First of all, I learned many months ago that food combining was very important as explained gloriously by His Holiness Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods. But up until now, I wasn't that serious about putting those principles of proper food combination based on Classical Chinese Medicine into practice. Not sure why, but I guess I thought I had "strong" digestion and could combine liberally. Um, yeah, that's not true. Nor is it true for anyone with CF. Our digestive systems are kinda compromised, if you hadn't noticed.
So a week into the SCD I started using Pitchford's rules for the Plan B Diet, or food combining for those with weak digestion or suffering from serious illness (yes and yes). Wowzers, what a difference! These are the basic rules (and I recommend you read his tome cover to cover):
1) Eat sweet fruits alone.
2) Eat fats alone or combined only with: a) acidic fruits, b) green vegetables, c) starches (but not with the other two)
3) Eat protein alone or with green (non-starchy) vegetables.
I discuss food combining more in-depth in my How To Eat section.
For the last week I have been following these rules as well as adhering to the SCD. My mucus has decreased (using a scale of 0 to 4, 4 being the worst) from a 3 before the diet to a 1 within two days of starting this new combo-regime. Plus, I no longer have a spasmy cough in the morning when I wake up. I cough less throughout the day and my mucus is a yellow color, lighter than the yellow-green that I had been experiencing before the diet. I feel like I have room in my chest for air! I can breath in deeply and not feel as constricted! This is a huge difference for me. The first three days on this regime I felt a little worse than on the SCD alone, almost like my usual low-grade midday fever (which I suppress with one pill of ibuprofin at 8am) had gotten a little hotter, zapping more of my energy. I now realize this could have been a "healing reaction", or an improvement in my immune system's ability to fight off infection (thus the hotter fever) now that the burden of intestinal irritation and inflammation had been reduced. My energy was lower and I even took a nap (very unusual) on the third day. My mucus had already reduced to a level 1 and my spasm cough had disappeared on day 3. Day 4 I felt a little bit more mucus but my energy was much better and I was able to take a long hike. I began to notice that eating a big midday meal didn't reduce my energy level all that significantly like it usually would, and that hiking after breakfast instead of after lunch improved my energy throughout the day.
In addition to the increased energy and increased expansiveness in my chest, I have zero G.I. symptoms - no bloating, no gas, no indigestion, no abdominal distention, no pain! This is a huge change from the way I was eating before, where a big meal would make me feel tired and bloated for about 3 hours afterwards. I realize that food combining has a huge role in my ability to completely and thoroughly digest a meal. I am elated to have discovered such a huge part of my ideal diet!