Gracie Diet

In a quick search of the internet one can find no less than 150,000,000 pages containing the word “diet”. On TV the number of programs targeting nutrition has multiplied, and one need only scan the newsstands to see the topic as headlines on hundreds of both feminine and masculine publications.

It was after suffering from blinding migraines (rendering him prostrate in his bedroom) it struck Grand Master Carlos Gracie sr. (Rilion’s father) that something had to change. From the words of the philosopher Hippocrates came the first clue: “Make your nourishment your cure”.
Carlos developed a diet based on three concepts:

1. Not poisoning the body
2. Taking care of it
3. Respecting, in one meal, the adequate chemical combination of different types of food.

Hungering for knowledge, Master Carlos came to read more and more on the subject and over the years he compiled what he learned, developing would be consecrated as the Gracie Diet. He left the health problems behind and the weakly youth turned into an athletic adult.

He also noticed, just like a farmer who controls the soil’s PH before planting the seeds, that the blood’s PH is a key element during the digestive process and that it must be kept neutral, which helps the transformation of the food. He observed, then, that a certain combination of foods kept the blood neutral, as opposed to some mixtures that made it acid or alkaline.

He brought all his study together and created the eating method known as the Gracie Diet, which went through careful research and was developed throughout the years, consuming most of the last 50 years of his life.

The next step was to prove the efficiency of the method and there was no one better to test his discoveries on than his own offspring. Carlos Gracie instilled in his children, nephews and grandchildren the need to listen to the body and offer it only nourishment that is of benefit to it. Little by little, the family’s body type began to change and the Master’s descendents were growing ever bigger that his 5’2″, 139 pound frame. In fact, according to Rilion Gracie, “healthy nourishment modified an entire family”.

But ultimately, what is the Gracie Diet about? It deals with not poisoning the body, not letting it get sick, and establishing the appropriate balance its nourishment. The main idea behind it is to keep the ph of meals as neutral as possible, balancing the substance through the proper combination.

Master Carlos’ idea is global and overcomes all problems. It is about not mixing: cereals with other cereals, fat with sugar, nor acidic foods with any other acidic food. Meals are to be eaten in intervals of, at the least, five hours, eating again only when the stomach is empty.

But that is not all. Beyond worrying about solid foods, Master Carlos sought to complement them with teas, using what nature offers as cures for man’s ailments. “Our body is machine running on blood. If the blood is pure, the machine runs well”, says Rilion Gracie. “My father’s objective was to make sure the family’s fighters were well, or in other words, free of any illness that might arise and make combat unviable”,
Rilion concludes.

The inclusion of fruits as a fundamental part of the diet can also be credited to Master Carlos Gracie. “Almost 30 years ago people came into my house and saw the pantry full of fruits and greens. Everyone thought it was strange, as the culture of that time considered fruits to be nothing more than dessert, while it made up 50% of our family’s diet.”

Proud of the legacy left by his father, Rilion Gracie and Reyla agreed particularly on one point: to reduce Master Carlos’ science to being a simple diet is to diminish the importance of his work. “He foresaw so many recent scientific discoveries, such as the important role of beta carotene, a substance found in papayas and carrots, the concept of free-radicals and orthomolecular medicine.

That goes without mentioning his being a pioneer with his habit of eating acai, drinking watermelon juice, coconut water and smoothies”, says Reyla. Rilion adds: “Everyone should supplement their work with nutrition. We opened the eyes of our students to this and they influenced others. Since that health-food restaurants, juice houses and whole wave of healthy living have arisen. I see my father as a great precursor to healthy nourishment here in Brazil”, Rilion affirms.

Combination Tables

The following tables are the core of the Gracie method for a nourishing diet. By complying to the different combinations of the food groups, in accordance to the tables, you are able to keep meals as neutral as possible. As a result, you will balance out the pH level in your body, wich will improve digestion, as well as prevent and combat illness.

General guidelines of the Gracie Diet

Foods from Group A combine with each other and with one food item of Group B
Foods from Group C combine with each other and with one item of Group B
Foods from Group B do not combine with each other
Foods from Group D can only be consumed individually
Banana and Milk are not included in any of the Gracie Diet groups since they have chemical combinations of their own

Group A

Foods that combine with each other and those of Group B

Animal derived substances

  • Chicken
  • Crab
  • Crawfis
  • Egg
  • Fish
  • Fish egg
  • Lobste
  • Mussels
  • Octopus
  • Oysters
  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Shrimp
  • Squid

Animal derived substances

  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Butter / Margarine
  • Brazilian nuts
  • Cashews
  • Coconut – dried
  • Cocoa
  • Fats in general
  • Hazelnuts
  • Nuts in general
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Peanuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat germ

Animal derived substances

  • Artichoke
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Beet – red
  • Bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butternut squash
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Corn on the cob
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • French beans
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green beans
  • Green onions
  • Hearts of palm
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peas – fresh
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Red cabbage
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Soy – fresh
  • Turnip
  • Tomatoes – Cooked
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Group B

Starches do not combine with each other

  • Barley
  • Breadfruit
  • Chestnuts
  • Corn flour
  • Dry beans
  • Dry corn
  • Dry peas
  • Lentils
  • Manioc
  • Oat
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Soy – Dry
  • Starches in general
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Wheat and derivatives
  • Yams

Group C

Sweet Fruits & Foods, and Fresh & Creamy Cheeses combine with each other and with one of Group B, if not prepared with fat, such as butter or oil.

  • Apple* – sweet
  • Açaí
  • Bananas – dried, baked or cooked
  • Cherimoya*
  • Cheese – fresh
  • Coconuts – green
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Dates
  • Figs – fresh
  • Grapes* – sweet
  • Guava*
  • Honey
  • Jaca fruit
  • Melons
  • Papaya
  • Pears – sweet
  • Persimmons
  • Plums* – sweet
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Sugar cane syrup or juice
  • Sugar in general
  • Watermelon
  • All sweet fresh fruits

Group D

Acidic Fruits and Milk Derivatives that do not combine with each other or with anything else.

  • Apple – acidic
  • Apricot
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherry
  • Cider
  • Currants
  • Grapes – acidic
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pear – acidic
  • Pineapple
  • Plum – acidic
  • Pomegranate
  • Quince
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Tangerine
  • Tomatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Curdled milk
  • Curdled dairy products
  • All acidic fruits

Group E

Raw Bananas combine with all fresh sweet fruits.

compatible with

  • Food from Group B
  • Egg Yolks
  • Raw or crushed Banana
  • All Milk derivates (except Curds and Yoururt)

incompatible with

  • Food From Group A
  • Olives
  • Oil and Fats
  • Avocado
  • Sweets
  • Egg Whites
  • Oil Fruits
  • Sugar in General
  • Any kind of meal