SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

August 17, 2009

Beating Autism Naturally

Beating Autism Naturally: How Body Ecology Mom, Gina LaVerde, Healed Her Son of Autism


Gina LaVerde healed her son, Dougie, of autism by focusing on the Body Ecology diet, probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks and other healing practices. Find out how this passionate mom changed her life, her son’s life and the lives of her family.

We recently met with Gina LaVerde, a BEDROK mom (Body Ecology Diet Recovering Our Kids) who shared her inspiring story of healing her son of autism.

Q. When did you first learn that your son, Dougie, had autism?

A. I first suspected autism when Dougie was about a year old. While he was born with some complications, he developed normally in the first year. At nine months, he was walking, talking and identifying things.

I have always known about health…I even made homemade, organic baby food for Dougie. I thought I was doing everything right.

But around age one, Dougie stopped talking.

At the time, I only knew a little about autism, so I called my aunt, who was a special education teacher and asked her to come over and help determine if Dougie had autism.

My aunt brought a colleague who was a speech therapist and while they were not certain if Dougie had autism, they suspected he did. My aunt told me that autism was not curable, but I chose not to believe her. It was then I began my journey to find the answers to heal Dougie.

Q. What steps did you take to help Dougie heal from autism?

A. I didn’t make a lot of changes at first and focused mostly on research.

But around Dougie’s last set of vaccines (he had most of the vaccines, but not the MMR) at 18 months, he got really sick with sore throats, rashes and high fever. At that time, he went on five different antibiotics for a period of five months.

It was at this time, my research led me to information about candida.

Dougie’s medical doctor didn’t really know about candida, so I continued my search until I found Diane Farr’s story about healing her son of autism on the Body Ecology website.

This is when I started working on changing Dougie’s diet and my own, because I felt that I had candida as well.

Q. Was it difficult to change Dougie’s diet?

A. It was challenging because when Dougie was on antibiotics, all he wanted to eat were foods like pizza and French fries. But we overcame that by slowly introducing fermented foods and drinks , like cultured vegetables and young coconut kefir. We also introduced healthy soups.

I started out slowly, but giving Dougie a teaspoon of young coconut kefir and then a French fry and gradually increasing the amount of young coconut kefir while reducing the amount of French fries. Within 3 days, Dougie was drinking a cup of young coconut kefir.

I was always looking for inventive ways to get Dougie (and my husband!) to eat healthy foods. Stevia was particularly useful because Dougie would eat anything with a little stevia, even his green juices.

Kefir StarterWant to make your own young coconut kefir? You can with Kefir Starter! Follow the instructions in the box for a delicious, healing beverage that delivers energy and immune-boosting probiotics in every sip! Learn more about Kefir Starter and start fermenting today.

These days, we ferment everything from coconut water, mangosteen juice, acai juice, and beet juice to all kinds of veggie mixes, dips, sauces and salad dressings.

The probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks made a HUGE difference in Dougie’s health.

Within less than a month, he began to have eye contact. This was a big relief and we took Dougie off antibiotics, even though the doctor said he still needed them. Since Dougie and I both had the same symptoms of candida, I took him to my doctor and we used all the same remedies for Dougie that I did for myself.

Around this time, Dougie became physically well, even though he still had some behaviors of autism.

Within two months of starting the fermented foods and drinks and changing his diet, Dougie became very healthy physically and he has not been sick since January of 2006.

While Dougie was always vegetarian, I thought following Body Ecology meant we’d have to give him meat. But after learning more about Body Ecology, I realized that the Body Ecology principles were the most important and I could follow them as a vegetarian, vegan or with raw food.

These days, we focus on a vegan, high raw diet (mostly raw food diet) with plenty of vegetables, algae, fermented foods and drinks and blended foods.

Dougie also occasionally wants things like eggs and when he asks for something like this, I feel he’s doing it for a reason, so I give it to him. We are still eating low to no sugar and no gluten.

Believe it or not, the biggest challenge was with our family.

They felt like the changes we were making in Dougie’s diet would hurt him, so we had to distance ourselves from family members who did not support what we were doing.

