Body Ecology Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

body-ecology-dietThe Body Ecology Diet was written by nutritionist Donna Gates to help people to restore and maintain the ‘inner ecology’ of the body so as to regain health and vitality.

Gates does not promote her plan as a weight loss diet, but she says that it can play a major role in dealing with the health factors that may contribute to obesity.

The diet is based on the concept that our bodies have a natural balance of microorganisms that are involved in a range of functions in the body. Gates says that there are many factors in our modern diets that are contributing to the disruption of that balance such as the excessive consumption of foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar.

The Body Ecology Diet rebuilds the natural ecosystem so as to support optimal health and improve a variety of chronic health conditions.

Body Ecology Diet Basics

This diet is basically a version of a Candida diet.

There are three basic principles that are at the foundation of the plan:

This first is the addition of cultured foods to the diet such as fermented vegetables, organic yogurt and kefir, which is a fermented drink, made from either organic milk or coconut water.

The second principle is to change the quality of fats in the diet. Gates encourages the use of ‘good’ fats such as flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive, and coconut oils.

The third principle involves dramatically reducing carbohydrate and sugar intake. Most forms of concentrated carbohydrates are eliminated on this diet such as grains, potato, sweets, and the majority of fruits. As dieters progress on the diet they may be allowed to carefully increase their intake of fruits, high carbohydrate vegetables, and specific grains.

Gates states that these three factors can have a profound effect on your level of wellbeing and vitality by improving the natural balance of the inner ecology. Gates also introduces dieters to the concept of food combining which she states is very important to improve digestive function.

Recommended Foods

Kefir made from goat milk or organic cows milk, coconut water kefir, cultured vegetables such as raw sauerkraut, sea vegetables, organic eggs, fish, organic chicken, turkey, lean meat, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, salads and steamed vegetables, quinoa, amaranth grain, millet, buckwheat flour, coconut oil, olive oil.

Sample Diet Plan



Smoothie made with granny smith apple, celery, romaine lettuce, avocado, parsley and water

Morning Snack

Coconut water kefir


Turkey lettuce wraps
Cultured vegetables

Afternoon Snack

Raw almonds
Raw vegetables


Baked salmon with julienne carrots, zucchini, green beans and sweet potato
Pumpkin seed pesto

Evening Snack

Organic popcorn with coconut oil

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is recommended to increase oxygenation of the body and to reduce the presence of certain microorganisms such as Candida.

These exercises can be used with the Body Ecology Diet.

Costs and Expenses

The Body Ecology Diet retails for $24.95.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

There are many recommended supplements that may increase the cost of following this program.

There will also be an increase in the grocery bill due to the need to purchase special foods and organic produce.


  • Provides a natural alternative yeast infection treatment and the management of digestive disorders and chronic fatigue.
  • Includes recipes, menus, and shopping lists.
  • Includes tips for controlling the urge to snack and for eating away from home.


  • Does not specifically address weight management and is targeted more at improving general health.
  • Very restrictive diet both in regards to allowed foods and diet structure.
  • Very difficult to eat out.
  • A great deal of time must be spent in food preparation.
  • Diet involves food combining, which is lacking in scientific support.
  • Recommends the use of many expensive supplements.

A Candida Eliminating Diet has Helped Many

It may take some time to experience the desired results on this plan so it will be most appropriate for those with a high degree of motivation. Even though this diet does promote food combining, which is criticized by some as lacking in scientific evidence, many dieters have found relief from digestive disorders with this approach.

Although it is possible to lose weight on this program it is probably more suitable for individuals who wish to address specific health concerns, as the issue of weight loss is not the main focus of this plan.

See Also:  Donna’s latest book, The Baby Boomer Diet: Anti-Aging Secrets

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Cheryl in NC

    I so appreciate for all the information they offer on the various diets, and would like to share my experience with the B.E.D. diet, which i was on for 7 months about 11 years ago. In those 7 months, I lost 70 lbs, at the rate of 10lbs a month. After 7 months, I hit a plateau at the same time I started a new job. The stress of the job pushed me off the diet, and over the next 8 years, I gradually put the weight back on. And now, I think I am ready to start over, since I am pretty sure my candida overgrowth is back.

