Food Combining – Mixing The Right Foods

I first found out about Food Combining from a book bought from the Nutricentre Bookshop near Regents Park.  In their library, you could pick up a book and read through the pages to see if you could learn health tips.  I did.  Food Combining For Health turned out to be one of the best of my nutrition library.


What is Food Combining?

This term was made up by Dr William Hay who broke down in health after 16 years of practice as  a doctor. He developed a dilated heart and high blood pressure.  Since the medicine he used was not helping  much, he turned to nature and decided to eat foods in their natural form and in smaller quantities.

This became a system called ‘The Hay System’.  It was very simple – only eat protein and vegetables in the same meal, or carbohydrates and vegetables together, but not carbohydrates and protein together.

For example;

Most people eat rice with meat curry or chicken and chips.  There’s nothing wrong with this except we get a little bloated sometimes…! The food combining method would be rice and a vegetable curry, or chicken and avocado salad.

Dr Hay’s symptoms cleared up using this simple method.


What Has Food Combining Got to Do With Eczema?

This is the interesting part. You see, eczema is an inflammatory skin condition and when food is combined as is mentioned above, the inflammation dies down.  In fact, this method is useful in treating many inflammatory conditions like arthritis, sore gums, bloating and even brain fog.

In the book, written by Doris Grant and Jean Joice,  there is a section on eczema and an excerpt of how a 10 year old boy who had eczema all his life

was cleared of it in ten days with only shadows of scars remaining.  Ten days after 10 years of having it!  Yes – I could not believe it either so to see if it was true, I turned to the sections on foods to buy,  menus and meal planning. And found out through experience with this method that Dr Hay was right and the system works.

Throughout my 30s I remained a size 10 – 125lbs.  I am older than that now, and realise that if I wanted to get to the right size all I have to do is the food combining.  Plus toning exercises.

Since the book can explain it much better than I can, I suggest you buy it on Amazon as the Nutricentre bookshop has closed down after more than 20 years in business.

There are, as mentioned previously, many meal planning ideas in Food Combining for Health and how it can work for you, than I have put down here.  It makes for a very good read and you will not be disappointed.

I would like to add that the recipes can be adapted to your taste using the vegetables, carbohydrates and protein of your choice.

If you have any questions or comments about  Food Combining, please feel free to ask here…

46 thoughts on “Food Combining – Mixing The Right Foods

  1. Alex says:

    “Was cleared of it in ten days”sound too good to be truth. Is there any medical confirmation that Eczema was cleared due to food combining ? Not willing to be difficult but when I read about some miraculous recovery I get suspicious so some official proof woukd help convince people to be sure this is real thing.

    • Stella says:

      Yes, I totally agree with you it does seem to be ‘magical’ – basically, everything with sugar in it was stopped.  The boy’s mother was practically killing him slowly with a very sweet diet. My aunty, who is a nurse from the States also told me when my skin was very bad, that people with a skin problem should cut sugar from their diet.  I listened and my skin is good now.

      Sugar causes inflammation of cells, even most sweet fruit.  It is the main culprit in wet eczema. I helped one of my friend’s daughters overcome her head to foot eczema this way.  Her skin had turned black.  She could not sleep and needed to concentrate to study for her exams.  She had been making cookies at her friend’s house. Almost every day.

      I told her to stop eating the cookies as it was the main culprit. Followed by having a daily 5-6 vegetable salad.

      Her mother made the salad as her daughter was only 14 years old.  To cut a long story short, the girl was able to sleep at night without scratching and was able to concentrate for her exams. As a result, the eczema cleared off. 

      That was 5 years ago and the girl is still clear.

  2. Alice A. says:

    Interesting post!

    I think we all know what constitutes a healthy, balanced meal but I never really thought that eating carbs and protein together is not advisable. Asians like myself usually combine carbs, proteins and vegetables together in one meal because we believe that the body needs all three.