Kefir StarterA probiotic-rich fermented drink that kids love! Can’t find coconuts to make young coconut kefir? Want something faster and more convenient? If you want to introduce your kids to fermented foods and drinks, Passion Fruit Biotic is an easy (and delicious!) way to do it. Full of probiotics that help heal digestion, boost immunity, eliminate cravings for processed foods and improve energy, Passion Fruit Biotic is your best bet for helping even the pickiest eaters heal. Learn more about Passion Fruit Biotic and try some today!

Q. How are things going with Dougie today?

A. Dougie is doing really well today. We have recovered his health and he shows no signs of autism.

I am so grateful for what Dougie taught me. My health, my husband’s health and even my extended family’s health has improved. Formerly skeptics, everyone in my family is now on probiotics.

My experience with Dougie changed my life. I went from doing work in advertising and freelance writing assignments that I didn’t really like, to helping people heal. Helping others is my passion and I feel like I am doing meaningful work consulting with other moms and families to heal themselves and their children.

While I have definite opinions on how to help people heal, I also value the beliefs and opinions others have for their own healing journey.

With Dougie, Body Ecology was a major part of his healing path and we also incorporated a variety of energy healing practices, like Reiki, along with dry skin brushing, baths, castor oil packs, movement therapy and sound therapy. All of these things help to relax the body to promote healing and open up the avenues for detox.

The most important thing for everyone to remember, whether addressing their own health or the health of their child is the principle of step by step. Getting well and detoxifying your body takes time and it’s important to work on one thing at a time.

And most of all, be willing to say “I don’t have to be like everyone else, I have to do what’s best for myself or my child.”

Gina’s Free Upcoming Webinar: Autism Undone

Join Gina LaVerde and Body Ecology Coach, Christina Allen, as they candidly discuss the methods they’ve successfully used to bring their own families and clients to optimal health. Learn about autism recovery, Body Ecology, fermented foods and raw foods.

Tuesday, August 18th from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Click here to learn more and register.

About Gina LaVerde:

Gina LaVerde is a writer, Body Ecology/Raw Foods Nutritional Coach and energy healer. You can learn more about Gina and the healing practices she recommends by reading her blog: You can contact Gina by e-mail at or by phone: 773-540-9328.

July 16, 2009

B.E.D.’s fix on Star’s Woes

This is one of a number of highly worthwhile titles in today’s health news-letter from Donna Gates at BODY ECOLOGY.  I found it  informative, relevant and wanted to share with you.  But I would highly recommend that those of you who like me, enjoy the brilliance of Donna’s methods and the simplicity, you might just subscribe to her newsletters yourself, then I would feel better (not so much like a thief), often taking her teachings in order to share them with you.

You may recall, B.E.D.  is the source of the fermented vegetables which I continue to make and honestly feel that this simple process has renewed my intestinal health and improved so much for me.   For sure, its a bit of work, but it lasts so well and I so totally enjoy it and the results to my health

13 Celebrities with Illnesses and How Body Ecology Could Help Them

Celebrities entertain and these days, also educate us on the illnesses they face. Find out about the illnesses that your favorite celebrities face and how Body Ecology could help them.

There’s no question that celebrities capture our attention. And since they are in the limelight, we often learn about illnesses and diseases they have struggled with. While media attention can be overwhelming, many stars have turned the spotlight into an opportunity to educate people about illness and recovery.

Our hats go off to those celebrities!

In this article, we highlight some of your favorite celebrities, the illnesses they have faced and how Body Ecology could help them.

Actress Halle Berry: Type 2 Diabetes1– Known for her roles in the movies: Monster’s Ball, X-Men and Die Another Day, the 43 year old actress learned she had Type 2 diabetes at the age of 23. When working on the set of TV show Living Dolls in 1989, Halle Berry collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. She then went into a 7-day diabetic coma after which, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar is abnormally and chronically elevated. Basically there is too much sugar out in the bloodstream yet not enough in the cells, causing extreme fatigue.

