Donna Gates, a Los Angeles-based nutritional consultant, lecturer, and author of The Body Ecology Diet, is an expert in helping people resolve candidiasis and other immune system disorders through a nutritional approach. Her book, which has sold more than 180,000 copies, and is now in its 10th edition, has evolved into a complete immunity-building system that includes incorporating specific medicinal foods into the diet and making lifestyle changes. Learn all about The Body Ecology system at bodyecology.com.
Q: What inspired you to write The Body Ecology Diet?
A: Like millions of young women, I took antibiotics for my skin and used birth control pills to plan my family. Together these two drugs are a recipe for candidiasis, a systemic yeast infection. I had candidasis, but didn’t realize it until I read The Yeast Connection by William G. Cook, MD. His diet, while heading in the right direction, didn’t quite work for me, so I learned everything I could about the condition, took everything I had learned about the energetics of food, and created a diet that did.
Q: What has contributed to the pollution of our inner ecosystems?
A: An inner ecosystem is a community of trillions of microscopic microflora (neutral and beneficial bacteria and yeast) that live inside our intestines. The good microflora help us in myriad ways and contribute to the normal physiology of the body. Microflora are fragile and are easily destroyed, especially if their environment is toxic. Drugs, a high-sugar diet, stress, and drinking water with chloride and fluoride are common killers of our good gut flora.
Q: What specific foods are avoided on The Body Ecology Diet and why?
A: Initially you follow a totally sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Beans are not included at first because they are too hard
Q: What specific foods are included to help us heal and why?
A: The top food on any “best of” list has to be fermented foods and drinks because the microflora they contain are vital to our health. The Body Ecology Diet is primarily a plant-based diet—80 percent vegetables, with only 20 percent animal protein, or nuts and seeds, or grain-like seeds (quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth). The vegetables can be green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, and mineral-rich ocean vegetables. The diet has a small amount of very sour fruits (lemons, limes, berries, unsweetened cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, mangosteen, açai juices, etc.—these are used because they are rich in vitamins minerals and antioxidants). You will also enjoy an excellent variety of organic, unrefined fats and oils like olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, butter, walnut, pumpkin, etc. In stage 2 of the diet, you add fermented proteins like miso, natto, tempeh, and fermented milk kefir.
Q: What kind of effects can we expect from following the diet? How soon can we expect to see these results?
A: There isn’t a simple answer to this question. Some will immediately start to feel better. Some will move quickly into a cleansing mode and temporarily feel worse. But if you follow the diet and prescribed lifestyle changes, you will feel better and look better than you have ever felt or looked within the first month. It is easy to lose weight on the diet, too; no other diet works so quickly and so permanently as our “probiotic” sugar-free, mostly plant-based diet. Another result: you won’t have cravings and you’ll love the taste of the food. It’s a delicious diet!