If you’re interested in trying Food Combining, but aren’t quite sure how to get started, I thought it might be helpful to share some properly combined recipes, clearly labeled by category, to make things easier.
People who follow food combining have reported losing weight without counting calories, feeling less bloated, getting clearer skin, better sleep, and more. What I love about this concept, is that you don’t have to give up any foods that you love! You simply won’t eat them all at the same time, making you a little more mindful at meal time.
Food Combining for Weight Loss
I’ll be the first to admit that there is not a lot of research on food combining. However, studies have shown that humans have a tendency to overeat when we are offered a wide variety of foods during a meal. (source) So, by simplifying our meals, we may naturally eat less, without counting calories. That might be the most straight-forward reason that food combining does seem to work when it comes to weight loss.
Another study showed that food combining seemed to have the same effect as a low-calorie diet when it comes to weight loss, with both groups losing a similar amount of weight. (source) I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not count calories or worry about numbers, which is another reason why I fell in love with food combining in the first place.
How to Practice Food Combining
The general idea of food combining is that you’ll eat from only one category of foods at each meal, along with plenty of fresh, low-carb vegetables.
The 4 main categories in food combining are Fresh Fruit, Animal Protein, Starches, and Nuts/Seeds/Dried Fruit. You can find a printable food combining chart here to help, or choose a meal from one of the categories below.
Ideally, you’ll wait 3 to 4 hours between each meal, allowing those foods to fully digest before you switch categories at your next meal. If you feel the need for a snack between, choose fresh sliced veggies, such as carrots, celery, cauliflower, or broccoli florets for an easy “neutral” option. Or, you can stick to the same category of food for two meals in a row, and snack from that category, too. (For example, you might have an Almond Butter Smoothie for breakfast, a Date Energy Ball as a mid-morning snack, and a large salad tossed with tahini dressing for lunch, which would all fall into the nut/seed/dried fruit category.)
Here are some properly combined recipes for you to try, listed by category:
Because fruit digests so quickly, I usually enjoy it most at breakfast in the form of a large smoothie. You’ll notice that the recipes below are properly combined, so they don’t call for protein powder, or nut butter with the fresh fruit. (Avocado is a fruit, though, and it can help keep you full!)
I like to serve nuts and seeds with plenty of fresh veggies, to keep the overall meal hydrating and easier to digest. Bananas and dates typically combine well in this category, too, so feel free to see how that feels for you.
- Date Energy Balls
- Coffee Smoothie
- Chocolate Chia Pudding
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Almond Butter & Spinach Smoothie
- Kale Caesar Salad (without the chickpeas)
- Creamy Tahini Dressing
- Cashew Queso (served with raw veggies)
- Chia Pudding (topped with banana)
- Zucchini Hummus
- Dairy-Free Cashew Cheesecake
- Creamy Cucumber Tahini Dressing
- Almond Butter Freezer Fudge
If the following options don’t feel hearty enough for a meal, keep in mind that you can serve them with bread, cooked grains, or a baked potato, if desired.
- Zucchini Oatmeal (a great warm breakfast option!)
- Sweet Potato Toast (topped with avocado or white bean spread)
- Lentil, Kale & Quinoa Stew
- Detox Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing
- Sweet Potato Lasagna
- Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Avocado Caesar Salad
- Vegan Chickpea Salad
- Chipotle Black Bean Burrito Bowls
- Vegan Sweet Potato Nachos
- Chickpea “Egg” Salad
- Sweet Potato & Quinoa Mason Jar Salads
- Vegan Burrito Bowls with Sweet Potato “Rice”
- Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
- Chickpea Tikka Masala with Green Rice
- Sweet Potato Noodle Casserole with Pumpkin Sauce
- Easy Lentil, Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry
- Sweet Potato Mac n’ Cheese
- Instant Pot Quinoa Burrito Bowls
- Mediterranean Socca Flatbread Pizza
You can serve animal protein meals with loads of non-starchy veggies, like a side salad or some simple roasted vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Pizza Stir Fry
- Chicken & Vegetable Soup
- Cauliflower “Steak” Pizzas
- Crustless Quiche
- Zucchini Pizza Boats
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
- Flourless Zucchini Pie
- Leftover Turkey Soup
- Instant Pot Egg Bites
- Eggplant & Goat Cheese Lasagna
- Mexican Chicken Soup
- Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
- Curried Chicken Stew
If you crave something sweet after a meal, the following recipes are a nice option that shouldn’t interfere with digestion too much. In general, you don’t want to drink a lot of liquid immediately after a meal, so sip these warm beverages slowly, or you can always opt for a small piece of dark chocolate instead.
I hope these recipe ideas make it easier for you to give food combining a try!
Reader Feedback: Have you tried food combining? Feel free to join us for Food Combining challenge over in our private Facebook group if you’d like some extra support!