Body Ecology Solution for Type 2 Diabetes: The Body Ecology Way of Life is ideally suited as a roadmap back to health, wellbeing and balance. Our antifungal diet is without a doubt the perfect diet for a diabetic because diabetics have a systemic yeast infection called Candidiasis. The Body Ecology Diet is sugar-free, mineral-rich and also helps conquer this dangerous blood borne infection, candida.

As you follow our way of life, as tens of thousands now do, your blood sugar will naturally become balanced and you will experience many other benefits including weight loss.

To learn more, read: The Healthiest Food and Drink Choices for Type 2 Diabetes: The Body Ecology Solution.

Craig Ferguson, Mel Gibson, Richard Dreyfuss, Kurt Cobain, Jim Carey (and many more) – Depression: A long list of actors, musicians, artists and athletes have suffered from depression and related disorders, like bipolar disorder.2

Body Ecology Solution for Depression: Healing your inner ecosystem is one of the best ways to boost your mood. The Body Ecology diet is rich in important nutrients like essential fatty acids and B vitamins that help boost your mood, but more importantly, the goal is to heal your digestive tract and balance your inner ecosystem.

According to Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, “No system in your body functions in isolation. They are all connected, so it makes logical sense that all of our systems (cardio-vascular, digestive, nervous systems) operate together and affect one another.

“Most psychiatric patients suffer from digestive problems. They have unhealthy inner ecosystems where there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria, yeast and fungus; they cannot digest food properly. This creates a large number of neurotoxins that can move from their intestines through the damaged intestinal lining into the blood stream where the toxins are carried to the brain.

“This reality makes digestive health imperative for anyone with a mental disorder. Correcting digestive health can help treat the disorder, and in some cases heal it.”

To learn more, read: Schizophrenia, Depression, and the Little-Known “Mental Health”/Dietary Link: An Interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

For some special Body Ecology dietary tips, read:  11 Powerful Tips to Boost Your Serotonin: Part II of “How Happiness Heals Your Brain”

Former President Ronald Reagan: Alzheimer’s Disease3 – In 1994, former President Ronald Reagan disclosed that he had Alzheimer’s disease, shocking the nation. Alzheimer’s slowly creeps up on mostly older people, robbing them of their memories, their ability to function day to day, and eventually their lives.

By the age of 65, 1 in 10 people have Alzheimer’s, and by age 85, nearly half of all people do.4

Body Ecology Solution for Alzheimer’s Disease – Body Ecology founder, Donna Gates, developed the Body Ecology diet to be a comprehensive approach to wellness, whether you struggle with viral and fungal infections or chronic disease like cancer and Alzheimer’s. For over 20 years, Donna Gates has researched and pulled together important information that can help us turn around the Alzheimer’s disease crisis we now face.

The Body Ecology system is about using both nutrition and lifestyle choices to empower your body to heal itself, delaying and even preventing the onset of illness and disease. This approach can be applied to anyone of any age group with any condition and it is also especially suited to the prevention of Alzheimer’s.

To learn more, read: How to Prevent Alzheimer’s: Body Ecology’s Top 8 Recommended Steps

Passion Fruit BioticInnergy BioticProbiotics: A Miracle for Good Health. Whether you face asthma or type 2 diabetes or want to prevent Alzheimer’s and other illnesses, probiotics may be your best all-natural health tool yet! Known to improve digestion, probiotics can help your body get the nutrients you need to boost your immunity. And with fringe benefits, like youthful skin and reducing cravings, it’s no wonder everyone is raving about probiotics! Your best bet for easy, convenient and effective probiotics is Body Ecology’s probiotic liquids. Fast, convenient and full of the hardiest strains of probiotics, you can sip your way to great health. Try our tastiest and most popular probiotic liquids today: Passion Fruit Biotic and Innergy-Biotic.

Former President Bill Clinton, Alice Cooper, Christopher Reeves, Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Taylor: Asthma5 – From actors to writers and musicians, asthma has affected many people.

According to the American Lung Association, approximately 20 million people suffer from asthma.

