The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity (Anglais) Broché – 15 juin 2011
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I used to be on the raw food diet, ate organic and healthy and I was still experiencing a low immune system, breaking out, and a chronic yeast infection that I've had for over 5 years. I've tried treating the yeast infection with antibiotics, a watered down hydrogen peroxide douche, and boric acid suppositories. None of the treatments stuck. My yeast infection returned with in a day or two of stopping the treatment. If I ever had more than one day a week of an early work day, I came down with a sore throat.
I'm so ecstatic to report that this diet has cured me of my yeast infection. I can't believe it.
It was difficult for me to return to cooked foods because I loved the principles of the raw food diet, but being cured of the yeast infection has made me a believer. Obviously my body wasn't receiving the nourishment it needed to heal itself.
I gave this 4 stars only because the book is a constant advertisement for her products. I realize that a person needs to make a living, but I felt like it was a little overkill. If you do a Google search you can find other ways to make cultured vegetables without using her starter kit. I use 1 liter of water to 2 TB sea salt and pour it over a mixture of chopped veggies and let it sit on my counter for 7 days. So far, it's worked great. I also purchased water kefir granules 2 years ago from an online shop that only sells that and they are still healthy and creating wonderful drinks. I will eventually use them to make cultured coconut water.
I went through some crazy sugar withdraws during this first week. I felt like I was a drug addict. That has been the most difficult part of this adjustment. Teas with flavored stevias (specifically vanilla cream) and my recipe for homemade healthy kettle corn has helped me greatly.
Originally I was drawn to this book because I had experienced various digestive issues for a really long time which had completely disrupted my life, but what I was really noticing was how many of my middle-age girlfriends were experiencing the very same issues - I'm 48 by the way. I just knew there had to be something causing this and I was beginning to suspect the pathetic agri-business that is responsible for feeding this industrialized nation but that's another book. I read the book and started slowly with some of Donna's suggestions, and as a result, my husband (who incidently has no choice but to eat all these exotic new things I was so excited to fix for us) had finally found relief from the chronic constipation this man had endured for years! As for myself, all I can say, is that I finally feel like a normal human being again when it comes to my digestive tract. In fact, better than normal because the new normal seems to be irritable bowel syndrome, does it not?
The list of symptoms I have helped people find relief from all thanks to the principals of this book is endless - so I suggest to you, if you are on the fence about reading this book because of some of the reviews here, just get the book and read it with an open mind. Then, most importantly, do not look for a structured eat-this-and-this-and-that kind of a schedule in this book - it's not that kind of a "diet" but more of the kind of diet where you learn the kinds of things that are just plain good for your health and what isn't. Yes, you will lose weight, but that is not what this diet is about, weight-loss is merely a side-effect from eating this way. What people do not realize is that so many other conditions we suffer from are originating in our unhealthy guts - fix that, and these other conditions can be cured as well. I've never been healthier and it shows, and it's all because of this book.
I also strongly disagree with Ms. Gates regarding the use of kefir grains v. a starter culture to make cultured milk or coconut water. She claims that using a stater culture (which is sold on the BED website) is a far superior method because "you cannot be certain that the correct microflora are there [in the wild grains]." That may be true in the case of neglected grains, but wild grains contain a vastly greater number of microorganisms than starter cultures, all fused into a single, amazing symbiotic organism. No one has ever been able to replicate the diversity found in a kefir grain, not in a lab or a factory. Starter cultures, on the other hand, contain "some of the organisms that are part of the traditional kefir symbiosis, but not all of them, and without the complexity and resulting unity of kefir's evolved life form" (Sandor Katz, The Art of Fermentation). My take is that, in the case of kefir as well as that of most cultured foods, the product of wild fermentation (from grains) is nutritionally far superior to the product of controlled (culture powder) fermentation.
A few gems from the book: the emphasis on probiotics and cultured foods, which are key in restoring digestive health, and recipes for making coconut and milk kefir. I also really appreciate the 80/20 rule because it emphasizes the importance of eating a lot of vegetables.
While the book is easy to read, it seems to offer no new information that is not readily available in other books or on the internet. Gates seems to favor certain foods and products, such as coconut water kefir, yet fails to thoroughly justify her preference for them, and supports her claims with little scientific research. However, her section on the same subject does offer an excellent guide on making the coconut water kefir, which serves as one of the few saving graces of this book.
This brings me to one of the biggest gripes I have with Body Ecology Diet. Throughout the book are references to her website for more information. Unfortunately, the website fails to thoroughly expound on any of the topics in her book, and instead bombards visitors with a myriad of products that are touted as miracle cures to everything from Attention Deficit Disorder and Autism to Sexual Dysfunction. Of course, a majority of these products are sold either through her own storefront or through affiliate sites, earning her a hefty profit. While this review is about Gates' book, not her website, it is made relevant by the numerous times that the book refers readers to it, instructing them to purchase some product that is necessary if you want to follow her diet. In other words, don't expect to be able to follow Gates' version of the Candida diet without purchasing items from her storefront, or a well-stocked health food store.
I do not mean for this review to turn people off of a diet that targets Candida. It is simply that other books, such as Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, offer much more information, back it up with more hard evidence, and more importantly, do not require you to purchase more products from the author. Candidiasis is a real condition, and ridding yourself of it will bring about real improvements in your energy level and weight, among other things. It is just that Gates' work feels like a shallow and self-promoting rehash of currently available information. The most important thing when finding a book on the subject is finding one that works well for you. Therefore, I recommend readers look for a book written with passion that truly moves you to follow its advice. While this book's approach may work for some, I found myself wanting more.
Having said all that, I still think you should buy this book. Because, as I stated, the information on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid, as well as the few recipes in the book and some of the other dietary tips will help you. It is information you will not find in other books.