First off, what the heck is a monomeal?
A monomeal is a meal comprised of one food, usually raw fruits or vegetables. Simple as that! For example, a bowl of fresh pineapple chunks or 8 oranges or a smoothie of just bananas (and water) or half a watermelon.
While at first it might sound supremely boring to eat this way, I want to share with you 7 ideas about monomealing that might change your thinking.
1. Eating a Monomeal is Refusing to Alimentarily Multitask
We know that multitasking overtaxes the brain and sets us up for mistakes. Being mindful encourages us to focus on ideally one task, at most two, at any given time. This way our brain can narrow its resources to the task at hand and complete it with thoroughness, clarity and as much accuracy as possible.
Why would this be any different in the digestive tract?
If we eat a cheese & veggie omelet , breakfast meat, toast and jelly and butter all with a side of cut mixed fruit and also juice and coffee…wow, what a multi-enzymatic task cut out for our bodies! Different enzymes are need to break down proteins, carbohydrates, fat and sugars. If too much activity is happening in the digestive tract, enzymes can cancel each other out causing food to rot rather than be digested or pass through totally undigested. This can lead to leaky gut syndrome and a host of other GI ailments.
With so many different kinds of foods going in at one sitting, our body can get VERY tired trying to sort out the different enzymes and digestion times for all these various foods. Some food will not get digested properly causing heartburn, upset stomach, and lethargy.
2. Monomealing Simplifies Life
People eat how they live and vice versa. I like to advise people to make their food only as complex as they’d like their life to be. What happens on the plate manifests in our lives.
Committing to an occasional or frequent monomeal brings you in tune with simplicity. One texture, one flavor, one color and one experience helps you to hone in on the beauty and, ironically, the simple complexity of one food.
Your body will receive this food in oneness & in wholeness, will trigger one enzymatic reaction and will thoroughly and successfully digest it.
Feeding yourself a monomeal is an act of kindness toward your body. What happens in the body resonates outward. As you become more comfortable with monomealing you might find yourself more comfortable with one flower artistically arranged in a vase, reading one book at a time, enjoying one favorite person during dedicated time together.
More, in the way of food, ingredients, flowers, books, or people, does not equate abundance. There is abundance to be found in the depths of simplicity because we see & experience the inherent complexity. Huge paradox, I know. Isn’t it great?
3. Melon: Eat it Alone, or Leave it Alone
Melons digest differently that most foods. Rather than digesting in the stomach, they digest in the intestines. If eaten with other foods, melon can stay too long in the stomach and cause fermentation which causes gas. Food needs to digest, not rot.
Anyone who has ever believed that they are allergic to melons or that melons disagree with them, try a monomeal of melon, ideally as your first meal of the day, and allow it to fully digest before eating again. Chances are high that there will be no gastric trouble. (This can work with cucumbers or tomatoes too!)
Melons are a beautiful food. Make a meal out of a melon. Yes, eat the whole thing in one sitting! If melons are your only monomeals, it’ll be a nice, kind experience for your body.
4. Sensory Overload is Detrimental to Peaceful Digestion
While I was transitioning to a high-fruit diet, I was still subscribed to many whole food, delicious recipe newsletters. There became a distinct time when I’d look at the photos accompanying the recipes and I felt that these images were playing tricks on my mind.
My paradigm had shifted.
My body had embraced simple meals. All my senses were on board. Now, when looking at these usual recipe newsletters with new eyes, they looked so incredibly complicated. I couldn’t see clearly what the recipe was made out of. The list of ingredients looked so long, complicated and needlessly laborious.
These recipes stopped appealing to me and I began eating in a way that required no recipe. Now, on the occasion that I eat a complex dish or meal, I feel like there is a riot going on inside my body.
5. Think About How Our Primitive Ancestors Ate
Living in the wild, foraging for food, when a tree of ripe fruit was discovered, primitive humans ate the ripe fruit until they were satiated. They didn’t look to combine the fruit with another food for a more interesting presentation. They ate one simple food until they were full or they ate it all.
We have complicated our plates. More is not better. Smoothies with 15 ingredients are unnecessary. You don’t have to “get it all in there” in one shot. The body can really taste and take full nutritional advantage of foods when they are more isolated. Perhaps a 3 ingredient smoothie is as complicated as it needs to get.
Taste the flavors. Digest fully everything you eat. If there is gas, bloating, belching, acid reflux, headache or stomach ache, you are not digesting well. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
6. The Gift of Time
So many of us crave the gift of more time. Days seem to flash past us until weeks pile up and we wonder how we landed in September so quickly.
Monomealing is an adequate and time saving way to eat. Four bananas can constitute lunch. Three sliced cucumbers can be breakfast.
I often monomeal: cherries, melon, grapes, pineapple, however I more often duomeal: strawberries & peaches, cucumbers & tomatoes, bananas & Medjool dates. Either way is easy, delicious, kind & healthful.
Fruit is the original fast food. Many are ready to eat as they come, others require the simple prepping of peeling and cutting. Take fruit to work, take it in the car. Stop at a grocery store on the road rather than pass through a drive-through window.
7. Retrain Your Tastebuds
There’s a saying that goes: If you’re not hungry enough for an apple, you’re not really hungry.
So the next time you get truly hungry, go for an apple…or two or five…however many it takes to satiate you. Crunch into the fruit, chew the crisp, juicy flesh, drink the juices then masticate the fiber. Notice the texture change between the flesh and the skin. Notice how pure and sweet the juice is. There is no water more pure than that in a water-dense whole food.
Sit with the taste. Bite. Chew. Drink. Swallow. Bite. Chew. Drink. Swallow. Grab another apple. Master this flavor, this texture, this temperature…become one with the apple. You might fall in love. You may think that apples are the world’s most perfect food.
Now imagine covering that apple up with peanut butter, caramel, yogurt, or baking it. Do you feel sad? Do you feel a sense of loss for a perfectly good apple now camouflaged as something else? Is the beauty of the beloved apple now hidden from your sense? Is the apple now being used as a base or carrier for something else rather than getting full, rightful attention?
Once you train your tastebuds to cherish a simple monoflavor, you won’t need to dress up food to enjoy it. In fact, you will learn to enjoy the food most in its naked, pure, unadulterated state. It may very well become an ecstatic expereince!
The closer you can get to the essence of a food, the closer you can get to the essence of yourself. Try monomealing and experience it for yourself. Give it time and I promise the simple magic will find you.
Additional Resources:Carla Golden, a massage therapist and spiritual nutritionist, teaches those who are healing how to use food as a platform for spiritual growth. Those who are healing from physical or emotional trauma can use Carla's unique high-fruit plan to bring their body and soul into greater vibration, health, happiness, and peace. The Healers Diet™ and Fruit Til Five™ are her signature programs.