Body Ecology Solution for Asthma: Probiotics, the cornerstone of the Body Ecology diet, have been found to play a role in preventing asthma.

To learn more, read: How the Right Probiotics Can Help Prevent and Overcome Asthma

Elizabeth Hasselback: Celiac Disease7 – Former star of the hit TV show, Survivor and current co-host of TV’s The View, Elizabeth Hasselback recently revealed her decade long battle with celiac disease.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 2 million people in the US (or 1 in 133 people) have celiac disease, possibly more due to under diagnosis.8

Celiac disease (also called celiac sprue) is an autoimmune disease that results in the body attacking its own small intestine whenever you eat products containing gluten (e.g., wheat, rye, spelt, kamut and barley).

While 31-year old Hasselback has recently written a book called The G Free Diet, that details going on a gluten free diet, we feel there is more to healing and preventing celiac disease.

Body Ecology Solution for Celiac Disease – Body Ecology is a  gluten-free, casein-free, sugar-free and processed foods-free nutritional program that can provide the missing link to celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The key is not simply about avoiding gluten, but also, healing your digestion by building a population of gluten-loving bacteria in your intestines.

To learn more, read: Gluten-Sensitive? Celiac Disease? Here’s Why You Definitely SHOULD Consider Eating these Fermented Grains

Incidentally, more and more celebrities are finding out about Body Ecology and using our system of health and healing to recover from illness. Learn how Grey’s Anatomy star, Lauren Stamile healed poor digestive health and allergies by reading: Lauren Stamile, Grey’s Anatomy Actress & Body Ecology Diet Success Story.


[1] Siegler, Bonnie. Halle Berry: My battle with diabetes. Mail Online, December 2005.

2 Lapkin, Emily and Medically Reviewed by Scott Pearlman, M.D. Celebrities With Mental Illness. Organized Wisdom Depression Health Center.

3 Reagan’s Alzheimer’s disease ‘never gets any better.’

4 “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Statistics,”

5 Gleeson, Patrick. Celebrities fighting asthma. Irish Health.

6 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

7 Parker, Eloise. ‘The View’ co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck dishes on celiac disease in ‘The G Free Diet.’ Daily News.

8 Celiac Disease. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

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

March 5, 2009

Gut Flora

While I ‘borrow’ quite a bit from other experts, doctors in particular whose letters I receive, it is seldom that I “post” an entire newsletter.    This one from Donna Gates at B.E.D.  is especially relevant as it covers gut flora (part 1 and part 2) AND  food combining with all her informative references.  This information is so important to successfully nourish and maintain a healthy body enabling one to accomplish personal goals of achievement and joy.

I believe the following to be valid, well done and worth your time.  I endorse Donna Gates message and hope you enjoy it.



Body Ecology

Body Ecology’s Health and Wellness e-newsletter

With a majority of people in the Western world overweight, and all the diseases, quality of life issues, and shortened life spans directly linked to it, it is truly one of the most serious (if not the most serious) epidemics human beings have ever faced. Below are six key articles that present important insights on this topic that you may not have heard elsewhere.

Why Kefir is an Essential Food for Anyone Trying to Shed Lbs

How the Bacteria in Your Gut Affect Your Body-Weight – And How to Get the Balance Right

How the Bacteria in Your Gut Affect Your Body-Weight – and How to Get the Balance Right Part 2: The Anti-Viral Protocol

Food Combining: The Little-Understood Secret to Optimal Health & Fitness Revealed

How the Food Industry Contributes to Overweight, Obesity and the Unique and Highly Effective Body Ecology Solution

Why These Refreshing Smoothies are Ideal for Your Health, Fitness and Energy

March 2, 2009

Food Combining – B.E.D.


Food Combining: The Little-Understood Secret to Optimal Health & Weight Revealed

by By Donna Gates for

Steak and potatoes, tuna-noodle casserole, scrambled eggs with toast… these classic American meals are also classic examples of why the Standard American Diet is making us fatter and more prone to disease.

