Body Ecology Diet Book
The Body Ecology Diet, by Donna Gates, is a fantastic book that I found fascinating from the first page.  The Body Ecology Diet incorporates different health theories that author Donna came across when searching for her own healing.  The book will appeal to those who have an interest in alternative medicine, it includes elements from ancient Chinese medicine, the blood type diet, food combining, and lots of cultured foods.

Similarities between the Body Ecology Diet and Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet

Like Gut and Psychology Syndrome that we have been following, the Body Ecology Diet (BED) works to restore the internal ecology.
Over a year and a half ago I was introduced to this whole internal ecology through the GAPS book, and BED provides even more explanations for how food affects our whole body’s function, including both physical and mental function.
The goal of BED, as well as GAPS, is to restore gut health so that nutrients are best assimilated, the gut is not ‘leaky,’ allowing undigested particles through to the bloodstream, good gut flora is encouraged and toxic pathogens are starved out so they too cannot emit toxins to the blood stream and eventually the brain.

Differences with BED and GAPS

The Body Ecology Diet is primarily a vegetarian diet, which only allows meat with proper food combining, and at that vegetables still should make up 80% of the meals, meat only 20%.  Four BED grains (buckwheat, millet, quinoa, and amaranth) are allowed, as well as young red potatoes, and it appears that corn/popcorn is allowed as well.  Grains are not allowed at meat meals, and again, in grain meals vegetables should make up 80% of the meal, grains should be well soaked and only make up 20% of the meal.

Animal protein and fat is discouraged, but coconut is greatly encouraged for fatty acids.  When eating animal protein, fish is the recommended source for the BED.  Eggs, especially the yolks, are recommended especially at the beginning of healing.

For fats, small amounts of unrefined oils from coconut, pumpkin seeds, evening primrose, and some ghee are allowed.

I have noticed that some people seem to tend toward more of a vegetarian diet, doing well with little meat. I’m one of these people, though I like a little red meat and lots of butter and coconut oil every day, rather than fish and only some coconut oil or liquid unrefined vegetable oils.

My children, on the other hand, seem to have a strong need for meat and animal fat.  My 2-year-old son especially wants red meat and stock, he will even correct me if I give him fish or chicken (though he eats both) “Dat’s not meat. Dat’s chicken! Dat’s fish!”  I think we all required the high-animal fat content of the introduction GAPS diet especially.

Some Examples of Alternative Medicine in the BED

The ‘Alternativeness’ of the BED book would make it more suitable to some people, but would also make it a book less likely to win over a die-hard Western medicine follower.  Some people who may understand the science behind the GAPS diet but are still reluctant to follow it may be won over by the word pictures of Eastern medicine, examples to follow.

“Women should cut way back on salt and continue to do so from the time of ovulation until they complete their period (monthly cleansing) so their bodies will easily “open up,” relax, and expand ever so slightly to release the uterine lining.  When a woman’s body becomes too contracted from too much sea salt, she will have extreme cravings for sugary, sweet foods as her body attempts to balance itself so the lining of the uterus can be shed.  If she eats too much salt during her period, she may not have a complete cleansing” page 76

“… Man’s nature is more like the energy of fire.  Traditionally, man’s role in society and teh family has been more outward, expanding, forceful… arousing and inspiring… more fervent… conquering and intense. p133 […] The dampy, moldy, fungus-like nature of yeast dampens the fire nature of man.  Candidiasis, while it is not as common among women, is weakening many men in American today and has become a serious threat to the well-being of the family unit and to society.”  p 139

 

Overall Impression of the Body Ecology Diet book

A must read for anyone with health issues or with a desire to learn more about food-focused holistic medicine! I loved this book and am so glad that it is out for us to learn from! You can buy The Body Ecology Diet here.  While I don’t think my little one is ready for the allowed grains in the BED, nor do I want to make our diet mostly vegetarian, I might try incorporating some of the principals soon, especially the constricting/relaxing foods to eat according to mood, and the heating/cooling foods to eat according to temperature.