SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

October 18, 2010

Protein, a different view

Plant or Animal Protein – – How Much do we Need?

Surprising viewpoint from an amazing expert

I have just read the most wonderful, well-written and welcome  blog post by Sir Gabriel Cousens, M.D. which I was told  about.  My impulse was to immediately download it and run it here because the information would be so welcome to the many vegans in our numbers at smokinchoices.  Many of you know that my own preference has run to not only the vegan life, but because of the eco- danger   and its  enormity of burden to our planet in order to accommodate the amount of animal protein it takes to feed our masses – just seems like the decent thing to do.

I resisted my impulse to take it and recommend instead that you go to his blog and read it for yourself.  This is a scholarly work which will be informative and highly rewarding to you whether you are vegan, Paleo or some combination of your own.  The site has a beautiful platform with great variety including recipes.   Since I am not pure of heart, I elected to bring only a paragraph or so over to show you what it is about.



Posted By: The Culture of Life on 9/27/2010

Dear Dr. Mercola,

Thank you for your excellent, thoughtful, and sensitive discussion on vegetarianism and the China study.  I have been researching and exploring the benefits of a plant-source-only diet for over 38 years (since 1973).  Given the length of my practice and the scope of my experience, I have come to some working conclusions on the interrelated topics of diet, health, and longevity. I am writing this for the people who have become confused by your subtle, but clear avocation for a meat-centered diet over a plant-source-only diet, as they are tentatively inspired to shift from one paradigm of health and consciousness to a new level.  Although I appreciate most of your points, my main objection is that your implication that people with higher metabolic protein requirements need to eat meat.  Based on my extensive, successful, clinical experience over the course of 38 years of helping people do exactly that, with a 99.99% success rate, your position is misleading and untrue. Even former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who used to eat McDonalds hamburgers in front of the press, has turned to a plant-based diet and now drinks almond milk smoothies!

In summary based on my extensive clinical experience in supporting thousands of people becoming successful on a plant source only diet, I have found:

1)    We are unique individuals for whom a consistently successful plant-source-only approach requires a thoughtful application of a constitutional approach to organizing ones diet.  This includes, contrary to your subtle implication, that if someone is a fast oxidizer (i.e., needs a higher protein diet) that they need to be a meat eater.  There are plenty of high protein sources in a plant-source diet, (such as spirulina, chlorella, and Klamath Lake algae – which are 60-70% protein and 40% assimilable as compared to meat, chicken, and fish, which are 14-16% assimilable).  In other words, it is no problem for a fast oxidizer (high protein ratio need) to be 100% successful on a plant-source-only, live-food diet.  I have had only one person in 40 years who wanted to be a vegan, not be successful using this approach; and they grew up near the Arctic Circle.

For your convenience, here is a link to Gabriel’s Blog:

October 1, 2009

McDougall not to be Ignored!

Bravo to Dr. McDougall!  I have never been happier than this moment to show off my favorite guy – Dr. John McDougall who taught me that I didn’t have to suffer the pain of arthritis, high blood pressure or obesity.     But the courage shown in this newsletter by him to stand up to entrenched interests of the status quo is to my mind both breath-taking and amazing.

September 2009

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Vol. 8 Issue 9

John McDougall, MD

It Is Better to Be Hated than Ignored
When Change Is the Goal

On Tuesday, September 22, 2009 I gave a 4-hour presentation for medical doctors and other health professionals in the town of Chico, California. After two months of far-reaching promotion to at least 500 local physicians at the Feather River and Enloe Hospitals (and surrounding areas) the final attendance was disappointing to say the least; only 36 people showed up—19 medical doctors, one PA, two RNs and 14 spouses. Could the promotion for my visit have made them angry with me and/or have frightened them away?  Judge for yourself by looking over the brochure. I warned them that I was coming to talk about four instances where doctors are not telling the truth—and are making good wages by doing so.

In my opinion, by not attending this event, the community doctors missed an opportunity to improve their patients’ health and defend their current practices. Better to stand up now and against me, rather than later, against the state, when the legislators pass laws to force long overdue changes in medical practice, and when judges hear malpractice suits addressing harms caused by “currently accepted practices.”  After my visit, there is no longer the defense, “But there is no way that I could have known that.”

Why Was I Ignored?

It wasn’t for lack of publicity—2000 brochures were printed and distributed to every doctor’s box in the hospitals at both Feather River and Enloe (over 500 physicians) twice, on August 1 and September 1, 2009. On August 15, personal delivery of a brochure was made to most doctors’ offices in Paradise, California (20 minutes from Chico). On about August 20 and again on September 15 a fax blast was sent to every doctor’s office listed on the Medical Staff of Feather River and Enloe Hospitals. Ads ran in the San Francisco Examiner and several other outlets. An article appeared in the Chico paper about the Community Lectures and the Physicians’ Seminar. No health professional could have missed the news that I was coming to town to offer some very bold challenges.

Even though the local physicians turned a deaf ear to me, the community certainly heard that I was coming. Enthusiastic crowds of over 130 people attended each of the two lectures that were open to the general public in Chico and neighboring Paradise. Patients are fed up with doctors who practice with harmful clichés in mind, like “there is a pill for every problem” and “eat a well-balanced diet, generous in protein.” Just days before this visit, I gave two separate presentations in Portland, Oregon on September 20 to standing-room-only crowds of over 500 people each. So I doubt there is lack of interest in my subject matter or in my communication skills.

Personal Observations from an Attendee at the Chico Physician’s Talk

“I had the honor and privilege of attending a physicians’ seminar that the good doctor presented yesterday. Not a doc myself, I want to thank Dr. McD. and the local hospital outreach facilitator for making it possible for me to attend. As you can imagine, in a roomful of physicians (from the hospital across the street and another up the hill) Dr. McDougall had one tough crowd! He’s so used to resistance from groups though, he was able to disarm everyone. It was a pleasure just to be present with him and watch him being so excited about his information. Doc was very solicitous of questions and even invited the other physicians to prove him wrong – very humble and self-effacing, even though he never referred to himself that way – I would say he more referred to himself as a troublemaker and opinionated guy! Yet he has all the data to back up his professional opinions, fascinating. During the presentation, Dr. McD. kept inviting conversation from the audience. He also challenged the audience to challenge him. There were a few questions asked and yet no big challenges were spoken out. Doc did suggest that perhaps only the “choir” was there – and expressed the desire that the room had had lots of cardiologists! All in all it was a very respectful atmosphere, though there was an undercurrent of expectation that at any time there could be strong protests – but it just didn’t happen, that I heard. Overall, my sense from the presentation was that he was very positively received.”

Lani Muelrath,
M.A., fitness coach, guest lecturer in Kinesiology at San Francisco State University, web site

My Subject Matter Is Important

Doctors, in particular those in the general practice of medicine, need to know that they are being lied to by the drug and device companies and by their fellow specialist physicians (bypass surgeons, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, oncologists, and rheumatologists, to name a few). The family doctors, general practitioners, internists, pediatricians, and gynecologists are then passing these dangerous falsehoods on to faithful people seeking their guidance.

Here are messages I want doctors to hear and respond to:

Message 1: The current treatments for chronic diseases, like coronary artery disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and type-2 diabetes are focused on signs and symptoms, not on resolving the causes of underlying diseased tissues. As a result, drugs given to lower cholesterol (statins) and blood pressure produce minute reductions in heart attacks, strokes, disability, and death. These medications should be reserved as a last resort and for the very sick. Intensive treatment of type-2 diabetics with pills and insulin increases the risk of serious complications and dying. Responsible treatment of common conditions must focus first and foremost on the cause—the rich Western diet.

Message 2: Research gathered since the introduction of bypass surgery in 1968 and angioplasty in 1978 has clearly and consistently shown little or no survival benefits from surgery performed on people with chronic coronary artery disease. Yet, 1.5 million people annually in the US alone undergo these treatments and the vast majority lives no longer or are better off. The side effects of surgery are minimized to the patient, and certain brain damage from the bypass pump is never mentioned. Responsible treatment of artery disease must focus first and foremost on the cause—the rich Western diet.

