Here's a short excerpt from the book:
Realizing that different foods would cause different chemical reactions within the body, Carlos narrowed his focus on food combinations. His idea was to make sure that at each meal, the foods we ate would combine to cause healthy chemical reactions. The objective was to prevent blood acidity and avoid fermentation. This would then facilitate the digestive process, which is the most energy-consuming activity of the human body.
You can read more about it here. Plus there are more details on the Gracie Diet website.
There's a 3 Phase breaking in process.
Phase 1 is to space your meals at least 4 1/2 hours apart. This is to ensure that all the food in your stomach has been completely digested before consuming other foods that may interfere with the digestion process.
This phase was tough for me at first. I was one of those people who HAD to eat every 3-4 hours, and I often grazed between meals on tea and dates/raisins/fruit. In this first phase, however, you are not allowed to snack at all -- not even a cup of coffee or tea. Just water in between meals.
As I said, it was tough for me at first, but soon my body became used to it, and although at about the 3 1/2 hour mark and definitely by the 4 hour mark I do feel quite hungry, I've been pushing through and meeting the minimum 4 1/2 hour spacing between meals. How have I felt as a result? Well, I've definitely felt lighter. I have actually come to like that bit of hunger I feel just before having a meal. It's gone hand in hand with my 100 days of Awareness. Now I've bypassed #5 (wait 20 minutes before eating again) and I'm focusing on #7: chewing my food thoroughly. I've also become more thoughtful of what I'm eating. Since I know that the meal will have to last me for about 5 hours, I ensure that my food will be filling and will provide me with enough energy to do whatever needs to be done in that time frame. I know that stuffing myself and overeating with the thought that I won't be eating for the next few hours will be counterproductive. So, I choose my foods wisely. I chew thoroughly, and I enjoy what I'm eating. Drinking a glass or two of water before my meal and staying hydrated throughout the day helps keep the hunger at bay.
Phase 2 involves cutting out sodas and desserts. I don't drink soda, so the first one wasn't an issue for me. The desserts ... well, that's been interesting. First of all, dessert is counted as a separate meal, which means that if you want to have something sweet at night, it's got to be at least 4 1/2 hours after dinner. Even if it's fruit - unless you choose to have only fruit for your dinner. Second of all, I've cut out sugar from my diet as a result of the Whole Life Challenge. I have, however, been creating 'desserts' out of different ingredients, e.g. lemon cake made with almond flour and sweetened with dates.
Instead of trying to find some sort of 'loophole' and figuring out how to incorporate those natural desserts into my meals, I've decided to eliminate them. It hasn't been easy, but it hasn't been too difficult either.
I think a lot of it has to do with what I said before about my meals. When I've created a meal that I enjoy thoroughly and really savor, then I don't feel unfulfilled and have the desire to eat something else after the meal.
As I said, it hasn't been easy, but I'm trying my best.
Finally, Phase 3. This phase involves factoring the food combinations. You can read about them here. At first it looks complicated, but I'm sure as I keep practicing and experimenting, it'll get easier.
It really doesn't seem like any foods are prohibited. They say to avoid sweets, canned foods in syrup, and a few spices and to never eat pork, but other than that, pretty much everything is permissible as long as it's eaten in the right combination.
I think it'll be an interesting experiment. I've already started trying out the food combinations. I eat so much protein and veg that it has actually been quite easy so far. I don't eat dairy (at the moment) nor am I eating any grains, so I haven't had to worry too much about the other groups.
I'm currently in Phase 2 and have already started incorporating some of the food groupings of Phase 3. I'm not getting too caught up in it at the moment as completing the Whole Life Challenge is my main focus right now.
Here are a few of my latest meals: