Day 3 | Food Relationships

Journaling what we eat is a way to remember how food makes us feel.

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Let's take our time to discover which ingredients, recipes, or food groups we favor and whether they contribute to our sense of comfort or discomfort. It's important to note that foods bringing us comfort become our go-to, promoting a sense of well-being. On the other hand, foods causing discomfort should be avoided as they hinder our progress.

It's crucial to recognize the fine line between what aligns with our lifestyle's healthiness or unhealthiness. We must identify the foods that bring us comfort and help us achieve our goals. These are not emotional "comfort foods" but rather those that nourish our minds and bodies, leaving us feeling satisfied and content.

Conversely, we should pinpoint the foods that bring discomfort, such as bloating, indigestion, heartburn, or excessive fullness, hindering our feeling of satisfaction.


  • Make a comprehensive list, including ingredients, recipes, food groups, and specific meals, to better understand dietary preferences and needs.

Food Combining

Food combining is a dietary principle that involves eating certain types of foods together to optimize digestion and nutrient absorption. The basic idea is to pair foods that digest at a similar rate and require similar digestive enzymes. Here's a quick overview:

  1. Eat Fruits Alone: Fruits digest quickly and are best consumed on their own, preferably on an empty stomach. Mixing fruits with other foods can lead to digestive discomfort for some people.

  2. Combine Proteins with Non-Starchy Vegetables: Protein-rich foods such as meats, fish, eggs, and legumes digest best when paired with non-starchy vegetables. This combination promotes optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.

  3. Starches with Non-Starchy Vegetables: Starchy foods like grains, potatoes, and legumes are best combined with non-starchy vegetables. This pairing helps prevent bloating and supports efficient digestion.

  4. Avoid Combining Protein with Starch: Avoid combining protein-rich foods with starchy foods in the same meal. For example, eating steak with potatoes may lead to digestive discomfort for some individuals.

  5. Limit Fats with Starchy Foods: While healthy fats are essential for overall health, it's best to consume them in moderation with starchy foods. Excessive fat consumption with starches can slow down digestion.

  6. Include Fermented Foods: Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir contain beneficial probiotics that support digestion. Incorporating these foods into your meals can promote gut health.

By following these basic guidelines, you can optimize your digestion and support overall health through food combining. However, it's essential to listen to your body and adjust your eating habits based on your individual needs and preferences.

Alkaline vs. Acidic Foods

The concept of alkaline versus acidic foods is often associated with inflammation in the body. Here's a brief explanation:

  1. Alkaline Foods: These are foods that have an alkalizing effect on the body, meaning they help raise the body's pH level. Alkaline foods typically include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Consuming alkaline foods is believed to reduce inflammation in the body because they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

  2. Acidic Foods: These are foods that have an acidic effect on the body, meaning they lower the body's pH level. Acidic foods include processed foods, refined sugars, animal products (meat, dairy), caffeine, alcohol, and certain grains. Consuming too many acidic foods can contribute to inflammation in the body because they may increase the production of inflammatory chemicals and free radicals.

The body has mechanisms to regulate its pH balance, and no single food can drastically alter it, but excessive consumption of acidic foods can disrupt this balance and lead to inflammation.

Therefore, incorporating more alkaline foods into your diet and reducing intake of acidic foods may help reduce inflammation and promote overall health. The most beneficial mindset is to focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

Comfortable vs. Uncomfortable Foods

Remember that individual dietary needs and sensitivities vary, so it's essential to pay attention to how different foods make you feel personally. Keeping a food journal can help you identify your own comfortable and uncomfortable foods, allowing you to make choices that align with your well-being and health goals.

Comfort foods become our go-to, promoting a sense of well-being. These are not emotional "comfort foods" but rather those that nourish our minds and bodies, leaving us feeling satisfied and content.

On the other hand, foods causing discomfort, such as bloating, indigestion, heartburn, or excessive fullness, should be avoided as they hinder our progress and feeling of satisfaction

Comfortable Foods

Promotes Well-Being

  1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: These provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber, often making people feel energized and satisfied. Examples include berries, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes.

  2. Lean Proteins: Foods like grilled chicken, fish, and tofu can provide a sense of fullness and help with muscle repair and maintenance.

  3. Whole Grains: Foods like quinoa, brown rice, and oats offer sustained energy and can help with digestive regularity.

  4. Nuts and Seeds: These provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber, promoting a feeling of fullness and satisfaction. Examples include almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.

  5. Yogurt and Fermented Foods: Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kimchi can support digestive health and comfort.

Uncomfortable Foods

May Lead to Discomfort or Negative Effects

  1. Processed and Sugary Foods: Highly processed and sugary foods can lead to energy crashes and discomfort. This includes sugary snacks, sodas, and many fast-food items.

  2. Fried or Greasy Foods: High-fat and fried foods can contribute to indigestion and discomfort. Examples include deep-fried foods and heavily buttered dishes.

  3. Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can cause heartburn and digestive discomfort in some individuals.