After eating one of those traditional American meals, you might experience bloating or feel gassy, dehydrated or tired. No wonder! They violate all the principles of food combining. This meal might look healthy, but it actually cause weight gain and digestive problems. Learn why combining starches like rice with meat can actually harm your health!

Many diet companies, like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, tell you to eat less and exercise more, with little regard to what you actually combine together in your stomach. What they don’t know is that what happens in your stomach and digestive tract is important AND can be the key to long-term health and weight loss!  Many years ago, our ancestors worked hard at physical jobs and returned home each day to eat big meals of meat, breads, cheeses, and even sweets with no adverse effects. They had iron stomachs and digested everything. Our ancestors also had healthier inner ecosystems. A healthy inner ecosystem is made up of the friendly microflora (good bacteria) that reside in our intestines and keep us healthy and strong. A healthy inner ecosystem also means more beneficial microflora helping you digest the foods you eat.

Over time, the introduction of antibiotics, pasteurization and processed foods, along with a lifestyle of constant stress, has damaged our inner ecosystems. An unhealthy inner ecosystem can lead to fatigue, poor health and a digestive tract that functions inefficiently.  Today, more than ever, we need to take extra special care of our bodies because they have never been more under-nourished and overstressed.

The good news is that you can eat your way to better health… and achieve a naturally slim body at the same time! The Body Ecology system of health and healing teaches that it’s more than just what you eat; it’s also how you eat.  The “how” is indeed just as important and Body Ecology provides a roadmap for how to eat your way to health through our 7 Healthy Eating Principles. In this article, we will cover the principle of food combining in more detail.  Food combining is the little-known secret to eating that enhances your digestion to give you energy and to help you lose weight and keep it off!

Food Combining the Body Ecology Way

The process of digesting each meal takes a great deal of energy so you want to increase your ability to digest or your “digestive fire.” But what happens if your digestion is not working properly, like so many Americans today?
The undigested food stays in your digestive tract and putrefies, creating a toxic environment that makes your blood more acidic and allows yeast, viruses, cancer cells and parasites to grow inside you. In essence, your inner ecosystem is damaged and you are more prone to illness.  Proper food combining is a system of eating f foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy. You can learn the basics with 3 simple guidelines.

Read more about the principles of food combining in the Body Ecology Diet. It’s also packed with delicious recipes and sample menus!

#1) Eat Fruits Alone on an Empty Stomach

For anyone just starting on the Body Ecology program, I recommend avoiding most fruits — they have a high concentration of natural sugars that encourage the growth of yeast and other pathogens.
The exceptions are sour fruits like lemons and limes, unsweetened juices from cranberries and black currants, and pomegranates. These fruits are very low in sugars and are safe to eat, even in the initial, more limited phase of the program.
Once your inner ecosystem is restored (usually within 3 months of remaining on stage one of The Diet), you can introduce other low-sugar fruits like grapefruit and kiwis, as well as pineapple, blueberries, and strawberry. These sour fruits combine best with kefir and yogurt made from milk and sprouted seeds and nuts. Nuts, seeds and dairy foods including cheese are called “protein fats” because they truly are a protein and a fat combined together by nature.
In the kitchen: Start your morning with a glass of warm water and lemon juice to hydrate your body and cleanse and tone your digestive system. Lemon and lime juice can be eaten with animal protein for flavor and to enhance digestion.