    When on the diet, I was never, ever hungry (except at mealtimes); never had any cravings (altho’ off the diet, I regularly crave carbs, esp sugary & salty/crispy things, and if on a “low-carb” diet, crave fats); I felt better than I ever had before (or since), and I looked better than I had in years also. I didn’t take all of the supplements, nor make fermented foods, but instead bought sauerkraut from Whole Foods (vinegar-free but high salt). I also didn’t eat it all the time. What I did eat was lots of leafy greans & other veggies, both cooked and in salads, and salmon, sardines, and low-fat chicken & turkey. For carbs, I had red potatoes most of the time, as it was easiest to prepare. Salad dressing was usually olive oil w a little Spike seasoning, altho’ sometimes I’d add cider vinegar.

    What I found really interesting was that for days at a time, I would not even remember to eat my potato, so would not have or desire ANY high carb foods. Then, after a few days, I’d start to feel chilled deep in my body, realize I hadn’t eat any carbs for a few days, eat some potato and the cold would go away and I’d be fine again. But again, after a while, I’d start to forget to eat my potato again because my body just felt so satisfied with the veggies & low-fat proteins. I also ate tofu, however, and soy milk, tho’ not allowed, because my body seems to hum when I do. What can I say?

    About the food combining, I found it very helpful, and discovered something that may help many of you: the only time I ever get gas is if I have combined protein foods and carbs. For the past 11 years, I have been virtually gas-free(!!) except on the rare occasion I’ve let myself mix protein with carbs (like potato with a protein meal, or a sandwich of bread & meat, pasta with cheese, etc.).

    I am finding it hard to get back in the groove of this diet right now bcz I live with my daughter and granddaughter, who have sweet carbs always around. It’s hard to get the discipline back. But the one thing I know for a fact is that it only takes about 3-4 days on this diet – or any low-carb diet – to lose my desire for carbs. Hope that is helpful to someone else. As a final note, this time around I will probably be doing Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Diet, with modifications according to the BED diet (no fruit, for instance). I did that diet as well for 6 weeks last year, and I lost 30 lbs on it and also felt great! But then, the holidays came and . . . sigh… :D

    • Cheryl in NC

      Uh, sorry…re-read what I wrote and realized I left out some things. I DID include flax seeds, almonds and sunflower seeds – mostly as snacks, tho’ not in high quantity ’cause I didn’t crave them. I also had 1/2 a lemon w 1T psyllium seed when I arose (stlll do), sweetened lightly with Stevia, and only drank lemon water with Stevia (I can’t stomach plain water most of time). I never ate fruit (dont really desire fruit anyway) or winter squashes, because was too much work to prepare (for those of you worried about food prep), but I will include now because I know how to roast them & it’s delicious (butternut squash), and it is a better balanced diet with than without them. I didn’t do any of the fancy things, like make my own fermented veggies or yogurt, because I was intimidated at the time AND I am alllergic to dairy protein, so had no cheese or milk products either. For yogurt, I’d have soy yogurt if at all. So my point is that it is possible to follow this fairly closely but not exactly and still have great success – both with candida reduction AND weight loss. But my emphasis here is to say that this worked as a great WEIGHT loss diet for me, despite comments above by Everydiet to the contrary. Seventy pounds in 8 months; that’s impressive. And NEVER hungry; never a craving. And no GAS!! LOL!

    • Cheryl in NC

      Oh yeah. One last thing: when I started the B.E.D. diet, my blood pressure had been climbing steadily and I was about to be put on medications. Instead, I did this diet – including walking 20 min twice a day, doing yoga 3 days a week and lifting light weights three days as well (alternate days) – and by the time I’d lost the 70 lbs, my blood pressure was also back to normal. So I don’t just think of this as an anti-candida diet, I definitely think of it as a diet both for WEIGHT LOSS and for HEALTH. It hits every marker for a great diet plan, and easily modified to last for life.

