Food Combining: Mono Meals
                                                                       By: Virginia Vetrano

                                                                      Mono Meals And Mono Diets
                                                               Primitive man, in his pristine life in
            the forest, probably ate one food at
            a time, depending upon the
           availability of the food.  

            Eating only one food at a meal is
            known as a monotrophic meal.  If all meals
over a period of time consist of a single food, such as oranges or grapes or
watermelon, this would be called a monotrophic or
"mono" diet.  

                                       Advantages of Mono Meals
There are advantages to the use of monotrophic meals, and it is recommended
that at least the first meal of the day be a mono meal and preferably be of one
kind of juicy fruit or melon.  

Obviously, the digestion of a mono meal would not be subject to the
adaptation problems that are sometimes experienced (even to a minimal
degree) when so-called compatible foods are combined.  

For instance, even when several subacid fruits are combined, there may be
subtle or overt differences in degrees of alkalinity or acidity, or in liquid or
sugar content, or in digestion time.  

Most fruits lend themselves very well to monotrophic meals.  It would be
advantageous to program at least one mono meal daily—for the first food of
the day.  

                           Mono Diets Not Recommended for Regular Use
I do not endorse the use of a monotrophic diet for extended periods or
regularly for several days every week, nor do I endorse the regular or
extended use of a diet consisting of all monotrophic meals, i.e., each meal
consisting of a single food, e.g., one kind of melon for one meal, grapes for
another meal, romaine lettuce for another meal, alfalfa sprouts for another

I do not believe this would be conducive to optimal nutrition, nor do I believe
that all types of
Hygienic foods lend themselves optimally to this usage.  

For example, romaine lettuce and nuts or seeds combine well; this
combination has been observed to produce more efficient digestion of both

Several days on a mono diet, followed by several more days on monotrophic
meals, immediately following a prolonged fast—or, perhaps, during a flareup
of digestive problems—may prove to be very beneficial.  

But people who implement diets consisting of all mono meals usually
concentrate on fruit and neglect nuts and green leaves.  This can be
damaging, even disastrous.  Such a practice may ultimately result in protein
deficiencies and other serious pathological problems.  

Dr. Herbert M. Shelton in his
The Hygienic System, Volume II, Orthotrophy

"As there are no pure frugivores, all frugivores eating freely of green leaves and
other parts of plants, man may, also, without violating his constitutional nature,
partake of green plants.  These parts of plants possess certain advantages, in
which fruits are deficient.  Actual tests have shown that the addition of green
vegetables to the fruit and nut diet improves the diet."  

In the June 1976 issue of Dr. Shelton's Hygienic Review, Dr. Shelton says:

"If man is a frugivore, as we have tried to demonstrate, then his natural diet
should consist of fruits, nuts and green vegetables.  The inclusion of tender,
succulent green leaves, stems and flowers should not be considered a
violation of his constitutional nature, as practically all animals in nature
consume green foliage of one kind or another.  

For example, the frugivore consumes large amounts of wild celery and other
leafy plants along with their fruits and nuts.  At times, even the carnivora
consume large amounts of vegetation.  Green leafy plants may be regarded as
a wild card throughout nature.  

Whatever else an animal eats, whatever else it is specifically adapted for; some
green leafy food is invariably included in the diet.  

Besides being specifically adapted to his digestive mechanism, fruits are also
appealing to man's visual, olfactory and gustatory senses.  They require no
cooking, no dressing, no seasoning, no utensils, and hardly any cultivation,
considering the abundance of wild fruit trees.  

Could any other food be more natural for us?  With the addition of nuts and
green vegetables, the fruitarian diet is as nutritionally sound as it is biologically

Green leafy vegetables are more abundant in alkaline minerals than fruits.  
They are an excellent source of calcium, iron and other valuable minerals.  
They are rich in vitamins and contain small amounts of protein of the highest
quality and biological value.  They are the richest source of chlorophyll, such
as only green plants can provide.

The analysis of chlorophyll shows it to be almost identical with the blood
hemoglobin, except that the blood contains iron and chlorophyll contains
magnesium.  Increasing the amount of green leafy vegetables in the diet has
been known to aid the body to correct secondary anemia.  

The scientist, Frans Miller, wrote:
"Chlorophyll has the same fast blood-building effect as iron in animals made
 The regenerative effect of crude chlorophyll from green leaves (not
pure chlorophyll) was demonstrated through numerous scientific experiments
in this country and abroad.  

Green leaves convert sunlight into food by a process called photosynthesis,
aided by the green pigment chlorophyll.  Photosynthesis is the production of
carbohydrate, in the presence of carbon dioxide, water and light.  