Message 3: Cancer is often fatal and the treatments are terrible (with few exceptions). On average, early detection methods fail to find growing tumors until they are widely disseminated throughout the body; discovered too late to be treated effectively. Only after an average of 10 years of growth can the cancer be revealed by breast self-examination, mammography, digital rectal examination of the prostate, or PSA testing. Early detection is a misnomer. Surgery and radiation destroy local disease only—but are usually too late to show any “survival success.” Chemotherapy for the cancer that has already spread is too toxic and too ineffective to make a real difference. Responsible treatment of the cancer patient must include a healthy diet as fundamental care.

Message 4: Over 75% of the diseases sickening people in Western countries are caused by the high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-protein, low-carbohydrate, low-fiber, rich Western diet. Common sense says, “stop throwing gasoline on the fire.” Most of these conditions are dramatically improved or cured with a change to a starch-based diet—medications are stopped, surgeries avoided, and people get their lives back. The food is inexpensive and there are no side effects. The halting reality is that there is also little profit from this common-sense approach.

Doctors Practice Faith-based Medicine

Doctors believe that what they are doing is beneficial even in the face of clinical and research evidence to the contrary. Visit after visit, their patients with chronic diseases remain fat and sick. The only objective difference from all their hard work and good intentions is that their patients are now carrying around a big bag full of drugs.

The scientific research published in our best medical journals confirms these observations from everyday practice. For example, essentially all studies performed show angioplasty with or without stents fails to save lives—there is no argument on this matter, yet one million surgeries are performed annually in the US without a single protest from the patients’ primary care doctors. Drug representatives sell billions of diabetic pills through faith-filled doctors, even though six out of six major studies show type-2 diabetics are harmed, and even killed, by universally practiced aggressive therapies. Deep faith trumps facts and reason; and the malpractice continues.

Doctors Practice Fear-based Medicine

Doctors live in fear. They do not want to be criticized by their colleagues for questioning common wisdom and practices. More frightening is their fear of becoming involved in, and losing, a malpractice suit by failing to follow “the community standard of practice.” Malpractice is specifically defined by statute as a failure to comply with standards of practice in “the same or similar community.” Medical malpractice is essentially a departure from an accepted standard of care—right or wrong—helpful or harmful to the patient. Kill or maim the patient in a manner similar to the doctor practicing down the street, and you will win your day in court.

Patients fall into similar traps—they believe in their doctors in the face of obvious failures to be helped, and they fear disobeying their doctors’ orders. The critical difference is that the patient is not the paid professional relied upon for expert guidance.

Don’t Ignore Me; I Would Rather Be Hated

Ignoring me does work, but not forever. The sincerity of my intentions has led me to take extraordinary actions. I have co-authored California Assembly Bill 1478, which will require doctors to tell patients with chronic heart disease that heart surgery fails to save lives and that aggressive treatments of type-2 diabetics with pills and insulin kills.

I recently asked the Attorney General of California, Jerry Brown, to file a Qui Tam Action against the cardiologists and bypass surgeons in our state for recovery of money that has been charged under what I believe to be false pretenses.  (Please read my letter to the Attorney General.)  In the truest sense, I am acting as a “whistleblower” to expose misconduct in my profession. The Attorney General’s Assistant’s response was “the matter would not be an appropriate subject for prosecution under the False Claims Act (FCA). In response to your request for suggestions how you might proceed, I really don’t have any suggestions other than for you to consider presenting your case to qui tam counsel.”

I have often been asked, “You are a doctor, why do you speak against the practices of fellow physicians?” I never took an oath to protect the financial interests of people in the medical industries. I did, however, take an oath to care for the sick and to keep them from harm and injustice, and to never give a deadly drug. I fully realize the views I advocate cause people with vested interests to hate me. I can live with that unfairness, but I won’t be ignored.

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August 7, 2009

Whole Foods, changes afoot

Become a Part of John Mackey’s Health Revolution

Over the past few days he has announced worldwide, from the Wall Street Journal* to the United Kingdom Guardian that Whole Foods will become the leader in healthy eating.


Mr. Mackey, Founder and CEO of Whole Foods, is now a vegan who shuns vegetable oils. He has lost weight and lowered his cholesterol. Don’t miss this giant step forward. Hear him speak at the September 11, 2009 McDougall Advanced Study Weekend.

*To get the entire WSJ article, google “John Mackey and WSJ.”

McDougall Advanced Study Weekends

*                          *                        *

We sell a bunch of junk, says Whole Foods boss John Mackey

Struggling US store says it would attempt to educate in the ways of healthy eating

A woman selects apples while shopping in the produce section at Whole Foods in New YorkA woman selects apples while shopping in the produce section at Whole Foods in New York. Photograph: Stephen Chernin/Getty images

When Whole Foods arrived in the UK two years ago it was hailed as a mecca for those determined to follow a healthy diet. But today the struggling US store’s chief executive will probably want to eat his words after admitting that, alongside the organic carrots and bags of granola, the shops “sell a bunch of junk”.

The comments came in an interview in which John Mackey was attempting to outline plans for the store to put more emphasis on healthy eating – amid suggestions that it has recently indulged consumer cravings for more indulgent offerings.

He went on to say that Whole Foods was going to launch a healthy eating education initiative to encourage customers and employees to reduce obesity.

But Mackey told the Wall Street Journal: “Basically, we used to think it was enough just to sell healthy food, but we know it is not enough. We sell all kinds of candy. We sell a bunch of junk.”

He said the store would now attempt to educate in the ways of healthy eating: “There will be someone in a kiosk to answer questions, they’ll have cookbooks and health books, there will be some cooking classes. It will be about how to select food, because people don’t know.”

His comments come as Whole Foods reels from bad news. Jeff Turnas, who was parachuted in to take charge of the group’s faltering UK operation last month, said Mackey’s words “had been lost in translation”, saying that what his boss meant was that eating too many crisps or cakes even if they are organic is not the best way to keep healthy.

The main Whole Foods store is in Kensington, west London, and it runs a handful of convenience stores, formerly trading as Fresh & Wild in parts of London.

But its British foray has been an unhappy one. The group made an operating loss for the year to 30 September 2008 of £36m, widening from a £9.9m shortfall for the previous 12 months. Its parent company, Whole Foods Market Inc, has been forced to write off almost £50m as part of the effort to establish a foothold in the UK.

Mackey said Whole Foods would attempt to rid its stores of unhealthy food, starting with a campaign to get its employees healthier, and would be going back to its roots in selling healthy food.

“Right now, if you work for the company you get a 20% discount card,” Mackey said. “We’re going to create incentives for our team members to get healthier.”

Mackey said Whole Foods is going back to its roots of selling healthy food.

“Healthy eating went on at Whole Foods from at least about 1980 to 1995. Now we’ve had a 15 year run for the foodie philosophy. We are launching a reversal now. We will be moving into food as

August 1, 2009

McDougall, go for it!

July 2009

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Vol. 8 Issue 7

John McDougall, MD

Two Teaching Opportunities for Healthcare Reform
in America:

Sonia Sotomayor, US Supreme Court Judge (nominated)
Regina Benjamin, MD, Surgeon General (nominated)

The choice of two sick and/or obese candidates for two highly visible and powerful US government positions has caused a national uproar. Considering all we know about effective diet-therapies, failure to fix their poor health now is inexcusable and risking our future.

The Prospects:

Sonia Sotomayor, a 54-year-old Hispanic overweight federal judge, with a history of type-1 diabetes since age 8 was nominated on May 26, 2009 for the U.S. Supreme Court.

On July 13, 2009 Regina Benjamin, a 52-year-old Black obese physician was picked to become the nation’s family doctor—our 18th Surgeon General.

The Plan:

The public’s reaction to the medical histories of these two women has been dismay.  Undoubtedly, both are extraordinarily qualified in their respective fields and have the potential to make great contributions to our country. Their health problems are a potential Waterloo for each, or they could be an unprecedented teaching opportunity for healthcare reform in the US.

Obama says; “This (healthcare) is an issue that affects the health and financial well-being of every single American and the stability of our entire economy.” Nothing could be more important than showing America a way out of these troubles. I am inviting both candidates for a 10-day visit to the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California. Their results will be the turning point for America, our broken healthcare system, and the McDougall Program.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Age 54, Hispanic, Puerto Rican decent

Born: June 25, 1954, Bronx, New York

Work: Served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since October 1998. First Hispanic federal judge in New York State.