  • sueathome

    I have been doing this diet for almost a year now. We had mold in our home that we couldn’t find. Ended up with 6 of us having various food allergies, auto immune problems, toxic, puffy, etc. Regarding the diet. I teach people about health and wellness. I have always eaten healthy but I wasn’t absorbing the nutrition. As far as weight loss. All of us are now lean and healthy. We eat only organic because of GMO’s. They suppress good bacteria in the gut. Food prep time. What do you think people did before fast food “crap.” They cooked their own food. They were not as sick as we were. All over the world people eat fermented foods. In Russia they give kids a fermented drink everyday when they walk in the door. The book, “Healthy At A 100″ talks about this and many others that thrive on fermentation. We are at a time in history where you either take responsibility for yourself or you could die. Food combining is huge. I don’t care where the info came from. Try it for yourself. Eat meat and potatoes and look at your face the next morning. Puffy, tired. And last but actually the funniest statement in the entire article, “Although it is possible to lose weight on this program it is probably more suitable for individuals who wish to address specific health concerns, as the issue of weight loss is not the main focus of this plan.” YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! HEALTH should always be your first priority. When I started doing B.E.D.s I had to go by all new clothes in the first month. Weight loss is a direct result to health. Any other weight loss will not be long lived. Skinny and sick should not be your goal. Healthy and lean is far better. From a mom of four, turning 50, living like I am 24….size 5. This is an EXCELLENT DIET. Don’t let confusion stop you from starting on a new path.

    • Anne

      Thank you for these encouraging words! I am 55 and have been struggling the past few years with constipation . The last few years I have had extreme bloating and discomfort. Since I went off glutens the bloating has stopped, but I think I need more than that to totally heal my gut. (Also, have recurring mouth ulcers and eczema.) My daughter bought me the book and I read some this morning and felt confused and panicky. Thank you again. Excited to go to grocery store now!

  • Raederle

    I can’t believe this says that food combining principles are lacking scientific support. It’s a known scientific fact that if you eat one food requiring alkaline digestive enzymes and another food requiring acidic digestive enzymes that the two enzymes will nuetralize each other, making the foods hard to digest together. It is true that that is why we have alkaline enzymes in our mouth and upper stomach, but most people don’t chew thoroughly, and the food is only in the upper stomach for fifteen to twenty-five minutes. That’s not a lot of exposure to alkaline enzymes.

    • sueathome

      Excellent point. And I couldn’t agree more!

  • Kris

    Meat? Do no harm: universal principle. Carnism is a belief system, we don’t need to eat meat to repopulate the microflora in the GI tract. Peace.

    • rae

      I want to don’t eat meat but I am having a reaction to everything else. I can eat veggies and seeds and that’s pretty much it. I have been trying EVERYTHING to conquer this for 5 years. I lmost had it beat (or so I thought) but recently had a relapse. Since I am at the end of my rope, I have been eating a little meat. Some things are just exceedingly difficult. At this point, I’m just trying to survive.


    Very interesting & definitely would like more information. Thank you.

  • Lucy

    p.s. apples are too on the diet and carrots are EVERYWHERE! I just made the carrot cauliflower soup. It’s delish.

  • Lucy

    I LOVE B.E.D. (Body Ecology Diet). I’ve had friends in L.A. who’ve been on an off this diet for years. I struggled with major stomach pain, indigestion, fatigue, gluten and dairy allergies, regular pollen allergies, mental fog etc. for years, and am always striving to be healthier. I recently moved to Santa Fe and a new friend was doing BED and I saw the changes she was experiencing and decided to do it too. People need to remember: this yes, this diet is very specific, but it’s temporary! The recipes in the back of the book are some of the most delicious I’ve ever eaten. I especially love the buckwheat “meat”loaf and the body ecology gravy is delicious. So is the crust on the onion pie.

    I started by just cooking the food, it’s so allergy-friendly and never makes me tired. Now I’m culturing veggies and I love it! I’ve started to lose weight right away. I love about 3 pounds after the first few days of coco-biotics (I think the result of a major colon-cleanse reaction) and I’ve continued to just totally slim down. No inflammation, it’s great. And she suggests things beyond the book: adequate sleep, exercise, proper hydration. I love Donna. I love this way of eating.

