Body Ecology Diet Update

Posted on July 11, 2012

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Yesterday  marked eight days since I started following the Body Ecology Diet. In just those few short days, my candida and IBS symptoms have greatly improved. I’ve enjoyed eight days free of bloating and nausea AND I’ve been hungry. I’m encouraged to feel my body move towards “normal.”

Here are the principles of the diet I consciously focused on this week:

1. Food combining – This concept is based on the fact that the body takes varying lengths of time to digest different foods. I’ve heard of food combining before but never gave it much thought. Now I wish I had tried it sooner. While I believe our digestive systems were made to consume food in any combination, people with impaired digestion, like me, can immensely benefit from this concept. My GI system is humming and I’m a convert.

2. 80/20 – This concept is a two-fer. The first concept deals with quantity of food: eat until you’re 80% full. I’ve never been a fan of percentages when discussing intake. What is 80% and how can I tell if I’m that full? Instead I turned to mindful eating and being present for each meal.

The second concept is one that I understood and embraced: 80% of your plate should be non-starchy land and/or ocean vegetables. The other 20% should be protein OR a grain/starchy vegetables. Be sure you check out the link to the food combining document which explains, for example, that protein foods should not be eaten in the same meal as grains or starchy vegetables.

3. Take it step-by-step – To say that I was perfect this past week would be a stretch. I fell off the wagon Friday afternoon with trip to a favourite restaurant with my husband. I enjoyed a feta filled appetizer, mushroom risotto and a delicious creme brulee. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and my stomach didn’t rebel which is a major feat. I didn’t push it and was back on track on Saturday.

4. Fermented vegetables – Talk about a new experience! I made my own fermented veggies for the first time … and I liked them! The probiotic benefit from the fermentation process is a foundation of the diet. I started my first batch late so I didn’t start incorporating this nutrition-packed goodness until this past Saturday.

Cabbage, carrots, beets and garlic. The bottle filled half-way was lost to spoilage. There wasn’t enough liquid. Lesson learned!

5. Acid/Alkaline – For optimal health, maintaining slight alkalinity of the blood is necessary. The key is balance. Alkaline foods include most non-starchy vegetables such as cucumber and radishes; all fruit; raw apple cider vinegar. Because the Body Ecology Diet assists with cleansing the body from candida, most fruits are eliminated during the therapeutic phase.

Acid foods include beef, eggs, nuts and beans. Nuts (except almonds) and beans are also eliminated from the first phase of the diet as are alcohol, soda and sugar which are also acid-forming.

The therapeutic phase of the diet can last anywhere from three months to one year or more depending on your health status. My goal is to follow the diet for three months.

With that being said, the diet is limited. The diet allows for lemons, limes and berries but I miss eating a wide variety of fruit. For variety I have included cooked foods like quinoa, millet, red skinned potatoes and eggs. Yes, eggs! They are certainly not plant-based but still a whole food. I cannot wait to return to a high raw diet but until then for my sanity, I am opening the door to other types of food.

That’s the whole concept of i_amEatingRight – making the choice to eat what’s right and nourishing for your body. And understanding that those choices will change throughout your life.

Here’s what I ate for the first seven days on the diet

Have you ever made a change to your diet that you weren’t expecting to make? Tell me about it!

– Kareen, MPH, RD

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