Regina Benjamin, MD

Age 52, African-American

Born: October 26, 1956, Mobile, AL

Work: Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in the fishing village of Bayou La Batre, Alabama. First African American woman on the American Medical Association‘s board of trustees. Past president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama.

The Nation Worries about Sotomayor’s Longevity

Appointments to the US Supreme Court are for life. Unfortunately (regardless of what the experts have told the press recently), the life expectancy of someone with type-1 diabetes is dramatically shortened (by about 10 years).  These people also suffer more often from debilitating complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, and blindness, than do people without diabetes.  Because of her unhealthy diet, which is reflected by her overweight, premature death and complications should be expected for this Supreme Court judge. The most recent analysis using modern therapies found that after 30 years of type-1 diabetes 50% of people have eye disease (proliferative retinopathy), 25% have kidney disease (nephropathy) and 14% have cardiovascular disease.  Judge Sotomayor has had her disease for 46 years; I have no doubt that she is already suffering from major organ damage from her diabetes and her diet. (She looks unhealthy even to the casual observer.)

Diabetics are metabolically handicapped people, hampered in their ability to defend and repair themselves from outside injuries, like an infection or an unhealthy diet. Therefore, to help counteract this disadvantage, people with this disease must be cared for with extraordinary vigilance—and that means careful control of their blood sugars with insulin injections, a wholesome lifestyle, and most importantly, a health-supporting diet. Sonia Sotomayor still eats the high-fat, high-cholesterol Western diet that causes heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, etc. in hundreds of millions of people worldwide who do not have this handicap of type-1 diabetes.  Obviously because of her physical limitations caused by damage to her pancreas as a child she is a greater risk than the average person of rapid bodily deterioration.

By changing to a low fat, no-cholesterol, starch-based diet, type-1 diabetics have a real chance of avoiding premature death and serious complications. The only people I have met with long-standing type-1 diabetes who still have all their parts working after 40 years of disease, have been those following a low-fat nearly vegetarian diet—the best example I know is of the few fortunate people who learned and practiced the Kempner Rice Diet from Duke University—oftentimes they remained in great shape for as long as 50 years following their diagnosis because of their very low-fat diet of primarily rice, fruits and vegetables.

Sonia Sotomayor’s diabetes interferes with her daily duties as a judge. She must test her sugars and administer insulin multiple times throughout the day. Bouts of confusion and accidents occur commonly from hypoglycemic reactions in most type-1 diabetics, especially those who try to intensively treat their disease.  My experience has been that a change to the McDougall Diet results in more stable blood sugars throughout the day and at least a one-third reduction in insulin requirements. (Type-1 diabetics will always require some insulin.) Most important, what the judge needs to know is that this is not an irreversible sentence—she can get out of jail; that a significant amount of the long-term damage to the eyes, the kidneys, and the blood vessels to the heart and brain can be reversed with a change in diet. And she will look and feel better as soon as she makes the change.

In 1927 Dr. E. P. Joslin, founder of the famous Joslin Diabetic Center in Boston, suspected a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet might favor the development of diabetes and its major complication, atherosclerosis. He prophetically wrote: “I believe the chief cause of premature atherosclerosis in diabetes, save for advancing age, is an excess of fat, an excess of fat in the body (obesity), an excess of fat in the diet, and an excess of fat in the blood.  With an excess of fat diabetes begins and from an excess of fat diabetics die, formerly of coma, recently of atherosclerosis.”  And now, 82 years after Joslin’s farsighted message, diabetes is the fastest growing disease in the world.

Ref: Joslin EP.  Atheroscleriosis and diabetes.  Ann Clin Med 1927; 5:1061.

The Nation’s Anguish over Dr. Benjamin’s Appearance

Since Dr. Regina Benjamin’s selection, one negative comment has been emphasized over all of her other qualifications: her obesity. People are asking, “How is she to impact the nation’s health if she can’t even take care of herself?”

Some supporters point out that being overweight actually qualifies her for the job because she has more empathy for the obesity epidemic than a trim person would. Most comments have, however, not been so supportive.  On the Fox Business Network, the Neal Cavuto show, a guest said, “Dr. Benjamin is 50 pounds overweight, she is obese…she is a size 20…The Surgeon General is a symbolic position…Would you then want your head of the Federal Reserve be a guy that lives in a cardboard box underneath the highway because he understands the plight of poor people?…Would you want Michael Jackson’s doctors to be in charge of drug control of the DEA?…If (you are going to be Surgeon General) you should look the part

The example of the Federal Reserve guy is one of a lifetime of lack of education and opportunity, and the DEA example is one of moral depravity. These problems are largely unfixable. Dr. Benjamin’s obesity problem is a simple misunderstanding about which foods to choose and this wrong thinking can be fixed instantaneously—or at least in 10 days at the McDougall Program.

Let’s Make This a Racial Matter

Medicine and health remain the last bastions of broad segregation in the US.

Obesity Rates in Various States in the US:

Blacks: 23 to 45.1%

Hispanics: 21 to 36.7%.

Whites: 9 to 30.2%

In general, Blacks are considerably more often, and Hispanics are a little more often, fatter and sicker than are Whites. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on average; Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians and Alaska Natives are more likely (1.6 to 2.3 times as likely) to have diabetes than non-Hispanic Whites.  Compared with Whites, Blacks experience substantial excess mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infant death. Hispanics still have less heart disease than Whites.

Making health a matter of racial pride could turn the tables.  Not long ago, because of widespread poverty, Black and Hispanic people followed simple diets—they could only afford starch-based meals, with little meat, dairy, and processed foods. By no coincidence, Blacks and Hispanics were typically trim and healthy back then, too. With the better job opportunities and an improved overall economy, these two subgroups have been able to eat like kings and queens, and it shows.  Most people can remember a past generation when people were healthier. Sotomayor’s parents emigrated from Puerto Rico during World War II. The traditional diet then was based on corn, beans, and rice.  As a US territory, the local diet has become very rich and the people are now in trouble like most other Americans.

As a young doctor working in Hawaii with people of Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, and Chinese descent I made great efforts to personalize the diet-health connection.  My third and fourth generation patients were sick due to the rich foods they consumed.  I would ask them if they knew why they suffered with obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. Then I would ask them if grandma and grandpa were still alive, how was their health, and what did they eat.  Commonly the answer was: “Grandma and grandpa are in their nineties, working hard every day, trim, and eating poi or rice.” Then I would comment, “The reason you are not in the same shape is that you have abandoned your family’s traditional foods.  Look what the White man’s diet has done to you.” Common illnesses are not genetic. But, they certainly have become racial.

Besides being fatter and sicker, Blacks, Hispanics and minorities receive lower-quality health care; even when members have the same incomes, insurance coverage, and medical conditions as Whites, they receive worse care.

Give the World a Demo

I am so confident in the effects of the education we provide at the McDougall Program that all I ask is for these two unhealthy representatives of the United States to attend the lectures, eat the foods served “all you can eat buffet-style,” and let us measure the results as we usually do—body weights, blood pressures, and a few simple blood tests. I will challenge both women, as I do many other participants, to “overeat” if you wish during the program, in an effort to prove me wrong (no outside food allowed).  In 10 days with TV, radio, and newspaper reporters looking in, the world will see beyond any doubt that the growing epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer worldwide is due to what people eat, not how much they eat—and more important, serious diseases can be cured by a simple change. Being overweight and sick are not matters of intelligence, gender, genetics, or race.  Judge Sotomayor and Dr. Benjamin right now have a teaching opportunity to prove to the world, it’s the food!

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2009 John McDougall All Rights Reserved

July 8, 2009

Body Ecology – Smoothie

Why are These Refreshing Smoothies Ideal for Your Health and Energy (and Superior to Juicing)? Part 1: Vegetable Smoothies


Blend your way to great health with vegetable smoothies! Find out why vegetable smoothies are superior to juicing when you are healing candida and other health issues. And get started making your own smoothies with our energizing smoothie recipe!

Machines that grind fresh raw fruits and vegetables into juices seem to be everywhere these days: in the stores, on television, pictured in books. It’s a sign that people want to include healthier foods in their diets and reap the benefits of the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in fresh produce.