#2 Eat Proteins with Non-Starchy Vegetables and/or Ocean Vegetables

When you eat proteins like poultry, fish, meat, and eggs, your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin to break down the food in a highly acidic environment. When you eat starches like potatoes or bread, your stomach secretes the enzyme ptyalin to create an alkaline condition.
If you eat proteins and starches together, they tend to neutralize each other and inhibit digestion. The poorly-digested food travels through the digestive tract reaching the intestines where it putrefies and causes your blood to become acidic. It also provides a welcome environment for disease-causing pathogens!
To keep this from happening, avoid combining proteins and starches (including grains, like rice, and starchy vegetables, like potatoes) in the same meal. Instead, have non-starchy vegetables and ocean vegetables with your protein meals to achieve optimal digestion.
Non-Starchy Vegetables Include: Leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, bok choy, cabbage, celery, lettuces, green beans, garlic, fennel, onions, chives, turnips, sprouts, red radish, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumber, beets
Non-starchy vegetables and ocean vegetables digest well in acid OR alkaline environments, so they go with anything: proteins, oils and butter, grains, starchy vegetables, lemons and limes, and soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds..
Read Why You Need to Cook Those Vegetables for Maximum Nutrition to learn some important tips for preparing these vegetables for optimum health – and to avoid some risks associated with certain raw vegetables.
In the kitchen: Pair poached fish with stir-fried vegetables, roasted chicken with a leafy green salad and/or a non-starchy vegetable soup. Or try a salad that has veggies that are steamed and chilled (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans plus also a variety of raw vegetables (shredded carrots, cucumber, yellow squash) with lightly grilled salmon and a lemon-garlicy dressing.

#3 Eat Grains and Starchy Vegetables with Non-Starchy and/or Ocean Vegetables

There are four grain-like seeds on The Body Ecology Program: amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and millet. These ancient grains are high in protein, gluten-free, rich in B vitamins and feed the beneficial bacteria in your inner ecosystem. Read more about the risks of consuming conventional grains and how to prepare Body Ecology grains at home.
Starchy Vegetables Include: Acorn and butternut squash, lima beans, peas, corn, water chestnuts, artichokes and red skinned potatoes (red skinned potatoes are the only potatoes included in the Body Ecology program because they have fewer sugars than other kinds of potatoes).
In the kitchen: Make hearty millet casserole with a green leafy salad and yellow squash sautéed in butter. Or try acorn squash stuffed with curried quinoa with the ocean vegetable hijiki and onions. Warming grain soups are also good, especially in winter.

Food Combining Details

Fats and Oils Choose organic, unrefined and extra virgin oils like flax seed, pumpkin seed, olive or coconut oils.

  • Combine With: Vegetables, grains and protein. Avoid large amounts of fat with protein (like the mayonnaise in tuna salad) because it slows digestion. Instead use a small amount of oil to cook and oil free dressings.

Protein Fats: Avocado, olives, seeds and nuts (except peanuts and chestnuts, which are starches)

  • Combine With: Non-starchy and ocean vegetables and sour fruits.

Be sure to soak and sprout your seeds and nuts to ease digestion. Learn more about How to Eat and Not Eat Almonds.
Dairy: Cheese and milk, are also protein fats. Dairy products are not on the initial phase of the Body Ecology program because the lactose in milk feeds pathogenic yeast and most people don’t have enough dairy loving enzymes to digest the milk protein, casein.
After you’ve established a healthy inner ecosystem, you may be able to benefit from fermented dairy foods and drinks that help populate your digestive tract with plenty of microflora. Some people do well on dairy foods and some simply do not.

  • Combine With: Fermented dairy products, like milk kefir, combine with sour fruits, seeds and nuts and non-starchy vegetables.

In the kitchen: Make a Body Ecology kefir dressing with lemon juice and herbs and toss it onto your favorite lettuce with some soaked and sprouted sunflower seeds for a tasty salad. To learn more about kefir and how to make it at home, read Baghdad’s Ancient Secret That Can Help Improve Your Health.

Dried Peas, Beans, and Soybeans: These foods are mainly a starch combined with a small amount of protein and are difficult to digest. This helps explain why many people have problems with gas and bloating immediately after eating them. Because they are so difficult to digest, they are not part of the initial phase of the Body Ecology program. Additionally, we only recommend fermented soy foods, To learn more, read: Soy Lecithin, the Risks if You Choose the Wrong Type, the Benefits if You Choose Right

  • Combine With: Non-starchy vegetables and cultured vegetables.

Sugar: Sugar encourages the growth of yeast, suppresses your body’s natural immunity and does not combine with anything! Instead of sugar, use Stevia in your tea to satisfy sugar cravings or add it to a glass of lemon water. To learn more about the health benefits of stevia, read: The One Supplement that Should Be in Everyone’s Cooking Cupboard.