    I recently developed some kind of skin allergy which I attribute to food that’s why I am a bit cautious when it comes to what I put into my mouth.

    This book on food combining really caught my interest so I will definitely check it out. Thanks for sharing!

    • Stella says:

      Hi Alice, I’m glad you found the information interesting, There are many people suffering in silence and I just want to be of help to yourself and them.

      The book makes for an interesting yet informative read and you will find some answers in it.

      Once again, I’m glad to be of help to you.

      If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask away.

  3. Sheree says:

    This is an interesting approach to achieving optimal health. I have never heard of the hay system. Most of my meals are packed with complex carbohydrates and protein, and at times mixed with vegetables.
    Just curious though, after reading this book and combining the right foods, how much pounds did you lose to get to your past weight? and how long did it take?

    • Stella says:

      Hi Sheree,

      I’m actually pleased with the weight I am at now as I did not realise how stick-thin I was at size 10. I know that if I was to lose weight I would combine protein and plenty of salad at least twice a day.  I normally lose weight gradually dropping a dress size each month.  I normally do not drop any lower than a size 10 though.

      Vegetables class as lower calorie carbohydrates and can speed up your metabolism naturally.  Mind you, I was also drinking avocado smoothies for breakfast and that also helped with the weight-loss.  Depending on how much we eat and when we eat, these both factor in how much weight each of us might lose.

      Hope this helps!. 

    • Stella says:

      Hi Andrew,
      I am very pleased you find my blog of good value.
      I will look out for your site to perhaps help more people through it. Thanks for getting in touch.

  4. Staci says:

    Healed eczema after having it for his whole life? No way! I’ve heard about food combining before but I didn’t think it could be THAT beneficial. Did this really work for you?

    I would also like to get more serious about my choice of foods especially now that I’m getting older my metabolism is not as fast as it used to be when I was in my teens. I enjoyed your article on juicing and now this about food combinations.

    I think I’m going to check out that book on Amazon.

    • Stella says:

      Eczema can be healed no matter how long someone has had it.  If you notice on my site, I tackle eczema from the outside with baths and oils and also from the inside with food and supplements.

      Also environmental factors play a part too. As for food combining I mentioned I used it to keep the same dress size for 10 years. If I want to lose weight I food combine.  It is also beneficial in tackling eczema as well.

      Do  have a look at the book.  It makes for a good read.

  5. Kit says:

    As they always say, you are what you eat. I understand this as well. There can be different effects for different types of food I eat everyday. Oily foods can make me sick faster than a clean diet. A balanced clean diet of protein, vegetables and carbs is best. Other tasty foods mostly comes with high salt and flavouring. These should limit down.

  6. DerrAd says:

    That’s a great post! I’ve not really paid much attention to the effect of combining carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables together in one meal but your post have stricken some awareness in me. All I’ve kept in my mind is that a balanced diet should at least have something from all the classes of food. I guess the part of the world I’m coming from too has taught me that. The examples you’ve stated looks convincing and so I will try and implement some of the things you’ve shared to see. I’ve nothing to lose.

    • Stella says:

      It definitely does work as I used this method to remain the same size for 10 years.

      All the best and if you need help just let me know..

  7. Michelle says:

    Hello Stella.

    Thanks for your article. You know, this does not surprise me at all. The term – food combining – is a new one to me, but the practice is not so new.

    I am a yoga person and on thing that is taught is the need to eat foods separately. Be aware of the type of foods that you combine when you sit down to have a meal. Most yogis eat just one food group and sometimes, just one food  – sweet potatoes (example) alone – when they sit down to eat.

    It is true, in our world today, we simple mix too many different  foods on our plate when we sit down to eat. Less is indeed more as the cliche goes.

    Thanks for the reminder.


    • Stella says:

      Hi Michelle,

      I do Bikram yoga sometimes and find it necessary to eat light but nutritious food when I do a class.

      So I understand what you mean.  I like eating a plate of green apples sometimes for breakfast.  I used to under eat a lot when younger, maybe because I was used to eating lightly from boarding school.  However,I really looked like a stick and so did a body building regime with a personal trainer to reach 140lbs in weight. in my30s.

      I  am now 154lbs and prefer being between 11-11.5 stone. I am also less nervous as a result and definitely less pedantic.


  8. Letsret says:

    I found this to be very interesting and informative.  I have suffered from Eczema for a long time and certainly know that there are foods that I have to avoid, but I never thought about the proper combination of foods.

    I had no idea of the benefits of eating vegetables with protein or carbs with vegetables but to avoid carbs and protein.  Will this food combination also help with weight loss?

    • Stella says:

      Yes, food combining is excellent for downsizing.  So as not to lose muscle mass try and have 2 meals with fish and veggies.  And one meal with carbs and fruit.  For example jumbo oats and bananas for breakfast with raisins and natural yoghurt or kefir.

      Cut out sugary drinks and either drink vegetable juce mixed with apple juice or herbal teas.  Lemon, ginger and honey with hot water is also good. Or you can try Apple Cider Vinegar with honey and hot water.

      Drink at least 8 cups a day and see your health  improve…

  9. Shy says:

    Never heard of food combining.  I will have to check this out for sure.  I do not have eczema but you mention that it is also good for treating inflammatory conditions like arthritis and sore gums which I do have.  I don’t think that people realize the effect that food has on the body.  Sure we know that certain foods are unhealthy and others are healthy but we do not think that we can use food to help with things like inflamation and sore gums and other health effects.

    • Stella says:

      Hello Shy… 

      It’s funny you should mention sore gums, because I have that at the moment!

      Too much honey and fruit (not at the same time).

      I have ordered some Bentonite clay as I find it heals my gums in 3 days.  I just mix a teaspoon with a little water and suck on it twice daily.  To speed things up, I stop eating anything sweet and also sugary drinks.

      I hope you find the right method that works for you.

      All the best,


  10. Telma says:

    Hey Stella, how are you?

    I believe the boy got healthy in 10 days because I believe in the power of herbs, vegetables, fruit and the right protein. If his mother was giving him a good amount of sugar every day, this was reducing the capacity of the body to healing because sugar in excess is bad for our body.

    I am diabetic and I can not eat corns, yellow squash and carrots, because every yellow vegetable isrich in sugar. So I believe on the power of combination food.

    Tonight I made for dinner chicken with slices of onions, green and red sweet bell peppers slices as well. I put everything in one skillet with some seasoning and salt until the chicken cooked. Was very delicious, my kids loved; even if I don’t know yet if is a good combination.

    Soon I finish to write this comment, I will buy the book, because I would like to learn more about the food combination.

    Thank you so much for a wonderful Blog.



    • Stella says:

      Hi Telma,

      Thanks for the detailed input.  It is good to know you found the article helpful.

      Here’s to your total recovery…


  11. Emmanuel Buysse says:

    Great post and good info. 

    I know food combining can be good, but 10 days to clear it sounds too amazing, because sometimes eczema can be a long curing problem.

    Anyway, I have a friend who has eczema, what I will do is sharing it to him so he can have a possible solution.

    Thanks for sharing it, he will be happy.

    • Stella says:

      The reason why it works Bob, is that sugar, the culprit food, was removed from the kid’s diet.

      Sugar causes inflammation and heat which causes itching. Remove the sugar, the inflammation stops. So does the itching and then the skin has time to heal.

      I am living proof.  I had severe full body eczema flare ups between 2012-2016.  I was allergic to some medication.  Once I removed that, the inflammation went down and so did the itch.  I had been ripping my skin til it bled so went raw vegan as well for 4 months.  Then re-introduced chicken and avocado salad and also steamed mackerel and salmon.

      I also did plenty of green juicing and avocado smoothies.

      Remember, the sugar was removed as well as a menu plan put in place.  Healing came and fast.