But juicing is not the panacea it’s often portrayed to be… especially for people with Body Ecology imbalances.

If you have poor health or candida, drinking juices when your body is still too acidic and without an understanding of how to do juicing properly will only magnify your symptoms. We recommend waiting until your yeast infection is well under control, you have alkalized your blood and your inner ecosystem is healed (which may take at least 3 months) before you begin juicing.

So what can you do in the meantime?

You can make blended smoothies! The smoothies we recommend are delicious, easy to digest and assimilate into your body. They are also ideal for the warm summer months. They do not feed yeast as many smoothies do.

In Part 1 of this two-part piece on smoothies, we will discuss the benefits of vegetable smoothies and provide you with two easy vegetable smoothie recipes. In part 2, we will talk about fruit smoothie do’s and don’ts and provide you with a “template” to make Body Ecology fruit smoothie recipes.

Sublime Vegetable Smoothies

Both blended smoothies and juiced vegetables will provide you with a raw food treat that is full of enzymes yet will be much easier to digest than eating the raw veggie in its whole form.

So, what’s the difference between vegetable juices and vegetable smoothies?

With vegetable blended smoothies, you are drinking all parts of the vegetable, including the fiber. These juices digest more slowly and are even healthier. When you juice vegetables, you remove the fiber, so the vegetable juice metabolizes or goes into your system too quickly, with an effect similar to sugar. Your blood becomes quickly acidic.

Vegetable blended smoothies allow you to obtain the benefits of vegetables in a delicious drinkable form. And, when you make vegetable smoothies, you are breaking down the cellulose fiber in the vegetables, which makes them easier to digest.

We humans lack the ability to digest insoluble fiber because we don’t have the enzyme cellulose in our stomachs like cows do.

Ingredients Count

What you put in your smoothie counts when it comes to creating great health.

Here are some examples of Do’s and Don’ts in vegetable smoothie making:

  • Don’t – Use raw cruciferous vegetables,like collards, kale, cauliflower, arugula, Brussels Sprouts and broccoli. These raw vegetables have thyroid suppressing properties and are best eaten cooked or fermented.
  • Do – Use plenty of NON-cruciferous veggies and fresh garden herbs like celery, romaine lettuce, cilantro, basil, cucumbers, green beans, sprouts, yellow squash and zucchini. Veggies and herbs are packed with vitamins and minerals and provide delicious flavor for your smoothies.We DO NOT recommend the use of beets, carrots or other root vegetables because they become even sweeter when juiced or blended into smoothies. Later as your yeast infection or viral infections are under control, you may be able to add very small amounts of these sweet veggies blended into smoothies but only IF you are sure they are well balanced with mostly alkaline-forming ingredients like the veggies mentioned above (and see below)

    Basically, your choice of main ingredients should ensure a very mineral-rich, alkaline smoothie. It’s the mineral-rich vegetables and the fiber in the blended smoothies that help keep your smoothies more alkaline.

  • Do- practice The Principle of Balance between expansive and contracting foods. Since veggies are slightly expansive a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt and/or a dash of Wheat-Free Low Sodium Tamara (by San-J) can be used to create more balance.A scoop of Vitality SuperGreen with its fermented algae, fermented green veggies and cereal grasses is a nutrient-dense addition that alkalizes.
  • Do – Use a healthy, organic form of fat, like avocadoes, unrefined hempseed  oil, flaxseed oil, cod liver oil, evening primrose or melted ghee or coconut oil. These add flavor and body, plus a fat or an oil helps keeps your body feeling satisfied longer.
  • Do – Add sea veggies like wakame or Irish Moss. A small amount goes a long way but they do provide additional proteins, iodine and other minerals that can ensure that you start your day with extra energy and even more brain power.
Give your smoothies a probiotic punch with energizing Innergy-Biotic. Adding 2 – 4 oz. of Innergy-Biotic will help heal your digestion and multiply the nutrients in your vegetable smoothie by hundreds of times! Learn More About Innergy-Biotic and Try Some Today.
  • Do – Use fermented foods and drinks in your smoothies. Using a probiotic liquid like a few ounces of Innergy-Biotic will add a balancing sour taste, much like lemon juice would. And the addition of beneficial microflora to help create an inner ecosystem in the power center of your body… your intestines… is a must! Even adding a spoonful of cultured vegetables works really well and has many excellent benefits.
  • Don’t  – Combine vegetables and most fruits in your smoothies. However, having said that, a very sour Granny Smith apple and other sour fruits like lemons, limes, noni, acai, cranberry and pomegranate juice concentrates may be okay for most of us. Fruits digest so quickly that they usually do not combine well with any other foods. Blended smoothies may be an exception. It’s a matter of following the Principle of Uniqueness. See what your body likes best. It will speak to you loud and clear.
  • Do – Try a small amount of a soaked nuts or seeds or even a spoonful of any nut or seed butter that your body seems to like. These give a nice texture, consistency and flavor to your yummy one-of-a-kind creation.
  • Do – Follow the Body Ecology guidelines for foods to include in your diet. The Body Ecology Diet outlines everything you need to know about the foods to include and avoid when creating a healthy inner ecosystem.

Best Time of the Day to Drink a Blended Smoothie?

We love them in the morning because that’s when our body needs alkaline, easy-to-digest, liquid-y foods best. We wake up dehydrated and acidic and are usually not ready to overburden our digestive systems with rich, complex meals.

Blended smoothies can be a meal replacement especially if you are trying to lose weight. They can also be consumed at any other time of the day and are ideal to take between meals if you need to put on more muscle and/or gain weight. (Yes, while obesity seems to be the main focus of our attention today, some people are undernourished and need supplemental nutrition)

In a nutshell, drink your blended smoothies for breakfast, or as a simple yet nourishing meal or as a snack anytime of the day. They digest so quickly that you will soon find yourself feeling hungry again.

Now that you have some simple yet basic guidelines, you are ready to make your own delicious smoothies!
Here is a vegetable smoothie recipe to get you started… be creative and you’ll find that whipping up these smoothies is as easy as it is delicious!

Energizing Green Vegetable Smoothie Recipe:


½  of a small cucumber
½  cup fresh basil
1 cup spring mix
1 TBL coconut oil
2 cups fresh green beans
5 chives
½ cup water
½ cup Innergy-Biotic


  • Wash the vegetables and cut them up to prepare for blending.
  • Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until the consistency is smooth.
  • Add more water if you want to thin out the consistency.
  • Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Variation: Add 1 Tbsp of Hemp Seed Butter

June 18, 2009


I know, I know. . . . sorry,  its the second one today from Donna Gates!  But this is something We ALL seem so vitally interested in – I simply couldn’t help myself.  Especially after that ridiculous 4 – piece ASSOCIATED PRESS article which concentrated on supplementation.

As is probably evident,  I am a senior on social security which means that I don’t generally live too high on the hog.  Just graciously and as beautifully and completely as I can.  This is referenced for one main reason,  my mother (God bless her radiant soul) quite generally referenced me as a cheapskate.  I don’t agree, I have just always, always been basically a practical person (Virgo that I am).  Quality, value and utility and beauty are equally important to me (Libra rising). But these are trying times and one must try a little harder to make stuff come out neatly in the end.  So, with my practical nature in mind and dedication to all things healthful, I am totally committed to the practice of making my own fermented foods. I do this approximately every 6 to 8 weeks as my supply wanes.  My habit is to make a couple of gallons at a time put up in those  big quart and 1/2 jars with the rubber ring around the lip and a clamp down lid.  I put all in a portable cooler chest and leave in pantry about 10 days.  It lasts for months on end and just gets better with time.  NOTHING could be better for your gut or intestinal problems.  I did have a little anguish when I first tasted this stuff after all that work.  Lets just say that it took some getting used to, on the heels of which – addiction sets in.    Wouldn’t want to be without it now.  Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup with lunch and dinner and a spoon full or so whenever my tummy decides to feel funny.  Generally have a shot of Dong Quai to start the day.  So for me, I’ll always be grateful for learning about Donna Gates and her Body Ecology ways.  Its a good thing!  Enjoy.