  • Combine With: Nothing (if you must eat sugar, it should be eaten alone as in a cup of tea with no other foods).

Fermented Foods and Drinks: These are the “stars” of our Body Ecology program because they are packed with vitamins, minerals and healthy microflora that heal your inner ecosystem. Cultured vegetables and Young Coconut Kefir are just two examples of superfoods that help us stay healthy, slim and youthful.

  • Combine With: Everything, even with fruit (in fact we sometime ferment green apples in our cultured vegetables).

Weight Loss: You might find after just a few days of following food combining principles that you have lost weight. Your body will no longer be bloated and you’ll rid yourself of toxins.
You might also feel hungrier…just eat more frequently. As long as you are combining properly and eating when you are hungry, you will not gain weight!
As your energy increases, you will find you now have more energy to exercise. This then will result in your becoming more slender and well-toned.

Some Final Notes:

• Wait 3 hours after eating a grain-based meal before you have a protein meal.
• After a protein meal, give yourself 4 hours to fully digest. (You may even want to try all grain meals one day and all protein meals the next.) Assist enzymes are a must for helping digest these meals.
• Try not to drink cold water during meals. A cup of warm tea, however, will aid digestion. Avoid ice when you drink water. Stick to room temp water that doesn’t shock your body and do not drink for at least 15 minutes before you eat or 1 hour after a meal.
With food combining and the Body Ecology principles, you’ll find yourself eating simpler meals that nourish your body. You’ll also digest your food better and supply your body with even more nutrients. As your digestion improves, you’ll have more energy and vitality, freeing up your body to come into balance, heal and stay naturally slim!
I believe that Body Ecology is the foundation for wellness that can turn around our current health crisis. Try the principle of food combining today and read an overview of the 7 Body Ecology principles to familiarize yourself with other components of the program. With Body Ecology, you can truly eat and drink to good health!

• Copyright © 2008 Donna G

January 30, 2009

Probiotics-Digestive Health

This was a post I was working on earlier and somehow it got lost in the shuffle.  This was taken from a  Dr. Mercola’s newsletter.    He is a good man as many of you know already and this was a very good rendering of the information involved.  It ties in nicely with my own thinking, especially with regard to probiotics and the benefits of  home made fermented veggies which I have shared with readers. (Alyson @ Wholesome goodness and Donna Gates of B.E.D.)

Incidentally, I just a made a new batch of “fermented foods” which is so fantastic and I opened my first container of it last night for dinner.  A real winner!  I had added a couple of rather hot peppers and stripped out most of the seeds therefrom, and I had started with red cabbage instead of white;  my usual ton of garlic and carrots and onions.  I fell in love all over again.  This is indeed, so much fun.   Back to the subject at hand – – enjoy!


Wall Street Journal Gives BIG Thumbs Up to Good Bacteria

Probiotics, yogurt, good bacteria Consuming healthy bacteria, or probiotics, can improve your body’s overall balance of good versus bad micro-organisms, boosting your general health. But be careful — not all of the probiotic-containing products found on store shelves provide the health benefits they claim.

Some regular foods contain healthy bacteria naturally, such as yogurt and naturally fermented pickles. But pasteurization has eliminated many of the probiotics that should be found in modern foods. The recent boom in probiotic products reflects an effort to re-introduce bacteria that promote good health.

When choosing a probiotic, look for products that list a specific strain of bacteria on their label, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG — the final two letters identify the strain. A product that simply uses the first two names may include a similar, but not identical, bacterium that doesn’t have the same scientific testing behind it. It’s best when the actual product — not just the bacterium — has been tested in humans. Don’t be afraid to do a bit of research, especially when a simple Web search can yield a lot of information.

Some additional tips: Look for the word “live” on the package, since organisms killed by processing won’t be helpful. The expiration date may be particularly important, because even if a product still tastes good the bacteria may no longer be alive. For maximum benefit, try to consume a variety of different bacteria, as each may contribute something slightly different.

