I was on New Day Northwest this week chatting about food combining – the myths and the truth. You may be wondering yourself if eating certain foods at particular times alone or in certain combinations makes a difference. Let me break it down here for you AND give you the best combination around this season: my Simple Quinoa Apple Power Bowl.
Power bowls can be made from whatever you choose to put in them but when you’re thinking about a balanced meal, you want to focus on 3 things: complex carbs, protein, and a healthy fat source.
On this segment, I decided to make a very simple, no-cook recipe because, as we get back into routine and head back to school this season, it’s all about quick, easy, healthy and delicious. This Simple Quinoa Apple Power Bowl can be assembled in minutes and features the best of fall flavors and nutrient-rich options for your lunch or after school/work snack.
Some people are still living in fear of carbs but listen; fruits, veggies, and beans are all carbs! Whole grains like quinoa are carbs, too but they also contain a nice punch of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants s as well. When you combine these 3 “macronutrients”, you get a filling, complete meal that gives you power and energy for a long time. If you have more questions about how much of any of these nutrients may be right for you or how to use simple, healthy recipes like this one to make your life a little easier, ping me and we’ll chat!
Food Combining Myths
When it comes to food combining, there are a couple myths still floating around out there. First up, that you can’t eat certain foods (like fruit) on their own or at certain times of day. I’ve even heard this is because it will “rot/ferment in your stomach or intestines”. Nope. That’s not how digestion works. When you eat food, it gets processed and broken down in the stomach, nutrients absorbed in the small intestine and ready for excretion in the large intestine. Things should be moving along at your body’s own rate, aided by hydration and fiber. Feel free to eat your fruit whenever you want without fear of ill effects.
Next, I wanted to discuss the whole vegetarian/vegan/plant-based protein combining myth. It used to be thought that since beans are low in amino acid methionine and grains are low in amino acid lysine that we needed to eat those foods together in a meal to create a ‘complete’ protein like meat, poultry, fish and tofu/soy foods that supply all the amino acids together. That’s not true at all. The body stores amino acids to use when it needs so if you eat a variety of foods that contain protein, your body will know what to do. If you eat a variety of foods throughout the day and throughout the week, you’ll have a nice pool of amino acids for the body to use however it needs.
The bottom line in all of this is that you need to trust your body. It is a brilliant organism and it knows how to deal with the food it eats to keep us safe and healthy. If you’re not feeling like this is true for you or if you’re having problems with digestion, let’s discuss, and I look forward to chatting more nutrition myths here on the blog and with New Day Northwest very soon.
If you enjoy recipes like this, make sure to check out my Pink Party Quinoa, Tofu Cranberry Protein Bowl, and Summer Quinoa Salad. For more recipes and nutrition tips like this directly to your inbox, sign up here!
Simple Quinoa Apple Power Bowl
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups green leafies (spinach, kale, Romaine)
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
- 1/2 medium apple of your choice, diced
- Prepare the quinoa by boiling 2 cups of water then adding the rinsed quinoa, covering, and simmering for 13-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool. In a mason jar or salad dressing shaker, add olive oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper and whisk or shake thoroughly to combine. Assemble simple quinoa apple power bowl by filling two bowls with 1 cup of greens each, then topping each with 1/2 the cubed tofu and 1/2 cup each of quinoa. Add chopped apple on top and around the periphery of the bowl. Drizzle power bowl with dressing and serve immediately or pack for lunch the next day.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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