      I was obviously more toxic than the boy as he was not on meds.  Fortunately, I have been clear for 2 years…and can now concentrate on site creation.

      Hope this is clear and please tell your friend.  I don’t want him to continue to suffer needlessly.

      All the best,


  12. Adyns68 says:

    Hi dear

    I think I got get that book.

    I have a digestion problem from as far as I can remember. Even after becoming a vegetarian, I still have that problem. Because, I don’t know what foods mix better together, for my digestion and my health.

    I need to learn how to eat properly. So, I think this book is just what I need.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Vincent says:

    Since I am at the gym regularly I care about what I eat, but I have never heard of food combining before. I usually eat protein and carbs together and I do get bloated sometimes, but I don’t think it is the sugar since I don’t eat that much sugar. Maybe it is what you are describing here. I will definitely look into this a bit further and take a look at the book. 

    • Stella says:

      Hi Vincent,

      Bloating comes from eating  a lot of carbs (potatoes, rice, etc).  As a gym goer, you actually need to feed on more protein and to build muscle.  Fish is great and relatively easier to cook and digest than beef.

      I have also just discovered that fish is great for calming down inflammation or bloating.  Hence eating a large portion a day for the last week.  My skin is thanking me for it.

      Do take a look at the book as it explains food combining in detail.  You will be glad you did.

      Until then, take care Vincent.

  14. Scott Hinkle says:

    Wow, thank you for this post.

    I didn’t realize that’s not necessarily what you eat but what you eat along with other items at the same time, that makes a difference.

    Now I have a lot of questions like, do I have to wait so long when eating one combination before eating another and so on.  I assume these will be answered in the book.

    Now I’m off to find it so I can check out the recipes and see if it’s something my weak will can stick to.

    Thanks again,


    • Stella says:

      My pleasure Scott,

      It’s a very important point you brought up here. – the timing of meals. If you can, leave at least  4 hours between meals. Have drinks in between if you feel hungry.  

      The Food Combining book explains it in more detail. So you can get a fuller picture of what I mention in this article. 

      I hope you enjoy reading it!

  15. Phil says:

    Hello Stella,

    I’m a bit confused about this diet, because every food really has some of everything in it. Like rice contains both carbohydrates and proteins (unless it’s processed, bleached rice), and vegetables all contain some carbohydrates! 

    Well, I agree that rice does not have a lot of proteins and some vegetables don’t have a lot of carbohydrates, so they are grouping foods by what they contain the most of. 

    Before I brush this diet off saying it’s no good for me, I feel I would need more examples of meals with this diet. Thanks in advance… Phil

    • Stella says:

      Hi Phil…

      To clarify what I mean by carbs, rice is more starchy and breaks down into simple sugars for the body to digest.  So do sweet potatoes and yams for example.  You simply eat with non-starchy vegetables which as you say, are low carbs.  

      Then for food combining with protein you simply eat fish, and salad.  It is very easy.  Obviously you also have to think of your body type as well.  Some people who have a fast metabolism do better on more protein meals and some do better with more carbs.

      But that is another subject for another day…  I tried to make the food combining idea as simple, for people to understand, as possible.  As you suggested, I will give more examples of this way of eating.  It is not really a diet, more of a way of healthy living. 

      I hope this is clearer for you Phil. 

  16. Paula says:

    This hits home for me because my son has had eczema since he was 6 months old. I’ve never heard of food combining but it kind of makes sense. Dr Hay has an amazing story. I will mention this way of eating to my son. He’s 30 years old now so it’s up to him. :p

    • Stella says:

      Hi Paula,

      Eczema can be healed as long as you give your body the right nutrients from food to work with. For example, I did not like fish growing up and so my skin was always dry.  I have had to retrain my brain to realise chicken is a dry food and so I would have to spend money on avocados to get in the healthy fats my body needs.

      I had a mini flare up this April and started buying salmon and mackerel.  One and half months later my skin feels smooth  and soft  and is less itchy.

