mom and daughter

Getting teenagers to eat healthy food, let alone talk to you, can sometimes be a challenge. But Jami Fitzgerald’s family has embraced the Body Ecology lifestyle and the changes have positively impacted their lives. Learn how she did it!

Dr. Jami Fitzgerald was at her wits’ end.

Her 11-year-old son, Jeremy, was diagnosed with autism as a youngster and she spent many years and many thousands of dollars looking for answers.

“I had gone the biomedical approach for years, correcting one nutritional and biological imbalance after another.  It felt as if I was identifying one drip coming from the roof after another.  I would procure the right bucket, and carefully place it in the right place. It seemed to ’work,’ but my intuitive sense was that there was the larger problem (the leak in the roof) and that my endless placement of buckets was not going to fix the leaky roof.  After six years of the biomedical approach and the gluten-free, casein-free diet, I kind of gave up.”

Right around that time, Jami was scheduled to go on a trip to Costa Rica with her church. But at the last minute she literally felt called to a Body Ecology Certification training in Atlanta.

“I had no idea, even when I arrived and made my initial introduction at the training, why I was there.  All I knew was that God had sent my DIRECTLY to Donna [Gates].”

During her stay in Atlanta, Jami gained the momentum and validation she needed to go home and make changes.

“The amazing thing about the Body Ecology diet is that once you start implementing the principles, you feel and see improvement very, very rapidly. Just implementing the fermented foods and drinks, like Young Coconut Kefir and cultured vegetables, and observing food combining rules, produced a noticeable change in the first few days when my family started the diet.”

“So you get pretty much instant results… in just a few days...from a few simple changes.”

Body Ecology Changes Lives

Jami is grateful for the changes Body Ecology has brought to their lives.

Jeremy immediately lost close to 20 pounds and has experienced big changes in his behavior and health.

“He made such an incredible leap forward shortly after we started the diet with regard to his cognitive function. I was able to see that he was experiencing the outside world and communicating with it in a much more integrated way. He is making slow, steady and gradual progress: he goes days and days without any episodes and he is letting go of his scripting much more easily. He says and does things all the time that reflect to me that his world is opening up. It's like watching a flower bloom in slow motion!”

One of the biggest surprises, though, was what happened to “the innocent bystanders” as a result of the Body Ecology diet.

Jami’s oldest son, Jimmy (15), really became interested in the diet. He had been having academic problems at school and was an angry, non-communicative and very depressed teenager. Jami told him that the entire family was going to go on Body Ecology and that he would be on board too.

“I saw him turn around, into a young man who was getting healthy, nourished, and supported by the way he ate. He is a totally different kid now.”

Jimmy is so committed to the Body Ecology lifestyle that he takes Young Coconut Kefir, cultured vegetables and quinoa tabouli to school with him. He once went on a five-day school trip, with a cooler full of Body Ecology food, and he never went off the diet, even when surrounded by pizza, candy and soda.

Now Jimmy is so interested in nutrition that he’s fermenting things in his room like a mad scientist and experimenting with Donna Gates’ recipes and Sally Fallon’s recipes.

The family is even considering opening a take-out style Body Ecology restaurant and Body Ecology eco-village. Jimmy, a  once sullen teenager, wants to be part of a green community centered around nutrition!

Jami, too, has experienced major changes as a result of Body Ecology.

“I lost 30 pounds, which was very, very cool. My depression went away, my joint pain went away, my insomnia went away, and my menstrual cycle returned. I was pretty happy with that.”

Family Life, Body Ecology Style

Still, making the choice to implement Body Ecology is a paradigm shift that requires a new way of looking at your routines.

Jami says, “It's less complicated than I thought. I simply visit my favorite produce store twice per week, and pick up veggies that are fresh, in season, organic.  Mostly I don't have meal plans prepared, but I pick up whatever looks fresh and good.