* Wall Street Journal January 13, 2009


Dr. Mercola Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
The Wall Street Journal article linked above shines some mainstream media attention on something I have been promoting for many years — probiotics. In fact, probiotics are one of only two supplements that are recommended to all new patients who come to the Natural Health Center (the other being an omega-3 fat supplement). It’s also one of the few supplements that I personally take every day.

Ensuring that you’re getting a regular supply of good bacteria in your digestive system is so important because 80 percent of your immune system is located there.

That’s right, 80 percent!

So supporting your digestive health is essential to also supporting your immune system, which is your number one defense system against all disease.

Quite simply, if your digestive system is crawling with unhealthy bacteria, there’s a good chance your immune system will be suppressed as a result.

What are Probiotics Doing in Your Digestive Tract?

Your body is loaded with bacteria, of both good and bad varieties. In fact, about 100 trillion bacteria live inside you — which is more than 10 TIMES the number of cells you have in your whole body.

The ideal balance between the bacteria in your body is 85 percent good and 15 percent bad. This ratio between the “good” bacteria and the other bacteria is one of the critical factors determining your optimal health, as the good bacteria are essential for:

• The proper development of your immune system
• Protection against over-growth of other microorganisms that could cause disease
• Digestion of food and absorption of nutrients

The probiotics in your gut also play a role in helping numerous bodily functions, such as:

• Digesting and absorbing certain carbohydrates.
• Producing vitamins, absorbing minerals and eliminating toxins.
• Keeping bad bacteria under control.
• Preventing allergies. Friendly bacteria train your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens, and to respond appropriately.
• Providing vital support to your immune system. Beneficial bacteria have a lifelong, powerful effect on your gut’s immune system and your systemic immune system as well.

The microflora in your digestive system is also emerging as a major player in weight management. A baby’s gut bacteria is linked to his or her future weight, and babies that are given the best start nutritionally by being breastfed (the source of your first immune-building good bacteria) also tend to have intestinal microflora in which beneficial bifidobacteria predominate over potentially harmful bacteria.

One Washington University professor likened the functioning of this gut microflora in your body to that of an ant farm that works together as an intelligence to perform an array of functions you’re unable to manage on your own.

One of those chores includes extracting calories from the foods you eat, so the microflora in your gut may play a key role in obesity.

Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than slim people, and it appears that the microbes in an overweight body are much more efficient at extracting calories from food.

Aren’t There any Natural Ways to Get Probiotics?

This is a common question and a important one … and the answer is YES!

In the past, and to some extent still today, people used fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut to support their digestive health, as these foods are rich in naturally beneficial bacteria.

Fermented foods are part of nearly every traditional culture. As far back as Roman times, people ate sauerkraut because of its taste and benefits to overall health. In ancient Indian society, it became commonplace (and still is) to enjoy a before-dinner yogurt drink called a lassi.

Bulgarians are known both for their longevity and their high consumption of fermented milk and kefir. In Asian cultures, pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots still exist today. One such variety that I personally eat often is a type of fermented soy called natto.

If you were to eat a diet rich in fermented foods that have NOT been pasteurized (this will kill the probiotics), then you could likely still enjoy great digestive health.

However, if you eat a lot of processed foods or rely on mostly cooked foods, the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract will have a hard time staying optimal. Sugar is also an incredibly efficient fertilizer for growing bad bacteria and yeast in your gut, so if you indulge in a lot of it you’re fueling the bad bacteria. Likewise, stress, pollution, and taking antibiotics can further upset the balance in a negative way.

Since helpful bacteria are increasingly absent in most people’s diets, it is important to purposely include foods that contain live probiotic bacteria in your diet, or take a probiotic supplement.

I have used many different brands over the past 15 years and there are many good ones out there. But one of the best is the one that I had developed late last year, Complete Probiotics, as it incorporated everything I have learned about these valuable tools over the years.

Related Articles:

Probiotics Protect Top Athletes

The Benefits of Probiotics

Good Bacteria May Relieve Autism Symptoms

Previous Article

Current Newsletter

Next Article

%d bloggers like this: