7 Reasons to Love a Monomeal

First off, what the heck is a monomeal?

Peach Monomeal

Peach 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 eight oranges or a smoothie of just bananas (and water) or half a watermelon or a medley of bell pepper slices.

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 , bacon, toast with jelly and butter with a side of cut mixed fruit and also juice and coffee…wow, what a multi-enzymatic task cut out for our bodies! Have you ever eaten this and felt tired afterwards?

Different enzymes are needed to break down proteins, carbohydrates, fat and sugars. If too much activity is happening in the digestive tract, acids can cancel out enzymes causing food to ferment or decompose rather than be digested. Undigested food can lead to leaky gut syndrome and a host of other gastrointestinal ailments.

When food is eaten, it is chewed and mixed with saliva which is the first stage of digestion. If the food contains starch then salivary amylase (an enzyme) is secreted. After leaving the mouth, the food passes down the esophagus and into the stomach. Gastric juice is secreted containing primarily hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. Protein requires a highly acidic medium for the digestive enzyme pepsin to be effective. Starches and fat require a nearly neutral medium for digestion. Salivary amylase is destroyed in the presence of highly acidic gastric juice. Gastric lipase which is secreted for fat digestion is inhibited in the presence of a highly acidic medium.

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, lethargy, and/or other gastrointestinal disturbances.

Just Cherries

Just Cherries

2. Monomealing Simplifies Life

People eat how they live and vice versa. I like to advise people to make their food only as complicated 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.

Have you ever sat on the beach and eaten a watermelon until you were full? If so, you’ve eaten a monomeal without knowing it. Most of us have.

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?

Just Cucumbers

Just Cucumbers

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 (fruit sugar) can stay too long in the stomach and cause fermentation which causes gas. Food needs to digest, not ferment.

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 anything 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.

Eat Melons Alone

Eat Melons Alone

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 complex. 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.

A Bowl of Pineapple

A Bowl of Pineapple

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 and listen to you body.

Frozen Raspberry & Banana Smoothie

Frozen Raspberry & Banana Smoothie

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 or take it in the car. Stop at a grocery store on the road rather than pass through a drive-through window.

Just Grapes

Just Grapes

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.

Learn how to monomeal and dive into the world of fruit during a free week-long session of Fruit Til Five™.

Additional Resources:

• 9 Ways Eating Can Become Your New Spiritual Practice

• The Light-Worker’s Diet: Eating for God

• How To Drop the Guilt Over a Non-Traditional Family Meal

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Carla Golden is a vegan nutritionist and a massage therapist in private practice specializing in therapeutic essential oils. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Health & Healing, she enjoys helping others discover the benefits and liberation inherent in a whole food, plant-based diet. The Vegan Key™ is her newest online nutrition program based on tried and true methods which foster performance, vitality, and purpose.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie June 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Great article! I so enjoy learning about your different way of eating.
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Carla Golden June 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Glad you enjoyed it Natalie!
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Janelle June 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Wow I can really use some simpleness in my life!! This came at a perfect time 🙂 Thanks Carla 🙂


Carla Golden June 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I am SO glad this was right-timing for you to receive Janelle!!
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Jina June 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I love this! For all my clients who don’t have time… This is so much easier. Alot of the work I do with my clients has to do with changing their outlook, for example, on what success is, on what good exercise is, eating for nutrition, not calories, etc. This is a great shift. The meal doesn’t have to be this complex piece of the day. The easy choice here IS the healthy choice. Thank you!
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Carla Golden June 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I love the way you put that Jina: the easy choice here *is* the healthy choice! Bingo! Thank you so much for your kind comment. xo.


Ramsay June 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm


What a mind blowing concept! This makes so much sense.


Carla Golden June 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm

So glad it opened up your mind to a new way Ramsay! Enjoy!! xo.


Carolyn September 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Thank you, I do this a lot anyway, but just thought I was being too lazy to fix something more complex. Now that I know about monomealing I can let go of any worry that I should be adding more ingredients to my meals 🙂 Yay for simplicity!
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Carla Golden September 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Nope, not lazy….intuitively smart! Add love, toss guilt. Enjoy!!


Ayidas October 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Hey, this is awesome! One question though… How can you possibly monomeal on cucumbers or tomatoes? They barely have any calories??