Since only green plants can do this, they are the most important things on our
planet, because they make possible the continuity of life.  

Dr. Shelton's Hygienic Review, January 1975):

"The Hygienic doctor has always advocated that some vegetables, particularly
leafy vegetables, be eaten along with the fruit and nut diet, mainly because of
the protein content in leafy vegetables.  

Most individuals have a difficult time adjusting to eating only nuts for protein
and take an insufficient amount of protein at first; proteins of high biologic
value are easily supplied by adding green vegetables to the diet."

Whole nuts should be used, but freshly made nut butter or ground nuts can
and should also be used, if an individual does not have good teeth.  

In his book;
The Hygienic Diet  Dr. Burton says:

"I personally view the diet containing a large proportion of fresh fruits and
vegetables, accompanied by three to four ounces of concentrated protein (nuts
and seeds) as being the most satisfactory."  

He says we should attempt to secure our nutrients from a wide variety of
foods, though, obviously, not at the same meal.  

True that protein deprivation has to be prolonged and extreme in order to
produce obvious signs of its inadequacy.  Dr. Burton also makes the point that
the varying needs and capacities of individuals must dominate in establishing

Eat a variety of
Hygienic foods.  Overeating of citrus and other fruits may be
more easily avoided if it is thoroughly understood that a meal program which
includes a variety of
Hygienic foods, including fruits, nuts and seeds, green
leafy vegetables, and sprouted seeds, is the best road to optimal nutrition.  

It is not difficult to fall into the trap of the overeating of fruits.  They are the
most delightful of foods.  They are also among the finest and best of foods, if
properly used.  

In many respects, I empathize and even tend to agree with those who maintain
that the delights and nutritional value of fruits are unsurpassed.  If, in addition,
nuts, seeds and sprouts, and chlorophyll-rich green leaves are not neglected,
optimal nutrition would be assured.  

Dr. Esser really brings it all together with this sage observation:

"Fruits and nuts are the perfect foods for man, but in the civilized areas of the
world it is virtually an impossibility to obtain a sufficiently rounded supply for
perfect nutrition and health.  Therefore it is necessary to supplement them with
vegetables.  It will be found that vegetables are delicious and succulent."  

I know it was a great relief to me, after my 29-day fast, when I was (after almost
two weeks on fruit juices and fruits) at last given something to eat that was not

When I was permitted to have at least one salad meal every day, with nuts or
avocado or coconut or raw sweet corn, my improvement, weight gain and
energy multiplied.  

Recap: Monotrophic fruit meals are excellent; a total, diet of monotrophic
meals is not advisable.  Since the usual monotrophic meal consists of one
kind of fruit or melon, it would seem that at least one meal daily (or, at the very
least, one meal every second day) should consist of several salad vegetables
and a protein (or possibly a starch).  

But keep it simple.  The less complex our food mixtures, and the simpler our
meals, the more efficient will be our digestion, and the better our health.  Few
foods at a meal, with sufficient variety of different types of foods over the
period of several meals to insure that the body gets all the nutrients it needs, is
the ideal
Hygienic food program.  

                 Relationship of the diet to the acid-alkaline balance of the body:

In general, the diet should consist of at least 75% alkaline-reacting foods and
25% or less of acid-forming foods.  Most foods with high protein content are
acid forming.  

Adherence to a varied
Hygienic diet, and to the other principles of Natural
(especially regular, vigorous exercise) will enable your body to
adequately monitor its own acid-alkaline balance, since there is a buffer action
in the organism, which serves to maintain an equilibrium between alkalinity
and acidity.  Minerals play an important part in the regulation of this function.  

Animal proteins, which contain sulfur, uric acid and other acid end products,
tend to leach the tissues of their alkaline salts.  These alkaline salts (minerals)
are particularly needed by the cells to buffer and render such end-products
less acid, and thus less irritating to the cells and tissues.  

The alkaline properties of vegetable and nut proteins help to maintain the acid-
alkaline balance of the body.  Thus, correct eating (and exercise) are the keys
in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance.  

Eating vegetables helps to maintain your acid-alkaline balance.  If only fruits
are eaten, the balance tends to swing to the alkaline side eating only proteins
swings it to the acid side.  

Bananas are neutral if you are in good health, but otherwise they are slightly

                                Monotrophic Diets as "Elimination Diets"
"Elimination diets" which can be mono-diets, are often referred to under the
"juice fasts" or "fruit fasts."  

Diets that are not stressful on the body and allow it to better perform its
eliminative functions are sometimes useful when urgent symptoms require the
temporary cessation of normal food intake, and it is not possible to go to bed
and fast.  

