Top 6 Food Combining Rules for Healthy Eating and Detox

Why should you pay attention to these food combining rules?

Do you ever feel like something’s just “not right” with your digestion?

You eat all the right foods…fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, nuts and seeds…

Yet you still walk around feeling bloated or struggle to make the number on the scale budge?

We hear a lot about what foods we should eat…and we mostly know by now what we should be eating. 

That answer may not be the same for everyone. We all choose different diets.  Some people include meats and fish, others opt for a strictly plant-based diet, and that’s OK.  Both paths can lead to the same destination of healthy eating.

But what we DON’T hear much about is in what order we should eat the foods and how we should combine them.

Which foods you eat at certain times of the day can have a HUGE impact on your digestive health and weight loss progress.

That’s why it’s important to know these 6 food combining rules, brought to you by detox expert Mike Perrine of with my own commentary.

6 Food Combining Rules | Healthy Eating Tips

Rule #1: Drink Your Food & Chew Your Juice

I’ve been guilty of this many times.  I’ll make a delicious green drink packed with spinach and fresh fruits…

Then I’ll pour it into a tall glass and gulp it down in one sitting.  

It’s very important to take your time consuming your green smoothies and juices.  Swish the juice around in your mouth a bit instead of gulping it down quickly.

When you sit down to eat a raw salad, make sure you chew it what seems like an excessive amount.  Seriously 10 to 30 chews per bite is not too much!

This is important because the enzymes in your saliva break down the fibers and cellulose so it gets broken down right away when it moves into your small intestine.

The alternative?  The cellulose moves down whole into your intestines. Your stomach won’t break down the tough vegetable fibers for you, which means bacteria move in and digest it, converting it into alcohol and gas.

If you’re like me and suck at chewing your salad for long enough, here’s a sneaky shortcut…let your Vitamix or high powered blender do the work for you. 

The Vitamix may very well do a better job than your teeth and breaking down those tough fibers, especially in rougher greens like kale and collard greens.

Include ample amounts of green smoothies in your diet to give your teeth less work and make sure your greens already come in to your body “pre-chewed.”  

Ready to make green smoothies a regular part of your diet?

Click here to download my 7 day green smoothie kick starter meal plan.

Rule #2: Eat Fruit Alone

 Eat fruit alone. 

And that doesn’t mean after a heavy meal, as a dessert. 

That also doesn’t mean eating fruit alone for lunch or dinner after having a heavier breakfast or lunch earlier in the day.

Yikes!  How many days can I remember doing this, especially in summer? 

I would often come home from work and not feel like making a full meal, so I would just half a watermelon or honeydew melon for dinner.

It filled me up but was not the best thing for my digestive system!

That’s because fruit is the food that moves the fastest through the body.  It needs to move quickly and digest quickly. 

If not, it gets blocked behind heavier slower moving foods, sits in the stomach, and heats up to 98 degrees. It then ferments into alcohol and gas which could become fat.

Rule #3: Eat In Proper Order

Are you eating in the proper order?


  • Fruits and raw juices first
  • Then vegetables
  • Starches and fats next
  • And leave proteins for the end of the day!  Or the end of the meal

This is important for the same reason as tip 2.

Each of these foods moves at a different pace through the body, in order of fastest to slowest.

If you start your morning with eggs then have fruit right after, or if you eat a meal that has all of these components, you create a traffic jam in your intestines…

And that leaves your body more susceptible to convert this food into fat. :( 

Rule #4: Nix The Late Night Meals!

I am super guilty of this one.

I lived in Spain for a year, and Argentina for some too…

In these cultures and many others, it’s not uncommon to sit down for dinner at 9 or 10 pm. And if you’re eating out, many people don’t show up to the restaurant until 11 pm or later, and that’s considered normal.

I saw people in these cultures as being generally skinnier than most people here in the US….so I figured that maybe part of that was due to the late night meals.

After I came home I continued cooking late night meals, without realizing that anything you eat after 8 pm the body won’t metabolize well.

So why are people in those cultures so skinny?  I have a feeling it has more to do with an overall balanced diet, minimal processed foods, and more walking around.  

They have us beat in many ways but that doesn’t mean that ALL their eating habits are perfect or that there isn’t any room for improvement. These food combining rules are still new for a lot of us.