Carla Golden October 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Naturally you would get hungrier sooner than say monomealing with bananas, so you’d eat again once all the cucumbers or tomatoes were digested. Move away from thinking of only 3 meals a day. Eat when you’re hungry.


Abigail Lee November 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm

As a Biology major in college, I can’t say that I agree with this at all–the diet is unhealthy, and the science behind it is just plain wrong. By each reason you give:

1. The multitasking is what the body does naturally. Enzymes exist for major macromolecules (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) whether or not we use them. The brain is very different from the digestive tract. We only truly consciously process one line of thinking, but the digestive system is made to digest different types of food simultaneously. Enzymes physically cannot cancel each other out. Even if “leaky gut syndrome” is a real thing (studies have no evidence at all supporting it), food does not rot in the stomach. Everything continues to be passed along.
2. Again with the enzymes. The body does not trigger enzymes to work, they digest whatever substances pass by that they are made to break down. In fact, mixing foods is a very good thing, as certain vitamins and minerals help others be absorbed. Iron in non-animal sources are absorbed much more readily when taken with vitamin C.
3. The stomach, despite what is commonly thought, does not do most of the digestion. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, with an enzyme called amylase that breaks down complex carbs (wheat products, etc.) The stomach only really houses pepsin, which breaks down proteins. Only proteins. The rest, simple sugars (such as in fruits,) fats, and other substances, are all digested in the intestines. Melons are not the only special intestine food.
4. High-fruit diets are high-sugar diets. Moreover, they are the simple sugars that are more harmful to the body than complex carbohydrates such as wheat. The acids in fruits are also damaging to the teeth in great amounts. The large portion of our diet should be these starches, because they are the greatest source of energy for our bodies.
5. Our ancestors died rather young. Besides the environmental danger they did not have the ideal balance of dietary needs. They also hunted for meat, which is the only true stomach-digestible food. In fact, we need significant amounts of protein to build our own, because we cannot produce all of the amino acids we need.
6. While fruit is healthy, snacking on it often lets both acid and sugar remain in the mouth, harming the teeth.
7. I do not feel a sense of loss in eating apple pie.

The only benefit I see from monomealing is the simplicity in preparation. Overall, it is a really rather unnatural way to eat.


Carla Golden November 15, 2013 at 10:20 am

Hi Abigail~ Thank you for writing. It seems you and I a very different understanding of enzymes. While I do not hold a degree in biology, I do have a degree in human nutrition.

There are three types of enzymes which function in your body:

1. Digestive enzymes – supplied by the body to digest your food (amylase, protease, lipase)
2. Food enzymes – contained in raw foods, which start food digestion
3. Metabolic enzymes – supplied by the body to govern your tissues and organs and keep the body in working order

There are three other things you must know:

1. Cooked foods contain no enzymes, because enzymes are destroyed through heat over 115 degrees.
2. Raw grains, nuts, seeds, and beans contain enzyme-inhibitors. If they are germinated or properly soaked, the enzyme-inhibitors are neutralized.
3. You have a limited enzyme potential. In other words, you do not manufacture an unlimited supply of enzymes. The more your body is required to make digestive enzymes, the less it makes metabolic enzymes.

“To get enzymes from food, one must eat raw food. All life, whether plant or animal, requires the presence of enzymes to keep it going.

If humans take in more food enzymes, as nature ordained, the body’s enzyme potential will not have to waste so much of its heritage digesting food. It can distribute more of this precious commodity to the metabolic enzymes, where it rightfully belongs. This rightful distribution of enzyme energy will not only act to maintain health and prevent disease, but is expected to help cure established disease.

If the human organism must devote a huge portion of its enzyme potential to making digestive enzymes, it spells trouble for the whole body because there is a strain on production of metabolic enzymes and there may not be enough enzyme potential to go around.

The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential.” Dr. Edward Howell in Enzyme Nutrition

Protein digestion which activates hydrochloric acid can create an environment where the acid renders enzymes inactive. In this sense, digesting different foods at the same time can cause certain foods to digest well and not others. Food combining is an age old practice based on the understanding of enzymes uniqueness and fragility.

Those who have suffered from “leaky gut syndrome” and have healed themselves will tell you that it is a very real situation. Doctors also tell patients that illnesses like Diabetes Type 2 and Chron’s Disease are incurable. They are very curable with diet.

