that fruit should be eaten by itself!) The fruit thing will be an ongoing step for me, but like any new habit, all it takes is a little bit of time and patience.
What about you, dear readers?
Had you heard about proper food pairings before?
Do any of you follow the principles of food combinations to help your digestion?
Anybody else defeated by the simple apple? Anyone? Bueller? 😉