Did you know you can eat a raw foods diet Body Ecology style? If you want to get the most from your raw foods diet, follow these tips and avoid these pitfalls!
In part 1 of this insightful interview, Certified Body Ecology Coach, Jennifer Boddie (pronounced Body) outlined tips on how to do Body Ecology RAW for incredible physical and emotional health benefits.
In this piece, Jennifer continues by sharing tips on how to do Body Ecology raw, including the pitfalls to avoid in a typical raw foods diet.
Q. How would you recommend people start on a raw foods diet?
First of all, many people think they have to be 100% raw to get the benefits of the raw foods diet. This isn’t true. You see positive results from starting out small and increasing the amount of raw food you eat over time...then noticing exactly what works for YOU. This is The Principle of Step by Step and The Principle of Uniqueness.
If you haven’t yet added Body Ecology principles into your diet and you are coming from the Standard American Diet, consider staring with 30% raw food.
Perhaps start with a raw food breakfast by making Body Ecology’s recipe for a Green Smoothie (Feel free to adapt this recipe and have fun being creative, but avoid using fruits and vegetables that have sugar.)
If you HAVE been doing Body Ecology for while, if you live in a very warm climate or during the summer months maybe you’ll choose to eat over 50% raw food and experiment from there. From a Body Ecology perspective, this might mean that on your dinner plate, where 80% of the food would be vegetables, more than half of those would be raw or fermented.
The change from cooked foods to raw foods can be dramatic for people, so the Body Ecology principle of step by step is important. Take your time. See how you feel and trust what’s right for YOU.
In my own experience, I’ve found that positive psychological and spiritual benefits show up when you are on eating a higher percentage of raw foods.
Q. What are some tips you'd give raw foodists who want to do Body Ecology?
A. I have several tips that can help raw foodists follow the Body Ecology system of health and healing. They are:
- Add Fermented foods and drinks – Fermented foods and drinks are incredibly healing, living foods. They are also powerful antioxidants and are loaded with enzymes. They cleanse and help us detoxify as well.
Cultured vegetables and Young Coconut Kefir are excellent ways to obtain the benefits of trillions of healthy microflora (probiotics) to build up a healthy inner ecosystem that will then boost your “digestive fire”, your energy and your immunity.
While many raw foodists believe they are obtaining healthy microflora when they drink another fermented liquid called, Rejuvelac, Donna Gates, founder of the Body Ecology system, has found that Rejuvelac (made by fermenting whole wheat berries with wild airborne yeast) can intensify yeast or candida problems immediately. Wild yeast are not the same as cultured, beneficial bacteria and yeast and anyone with candida should avoid them.
Braggs Liquid Aminos is another popular raw fermented flavoring agent that should be avoided on Body Ecology RAW. Braggs Aminos contains a naturally occurring form of MSG. If you like this flavor, Donna has found that most people do better using Low-Sodium, Wheat-Free Tamari by San J instead of Braggs...or just use Celtic sea salt.
- Carefully Watch Those Sugars and Fruits - As a Certified Body Ecology Coach, there are two things I’d caution against with raw foods diets: eating too much fresh fruit and eating dried fruits.
Most fruit is not on stage 1 of the Body Ecology program because it feeds candida. Dried fruit is very rich in concentrated sugars and are never good for anyone. Unfortunately they comprise most of the raw food bars and treats that are so popular in health food stores today. Dried fruit and these “treats” are the junk food of the raw foods diet.
The fruits that are allowed on BED stage one are small amounts of the very sour, low-sugar fruits like lemons, limes, cranberry, pomegranate and black currant juice concentrate and grapefruit.
Once your inner ecosystem (intestines teeming with healthy bacteria and yeast) is well established, you can move into stage 2 of Body Ecology. Here is where you can incorporate a little more fruit...but again choose low-sugar fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cherries. Eat them in small quantities and always be mindful that they do not combine with most other foods since they digest quickly.
Very importantly we always suggest you eat fruits with microflora-rich fermented foods and drinks. This way the microflora consume the sugars in the fruit.
- Watch out for Wheat Grass – Another popular food among raw foodist is wheat grass. This, too, contains sugar and will make your blood too acidic...feeding yeast and viruses.
- Focus on your thyroid and adrenals – Research on people eating a raw foods diet for several years or longer indicates that a slightly depressed thyroid is common.
Raw foods are cooling foods and our thyroid and adrenals need warming strengthening and grounding foods provided by cooking. Both organs thrive on lots of minerals and sweet fruits eaten by most raw foodist leech away minerals because they make the body too acidic.
Cruceriferous Vegetables, unless they are fermented or cooked suppress the thyroid. I recommend that raw foodists steam cruciferous vegetables to reduce the thyroid-suppressing effect of raw cruciferous vegetables. Steaming these vegetables lightly does not mean over-cooking them until they are dead!
Tyrosine is an important amino acid for the thyroid. It is found in beans, cheese, and animal proteins. These are foods many raw foodists avoid. You might want to supplement with tyrosine.