Yes, certain foods eaten together and certain foods enjoyed cooked or raw provide different and cross benefit for the absorption of vitamins and minerals. This is not to say that all foods must be paired or always eaten raw or always eaten cooked.

Fruit sugar, fructose, is a simple, yet unrefined sugar that, when eaten as nature intended in the whole fruit, is very easy to digest for human fuel. When eaten as whole fruit, the sugar is paired with the perfect amount of water and fiber to titrate the sugar entering the blood stream. Many fruits such as peppers, cucumbers, squashes, avocados and okra are not sweet. Intaking fructose separated from the whole fruit does become problematic and I do not recommend this practice.

Wheat, especially today’s GMO wheat, can be very difficult to digest. Grains also must be cooked to be eaten whereas fruit is ready to eat raw. Based on this alone, fruit is a more natural food for humans. Birds eat uncooked grains by nature.

Fruit is alkalizing to the body. The water density of fruits – sweet and non-sweet – aids in the alkalizing nature of the fruit.

Not every meal I eat is a monomeal, however I do enjoy monomeals often. The low-fat, high-fruit lifestyle has helped me to feel better than I recall ever feeling since I was 14 years old. I am now almost 44. I am more athletic, stronger, happier, more clear-minded, peaceful and am able to maintain my weight/body size with ease. I take no medications or supplements.

If how you are eating serves you well then I am happy for you, however I stand by the low-fat, high-fruit diet including the use of monomeals for me and those looking to heal, grow, shift and thrive.


Dylan April 25, 2014 at 1:32 am

I agree with Abigail. I am a nursing student and this kind of dietary recommendation can be very dangerous. There is no clinical evidence to support a nutritional benefit to eating large amounts of a single food, even if it is a whole food, such as a fruit or vegetable. I wouldn’t advise my patients to indulge in “monomeals,” as the body can’t process the nutrition it requires unless multiple foods are consumed and work synergistically in digestion.

I’d also like to point out that illnesses such as Crohn’s disease could be very negatively impacted by such a restrictive diet. My studies in nutrition, human anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology would all suggests that this approach to nutrition carries significant health risks.


Carla Golden April 26, 2014 at 10:30 am

Thank you Dylan. What you and Abgail have written comes right out of conventional medical education. There, unfortunately, is so much fear instilled in conventional institutions. As primitive man walked the Earth (or as our living relatives still do) in their natural, wild habitat and came across a tree of ripe fruit, do you think that s/he would refrain from eating all of one fruit to the point of satiation until others foods could be found? This is absurd! Monomeals are nothing new. Each whole, raw fruit is a synergistic equation in and of itself. Are there vitamins that need fat, of course! Are there complimentary nutrients that augment one another, of course! However each individual fruit in the natural season it is grown is a complete food. In certain areas of the world in certain times I bet primitive man could find only one fruit in season for days or weeks on end.

I have come to believe that 99% of conventional medicine and education knows nothing about the healing powers of a high-fruit diet. Fruit has been villainized over the decades and it lies in a misunderstanding of how fat interferes with fruit sugar metabolization. Most nutritionist and dietitians don’t know this information. For as smart as we are as a country and for all the medical institutions we have, you’d think we’d be a healthier nation, but in fact, we are one of the sickest (with chronic, preventable conditions) of the developed nations.

Dr. David Klein has been curing Chron’s and Colitis for years with fruit: http://www.colitis-crohns.com/

The school of Natural Hygiene has been curing all diseases since the 1800’s with a high-fruit and vegetable diet, sunlight, fresh air, clean water, ample exercise, and adequate sleep. Look at the success rate of The Gerson Institute with the curing (not just remission) of cancer, the success of the Hippocrates Institute, and the good work of the Tree of Life Center. While all have their differing nuances, they are all plant based.

I recommend you pick up a copy of Dr. Douglas Graham’s book 80/10/10 to learn the science, philosophy, and practice of a high-fruit diet. I feel confident that if you read it and understood it, you could teach your professors an important thing or two.


Stacy February 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

I personally don’t have acne prone skin, but have several friends that do! Great Article, I enjoyed reading it!