However, the substitution of a long-term juice or fruit diet, when a fast is
indicated, may be unwise and wasteful of the body's energy, because this
does not accomplish the striking long-term benefits of the fast with nothing
but distilled water.  

Nevertheless, a temporary juice diet or fruit diet may be indicated in some
cases.  If serious problems exist, a professional
Hygienist can help to make
this choice or decision.  

There are other types of
"elimination diets" (some not monotrophic) that are
sometimes prescribed where a fast must be postponed, or should not be
undertaken at the particular time.  

"Elimination diets" are low in proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  This causes
the cells to use stored reserves to meet their requirements.  During such a diet,
the body can eliminate toxic matters and accumulated wastes, but never as
efficiently or thoroughly as it would during a fast.  

The fast is always more efficacious in eliminating toxic wastes than is any kind
of elimination diet.  Greater benefit can be expected from one week of a
complete fast than from two or three weeks of an elimination diet.  

Further, a mono diet (the use of one food only—such as citrus, grapes or
watermelon) may result in the production of imbalances in the body.  During a
total fast, the body is better able to monitor its own nutrition in a more
balanced manner from the use of nutriments stored in the body.  

A total fast increases metabolic efficiency.  For example, the process of energy
release from glucose (stored as glycogen in the liver) which is at 25%
efficiency when eating, is increased to 45°/o efficiency when fasting;
according to Dr. Alec Burton.  

On a monotrophic diet, there is often a tendency to feel hungry and
unsatisfied, while, during a total fast, hunger pangs usually disappear.  

As you can see, the uses of monotrophic diets are limited.  

           Part 2
                                             "Mono-Eliminating Diet"  
It is often thought that one can do the "eliminating diet" on his own, bypassing
the service of a Hygienic doctor.  While I am not trying to make people more
dependent upon doctors for everything, I am trying to stress the fact that most
people have insufficient knowledge of their condition and the
"elimination diet"
and often damage themselves by the improper application of Hygiene.  

Many people come to me after having placed themselves on an
and carrying it out for too long.  Many people tend to vacillate back and
forth from one type of
"eliminating diet" to another; and from stuffing to
underfeeding so long that real deficiencies are produced and health is not

They do themselves much harm and come to me suffering with the same
problems for which they started the diet, as well as suffering with deficiencies.  
The pathetic thing is now they are too thin to fast for speedy recovery of their
health and too sick to eat.  

What do you do with them?  They've gotten themselves in real trouble and
have actually made themselves sicker and unable to be helped by the
doctor until they carry out his or her instructions in Hygienic living and have
eaten properly for a year or more.  

Juice diets, and the orange or grapefruit diet may be used judiciously with
beneficial results, but these should not be carried out for months at a time, nor
should a person go three or four days out of every week on a juice diet over a
long period of time.  He will become weak, and run into deficiencies.  

                                           Protein Foods
Eating protein foods, especially nuts, satisfies for many physiological
reasons.  One of them is probably because of their high fat content.  Fat seems
to be used for energy longer than carbohydrates before being stored by the

Sugars and starches are absorbed and gotten out of the small intestine and
circulation quickly, and then rapidly converted into glycogen in the liver.  
Perhaps, with nothing in the intestines to be absorbed, hunger is again

Proteins take quite a bit longer for digestion and absorption, and perhaps this
is another reason why they satisfy more.  Once they have been absorbed
through the digestive epithelium, however; the amino acids are readily taken
up by the cells.  

In spite of this, they still satisfy and prevent people from desiring junk foods or
sugars between meals.  This is one of the main reasons that we began serving
the protein meal at noon instead of in the evening at the
Health School.  

                                                     Sequence of Eating
Formerly it was thought by a few Hygienists that it was necessary to eat the
least concentrated food first and the most concentrated food last.  The reason
for this was that the foods were supposedly layered in the stomach, and it was
thought best not to mix them; to permit the juicier foods to be evacuated from
the stomach first.  

It has been shown, however, that food does not stay in layers in the stomach,
and the pyloric valve does not open with each peristaltic wave so that food will
become mixed in the stomach even if you eat the most concentrated food last.  

For instance, let us say that you eat some subacid fruit first.  The pyloric valve
stays tightly shut for fifteen minutes after the beginning of a meal, then it
begins to open and pass a tiny bit of food to the duodenum.  

Each time there is a contraction of the stomach, the food is pushed forward
toward the pylorus (the lower end of the stomach).  As the valve opens only
occasionally and not each time the peristaltic wave pushes food toward it, the
food is pushed toward a closed valve.  