Probiotic Liquids and Foods versus Probiotic Supplements: Which Is Better?


Did you know that many probiotic supplements on the market don’t actually contain all the beneficial microflora they claim to contain? Find out how to be SURE you get the probiotics you need to build your immunity.

If you look at the shelves of your local health food store, you may be confused by the vast array of probiotic supplements.

Probiotics are the buzz word in health these days for a good reason. With benefits ranging from boosting your immunity to easing Irritable Bowel Syndrome, treating autism and ending cravings, it’s no wonder we want our probiotics.

But how can you be sure that these probiotics contain all the friendly microflora necessary to populate your gut, build your immunity, and help you digest and assimilate your food?
The Business of Probiotics

Probiotics are big business, and sales of probiotics topped $243 million in 2005.1

In a lucrative market, it’s no surprise that supplement manufacturers would want a piece of the probiotic pie. Often, in the race to create a product with so many millions of beneficial bacteria strains and with little FDA regulation, one thing is becoming clear: not every supplement manufacturer understands the true nature of healing your inner ecosystem.

So while we know probiotics absolutely have nutritional value, what you see on the label may NOT be what you get.

In fact, two researchers at Bastyr University in Washington recently tested a wide variety of probiotic supplements and found that in four out of twenty products no sign of living friendly bacteria was present.2

The unfortunate truth is that too many probiotic supplements vary widely in quality and potency. Here’s why:

  • Many probiotic supplements cannot survive harsh stomach acid in order to get to your intestines.
  • Manufacturers talk about number of CFUs (colony forming units), but don’t always offer the types or combinations of probiotics that are ideally suited to human intestines. So while they have some value, they do not help re-colonize your inner ecosystem, which is the overall goal.

Just like the Earth has ecosystems that strive for balance, your body has it’s own “inner ecosystem.” At the heart of your inner ecosystem are probiotics, the beneficial microflora that keep you healthy and strong. Products containing these beneficial microflora are called probiotics.

After decades of studying exactly which microflora allow your inner ecosystem to thrive, Donna Gates developed the Body Ecology system with probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks as one of the mainstays of health and healing.
Best Probiotics?

Fermented foods and drinks can be your best solution to ineffective probiotic supplements!

Here are some reasons that fermented foods and drinks are superior:

  • Beneficial bacteria and yeast in fermented foods and drinks are live and active! Whether you purchase fermented foods and drinks or make them at home, you are getting active bacteria.
  • Fermentation pre-digests vital nutrients for you. Packed with B vitamins, minerals and enzymes, fermented foods and drinks are whole foods full of nutritional value in their own right. On top of that, the microflora increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in all the foods you eat by hundreds of times.
  • Fermentation does not use heat. Your fermented foods and drinks retain their vital amino acids that can be destroyed by heat.
  • You get a variety of live cultures supplied by nature in fermented foods and drinks. Lab produced probiotics are often a single strain of bacteria, like Lactobacillus acidophilus.
  • Supplements contain bacteria only while fermented foods and drinks also contain “food” for the microflora to help promote their growth. It’s like sending the good guys down into your digestive tract with a lunchbox of goodies to sustain them on their long and perilous journey down under. Once they reach their destination (and IF they reach their destination) the microflora in a supplement need up to 6 hours to colonize in your intestines. The microflora in fermented foods and liquids are so hardy they start working at once.
  • Fermented foods and drinks are acid-resistant and are viable in your system from the time they touch your lips all the way down into your gut.
    Body Ecology is on the cutting edge of using probiotics to impact your health, and because we believe in the healing value of beneficial bacteria and yeast, we have created several different ways for you to get daily doses of high quality, potent microflora in your diet.

(If you are just starting to use probiotics, be sure to read Is It Possible To Get Too MUCH Fermented Food In Your Diet? by Dr. Leonard Smith.

Our probiotic liquids and culture starters fit every lifestyle and every taste to populate your gut with a variety of nature’s beneficial bacteria and yeast.

Dong Quai is a potent probiotic drink that gives your body beneficial bacteria and healing herbs at the same time. Try Dong Quai today!

Dong Quai is one our newest probiotic drinks that not only supplies your body with four active cultures but also gives you fermented dong quai, a prized herb known for its hormone stabilizing properties.

Our fermented Dong Quai contains all four of these live probiotics, uniquely designed to re-colonize your intestines:

Besides being a potent probiotic drink, Dong Quai is an herb known for its ability to:

Also be sure to learn about our top-selling probiotic drink “star,” Coco-Biotic.
Make Your Own!

You can also make your own fermented foods and drinks at home with Body Ecology fermented food and drink starters.

Our starters are carefully formulated so that you can reap the health benefits of probiotics at home by making cultured vegetables, cultured butter, Young Coconut Kefir and milk kefir.

Try these fermented food starters and have fun doing it yourself:

  • Kefir Starter is perfect for homemade milk kefir and Young Coconut Kefir.
  • Essential Duo has high levels of two essential bacteria and can be used for delicious fermented drinks.
  • Culture Starter makes delicious vegetables and whipped cultured butter or crème fraiche (aka sour cream). Try it today!

To learn more about each starter, read Which Fermented Food Starter Should You Use For What?
Probiotics The Easy Way

Until a supplement exists that delivers the beneficial bacteria and yeast you need for a healthy inner ecosystem, you can rely on our probiotic liquids, like Dong Quai and fermented foods and drinks that you can make yourself.

You’ll be sure that you’re getting potent probiotics every time!
Condor, Bob, “Living Well: ‘Friendly’ probiotics have some cons, too,” Seattle P-I, 18 Dec, 2006.

GO GREEN at the table

The Body Ecology Guide to the Ten Healthiest Greens


Crammed with vital nutrients for every body, greens just might be the healthiest food our planet has to offer!

Popeye wasn’t just a man with muscles. He was a man with brains, too. He knew the power of leafy greens could get him out of a jam in a flash. (Okay, he was just a cartoon character… but you get the idea!)

Going Green – A Whole New Meaning

Leafy green vegetables rule the roost in the vegetable kingdom. Nothing against rutabagas or cucumbers, but leafy greens have the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. 1 That’s enough to make any vegetable feel superior!

The Power of Green
Just check in with a bowl of greens and you’ll find they are brimming with vital nutrients that provide a variety of health, growth and fertility benefits.

Your Liver’s Favorite Color is Green

Livers love greens because they’re amazing detoxifiers. If you want to cleanse your liver, eat your greens!

A Lean, Mean, Green Machine

Just to give you an idea of how important they are to include in our diets at every meal, this is a sample of what you can expect with every bite of green goodness:

  • Fiber – A leader in blood sugar regulation, blood cholesterol regulation and bowel function.
  • Protein – Perfect for vegetarians! Who wouldn’t rather have a side of escarole than a tofu cutlet?
  • Calcium – That’s right, leafy greens are an excellent source of calcium. Cows will rejoice everywhere!
  • Vitamin A – Better to see you with, my dear. Vitamin A is essential for vision and bone growth.
  • B Vitamins – Vital for human health and nourishes the nervous system.
  • Vitamin C – Powerful antioxidants to supercharge the immune system. Great for strong muscles, bones and skin, too!
  • Vitamin K – Just what you’re looking for to help support the healing process. Leafy greens are your best source of vitamin K1 but vitamin K2 is synthesized in your gut by microflora. So eat greens and a probiotic diet together for both forms.
  • Iron – Fit for a strongman, this mineral aids in immune function, cognitive development, temperature regulation, energy metabolism and work performance.
  • Chlorophyll – Scan through your notes from your third grade science class and you’ll be reminded that chlorophyll is what makes leaves green. Chlorophyll provides oxygen that’s necessary for the healthy bacteria in your gut to grow and flourish. Go chlorophyll!

Experts Agree, Green is the Color for All Seasons!

Much research has been done on the benefits of greens. Take a look at what has been found when greens are put to the test:

  • Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that individuals who eat leafy greens had a 23% reduction in coronary heart disease.2
  • Scientists found that a diet rich in leafy green vegetables actually showed a significant reduction in the chance of developing colon cancer.3
  • Research shows that folate, one of the impressive B Vitamins in greens, may protect against cognitive decline in older adults .4
  • Studies found that caratenoids (powerful antioxidants) in green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.5 Doesn’t it make you want to have a plateful of broccoli rabe right now?
  • Another study showed that women who ate the most leafy greens had half the risk of ovarian cancer compared to those who ate the least.6 Half!! Pile them on!