  • maya

    One issue she didn’t recognize was heavy metal toxicity and methyl mercury. As long as you have mercury fillings and mercury overload in your body, candida will thrive.

  • ryh

    Apples arent on the diet, and carrots arent recommended. Good try recipe number one.

    • nick

      green apples are okay in phase 2. and carrots are reccommend. cultured carrots in cabbage are very good. and even one of the first recipies is just shredded carrot and raw coconut oil, its incredibly cleansing for the colon! and promotes hair growth like wild

  • martin

    To the person who said $18 for a jar of cultured veggies, make them yourself, a 1.5 liter jar cost me $6, in mexico, and the veggies in it probably around $4, so after the initial cost of the jar, its pretty cheap, 1.5L is about 1.5 quarts. Gas and bloating is normal for the beginning stages, Donna recomends enemas for this, but once you get over this stage she says you well feel better. As far as the diet, I can say I started to feel more energy after eating emediatly after doing the food combining (which is free ;)) so if thats all you get out of it I think its worth it. a box of keifer starter will cost about $25 but will last you for 6-7 months because you can keep transfering a little from your last batch and do this about 7 times. Its not an expensive diet people, and you dont need to take ANY of the supplements she suggests. She clearly stresses the most important thing is the foods you eat and combining them the right way. And you can also buy the cultured veggie starter ($25) but even that is optional, they will still be super healthy and do their intended job in your intestines without the starter. Also you can empty a probiotic tablet into the mix, for just a couple cents.

    • Tariq

      I have discovered, after being a UTI srufefer for 10 years followed by IC, that hightened yeast/fungus (Candida) in my body from longtime overuse of antibiotics and a bad diet were the cause for my suffering of uti’s and IC. After doing a Candigone and Canizyme Cleanse by Renew Life I have brought the natural flora in my intestinal tract, bladder lining, and vaginal lining back to what they are suppose to be. Now even my natural hormone replacement is working well and with added 80 billion probiotics daily for maintenance and a healthier diet I am back to myself without any symptoms of IC or recurring UTI’s. It even cured my lifelong constipation. I hope this information will help women with the same problems.

      • Jennifer Guyler

        Thank you so much for you review of the Body Ecology Diet. I’ve had IC for 6 years and I’ve tried so many diets. The idea of launching head first into another diet is daunting but especially when I didn’t see anyone say that it helped IC. Your note give me hope that will help my IC. I scheduled an appointment to work with one of their consultants to give me some coaching. If you have any words of wisdom, please let me know.

  • Charmaine

    I click 4 stars. I have found a lot of the diet principles to make sense and after 6 months am easily in the rythym of the preparation and cooking. I do not purchase many of the supplements, subscribing rather to the promoted theory of “let your food be your medicine”. I have certainly had a marked clearing up of candida symptoms, dropping from a score of 266 to 227 on the Candida Survey in 4 months. However, I am now dealing with the more chronic underlying health problems that probably led to the candida infection, and feeling that I am moving pretty slowly. Overall, I love the diet and it is certainly not as restrictive or starving as the standard Candida diet. Raw food is yummy too but I found that I did not have the digestive strength to cope with it – maybe later as my body becomes stronger.

  • janice

    So restrictive! So time consuming! It could all be 100% true but who can survive!?! I cannot believe that the only foods you can eat are vegetables, cultured vegetables and meat. So expensive! Who can afford to eat like this? $18 for a jar of cultured vegetables and it’s recommended for each meal! Keifer made from the water of young Tahitian coconuts! Really!?!

    • nick

      unrealistic? its eating like a healthy human benig. its eating WHOLE foods and actually she does a great job of making it more realistic by simulating american recipies. whats realistic to you? microwaved dinner? frozen chicken and veggies? or are you the realistic premade breads and lunch meat eater? this diet is not limiting you can eat almost any type of food you could ever want. she is just showing how a human is supposed to eat and thats WHOLE foods not processed premade DEAD food that will clog your body and age the shit out of you

      • nancy

        I don’t know where to add this note, but I read this book a year ago and was not able to follow until I found that now Tahitian coconuts are being sold in most super markets, even Walmart! I was given kefir grains at a raw food restaurant but they can be purchased. I am enjoying kefir every day and my digestion is improving greatly. I am leaning toward vegan diet, Dr. McDougall though.