Following the guidelines in The Body Ecology Diet regarding nourishing your thyroid and adrenals is a great way to help raw foodists keep up their health and get an amazing energy boost.
- Compliment your diet with Vitality SuperGreen – This probiotic-rich green drink is a great way for raw foodists to get some greens first thing in the morning. It is very alkalizing and is designed to help heal and maintain a healthy gut lining. It’s also a very good living foods option for when you feel hungry during the day or just need an energy boost. Add a scoop of Vitality SuperGreen to your morning smoothies or “energy soup.” (That’s the term given to a blended raw food recipe.)
- Got Cravings? Try Fasting Body Ecology Style – Fasting periodically has health benefits, if you do it right! I believe in fasting once per week Body Ecology style. This means going alkaline by fasting only on green food all day.
A Body Ecology green food fast might look like this: several Vitality SuperGreen drinks, a raw leafy green salad with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing, a couple of green smoothies and steamed green veggies. Be sure to include some fermented foods or beverages as well.
In fact, this is a good way to start the Body Ecology diet. Usually people have a lot of cravings. The fastest way to get rid of cravings is to just abstain. People don’t always want to do this, but if you try it you’ll see how valuable it is. It makes transitioning away from the Standard America Diet much easier.
If you are following Body Ecology and find you have a tendency to gravitate toward overeating certain foods, fasting on green foods one day per week helps to bring your mind back to center.
- Keep it Simple! Body Ecology RAW does not have to be hard. Anyone can go in the kitchen and make up the recipes I have provided below. If you make your transition one step at a time and keep your recipes simple, you will have a much easier time.
As a busy mom with two kids with autism (learn how they’ve benefited from Body Ecology), I’ve learned to create simple raw meals by following the Body Ecology principles. I have been doing this since early 2007 and during this time, I’ve felt satisfied and fulfilled with this eating plan.
- Take Healthy Eating on the Road – It may seem impossible, but you really CAN find things at restaurants. I often choose salads with avocados or steamed veggies. Planning ahead by bringing some Celtic sea salt and unrefined organic oils really helps too.
I still find that my best meals are at home. In fact, if you think eating this way is expensive, I’ve found that I end up saving money because we eat out less…so you’re healthy food can actually save you money!
Get your living greens anytime with Vitality SuperGreen! This green drink is made with probiotic rich whole green foods that support gut health and your raw foods diet. Drink Vitality SuperGreen and feel your energy boost, naturally.
No matter where you are or what style of eating you like, Body Ecology offers it all. We make any style of eating much better than it’s ever been done before. If you love raw, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, if you love steak…just work on mastering the very important Body Ecology Principles. They will always lead you to the right answers. If you understand the principles, you can follow the Body Ecology program no matter what your unique needs are!
Here’s a few more thoughts that Donna Gates wanted to add to Jennifer’s interview:
The Principle of Uniqueness says that no one diet fits all. And all of us need to constantly modify how and what we eat because our needs are always changing. Our goals change and our activities change. Remember the wise old saying: “The only thing that is constant is change”? Well, this is true with diet as well.
If you live in a warm climate like Hawaii, Arizona, California (where most raw foodist live) eating raw can be right because it is a cooling diet.
Raw is also ideal when you have an active viral outbreak...like herpes and AIDS…but only if it’s done completely sugar free. Raw cools the heat and inflammation of these infections. If you do raw with sugary fruits and all those popular, raw, sugary treats you will, however, trigger viral infections.
If you have just been diagnosed with cancer, raw is the best diet to choose for alkalizing the blood...but it must be done right...BED style. Our recommended fermented foods are essential!
Finally many people simply cannot digest raw foods even if they’d like to eat them. Chinese medicine says that raw food “dampens the spleen energy” which means they are difficult to digest. If you have cancer or a viral infection and can’t digest raw then blending your raw veggies and ocean veggies into a “smoothie” is recommended. Cultured veggies can be added to the smoothies and are delicious. They are always easy to digest since they are pre-digested.
The Body Ecology Diet is a plant-based diet. We recommend that 80% of your meal be from plants that grow on land and in the ocean...raw, lightly cooked and cultured. If you eat animal proteins they would make up about 20% of the meal and if you eat sashimi (raw fish popular in Japan) then all your meals would be raw but not vegetarian.
Natto, unpasteurized miso paste, and the fermented meat of the young Thai coconut are excellent sources of fermented vegan proteins that we highly recommend on Body Ecology RAW.
Long time raw vegan can lead to nutritional deficiencies. So don’t feel guilty if you do raw sometimes but not all the time.
We must give up being judgmental about how each of us eats. None of us know what it really feels like to live in someone else’s body
About Jennifer Boddie:
Jennifer Boddie, owner of Boddie Essentials, is a Certified Body Ecology Coach and Living Foods Nutrition Consultant. You can reach Jennifer for a consultation by phone at 770-483-7994.
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.