The food cannot get out of the stomach at the valve, so it streams back toward
the upper end of the stomach, thoroughly mixing with the food eaten last.  
Even if some food empties from the pylorus when it opens, only a small
amount is evacuated and the rest is propelled backward to be thoroughly
mixed with the contents of the upper stomach.  

Eat your foods in proper combinations, and you won't have to worry about the
sequence in which you eat them.  Food becomes mixed in the stomach
regardless of sequence of eating.  

It is wise, however, to remember to chew your foods well, and separately.  That
is, do not use a tomato or lettuce to moisturize nuts to help get them down.  

Chew your nuts well, and alone; swallow them.  Between mouthfuls of nuts
you may eat some salad foods.  Never use the moisture of the less
concentrated foods to help liquefy nuts or other concentrated foods.  The
salivary glands will secrete sufficient moisture of the proper kind for this
purpose and your foods will be better digested.  

Sometimes it is wise to eat the least sweet fruit first when eating three fruits at
one meal; otherwise the last part of the meal may be less tasty.  If you eat
dates first, for instance, and then take apricots, which are less sweet, you may
not enjoy them as well after the very sweet fruit because of the unavoidable
comparison of sweets.  

Melons are best taken alone because the sugar and other nutriments are in a
less stable form than the nutrients of other fruits.  Orange juice may be kept in
the refrigerator for an hour with little change in flavor, but if you refrigerate
watermelon juice for only 10 minutes, its flavor, color and composition

It decomposes much more quickly than other fruits.  Consequently, if it is held
in the stomach awaiting the digestion of other foods, it will decompose
(ferment) and cause a great deal of gastric distress.  Eating watermelon with
nuts can really be troublesome.  

One should not take watermelon with other more concentrated fruits.  The
more concentrated the food is, the longer it takes to propel it from the
stomach, and if the melon is held in the stomach mixed with the other fruit,
then it also will be held in the stomach for a longer period of time.  

Watermelon must be evacuated from the stomach as rapidly as it would be if
eaten alone.  If eaten with foods that slow its evacuation time from the stomach
then it will ferment in the stomach and cause trouble.  

Watermelon seeds can be saved and eaten if desired.  There is some nutrient
inside the hard shell, but the shell itself is composed of indigestible cellulose,
and I do not think it wise to consume so much cellulose.  

In wild nature, animals would not normally try to chew something so hard and
indigestible.  Primates eat the fruits and spit out the hard seeds.  Man,
unfortunately, has the ability to analyze foods, consequently he discovered
nutrients in the seed, so he tries to eat the seed, forgetting that most of the
watermelon seed is indigestible, and may serve only to irritate the lining of the
gastrointestinal tract.  Many seeds of fruits are poisonous; they contain
benzaldehyde and cyanide.  

                                   Nuts With Acid Fruits
We no longer serve nuts with acid or subacid fruit mainly because of the sugar
content in the fruit.  When fruit is held in the stomach awaiting the digestion of
nuts, it has a tendency to ferment, and cause digestive troubles.  

The sugar content of organically grown citrus fruit is very high, and high
concentrations of sugar inhibit gastric secretion thus also interfering with
protein digestion.  

It was formerly thought that the citrus didn't interfere with protein digestion but
with greater study, observation and reflection, thoughts have changed.  

Acid fruit such as tomatoes and grapefruit may not be deleterious, because of
their diminished sugar content.  Even if one eats the citrus thirty minutes prior
to taking nuts, in most cases, there will still be a great deal of fruit in the

The pyloric sphincter stays tightly shut for approximately 15 minutes after a
meal begins.  After fifteen minutes, the stomach begins gradually to evacuate,
and then not rapidly.  The food gets mixed in the stomach.  If you desire nuts
in the morning for breakfast, then it would be best to take them at least one
hour after finishing your citrus or other fruit.  

Many years ago Dr. Shelton pointed out that water is the only drink.  All other
substances are either food or poison.  If you are thirsty, you should drink pure

If you are hungry, you should eat.  If you are thirsty it doesn't mean you must
eat a piece of watermelon, unless you are hungry at the same time.  Drink only
when thirsty and eat only when hungry.  Poisonous soft drinks, coffee, tea,
and other unnourishing beverages, and other poisonous fluids should never
be used to quench a thirst.  Pure water is best.  

                                             Dried Fruits
The sugar concentration is naturally greater in fruits, which have been dried.  
Some fruits that are considered subacid are considered as sweet fruits, after
drying, unless they are soaked to replenish the missing water.  

By: Virginia Vetrano

Part 1 Mono Diet

Part 2 Mono Eliminating Diet