      Although it is up to your son, if he makes the necessary changes, he will be a much calmer and happier person. Believe you me.

  17. Tom Hein says:

    Hello Stella,

    I have heard this also, but through another source. It was many years ago, so I am relying on my soso memory here …. I believe it is an Ayurveda concept having to do with an individual’s constitution, or dosha? Does this sound right? Are you familiar with this?

    That old adage -“You are what you eat” stands true in so many ways. We can only be as healthy as what we use to fuel our bodies. 

    There are so many things we can do to lead an “optimum” lifestyle, and this is certainly one of them!

    Thank you for shining a light on this info 😉


    • Stella says:

      Hi Tom,

      Dr Hay was an American.  Eating simply was relevant to everyone round the world, and we all used to do that til we got ‘clever’ and started redesigning  our food by processing it.  

      We are what we absorb and if we fall short on nutrients our individual bodies need, we ultimately fall ill.  It is not ayurveda or anything related to rocket science… Yes, there are many things we can do to live an “optimum” lifestyle.  

      Little things like tossing the TV and communicating face to face instead of by texts, emails and Skype unless really necessary!  But then we all fantasize of turning into robots one day, don’t we…? (only kidding).

      It’s a pleasure to serve you… 

  18. Suz says:

    There are a large number of foods to choose from when a person wants to eat but we need to understand better what kinds of foods to mix because knowing this is what can really help us to grow better. For me, I believe that a good food mix should  have a combination of atleast three classes of food. Some more than the other though.

    • Stella says:

      Food combining means simply don’t mix cooked starchy foods and fruit together at the same meal.  Eat protein with vegetables at one meal and carbohydrates with vegetables at the next.  With at least 4 hours gap between each meal.

      As we all tend to rush through the day in the West, our eating habits and choices have much to be desired.  Food combining is something we used to know about, but have forgotten!

  19. Nath says:

    Wow! Who would have thought that food combination can prove to be beneficial in the aspect of treating eczema. All you have shared here is really massive. Honestly,  having the right meal balance would surely help to prevent or at the very least, help to conquer eczema. This is surely great to see on the overall here. Thank you

    • Stella says:

      Yes, and food combining is also good for maintain the proper ratio of weight to height.  I stayed at size 10 (UK) for a whole decade when I practiced what is in Dr Hay’s book – Food Combining…

  20. Bruce says:

    Thanks for yet another mind blowing article, what makes our nutrition healthy is not how much food we consume but how appropriate and appealing the food combination is. Mixing the right foods gives you the best output your body can desire and it’s good that you shared this, I’ll share it to others.

    • Stella says:

      It’s just common knowledge that we have forgotten about this century, but thank you very much for the compliment.  And thank you for sharing it!

  21. Justin says:

    I have had the combination of the very worst of meals in the past and it really didn’t go well with my stomach because of the various composition of the food.. And then it came as gas and I felt really bad about it. Sometimes we just have to be careful about what we eat because on a serious occasion, it could become food poison 

    • Stella says:

      Yes, we as human beings have forgotten how to combine our food in a way that is easily digestible.  Hence the gaseous effect and bloating.  Indigestion is mostly caused by poor food-combining as you have mentioned here.

  22. Russell says:

    It’s been only during the past recent years that the need to combine our foods carefully has come to my attention. The concept of eating protein separate from carbs is new to me though. I will have to do further research into that aspect of this post before I make the change. Even the eating of fruits with cooked food can also be harmful to the system. Another contributor is eating fruits and vegetables that have begun to decay. We should eat these foods as fresh and raw as possible.

    • Stella says:

      Yes, fruits should also be eaten alone at least 4 hours away from any other food.  As this produces gas and bloating.  Dr Hay’s book is a good read and I still have it in my library of nutrition books.

      Eating food fresh is important – once food is going off, it releases various substances which are not good for us to digest.  But that’s a whole other subject!

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