Thursday, June 14, 2007

To food combine or not to food combine

One of the things that always ruffles me a little is when I hear folks say that you have to be ever so careful to get so-called “complete protein” or risk wasting away from malnutrition if you want to be vegan or vegetarian. They make it sound so hard! But is it really?

I can say that in 20-plus years of being vegan, I’ve never, ever given a thought to “food combining” or “complete protein” versus “incomplete protein,” and I’m fine and healthy. If anything, I worry less about meeting my nutritional requirements than I’d imagine most meat eaters do; my diet is utterly mindless and driven solely by hunger cues, for the most part. Although it does take just a bit of diligence to keep junk food at bay (because I’m a sucker for a potato chip just as much as anyone is), I have to say that I don’t think I’ve ever even given a thought to getting my “five a day” servings of fruits and veggies or enough fiber the way the government is now on the horn about for the average citizen. And as long as I stick to healthy foods, I can eat as much as and as often as I want, no calorie counting, no hunger; effortless weight control.

You do have to make sure you get enough calories and eat a variety of foods every day, but go ahead and eat those pinto beans without the rice if you so choose. If you simply try to stick to a healthy diet, don’t worry about “special combinations” to get your “complete protein.” It’s already there, effortlessly.

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