The Greener the Leaf, the Greater the Good

The darker the green in edible plants, the more nutrients they hold. Choose those that are lusciously deep in color and mix them with a variety of shades, textures and tastes for the perfect balance of vitamins and minerals.

Go Ahead, Eat Them – Nature Will Make More

The Body Ecology Diet recommends eating greens at every meal…yes even breakfast or at least for brunch. Starting your day with greens is an alkalizing, mineral-rich way to get your day going!

A steamy bowl of greens sautéed in coconut oil with a little garlic and Celtic sea salt is the perfect complement to a healthy lunch.

And if you’re like most people, dinner isn’t really dinner without a leafy green salad on your plate.

And now for what you’ve all been waiting for…
The Ten “Must-Have” Healthiest Greens for Every Nutritional Wardrobe

  1. Collards – These fan-like greens stand out as a nutritional superstar. Their vitamin K, A, C and magnesium levels are off the charts and their folate, calcium and dietary fiber content is nothing to sneeze at. 7Dinosaurs must have been gnawing on collard greens because they date back all the way to prehistoric times. They’re one of the oldest members of the cabbage family and a close cousin to the curly-headed relative, Kale. 8Known as a time-honored tradition in southern kitchens, collards are held in high regard as the green of choice and are at their best between January and April!
  2. Kale – Flat or curly, this vegetable is considered to be one of the most highly nutritious vegetables, with super strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 9Central and northern Europe as well as North America seem to be the breeding grounds for kale. On a quest for something bigger and better, kale is actually the result of man’s artificial selection for enlargement of leaves in the wild mustard plant. 10
  3. Spinach – The incredible shrinking vegetable! If you’ve ever prepared spinach, you know that the volume is decreased by three quarters when cooked.But that’s OK, spinach is loaded with enough vitamin C and fiber to survive the loss and make it worth every bite! While spinach is a good source of calcium it also contains oxalic acid that reduces intake of dietary calcium.Despite a popular misconception, spinach has only slightly more iron than most other vegetables.

    The mega-iron myth first began in 1870 when Dr. E. von Wolf misplaced a decimal point in his publication which led to an iron content figure that was ten times too high. Although investigated in 1937 by the Germans, the rumor remained strong for decades (thanks to a pipe-smoking sailor man).

  4. Chard – Packed with nutrients, chard is one of the most powerful anti-cancer foods due to its combination of traditional nutrients; phytochemicals, chlorophyll, other plant pigments and soluble fiber. 11Folks in the US love the veiny leaves for cooking while European chefs save the stalks and toss the leaves. Slightly bitter, the fresh young leaves can be steamed, sautéed or used raw in salads. (See note at end of article about the oxalic acid in chard.)A visual knock-out in your grocer’s produce section, chard is found in green forms as well as red-ribbed such as Ruby Chard, Rhubarb Chard and the always exquisite Rainbow Chard.
  5. Mustard – Also known as leaf mustard, Brassica Juncea and Indian mustard, mustard greens have a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor. In fact, the brown mustard we all grew up on is made from mustard greens.Mustard greens are particularly beneficial for women going through menopause. They’re a no-nonsense vegetable that can protect against cancer and heart disease and also support bone health.A little on the pungent side, mustard greens are typically mixed with other milder greens and are a favorite in soul food, Chinese and Japanese cuisines.12
  6. Broccoli Raab – Oh, that broccoli raab is such a trickster. Despite its name, look and taste, broccoli raab has nothing to do with broccoli. It’s really in the turnip family.Loved by Italian and Chinese cooks, broccoli raab, also known as rapini, is a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium. 13A little on the bitter side with a rich, nutty flavor, broccoli raab can be an acquired taste. But once it’s acquired, watch out! It can be positively addictive.
  7. Dandelion Greens – Without a doubt, this leafy vegetable is one of the most nutritious foods you can pick.Dandelions support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation, and treat jaundice, edema, gout, eczema and acne.A close cousin to the sunflower, dandelions can create the perfect spring tonic with their liver cleansing properties. Also known as a good laxative and diuretic, it’s French name, pissenlit (wet the bed), tells all. 14

    Find a field free of pesticides and forage away for a delicious salad or stir fry. A bit on the bitter side but tasty as can be with a little olive oil and lemon.

  8. Watercress – Yet another member of the cabbage family that’s doing amazing things with its vitamins B6, C, magnesium and carotene.Watercress is a fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. It has a significant amount of folic acid and acts as a great digestive aid.With a perk-you-up peppery flavor, watercress is found on a lot of salad bars these days, but is best known for the cute little sandwiches served at ladies’ teas.
  9. Bok Choy – Bok choy is also considered a cabbage, although you would never know it based on its long stalks and slender leaves.High in vitamins A, C and calcium, bok choy is high in nutrients but low in calories.15 They make a beautiful presentation on any plate and are yummy in salads (but blanch and chill the bok choy first), stir-fries and soups. Bok Choy can be fermented like any other cabbage and is the main ingredient in Chinese Kim Chi.Cultivated in China since ancient times, bok choy is a favorite for its light, sweet flavor and crisp texture. Young, baby bok choy lightly sautéed and seasoned with a few shakes of shoyu just might be the most delicious food known to man.
  10. Chicory – This crunchy salad green can be divided into five groups: radicchio, sugar loaf, large leaf, cutting leaf and Belgian endive. The curly types are the most cultivated and often seen in a salad bowl.Rich in potassium, iron, beta carotene, vitamins A and B, chicory has more calcium than even kale and collards. This is the green for anyone who is looking for more calcium in their life.First introduced to England, Germany, Holland and France in the 13 century, the French used it primarily for medicinal purposes to “comfort the weake and feeble stomack and to help gouty limbs and sore eyes”.16
  11. Seaweed – What, did you think we were only covering leafy vegetables that grew on land?Seaweed, or sea vegetables if you want them to sound more dignified, is incredibly nutritious and provides many minerals (most notably from iron), a good supply of protein and fiber as well as vitamins A, B6 and C.Basically, sea vegetables are algae and are used in a number of processed foods as stabilizers and thickeners, not to mention a closet full of beauty products. 17

    Because of the staggeringly strong nutritional value of sea veggies, Donna Gates, author of the Body Ecology Diet recommends eating them each and every day. There are a number of species, each with slightly different tastes and characteristics and are great additions to soups and salads, or sautéed with other vegetables.

    Not everyone loves the taste or texture of sea vegetables, though, or has the time to create flavorful recipes. Our Body Ecology Ocean Plant Extract is a concentrated supplement that offers all of the valuable nutrients in sea vegetables without any preparation time needed.

  12. Cereal Grass – We really couldn’t end this list without at least mentioning healthy grasses. Known as one of the healthiest foods on earth, healthy grass is supersonic fuel for your body.To learn more about this miracle food, check out the Body Ecology article at

Don’t Go It Alone!

To get the most of out of your healthy greens, be sure to eat them with cultured foods such as raw cultured vegetables or young coconut kefir. Both pump the gut with friendly bacteria that is necessary for your body to get optimal performance out of B Vitamins and Vitamin K.

Pot Likker (or Liquor) is Quicker

A tradition all the way from Africa, pot likker is the juice from greens that have been cooked and saved at the bottom of the pot that is perfect to drink for a quick, super recharge. Don’t throw those precious minerals away!

But VITALITY SuperGreen Has It ALL!

Body Ecology’s VITALITY SuperGreen is a robust blend of mega-nutritious whole foods designed specifically to balance, heal and revitalize your body, with a special emphasis on nourishing your digestive tract.

Get all the vital nutrients of greens plus so much more with Vitality SuperGreen.

Learn More About Body Ecology’s Vitality and Order Now!

With all the benefits greens have to offer, Vitality SuperGreen is a smart and convenient way to include green goodness in your diet any time of day.

In addition to all of the vitamins and minerals found in leafy greens, Vitality SuperGreen is an outstanding source of complete, easily assimilated protein, enzymes, essential fatty acids, nucleic acids, and microflora, critical for a healthy inner ecosystem.