Carla Golden February 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Glad you liked it Stacy! Please share with those friends. Here’s another article that may help them about natural skin care: http://www.carlagoldenwellness.com/2013/06/03/natural-skin-care/


Jane March 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

I am very much into simplicity. The more simple the happier I am. I am trying to heal from a horrendously traumatic emotional trauma, and multitasking is just not what I’m able to do right now. So monomeals sound great to me. I love pink/red grapefruit. They are juicy and very filling. They are great for a monomeal. I peel and eat them like an orange. Often in the morning I will peel two grapefruits, cut each section in half and fill a container to take to work with me and that’s what I eat. I am starting Fruit Till 5 tomorrow, Monday, March 3rd. I’m looking forward to healing, eating peacefully without putting too much thought into my food. I’ve shopped and have what I need. thank you for creating this!!!


Marthe Witte March 17, 2014 at 7:06 pm

This is great! I can’t wait to try it. I would say I’ve made nutrition my 2nd vocation since the 70’s, and this is the first time I’ve encountered this concept. It makes so much sense! I also read your piece about fat interfering with fruit digestion, and the idea that oils separated from their source aren’t very healthy is a great reminder for me. I also love the idea of spending less time preparing meals. Simplicity leads to more peace; love it!


Carla Golden March 17, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Excellent Marthe! So glad this is new information will enhance your past research and current practices. Mo’ peace, mo’ better in my book!


Sydney September 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

I absolutely loved this article! I am a university student and eating simple and quick meals is so beneficial with my hectic schedule. I come from a family of conventional and traditionally taught doctors so when I told them about this way of eating, they all freaked out and said that it was too extreme. But now that I am living on my own, I have a chance to try new things and see what works for myself. I had a huge monomeal of grapes after reading this article and I came back to say that everything point is so true! I actually appreciate the flavours so much more! I will definitely be incorporating more monomeals into my diet. Thanks for an amazing article!


Carla Golden September 6, 2014 at 11:56 am

Wonderful Sydney! So great to listen to yourself and follow your intuitive wisdom!


Richard Kadesch May 9, 2015 at 11:24 pm

I don’t recall that you mention citrus other than lemon. I like oranges and grapefruit. Is it a mistake to eat these with melon?


Carla Golden May 10, 2015 at 3:07 pm

All melons are always best eaten alone because they digest so quickly, even more quickly than other fruits. You can try combining melons with oranges and/or grapefruit however if there is ever any digestive discomfort, keep the melons separate in the future.


Agnes May 24, 2015 at 5:38 am

Beautifully written.
Inspires me to try eating mono-meals. I’ll try this week 🙂


Carla Golden May 24, 2015 at 11:45 am

Wonderful Agnes! Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to read and comment.


Brenda October 2, 2015 at 1:26 am

wow! amazing loved you did not know that feeding these monomeal juices, even knew some, but was too lazy to do, but now loved reading your post … thanks for sharing


Maury Brooks March 7, 2016 at 3:45 pm

While I do not live with a monomeal diet, I believe there are some good lessons to be learned from the concept of simplifying ones diet to ease digestion both of their foods and life. The only issue I have with a monomeal diet is overdosing on a item. Food is the medicine and needs to be respected as such.

I recommend using a trained intuition to know when to stop eating an item. Personally my body negatively reacts if randomly eat all foods until I am full. For me it is better to switch foods when my body intuition says it had enough of an item.


Carla Golden March 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Yes, super important to listen to the body’s cues and to rotate foods for variety! Thank you for reading and commenting Maury.


reza March 16, 2016 at 8:25 am

Thanx for this great article, it really takes trial for people to believe it,i did and im free now


Carla Golden March 16, 2016 at 4:03 pm

I’m so glad to hear that you have experienced the benefits of eating monomeals Reza. I agree, people don’t believe it until they try it. Thank you for taking the time to read & comment.


raschelle May 12, 2016 at 10:22 pm

really love this article. it speaks to my heart. I love simplicity and minimalism. It inspires me to eat more simply as much as I can. Thank you!


Carla Golden May 13, 2016 at 8:52 am

So glad you found your way here Raschelle and that you like what you see! Thanks for taking the time to read & comment.


Leigh June 15, 2016 at 1:19 pm

A great article, thank you. I have been raw vegan for a month, have had amazing results in such a short space of time and am now wanting to dig deeper into detox and am therefore moving onto fruit only – specifically mono-meals.
Leigh recently posted..Day 30: more sleep and choco/goji nice-creamMy Profile


Carla Golden June 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm

So glad you’re feeling so great on your new juicy path! Enjoy! Thanks for taking the time to read & comment Leigh.


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