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By: Dr. Barry D. Shapiro

So many good foods, so many food memories, so many desserts, so much to eat and so little time.  Grandma told me if you want to get invited back go for seconds.  How do you enjoy without suffering or sacrificing?

Not many people lose weight during the holidays.  Not many even try.  So if you want to enjoy all there is to enjoy, and there is plenty, here are some easy to follow ideas that let you partake in most of the goodies.

Improper combining of foods is the most common reason we get stomach and digestive distress from eating next to plain old eating to excess.  During the holidays, to a greater extent than during the rest of the year, the table is full of a great variety of foods unique to the holidays. 

Consider the meal as an event broken down into parts.  Think appetizers, main meal, and dessert.  In each part remember that sugars don’t mix well with proteins, fats or veggies.  Try to save sugars for dessert, preferably 45 minutes after the main meal.

So the cheese and crackers go with the celery and blue cheese, with the nuts, the olives, the hummus, the shrimp, etc.  Skip the fruit, the candy, the bark and brittle until the dessert time.

During the meal the roast, the turkey, the ham all go with the potatoes, the beans, the breads, the stuffing, the green bean casserole and the sweet potatoes but skip the fruit, the cranberries, the marshmallows.

Wait 45 minutes to have the pie, the ice cream, the cookies, the candy and the fruit.  They all digest well together so have at it.

Food combining relates to digestive enzymes, the chemicals you make to break down your food.  Enzymes that break down sugars do not get along with enzymes that break down fats and proteins.  That is why you may have digestive issues even when you don’t think you overate.

On that, overeating will create havoc for your body no matter what you eat.  So keep grandma happy by going for seconds but make your first plate small, your second plate smaller.  If you can’t see any part of your plate when heading to your seat you took too much!

So go on, have a little of whatever you want (unless you have a health reason not to), try some things you don’t normally try, get a taste but combine with some knowledge and your memories won’t keep you up all night or make you uncomfortable all the next day.  Enjoy!

If you or someone you know has digestive issues, was told you had irritable bowel syndrome, has mucous colitis, or has trouble managing your weight, let us see if we can help you as we have helped thousands of others.

We can be reached at or at 813-962-3608.