Our delicious formulation includes:

  • Fermented Greens (kale, parsley and spinach)
  • Fermented Algae
  • Fermented Soy Lecithin

Clearing Up Some of the Confusion around Green Veggies and Oxalates

Some greens like parsley, spinach and chard contain a significant source of calcium and also have a high oxalate content. Because about 80% of kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate there is both concern and controversy over eating these greens.

Is their oxalate content too high for some people? And should they be cooked or not?

Repeated food chemistry studies have shown no statistically significant lowering of oxalate content when green leafy vegetables are blanched or boiled. However, some green foods like collards and kale are difficult to digest and cooking breaks down cell walls so we can absorb the nutrients.

While many researchers do not believe that dietary restriction reduces the risk of stone formation, if you have kidney or gall bladder disorders, you may want to limit the amount of oxalate foods in your diet. This would include coffee and chocolate as well.

It is interesting to note, however, that black tea thought to increase stone formation because of oxalates actually appears in more recent research to have a preventative effect. So sorry, but we probably haven’t cleared the confusion at all since the science around this subject is still remains unclear.


(1) Arts & Leisure,
(4) Science Daily, “Green Leafy Vegetables May Help Keep Brains Sharp”,
(5) American Institute for Cancer Research, “Foods that Fight Cancer”,
(6) American Institute for Cancer Research, “Foods that Fight Cancer”,
(7) The World’s Healthiest Foods,
(8) Collard Greens (mess o’ greens) History and Recipe of Collard Greens,
(9) Dr D.G.Hessayon (2003) The Vegetable & Herb Expert, Expert Books, ISBN 0-903505-46-0
(12) Brassicajuncea, Wikipedida, the free encyclopedia,
(14) Rebecca Wood – The Kitchen Dakini, Healing with Food,
(17) National Geographic, The Green Guide,

May 14, 2009

B.E.D. Clears myths

Donna Gates of B.E.D. clears up the confusing mystique surrounding some of the foods we love best.   Useful and vital information on butter,  meats,  eggs,  fish and raw vegetables.  With so many “authorities” – – many of whom we really trust at odds over whether we should even eat these foods,  it is often a confusing task to take care of our bodies for the highest and best good.   So where do I come down?  (This is Jan in deep conflict!)  I have been convinced through evidence of my own experience that to omit animal products from my diet immediately relieves my body of the pain of arthritis, swelling and stiffness.  Since I won’t take medications for the condition, I found this a blessed relief.  It is easy to stay on a vegetarian diet and  need I say – – far cheaper  (a  boom to my struggling budget).  I LOVE veggies,  fruit,  nuts,  most starches such as red potatoes,  rice, lentils and so on.  I like everything from peas,  artichoke,  okra,  zucchini,  summer squash, patty pan(when I can find it), broccoli,  crazy about crisp green beans with mushrooms, and all the goodies for salads – EVERYTHING!.  Corn is one of my flat-out favorite things, but I will have nothing to do with Monsanto and their Genetically Modified corn or soy or whatever.  So unless the corn in the store says “organic”,  I’ll have nothing to do with it.  Isn’t that a crime? Does anyone else agree with me?

I have posted on Fermented Veggies – I make them regularly and noticed a huge improvement in digestive problems. I used to think I had celiac troubles, but I don’t – – it was unbalanced intestinal flora which the probiotics of fermented veggies have been instrumental in correcting.  I actually enjoy the hassel of doing the kitchen stuff – always have.  So while it IS kind of a big deal to make your own fermented vegetables,  its a couple of hours well spent which then carries you for several months depending on how much volume you have created.  I try to have about 1/2 cup at each of 1 – 2 meals daily and have found that an ounce of Dong Quai first thing in the morning can start my whole organism off splendidly.  Drink lots of water (distill my own) Furthermore, I have always tended toward middle of the road “balance”.  I don’t go easily to extremes, something about it is off-putting.  No problem in living without bovine meat stuff, same with porcine meat.  I am fond of chicken and really love fish.  The way fowl is raised in todays environment no longer agrees with my sense of whats healthy for my body. I won’t take anti-biotics for my own illnesses, so why should I eat animal protein which has been raised on chemicals and antibiotics? Can not do it.  Still buy wild Salmon, love sardines, have given up cheeses (one of my passions), don’t drink milk tho I love it. But I have never given up butter.  For over 40 years, I have been concockting my own butter in the kitchen.  I used to make it in a blender,  but use a food processor as it is easier and gets the job done better.  A pound of butter (I prefer unsalted and as close to raw as I can get – hard to do), I add to this 5 – 7 ounces of my distilled water and  same with Saff-flower oil (cold- pressed).  Blend at top speed a minute or so and voila – delicious, healthy (lower calorie), whipped butter – which is so easy to spread on whatever you plan to put it on.  One can go crazy with flavored butters (garlic and so on).   So my family has always used butter and we all have low cholesterol – go figure!

Enuff digression!  Back to B.E.D.,  Today’s newsletter instucts vital info on butter,  eggs,  meat,  fish,  and raw vegetables.  All really good info I wanted to pass on to you.  I couldn’t manage to get it over here to my blog, so I just copied the first one on butter.  You can access B.E.D. from my blogroll to get the rest of the newsletter (5-14-09)   Enjoy and stay healthy. . . . .   .    .

The Body Ecology Newsletter

Body Ecology

Body Ecology’s Health and Wellness e-newsletter

There can be a lot of conflicting information on the following five different types of common foods.  Below are the myths, truths and important insights for you:

The 20 Health Benefits of Real Butter

By Donna Gates for

Are you worried about your health? Contrary to popular belief, completely eliminating butter from your diet may be BAD for your health! Learn all the benefits of eating butter here!

The origins of butter go back thousands of years to when our ancestors first started domesticating animals. In fact, the first written reference to butter was found on a 4500- year old limestone tablet illustrating how butter was made.1

In India, ghee (clarified butter) has been used as a staple food, and as a symbol of purity, worthy of offering to the gods in religious ceremonies for more than 3000 years.2

The Bible has references to butter as the product of milk from the cow, and of Abraham setting butter and milk from a calf before three angels who appeared to him on the plains of Mamre.3

For millennia, people around the globe have prized butter for its health benefits.

So how did butter become a villain in the quest for good health?

At the turn of our century, heart disease in America was rare. By 1960, it was our number one killer. Yet during the same time period, butter consumption had decreased – from eighteen pounds per person per year, to four.4

A researcher named Ancel Keys was the first to propose that saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet were to blame for coronary heart disease (CAD).

Numerous subsequent studies costing hundreds of millions of dollars, have failed to conclusively back up this claim.5

Yet the notion that a healthy diet is one with minimal fat, particularly saturated fat, has persisted. While Americans drastically reduced their intake of natural animal fats like butter and meat, the processed food industry, particularly the low-fat food industry, proliferated.

When the baby boomers were children, concerned mothers began to replace butter with margarine. The margarine manufacturers told them it was the healthier alternative and mothers believed them. In those days no one asked, “where is the science to prove it? I want to know before I give this man-made, plastized stuff to my children. After all we humans have been eating butter for thousands of years?”.

As a result, since the early 1970’s, Americans’ average saturated fat intake has dropped considerably, while rates of obesity, diabetes, and consequently, heart disease, have surged.

Reducing healthy sources of dietary fat has contributed to a serious decline in our well-being, and those of us that speak out against the anti-fat establishment are still largely ignored .

Is Margarine Better than Butter?

No! This is a tragic myth. Butter is a completely natural food essential to your health – especially when you eat organic. Also, please make the extra effort to obtain high-quality organic, raw butter.

Margarines, on the other hand, are a processed food, created chemically from refined polyunsaturated oils. The process used to make these normally liquid oils into spread-able form is called hydrogenation.

Margarine and similar hydrogenated or processed polyunsaturated oils are potentially more detrimental to your health than any saturated fat.7 For more information on why you should avoid all processed oils read Why the Processing of Consumable Oils Has Devastated America’s Health.
Include Real Butter as part of Your Body Ecology Lifestyle

As many of you already know, I am a strong proponent of including a variety of healthy oils and fats into your diet. Together they work as a team to supply your body with essential fatty acids for longevity, hormone balance, heart health, sharp vision, glowing moist skin and energy. The wonderful variety of oils and fats certainly includes organic, preferably raw butter. Cultured raw butter is even better.

