For complete information, see the Body Ecology website - Body Ecology.com
The 7 Body Ecology Principles
Donna Gates spent years researching both the ancient and the most current systems of nutrition and healing to create a program that includes the wisdom of each yet supersedes them all. Recognizing that everything has a front and a back - or positive and negative - Body Ecology takes the positive from many healing disciplines and finds solutions for the negatives.
The 7 Healing Principles are a result of this work and the highlights are outlined here.
1. The Principle of Balance
The Principle of Balance is based on the concept of yin and yang, the opposing energy forces from ancient Chinese and Japanese traditions. Everything in the world has some properties of yin and yang, but in varying proportions.
Yin energy is light, expansive, wet, soft, cold and more vegetal. Yang energy is heavy, contracting, dry, hard, hot and more animal. Body Ecology uses the terms expansion and contraction to explain the yin and yang energy of the food you eat.
Some foods, like sugar and alcohol, are examples of food that is way too expansive for your body. Your blood stream quickly absorbs sugar and produces energy, making you feel temporarily open and relaxed yet these foods are damaging because they are not balanced.
Other foods, like excessive and poor-quality salt and animal products, are more contracting and cause your cells to contract and lose fluids, making you feel tight and constricted.
Your body is always seeking balance. If you eat too much salt, your body becomes too contractive and you will quickly find yourself craving something sweet. Notice this the next time you go to see a movie. While they may not fully understand this concept, the movie theaters are well aware that both soda pop (sweet and expansive) and popcorn (salty and contracting) are ever-popular combinations for concession sales.
Without understanding this principle, you may unknowingly create imbalance in a vicious cycle of cravings.
2. The Principle of Acid and Alkaline
To maintain health, your blood must be slightly alkaline. The foods we eat and the lifestyle choices we make impact our body's ability to maintain that alkaline state.
Foods can be alkaline, acidic or neutral in your body. Your goal would be to have a balance of alkaline and acidic foods so that you can maintain the alkaline state of your blood. If you get out of balance and your blood becomes too acidic, you become more susceptible to illness and disease.
At the same time, lifestyle choices like stress, taking prescription drugs and not getting enough sleep can create acidic blood. Paying attention to a balanced lifestyle is also key to your health and longevity.
3. The Principle of Uniqueness
As humans, we share so many similarities with one another, but your body is unique. Each of us is an experiment of one and for that reason, you may need to modify certain elements of any diet or lifestyle to suit your own individuality.
While the Body Ecology program recommends a specific protocol for restoring balance in your body, any time you try a new way of eating, it's vital to observe your body's reactions and assess whether this new path is bringing you back toward balance.
4. The Principle of Cleansing
Did you know that your body cleanses every day? Through elimination, urine, tears, and sweat, your body rids itself of toxins that would otherwise build up and could lead to sickness and disease. Fevers, colds and skin eruptions are actually a natural part of the cleansing process and shouldn't be suppressed. Cleansing allows your body to restore balance and occurs when imbalance is too great and threatens life.
As you start on the Body Ecology program, you'll experience the symptoms of cleansing, and you might feel worse than you feel now. Hang in there -- it's your body's way of getting rid of the bad and making room for the good. After all, you cannot heal your current condition without cleansing.
5. The Principle of Food Combining
The Body Ecology program teaches that combining certain foods when you eat can either help or hinder your digestion. If you combine the wrong foods, your body will actually secrete enzymes that cancel each other out!
This leads to slowed or impaired digestion, causing food to ferment in your stomach or toxins to be released in your intestines. These conditions make your body more attractive to pathogens. This is a highly useful principle to improve your health and weight, and often one of the most misunderstood. For a more in-depth understanding on this principle and all the other principles, be sure to read The Body Ecology Diet.
6. The Principle of 80/20
This principle has two concepts that aid your digestion:
• Quantity - Overeating severely weakens your digestive system. Give your stomach room to digest your food by only filling your stomach to 80% of capacity and leaving 20% empty to help your body digest.
• Balance of Nutrients - 80% of every meal should be land and ocean vegetables. The other 20% should be either a protein OR a grain.
7. The Principle of Step-by-Step
Just as it takes time to get out of balance, it also takes time to rebuild your health. You cannot expect instant healing, but making small, consistent changes gives your body the foundation it needs to support optimal, long-term health.
Starting any new program is about creating new habits. It takes time and effort, which can sometimes feel hard.
The key is to take everything step-by-step. Incorporate one healing principle (or even one element of a healing principle) at a time so that you don't feel overwhelmed. Take care of yourself by going at the pace that feels right to you.
This article comes from the Body Ecology website:
A Review of the 7 Key Healthy Eating Principles as You Enter 2007
Some of my Body Ecology dishes include:
Heavenly Quinoa Hash w red peppers & red potatoes
Curried quinoa with veggies