The yogurt parfait. The quintessential "healthy" go-to breakfast item. I am just as guilty as the person sitting next to me. I would get on these kicks where I make these parfaits filled with yogurt and fruit to take for my breakfast. Another poor food decision? The fruity yogurt flavors. I devoured them as a kid and all into college. It was easy. It was tasty. It was filled with sugar--what could be so wrong?! Then, I went to Ayurvedic school, and I learned the horrors of mixing fruit and dairy. It may not feel like such a crime to commit, but boy let me tell you--it is so not good for you either!
In Ayurveda, we look at the qualities and tastes of foods when going to combine certain food items with others. There are 3 layers to looking at the qualities of food--the initial taste, the heating or cooling nature of the food item, and then the after-effect of the food item. All 3 must be in alignment when combining certain foods with others. The other qualities we look at when food combining are the inherent qualities of that food. For example, milk inherently increases the phlegm principle in our bodies--thus if you have a lot of congestion, dairy isn't what you should be eating. Let's take an example of food combining--the typical American diet containing both milk and orange juice. Orange juice is very acidic in nature, right? What happens when you put a citric acid (like orange juice) into milk? Well, it spoils the milk! It will completely separate the dairy in milk. And yet, here we are drinking the 2 beverages together. Don't you think what happens in a cup mixing the 2 will happen in your stomach as well?
Let's go back to the whole fruit and dairy thing. There is another layer to this as well. Dairy, from an Ayurvedic perspective, takes longer to digest than fruit. This is another reason why it's not great to mix the two. Fruit in general has completely opposite qualities than dairy. Mixing the 2 actually causes a lot more problems than we think it does. For many folks I've seen in my practice, it has been the root cause for indigestion and toxin build up among other things!
So, what to do with your morning yogurt parfait? Well, just omit the fruit, and save the fruit for a snack a few hours after. I promise you won't miss anything! Take it from someone who has experimented with it myself.
Check out this simple yogurt parfait recipe, and let me know what you think. Get creative with it too! Don't be afraid to try weird ingredients you may not have heard of in the past.
Enjoy! I promise you won't regret this!