  • Gay E.

    After 30 years of using a wide variety of Diets and Supplements to treat an equally wide variety of health problems – including Severe Candida, Chronic Fatigue, Hormone Imbalances, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Heart Palpitations, Severe Prolonged Menopause, Adrenal Fatigue, Thyroid, Skin, Brain, Nervous problems. Many/most things helped – but did not heal.
    I found:
    – most of them helped in some way.
    – when they do start to help – your body shifts into a detoxification mode – which initially makes you feel worse – before you begin to feel better.
    – the longer you have been ill – the longer it takes your body to clean and heal itself.
    – the people in Natural Medicine are slowly improving their understanding of the “Modern Chronic Health Epidemic” caused by the degradation of our modern diets and increased toxicity in our lives – and continue to show improved understanding of how to correct / improve these.
    – this Diet addressed many of the underlying problems – but in my experience with similar diets gave me some help not healing – and did not correct underlying problems.
    – It may help people with mild to moderate Candida and other Chronic Health Problems – but for severe problems may not be enough.
    – I have found much better success with the Primal Diet – which gave me 10X the improvement in Health that this program – or any other of dozens approaches have. My health has improved steadily for 2 years (cycling continuously in and out of detox)- and I am off 90% of the supplements I was previously on without relapses of illness or deficiencies that used to occur off supplements. Fibromyalgia is now 75% better and we are saving enough on supplements that we can now afford a car loan in spite of the more costly foods.
    – once you achieve better health and your body is functioning more optimally – there are many tweaks one can do to create an effective weightloss diet – however – the devil is in the details – and with health/nutrition – there do seem to be a lot of detais:-)

    • Cheryl in NC

      Yours is a great review. Thank you. I just want to add that I’ve experimented a bit with the Blood Type Diet as well, and have found that many foods it says are harmful to my blood type were indeed ones I had a lot of trouble with. For instance, I used to think I could not eat beans at all, but it turned out I could eat many types of beans – wth NO gas. The problem was only the types of beans I had been eating, which were detrimental to my blood type (Type A). And my daughter, on the other hand, with a different blood type (Type O), made similiar discoveries to confirm its accuracy for her as well. And it turned out that each of our blood types required totally different types of diets: mine, a more veggie-heavy one with limited meat and lower protein, hers a meat-heavy, protein-heavy one with more limited veggies! So I think there is definitely something to the idea that different people are metabolically designed to do better on different diets and not everyone does well on the same ones. So that may be why you do better on the Primal Diet than the B.E.D. Your body may be better suited to that diet metabolically. Therefore, while all these comments can be very helpful, we all still have to find the diet that works best for us, I guess. I’m just glad that I stumbled on the B.E.D diet (a friend gave me her book) because for me it worked very, very well!

  • Karen

    I clicked two stars but this system shows 4 stars and won’t let me change it! Unbelievable.

    I’ve been struggling with advanced Candida for about a year now. I finally found this book after trying so many suggested supplements that did nothing so I continued with my search for answers. I haven’t really seen much of an improvement, and yes, the diet is extremely restrictive. I am very thin already and I’m now feeling like I’m starving to death because my body isn’t reacting well to what I’m eating, I seem to be getting gas all the time now and it’s killing me. Plus, Donna continuously promotes her very expensive products throughout the book, which I find frustrating. I’ve purchased a couple and they haven’t made any difference, perhaps even made me worse.

  • Ruth Thompson

    I could not control my weight, I was tired all the time, had no energy, kept having yeast infections, and ached all over. I tried everything to lose weight, for at least two years, including very restrictive diets and exercising every day. Within 3 days of starting on the body ecology diet, pounds started to melt. All the cultured foods tasted “good” as though my body needed them. After 2 weeks I have more energy and the aches and chronic yeast infection have begun to back off. I’m sold!

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