Once per week I roast a chicken for a meal, and make homemade chicken stock with it.  No veggies ever go to waste, the older ones are thrown in the stock or made into soup.  Once a week I committed to trying a different recipe in the book [The Body Ecology Diet].  Lots of weeks I tried many more, but I felt I could manage trying a new recipe per week.”

Jami’s step-by-step approach, designed to fit her lifestyle, echoes what may be one of the most useful principles for transitioning yourself and your family to the Body Ecology way of life.

Jami recommends that you set yourself up so that you have what you need available to make it work.  First start by adding fermented foods and drinks, like Young Coconut Kefir and cultured vegetables to every meal.

“I encourage my patients to make more conscious decisions to eat high quality foods. To buy organic meats, vegetables. To commit to trying at least a new recipe per week so that they can start to build up a personal Body Ecology ‘favorite recipe’ list.”

“Also, I can't stress enough how important it is for the whole family to do the diet together.”

Jami adds, “Any parent of a child with autism knows that, every day, there is so much to deal with that it can be overwhelming to think about taking on a whole new field of study. Of course it is of interest to me:  the short-term goal of recovering my child from autism.

But I have taken it on as a lifestyle commitment that I am allowing to unfold over time, without taking it on as a burden, an assignment, an expectation, or more work to do. Doing one thing per week gave me permission to make slow gains, and not to feel overwhelmed. Now, six months have passed by and the weeks have added up to make a life that looks very different now.”

Initially, the Body Ecology Certification training provided Jami with the tools and direction she needed to positively impact her family life.

“I can't recommend the training enough to provide the inspiration and the motive to make the changes. You live what Donna speaks about and you can feel the difference in your body in even that short amount of time. I came home determined and committed to putting the effort it took to move towards the ideal.

And my intuition told me that my professional work on this planet is to assist people in returning to basic wisdom, to fundamentals, to God. I felt the same shared commitment to genuinely contributing to the healing of the planet that Donna Gates expresses in her writing and training. She is the first person I heard speak the words, I thought, that these beautiful children are here to save us, to touch us, to teach us.”

Donna's genuine spirit, wisdom, and mission have inspired Jami to change her own family’s lifestyle and now she is reaching out to help others do the same.

Her inward search to improve the health of her own family and turned outward, and now she is committed to helping others on their own path to wellness.

mom and daughter

Do you dream of your entire family living a healthier lifestyle? If you’re ready to implement Body Ecology, then start your journey with a Body Ecology Certification training. You’ll learn healing food principles, including how to make fermented foods and drinks AND sweet treats with safe, natural sweeteners. But don’t wait for the next training, get started on your journey to health today with The Body Ecology Diet.

Enjoy one of Jeremy and Jimmy’s favorite Body Ecology treats: Chocolate Candy!

Here is his healthy Chocolate Candy recipe, which makes a good transition prior to the initial, healing stage of Body Ecology or a treat in stage two of the Body Ecology program:


  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons raw, organic cacao powder
  • Sweeten to taste with Lakanto or Stevia (Keep in mind that Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you will use much less of it. Start with 5 drops and then sweeten to taste. Lakanto has the same sweetness as sugar and also works much better with heated and baked goods. Start with 3 TBL of Lakanto and sweeten to taste.)
  • 2 Tablespoons goji berries
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened dried cherries, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves


  • Melt coconut oil, cacao and sweetener over low heat until melted. Simmer finely chopped mint leaves in chocolate mixture over very low heat for several minutes.
  • Add goji berries and cherries and heat until soft. (2 minutes or so.)
  • Pour a think layer of mixture into candy or muffin pan, distributing chunks of fruit evenly throughout.
  • Put in freezer.
  • Ready to eat in about 10 minutes.
  • Pop out of pan by prying one edge with a fork or knife.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Want more articles like this?

Sign up to receive weekly articles. You'll also receive a 15% off coupon, weekly articles, and tips from Donna and her team.

I'm most interested in:
Body Ecology Webinar