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The Body Ecology Diet

by Donna Gates

The Body Ecology Diet is really a system of health and healing.
It is fluid and flexible, yet it also provides excellent guidelines for caring for your body.

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The Body Ecology Diet is a synthesis of seven principles of eating and healing. They are pillars of the holistic health field. Some of them are thousands of years old, such as the Chinese concept of yin and yang (contradiction/explanation). Others, such as the theory of food combining, are more recent. This diet weaves these principles together like pieces in a puzzle. They can create a framework for healthy eating for the rest of your life. They are clear and complementary. When they are properly implemented, you will see your symptoms disappear and your overall health improve.

Principle #1 - Expansion/Contraction
Certain foods, such as salt, meat, and poultry, cause the body to contract. Stress also causes a contraction or tightening. When the body is too tight, it cannot function properly; circulation slows down, and elimination of waste comes to a standstill (constipation).Other foods, like sugar, alcohol, and coffee, cause the body to expand, open up, and relax. People who eat large amounts of contracting foods, such as salt and animal foods, crave expanding foods in the body's natural attempt to achieve balance. For example, when we eat salty popcorn at the movies, we often return to the refreshment stand for a sweet drink.A third group of foods (not too contracting or too expanding) creates a naturally balanced condition in the body. These foods are delicious and readily available.To regain optimal health and an ideal inner ecology, our goal must be to eat foods that balance and complement one another, so we feel neither too contracted nor expanded. Principle #2 - Acid/Alkaline
Acid rain has polluted our forests, lakes, and streams, endangering a wide range of animals and plants. In the same manner, increased acidity due to poor diet has altered our internal chemistry (our pH balance) destroying the beneficial flora of our inner ecosystem.Illness occurs when our bodies are too acidic and therefore toxic. Understanding how to rebalance our internal chemistry holds a secret to success in healing; restoring the acid/alkaline balance is essential. The optimal pH for bodily fluids is slightly alkaline. The Body Ecology Diet recommends foods that help alkalize your system, resulting in the proper pH for bodily functions and for beneficial bacteria to flourish.

Principle #3 - Uniqueness

When we look at ways to achieve optimal health, we must remember that we are all different. One size does not fit all. A supplement of food that helps one person may not be right for another. We have individual needs and desires. These may change depending on the season, where we live, what food is available, or the current condition of our bodies.Moreover, we are inundated with nutritional information, much of it confusing and conflicting. We know we should take better care of ourselves, so we try the latest supplements or fad diet. The uniqueness principle demystifies this confusion. It points out the strengths and weaknesses of some of the best-known diets, including high protein, raw foods, macrobiotics, and vegetarian. The Body Ecology Diet is really a system of health and healing. It is fluid and flexible, yet it also provides excellent guidelines for caring for your body.

Principle #4 - Cleansing
This is nature's way of allowing our bodies to get rid of unwanted toxins and foreign substances. Aging blood cells and tissues constantly break down and are replaced by new cells and tissues. The cellular debris must be carried away, and cleansing is the process that does this. A speck of dust gets in your eye, and you start tearing-it's a way to cleanse out the dust. A virus invades your system and you get a cold or fever-it's your immune system at work to drive out the virus. The Body Ecology Diet encourages you to welcome cleansing, because this results in a higher level of health and immunity.

Principle #5 - Proper Food Combining
This proven system of eating compatible foods at each meal aids digestion and enhances overall health. When you eat foods that don't combine correctly, the digestive system gets mixed signals about which digestive juices and enzymes to release. Food remains in the digestive tract longer than it should, and it starts fermenting. This produces sugars that feed yeast and parasites, and further weakens the digestive tract and immune system.The rotting food becomes poison, polluting the ecology of your inner world. It's a gruesome image, but it's accurate. As the stagnant food builds up on the walls of the digestive tract, it forms a landscape that only viruses, cancer cells, and parasites can tolerate, just as rats and other scavengers live off city landfills and industrial-waste sites. Proper food combining greatly reduces gas, bloating, and excess weight. It is essential for establishing a clean, efficient internal environment.

Principle #6 - The 80/20 Principle
When you have candidiasis or other immune-system diseases, it is essential that the food you eat be properly assimilated and then eliminated. A healthy digestive tract is able to do this. But many people weaken their digestive tracts by overeating or eating poorly combined foods. This puts too heavy a workload on the digestive system. The two 80/20 rules guide you in eating moderately to reduce that load.   

Rule Number One: Eat until your stomach is 80% full, leaving 20% available for digesting.

Rule Number Two: 80% of the food on your plate should be land and/or ocean vegetables. The remaining 20% can be protein or grains and starchy vegetables.

By following the 80/20 and food combining principles, you will never again leave the table feeling over-full or bloated.Principle #7 - Step by Step
Everything in nature, in both our inner and outer lives, occurs in a step-by-step, orderly manner. There is no way to avoid this step-by-step process. Because we have not understood and followed this principle, people are not getting well.You may have spent a great deal of money, effort, and time to feel better, yet are still frustrated, confused, and very concerned about your health.

The first steps to wellness are:
* Create a hearty inner ecosystem in your intestines
* Create energy by nourishing your adrenals and thyroid
* Conquer infections-especially fungal infections
* Cleanse

You can choose how quickly you progress through the healing process, but you must build the foundation for wellness just as nature does-step by step.

Excerpted with permission from The Body Ecology Diet ©2011
by Donna Gates, published by Hay House Inc. Available in stores or visit www.hayhouse.com


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Gluten-Free Confusion
Becoming Raw: Reasons to Switch to a Raw Foods Diet 
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