The bottom line?  Try to fit your meals in these intervals:

  • 12 to 4 pm is the best time to eat for optimal digestion
  • 4 to 6 pm is good too
  • 6 to 8 pm is pushing it, getting a bit late
  • Avoid eating after 8 pm

I know sometimes I work late and try to squeeze in a workout before I eat dinner.  So eating dinner before 6 pm is certainly a big challenge!

The solution for people like me who work late?  

Pack your dinner just like you pack the lunch.  

Prepare dinner the night before and bring it with you to work so you can chow down before you leave the office.  You can still workout after and you don’t need to eat a big meal after.

Rule #5: Starches & Proteins Are Not Friends!

Starches and proteins are not friends!

The enzymes needed to digest these two types of foods are completely different…

When they are released at the same time, they cancel each other out and neither digests effectively!

Do you ever feel funny after eating a “meat and potatoes” meal?  What about Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and yams? 

One main reason you feel so funny and have trouble digesting these big meals is not just because you ate a lot of food…it’s because the food literally can’t digest because the needed enzymes aren’t working properly.

The result? The food sits there until the bacteria eat it and ferment it into alcohol and gas…which translates to discomfort and weight gain :( 

Rule #6: Give Your Belly A Break!

This one’s hard for me too.  I was very athletic growing up and conditioned myself to eat all the time to fuel my body with the nutrients it needed to stay so active.

But now, here I am, working in an office…and not nearly so active anymore.

Only the constant eating habit never went away.  I feel a compulsive need to always be munching on something.  

I’ve done pretty well at replacing bad snacks like kettle corn and chocolate covered pretzels with healthy snacks like carrots and hummus, apple and peanut butter, etc.  

However, by constantly cramming more food into your body, you never give your cells a chance to breathe and release toxins. 

Detox happens during emptiness.  If you’re always eating, when does your body get a chance to detox?

The new rules to stick to:

  • Give yourself at least 12-16 hours between eating overnight
  • Give yourself at least 4-6 hours in between meals
  • Stop snacking!  Ideally you should fill up enough at each meal that you stay full until the next meal

What would that look like?  Let’s say you eat your evening meal at 6 pm.  That means you don’t need to wake up and make a breakfast smoothie first thing at 6 am.  Instead you could wait until 8 or 9 or 10 am  

I know this is controversial. Many people say to eat breakfast immediately upon waking up, so be sure to leave your opinion in the comments below about this.

I can see myself adopting this particular habit.  Many times when I wake up at 6 am I don’t feel like eating anything anyways.  A glass of lemon water with cayenne pepper works wonders to wake up my system.

That being said…I don’t usually eat dinner at 6 pm.  So if I eat dinner at 8 PM, I would need to wait until at least 8 am or possibly as late as 12 PM.  That also seems doable to me, because I’ve become less of a breakfast person in recent years.

And what about the 4 to 6 hours between meals? To me that seems more challenging. 

Let’s say you eat breakfast at 10 AM.  That would mean you eat lunch at 2 PM, and dinner at 6 PM.  4 hours in between each meal.  

I think it’s doable and I’m ready to give it a try.  Though I don’t know if I would be able to pull it off especially keeping in mind the above food combining rules.

What about you?  Do you think you could give these food combining rules a try?  Let us know in the comments.

If you’d like to watch Mike Perrine talk about these Food Combining Rules, check out this easy to follow video from Rebekah Boruki at Bexlife:

Summary Of The 6 Food Combining Rules:

How Will YOU Get Started?

So are you ready to start implementing these food combining rules?

It may be a lot to take in right away…but the easiest way to get started with these food combining rules is to start your day with a green smoothie.

Have a simple green smoothie for breakfast at 10 AM.  

Just fruit, greens, water and ice.  Greens are the only food that can be mixed with just about anything without digestive issues.

You are starting your day with fruit (rule #2), eating in the proper order (rule #3), and drinking your food (rule #1).

That's 3 food combining rules in 1!

If you haven’t yet introduced green smoothies into your diet, you’re in for a treat!  And it’s not as weird as it sounds, I promise.

Click Here To Download the 7 Day Green Smoothie Meal Plan to kick start your green smoothie habit.

And if you have already been drinking green smoothies but ever find yourself in a green smoothie rut, download it anyways.  You get a different recipe for every day of the week as well as a printable shopping list and recipe cards.

Liked these food combining rules? Want more healthy eating tips?  Check out these related pages:

How to detox your body after a big meal

Drink your salad! Learn more about this ultimate healthy eating motto

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