And why would I be so insistent that you eat butter? Take a look at the long list of the benefits you receive when you include it in your diet:8

  1. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
  2. Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.
  3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
  4. Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
  5. Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
  6. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
  7. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.
  8. Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
  9. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
  10. Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
  11. Protects against tooth decay.
  12. Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
  13. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
  14. Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.
  15. Is a source of iodine in highly absorbable form.
  16. May promote fertility in women.9
  17. Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in our bodies adipose tissue.
  18. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
  19. Contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
  20. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly.

Raw, Organic Butter is the Best

Believe me this is only a partial list. If a woman is pregnant, hopes to become pregnant or is nursing her baby, I think it should even become a law for her to eat butter for her baby’s developing brain, bones and teeth.

The best butter you can eat is raw, organic butter because pasteurization destroys nutrients. Unfortunately, the sale of raw butter is prohibited in most of our 50 states.

Are you finding it difficult to get organic, raw butter? Don’t worry! Making your own delicious cultured butter with Body Ecology Culture Starter is an easy way to get on the right track towards health

You can, however, make your own healthy butter, and it is easier than you think. Look into our Body Ecology Culture Starter, which you simply add to organic cream. After letting this mixture sit at room temperature for 24 hours, chill it, beat it with a whisk, and voila! You’ll have healthy, probiotic butter that is delicious!

Cultured butter is full of health sustaining good bacteria like lactobacillus planterum, and lactococcus lactis. These microflora are essential for a healthy inner ecosystem.
Sources of Healthy Butter

If you don’t want to culture your own butter, I recommend butter from grass-fed animals only. A good source is U.S. Wellness Meats.

I also recommend Activator X and Vitamin rich butter oil, made by Green Pastures.
Heart Healthy-the Body Ecology Way

Completely eliminating butter and other healthy animal source fats is NOT the Body Ecology way. It is not how our ancestors thrived, and not what nature intended.

How much should you eat each day? Like sea salt, your own body will tell you how much to eat. If you crave it, eat it, your body needs it. If the quality is excellent you can feel confident it will be good for you and you’ll soon see the benefits yourself. If you are following the Body Ecology Food Combining Principle and eating as we recommend (adding at least one source of fermented food or drink to your diet) you will see your body reach its idea weight. The raw butter will help you develop beautiful muscles.

The Body Ecology program is gaining recognition for being a premier way of healing candida and other immune dysfunctions. And what’s more, it’s a heart-healthy, super-slimming, anti-aging way of life, which is crucial to your health as a whole.

1 History of Butter
2 “Butter” from
3 Princely Packets of Golden Health
4 Why Butter is Better
5 The Soft Science of Dietary Fat, Science Magazine, March 2001

6 Ibid
7 Polyunsaturated Oils Increase Cancer Risk
8 From The Skinny on Fats
and Why Butter is Better
9Fertility Awareness, Food, and Night-lighting and
High Fat Dairy May Boost Fertility

May 7, 2009

Metabolic Syndrome

This post is about a subject  which my blog has devoted quite a bit of time and space to i.e.,  Belly Fat;  Brown Fat;  Syndrome X and of course, Metabolic Syndrome; Belly Fat and Blueberries and so on.  Since it encompasses so many  of what appears to be different disease elements – it is all confusing.  There are variables.  On top of that, everyone seems to have something to sell.  What we need is definitive answers, clear choices.  Like most of you, I’ll gladly buy what works (no one would ever believe I once had a 24″ waistline) – – just help me understand!  So see your doctor, get checked up on the blood work department, make sure your systems are mostly a ‘go’ and keep trying to figure out what works for you.  I have thyroid issues, so there is much to juggle when making decisions.  We are all different.  But some things just make sense and I trust you’ll know,  and judge accordingly.

My source today is Swanson Vitamins.  I have been buying various supplements there for years as it is convenient for me; they send me catalogs; they carry many lines and they have good (sometimes great) prices.  Lee Swanson seems driven to give the latest on information and that always sets well with me.  I like his newsletters (free).  This is a good thing.

The Lee Swanson Research Update

Dear Friends and Valued Customers,

Metabolic syndrome is sweeping the country. In the United States it’s estimated that 32% of the adult population has the condition. In Europe the numbers are lower with about 15% of adults affected.

Actually, the term metabolic syndrome describes a grouping or set of conditions that collectively form the syndrome. The Mayo Clinic says: “Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Having metabolic syndrome means you have several disorders related to your metabolism at the same time, including: obesity, particularly around your waist; elevated blood pressure; an elevated level of the blood fat called triglycerides and a low level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; plus resistance to insulin, a hormone that helps to regulate the amount of sugar in your body.”

The good news is that researchers in The Netherlands have found a connection between increased intake of carotenoids and a reduction in the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Find out more in my first report below.

I am also including a couple of studies that relate to cardiovascular health. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that people with low blood levels of magnesium may be at greater risk of suffering a stroke. Another study, published in the European Heart Journal, emphasizes how omega-3 fatty acids from fish can help cut the chances of heart failure in men.

As always, I wish you the very best of health.

Lee Swanson

Lee Swanson

Lee Swanson Research Update

Carotenoids may cut risk of metabolic syndrome in half

May 2009

Increased intakes of antioxidant carotenoids, and particularly lycopene, may reduce the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome by about 50%, according to a new study.

Writing in the Journal of Nutrition, Dutch scientists report that middle-aged and elderly men with highest average intake of all carotenoids had a 58% lower incidence of metabolic syndrome, while the highest intake of lycopene was associated with a 45% lower incidence, compared to men with the lowest average intakes.

A potentially protective effect was also observed for beta-carotene intakes, report the researchers, led by Ivonne Sluijs from the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterized by central obesity, hypertension and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“Higher total carotenoid, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lycopene intakes were associated with lower waist circumferences and visceral and subcutaneous fat mass,” wrote Sluijs and her co-workers. “Higher lycopene intake was related to lower serum triglyceride concentrations,” they added.

The findings were based on data from a population-based, cross-sectional study involving 374 men aged between 40 and 80, 22% of whom had metabolic syndrome. Intakes of the carotenoids, including alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire.

Sluijs and her co-workers report that high intakes of all these compounds was associated with lower incidence of the syndrome, and that lycopene and beta-carotene in particular were linked to apparent protective effects.

“In conclusion, higher total carotenoid intakes, mainly those of beta-carotene and lycopene, were associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome and with lower measures of adiposity and serum triglyceride concentrations in middle-aged and elderly men,” wrote the researchers.

Journal of Nutrition 139(5):987-992, 2009

April 9, 2009

Green Tea & Mushrooms

Lee Swanson Research Update

Mushroom, green tea may reduce breast cancer risk

April, 2009

Consuming mushrooms and green tea may greatly reduce the risk of breast cancer, suggests a study that included more than 2,000 Chinese women.

Women who ate at least a third of an ounce of fresh mushrooms every day were 64% less likely to develop breast cancer, while those who ate dried mushrooms had about a 50% reduced risk. Women who ate mushrooms and drank green tea were nearly 90% less likely to develop the disease.

Previous laboratory tests on animals have shown that fungi may have anti-tumor properties and can stimulate the immune system’s defenses.

Reporting in the International Journal of Cancer, scientists involved in the current study wrote: “We conclude that higher dietary intake of mushrooms decreased breast cancer risk in pre- and postmenopausal Chinese women and an additional decreased risk of breast cancer from joint effect of mushrooms and green tea was observed. More research is warranted to examine the effects of dietary mushrooms and mechanism of joint effects of phytochemicals on breast cancer.”

International Journal of Cancer 124(6):1404-1408, 2009

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I was delighted to read this,  this morning in an email from Swanson Vitamins. I’m crazy about mushrooms and eat them often, but now I think I’ll up the quantity.  With the economy being the way it is,   I’m happy to know that to eat fresh mushrooms is so helpful as some of the mushroom supplements (especially from the rain forests) is quite costly).  As for the green tea,  well I already do that – –  doesn’t everybody?

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