  4. Dairy (for Lactose-Intolerant Individuals): Dairy products can lead to digestive issues.

  5. Heavy, Large Meals: Overeating or consuming very large meals can lead to feelings of discomfort, bloating, and fatigue.

  6. Excessive Alcohol: Consuming too much alcohol can lead to digestive discomfort, dehydration, and hangover symptoms.

Ultimately, achieving a balanced and sustainable approach to food involves understanding that occasional indulgences are part of a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle, as long as they do not compromise your long-term health goals.

  1. Moderation: Enjoying discomfort-inducing foods in moderation allows you to satisfy cravings or enjoy cultural and social experiences without compromising your overall health.

  2. Mental Well-Being: Restrictive diets that completely eliminate all discomfort-inducing foods can lead to feelings of deprivation and negatively impact mental well-being. Occasional indulgence can help maintain a healthy relationship with food.

  3. Balance: Achieving balance in your diet means recognizing that perfection is not necessary. It's about making overall nutritious choices while occasionally allowing room for treats or comfort foods.

  4. Enjoyment: Food is not just about sustenance; it's also about pleasure and enjoyment. Sharing special meals or treats with loved ones can enhance your overall quality of life.

However, it's essential to maintain awareness and mindfulness when indulging in discomfort-inducing foods. Here are some tips:

  • Plan indulgences intentionally rather than impulsively.
  • Savor and fully enjoy the experience when you do indulge.
  • Balance indulgences with healthier choices in your overall diet.
  • Be aware of portion sizes to avoid overconsumption.
  • Listen to your body and adjust your choices accordingly if you notice adverse effects.

Uncomfortable food choices can lead to various issues that affect our well-being. Food provides the essential nutrients our body needs to maintain health, so consuming low-nutrition foods can weaken our immune system and make us susceptible to illnesses.

To identify how our body reacts to uncomfortable foods, we should pay attention to specific feelings or warning signals. Here are some questions to help us recognize these signals:


Do I feel...

  • A strong craving for certain foods?
  • Hungry shortly after eating a meal?
  • Stomach discomfort or gas pain?
  • Indigestion or heartburn?
  • A sudden loss of energy or weakness?
  • Mental fog or a lack of clarity?
  • Headaches?
  • An initial energy rush followed by a crash?
  • Overly full or heavy after eating?
  • A stuffy or runny nose?
  • A sore or itchy throat?

Example Remedies

Digestion or Heartburn

  • Try drinking a glass of warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Ginger tea can also help soothe the digestive system.
  • Increasing water intake, particularly purified water, to help flush out challenging-to-digest foods.
  • A handful of raw almonds can soothe heartburn in as little as a few minutes.

Bloating and Gas

  • Consume foods rich in digestive enzymes like pineapple or papaya. Herbal teas like peppermint or ginger can provide relief from gas and bloating.
  • Reducing the consumption of hard-to-digest foods like fats, sugars, processed wheat, soy, corn, and salt.
  • Learning about ideal food combinations to aid digestion.
  • Incorporating more probiotics (good bacteria) to support a healthy balance of gut bacteria.


  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Dehydration can often trigger headaches.
  • Avoiding foods with artificial additives or excessive caffeine can also help.

Fatigue and Energy Crashes

  • Opt for balanced meals that include complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats to provide sustained energy.
  • Avoid excessive sugary snacks and drinks that lead to energy crashes.

Brain Fog or Lack of Clarity

  • Incorporate brain-boosting foods like fatty fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), berries, and dark leafy greens into your diet.
  • Stay hydrated to support cognitive function.

Sore or Itchy Throat

  • Soothe a sore throat with warm herbal teas like chamomile or honey and lemon.
  • Avoid spicy or acidic foods that may exacerbate throat discomfort.

Stuffy or Runny Nose

  • If related to food sensitivities, try an elimination diet to identify trigger foods.
  • Drinking warm liquids and consuming anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric.

Loss of Energy or Weakness

  • Consume small, balanced meals throughout the day to maintain stable energy levels.
  • Include sources of iron and vitamin B12 (e.g., lean meats, leafy greens) to combat weakness.

Food Allergies or Sensitivities

  • Identify and eliminate allergenic foods from your diet. Consult with a healthcare provider for guidance on managing allergies and sensitivities.


  • Practice mindful eating by paying attention to hunger and fullness cues. Wait for at least 20 minutes before considering second servings to allow your body to signal fullness.
  • Waiting for signs of genuine hunger before consuming more food; addressing false hunger with water or easily digestible foods.
  • Assessing portion sizes to avoid overeating or undereating, focusing on balance.

These are general remedies, and individual responses to ailments can vary. It's essential to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian for personalized advice if you have chronic or severe food-related ailments. Additionally, maintaining a balanced and varied diet, staying hydrated, and practicing portion control can help prevent many common food-related discomforts.

By recognizing how our body responds to different foods and implementing appropriate remedies, we can make more informed dietary choices to support our overall health and well-being.