Saturday, February 26, 2011

Adventures in Food Combining: Flax Crackers vs Gas Crackers, an Experiment in Motion

Hello out there, and happy Saturday! I have vowed to spend the entire day in my pajamas and do some catching up on my homework, blogging, and vegging out. This has been a fantastic week as I have had the time to dive back into my school work, which I am totally loving. I finished my anatomy & physiology section this week, which I still need to study again and again, but at least I can move on to a new section of study...hurray!

Ok so, moving on...the Raw Miso Soup I made the other day turned out a-maz-ing! It was so super yummy, you must try it if you are looking for a cold day, winter warm up...which I always am this time of year! :) Here is mine:

I used carrots and daikon to make the noodles instead of zucchini or sweet potatoes (as I've seen others suggest), and it was oh so tasty! You can also make it with any ingredients you have lying around such as celery or nori. I will definitely be making it again soon!

Ooh, I also just need to post this pic of the delicious green smoothies I made for Corey and I the other day:

I believe they were: cucumber, spinach, apple juice, pear, avacado, vitamineral green, & coconut shreds :)  delish.

I have really been trying to stick very closely to the rules of food combining, as much as possible. If you are not yet aware of these rules for digestive health, the basics are this:

♥ Eat Fruit Alone or as a Fruit Meal, on an Empty Stomach - the idea being that fruits are easily digested by the body and move through the system fairly quickly (about 30 minutes to pass through the stomach), so when you combine them with foods that take longer to digest, they can get caught up in the stomach for longer than they need to be there, which can cause them to ferment. This is why you definitely do not want to eat fruit as a dessert while there is still other food digesting in your stomach.

♥ Eat Proteins (concentrated) With Non-Starchy Vegetables and/or Sea Veggies or Cultured Veggies - this is because there are different digestive enzymes needed to break down proteins than the ones needed to digest starchy carbohydrates, and combining them can be hard on the digestive tract, causing gas, bloating, and flatulence.

♥ Eat Grains & Starchy Carbohydrates (concentrated) with Non-Starchy and/or Sea Veggies or Cultured Veggies - same reason as before, combining starches with proteins is a recipe for a bloated and uncomfortable tummy and gas in the system.

♥ Cultured Veggies are Good With Everything! - even fruit! These bad boys are great for the internal flora of your colon and help everything else you eat to break down.

There is a great deal more to this idea of food combining for better digestion, which includes cutting out all processed foods and eating a diet of 80 percent alkaline-forming food, and 20 percent acid-forming foods. You can find more about this type of thing by looking up the man who came up with the idea in the 1930's, Dr. Howard Hay. There is also a lot of great information about how to properly food combine in the book, The Body Ecology Diet, by Donna Gates.

So, I have basically been trying to stick to these principles as much as possible, but I think I may have recently made a mistake that has turned into a food-combining experiment. I made some savory raw crackers yesterday that included the following ingredients:
-Onion (red & white)        -Nama Shoyu
-Garlic                              -Basil                        
-Pumpkin Seeds               -Miso
-Flax Seeds
-Sesame Seeds

Sounds good, right? Well, yes...they are SUPER delicious, so I was munching down on them yesterday and feeling really happy about it. Later, and for about 3-4 hours, I was feeling VERY uncomfortable and bloaty, and wondering what I could have eaten to cause this reaction in my body. (It should be noted that since taking on a whole foods diet and paying close attention to how I feel after eating anything, I can usually pin point, with some accuracy, what causes me to feel good and what causes a standard ol'tummy ache) So, then I had a major realization! The miso I used in the crackers is Brown Rice Miso, ingredients: Cultured Organic Brown Rice, Organic Whole Soybeans, Water, & Sea Salt. This means, within my delicious savory flax crackers lies a combination of several concentrated proteins, in the nuts/seeds, and some concentrated starch, in the whole grains of the brown rice, making them what I have unhappily coined as "gas crackers." Boo. Now, there is a chance of course that this was just a fluke, and as any good science experimenter should, I am planning a re-test of this theory. My lovely, and supportive of my crazy foodie-ness, boyfriend has apprehensively agreed to partake in some of my savory crackers in the next couple of days to see if they have a similar effect on his system as they did to mine. I will also be nibbling on them a bit with him, just to see what happens. All in the name of experimentation and observation! :)

Just curious though, has anyone else ever had any similar experiments/experiences with food combining and/or cultured brown rice miso in flax crackers? I wasn't sure if the same rules of food combining even applied to rice once it has been fermented...I mean, should this even effect the concentrated proteins once it has been cultured? I am oh so curious...and I want some more info on the subject if anyone has any. Anyway, I will get back with the results of this experiment and we'll see how it goes. Who knows, maybe that was just a quirk of a day. There are so many other reasons one might experience these symptoms on any given day. That's why I need to find a small group of willing participants (for science, buddies!) to eat these and see how they feel...hehe. Oregon buddies, I'm lookin' at you. Or my other buddies are welcome to ask and I can send you some in the mail to with the experiment AND get to try delicious crackers! (can you tell I am reaching here?) haha Talk to you all soon! Have a great and healthful weekend! Much love! :D



  1. man, you're turning out to be such a good little cook! amazing transformation from the days of chimichangas and eating whatever one could scrape up. If I strike it rich, will you be my personal vegan chef/friend/bandmate/everything? I want to try everything you're cooking!

  2. Oh yeah, no kidding! I have come a long way in a short time...and still learning more everyday! I would def be your bandmate/friend/vegan chef and nutritionist if I could! You might have to move to a warmer climate though friend :) Miss you lots!

  3. Hey - I have that very same bloating issue with flax - never the miso, ALWAYS the flax, and since reading Elaine Hollingsworth and others' take on flax I avoid it as much as possible. Which is annoying cos it's such a handy raw food staple, but I find it nasty.
    Love your blog! Martine x